[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) play a central role in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, and are implicated in various neuronal disorders. We synthesized a diffusible photochromic glutamate analogue, azobenzene-triazole-glutamate (ATG), which is specific for NMDARs and functions as a photoswitchable agonist. ATG is inactive in its dark-adapted trans-isoform, but can be converted into its active cis-isoform using one-photon (near UV) or two-photon (740 nm) excitation. Irradiation with violet light photo-inactivates ATG within milliseconds, allowing agonist removal on the timescale of NMDAR deactivation. ATG is compatible with Ca(2+) imaging and can be used to optically mimic synaptic coincidence detection protocols. Thus, ATG can be used like traditional caged glutamate compounds, but with the added advantages of NMDAR specificity, low antagonism of GABAR-mediated currents, and precise temporal control of agonist delivery.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Nature Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
The proper activity of cortical neurons (the brain cells responsible for memory and consciousness) relies on the precise integration of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. The excitation and inhibition (E/I) ratio has to remain constant both in time and strength to prevent neurological and psychiatric diseases. Fast inhibitory synaptic inputs to cortical pyramidal neurons originate from a rich diversity of GABAergic interneurons that operate a strict division of labor by differentially targeting precise regions of the pyramidal neurons. Here, we show that large pyramidal neurons of neocortical layer 5 can unlock the E/I ratio in response to their own activity. Excitatory activity of pyramidal neurons, in the form of membrane depolarization or trains of action potentials, induces a Ca2+-dependent mobilization of nitric oxide, which diffuses to inhibitory synapses and triggers a persistent enhancement of GABA release. Notably, this potentiation of inhibition is specific for synapses originating from parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons that target mainly the perisomatic region of pyramidal neurons. Long-term potentiation of perisomatic inhibition, in turn, changes the ability of pyramidal neurons to integrate excitatory inputs as well as the temporal properties of their own action potential output. Selective plasticity of perisomatic inhibition can thus play a crucial role in cortical activity, such as sensory processing and integration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Decades after the discovery that ionic zinc is present at high levels in glutamatergic synaptic vesicles, where, when, and how much zinc is released during synaptic activity remains highly controversial. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of zinc dynamics in the synaptic cleft and clarify its role in the regulation of excitatory neurotransmission by combining synaptic recordings from mice deficient for zinc signaling with Monte Carlo simulations. Ambient extracellular zinc levels are too low for tonic occupation of the GluN2A-specific nanomolar zinc sites on NMDA receptors (NMDARs). However, following short trains of physiologically relevant synaptic stimuli, zinc transiently rises in the cleft and selectively inhibits postsynaptic GluN2A-NMDARs, causing changes in synaptic integration and plasticity. Our work establishes the rules of zinc action and reveals that zinc modulation extends beyond hippocampal mossy fibers to excitatory SC-CA1 synapses. By specifically moderating GluN2A-NMDAR signaling, zinc acts as a widespread activity-dependent regulator of neuronal circuits.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels are involved in action potential (AP) repolarization in excitable cells. Exogenous application of membrane-derived lipids, such as arachidonic acid (AA), regulates the gating of Kv channels. Whether membrane-derived lipids released under physiological conditions have an impact on neuronal coding through this mechanism is unknown. We show that AA released in an activity-dependent manner from postsynaptic hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells acts as retrograde messenger, inducing a robust facilitation of mossy fiber (Mf) synaptic transmission over several minutes. AA acts by broadening presynaptic APs through the direct modulation of Kv channels. This form of short-term plasticity can be triggered when postsynaptic cell fires with physiologically relevant patterns and sets the threshold for the induction of the presynaptic form of long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal Mf synapses. Hence, direct modulation of presynaptic Kv channels by activity-dependent release of lipids serves as a physiological mechanism for tuning synaptic transmission.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hippocampal mossy fiber synapses have been reported to lack NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) of AMPA excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), unlike conventional glutamatergic synapses. An explanation for this difference may reside in the relatively low number of NMDARs at these synapses. Because mossy fiber synapses display LTP selective for NMDARs, we examined whether this would affect the plasticity rules at mossy fiber-CA3 synapses in mouse hippocampal slices. We found that LTP of NMDARs serves as a metaplastic switch making mossy fiber synapses competent for generating NMDAR-dependent LTP of AMPA EPSCs.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Nature Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: J. Neurochem. (2011) 117, 100–111.
The blockade of adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR) affords a robust neuroprotection in different noxious brain conditions. However, the mechanisms underlying this general neuroprotection are unknown. One possible mechanism could be the control of neuroinflammation that is associated with brain damage, especially because A2AR efficiently control peripheral inflammation. Thus, we tested if the intracerebroventricular injection of a selective A2AR antagonist (SCH58261) would attenuate the changes in the hippocampus triggered by intraperitoneal administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that induces neuroinflammation through microglia activation. LPS administration triggers an increase in inflammatory mediators like interleukin-1β that causes biochemical changes (p38 and c-jun N-terminal kinase phosphorylation and caspase 3 activation) contributing to neuronal dysfunction typified by decreased long-term potentiation, a form of synaptic plasticity. Long-term potentiation, measured 30 min after the tetanus, was significantly lower in LPS-treated rats compared with control-treated rats, while SCH58261 attenuated the LPS-induced change. The LPS-induced increases in phosphorylation of c-jun N-terminal kinase and p38 and activation of caspase 3 were also prevented by SCH58261. Significantly, SCH58261 also prevented the LPS-induced recruitment of activated microglial cells and the increase in interleukin-1β concentration in the hippocampus, indicating that A2AR activation is a pivotal step in mediating the neuroinflammation triggered by LPS. These results indicate that A2AR antagonists prevent neuroinflammation and support the hypothesis that this mechanism might contribute for the ability of A2AR antagonists to control different neurodegenerative diseases known to involve neuroinflammation.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Journal of Neurochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteins containing PSD-95/Discs-large/ZO-1 homology (PDZ) domains play key roles in the assembly and regulation of cellular signaling pathways and represent putative targets for new pharmacotherapeutics. Here we describe the first small-molecule inhibitor (FSC231) of the PDZ domain in protein interacting with C kinase 1 (PICK1) identified by a screening of approximately 44,000 compounds in a fluorescent polarization assay. The inhibitor bound the PICK1 PDZ domain with an affinity similar to that observed for endogenous peptide ligands (K(i) approximately 10.1 microM). Mutational analysis, together with computational docking of the compound in simulations starting from the PDZ domain structure, identified the binding mode of FSC231. The specificity of FSC231 for the PICK1 PDZ domain was supported by the lack of binding to PDZ domains of postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) and glutamate receptor interacting protein 1 (GRIP1). Pretreatment of cultured hippocampal neurons with FSC231 inhibited coimmunopreciptation of the AMPA receptor GluR2 subunit with PICK1. In agreement with inhibiting the role of PICK1 in GluR2 trafficking, FSC231 accelerated recycling of pHluorin-tagged GluR2 in hippocampal neurons after internalization in response to NMDA receptor activation. FSC231 blocked the expression of both long-term depression and long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 neurons from acute slices, consistent with inhibition of the bidirectional function of PICK1 in synaptic plasticity. Given the proposed role of the PICK1/AMPA receptor interaction in neuropathic pain, excitotoxicity, and cocaine addiction, FSC231 might serve as a lead in the future development of new therapeutics against these conditions.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activity-dependent, bidirectional control of synaptic efficacy is thought to contribute to many forms of experience-dependent plasticity, including learning and memory. Although most excitatory synapses contain both AMPA and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (AMPARs and NMDARs), most studies have focused on the plasticity of synaptic AMPARs, and on the pivotal role of NMDA receptors for its induction. Here we review evidence that synaptic NMDARs themselves are subject to long-term activity-dependent changes by mechanisms that may differ from that of synaptic AMPARs. The bidirectional modulation of NMDAR-mediated synaptic responses is likely to have important functional implications for NMDAR-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · The Journal of Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The function of striatal adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A)Rs) is well recognized because of their high expression levels and the documented antagonistic interaction between A(2A)Rs and dopamine D(2) receptors in the striatum. However, the role of extrastriatal A(2A)Rs in modulating psychomotor activity is largely unexplored because of the low level of expression and lack of tools to distinguish A(2A)Rs in intrinsic striatal versus nonstriatal neurons. Here, we provided direct evidence for the critical role of A(2A)Rs in extrastriatal neurons in modulating psychomotor behavior using newly developed striatum-specific A(2A)R knock-out (st-A(2A)R KO) mice in comparison with forebrain-specific A(2A)R KO (fb-A(2A)R KO) mice. In contrast to fb-A(2A)R KO (deleting A(2A)Rs in the neurons of striatum as well as cerebral cortex and hippocampus), st-A(2A)R KO mice exhibited Cre-mediated selective deletion of the A(2A)R gene, mRNA, and proteins in the neurons (but not astrocytes and microglial cells) of the striatum only. Strikingly, cocaine- and phencyclidine-induced psychomotor activities were enhanced in st-A(2A)R KO but attenuated in fb-A(2A)R KO mice. Furthermore, selective inactivation of the A(2A)Rs in extrastriatal cells by administering the A(2A)R antagonist KW6002 into st-A(2A)R KO mice attenuated cocaine effects, whereas KW6002 administration into wild-type mice enhanced cocaine effects. These results identify a critical role of A(2A)Rs in extrastriatal neurons in providing a prominent excitatory effect on psychomotor activity. These results indicate that A(2A)Rs in striatal and extrastriatal neurons exert an opposing modulation of psychostimulant effects and provide the first direct demonstration of a predominant facilitatory role of extrastriatal A(2A)Rs.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether the motor and neuroprotective effects of adenosine A(2A) receptor (A(2A)R) antagonists are mediated by distinct cell types in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of Parkinson's disease.
We used the forebrain A(2A)R knock-out mice coupled with flow cytometric analyses and intracerebroventricular injection to determine the contribution of A(2A)Rs in forebrain neurons and glial cells to A(2A)R antagonist-mediated motor and neuroprotective effects.
The selective deletion of A(2A)Rs in forebrain neurons abolished the motor stimulant effects of the A(2A)R antagonist KW-6002 but did not affect acute MPTP neurotoxicity. Intracerebroventricular administration of KW-6002 into forebrain A(2A)R knock-out mice reinstated protection against acute MPTP-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity and attenuated MPTP-induced striatal microglial and astroglial activation.
A(2A)R activity in forebrain neurons is critical to the control of motor activity, whereas brain cells other than forebrain neurons (likely glial cells) are important components for protection against acute MPTP toxicity.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2008 · Annals of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physiological conditions under which adenosine A2A receptors modulate synaptic transmission are presently unclear. We show that A2A receptors are localized postsynaptically at synapses between mossy fibers and CA3 pyramidal cells and are essential for a form of long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA-EPSCs induced by short bursts of mossy fiber stimulation. This LTP spares AMPA-EPSCs and is likely induced and expressed postsynaptically. It depends on a postsynaptic Ca2+ rise, on G protein activation, and on Src kinase. In addition to A2A receptors, LTP of NMDA-EPSCs requires the activation of NMDA and mGluR5 receptors as potential sources of Ca2+ increase. LTP of NMDA-EPSCs displays a lower threshold for induction as compared with the conventional presynaptic mossy fiber LTP; however, the two forms of LTP can combine with stronger induction protocols. Thus, postsynaptic A2A receptors may potentially affect information processing in CA3 neuronal networks and memory performance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibitory CB(1) cannabinoid receptors and excitatory TRPV(1) vanilloid receptors are abundant in the hippocampus. We tested if two known hybrid endocannabinoid/endovanilloid substances, N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA) and anandamide (AEA), presynapticaly increased or decreased intracellular calcium level ([Ca(2+)](i)) and GABA and glutamate release in the hippocampus.
Resting and K(+)-evoked levels of [Ca(2+)](i) and the release of [(3)H]GABA and [(3)H]glutamate were measured in rat hippocampal nerve terminals.
NADA and AEA per se triggered a rise of [Ca(2+)](i) and the release of both transmitters in a concentration- and external Ca(2+)-dependent fashion, but independently of TRPV(1), CB(1), CB(2), or dopamine receptors, arachidonate-regulated Ca(2+)-currents, intracellular Ca(2+) stores, and fatty acid metabolism. AEA was recently reported to block TASK-3 potassium channels thereby depolarizing membranes. Common inhibitors of TASK-3, Zn(2+), Ruthenium Red, and low pH mimicked the excitatory effects of AEA and NADA, suggesting that their effects on [Ca(2+)](i) and transmitter levels may be attributable to membrane depolarization upon TASK-3 blockade. The K(+)-evoked Ca(2+) entry and Ca(2+)-dependent transmitter release were inhibited by nanomolar concentrations of the CB(1) receptor agonist WIN55212-2; this action was sensitive to the selective CB(1) receptor antagonist AM251. However, in the low micromolar range, WIN55212-2, NADA and AEA inhibited the K(+)-evoked Ca(2+) entry and transmitter release independently of CB(1) receptors, possibly through direct Ca(2+) channel blockade.
We report here for hybrid endocannabinoid/endovanilloid ligands novel dual functions which were qualitatively similar to activation of CB(1) or TRPV(1) receptors, but were mediated through interactions with different targets.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2007 · British Journal of Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kainate receptors (KARs) are heteromeric ionotropic glutamate receptors that play a variety of functions in the regulation of the activity of synaptic networks. Little is known about the regulation of the function of synaptic KARs in the brain. In the present study, we found that a conditioning activation of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs) induces short-term depression of KAR-EPSCs but not of AMPA receptor-EPSCs at synapses between mossy fibers and CA3 pyramidal cells. Short-term depression of KAR-EPSCs by synaptic NMDARs peaked at 1 s and reversed within 20 s, was likely induced and expressed postsynaptically, and was homosynaptic. It depended on a rise of Ca2+ in the postsynaptic cell and on the activation of the phosphatase calcineurin that likely binds to the GluR6b (glutamate receptor subunit 6b) subunit splice variant allowing the dephosphorylation of KARs and inhibition of activity. Finally, we show in the current-clamp mode that short-term depression of KAR-EPSPs is induced by the coincident discharge of action potentials in the postsynaptic cell together with synaptic stimulation. Hence, this study describes a form of short-term synaptic plasticity that is postsynaptic, depends on the temporal order of presynaptic and postsynaptic spiking, and likely affects the summation properties of mossy fiber EPSPs.
Full-text · Article · May 2007 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cobalt is suspected to cause memory deficit in humans and was reported to induce neurotoxicity in animal models. We have studied the effects of cobalt in primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. CoCl(2) (0.2-0.8mM) caused dose-dependent ATP depletion, apoptosis (cell shrinkage, phosphatidylserine externalization and chromatin rearrangements) and secondary necrosis. The mitochondria appeared to be a main target of cobalt toxicity, as shown by the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)) and release from the mitochondria of apoptogenic factors, e.g. apoptosis inducing factor (AIF). Pre-treatment with bongkrekic acid reduced ATP depletion, implicating the involvement of the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) pore. Cobalt increased the generation of oxygen radicals, but antioxidants did not prevent toxicity. There was also an impaired response to ATP stimulation, evaluated as a lower raise in intracellular calcium. Similarly to hypoxia and dymethyloxallyl glycine (DMOG), cobalt triggered stabilization of the alpha-subunit of hypoxia-inducible factor HIF-1 (HIF-1alpha). This early event was followed by an increased expression of HIF-1 regulated genes, e.g. stress protein HO-1, pro-apoptotic factor Nip3 and iNOS. Although all of the three stimuli activated the HIF-1alpha pathway and decreased ATP levels, the downstream effects were different. DMOG only inhibited cell proliferation, whereas the other two conditions caused cell death by apoptosis and necrosis. This points to cobalt and hypoxia not only inducing HIF-1alpha regulated genes but also affecting similarly other cellular functions, including metabolism.
No preview · Article · Apr 2007 · Biochemical Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of A1 adenosine receptors is important for both the neuromodulatory and neuroprotective effects of adenosine. However, short periods of global ischemia decrease A1 adenosine receptor density in the brain and it is not known if a parallel loss of functional efficiency of A1 adenosine receptors occurs. We now tested if hypoxia leads to changes in the density and efficiency of A1 adenosine receptors to inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal slices. In control conditions, the adenosine analog 2-chloroadenosine, inhibited field excitatory post-synaptic potentials with an EC50 of 0.23 microM. After hypoxia (95% N2 and 5% CO2, for 60 min) and reoxygenation (30 min), the EC50 increased to 0.73 microM. This EC50 shift was prevented by the presence of the A1 adenosine receptor antagonist 8-phenyltheophyline, but not by the A(2A)R antagonist 7-(2-phenylethyl)-5-amino-2-(2-furyl)-pyrazolo-[4,3-e]-1,2,4-triazolo[1,5-c] pyrimidine, during the hypoxic period. This decreased efficiency of A1 adenosine receptors was not paralleled by a global change of A1 adenosine receptor density or affinity (as evaluated by the binding parameters obtained in nerve terminal membranes). However, the density of biotinylated A1 adenosine receptors at the plasma membrane of nerve terminals was reduced by 30% upon hypoxia/reoxygenation, in a manner prevented by the A1 adenosine receptor antagonist 1,3-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine and mimicked by prolonged (60 min) supra-maximal activation of A1 adenosine receptors with 2-chloroadenosine (10 microM). These results indicate that hypoxia leads to a rapid (<90 min) homologous desensitization of A1 adenosine receptor-mediated inhibition of synaptic transmission that is likely due to an internalization of A1 adenosine receptors in nerve terminals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence indicates that blockade of cannabinoid receptors increases acetylcholine (ACh) release in brain cortical regions. Although it is assumed that this type of effect is mediated through CB1 receptor (CB1R) antagonism, several in vitro functional studies recently have suggested non-CB1R involvement. In addition, neither the precise neuroanatomical site nor the exact mechanisms underlying this effect are known. We thoroughly examined these issues using a combination of systemic and local administration of CB1R antagonists, different methods of in vivo microdialysis, CB1R knockout (KO) mice, tissue measurements of ACh, and immunochemistry. First, we showed that systemic injections of the CB1R antagonists N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboximide hydrochloride (SR-141716A) and N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (AM251) dose-dependently increased hippocampal ACh efflux. Likewise, local hippocampal, but not septal, infusions of SR141716A or AM251 increased hippocampal ACh release. It is noteworthy that the stimulatory effects of systemically administered CB1R antagonists on hippocampal ACh release were completely abolished in CB1R KO mice. CB1R KO mice had similar basal but higher stress-enhanced hippocampal ACh levels compared with wild-type controls. It is interesting that dopamine D1 receptor antagonism counteracted the stimulatory effect of CB1R blockade on hippocampal ACh levels. Finally, immunohistochemical methods revealed that a high proportion of CB1R-positive nerve terminals were found in hippocampus and confirmed the colocalization of CB1 receptors with cholinergic and dopaminergic nerve terminals. In conclusion, hippocampal ACh release may specifically be controlled through CB1Rs located on both cholinergic and dopaminergic neuronal projections, and CB1R antagonism increases hippocampal ACh release, probably through both a direct disinhibition of ACh release and an indirect increase in dopaminergic neurotransmission at the D1 receptors.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2006 · Molecular Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates glutamatergic excitatory transmission in hippocampal primary cultures by acting at a presynaptic locus. Although it has been suggested that BDNF also modulates adult hippocampus glutamatergic transmission, this remains a matter of controversy. To clarify a putative role for this neurotrophin in the modulation of glutamate release we applied exogenous BDNF to isolated adult rat hippocampal nerve terminals. BDNF, at 100 ng/ml, potentiated by 25% the K(+)-evoked release of [(3)H]glutamate from hippocampal synaptosomes. The small effect of BDNF on [(3)H]glutamate release correlated with a modest increase in phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma) phosphorylation, and with the lack of effect of BDNF on extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt phosphorylation. Immunocytochemistry studies demonstrated that only about one-third of glutamatergic synaptosomes were positive for TrkB immunoreactivity. Furthermore, biotinylation and subsynaptic fractionation studies showed that only one-fourth of total full-length TrkB was present at the plasma membrane, evenly distributed between the presynaptic active zone and the postsynaptic density. These results indicate that BDNF modulates synaptic transmission presynaptically in a small subset of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses that contain TrkB and that express the receptor on the plasma membrane.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2006 · Journal of Neuroscience Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The functional role of heteromers of G-protein-coupled receptors is a matter of debate. In the present study, we demonstrate that heteromerization of adenosine A1 receptors (A1Rs) and A2A receptors (A2ARs) allows adenosine to exert a fine-tuning modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission. By means of coimmunoprecipitation, bioluminescence and time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer techniques, we showed the existence of A1R-A2AR heteromers in the cell surface of cotransfected cells. Immunogold detection and coimmunoprecipitation experiments indicated that A1R and A2AR are colocalized in the same striatal glutamatergic nerve terminals. Radioligand-binding experiments in cotransfected cells and rat striatum showed that a main biochemical characteristic of the A1R-A2AR heteromer is the ability of A2AR activation to reduce the affinity of the A1R for agonists. This provides a switch mechanism by which low and high concentrations of adenosine inhibit and stimulate, respectively, glutamate release. Furthermore, it is also shown that A1R-A2AR heteromers constitute a unique target for caffeine and that chronic caffeine treatment leads to modifications in the function of the A1R-A2AR heteromer that could underlie the strong tolerance to the psychomotor effects of caffeine.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2006 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience