[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A hyperglutamatergic state has been hypothesized to drive escalation of alcohol intake. This hypothesis predicts that an impairment of glutamate clearance through inactivation of the astrocytic glutamate transporter, GLAST (EAAT1), will result in escalation of alcohol consumption. Here, we used mice with a deletion of GLAST to test this prediction. WT and GLAST KO mice were tested for alcohol consumption using two-bottle free-choice drinking. Alcohol reward was evaluated using conditioned place preference (CPP). Sensitivity to depressant alcohol effects was tested using the accelerating rotarod, alcohol-induced hypothermia, and loss of righting reflex. Extracellular glutamate was measured using microdialysis, and striatal slice electrophysiology was carried out to examine plasticity of the cortico-striatal pathway as a model system in which adaptations to the constitutive GLAST deletion can be studied. Contrary to our hypothesis, GLAST KO mice showed markedly decreased alcohol consumption, and lacked CPP for alcohol, despite a higher locomotor response to this drug. Alcohol-induced ataxia, hypothermia, and sedation were unaffected. In striatal slices from GLAST KO mice, long-term depression (LTD) induced by high frequency stimulation, or by post-synaptic depolarization combined with the l-type calcium channel activator FPL 64176 was absent. In contrast, normal synaptic depression was observed after application of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor agonist WIN55,212-2. Constitutive deletion of GLAST unexpectedly results in markedly reduced alcohol consumption and preference, associated with markedly reduced alcohol reward. Endocannabinoid signaling appears to be down-regulated upstream of the CB1 receptor as a result of the GLAST deletion, and is a candidate mechanism behind the reduction of alcohol reward observed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The synaptic signaling mechanisms mediating the behavioral effects of ethanol (EtOH) remain poorly understood. Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95, SAP-90, Dlg4) is a key orchestrator of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) and glutamatergic synapses, which are known to be major sites of EtOH's behavioral actions. However, the potential contribution of PSD-95 to EtOH-related behaviors has not been established. Here, we evaluated knockout (KO) mice lacking PSD-95 for multiple measures of sensitivity to the acute intoxicating effects of EtOH (ataxia, hypothermia, sedation/hypnosis), EtOH drinking under conditions of free access and following deprivation, acquisition and long-term retention of EtOH conditioned place preference (CPP) (and lithium chloride-induced conditioned taste aversion), and intoxication-potentiating responses to NMDAR antagonism. PSD-95 KO exhibited increased sensitivity to the sedative/hypnotic, but not ataxic or hypothermic, effects of acute EtOH relative to wild-type controls (WT). PSD-95 KO consumed less EtOH than WT, particularly at higher EtOH concentrations, although increases in KO drinking could be induced by concentration-fading and deprivation. PSD-95 KO showed normal EtOH CPP 1 day after conditioning, but showed significant aversion 2 weeks later. Lithium chloride-induced taste aversion was impaired in PSD-95 KO at both time points. Finally, the EtOH-potentiating effects of the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 were intact in PSD-95 KO at the dose tested. These data reveal a major, novel role for PSD-95 in mediating EtOH behaviors, and add to growing evidence that PSD-95 is a key mediator of the effects of multiple abused drugs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glutamatergic dysfunction is strongly implicated in schizophrenia and mood disorders. GluA1 knockout (KO) mice display schizophrenia- and depression-related abnormalities. Here, we asked whether GluA1 KO show mania-related abnormalities. KO were tested for behavior in approach/avoid conflict tests, responses to repeated forced swim exposure, and locomotor responses under stress and after psychostimulant treatment. The effects of rapid dopamine depletion and treatment with lithium or a GSK-3β inhibitor (SB216763) on KO locomotor hyperactivity were tested. Results showed that KO exhibited novelty- and stress-induced locomotor hyperactivity, reduced forced swim immobility and alterations in approach/avoid conflict tests. Psychostimulant treatment and dopamine depletion exacerbated KO locomotor hyperactivity. Lithium, but not SB216763, treatment normalized KO anxiety-related behavior and partially reversed hyperlocomotor behavior, and also reversed elevated prefrontal cortex levels of phospho-MARCKS and phospho-neuromodulin. Collectively, these findings demonstrate mania-related abnormalities in GluA1 KO and, combined with previous findings, suggest this mutant may provide a novel model of features of schizoaffective disorder.
Neurobiology of Disease 12/2010; 40(3):608-21. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research is increasingly linking autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders to synaptic abnormalities ("synaptopathies"). PSD-95 (postsynaptic density-95, DLG4) orchestrates protein-protein interactions at excitatory synapses and is a major functional bridge interconnecting a neurexinneuroligin-SHANK pathway implicated in autism spectrum disorders.
The authors characterized behavioral, dendritic, and molecular phenotypic abnormalities relevant to autism spectrum disorders in mice with PSD-95 deletion (Dlg4⁻(/)⁻). The data from mice led to the identification of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in human DLG4 and the examination of associations between these variants and neural signatures of Williams' syndrome in a normal population, using functional and structural neuroimaging.
Dlg4⁻(/)⁻ showed increased repetitive behaviors, abnormal communication and social behaviors, impaired motor coordination, and increased stress reactivity and anxiety-related responses. Dlg4⁻(/)⁻ had subtle dysmorphology of amygdala dendritic spines and altered forebrain expression of various synaptic genes, including Cyln2, which regulates cytoskeletal dynamics and is a candidate gene for Williams' syndrome. A signifi-cant association was observed between variations in two human DLG4 SNPs and reduced intraparietal sulcus volume and abnormal cortico-amygdala coupling, both of which characterize Williams' syndrome.
These findings demonstrate that DLG4 gene disruption in mice produces a complex range of behavioral and molecular abnormalities relevant to autism spectrum disorders and Williams' syndrome. The study provides an initial link between human DLG4 gene variation and key neural endophenotypes of Williams' syndrome and perhaps corticoamygdala regulation of emotional and social processes more generally.
American Journal of Psychiatry 10/2010; 167(12):1508-17. · 14.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stress is a major risk factor for numerous neuropsychiatric diseases. However, susceptibility to stress and the qualitative nature of stress effects on behavior differ markedly among individuals. This is partly because of the moderating influence of genetic factors. Inbred mouse strains provide a relatively stable and restricted range of genetic and environmental variability that is valuable for disentangling gene-stress interactions. Here, we screened a panel of inbred strains for anxiety- and depression-related phenotypes at baseline (trait) and after exposure to repeated restraint. Two strains, DBA/2J and C57BL/6J, differed in trait and restraint-induced anxiety-related behavior (dark/light exploration, elevated plus maze). Gene expression analysis of amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus revealed divergent expression in DBA/2J and C57BL/6J both at baseline and after repeated restraint. Restraint produced strain-dependent expression alterations in various genes including glutamate receptors (e.g., Grin1, Grik1). To elucidate neuronal correlates of these strain differences, we performed ex vivo analysis of glutamate excitatory neurotransmission in amygdala principal neurons. Repeated restraint augmented amygdala excitatory postsynaptic signaling and altered metaplasticity (temporal summation of NMDA receptor currents) in DBA/2J but not C57BL/6J. Furthermore, we found that the C57BL/6J-like changes in anxiety-related behavior after restraint were absent in null mutants lacking the modulatory NMDA receptor subunit Grin2a, but not the AMPA receptor subunit Gria1. Grin2a null mutants exhibited significant ( approximately 30%) loss of dendritic spines on amygdala principal neurons under nonrestraint conditions. Collectively, our data support a model in which genetic variation in glutamatergic neuroplasticity in corticolimbic circuitry underlies phenotypic variation in responsivity to stress.
Journal of Neuroscience 04/2010; 30(15):5357-67. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glutamatergic dysfunction is increasingly implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Current models postulate that dysfunction of glutamate and its receptors underlie many of the symptoms in this disease. However, the mechanisms involved are not well understood. Although elucidating the role for glutamate transporters in the disease has been limited by the absence of pharmacological tools that selectively target the transporter, we recently showed that glial glutamate and aspartate transporter (GLAST; excitatory amino-acid transporter 1) mutant mice exhibit abnormalities on behavioral measures thought to model the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, some of which were rescued by treatment with either haloperidol or the mGlu2/3 agonist, LY379268 the mGlu2/3 agonist, LY379268. To further determine the role of GLAST in schizophrenia-related behaviors we tested GLAST mutant mice on a series of behavioral paradigms associated with the negative (social withdrawal, anhedonia), sensorimotor gating (prepulse inhibition of startle), and executive/cognitive (discrimination learning, extinction) symptoms of schizophrenia. GLAST knockout (KO) mice showed poor nesting behavior and abnormal sociability, whereas KO and heterozygous (HET) both demonstrated lesser preference for a novel social stimulus compared to wild-type littermate controls. GLAST KO, but not HET, had a significantly reduced acoustic startle response, but no significant deficit in prepulse inhibition of startle. GLAST KO and HET showed normal sucrose preference. In an instrumental visual discrimination task, KO showed impaired learning. By contrast, acquisition and extinction of a simple instrumental response was normal. The mGlu2/3 agonist, LY379268, failed to rescue the discrimination impairment in KO mice. These findings demonstrate that gene deletion of GLAST produces select phenotypic abnormalities related to the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2009; 34(6):1578-89. · 6.99 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fear extinction is a form of new learning that results in the inhibition of conditioned fear. Trait deficits in fear extinction are a risk factor for anxiety disorders. There are few examples of naturally occurring animal models of impaired extinction. The present study compared fear extinction in a panel of inbred mouse strains. This strain survey revealed an impairment in fear extinction in 129/SvImJ (129S1). The phenotypic specificity of this deficit was evaluated by comparing 129S1 and C57BL/6J for one-trial and multitrial fear conditioning, nociception, and extinction of conditioned taste aversion and an appetitive instrumental response. 129S1 were tested for sensitivity to the extinction-facilitating effects of extended training, as well as d-cycloserine and yohimbine treatment. To elucidate the neural basis of impaired 129S1 fear extinction, c-Fos and Zif268 expression was mapped after extinction recall. Results showed that impaired fear extinction in 129S1 was unrelated to altered fear conditioning or nociception, and was dissociable from intact appetitive extinction. Yohimbine treatment facilitated extinction in 129S1, but neither extended extinction training nor d-cycloserine treatment improved 129S1 extinction. After extinction recall, 129S1 showed reduced c-Fos and Zif268 expression in the infralimbic cortex and basolateral amygdala, and elevated c-Fos or Zif268 expression in central nucleus of the amygdala and medial paracapsular intercalated cell mass, relative to C57BL/6J. Collectively, these data demonstrate a deficit in fear extinction in 129S1 associated with a failure to properly engage corticolimbic extinction circuitry. This common inbred strain provides a novel model for studying impaired fear extinction in anxiety disorders.
Journal of Neuroscience 09/2008; 28(32):8074-85. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) plays a major role in brain ontogeny. Disruption of 5-HT during early postnatal development produces lasting changes in rodent 'emotion-related' behaviors. Adverse effects of treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants have been reported in human adolescents. However, the long-term effects of chronic SRI treatment during adolescence in rodents remain unclear.
The objectives of the study are to assess the effects of fluoxetine treatment throughout the adolescent period in measures of fear-, anxiety- and stress-related endpoints in drug-free adults and to examine these effects in two genetic strains of mice differing in baseline stress- and anxiety-related behaviors and sensitivity to SRIs.
C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ mice received one of two fluoxetine doses for 4 weeks during adolescence (3-7 weeks old). A separate group of C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ mice received fluoxetine for 4 weeks during adulthood (8-12 weeks old). After a 3-week washout period, mice were tested for anxiety-like behaviors (novel open field, elevated plus-maze), fear conditioning and extinction, and stress-related responses to forced swim, as well as serotonin brain levels.
Adolescent fluoxetine treatment did not increase adult measures of anxiety-, fear- or stress-related behaviors, or brain serotonin levels. The same duration of treatment in adulthood also had no effects on these measures when tested after a 3-week washout period.
In clear contrast with emotion-related abnormalities caused by preadolescent fluoxetine treatment or genetic inactivation of fluoxetine's pharmacological target, the 5-HT transporter, fluoxetine treatment throughout mouse adolescence did not produce detectable, lasting abnormalities in either "high" or "low anxiety" inbred mouse strains.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is compelling support for the contribution of dopamine and the D1R-like (D1R, D5R) receptor subfamily to the behavioral and neural effects of psychostimulant drugs of abuse. The relative roles of D1R and D5R subtypes in mediating these effects are not clear.
The objectives of this study are to directly compare (C57BL/6J congenic) D1R knockout (KO) and D5R KO mice for baseline locomotor exploration, acute locomotor responses to cocaine, and locomotor sensitization to repeated cocaine administration, and to examine cocaine conditioned place preference (CPP) in D5R KO.
D1R KO, D5R KO, and wild-type (WT) were assessed for baseline open field exploration, locomotor-stimulating effects of 15 mg/kg acute cocaine and sensitized locomotor responses to cocaine after repeated home cage treatment with 20 or 30 mg/kg cocaine. D5R KO and WT were tested for CPP to 15 mg/kg cocaine.
D1R KO showed modest basal hyperactivity and increased center exploration relative to WT. Acute locomotor responses to cocaine were consistently absent in D1R KO, but intact in D5R KO. D5R KO showed normal locomotor sensitization to cocaine and normal cocaine CPP. D1R KO failed to show a sensitized locomotor response to 30 mg/kg cocaine. Failure to sensitize in D1R KO was not because of excessive stereotypies. Surprisingly, D1R KO showed a strong trend for sensitization to 20 mg/kg cocaine.
D5R KO does not alter acute or sensitized locomotor responses to cocaine or cocaine CPP. D1R KO abolishes acute locomotor response to cocaine, but does not fully prevent locomotor sensitization to cocaine at all doses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent data suggest that excessive glutamatergic signaling in the prefrontal cortex may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and that promoting presynaptic glutamate modulation via group II metabotropic glutamate 2/3 (mGlu2/3) receptor activation can exert antipsychotic efficacy. The glial glutamate and aspartate transporter (GLAST) (excitatory amino acid transporter 1 [EAAT1]) regulates extracellular glutamate levels via uptake into glia, but the consequences of GLAST dysfunction for schizophrenia are largely unknown.
We examined GLAST knockout mice (KO) for behaviors thought to model positive symptoms in schizophrenia (locomotor hyperactivity to novelty, exaggerated locomotor response to N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor [NMDAR] antagonism) and the ability of haloperidol and the mGlu2/3 agonist LY379268 to normalize novelty-induced hyperactivity.
Glial glutamate and aspartate transporter KO consistently showed locomotor hyperactivity to a novel but not familiar environment, relative to wild-type (WT) mice. The locomotor hyperactivity-inducing effects of the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 was exaggerated in GLAST KO relative to WT. Treatment with haloperidol or LY379268 normalized novelty-induced locomotor hyperactivity in GLAST KO.
Schizophrenia-related abnormalities in GLAST KO raise the possibility that loss of GLAST-mediated glutamate clearance could be a pathophysiological risk factor for the disease. Our findings provide novel support for the hypothesis that glutamate dysregulation contributes to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and for the antipsychotic potential of mGlu2/3 agonists.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The glutamate system plays a major role in mediating EtOH's effects on brain and behavior, and is implicated in the pathophysiology of alcohol-related disorders. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists such as MK-801 (dizocilpine) interact with EtOH at the behavioral level, but the molecular basis of this interaction is unclear.
We first characterized the effects of MK-801 treatment on responses to the ataxic (accelerating rotarod), hypothermic and sedative/hypnotic effects of acute EtOH administration in C57BL/6J and 129/SvImJ inbred mice. Effects of another NMDAR antagonist, phencyclidine, on EtOH-induced sedation/hypnosis were also assessed. Gene knockout of the NMDAR subunit NR2A or l-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate GluR1 or pharmacological antagonism of the NMDAR subunit NR2B (via Ro 25-6981) was employed to examine whether inactivating any one of these glutamate signaling molecules modified MK-801's effect on EtOH-related behaviors.
MK-801 markedly potentiated the ataxic effects of 1.75 g/kg EtOH and the sedative/hypnotic effects of 3.0 g/kg EtOH, but not the hypothermic effects of 3.0 g/kg EtOH, in C57BL/6J and 129/SvImJ mice. Phencyclidine potentiated EtOH-induced sedation/hypnosis in both inbred strains. Neither NR2A nor GluR1 KO significantly altered basal EtOH-induced ataxia, hypothermia, or sedation/hypnosis. Ro 25-6981 modestly increased EtOH-induced sedation/hypnosis. The ability of MK-801 to potentiate EtOH-induced ataxia and sedation/hypnosis was unaffected by GluR1 KO or NR2B antagonism. NR2A KO partially reduced MK-801 + EtOH-induced sedation/hypnosis, but not ataxia or hypothermia.
Data confirm a robust and response-specific potentiating effect of MK-801 on sensitivity to EtOH's intoxicating effects. Inactivation of three major components of glutamate signaling had no or only partial impact on the ability of MK-801 to potentiate behavioral sensitivity to EtOH. Further work to elucidate the mechanisms underlying NMDAR x EtOH interactions could ultimately provide novel insight into the role of NMDARs in alcoholism and its treatment.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 07/2008; 32(8):1479-92. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethanol exerts effects on the brain noradrenergic system, and these are thought to contribute to the sedative/hypnotic (depressant) effects of ethanol. Recent studies suggest that the norepinephrine transporter (NET) plays an important role in modulating ethanol's depressant effects. The aim of the present study was to further characterize this role. Transporter blockers with varying affinity for NET versus the serotonin transporter (desipramine>fluoxetine>citalopram) were tested for their ability to alter ethanol's depressant effects, and for comparison, hypothermic effects. Effects of desipramine on another depressant, pentobarbital, were examined. Desipramine potentiation of ethanol's depressant effects was assessed following depletion of brain norepinephrine via N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP-4) treatment, or depletion of brain 5-HT via para-chlorophenylalanine methyl ester hydrochloride (PCPA) treatment. The effects of co-administration of either the selective alpha2-adrenoreceptor agonist (dexmedetomidine) or the selective alpha2-adrenoreceptor antagonist (atipamezole) on desipramine's effect on ethanol's depressant effects were examined. Given the close link between stress, ethanol and norepinephrine, desipramine potentiation of ethanol's depressant effects was tested following repeated forced swim stress. Results showed that desipramine, but not SERT-selective doses of citalopram or fluoxetine, strongly potentiated the depressant (not hypothermic) effects of ethanol. These effects were mimicked by dexmedetomidine and blocked by atipamezole, but not by depletion of either norepinephrine or 5-HT. Desipramine potentiation of ethanol's depressant effects was abolished following repeated stress. Present findings further support a major role for NET and the alpha2-adrenoreceptor in modulating the depressant effects of ethanol, with possible implications for understanding the role of noradrenergic dysfunction in stress-related alcoholism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is implicated in the pathophysiology of affective illness. Multiple receptor subtypes (Y1R, Y2R, and Y5R) have been suggested to contribute to NPY's effects on rodent anxiety and depression-related behaviors.
To further elucidate the role of Y1R in (1) NPY's anxiolytic-like effects and (2) fluoxetine's antidepressant-like and neurogenesis-inducing effects.
Mice lacking Y1R were assessed for spontaneous anxiety-like behavior (open field, elevated plus-maze, and light/dark exploration test) and Pavlovian fear conditioning, and for the anxiolytic-like effects of intracerebroventricularly (icv)-administrated NPY (elevated plus-maze). Next, Y1R -/- were assessed for the antidepressant-like effects of acute fluoxetine in the forced swim test and chronic fluoxetine in the novelty-induced hypophagia test, as well as for chronic fluoxetine-induced hippocampal neurogenesis.
Y1R -/- exhibited largely normal baseline behavior as compared to +/+ littermate controls. Intraventricular administration of NPY in Y1R -/- mice failed to produce the normal anxiolytic-like effect in the elevated plus-maze test seen in +/+ mice. Y1R mutant mice showed higher immobility in the forced swim test and longer latencies in the novelty-induced hypophagia test. In addition, Y1R -/- mice responded normally to the acute and chronic effects of fluoxetine treatment in the forced swim test and the novelty-induced hypophagia test, respectively, as well as increased neuronal precursor cell proliferation in the hippocampus.
These data demonstrate that Y1R is necessary for the anxiolytic-like effects of icv NPY, but not for the antidepressant-like or neurogenesis-inducing effects of fluoxetine. The present study supports targeting Y1R as a novel therapeutic target for anxiety disorders.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wealth of research identifies the amygdala as a key brain region mediating negative affect, and implicates amygdala dysfunction in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Although there is a strong genetic component to anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) there remains debate about whether abnormalities in amygdala function predispose to these disorders. In the present study, groups of C57BL/6 x DBA/2 (B x D) recombinant inbred strains of mice were selected for differences in volume of the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA). Strains with relatively small, medium, or large BLA volumes were compared for Pavlovian fear learning and memory, anxiety-related behaviors, depression-related behavior, and glucocorticoid responses to stress. Strains with relatively small BLA exhibited stronger conditioned fear responses to both auditory tone and contextual stimuli, as compared to groups with larger BLA. The small BLA group also showed significantly greater corticosterone responses to stress than the larger BLA groups. BLA volume did not predict clear differences in measures of anxiety-like behavior or depression-related behavior, other than greater locomotor inhibition to novelty in strains with smaller BLA. Neither striatal, hippocampal nor cerebellar volumes correlated significantly with any behavioral measure. The present data demonstrate a phenotype of enhanced fear conditioning and exaggerated glucocorticoid responses to stress associated with small BLA volume. This profile is reminiscent of the increased fear processing and stress reactivity that is associated with amygdala excitability and reduced amygdala volume in humans carrying loss of function polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter and monoamine oxidase A genes. Our study provides a unique example of how natural variation in amygdala volume associates with specific fear- and stress-related phenotypes in rodents, and further supports the role of amygdala dysfunction in anxiety disorders such as PTSD.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 02/2008; 33(11):2595-604. · 6.99 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rodent models provide a valuable approach to elucidating the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the deleterious effects of childhood trauma and stress. Neonatal rats and mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) when separated from the dam and litter. USVs are suppressed in rat pups by exposure to the putatively infanticidal threat of an adult male. In the present study, C57BL/6J mouse pups were exposed to an anaesthetized (non-sire) adult C57BL/6J male for 3-min/day from postnatal days 2-14, and subsequently tested for anxiety-related behaviors (using the novel open field, elevated plus-maze, light/dark exploration tests) and depression-related behavior (using the forced swim test) at 11 weeks of age. In a separate cohort, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis activation was measured via plasma corticosterone levels following either a single male-exposure or separation episode. Results showed that pups exposed to an adult male emitted significantly fewer USVs than separation-only counterparts. Corticosterone levels were significantly lower following single exposure to the adult male than separation alone. Repeated neonatal male-exposure did not lead to significant alterations in anxiety- or depression-related behaviors in adulthood. Taken together, present data suggest that the form of adult male-exposure employed did not act as a significant stressor, at least in this mouse strain. Further studies will be needed to determine whether alternative mouse strains, exposure protocols or adult behavioral assays will produce a different pattern of short-term and long-term effects.
Behavioural Brain Research 10/2007; 182(2):344-8. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NPY system may well be one of the most interesting target systems for development of treatments for alcohol dependence as well as mood disorders such as depression and anxiety syndromes. NPY is an endogenous anxiolytic compound, functions as an antidepressant, and is effective in modifying alcohol intake in high drinking states. Through receptor subtype specific compounds, the NPY system offers an interesting and innovative future approach for treatment designs. Selective Y2 receptor antagonists and/or Y1 agonists that are peripherally available and effectively penetrate the CNS are possible candidates. In conclusion, the NPY system offers attractive targets for development of future treatments for depression, anxiety, and alcohol dependence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and galanin (GAL) are densely localized in brain regions subserving stress, fear and anxiety. While previous research supports a role for both neuropeptides in the mediation of rodent emotional behaviors, there is currently a lack of information on the effects of central administration of NPY and GAL on fear- and anxiety-related behaviors in mice. In the present study, the effects of intracerebroventricularly administered NPY and GAL were assessed in C57BL/6J mice on a battery of tests for fear- and anxiety-related behavior. NPY (0.5, 1.0 nmol) produced clear anxiolytic-like effects in the elevated plus-maze and light<-->dark exploration test, whereas GAL (0.5, 1.0 nmol) was without effect. NPY (0.5 nmol) also increased locomotor activity in the open field test. In the fear conditioning paradigm, NPY administered prior to training reduced freezing to context (0.5, 1.0 nmol) and auditory cue (1.0 nmol). Pre-training GAL (0.5 nmol) treatment reduced freezing to context. Taken together, results demonstrate robust effects of centrally-administered NPY, but not GAL, on anxiety-like behaviors and fear conditioning in mice. These findings provide a basis for future studies of mice with targeted gene mutations, directed at delineating the anatomical regions and receptor subtypes mediating the effects of NPY and GAL on emotion.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 04/2005; 80(3):427-36. · 2.61 Impact Factor