Neuritin produces antidepressant actions and blocks the neuronal and behavioral deficits caused by chronic stress

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06508, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 06/2012; 109(28):11378-83. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1201191109
Source: PubMed


Decreased neuronal dendrite branching and plasticity of the hippocampus, a limbic structure implicated in mood disorders, is thought to contribute to the symptoms of depression. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect, as well as the actions of antidepressant treatment, remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that hippocampal expression of neuritin, an activity-dependent gene that regulates neuronal plasticity, is decreased by chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) and that antidepressant treatment reverses this effect. We also show that viral-mediated expression of neuritin in the hippocampus produces antidepressant actions and prevents the atrophy of dendrites and spines, as well as depressive and anxiety behaviors caused by CUS. Conversely, neuritin knockdown produces depressive-like behaviors, similar to CUS exposure. The ability of neuritin to increase neuroplasticity is confirmed in models of learning and memory. Our results reveal a unique action of neuritin in models of stress and depression, and demonstrate a role for neuroplasticity in antidepressant treatment response and related behaviors.

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    • "Stress-mediated enhancement in emotionality is also mitigated by pharmacological blockade of adrenal steroid synthesis (Calvo et al., 1998) and hippocampal GR activity (Jakovcevski et al., 2011), prior to stressor experience. Multiple trophic factors and activity-associated genes whose hippocampal expression is repressed by stress (CUS, chronic restraint stress) such as the immediate early gene neuritin (Son et al., 2012), BDNF (Schmidt and Duman, 2010) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) (Thorsell et al., 2000; Cohen et al., 2012 "
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to stressors elicits a spectrum of responses that span from potentially adaptive to maladaptive consequences at the structural, cellular and physiological level. These responses are particularly pronounced in the hippocampus where they also appear to influence hippocampal-dependent cognitive function and emotionality. The factors that influence the nature of stress-evoked consequences include the chronicity, severity, predictability and controllability of the stressors. In addition to adult-onset stress, early life stress also elicits a wide range of structural and functional responses, which often exhibit life-long persistence. However, the outcome of early stress exposure is often contingent on the environment experienced in adulthood, and could either aid in stress coping or could serve to enhance susceptibility to the negative consequences of adult stress. This review comprehensively examines the consequences of adult and early life stressors on the hippocampus, with a focus on their effects on neurogenesis, neuronal survival, structural and synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent behaviors. Further, we discuss potential factors that may tip stress-evoked consequences from being potentially adaptive to largely maladaptive.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Reviews in the neurosciences
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    • "induced animal models of depression (Son et al., 2012) and increased after chronic antidepressant treatment, contributing to the BDNF antidepressant effect (Larsen et al., 2010; Son et al., 2012). Corroborating these data, the present study showed that subchronic agmatine treatment (0.001e0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) up-regulated BDNF in the hippocampus, most likely through CREB activation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Agmatine is an endogenous neuromodulator which, based on animal and human studies, is a putative novel antidepressant drug. In this study, we investigated the ability of sub-chronic (21 days) p.o. agmatine administration to produce an antidepressant-like effect in the tail suspension test and examined the hippocampal cell signaling pathways implicated in such an effect. Agmatine at doses of 0.01 and 0.1 mg/kg (p.o.) produced a significant antidepressant-like effect in the tail suspension test and no effect in the open-field test. Additionally, agmatine (0.001-0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) increased the phosphorylation of protein kinase A substrates (237-258% of control), protein kinase B/Akt (Ser(473)) (116-127% of control), glycogen synthase kinase-3β (Ser(9)) (110-113% of control), extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (119-137% and 121-138% of control, respectively) and cAMP response elements (Ser(133)) (127-152% of control), and brain-derived-neurotrophic factor (137-175% of control) immunocontent in a dose-dependent manner in the hippocampus. Agmatine (0.001-0.1 mg/kg, p.o.) also reduced the c-jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 phosphorylation (77-71% and 65-51% of control, respectively). Neither protein kinase C nor p38(MAPK) phosphorylation was altered under any experimental conditions. Taken together, the present study extends the available data on the mechanisms that underlie the antidepressant action of agmatine by showing an antidepressant-like effect following sub-chronic administration. In addition, our results are the first to demonstrate the ability of agmatine to elicit the activation of cellular signaling pathways associated with neuroplasticity/cell survival and the inhibition of signaling pathways associated with cell death in the hippocampus.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Psychiatric Research
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    • "The hippocampal expression of neuritin is decreased by chronic unpredictable stress, and treatment with antidepressants reverses this effect. Furthermore, viral-mediated expression of neuritin in the hippocampus produces antidepressant actions, prevents the atrophy of dendrites and spines, and inhibits depressive and anxiety behaviors caused by chronic unpredictable stress [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuritin, also known as CPG15, is a neurotrophic factor that was initially discovered in a screen to identify genes involved in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Neuritin plays multiple roles in the process of neural development and synaptic plasticity, although its binding receptor(s) and downstream signaling effectors remain unclear. In this study, we found that the cortical and hippocampal expression of neuritin is reduced in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and demonstrated that viral-mediated expression of neuritin in the dentate gyrus of 13-month-old Tg2576 mice, an AD animal model, attenuated a deficit in learning and memory as assessed by a Morris water maze test. We also found that neuritin restored the reduction in dendritic spine density and the maturity of individual spines in primary hippocampal neuron cultures prepared from Tg2576 mice. It was also shown that viral-mediated expression of neuritin in the dentate gyrus of 7-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Taken together, our results demonstrate that neuritin restores the reduction in dendritic spine density and the maturity of individual spines in primary hippocampal neurons from Tg2576 neurons, and also attenuates cognitive function deficits in Tg2576 mouse model of AD, suggesting that neuritin possesses a therapeutic potential for AD.
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