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Publications (7)19.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Adequate central nervous system noradrenergic activity enhances cognition, but excessive noradrenergic activity may have adverse effects on cognition. Previous studies have also demonstrated that noradrenergic activity is higher in older than younger adults. We aimed to determine relationships between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) norepinephrine (NE) concentration and cognitive performance by using data from a CSF bank that includes samples from 258 cognitively normal participants aged 21-100 years. After adjusting for age, gender, education, and ethnicity, higher CSF NE levels (units of 100 pg/mL) are associated with poorer performance on tests of attention, processing speed, and executive function (Trail Making A: regression coefficient 1.5, standard error [SE] 0.77, p = 0.046; Trail Making B: regression coefficient 5.0, SE 2.2, p = 0.024; Stroop Word-Color Interference task: regression coefficient 6.1, SE 2.0, p = 0.003). Findings are consistent with the earlier literature relating excess noradrenergic activity with cognitive impairment.
    Neurobiology of aging 04/2013; · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cannabinoid receptor agonist, WIN 55,212-2, increases extracellular norepinephrine levels in the rat frontal cortex under basal conditions, likely via desensitization of inhibitory α2-adrenergic receptors located on norepinephrine terminals. Here, the effect of WIN 55,212-2 on stress-induced norepinephrine release was assessed in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats using in vivo microdialysis. Systemic administration of WIN 55,212-2 30 min prior to stressor exposure prevented stress-induced cortical norepinephrine release induced by a single exposure to swim when compared to vehicle. To further probe cortical cannabinoid-adrenergic interactions, postsynaptic α2-adrenergic receptor (AR)-mediated responses were assessed in mPFC pyramidal neurons using electrophysiological analysis in an in vitro cortical slice preparation. We confirm prior studies showing that clonidine increases cortical pyramidal cell excitability and that this was unaffected by exposure to acute stress. WIN 55,212-2, via bath application, blocked postsynaptic α2-AR mediated responses in cortical neurons irrespective of exposure to stress. Interestingly, stress exposure prevented the desensitization of α2-AR mediated responses produced by a history of cannabinoid exposure. Together, these data indicate the stress-dependent nature of cannabinoid interactions via both pre- and postsynaptic ARs. In summary, microdialysis data indicate that cannabinoids restrain stress-induced cortical NE efflux. Electrophysiology data indicate that cannabinoids also restrain cortical cell excitability under basal conditions; however, stress interferes with these CB1-α2 AR interactions, potentially contributing to over-activation of pyramidal neurons in mPFC. Overall, cannabinoids are protective of the NE system and cortical excitability but stress can derail this protective effect, potentially contributing to stress-related psychopathology. These data add to the growing evidence of complex, stress-dependent modulation of monoaminergic systems by cannabinoids and support the potential use of cannabinoids in the treatment of stress-induced noradrenergic dysfunction.
    Experimental Neurology 06/2012; 236(2):327-35. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The locus coeruleus (LC) is the major loci of noradrenergic innervation to the forebrain. Due to the extensive central nervous system innervation of the LC noradrenergic system, a reduction in the number of LC neurons could result in significant changes in noradrenergic function in many forebrain regions. LC noradrenergic neurons were lesioned in adult male C57Bl/6 mice with the unilateral administration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6OHDA) (vehicle on the alternate side). Noradrenergic markers were measured 3 weeks later to determine the consequence of LC loss in the forebrain. Direct administration of 6OHDA into the LC results in the specific reduction of noradrenergic neurons in the LC (as measured by electrophysiology, immunoreactivity and in situ hybridization), the lateral tegmental neurons and dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental region were unaffected. The loss of LC noradrenergic neurons did not result in compensatory changes in the expression of mRNA for norepinephrine (NE)-synthesizing enzymes. The loss of LC noradrenergic neurons is associated with reduced NE tissue concentration and NE transporter (NET) binding sites in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, as well as other forebrain regions such as the amygdala and SN. Adrenoreceptor (AR) binding sites (α(1)- and α(2)-AR) were not significantly affected on the 6OHDA-treated side compared to the vehicle-treated side, although there is a reduction of AR binding sites on both the vehicle- and 6OHDA-treated side in specific forebrain regions. These studies indicate that unilateral stereotaxic injection of 6OHDA into mice reduces noradrenergic LC neurons and reduces noradrenergic innervation to many forebrain regions, including the contralateral side.
    Neuroscience 04/2012; 216:143-57. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) are significantly reduced in Parkinson's disease (PD) and the LC exhibits neuropathological changes early in the disease process. It has been suggested that a loss of LC neurons can enhance the susceptibility of dopaminergic neurons to damage. To determine if LC noradrenergic innervation protects dopaminergic neurons from damage, the dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) was administered to adult male C57Bl/6 mice 3 days after bilateral LC administration of 6-hydroxydopamine (6OHDA), a time when there is a significant reduction in LC neuronal number and innervation to forebrain regions. To assess if LC loss can affect dopaminergic loss four groups of animals were studied: control, 6OHDA, MPTP, and 6OHDA + MPTP; animals sacrificed 3 weeks after MPTP administration. The number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), and noradrenergic neurons in the LC were determined. Catecholamine levels in striatum were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography. The loss of LC neurons did not affect the number of dopaminergic neurons in the SN and VTA compared to control; however, LC 6OHDA significantly reduced striatal dopamine (DA; 29% reduced) but not norepinephrine (NE) concentration. MPTP significantly reduced SN and VTA neuronal number and DA concentration in the striatum compared to control; however, there was not a correlation of striatal DA concentration with SN or VTA neuronal number. Administration of 6OHDA prior to MPTP did not enhance MPTP-induced damage despite an effect of LC loss on striatal DA concentration. However, the loss of LC neurons before MPTP resulted now in a correlation between SN and VTA neuronal number to striatal DA concentration. These results demonstrate that the loss of either LC or DA neurons can affect the function of each others systems, indicating the importance of both the noradrenergic and dopaminergic system in PD.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 01/2012; 3:184.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent interest has demonstrated the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) as a potential target for the treatment of depression with deep brain stimulation (DBS). To demonstrate that DBS of the NAcc is an effective treatment modality for depression and that chemical and structural changes associated with these behavioral changes are markers of neuroplasticity. A deep brain stimulator was placed in the NAcc of male Wistar-Kyoto rats. Groups were divided into sham (no stimulation), intermittent (3 h/d for 2 weeks), or continuous (constant stimulation for 2 weeks). Exploratory and anxietylike behaviors were evaluated with the open-field test before and after stimulation. Tissue samples of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were processed with Western blot analysis of markers of noradrenergic activity that included the noradrenergic synthesizing enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase. Analysis of tissue levels for catecholamines was achieved with high-performance liquid chromatography. Morphological properties of cortical pyramidal neurons were assessed with Golgi-Cox staining. Subjects undergoing intermittent and continuous stimulation of the NAcc exhibited an increase in exploratory behavior and reduced anxietylike behaviors. Tyrosine hydroxylase expression levels were decreased in the PFC after intermittent and continuous DBS, and dopamine and norepinephrine levels were decreased after continuous stimulation. Golgi-Cox staining indicated that DBS increased the length of apical and basilar dendrites in pyramidal neurons of the PFC. Deep brain stimulation induces behavioral improvement in and neurochemical and morphological alterations of the PFC that demonstrate changes within the circuitry of the brain different from the target area of stimulation. This observed dendritic plasticity may underlie the therapeutic efficacy of this treatment.
    Neurosurgery 05/2011; 69(6):1281-90. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Degeneration of the noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) is a major component of Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), but the consequence of noradrenergic neuronal loss has different effects on the surviving neurons in the two disorders. Therefore, understanding the consequence of noradrenergic neuronal loss is important in determining the role of this neurotransmitter in these neurodegenerative disorders. The goal of the study was to determine if the neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP4) could be used as a model for either (or both) AD or PD. Rats were administered DSP4 and sacrificed 3 days 2 weeks and 3 months later. DSP4-treatment resulted in a rapid, though transient reduction in norepinephrine (NE) and NE transporter (NET) in many brain regions receiving variable innervation from the LC. Alpha(1)-adrenoreceptors binding site concentrations were unchanged in all brain regions at all three time points. However, an increase in alpha(2)-AR was observed in many different brain regions 2 weeks and 3 months after DSP4. These changes observed in forebrain regions occurred without a loss in LC noradrenergic neurons. Expression of synthesizing enzymes or NET did not change in amount of expression/neuron despite the reduction in NE tissue content and NET binding site concentrations at early time points, suggesting no compensatory response. In addition, DSP4 did not affect basal activity of LC at any time point in anesthetized animals, but 2 weeks after DSP4 there is a significant increase in irregular firing of noradrenergic neurons. These data indicate that DSP4 is not a selective LC noradrenergic neurotoxin, but does affect noradrenergic neuron terminals locally, as evident by the changes in transmitter and markers at terminal regions. However, since DSP4 did not result in a loss of noradrenergic neurons, it is not considered an adequate model for noradrenergic neuronal loss observed in AD and PD.
    Neuroscience 03/2010; 166(1):279-91. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2009; 5(4).