[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Actin microfilaments regulate the size, shape and mobility of dendritic spines and are in turn regulated by actin binding proteins and small GTPases. The βI isoform of spectrin, a protein that links the actin cytoskeleton to membrane proteins, is present in spines. To understand its function, we expressed its actin-binding domain (ABD) in CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slice cultures. The ABD of βI-spectrin bundled actin in principal dendrites and was concentrated in dendritic spines, where it significantly increased the size of the spine head. These effects were not observed after expression of homologous ABDs of utrophin, dystrophin, and α-actinin. Treatment of slice cultures with latrunculin-B significantly decreased spine head size and decreased actin-GFP fluorescence in cells expressing the ABD of α-actinin, but not the ABD of βI-spectrin, suggesting that its presence inhibits actin depolymerization. We also observed an increase in the area of GFP-tagged PSD-95 in the spine head and an increase in the amplitude of mEPSCs at spines expressing the ABD of βI-spectrin. The effects of the βI-spectrin ABD on spine size and mEPSC amplitude were mimicked by expressing wild-type Rac3, a small GTPase that co-immunoprecipitates specifically with βI-spectrin in extracts of cultured cortical neurons. Spine size was normal in cells co-expressing a dominant negative Rac3 construct with the βI-spectrin ABD. We suggest that βI-spectrin is a synaptic protein that can modulate both the morphological and functional dynamics of dendritic spines, perhaps via interaction with actin and Rac3.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e16197. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent genome-wide association studies have associated polymorphisms in the gene CACNA1C, which codes for Ca(v)1.2, with a bipolar disorder and depression diagnosis.
The behaviors of wild-type and Cacna1c heterozygous mice of both sexes were evaluated in a number of tests. Based upon sex differences in our mouse data, we assessed a gene × sex interaction for diagnosis of mood disorders in human subjects. Data from the National Institute of Mental Health Genetics Initiative Bipolar Disorder Consortium and the Genetics of Recurrent Early-Onset Major Depression Consortium were examined using a combined dataset that included 2021 mood disorder cases (1223 female cases) and 1840 control subjects (837 female subjects).
In both male and female mice, Cacna1c haploinsufficiency was associated with lower exploratory behavior, decreased response to amphetamine, and antidepressant-like behavior in the forced swim and tail suspension tests. Female, but not male, heterozygous mice displayed decreased risk-taking behavior or increased anxiety in multiple tests, greater attenuation of amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, decreased development of learned helplessness, and a decreased acoustic startle response, indicating a sex-specific role of Cacna1c. In humans, sex-specific genetic association was seen for two intronic single nucleotide polymorphisms, rs2370419 and rs2470411, in CACNA1C, with effects in female subjects (odds ratio = 1.64, 1.32) but not in male subjects (odds ratio = .82, .86). The interactions by sex were significant after correction for testing 190 single nucleotide polymorphisms (p = 1.4 × 10⁻⁴, 2.1 × 10⁻⁴; p(corrected) = .03, .04) and were consistent across two large datasets.
Our preclinical results support a role for CACNA1C in mood disorder pathophysiology, and the combination of human genetic and preclinical data support an interaction between sex and genotype.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiological significance of neuroglial interactions in the CNS has been emphasized in neurological conditions such as epilepsy and brain ischemia. The Kv2.1 voltage-gated potassium channel is unique in its ability to form large clusters in the plasma membrane of neuronal cell bodies. We have previously shown that brain ischemia causes rapid dephosphorylation of Kv2.1 subunits and resultant activation of the ion channel function. However, the physiological significance of the channel clustering is unknown. Here we present evidence that clustered Kv2.1 channels in the neuronal plasma membrane are juxtaposed to axosomatic synapses and associated with astrocytic processes expressing high levels of glutamate transporters. In acute cortical slices, ischemic stress rapidly resulted in the dephosphorylation and dispersion of Kv2.1. Selective inhibition of metabolism in astrocytes was sufficient to induce Kv2.1 dephosphorylation in neurons. Interestingly, these effects were blocked by the antagonists of ionotropic glutamate receptors, indicating the involvement of glutamate as the signal mediator between astrocytes and neurons. Furthermore, the pharmacological inhibition of glial glutamate transporter GLT-1 induced the similar Kv2.1 dephosphorylation, whereas exogenous glutamate alone was not efficacious. These results suggest that ischemic stress rapidly causes the dysfunction of glutamate transporters in astrocytes and resultant accumulation of glutamate in the extracellular space. The elevated glutamate may subsequently activate ionotropic glutamate receptors and result in the dephosphorylation of Kv2.1 in neurons. These findings implicate that Kv2.1 clusters are strategically situated at neuroglial junctions to achieve the rapid modulation after ischemic stress via glutamate signaling.
Journal of Neuroscience 09/2008; 28(34):8529-38. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traumatic injury to the CNS results in chronic partial deafferentation of subsets of surviving neurons. Such injuries are often followed by a delayed but long-lasting period of aberrant hyperexcitability. The cellular mechanisms underlying this delayed hyperexcitability are poorly understood. We developed an in vitro model of deafferentation and reactive hyperexcitability using organotypic hippocampal slice cultures to study the underlying cellular mechanisms. One week after transection of the Schaffer collateral and temporoammonic afferents to CA1 neurons, brief tetanic stimulation of the residual excitatory synapses produced abnormally prolonged depolarizations, compared with responses in normally innervated neurons. Responses to weak stimulation, in contrast, were unaffected after deafferentation. Direct stimulation of distal apical dendrites using focal photolysis of caged glutamate triggered abnormally prolonged plateau potentials in the deafferented neurons when strong stimulation was given, but responses to weak stimulation were not different from controls. An identical phenotype was produced by chronic "chemical deafferentation" with glutamate receptor antagonists. Responses to strong synaptic and photolytic stimulation were selectively prolonged by small-conductance (SK-type) calcium-activated potassium channel blockers in normally innervated cells but not after deafferentation. No significant changes in SK2 mRNA or protein levels, GABAergic inhibition, glutamate receptor function, input resistance, or action potential parameters were observed after chronic deafferentation. We suggest that a posttranslational downregulation of SK channel function in thin distal dendrites is a significant contributor to deafferentation-induced reactive hyperexcitability.
Journal of Neuroscience 02/2007; 27(1):59-68. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Focal activation of glutamate receptors in distal dendrites of hippocampal pyramidal cells triggers voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel-mediated plateau potentials that are confined to the stimulated dendrite. We examined the role of dendritic K(+) conductances in determining the amplitude, duration, and spatial compartmentalization of plateau potentials. Manipulations that blocked SK-type Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels, including apamin and BAPTA dialysis, increased the duration of plateau potentials without affecting their amplitude or compartmentalization. Manipulations that blocked Kv4.2 A-type K(+) channels, including a dominant-negative Kv4.2 construct and 4-aminopyridine, increased the amplitude of plateau potentials by allowing them to recruit neighboring dendrites. Prolongation of plateau potentials or block of Kv4.2 channels at branch points facilitated the ability of dendritic excitation to trigger fast action potentials. SK channels thus underlie repolarization of dendritic plateau potentials, whereas Kv4.2 channels confine these potentials to single dendritic branches, and both act in concert to regulate synaptic integration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vesicle exocytosis is mediated by the complex interaction between synaptic vesicle and plasma membrane proteins, many of which are substrates for protein kinases. Exogenous protein kinase activators increase release probability at several mammalian CNS synapses, but the physiological conditions under which presynaptic protein kinases become activated are not known. We report here that calcium/phospholipid-dependent protein kinase C (PKC) is activated by high-frequency stimulation and mediates post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) in the rat hippocampus.