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Knockdown of DISC1 by In Utero Gene Transfer Disturbs Postnatal Dopaminergic Maturation in the Frontal Cortex and Leads to Adult Behavioral Deficits

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.05). 02/2010; 65(4):480-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.01.019
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ABSTRACT

Adult brain function and behavior are influenced by neuronal network formation during development. Genetic susceptibility factors for adult psychiatric illnesses, such as Neuregulin-1 and Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1), influence adult high brain functions, including cognition and information processing. These factors have roles during neurodevelopment and are likely to cooperate, forming pathways or "signalosomes." Here we report the potential to generate an animal model via in utero gene transfer in order to address an important question of how nonlethal deficits in early development may affect postnatal brain maturation and high brain functions in adulthood, which are impaired in various psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. We show that transient knockdown of DISC1 in the pre- and perinatal stages, specifically in a lineage of pyramidal neurons mainly in the prefrontal cortex, leads to selective abnormalities in postnatal mesocortical dopaminergic maturation and behavioral abnormalities associated with disturbed cortical neurocircuitry after puberty.

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    • "Genetic association studies in various ethnicities (reviewed by Chubb et al. 2008), as well as transgenic animal models (reviewed by Brandon and Sawa 2011), have corroborated a key role of DISC1 in brain functions regulating cognitive and mood-related behaviors. DISC1 has also been shown to be involved in dopamine neurotransmission (Niwa et al. 2010; Pogorelov et al. 2012; Vomund et al. 2013) and glutamate (Hayashi-Takagi et al. 2010; Wei et al. 2013), although the molecular links and mechanisms are still obscure. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene is involved in vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders. Naples high-excitability (NHE) rat model neuropsychiatric problems characterized by an unbalanced mesocortical dopamine system. Here, we assessed behavioral and neurochemical effects of immunization against multimeric rat DISC1 protein in adult NHE rats, an animal model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and their Random-Bred (NRB) controls. Males of both lines received subcutaneous injections of vehicle (PB), adjuvant only (AD) or recombinant rat DISC1 protein purified from E. coli, suspended in AD (anti-DISC1) at age of 30, 45 and 60 postnatal days (pnd). At 75 pnd, the rats were exposed to a Làt maze and 2 days later to an Olton eight-arm radial maze, and horizontal (HA) and vertical activities (VA) were monitored. Non-selective (NSA) and selective spatial attention (SSA) were monitored in the Làt and in the Olton maze by duration of rearings and working memory, respectively. Post mortem neurochemistry in the prefrontal cortex (PFc), dorsal (DS) and ventral (VS) striatum of L-Glutamate, L-Aspartate and L-Leucine was performed. All immunized rats showed a clear humoral IgM (but not IgG) immune response against the immunogen, indicating that immunological self-tolerance to DISC1 can be overcome by immunization. NHE rats exhibited a higher unspecific IgM response to adjuvant, indicating an immunological abnormality. The sole anti-DISC1 immunization-specific behavioral in the NHE rats was an increased horizontal activity in the Làt maze. Adjuvant treatment increased vertical activity in both lines, but in the NRB controls it increased rearing and decreased horizontal activity. Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry analysis of soluble or membrane-trapped neurotransmitters aspartate, glutamate and leucine revealed increased soluble aspartate levels in the ventral striatum of NRB controls after anti-DISC1 immunization. Immune activation by adjuvant independent of simultaneous DISC1 immunization led to other specific changes in NHE and control NRB rats. In DISC1-immunized NHE rats, horizontal activity in Lat maze correlated with membrane-trapped glutamate in PFc and in the NRB rats, duration of rearing in Olton maze correlated with membrane-trapped glutamate in PFc and aspartate in dorsal striatum. In addition to non-specific immune activation (by AD), the postnatal anti-DISC1 immune treatment led to behavioral changes related to mechanisms of activity and attention and had influenced amino acids and synaptic markers in striatum and neocortex in the adult NHE as well as control animals.
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    • "Neuron Antioxidants and Adult Prefrontal Function Neuron 83, 1073–1084, September 3, 2014 ª2014 Elsevier Inc. 1081 schizophrenia (Niwa et al., 2010; Tseng et al., 2008 "
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal development can lead to deficits in adult brain function, a trajectory likely underlying adolescent-onset psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia. Developmental manipulations yielding adult deficits in rodents provide an opportunity to explore mechanisms involved in a delayed emergence of anomalies driven by developmental alterations. Here we assessed whether oxidative stress during presymptomatic stages causes adult anomalies in rats with a neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion, a developmental rodent model useful for schizophrenia research. Juvenile and adolescent treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine prevented the reduction of prefrontal parvalbumin interneuron activity observed in this model, as well as electrophysiological and behavioral deficits relevant to schizophrenia. Adolescent treatment with the glutathione peroxidase mimic ebselen also reversed behavioral deficits in this animal model. These findings suggest that presymptomatic oxidative stress yields abnormal adult brain function in a developmentally compromised brain, and highlight redox modulation as a potential target for early intervention.
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    • " or membrane potential . However , dopamine D2er - gic modulation of electrically evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials in these deep layer neurons is strongly attenuated when DISC1 is knocked down . This observation is thought to be related to the disturbed dopaminergic innervation of this cortical area pro - duced by the knockdown of DISC1 ( Niwa et al . , 2010 ) . DISC1 levels are unquestionably high in postsynaptic elements . Additionally , a number of DISC1 binding partners also show promi - nent postsynaptic localisation and possess known postsynaptic roles . Consequently , investigations of DISC1 neurophysiology at synapses have tended to concentrate on postsynaptic functionality . Howeve"
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    ABSTRACT: The disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene is found at the breakpoint of an inherited chromosomal translocation, and segregates with major mental illnesses. Its potential role in central nervous system (CNS) malfunction has triggered intensive investigation of the biological roles played by DISC1, with the hope that this may shed new light on the pathobiology of psychiatric disease. Such work has ranged from investigations of animal behavior to detailed molecular-level analysis of the assemblies that DISC1 forms with other proteins. Here, we discuss the evidence for a role of DISC1 in synaptic function in the mammalian CNS.
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