[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) molecules were recently identified as novel regulators of synaptic plasticity. These molecules are expressed in various brain areas, especially in regions undergoing activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, but their role in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of genetic disruption of MHCI function, through deletion of β2-microblobulin, which causes lack of cell surface expression of MHCI. First, we confirmed that MHCI molecules are expressed in the NAc core in wild-type mice. Second, we performed electrophysiological recordings with NAc core slices from wild-type and β2-microglobulin knock-out mice lacking cell surface expression of MHCI. We found that low frequency stimulation induced long-term depression in wild-type but not knock-out mice, whereas high frequency stimulation induced long-term potentiation in both genotypes, with a larger magnitude in knock-out mice. Furthermore, we demonstrated that knock-out mice showed more persistent behavioral sensitization to cocaine, which is a NAc-related behavior. Using this model, we analyzed the density of total AMPA receptors and their subunits GluR1 and GluR2 in the NAc core, by SDS-digested freeze-fracture replica labeling. After repeated cocaine exposure, the density of GluR1 was increased, but there was no change in total AMPA receptors and GluR2 levels in wild-type mice. In contrast, following repeated cocaine exposure, increased densities of total AMPA receptors, GluR1 and GluR2 were observed in knock-out mice. These results indicate that functional deficiency of MHCI enhances synaptic potentiation, induced by electrical and pharmacological stimulation.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e107099. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide W (NPW) was isolated as an endogenous ligand for NPBWR1, an orphan G protein-coupled receptor localized in the rat brain, including the paraventricular nucleus. It has been reported that central administration of NPW stimulates corticosterone secretion in rats. We hypothesized that NPW activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis via corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and/or arginine vasopressin (AVP). NPW at 1 pM to 10 nM did not affect basal or ACTH-induced corticosterone release from dispersed rat adrenocortical cells, or basal and CRF-induced ACTH release from dispersed rat anterior pituitary cells. In conscious and unrestrained male rats, intravenous administration of 2.5 and 25 nmol NPW did not affect plasma ACTH levels. However, intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of 2.5 and 5.0 nmol NPW increased plasma ACTH levels in a dose-dependent manner at 15 min after stimulation (5.0 vs. 2.5 nmol NPW vs. vehicle: 1802 ± 349 vs. 1170 ± 204 vs. 151 ± 28 pg/mL, respectively, mean ± SEM). Pretreatment with astressin, a CRF receptor antagonist, inhibited the increase in plasma ACTH levels induced by icv administration of 2.5 nmol NPW at 15 min (453 ± 176 vs. 1532 ± 343 pg/mL, p<0.05) and at 30 min (564 ± 147 vs. 1214 ± 139 pg/mL, p<0.05) versus pretreatment with vehicle alone. However, pretreatment with [1-(β-mercapto-β, β-cyclopentamethylenepropionic acid), 2-(Ο-methyl)tyrosine]-arg-vasopressin, a V1a/V1b receptor antagonist, did not affect icv NPW-induced ACTH release at any time (p>0.05). In conclusion, we suggest that central NPW activates the HPA axis by activating hypothalamic CRF but not AVP.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests that maternal stress during gestation in humans and animals can cause emotional and cognitive dysfunction in the offspring. In the present study, we examined neurons of the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex of adult rats exposed to prenatal stress. Using a revised Golgi-Cox staining method, we found decreases in dendritic length and complexity in area CA3 and the dentate gyrus of male rats exposed to prenatal stress compared with the controls, as well as decreased dendritic complexity in the prelimbic cortex. In contrast, we did not detect any changes in dendrites of female rats exposed to prenatal stress. Our results suggest that prenatal stress can induce long-lasting morphological changes in the medial prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus that are sex specific.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present experiment assessed whether prenatal stress (PS) can alter the ability of acute and chronic cocaine administration to increase and decrease the rewarding effectiveness of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) using intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), and also whether PS can affect the extinction of the MFB stimulation response. Adult male offspring of female rats that received PS or no PS (nPS) were implanted with MFB stimulating electrodes, and were then tested in ICSS paradigms. In both nPS and PS offspring, acute cocaine injection decreased ICSS thresholds dose-dependently. However, the threshold-lowering effects at any dose were not significantly different between groups. There was also no group-difference in the threshold-elevating effects of chronic cocaine administration. Nevertheless, chronically drug-administered PS rats exhibited a resistance to the extinguishing of the response for brain-stimulation reward when acutely treated with cocaine, as compared to extinction without cocaine treatment. The results suggest that PS may weaken the ability for response inhibition under cocaine loading in male adult offspring.
Behavioural brain research 10/2011; 223(2):411-6. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although orexin-A peptide was recently found to inhibit the brain reward system, the exact neural substrates for this phenomenon remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of orexin neurons in intra-cranial self-stimulation behavior and to clarify the pathways through which orexin-A inhibits the brain reward system. Immunohistochemical examination using Fos, a neuronal activation marker, revealed that the percentage of activated orexin cells was very low in the lateral hypothalamus even in the hemisphere ipsilateral to self-stimulation, suggesting that orexin neurons play only a small part, if any, in performing intra-cranial self-stimulation behavior. Intra-ventral tegmental area administration of orexin-A (1.0 nmol) significantly increased the intra-cranial self-stimulation threshold. Furthermore, the threshold-increasing effects of intra-ventral tegmental area or intracerebroventricular orexin-A were inhibited by administration of the nonspecific corticotropin-releasing factor receptor antagonist, d-Phe-CRF(12-41) (20 μg). Following intra-ventral tegmental area infusion of orexin-A, the percentage of cells double-labeled with corticotropin-releasing factor and Fos antibodies increased in the central nucleus of the amygdala but not in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and brain microdialysis analyses indicated that dopamine efflux in both the central nucleus of the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis were enhanced. Taken together, the present findings suggest that intra-ventral tegmental area or intracerebroventricular administration of orexin-A exerts its threshold-increasing effect via subsequent activation of the corticotropin-releasing factor system.
European Journal of Neuroscience 08/2011; 34(5):816-26. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain synthesis of steroids including sex-steroids is attracting much attention. The endogenous synthesis of corticosteroids in the hippocampus, however, has been doubted because of the inability to detect deoxycorticosterone (DOC) synthase, cytochrome P450(c21).
The expression of P450(c21) was demonstrated using mRNA analysis and immmunogold electron microscopic analysis in the adult male rat hippocampus. DOC production from progesterone (PROG) was demonstrated by metabolism analysis of (3)H-steroids. All the enzymes required for corticosteroid synthesis including P450(c21), P450(2D4), P450(11β1) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) were localized in the hippocampal principal neurons as shown via in situ hybridization and immunoelectron microscopic analysis. Accurate corticosteroid concentrations in rat hippocampus were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. In adrenalectomized rats, net hippocampus-synthesized corticosterone (CORT) and DOC were determined to 6.9 and 5.8 nM, respectively. Enhanced spinogenesis was observed in the hippocampus following application of low nanomolar (10 nM) doses of CORT for 1 h.
These results imply the complete pathway of corticosteroid synthesis of 'pregnenolone →PROG→DOC→CORT' in the hippocampal neurons. Both P450(c21) and P450(2D4) can catalyze conversion of PROG to DOC. The low nanomolar level of CORT synthesized in hippocampal neurons may play a role in modulation of synaptic plasticity, in contrast to the stress effects by micromolar CORT from adrenal glands.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e21631. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-access intravenous drug self-administration shows diurnal alterations in drug intake, with escalation and binge patterns, in rats. A similar long-access model in mice would allow the use of genetically modified animals to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying drug addiction and relapse. However, attempts to transfer this model to mice have been less successful, mainly because of technical difficulties with long-term maintenance of the indwelling catheter implanted into small veins.
We devised an intrathecal probe implanted in the supracerebellar cistern as an alternative for intravenous drug administration to address this challenge and allow continuous, chronic drug self-administration in mice.
We found that mice readily self-administered intrathecal infusions of cocaine as a drug reward, and, under daily 24-h access conditions, animals exhibited a binge-like behavior comparable to rats.
This innovation enables a full analysis of long-access drug self-administration behavior in mice not possible with intravenous administration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Running is known to promote neurogenesis. Besides being exercise, it results in a reward, and both of these factors might contribute to running-induced neurogenesis. However, little attention has been paid to how reward and exercise relate to neurogenesis. The present study is an attempt to determine whether a reward, in the form of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), influences neurogenesis in the hippocampus of adult rodents. We used bromodeoxyuridine labeling to quantify newly generated cells in mice and rats that experienced ICSS for 1 h per day for 3 days. ICSS increased the number of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (Brdu)-labeled cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) of both species. The effect, when examined at 1 day, 1 week, and 4 weeks post-ICSS, was predominantly present in the side ipsilateral to the stimulation, although it was distributed to the contralateral side. We also found in rats that, 4 weeks after Brdu injection, surviving newborn cells in the hippocampal DG of the ICSS animals co-localized with a mature neuron marker, neuronal nuclei (NeuN), and these surviving cells in rats were double-labeled with Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, after the rats had been trained to perform a spatial task. The results demonstrate that ICSS can increase newborn neurons in the hippocampal DG that endure into maturity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycine encephalopathy (GE) is caused by an inherited deficiency of the glycine cleavage system (GCS) and characterized by accumulation of glycine in body fluids and various neurologic symptoms. Coma and convulsions develop in neonates in typical GE while psychomotor retardation and behavioral abnormalities in infancy and childhood are observed in mild GE. Recently, we have established a transgenic mouse line (low-GCS) with reduced GCS activity (29% of wild-type (WT) C57BL/6) and accumulation of glycine in the brain (Stroke, 2007; 38:2157). The purpose of the present study is to characterize behavioral features of the low-GCS mouse as a model of mild GE. Two other transgenic mouse lines were also analyzed: high-GCS mice with elevated GCS activity and low-GCS-2 mice with reduced GCS activity. As compared with controls, low-GCS mice manifested increased seizure susceptibility, aggressiveness and anxiety-like activity, which resembled abnormal behaviors reported in mild GE, whereas high-GCS mice were less sensitive to seizures, hypoactive and less anxious. Antagonists for the glycine-binding site of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor significantly ameliorated elevated locomotor activity and seizure susceptibility in the low-GCS mice. Our results suggest the usefulness of low-GCS mice as a mouse model for mild GE and a novel therapeutic strategy.
Pediatric Research 05/2008; 64(3):228-33. · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obstetric complications have been regarded as a risk factor for schizophrenia later in life. One of the mechanisms underlying the association is postulated to be a hypoxic process in the brain in the offspring around the time of birth. Hippocampus is one of the brain regions implicated in the late-onset dopaminergic dysfunction associated with hypoxic obstetric complications.
We used an animal model of perinatal asphyxia, in which rat pups were exposed to 15 min of intrauterine anoxia during Cesarean section birth. At 6 and 12 weeks after birth, the behavior of the pups was assessed using a methamphetamine-induced locomotion test. In addition, the histopathology of the hippocampus was examined by means of stereology. At 6 weeks, there was no change in the methamphetamine-induced locomotion. However, at 12 weeks of age, we found an elevation in methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity, which was associated with an increase of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. At the same age, we also found a reduction of the dentate granule cells of the hippocampus.
These results suggest that the dopaminergic dysregulation after perinatal asphyxia is associated with a reduction in hippocampal dentate granule cells, and this may partly contribute to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(11):e3648. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To clarify whether reelin signaling is involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission in the adult mouse brain, we investigated dopamine function in mice lacking reelin (reeler). We found that methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity is significantly attenuated in reeler mice. To elucidate the mechanism of this phenomenon, we first investigated presynaptic dopamine release; however, there were no significant differences in wildtype, heterozygous reeler and homozygous reeler mice. Next, we examined the locomotor response to intra-accumbens injection of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor agonists, and found that lack of reelin signaling results in decreases in both D1 and D2 receptor-mediated dopaminergic functions. In addition, we measured dopamine receptor binding in the striatum, and found that both D1 and D2 classes of dopamine receptors are reduced in reeler mice. Furthermore, we found that the phosphorylation levels of DARPP-32 are also changed by lack of reelin signaling. Finally, to distinguish between a developmental role of reelin or an acute role of reelin in adult mouse, we intraventricularly infused CR-50, a monoclonal antibody against reelin. Interestingly, infusion of CR-50 also significantly reduced methamphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion in wildtype mice, showing that reelin has an acute role in the dopaminergic system. These results indicate that reelin signaling plays a pivotal role in the dopaminergic system in adult mice, especially in postsynaptic levels.
European Journal of Neuroscience 07/2007; 25(11):3376-84. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although prenatal stress has been repeatedly shown to inhibit adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of offspring, its effects on embryonic and early postnatal brain development are not well described. Here, using the cell proliferation marker 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine, we examine for the first time the effect of prenatal stress at the embryonic stage on cell proliferation in the hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and amygdala. We show that prenatal stress induces a significant decrease in density of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine-positive cells in the nucleus accumbens (40%) and hippocampus (60%), and a nonsignificant decrease in the amygdala (30%). Taken together, these results demonstrate the adverse effects of prenatal maternal stress on early development in limbic brain regions and the potential mechanisms are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The brainstem pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) is proposed to mediate hypothalamic self-stimulation reward via cholinergic activation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). However, to date there is little direct evidence to support this hypothesis.
To further study the role of PPTg in hypothalamic self-stimulation reward.
By using in vivo microdialysis, the levels of extracellular acetylcholine (ACh) in the PPTg and VTA were detected during lateral hypothalamic (LH) self-stimulation in rats. Rate-frequency curve shift procedure was used to evaluate the effects of nonselective muscarinic antagonist scopolamine (1 approximately 100 microg/microl) and nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (5 approximately 100 microg/microl) microinjected into the PPTg on the rewarding efficacy of LH self-stimulation. Subsequently, the drugs were injected into the PPTg, and the extracellular ACh in the VTA was measured.
LH self-stimulation produced a concurrent ACh release in the PPTg and VTA. Intra-PPTg injection of scopolamine (100 microg/microl) significantly reduced the frequency threshold for LH self-stimulation reward, but nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine did not shift the threshold. However, mecamylamine (10, 25 microg/microl) injected into the PPTg robustly diminished the nicotine-potentiated LH self-stimulation reward. The extracellular ACh in the VTA was dramatically increased by intra-PPTg scopolamine (10, 100 microg/microl), but not by mecamylamine.
Results confirm that PPTg plays an important role in brain stimulation reward by modulating the cholinergic activity of the VTA. The PPTg muscarinic receptors contribute to an inhibitory modulation of reward effects by self-stimulation, whereas nicotinic receptors seem to be more involved in nicotine potentiation of brain stimulation reward.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Light is a powerful synchronizer of the circadian rhythms, and bright light therapy is known to improve metabolic and hormonal status of circadian rhythm sleep disorders, although its mechanism is poorly understood. In the present study, we revealed that light induces gene expression in the adrenal gland via the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)-sympathetic nervous system. Moreover, this gene expression accompanies the surge of plasma and brain corticosterone levels without accompanying activation of the hypothalamo-adenohypophysial axis. The abolishment after SCN lesioning, and the day-night difference of light-induced adrenal gene expression and corticosterone release, clearly indicate that this phenomenon is closely linked to the circadian clock. The magnitude of corticostereone response is dose dependently correlated with the light intensity. The light-induced clock-dependent secretion of glucocorticoids adjusts cellular metabolisms to the new light-on environment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We used the rate-frequency curve-shift procedure to evaluate the effects of nicotinic blockers, locally infused into the mesopontine tegmentum or ventral tegmentum, on the threshold of brain stimulation reward. Mecamylamine, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor blocker, was infused one hour before the self-stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle. When injected into the mesopontine tegmentum, mecamylamine shifted rate-frequency curves to the right. Similar effects were also observed when the drug was injected into the ventral tegmentum. Thus, in both the mesopontine tegmentum and the ventral tegmentum, nicotinic receptors appear to facilitate the rewarding effect of the self-stimulation.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 11/2004; 1025:489-90. · 4.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circadian melatonin secretion is the best-known output signal from the circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus that indicates internal conditions of the body. We have established a system that enables long-term monitoring of melatonin secretion by implanting a transverse microdialysis probe in or near the pineal gland in a freely moving mouse. This in vivo method enabled continuous measurement of melatonin secretion over a period of >20 days in individual CBA mice, with simultaneous recording of the locomotor activity. Pineal melatonin secretion was completely matched to the circadian change of locomotor activity, and for the light-induced phase shift, the shift of melatonin secretion was clearer than the shift of locomotor rhythm. This analysis allowed us to detect rhythm with a high sensitivity: two peaks of daily secretion were observed, with the first small peak at the day-night transition time and the second large peak at midnight. The large nighttime peak was suppressed by tetrodotoxin, a Na+ channel blocker, and enhanced by both phenylephrine and isoproterenol, alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonists, whereas daytime melatonin levels were not affected by tetrodotoxin infusion. This finding suggests that, in CBA mice, melatonin release at night is activated by adrenergic signaling from the superior cervical ganglion, but the enhancement of melatonin during daytime is not mediated by neuronal signaling.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2003; 100(16):9584-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given the evidence that the inferior colliculus (IC) and superior colliculus (SC) seem to play key roles in connecting auditory pathways and seizure output pathways in the neuronal network for audiogenic seizures (AS) in rats, we examined Fos activation in GABAergic cells and cells immunopositive for glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the IC and SC following AS using the double-labeling procedure. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS), which developed as an advanced form of AS in some of the susceptible rats, induced an increase in Fos expression in three IC substructures-the dorsal cortex of IC (DCIC), central nucleus of IC (CIC), and external cortex of IC (ECIC)-and in one SC substructure, the deep gray layer of SC (DpG). Compared with the rats showing GTCS, rats exhibiting wild running (WR) without proceeding to GTCS showed a different pattern of AS-induced Fos expression. The DpG in the WR animals showed no significant increase in the levels of Fos-like immunoreactivity. The degrees of Fos activation that occurred in GABAergic cells and cells immunopositive for NMDA receptors were similar in the DCIC, CIC, ECIC, and DpG following AS. These results suggest that Fos activation in the DpG is involved in the development from WR to GTCS in AS-susceptible rats. They also provide some evidence that some GABAergic neurons in the IC and SC and glutamatergic afferents (via NMDA receptors) to these structures are activated by AS.