Reversal of hippocampal neuronal maturation by serotonergic antidepressants.
ABSTRACT: Serotonergic antidepressant drugs have been commonly used to treat mood and anxiety disorders, and increasing evidence suggests potential use of these drugs beyond current antidepressant therapeutics. Facilitation of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus has been suggested to be a candidate mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs, but this mechanism may be only one of the broad effects of antidepressants. Here we show a distinct unique action of the serotonergic antidepressant fluoxetine in transforming the phenotype of mature dentate granule cells. Chronic treatments of adult mice with fluoxetine strongly reduced expression of the mature granule cell marker calbindin. The fluoxetine treatment induced active somatic membrane properties resembling immature granule cells and markedly reduced synaptic facilitation that characterizes the mature dentate-to-CA3 signal transmission. These changes cannot be explained simply by an increase in newly generated immature neurons, but best characterized as "dematuration" of mature granule cells. This granule cell dematuration developed along with increases in the efficacy of serotonin in 5-HT(4) receptor-dependent neuromodulation and was attenuated in mice lacking the 5-HT(4) receptor. Our results suggest that serotonergic antidepressants can reverse the established state of neuronal maturation in the adult hippocampus, and up-regulation of 5-HT(4) receptor-mediated signaling may play a critical role in this distinct action of antidepressants. Such reversal of neuronal maturation could affect proper functioning of the mature hippocampal circuit, but may also cause some beneficial effects by reinstating neuronal functions that are lost during development.
Project description:The dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus is one of major targets for antidepressant treatments. Our recent research has revealed that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment causes a long-lasting change in the phenotypes of mature dentate granule neurons to immature state in adult mouse DG. However, it is unknown whether this M-bM-^@M-^\dematurationM-bM-^@M-^] of DG is a common effect of antidepressant treatments and what mechanisms underlie it. Using electroconvulsive stimulation (ECS), a model of highly effective and fast-acting antidepressant therapy, here we show that neural stimulation via ECS induces rapid and lasting dematuration of granule neurons in DG. A single or few times of stimulation transiently reduced mature marker expression and mature synaptic functions. Repetitive stimulation converted this transient dematuration into a stable form lasting more than 1 month. Dematured granule neurons showed higher excitability, and an increase in GABA-mediated inhibition by the benzodiazepine diazepam prevented the lasting maintenance phase of dematuration without affecting the initial induction phase. Our study suggests that dematuration of DG is a common cellular mechanism underlying effects of different types of antidepressant treatments, and demonstrate a novel role for excitation/inhibition balance in bidirectional regulation of the state of neuronal maturation in the adult brain. Mice were decapitated after the 11 times of ECS (or Sham) or 4 weeks treatment of fluoxetine (or vehicle) at a dose of 22 mg/kg. The brains were sliced and the frequency facilitation of mossy fiber synapse was measured in each sample. The samples which exhibited low frequency facilitation were selected to be used as dematured DG (n = 3) and the dentate gyrus was dissected from each sample. Total RNA was extracted by using an RNeasy micro kit (Qiagen) and the samples of the same groups were put together. From each group, 100 ng of total RNA was amplified with 3M-bM-^@M-^YIVT Express kit (Affymetrix, Inc., Santa Clara, CA, USA). All samples were hybridized to the GeneChip mouse genome 430A 2.0 array (Affymetrix, Inc.), and the microarray suite 5.0 of the Affymetrix gene chip operating software was used for the analysis of the GeneChip data.
Project description:The dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus is one of major targets for antidepressant treatments. Our recent research has revealed that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment causes a long-lasting change in the phenotypes of mature dentate granule neurons to immature state in adult mouse DG. However, it is unknown whether this “dematuration” of DG is a common effect of antidepressant treatments and what mechanisms underlie it. Using electroconvulsive stimulation (ECS), a model of highly effective and fast-acting antidepressant therapy, here we show that neural stimulation via ECS induces rapid and lasting dematuration of granule neurons in DG. A single or few times of stimulation transiently reduced mature marker expression and mature synaptic functions. Repetitive stimulation converted this transient dematuration into a stable form lasting more than 1 month. Dematured granule neurons showed higher excitability, and an increase in GABA-mediated inhibition by the benzodiazepine diazepam prevented the lasting maintenance phase of dematuration without affecting the initial induction phase. Our study suggests that dematuration of DG is a common cellular mechanism underlying effects of different types of antidepressant treatments, and demonstrate a novel role for excitation/inhibition balance in bidirectional regulation of the state of neuronal maturation in the adult brain. Mice were decapitated after the 11 times of ECS (or Sham) or 4 weeks treatment of fluoxetine (or vehicle) at a dose of 22 mg/kg. The brains were sliced and the frequency facilitation of mossy fiber synapse was measured in each sample. The samples which exhibited low frequency facilitation were selected to be used as dematured DG (n = 3) and the dentate gyrus was dissected from each sample. Total RNA was extracted by using an RNeasy micro kit (Qiagen) and the samples of the same groups were put together. From each group, 100 ng of total RNA was amplified with 3’IVT Express kit (Affymetrix, Inc., Santa Clara, CA, USA). All samples were hybridized to the GeneChip mouse genome 430A 2.0 array (Affymetrix, Inc.), and the microarray suite 5.0 of the Affymetrix gene chip operating software was used for the analysis of the GeneChip data.
Project description:Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a highly effective and fast-acting treatment for depression. Despite a long history of clinical use, its mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Recently, a novel cellular mechanism of antidepressant action has been proposed: the phenotype of mature brain neurons is transformed to immature-like one by antidepressant drug treatments. We show here that electroconvulsive stimulation (ECS), an animal model of ECT, causes profound changes in maturation-related phenotypes of neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of adult mice. Single ECS immediately reduced expression of mature neuronal markers in almost entire population of dentate granule cells. After ECS treatments, granule cells showed some of physiological properties characteristic of immature granule cells such as higher somatic intrinsic excitability and smaller frequency facilitation at the detate-to-CA3 synapse. The rapid downregulation of maturation markers was suppressed by antagonizing glutamate NMDA receptors, but not by perturbing the serotonergic system. While single ECS caused short-lasting effects, repeated ECS induced stable changes in the maturation-related phenotypes lasting more than 2 weeks along with enhancement of synaptic excitation of granule cells. Augmentation of synaptic inhibition or blockade of NMDA receptors after repeated ECS facilitated regaining the initial mature phenotype, suggesting a role for endogenous neuronal excitation in maintaining the altered maturation-related phenotype probably via NMDA receptor activation. These results suggest that brief neuronal activation by ECS induces "dematuration" of the mature granule cells and that enhanced endogenous excitability is likely to support maintenance of such a demature state. The global increase in neuronal excitability accompanying this process may be relevant to the high efficacy of ECT.
Project description:Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is known to induce structural rearrangements and changes in synaptic transmission in hippocampal circuitry. In the adult hippocampus, structural changes include neurogenesis, dendritic, and axonal plasticity of pyramidal and dentate granule neurons, and dedifferentiation of dentate granule neurons. However, much less is known about how chronic fluoxetine affects these processes along the septotemporal axis and during the aging process. Importantly, studies documenting the effects of fluoxetine on density and distribution of spines along different dendritic segments of dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons along the septotemporal axis of hippocampus in adulthood and during aging are conspicuously absent. Here, we use a transgenic mouse line in which mature dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons are genetically labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) to investigate the effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment (18 mg/kg/day) on input-specific spine remodeling and mossy fiber structural plasticity in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in adulthood and middle age. In addition, we examine levels of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, maturation state of dentate granule neurons, neuronal activity, and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 expression in response to chronic fluoxetine in adulthood and middle age. Our studies reveal that while chronic fluoxetine fails to augment adult hippocampal neurogenesis in middle age, the middle-aged hippocampus retains high sensitivity to changes in the dentate gyrus (DG) such as dematuration, hypoactivation, and increased glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) expression. Interestingly, the middle-aged hippocampus shows greater sensitivity to fluoxetine-induced input-specific synaptic remodeling than the hippocampus in adulthood with the stratum-oriens of CA1 exhibiting heightened structural plasticity. The input-specific changes and circuit-level modifications in middle-age were associated with modest enhancement in contextual fear memory precision, anxiety-like behavior and antidepressant-like behavioral responses.
Project description:Depression is a leading cause of disability. Current pharmacological treatment of depression is insufficient, and development of improved treatments especially for treatment-resistant depression is desired. Understanding the neurobiology of antidepressant actions may lead to development of improved therapeutic approaches. Here, we demonstrate that dopamine D1 receptors in the dentate gyrus act as a pivotal mediator of antidepressant actions in mice. Chronic administration of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine, increases D1 receptor expression in mature granule cells in the dentate gyrus. The increased D1 receptor signaling, in turn, contributes to the actions of chronic fluoxetine treatment, such as suppression of acute stress-evoked serotonin release, stimulation of adult neurogenesis and behavioral improvement. Importantly, under severely stressed conditions, chronic administration of a D1 receptor agonist in conjunction with fluoxetine restores the efficacy of fluoxetine actions on D1 receptor expression and behavioral responses. Thus, our results suggest that stimulation of D1 receptors in the dentate gyrus is a potential adjunctive approach to improve therapeutic efficacy of SSRI antidepressants.
Project description:Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used antidepressants, but the mechanisms by which they influence behavior are only partially resolved. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is necessary for some of the responses to SSRIs, but it is not known whether mature dentate gyrus granule cells (DG GCs) also contribute. We deleted the serotonin 1A receptor (5HT1AR, a receptor required for the SSRI response) specifically from DG GCs and found that the effects of the SSRI fluoxetine on behavior and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were abolished. By contrast, mice lacking 5HT1ARs only in young adult-born GCs (abGCs) showed normal fluoxetine responses. Notably, 5HT1AR-deficient mice engineered to express functional 5HT1ARs only in DG GCs responded to fluoxetine, indicating that 5HT1ARs in DG GCs are sufficient to mediate an antidepressant response. Taken together, these data indicate that both mature DG GCs and young abGCs must be engaged for an antidepressant response.
Project description:Current antidepressants, which inhibit the serotonin transporter (SERT), display limited efficacy and slow onset of action. Here, we show that partial reduction of SERT expression by small interference RNA (SERT-siRNA) decreased immobility in the tail suspension test, displaying an antidepressant potential. Moreover, short-term SERT-siRNA treatment modified mouse brain variables considered to be key markers of antidepressant action: reduced expression and function of 5-HT(1A)-autoreceptors, elevated extracellular serotonin in forebrain and increased neurogenesis and expression of plasticity-related genes (BDNF, VEGF, Arc) in hippocampus. Remarkably, these effects occurred much earlier and were of greater magnitude than those evoked by long-term fluoxetine treatment. These findings highlight the critical role of SERT in serotonergic function and show that the reduction of SERT expression regulates serotonergic neurotransmission more potently than pharmacological blockade of SERT. The use of siRNA-targeting genes in serotonin neurons (SERT, 5-HT(1A)-autoreceptor) may be a novel therapeutic strategy to develop fast-acting antidepressants.
Project description:<b>Aims: </b>The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of fluoxetine in the brain are not fully understood. Emerging evidence has led to the hypothesis that chronic fluoxetine treatment induces dematuration of certain types of mature neurons in rodents. These studies have focused on the properties of typical molecular and/or electrophysiological markers for neuronal maturation. Nevertheless, it remains unknown whether dematuration-related phenomena are present at the genome-wide gene expression level.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>Based on the aforementioned hypothesis, we directly compared transcriptome data between fluoxetine-treated adult mice and those of naive infants in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to assess similarities and/or differences. We further investigated whether fluoxetine treatment caused dematuration in these brain regions in a hypothesis-free manner using a weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA).<br><br><b>Results: </b>Gene expression patterns in fluoxetine-treated mice resembled those in infants in the mPFC and, to a large extent, in the hippocampus. The gene expression patterns of fluoxetine-treated adult mice were more similar to those of approximately 2-week-old infants than those of older mice. WGCNA confirmed that fluoxetine treatment was associated with maturation abnormalities, particularly in the hippocampus, and highlighted respective co-expression modules for maturity and immaturity marker genes in the hippocampus in response to fluoxetine treatment.<br><br><b>Conclusions: </b>Our results strongly support the hypothesis that chronic fluoxetine treatment induces dematuration in the adult mouse brain from a transcriptomic standpoint. Detection of discrete transcriptomic regulatory networks related to fluoxetine treatment may help to further elucidate the mechanisms of antidepressant action.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>5-HT(2A) receptor antagonists improve antidepressant responses when added to 5-HT-selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or tricyclic antidepressants. Here, we have studied the involvement of neuroplasticity pathways and/or the 5-hydroxytryptaminergic system in the antidepressant-like effect of this combined treatment, given subchronically.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor (TrkB), 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation, and ?-catenin protein expression in different cellular fractions, as well as 5-HT(1A) receptor function were measured in the hippocampus of rats treated with fluoxetine, ketanserin and fluoxetine + ketanserin for 7 days, followed by a forced swimming test (FST) to analyse antidepressant efficacy.<h4>Key results</h4>mRNA for BDNF was increased in the CA3 field and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus by combined treatment with fluoxetine + ketanserin. Expression of ?-catenin was increased in total hippocampal homogenate and in the membrane fraction, but unchanged in the nuclear fraction after combined treatment with fluoxetine + ketanserin. These effects were paralleled by a decreased immobility time in the FST. There were no changes in BrdU incorporation, TrkB expression and 5-HT(1A) receptor function in any of the groups studied.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>The antidepressant-like effect induced by subchronic co-treatment with a SSRI and a 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonist may mainly be because of modifications in hippocampal neuroplasticity (BDNF and membrane-associated ?-catenin), without a significant role for other mechanisms involved in chronic antidepressant response, such as hippocampal neuroproliferation or 5-HT(1A) receptor desensitization in the dorsal raphe nucleus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (FLX) is widely used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, but cellular mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effect of FLX remain largely unknown. The generally accepted effect of chronic FLX treatment is increased adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. It was recently demonstrated that FLX treatments can reverse the established neuronal maturation of granule cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus and of gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) interneurons in the basolateral amygdala. However, it is not clear whether this dematuration effect of FLX occurs in other brain regions. Thus, in this study, we used immunohistological analysis to assess the effect of FLX treatment on GABAergic interneurons in the medial frontal cortex (mFC) and reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN). RESULTS: Immunofluorescence analysis for perineuronal nets (PNNs), which is a marker of neuronal maturation, and for parvalbumin, calretinin, and somatostatin, which are markers for specific GABAergic interneuron type, showed lower number of parvalbumin-positive (+) cells and PNN+/parvalbumin+?cells in the mFC of FLX-treated mice compared to vehicle-treated mice. However, FLX treatment had no effect on the number of cells expressing calretinin and somatostatin in the mFC. In the RTN, the number of PNN+?cells and parvalbumin+?cells was unaltered by FLX treatments. Furthermore, the number of total GABA+?cells and apoptotic cells in the mFC was similar between vehicle- and FLX-treated mice, suggesting that FLX treatment did not induce cell death in this region. Rather, our findings suggest that the decreased number of parvalbumin+?cells in the mFC was due to a decreased expression of parvalbumin proteins in the interneurons. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that FLX decreases the levels of parvalbumin, a mature marker of fast-spiking interneurons, and PNNs in parvalbumin+ interneurons in the mFC, suggesting that FLX treatment induces a dematuration of this type of neurons. Induction of a juvenile-like state in fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons in these regions might be involved in the therapeutic mechanism of this antidepressant drug and/or some of its adverse effects.