[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We considerinsomniaadisorderofwakingratherthanadisorderofsleep.Thisreview
only, REMsleeponly,orboth.Thesediscoveriespointtoaspecific mechanismandnovel
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is characterized by major sleep/wake disturbances including increased vigilance and arousal, decreased slow wave sleep, and increased REM sleep drive. Other arousal-related symptoms include sensory gating deficits as exemplified by decreased habituation of the blink reflex. There is also dysregulation of gamma band activity, suggestive of disturbances in a host of arousal-related mechanisms. This review examines the role of the reticular activating system, especially the pedunculopontine nucleus, in the symptoms of the disease. Recent discoveries on the physiology of the pedunculopontine nucleus help explain many of these disorders of arousal in, and point to novel therapeutic avenues for, schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CaV2.1 Ca2+ channels play a key role in triggering neurotransmitter release and mediating synaptic transmission. Familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 (FHM-1) is caused by missense mutations in the CACNA1A gene that encodes the α1A pore-forming subunit of CaV2.1 Ca2+ channels. We used knock-in (KI) transgenic mice harbouring the pathogenic FHM-1 mutation R192Q to study inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission in the principle neurons of the lateral superior olive (LSO) in the auditory brainstem. We tested if the R192Q FHM-1 mutation differentially affects excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission, disturbing the normal balance between excitation and inhibition in this nucleus. Whole cell patch-clamp was used to measure neurotransmitter elicited excitatory (EPSCs) and inhibitory (IPSCs) postsynaptic currents in wild-type (WT) and R192Q KI mice. Our results showed that the FHM-1 mutation in CaV2.1 channels has multiple effects. Evoked EPSC amplitudes were smaller whereas evoked and miniature IPSC amplitudes were larger in R192Q KI compared to WT mice. In addition, in R192Q KI mice, the release probability was enhanced compared to WT, at both inhibitory (0.53 ± 0.02 vs. 0.44 ± 0.01, P = 2.10−5, Student's t-test) and excitatory synapses (0.60 ± 0.03 vs. 0.45 ± 0.02, P = 4 10−6, Student's t-test). Vesicle pool size was diminished in R192Q KI mice compared to WT mice (68 ± 6 vs 91 ± 7, P = 0.008, inhibitory; 104 ± 13 vs 335 ± 30, P = 10−6, excitatory, Student's t-test). R192Q KI mice present enhanced short-term plasticity. Repetitive stimulation of the afferent axons caused short-term depression (STD) of E/IPSCs that recovered significantly faster in R192Q KI mice compared to WT. This supports the hypothesis of a gain-of-function of the CaV2.1 channels in R192Q KI mice, which alters the balance of excitatory/inhibitory inputs and could also have implications in the altered cortical excitability responsible for FHM pathology.
Hearing Research 12/2014; 319. DOI:10.1016/j.heares.2014.11.006 · 2.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reduced levels of gamma band activity are present in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients. In the same disorders, increased neuronal calcium sensor protein-1 (NCS-1) expression was reported in a series of postmortem studies. These disorders are also characterized by sleep dysregulation, suggesting a role for the reticular activating system (RAS). The discovery of gamma band activity in the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN), the cholinergic arm of the RAS, revealed that such activity was mediated by high threshold calcium channels that are regulated by NCS-1. We hypothesized that NCS-1 normally regulates gamma band oscillations through these calcium channels, and that excessive levels of NCS-1, such as would be expected with overexpression, decrease gamma band activity. We found that PPN neurons in rat brain slices manifested gamma band oscillations that were increased by low levels of NCS-1, but suppressed by high levels of NCS-1. Our results suggest that NCS-1 overexpression may be responsible for the decrease in gamma band activity present in at least some schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients.
Journal of Neurophysiology 11/2014; 113(3):jn.00828.2014. DOI:10.1152/jn.00828.2014 · 2.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) is a major component of the reticular activating system (RAS) that regulates waking and REM sleep, states of high-frequency EEG activity. Recently, we described the presence of high threshold, voltage-dependent N- and P/Q-type calcium channels in RAS nuclei that subserve gamma band oscillations in the mesopontine PPN, intralaminar parafascicular nucleus (Pf), and pontine subcoeruleus nucleus dorsalis (SubCD). Cortical gamma band activity participates in sensory perception, problem solving, and memory. Rather than participating in the temporal binding of sensory events as in the cortex, gamma band activity in the RAS may participate in the processes of preconscious awareness, and provide the essential stream of information for the formulation of many of our actions. That is, the RAS may play an early permissive role in volition. Our latest results suggest that (1) the manifestation of gamma band activity during waking may employ a separate intracellular pathway compared to that during REM sleep, (2) neuronal calcium sensor (NCS-1) protein, which is over expressed in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, modulates gamma band oscillations in the PPN in a concentration-dependent manner, (3) leptin, which undergoes resistance in obesity resulting in sleep dysregulation, decreases sodium currents in PPN neurons, accounting for its normal attenuation of waking, and (4) following our discovery of electrical coupling in the RAS, we hypothesize that there are cell clusters within the PPN that may act in concert. These results provide novel information on the mechanisms controlling high-frequency activity related to waking and REM sleep by elements of the RAS.
Frontiers in Neurology 10/2014; 5:210. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2014.00210
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) exposure can produce hyperthermia that might lead to toxicity and death. Modafinil is a wake-promoting compound that is also been prescribed off-label to treat METH dependence. Modafinil has shown neuroprotective properties against METH harmful effects in animal models. The goal of the present study was to test if the prevention of hyperthermia might play a role on the neuroprotective actions of modafinil against METH toxicity using various ambient temperatures. METH was administered to female C57BL/6 mice in a binge regimen: 4 × 5 mg/kg, 2 h apart; modafinil (90 mg/kg) was injected twice, 1 h before first and fourth METH injections. Drugs were given at cold ambient temperature (14 °C) or hot ambient temperature (29 °C). Body temperature was measured during treatments. Brains were dissected out 6 days after treatments and processed for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine transporter (DAT), GFAP and c-Fos immunohistochemistry. Exposure to hot ambient temperature exacerbated METH toxicity evidenced by striatal reductions in TH and DAT and increased GFAP immmunoreactivity. Modafinil counteracted reductions in TH and DAT, but failed to block astroglial activation. At both ambient temperatures tested modafinil did induce increments in GFAP, but the magnitude was significantly lower than the one induced by METH. Both drugs induced increases in c-Fos positive nuclei; modafinil did not block this effect. Our results suggest that protective effects of modafinil against METH-induced neurotoxicity may be dependent, in part, to its hypothermic effects. Nevertheless, modafinil maintained some protective properties on METH-induced alterations in the striatum at different ambient temperatures.
Neurotoxicity Research 09/2014; 27(1). DOI:10.1007/s12640-014-9493-9 · 3.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This brief review resolves a number of persistent conflicts regarding the location and characteristics of the mesencephalic locomotor region, which has in the past been described as not locomotion-specific and is more likely the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN). The parameters of stimulation used to elicit changes in posture and locomotion we now know are ideally suited to match the intrinsic membrane properties of PPN neurons. The physiology of these cells is important not only because it is a major element of the reticular activating system, but also because it is a novel target for the treatment of gait and postural deficits in Parkinson's disease (PD). The discussion explains many of the effects reported following deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the PPN by different groups and provides guidelines for the determination of long-term assessment and effects of PPN DBS. A greater understanding of the physiology of the target nuclei within the brainstem and basal ganglia, amassed over the past decades, has enabled increasingly better patient outcomes from DBS for movement disorders. Despite these improvements, there remains a great opportunity for further understanding of the mechanisms through which DBS has its effects and for further development of appropriate technology to effect these treatments. We review the scientific basis for one of the newest targets, the PPN, in the treatment of PD and other movement disorders, and address the needs for further investigation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic use of methamphetamine (METH) leads to long-lasting cognitive dysfunction in humans and in animal models. Modafinil is a wake-promoting compound approved for the treatment of sleeping disorders. It is also prescribed off label to treat METH dependence. In the present study, we investigated whether modafinil could improve cognitive deficits induced by sub-chronic METH treatment in mice by measuring visual retention in a Novel Object Recognition (NOR) task. After sub-chronic METH treatment (1 mg/Kg, once a day for 7 days), mice performed the NOR task, which consisted of habituation to the object recognition arena (5 min a day, 3 consecutive days), training session (2 equal objects, 10 min, day 4), and a retention session (1 novel object, 5 min, day 5). One hour before the training session, mice were given a single dose of modafinil (30 or 90 mg/Kg). METH-treated mice showed impairments in visual memory retention, evidenced by equal preference of familiar and novel objects during the retention session. The lower dose of modafinil (30 mg/Kg) had no effect on visual retention scores in METH-treated mice, while the higher dose (90 mg/Kg) rescued visual memory retention to control values. We also measured ERK phosphorylation in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of METH- and vehicle-treated mice that received modafinil 1 hr before exposure to novel objects in the training session, compared to mice placed in the arena without objects. Elevated Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation was found in the mPFC of vehicle-treated mice, but not in METH-treated mice, exposed to objects (p<0.05). The lower dose of modafinil had no effect on ERK phosphorylation in METH-treated mice, while 90 mg/Kg modafinil treatment restored the ERK phosphorylation induced by novelty in METH-treated mice to values comparable to controls (p<0.05). We found neither a novelty nor treatment effect on ERK phosphorylation in hippocampus or nucleus accumbens (NAc) of vehicle- and METH-treated mice receiving acute 90 mg/Kg modafinil treatment. Our results showed a palliative role of modafinil against METH-induced visual cognitive impairments, possibly by normalizing ERK signaling pathways in mPFC. Modafinil may be a valuable pharmacological tool for the treatment of cognitive deficits observed in human METH abusers as well as in other neuropsychiatric conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acid-sensing ion channels (ASIC) open in response to extracellular acidosis. ASIC1a, a particular subtype of these channels, have been described to have a post-synaptic distribution in the brain, being involved not only in ischemia and epilepsy, but also in fear and psychiatric pathologies. High frequency stimulation of skeletal motor nerve terminals (MNTs) can induce presynaptic pH changes in combination with an acidification of the synaptic cleft, known to contribute to muscle fatigue. Here, we studied the role of ASIC1a channels on neuromuscular transmission. We combined behavioral wire hanging test with electrophysiology, pharmacological and immunofluorescence techniques to compare wildtype and ASIC1a lacking mice (ASIC1a -/- knockout). Our results showed: 1) ASIC1a -/- female mice were weaker than wildtype, presenting shorter times during the wire hanging test. 2) Spontaneous neurotransmitter release were reduced by ASIC1a activation, suggesting a presynaptic location of these channels at individual MNTs. 3) ASIC-1a-mediated effects were emulated by extracellular local application of acid saline solutions (pH=6.0; Hepes+MES-based solution). 4) Immunofluorescence techniques revealed the presence of ASIC1a antigens on MNTs. These results suggest that ASIC1a channels might be involved in controlling neuromuscular transmission, muscle contraction and fatigue in female mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gamma band activity participates in sensory perception, problem solving, and memory. This review considers recent evidence showing that cells in the reticular activating system (RAS) exhibit gamma band activity, and describes the intrinsic membrane properties behind such manifestation. Specifically, we discuss how cells in the mesopontine pedunculopontine nucleus, intralaminar parafascicular nucleus, and pontine SubCoeruleus nucleus dorsalis all fire in the gamma band range when maximally activated, but no higher. The mechanisms involve high-threshold, voltage-dependent P/Q-type calcium channels, or sodium-dependent subthreshold oscillations. Rather than participating in the temporal binding of sensory events as in the cortex, gamma band activity in the RAS may participate in the processes of preconscious awareness and provide the essential stream of information for the formulation of many of our actions. We address three necessary next steps resulting from these discoveries: an intracellular mechanism responsible for maintaining gamma band activity based on persistent G-protein activation, separate intracellular pathways that differentiate between gamma band activity during waking versus during REM sleep, and an intracellular mechanism responsible for the dysregulation in gamma band activity in schizophrenia. These findings open several promising research avenues that have not been thoroughly explored. What are the effects of sleep or REM sleep deprivation on these RAS mechanisms? Are these mechanisms involved in memory processing during waking and/or during REM sleep? Does gamma band processing differ during waking versus REM sleep after sleep or REM sleep deprivation?
Experimental Brain Research 12/2013; 232(5). DOI:10.1007/s00221-013-3794-8 · 2.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that persistent application of the non-specific cholinergic agonist carbachol (CAR) increased the frequency of calcium channel-mediated oscillatory activity in pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) neurons, which we identified as dependent on voltage-gated, high-threshold P/Q-type channels. Here, we tested the hypothesis that M2 muscarinic receptors and G-proteins associated with M2 receptors mediate the increase in oscillatory frequency in PPN neurons. We found, using depolarizing ramps, that patch clamped 9-12 day old rat PPN neurons (n = 189) reached their peak oscillatory activity around -20 mV membrane potential. Acute (short duration) application of CAR blocked the oscillatory activity through M2 muscarinic receptors, an effect blocked by atropine. However, persistent (long duration) application of CAR significantly increased the frequency of oscillatory activity in PPN neurons through M2 receptors [40 ± 1 Hz (with CAR) vs. 23 ± 1 Hz (without CAR); p < 0.001]. We then tested the effects of the G-protein antagonist guanosine 5'-[β-thio] diphosphate trilithium salt (GDP-β-S), and the G-protein agonist 5'-[γ-thio] triphosphate trilithium salt (GTP-γ-S). We found, using a three-step protocol in voltage-clamp mode, that the increase in the frequency of oscillations induced by M2 cholinergic receptors was linked to a voltage-dependent G-protein mechanism. In summary, these results suggest that persistent cholinergic input creates a permissive activation state in the PPN that allows high frequency P/Q-type calcium channel-mediated gamma oscillations to occur.
Frontiers in Neurology 11/2013; 4:176. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2013.00176
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) is a component of the reticular activating system (RAS), and is involved in the activated states of waking and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). Gamma oscillations (~30-80 Hz) are evident in all PPN neurons and are mediated by high threshold voltage-dependent N- and P/Q-type calcium channels. We tested the hypothesis that high speed calcium imaging would reveal calcium-mediated oscillations in dendritic compartments in synchrony with patch clamp recorded oscillations during depolarizing current ramps. Patch-clamped 8-16 day old rat PPN neurons (n = 67 out of 121) were filled with Fura 2, Bis Fura, or OGB1/CHR. This study also characterized a novel ratiometric technique using Oregon Green BAPTA-1 (OGB1) with co-injections of a new long-stokes-shift dye, Chromeo 494 (CHR). Fluorescent calcium transients were blocked with the nonspecific calcium channel blocker, cadmium, or by the combination of ω-agatoxin-IVA, a specific P/Q-type calcium channel blocker, and ω-conotoxin-GVIA, a specific N-type calcium channel blocker. The calcium transients were evident in different dendrites (suggesting channels are present throughout the dendritic tree), along the sampled length without interruption (suggesting channels are evenly distributed), and appeared to represent a summation of oscillations present in the soma. We confirm that PPN calcium channel-mediated oscillations are due to P/Q- and N-type channels, and reveal the fact that these channels are distributed along the dendrites of PPN cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN), the cholinergic arm of the reticular activating system, regulates waking and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Here, we demonstrate immunohistochemical labeling of the leptin receptor signaling isoform in PPN neurons, and investigated the effects of G-protein modulation and the leptin triple antagonist (TA) on the action of leptin in the PPN. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were performed in rat brainstem slices from 9-17 day old pups. Previous results showed that leptin caused a partial blockade of sodium (INa ) and h-current (IH ) in PPN neurons. TA (100 nM) reduced the blockade of INa (~50% reduction) and IH (~93% reduction) caused by leptin. Intracellular GDPβ (a G-protein inhibitor) significantly reduced the effect of leptin on INa (~60% reduction) but not on IH (~25% reduction). Intracellular GTPγS (a G-protein activator) reduced the effect of leptin on both INa (~80% reduction) and IH (~90% reduction). These results suggest that the effects of leptin on the intrinsic properties of PPN neurons are leptin receptor- and G-protein-dependent. We also found that leptin enhanced NMDA receptor-mediated responses in single neurons and in the PPN population as a whole, an effect blocked by TA. These experiments further strengthen the association between leptin dysregulation and sleep disturbances. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Journal of Neurochemistry 05/2013; 126(6). DOI:10.1111/jnc.12312 · 4.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The parafascicular nucleus (Pf) is an ascending target of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) and is part of the "non-specific" intralaminar thalamus. The PPN, part of the reticular activating system, is mainly involved in waking and rapid eye movement sleep. Gamma oscillations are evident in all Pf neurons and mediated by high threshold voltage-dependent N- and P/Q-type calcium channels. We tested the hypothesis that high-speed calcium imaging would reveal calcium-mediated oscillations in synchrony with patch clamp recorded oscillations during depolarizing current ramps. Patch-clamped 9 to 19-day-old rat Pf neurons (n = 148, dye filled n = 61, control n = 87) were filled with Fura 2, Bis Fura, or Oregon Green BAPTA-1. Calcium transients were generated during depolarizing current ramps and visualized with a high-speed, wide-field fluorescence imaging system. Cells manifested calcium transients with oscillations in both somatic and proximal dendrite fluorescence recordings. Fluorescent calcium transients were blocked with the nonspecific calcium channel blocker, cadmium, or the combination of ω-Agatoxin-IVA (AgA), a specific P/Q-type calcium channel blocker and ω-conotoxin-GVIA (CgTx), a specific N-type calcium channel blocker. We developed a viable methodology for studying high-speed oscillations without the use of multi-photon imaging systems.
Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology 04/2013; 465(9). DOI:10.1007/s00424-013-1264-6 · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite and energy expenditure, is increased in obese individuals, although these individuals often exhibit leptin resistance. Obesity is characterized by sleep/wake disturbances, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, increased REM sleep, increased nighttime arousals, and decreased percentage of total sleep time. Several studies have shown that short sleep duration is highly correlated with decreased leptin levels in both animal and human models. Arousal and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep are regulated by the cholinergic arm of the reticular activating system, the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN). The goal of this project was to determine the role of leptin in the PPN, and thus in obesity-related sleep disorders. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were conducted on PPN neurons in 9- to 17-day-old rat brainstem slices. Leptin decreased action potential (AP) amplitude, AP frequency, and h-current (I (H)). These findings suggest that leptin causes a blockade of Na(+) channels. Therefore, we conducted an experiment to test the effects of leptin on Na(+) conductance. To determine the average voltage dependence of this conductance, results from each cell were equally weighted by expressing conductance as a fraction of the maximum conductance in each cell. I (Na) amplitude was decreased in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a direct effect of leptin on these channels. The average decrease in Na(+) conductance by leptin was ~40 %. We hypothesize that leptin normally decreases activity in the PPN by reducing I (H) and I (Na) currents, and that in states of leptin dysregulation (i.e., leptin resistance) this effect may be blunted, therefore causing increased arousal and REM sleep drive, and ultimately leading to sleep-related disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We established a cell model to study the acute effects of pregabalin (PGB), a drug widely used in epilepsy and neuropathic pain, on voltage gated Ca(V)2.1 (P/Q-type) calcium channels function and distribution at the membrane level. HEK293t cells were transfected with plasmids coding for all subunits of the Ca(V)2.1 channel. We used a α1 fused to an eGFP tag to follow its distribution in time and at different experimental conditions. The expressed channel was functional as shown by the presence of barium-mediated, calcium currents of transfected cells measured by 'whole-cell voltage-clamp' recordings, showing a maximum current peak in the I-V curve at +20mV. The GFP fluorescent signal was confined to the periphery of the cells. Incubation with 500μM PGB, that binds α2δ subunits, for 30min induced changes in localization of the fluorescent subunits as measured by fluorescent time lapse microscopy. These changes correlated with a reversible reduction of barium currents through Ca(V)2.1 calcium channels under the same conditions. However, no changes in the cellular distribution of the subunits were visualized for cells either expressing another membrane associated protein or after exposure of the Ca(V)2.1 channels to isoleucine, another α2δ ligand. Together these results show strong evidence for an acute effect of PGB on Ca(V)2.1 calcium channels' currents and distribution and suggest that internalization of Ca(V)2.1 channels might be a mechanism of PGB action.
Brain research bulletin 10/2012; 90(1). DOI:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2012.10.001 · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review considers recent evidence showing that cells in the reticular activating system (RAS) exhibit 1) electrical coupling mainly in GABAergic cells, and 2) gamma band activity in virtually all of the cells. Specifically, cells in the mesopontine pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN), intralaminar parafascicular nucleus (Pf), and pontine dorsal subcoeruleus nucleus dorsalis (SubCD) 1) show electrical coupling, and 2) all fire in the beta/gamma band range when maximally activated, but no higher. The mechanism behind electrical coupling is important because the stimulant modafinil was shown to increase electrical coupling. We also provide recent findings demonstrating that all cells in the PPN and Pf have high threshold, voltage-dependent P/Q-type calcium channels that are essential to gamma band activity. On the other hand, all SubCD, and some PPN, cells manifested sodium-dependent subthreshold oscillations. A novel mechanism for sleep-wake control based on transmitter interactions, electrical coupling, and gamma band activity is described. We speculate that continuous sensory input will modulate coupling and induce gamma band activity in the RAS that could participate in the processes of preconscious awareness, and provide the essential stream of information for the formulation of many of our actions.
Sleep Medicine Reviews 10/2012; 17(3). DOI:10.1016/j.smrv.2012.06.002 · 8.51 Impact Factor