Loss of Glial Glutamate and Aspartate Transporter (Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 1) Causes Locomotor Hyperactivity and Exaggerated Responses to Psychotomimetics: Rescue by Haloperidol and Metabotropic Glutamate 2/3 Agonist

Laboratory for Clinical and Translational Studies, National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.26). 07/2008; 64(9):810-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.05.001
Source: PubMed


Recent data suggest that excessive glutamatergic signaling in the prefrontal cortex may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and that promoting presynaptic glutamate modulation via group II metabotropic glutamate 2/3 (mGlu2/3) receptor activation can exert antipsychotic efficacy. The glial glutamate and aspartate transporter (GLAST) (excitatory amino acid transporter 1 [EAAT1]) regulates extracellular glutamate levels via uptake into glia, but the consequences of GLAST dysfunction for schizophrenia are largely unknown.
We examined GLAST knockout mice (KO) for behaviors thought to model positive symptoms in schizophrenia (locomotor hyperactivity to novelty, exaggerated locomotor response to N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor [NMDAR] antagonism) and the ability of haloperidol and the mGlu2/3 agonist LY379268 to normalize novelty-induced hyperactivity.
Glial glutamate and aspartate transporter KO consistently showed locomotor hyperactivity to a novel but not familiar environment, relative to wild-type (WT) mice. The locomotor hyperactivity-inducing effects of the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 was exaggerated in GLAST KO relative to WT. Treatment with haloperidol or LY379268 normalized novelty-induced locomotor hyperactivity in GLAST KO.
Schizophrenia-related abnormalities in GLAST KO raise the possibility that loss of GLAST-mediated glutamate clearance could be a pathophysiological risk factor for the disease. Our findings provide novel support for the hypothesis that glutamate dysregulation contributes to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and for the antipsychotic potential of mGlu2/3 agonists.

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Available from: Kohichi Tanaka
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    • "Several studies have reported astrocyte dysfunction and impaired glial glutamate uptake in the pathophysiology of many neuropsychiatric disorders (Adamczyk et al, 2011; Molofsky et al, 2012; Szatmari et al, 2007). We previously reported that GLAST knockout mice showed schizophrenialike phenotypes (Karlsson et al, 2008, 2009) and that GLAST/ GLT1 double knockout mice exhibited multiple brain defects that were similar to schizophrenia-associated developmental defects (Aida et al, 2012; Matsugami et al, 2006). Because GLT1 is a major glutamate transporter in the forebrain (Tanaka et al, 1997), we hypothesized that astroglial GLT1 dysfunction has a critical role in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders. "
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    ABSTRACT: An increase in the ratio of cellular excitation to inhibition (E/I ratio) has been proposed to underlie the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome (TS). A proper E/I ratio is achieved via factors expressed in neuron and glia. In astrocytes, the glutamate transporter GLT1 is critical for regulating an E/I ratio. However, the role of GLT1 dysfunction in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders remains unknown because mice with a complete deficiency of GLT1 exhibited seizures and premature death. Here, we show that astrocyte-specific GLT1 inducible knockout (GLAST(CreERT2/+)/GLT1(flox/flox), iKO) mice exhibit pathological repetitive behaviors including excessive and injurious levels of self-grooming and tic-like head shakes. Electrophysiological studies reveal that excitatory transmission at corticostriatal synapse is normal in a basal state but is increased after repetitive stimulation. Furthermore, treatment with an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist memantine ameliorated the pathological repetitive behaviors in iKO mice. These results suggest that astroglial GLT1 plays a critical role in controlling the synaptic efficacy at cortico-striatal synapses and its dysfunction causes pathological repetitive behaviors.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 09 February 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.26.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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    • "Furthermore, previous research indicates antipsychotics act pharmacologically on the glutamate system resulting in molecular as well as physiological consequences and thereby may influence therapeutic outcome [Riva et al., 1997; Tascedda et al., 2001; Goff et al., 2002]. Karlsson and group reported excessive glutamatergic signaling in the prefrontal cortex that promotes presynaptic glutamate modulation mGlu2/3 receptors activation suggesting these receptor may exert antipsychotic efficacy [Karlsson et al., 2008]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Literature indicates key role of glutamatergic pathway genes in antipsychotic response among schizophrenia patients. However, molecular basis of their underlying role in antipsychotic response remained unexplained. Thus, to unravel their molecular underpinnings, we sought to investigate interactions amongst GRM3, SLC1A1, SLC1A2, SLC1A3, SLC1A4 gene polymorphisms with drug response in south Indian schizophrenia patients. We genotyped 48 SNPs from these genes in 423 schizophrenia patients stratified into low and high severity of illness groups. The SNPs and haplotypic combinations of associated SNPs were examined for their association with antipsychotic response. Multifactor-dimensionality-reduction was further used to explore gene-gene interaction among these SNPs and 53 SNPs from previously studied genes (BDNF, RGS4, SLC6A3, PI4KA, and PIP4K2A). Single SNP and haplotype analyses revealed no significant association with drug response irrespective of severity of illness. Gene-gene interaction analyses yielded promising leads, including an observed synergistic effect between PI4KA_rs165854 and GRM3_rs1468412 polymorphisms and incomplete antipsychotic response in schizophrenia patients with low severity of illness (OR = 12.4; 95%CI = 3.69–41.69). Further, this interaction was also observed in atypical monotherapy (n = 355) and risperidone (n = 260) treatment subgroups (OR = 11.21; 95%CI = 3.30–38.12 and OR = 13.5; 95%CI = 3.03–121.61 respectively). PI4KA is known to be involved in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate which regulates exocytotic fusion of synaptic vesicles (glutamate, dopamine) with the plasma membrane and regulates duration of signal transduction of GPCRs. Whereas GRM3 regulates glutamate and dopamine transmission. Present findings indicate that PI4KA and GRM3 polymorphisms have potential to jointly modulate antipsychotic response. These results warrant additional replication studies to shed further light on these interactions.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics
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    • "The selection of haloperidol dosage at 0.25 mg/kg was based on behavioral results on locomotion and exploration (Karlsson et al., 2008; Chatterjee et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Rewarding effects have been related to enhanced dopamine (DA) release in corticolimbic and basal ganglia structures. The DAergic and endocannabinoid interaction in the responses to reward is described. This study investigated the link between endocannabinoid and DAergic transmission in the processes that are related to response to two types of reward, palatable food and novelty. Mice treated with drugs acting on endocannabinoid system (ECS) (URB597, AM251) or DAergic system (haloperidol) were submitted to approach-avoidance conflict tasks with palatable food or novelty. In the same mice, the cannabinoid type-1 (CB1)-mediated GABAergic transmission in medium spiny neurons of the dorsomedial striatum was analyzed. The endocannabinoid potentiation by URB597 magnified approach behavior for reward (food and novelty) and in parallel inhibited dorsostriatal GABAergic neurotransmission. The decreased activity of CB1 receptor by AM251 (alone or with URB597) or of DAergic D2 receptor by haloperidol had inhibitory effects toward the reward and did not permit the inhibition of dorsostriatal GABAergic transmission. When haloperidol was coadministered with URB597, a restoration effect on reward and reward-dependent motor activity was observed, only if the reward was the palatable food. In parallel, the coadministration led to restoring inhibition of CB1-mediated GABAergic transmission. Thus, in the presence of simultaneous ECS activation and inhibition of DAergic system the response to reward appears to be a stimulus-dependent manner.
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