[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stress exposure is one of the greatest risk factors for psychiatric illnesses like Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, not all individuals exposed to stress develop affective disorders. Stress resilience, the ability to experience stress without developing persistent psychopathology, varies from individual to individual. Enhancing stress resilience in at-risk populations could potentially protect against stress-induced psychiatric disorders. Despite this fact, no resilience-enhancing pharmaceuticals have been identified.
Methods: Using a chronic social defeat (SD) stress model, learned helplessness (LH), and a chronic corticosterone (CORT) model in mice, we tested if ketamine (K) could protect against depressive-like behavior. Mice were administered a single dose of saline (Sal) or ketamine and then one week later were subjected to 2 weeks of SD, LH training, or 3 weeks of CORT.
Results: SD robustly and reliably induced depressive-like behavior in control (Ctrl) mice. Mice treated with prophylactic ketamine were protected against the deleterious effects of SD in the forced swim test (FST) and in the dominant interaction (DI) test. We confirmed these effects in LH and the CORT model. In the LH model, latency to escape was increased following training—and this effect was prevented by ketamine. In the CORT model, a single dose of ketamine blocked stress-induced behavior in the FST, novelty suppressed feeding (NSF) paradigm, and the sucrose splash test (ST).
Conclusions: These data show that ketamine can induce persistent stress resilience and, therefore, may be useful in protecting against stress-induced disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is increased by antidepressants, and is required for some of their behavioral effects. However, it remains unclear whether expanding the population of adult-born neurons is sufficient to affect anxiety and depression-related behavior. Here, we use an inducible transgenic mouse model in which the pro-apoptotic gene Bax is deleted from neural stem cells and their progeny in the adult brain, and thereby increases adult neurogenesis. We find no effects on baseline anxiety and depression-related behavior; however, we find that increasing adult neurogenesis is sufficient to reduce anxiety and depression-related behaviors in mice treated chronically with corticosterone, a mouse model of stress. Thus, neurogenesis differentially affects behavior under baseline conditions and in a model of chronic stress. Moreover, we find no effect of increased adult hippocampal neurogenesis on HPA axis regulation, either at baseline or following chronic corticosterone administration, suggesting that increasing adult hippocampal neurogenesis can affect anxiety and depression-related behavior through a mechanism independent of the HPA axis. The use of future techniques to specifically inhibit BAX in the hippocampus could be used to augment adult neurogenesis, and may therefore represent a novel strategy to promote antidepressant-like behavioral effects.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 02 April 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.85.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 04/2015; DOI:10.1038/npp.2015.85 · 7.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Newborn neurons are continuously added to the adult hippocampus. Early studies found that adult neurogenesis is impaired in models of depression and anxiety and accelerated by antidepressant treatment. This led to the theory that depression results from impaired adult neurogenesis and restoration of adult neurogenesis leads to recovery. Follow up studies yielded a complex body of often inconsistent results, and the veracity of this theory is uncertain. We propose five criteria for acceptance of this theory, we review the recent evidence for each criterion, and we draw the following conclusions: Diverse animal models of depression and anxiety have impaired neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is consistently boosted by antidepressants in animal models only when animals are stressed. Ablation of neurogenesis in animal models impairs cognitive functions relevant to depression, but only a minority of studies find that ablation causes depression or anxiety. Recent human neuroimaging and postmortem studies are consistent with the neurogenic theory, but they are indirect. Finally, a novel drug developed based on the neurogenic theory is promising in animal models.
Current Opinion in Neurobiology 02/2015; 30:51–58. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2014.08.012 · 6.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knockout (KO) mice that lack the dopamine transporter (SL6A3; DAT) display increased locomotion that can be attenuated, under some circumstances, by administration of drugs that normally produce psychostimulant-like effects, such as amphetamine and methylphenidate. These results have led to suggestions that DAT KO mice may model features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that these drugs may act upon serotonin (5-HT) systems to produce these unusual locomotor decreasing effects. Evidence from patterns of brain expression and initial pharmacologic studies led us to use genetic and pharmacologic approaches to examine the influence of altered 5-HT1B receptor activity on hyperactivity in DAT KO mice. Heterozygous 5-HT1B KO and pharmacologic 5-HT1B antagonism both attenuated locomotor hyperactivity in DAT KO mice. Furthermore, DAT KO mice with reduced, but not eliminated, 5-HT1B receptor expression regained cocaine-stimulated locomotion, which was absent in DAT KO mice with normal levels of 5-HT1B receptor expression. Further experiments demonstrated that the degree of habituation to the testing apparatus determined whether cocaine had no effect on locomotion in DAT KO or reduced locomotion, helping to resolve differences among prior reports. These findings of complementation of the locomotor effects of DAT KO by reducing 5-HT1B receptor activity underscore roles for interactions between specific 5-HT receptors and dopamine (DA) systems in basal and cocaine-stimulated locomotion and support evaluation of 5-HT1B antagonists as potential, non-stimulant ADHD therapeutics.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115009. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115009 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate behaviours are observed in naive animals without prior learning or experience, suggesting that the neural circuits that mediate these behaviours are genetically determined and stereotyped. The neural circuits that convey olfactory information from the sense organ to the cortical and subcortical olfactory centres have been anatomically defined, but the specific pathways responsible for innate responses to volatile odours have not been identified. Here we devise genetic strategies that demonstrate that a stereotyped neural circuit that transmits information from the olfactory bulb to cortical amygdala is necessary for innate aversive and appetitive behaviours. Moreover, we use the promoter of the activity-dependent gene arc to express the photosensitive ion channel, channelrhodopsin, in neurons of the cortical amygdala activated by odours that elicit innate behaviours. Optical activation of these neurons leads to appropriate behaviours that recapitulate the responses to innate odours. These data indicate that the cortical amygdala plays a critical role in generating innate odour-driven behaviours but do not preclude its participation in learned olfactory behaviours.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Memory traces are believed to be ensembles of cells used to store memories. To visualize memory traces, we created a transgenic line that allows for the comparison between cells activated during encoding and expression of a memory. Mice re-exposed to a fear-inducing context froze more and had a greater percentage of reactivated cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 than mice exposed to a novel context. Over time, these differences disappeared, in keeping with the observation that memories become generalized. Optogenetically silencing DG or CA3 cells that were recruited during encoding of a fear-inducing context prevented expression of the corresponding memory. Mice with reduced neurogenesis displayed less contextual memory and less reactivation in CA3 but, surprisingly, normal reactivation in the DG. These studies suggest that distinct memory traces are located in the DG and in CA3 but that the strength of the memory is related to reactivation in CA3. VIDEO ABSTRACT:
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modest antidepressant response rates of mood disorders (MD) encourage benzodiazepine (BZD) co-medication with debatable benefit. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis may underlie antidepressant responses, but diazepam co-administration impairs murine neuron maturation and survival in response to fluoxetine. We counted neural progenitor cells (NPCs), mitotic cells, and mature granule neurons post-mortem in dentate gyrus (DG) from subjects with: untreated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV MD (n = 17); antidepressant-treated MD (MD*ADT, n = 10); benzodiazepine-antidepressant-treated MD (MD*ADT*BZD, n = 7); no psychopathology or treatment (controls, n = 18).
MD*ADT*BZD had fewer granule neurons vs. MD*ADT in anterior DG and vs. controls in mid DG, and did not differ from untreated-MD in any DG subregion. MD*ADT had more granule neurons than untreated-MD in anterior and mid DG and comparable granule neuron number to controls in all dentate subregions. Untreated-MD had fewer granule neurons than controls in anterior and mid DG, and did not differ from any other group in posterior DG. MD*ADT*BZD had fewer NPCs vs. MD*ADT in mid DG. MD*ADT had more NPCs vs. untreated-MD and controls in anterior and mid DG. MD*ADT*BZD and MD*ADT had more mitotic cells in anterior DG vs. controls and untreated-MD. There were no between-group differences in mid DG in mitotic cells or in posterior DG for any cell type.
Our results in mid-dentate, and to some degree anterior dentate, gyrus are consistent with murine findings that benzodiazepines counteract antidepressant-induced increases in neurogenesis by interfering with progenitor proliferation. We also confirmed, in this expanded sample, our previous finding of granule neuron deficit in untreated MD.
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 06/2014; 17(12):1-11. DOI:10.1017/S1461145714000844 · 5.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fear memories guide adaptive behavior in contexts associated with aversive events. The hippocampus forms a neural representation of the context that predicts aversive events. Representations of context incorporate multisensory features of the environment, but must somehow exclude sensory features of the aversive event itself. We investigated this selectivity using cell type-specific imaging and inactivation in hippocampal area CA1 of behaving mice. Aversive stimuli activated CA1 dendrite-targeting interneurons via cholinergic input, leading to inhibition of pyramidal cell distal dendrites receiving aversive sensory excitation from the entorhinal cortex. Inactivating dendrite-targeting interneurons during aversive stimuli increased CA1 pyramidal cell population responses and prevented fear learning. We propose subcortical activation of dendritic inhibition as a mechanism for exclusion of aversive stimuli from hippocampal contextual representations during fear learning.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is critically implicated in rodent models of stress and anxiety as well as behavioral effects of antidepressants. While similar factors such as psychiatric disorder and antidepressant administration are correlated with hippocampal volume in humans, the relationship between these factors and adult neurogenesis is less well understood. To better bridge the gap between rodent and human physiology, we examined the numbers of proliferating neural precursors and immature cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus as well as in vivo MRI-estimated whole hippocampal volume in eight socially dominant- or subordinate-like baboons administered the antidepressant fluoxetine or vehicle. Subordinate-like baboons had lower numbers of proliferating cells and immature neurons than socially dominant-like baboons. Fluoxetine treatment was associated with a larger whole hippocampal volume but surprisingly resulted in lower numbers of immature neurons. These findings are the first to indicate that adult neurogenesis in the baboon hippocampal dentate gyrus may be functionally relevant in the context of social stress and mechanismsof antidepressant action.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 12 February 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.33.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 02/2014; 39(8). DOI:10.1038/npp.2014.33 · 7.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychiatric genetics research is bidirectional in nature, with human and animal studies becoming more closely integrated as techniques for genetic manipulations allow for more subtle exploration of disease phenotypes. This synergy, however, highlights the importance of considering the way in which we approach the genotype-phenotype relationship. In particular, the nosological divide of psychiatric illness, while clinically relevant, is not directly translatable in animal models. For instance, mice will never fully re-capitulate the broad criteria for many psychiatric disorders; nor will they have guilty ruminations, suicidal thoughts, or rapid speech. Instead, animal models have been and continue to provide a means to explore dimensions of psychiatric disorders in order to identify neural circuits and mechanisms underlying disease-relevant phenotypes. Thus, the genetic investigation of psychiatric illness will yield the greatest insights if efforts continue to identify and utilize biologically valid phenotypes across species. In this review we discuss the progress to date and the future efforts that will enhance translation between human and animal studies, including the identification of intermediate phenotypes that can be studied across species, as well as the importance of refined modeling of human disease-associated genetic variation in mice and other animal models.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine are the most common form of medication treatment for major depression. However, approximately 50% of depressed patients fail to achieve an effective treatment response. Understanding how gene expression systems respond to treatments may be critical for understanding antidepressant resistance.
We take a novel approach to this problem by demonstrating that the gene expression system of the dentate gyrus responds to fluoxetine (FLX), a commonly used antidepressant medication, in a stereotyped-manner involving changes in the expression levels of thousands of genes. The aggregate behavior of this large-scale systemic response was quantified with principal components analysis (PCA) yielding a single quantitative measure of the global gene expression system state.
Quantitative measures of system state were highly correlated with variability in levels of antidepressant-sensitive behaviors in a mouse model of depression treated with fluoxetine. Analysis of dorsal and ventral dentate samples in the same mice indicated that system state co-varied across these regions despite their reported functional differences. Aggregate measures of gene expression system state were very robust and remained unchanged when different microarray data processing algorithms were used and even when completely different sets of gene expression levels were used for their calculation.
System state measures provide a robust method to quantify and relate global gene expression system state variability to behavior and treatment. State variability also suggests that the diversity of reported changes in gene expression levels in response to treatments such as fluoxetine may represent different perspectives on unified but noisy global gene expression system state level responses. Studying regulation of gene expression systems at the state level may be useful in guiding new approaches to augmentation of traditional antidepressant treatments.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85136. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085136 · 3.23 Impact Factor