Ischemic insult to cerebellar Purkinje cells causes diminished GABAA receptor function and allopregnanolone neuroprotection is associated with GABAA receptor stabilization.
ABSTRACT: Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PC) are particularly vulnerable to ischemic injury and excitotoxicity, although the molecular basis of this sensitivity remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that ischemia causes rapid down-regulation of GABA(A) receptors in cerebellar PC, thereby increasing susceptibility to excitotoxicity. Oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) caused a decline in functional GABA(A) receptors, within the first hour of re-oxygenation. Decreased amplitude of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic potentials confirmed that OGD caused a significant decrease in functional synaptic GABA(A) receptors and quantitative Western blot analysis demonstrated the loss of GABA(A) receptor current was associated with a decline in total receptor protein. Interestingly, the potent neuroprotectant allopregnanolone (ALLO) prevented the decline in GABA(A) receptor current and protein. Consistent with our in vitro data, global ischemia in mice caused a significant decline in total cerebellar GABA(A) receptor protein and PC specific immunoreactivity. Moreover, ALLO provided strong protection of PC and prevented ischemia-induced decline in GABA(A) receptor protein. Our findings indicate that ischemia causes a rapid and sustained loss of GABA(A) receptors in PC, whereas ALLO prevents the decline in GABA(A) receptors and protects against ischemia-induced damage. Thus, interventions which prevent ischemia-induced decline in GABA(A) receptors may represent a novel neuroprotective strategy.
Project description:Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) are particularly sensitive to cerebral ischemia, and decreased GABA(A) receptor function following injury is thought to contribute to PC sensitivity to ischemia-induced excitotoxicity. Here we examined the functional properties of the GABA(A) receptors that are spared following ischemia in cultured Purkinje cells from rat and in vivo ischemia in mouse. Using subunit-specific positive modulators of GABA(A) receptors, we observed that oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) and cardiac arrest-induced cerebral ischemia cause a decrease in sensitivity to the β(2/3) -subunit-preferring compound, etomidate. However, sensitivity to propofol, a β-subunit-acting compound that modulates β(1-3) -subunits, was not affected by OGD. The α/γ-subunit-acting compounds, diazepam and zolpidem, were also unaffected by OGD. We performed single-cell reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on isolated PCs from acutely dissociated cerebellar tissue and observed that PCs expressed the β(1) -subunit, contrary to previous reports examining GABA(A) receptor subunit expression in PCs. GABA(A) receptor β(1) -subunit protein was also detected in cultured PCs by western blot and by immunohistochemistry in the adult mouse cerebellum and levels remained unaffected by ischemia. High concentrations of loreclezole (30 μm) inhibited PC GABA-mediated currents, as previously demonstrated with β(1) -subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors expressed in heterologous systems. From our data we conclude that PCs express the β(1) -subunit and that there is a greater contribution of β(1) -subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors following OGD.
Project description:Allopregnanolone (ALLO) is a neurosteroid that has many functions in the brain, most notably neuroprotection and modulation of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) neurotransmission. Using a mouse model of cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, we have previously demonstrated that ALLO protects cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) from ischemia in a GABA(A) receptor-dependent manner. In this study we examined the effect of sex on ALLO neuroprotection, observing that low dose ALLO (2 mg/kg) provided greater neuroprotection in females compared to males. At a higher dose of ALLO (8 mg/kg), both sexes were significantly protected from ischemic damage. Using an acute cerebellar slice preparation, whole cell voltage clamp recordings were made from PCs. Spontaneous inhibitory post synaptic currents (IPSCs) were analyzed and the response to physiological ALLO (10 nM) was significantly greater in female PCs compared to male. In contrast, recordings of miniature IPSCs, did not exhibit a sex difference in response to ALLO, suggesting that ALLO affects males and females differentially through a mechanism other than binding postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors. We conclude that the female brain has greater sensitivity to ALLO mediated potentiation of GABAergic neurotransmission, contributing to increased neuroprotection.
Project description:Ataxia represents a pathological coordination failure that often involves functional disturbances in cerebellar circuits. Purkinje cells (PCs) characterize the only output neurons of the cerebellar cortex and critically participate in regulating motor coordination. Although different genetic mutations are known that cause ataxia, little is known about the underlying cellular mechanisms. Here we show that a mutated ax(J) gene locus, encoding the ubiquitin-specific protease 14 (Usp14), negatively influences synaptic receptor turnover. Ax(J) mouse mutants, characterized by cerebellar ataxia, display both increased GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) levels at PC surface membranes accompanied by enlarged IPSCs. Accordingly, we identify physical interaction of Usp14 and the GABA(A)R alpha1 subunit. Although other currently unknown changes might be involved, our data show that ubiquitin-dependent GABA(A)R turnover at cerebellar synapses contributes to ax(J)-mediated behavioural impairment.
Project description:Brain ischemia causes oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in neurons, triggering a cascade of events leading to synaptic accumulation of glutamate. Excessive activation of glutamate receptors causes excitotoxicity and delayed cell death in vulnerable neurons. Following global cerebral ischemia, hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons are more vulnerable to injury than their cortical counterparts, but the mechanisms that underlie this difference are unclear. Signaling via Rho-family small GTPases, their upstream guanine nucleotide exchange factors, and GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) is differentially dysregulated in response to OGD/ischemia in hippocampal and cortical neurons. Increased Rac1 activity caused by OGD/ischemia contributes to neuronal death in hippocampal neurons via diverse effects on NADPH oxidase activity and dendritic spine morphology. The Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor Tiam1 mediates an OGD-induced increase in Rac1 activity in hippocampal neurons; however, the identity of an antagonistic GAP remains elusive. Here we show that the Rac1 GAP breakpoint cluster region (BCR) associates with NMDA receptors (NMDARs) along with Tiam1 and that this protein complex is more abundant in hippocampal compared with cortical neurons. Although total BCR is similar in the two neuronal types, BCR is more active in hippocampal compared with cortical neurons. OGD causes an NMDAR- and Ca2+-permeable AMPAR-dependent deactivation of BCR in hippocampal but not cortical neurons. BCR knockdown occludes OGD-induced Rac1 activation in hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, disrupting the Tiam1-NMDAR interaction with a fragment of Tiam1 blocks OGD-induced Tiam1 activation but has no effect on the deactivation of BCR. This work identifies BCR as a critical player in Rac1 regulation during OGD in hippocampal neurons.
Project description:GABA(B) receptors are heterodimeric G protein-coupled receptors composed of R1 and R2 subunits that mediate slow synaptic inhibition in the brain by activating inwardly rectifying K(+) channels (GIRKs) and inhibiting Ca(2+) channels. We demonstrate here that GABA(B) receptors are intimately associated with 5'AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK acts as a metabolic sensor that is potently activated by increases in 5'AMP concentration that are caused by enhanced metabolic activity, anoxia, or ischemia. AMPK binds the R1 subunit and directly phosphorylates S783 in the R2 subunit to enhance GABA(B) receptor activation of GIRKs. Phosphorylation of S783 is evident in many brain regions, and is increased dramatically after ischemic injury. Finally, we also reveal that S783 plays a critical role in enhancing neuronal survival after ischemia. Together our results provide evidence of a neuroprotective mechanism, which, under conditions of metabolic stress or after ischemia, increases GABA(B) receptor function to reduce excitotoxicity and thereby promotes neuronal survival.
Project description:N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), a major subtype of glutamate receptor mediating excitatory transmission throughout the CNS, participate in ischemia-induced neuronal death. Unfortunately, undesired side effects have limited the strategy of inhibiting/blocking NMDARs as therapy. Targeting endogenous positive allosteric modulators of NMDAR function may offer a strategy with fewer downsides. Here, we explored whether 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24S-HC), an endogenous positive NMDAR modulator characterized recently by our group, participates in NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity following oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in primary neuron cultures. 24S-HC is the major brain cholesterol metabolite produced exclusively in neurons near sites of glutamate transmission. By selectively potentiating NMDAR current, 24S-HC may participate in NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity following energy failure, thus impacting recovery after stroke. In support of this hypothesis, our findings indicate that exogenous application of 24S-HC exacerbates NMDAR-dependent excitotoxicity in primary neuron culture following OGD, an ischemic-like challenge. Similarly, enhancement of endogenous 24S-HC synthesis reduced survival rate. On the other hand, reducing endogenous 24S-HC synthesis alleviated OGD-induced cell death. We found that 25-HC, another oxysterol that antagonizes 24S-HC potentiation, partially rescued OGD-mediated cell death in the presence or absence of exogenous 24S-HC application, and 25-HC exhibited NMDAR-dependent/24S-HC-dependent neuroprotection, as well as NMDAR-independent neuroprotection in rat tissue but not mouse tissue. Our findings suggest that both endogenous and exogenous 24S-HC exacerbate OGD-induced damage via NMDAR activation, while 25-HC exhibits species dependent neuroprotection through both NMDAR-dependent and independent mechanisms.
Project description:GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) exist as different subtype variants showing unique functional properties and defined spatio-temporal expression pattern. The molecular mechanisms underlying the developmental expression of different GABA(A)R are largely unknown. The intracellular concentration of chloride ([Cl(-)](i)), the main ion permeating through GABA(A)Rs, also undergoes considerable changes during maturation, being higher at early neuronal stages with respect to adult neurons. Here we investigate the possibility that [Cl(-)](i) could modulate the sequential expression of specific GABA(A)Rs subtypes in primary cerebellar neurons. We show that [Cl(-)](i) regulates the expression of α3-1 and δ-containing GABA(A) receptors, responsible for phasic and tonic inhibition, respectively. Our findings highlight the role of [Cl(-)](i) in tuning the strength of GABAergic responses by acting as an intracellular messenger.
Project description:High-affinity extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) are a prominent feature of cerebellar granule neurons and thalamic relay neurons. In both cell types, the presence of synaptic glomeruli would be expected to promote activation of these GABA(A)Rs, contributing to phasic spillover-mediated currents and tonic inhibition. However, the precise role of different receptor subtypes in these two phenomena is unclear. To address this question, we made recordings from neurons in acute brain slices from mice, and from tsA201 cells expressing recombinant GABA(A)Rs. We found that ? subunit-containing GABA(A)Rs of both cerebellar granule neurons and thalamic relay neurons of the lateral geniculate nucleus contributed to tonic conductance caused by ambient GABA but not to spillover-mediated currents. In the presence of a low "ambient" GABA concentration, recombinant "extrasynaptic" ? subunit-containing GABA(A)Rs exhibited profound desensitization, rendering them insensitive to brief synaptic- or spillover-like GABA transients. Together, our results demonstrate that phasic spillover and tonic inhibition reflect the activation of distinct receptor populations.
Project description:Allopregnanolone (ALLO), is a brain endogenous neurosteroid that binds with high affinity to gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptors and positively modulates the action of GABA at these receptors. Unlike ALLO, 5alpha-dihydroprogesterone (5alpha-DHP) binds with high affinity to intracellular progesterone receptors that regulate DNA transcription. To investigate the physiological roles of ALLO and 5alpha-DHP synthesized in brain, we have adopted a mouse model involving protracted social isolation. In the frontal cortex of mice, socially isolated for 6 weeks, both neurosteroids were decreased by approximately 50%. After administration of (17beta)-17-(bis-1-methyl amino carbonyl) androstane-3,5-diene-3-carboxylic acid (SKF105,111), an inhibitor of the enzyme (5alpha-reductase Type I and II) that converts progesterone into 5alpha-DHP, the ALLO and 5alpha-DHP content of frontal cortex of both group-housed and socially isolated mice decreased exponentially to 10%-20% of control values in about 30 min. The fractional rate constants (k h(-1)) of ALLO and 5alpha-DHP decline multiplied by the ALLO and 5alpha-DHP concentrations at any given steady-state estimate the rate of synthesis required to maintain that steady state. After 6 weeks of social isolation, ALLO and 5alpha-DHP biosynthesis rates were decreased to 30% of the values calculated in group-housed mice. Moreover, in socially isolated mice, the expression of 5alpha-reductase Type I mRNA and protein was approximately 50% lower than in group-housed mice whereas 3alpha-hydroxysteroid oxidoreductase mRNA expression was equal in the two groups. Protracted social isolation in mice may provide a model to investigate whether 5alpha-DHP by a genomic action, and ALLO by a nongenomic mechanism down-regulate the action of drugs acting as agonists, partial agonists, or positive allosteric modulators of the benzodiazepine recognition sites expressed by GABA(A) receptors.
Project description:Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1) disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by neuronal lipid storage and progressive Purkinje cell loss in the cerebellum. We investigated whether therapeutic approaches to bypass the cholesterol trafficking defect in NPC1 disease might delay disease progression in the npc1(-/-) mouse model. We show that the neurosteroid allopregnanolone (ALLO) and T0901317, a synthetic oxysterol ligand, act in concert to delay onset of neurological symptoms and prolong the lifespan of npc1(-/-) mice. ALLO and T0901317 therapy preserved Purkinje cells, suppressed cerebellar expression of microglial-associated genes and inflammatory mediators, and reduced infiltration of activated microglia in the cerebellar tissue. To establish whether the mechanism of neuroprotection in npc1(-/-) mice involves GABA(A) receptor activation, we compared treatment of natural ALLO and ent-ALLO, a stereoisomer that has identical physical properties of natural ALLO but is not a GABA(A) receptor agonist. ent-ALLO provided identical functional and survival benefits as natural ALLO in npc1(-/-) mice, strongly supporting a GABA(A) receptor-independent mechanism for ALLO action. On the other hand, the efficacy of ALLO, ent-ALLO, and T0901317 therapy correlated with the ability of these compounds to activate pregnane X receptor-dependent pathways in vivo. These findings suggest that treatment with pregnane X receptor ligands may be useful clinically in delaying the progressive neurodegeneration in human NPC disease.