Abnormal response to stress and impaired NPS-induced hyperlocomotion, anxiolytic effect and corticosterone increase in mice lacking NPSR1

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.
Psychoneuroendocrinology (Impact Factor: 4.94). 02/2010; 35(8):1119-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.01.012
Source: PubMed


NPSR1 is a G protein coupled receptor expressed in multiple brain regions involved in modulation of stress. Central administration of NPS, the putative endogenous ligand of NPSR1, can induce hyperlocomotion, anxiolytic effects and activation of the HPA axis. The role of NPSR1 in the brain remains unsettled. Here we used NPSR1 gene-targeted mice to define the functional role of NPSR1 under basal conditions on locomotion, anxiety- and/or depression-like behavior, corticosterone levels, acoustic startle with prepulse inhibition, learning and memory, and under NPS-induced locomotor activation, anxiolysis, and corticosterone release. Male, but not female, NPSR1-deficient mice exhibited enhanced depression-like behavior in a forced swim test, reduced acoustic startle response, and minor changes in the Morris water maze. Neither male nor female NPSR1-deficient mice showed alterations of baseline locomotion, anxiety-like behavior, or corticosterone release after exposure to a forced swim test or methamphetamine challenge in an open-field. After intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of NPS, NPSR1-deficient mice failed to show normal NPS-induced increases in locomotion, anxiolysis, or corticosterone release compared with WT NPS-treated mice. These findings demonstrate that NPSR1 is essential in mediating NPS effects on behavior.

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Available from: Melissa K Mingler, Feb 13, 2015
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    • "These NPS effects were inhibited by the specific NPSR antagonist (R)-SHA 68 [5]. Analyses of NPSR knockout mice revealed NPSR to be the sole mediator of NPS effects [20], [21]. Our previous findings leave the following questions open: First, whether intranasally applied NPS leads to the same effects on neurotransmission and plasticity at CA3-CA1 synapses in awake mice as NPS bath application to murine hippocampal slices; second, whether the VH is directly involved in NPS-mediated anxiolysis; and third, how NPS influences neuronal activity flow within the hippocampus. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide S (NPS) increasingly emerges as a potential novel treatment option for anxiety diseases like panic and posttraumatic stress disorder. However, the neural underpinnings of its anxiolytic action are still not clearly understood. Recently, we reported that neurons of the ventral hippocampus (VH) take up intranasally administered fluorophore-conjugated NPS and, moreover, that application of NPS to mouse brain slices affects neurotransmission and plasticity at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses. Although these previous findings define the VH as a novel NPS target structure, they leave open whether this brain region is directly involved in NPS-mediated anxiolysis and how NPS impacts on neuronal activity propagation in the VH. Here, we fill this knowledge gap by demonstrating, first, that microinjections of NPS into the ventral CA1 region are sufficient to reduce anxiety-like behavior of C57BL/6N mice and, second, that NPS, via the NPS receptor, rapidly weakens evoked neuronal activity flow from the dentate gyrus to area CA1 in vitro. Additionally, we show that intranasally applied NPS alters neurotransmission and plasticity at CA3-CA1 synapses in the same way as NPS administered to hippocampal slices. Thus, our study provides, for the first time, strong experimental evidence for a direct involvement of the VH in NPS-induced anxiolysis and furthermore presents a novel mechanism of NPS action.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "We bridge this gap by providing the first in vitro evidence for agonist-induced internalization of wild-type murine NPSR. The fact that NPSR is the only receptor mediating NPS effects in mice (Zhu et al, 2010) allows no other conclusion but that the in vivo uptake of Cy3-NPS observed here is likewise dependent on surface expression of active NPSR. This inference is additionally supported by the striking similarity of intracellular Cy3- NPS distribution patterns in HEK cells and in murine brain neurons (Figure 3b and c). "
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments in rodents revealed neuropeptide S (NPS) to constitute a potential novel treatment option for anxiety diseases such as panic and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, both its cerebral target sites and the molecular underpinnings of NPS-mediated effects still remain elusive. By administration of fluorophore-conjugated NPS, we pinpointed NPS target neurons in distinct regions throughout the entire brain. We demonstrated their functional relevance in the hippocampus. In the CA1 region, NPS modulates synaptic transmission and plasticity. NPS is taken up into NPS receptor-expressing neurons by internalization of the receptor-ligand complex as we confirmed by subsequent cell culture studies. Furthermore, we tracked internalization of intranasally applied NPS at the single-neuron level and additionally demonstrate that it is delivered into the mouse brain without losing its anxiolytic properties. Finally, we show that NPS differentially modulates the expression of proteins of the glutamatergic system involved inter alia in synaptic plasticity. These results not only enlighten the path of NPS in the brain, but also establish a non-invasive method for NPS administration in mice, thus strongly encouraging translation into a novel therapeutic approach for pathological anxiety in humans.
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide screening and positional cloning have linked neuropeptide S receptor 1 (NPSR1) with asthma and airway hyperresponsiveness. However, the mechanism by which NPSR1 regulates pulmonary responses remains elusive. Because neuropeptide S and its receptor NPSR1 are expressed in brain regions that regulate respiratory rhythm, and Npsr1-deficient mice have impaired stress and anxiety responses, we aimed to investigate whether neuropeptide S and NPSR1 regulate respiratory function through a central-mediated pathway. After neuropeptide S intracerebroventricular administration, respiratory responses of wildtype and Npsr1-deficient mice were monitored by whole-body or invasive plethysmography with or without serial methacholine inhalation. Airway inflammatory and hyperresponsiveness were assessed in allergen-challenged (ovalbumin or Aspergillus fumigatus) Npsr1-deficient mice. Analysis of breathing patterns by whole-body plethysmography revealed that intracerebroventricular neuropeptide S, as compared with the artificial cerebral spinal fluid control, increased respiratory frequency and decreased tidal volume in an NPSR1-dependent manner but did not affect enhanced pause. Following serial methacholine inhalation, intracerebroventricular neuropeptide S increased respiratory frequency in wildtype mice, but not in Npsr1-deficient mice, and had no effect on tidal volume. Intracerebroventricular neuropeptide S significantly reduced airway responsiveness to methacholine as measured by whole-body plethysmography. Npsr1 deletion had no impact on airway inflammation or hyperresponsiveness in ovalbumin- or A. fumigatus-induced experimental asthma. Our results demonstrate that neuropeptide S and NPSR1 regulate respiratory function through a central nervous system-mediated pathway.
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