Publications (2)3.63 Total impact
Article: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor genotype impacts the prenatal cocaine-induced mouse phenotype.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Prenatal cocaine exposure leads to persistent alterations in the growth factor brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), particularly in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus, brain regions important in cognitive functioning. BDNF plays an important role in the strengthening of existing synaptic connections as well as in the formation of new contacts during learning. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the BDNF gene (Val66Met), leading to a Met substitution for Val at codon 66 in the prodomain, is common in human populations, with an allele frequency of 20-30% in Caucasians. To study the interaction between prenatal cocaine exposure and BDNF, we have utilized a line of BDNF Val66Met transgenic mice on a Swiss Webster background in which BDNF(Met) is endogenously expressed. Examination of baseline levels of mature BDNF protein in the mPFC of prenatally cocaine-treated wild-type (Val66Val) and Val66Met mice revealed significantly lower levels compared to prenatally saline-treated mice. In contrast, in the hippocampus of prenatally saline- and cocaine-treated adult Val66Met mice, there were significantly lower levels of mature BDNF protein compared to Val66Val mice. In extinction of a conditioned fear, we found that prenatally cocaine-treated Val66Met mice had a deficit in recall of extinction. Examination of mature BDNF protein levels immediately after the test for extinction recall revealed lower levels in the mPFC of prenatally cocaine-treated Val66Met mice compared to saline-treated mice. However, 2 h after the extinction test, there was increased BDNF exons I, IV, and IX mRNA expression in the prelimbic cortex of the mPFC in the prenatally cocaine-treated BDNF Val66Met mice compared to prenatally saline-treated mice. Taken together, our results suggest the possibility that prenatal cocaine-induced constitutive alterations in BDNF mRNA and protein expression in the mPFC differentially poises animals for alterations in behaviorally induced gene activation, which are interactive with BDNF genotype and differentially impact those behaviors. Such findings in our prenatal cocaine mouse model suggest a gene X environment interaction of potential clinical relevance.Developmental Neuroscience 05/2012; 34(2-3):184-97. · 3.63 Impact Factor
Article: Enhanced dopamine D1 and BDNF signaling in the adult dorsal striatum but not nucleus accumbens of prenatal cocaine treated mice.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Previous work from our group and others utilizing animal models have demonstrated long-lasting structural and functional alterations in the meso-cortico-striatal dopamine pathway following prenatal cocaine (PCOC) treatment. We have shown that PCOC treatment results in augmented D1-induced cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cocaine-induced immediate-early gene expression in the striatum of adult mice. In this study we further examined basal as well as cocaine or D1-induced activation of a set of molecules known to be mediators of neuronal plasticity following psychostimulant treatment, with emphasis in the dorsal striatum (Str) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero. Basally, in the Str of PCOC treated mice there were significantly higher levels of (1) CREB and Ser133 P-CREB (2) Thr34 P-DARPP-32 and (3) GluA1 and Ser 845 P-GluA1 when compared to prenatal saline (PSAL) treated mice. In the NAc there were significantly higher basal levels of (1) CREB and Ser133 P-CREB, (2) Thr202/Tyr204 P-ERK2, and (3) Ser845 P-GluA1. Following acute administration of cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p.) or D1 agonist (SKF 82958; 1 mg/kg, i.p.) there were significantly higher levels of Ser133 P-CREB, Thr34 P-DARPP-32, and Thr202/Tyr204 P-ERK2 in the Str that were evident in all animals tested. However, these cocaine-induced increases in phosphorylation were significantly augmented in PCOC mice compared to PSAL mice. In sharp contrast to the observations in the Str, in the NAc, acute administration of cocaine or D1 agonist significantly increased P-CREB and P-ERK2 in PSAL mice, a response that was not evident in PCOC mice. Examination of Ser 845 P-GluA1 revealed that cocaine or D1 agonist significantly increased levels in PSAL mice, but significantly decreased levels in the PCOC mice in both the Str and NAc. We also examined changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Our studies revealed significantly higher levels of the BDNF precursor, pro-BDNF, and one of its receptors, TrkB in the Str of PCOC mice compared to PSAL mice. These results suggest a persistent up-regulation of molecules critical to D1 and BDNF signaling in the Str of adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero. These molecular adaptations may underlie components of the behavioral deficits evident in exposed animals and a subset of exposed humans, and may represent a therapeutic target for ameliorating aspects of the PCOC-induced phenotype.Frontiers in psychiatry / Frontiers Research Foundation. 01/2011; 2:67.