Expression of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit mRNAs in rat hippocampal GABAergic interneurons.
ABSTRACT: Hippocampal inhibitory interneurons are a diverse population of cells widely scattered in the hippocampus, where they regulate hippocampal circuit activity. The hippocampus receives cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain, and functional studies have suggested the presence of different subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons. Single-cell polymerase chain reaction analysis had confirmed that several nAChR subunit mRNAs are co-expressed with glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67), the marker for GABAergic interneurons. In this anatomical study, we systematically investigated the co-expression of GAD67 with different nAChR subunits by using double in situ hybridization with a digoxigenin-labeled GAD67 probe and (35)S-labeled probes for nAChR subunits (alpha2, alpha3, alpha4, alpha5, alpha6, alpha7, beta2, beta3, and beta4). The results revealed that most GAD67-positive interneurons expressed beta2, and 67 % also expressed alpha7 mRNA. In contrast, mRNA expression of other subunits was limited; only 13 % of GAD67-positive neurons co-expressed alpha4, and less than 10% expressed transcripts for alpha2, alpha3, alpha5, or beta4. Most GAD67/alpha2 co-expression was located in CA1/CA3 stratum oriens, and GAD67/alpha5 co-expression was predominantly detected in CA1/CA3 stratum radiatum/lacunosum moleculare and the dentate gyrus. Expression of alpha6 and beta3 mRNAs was rarely detected in the hippocampus, and mRNAs were not co-expressed with GAD67. These findings suggest that the majority of nicotinic responses in GABAergic interneurons should be mediated by a homomeric alpha7 or heteromeric alpha7*-containing nAChRs. Other possible combinations such as alpha2beta2*, alpha4beta2*, or alpha5beta2* heteromeric nAChRs could contribute to functional nicotinic response in subsets of GABAergic interneurons but overall would have a minor role.
Project description:Alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha7-nAChR) form Ca(2+)-permeable homopentameric channels modulating cortical network activity and cognitive processing. They are located pre- and postsynaptically and are highly abundant in hippocampal GABAergic interneurons. It is unclear how alpha7-nAChRs are positioned in specific membrane microdomains, particularly in cultured neurons which are devoid of cholinergic synapses. To address this issue, we monitored by single particle tracking the lateral mobility of individual alpha7-nAChRs labeled with alpha-bungarotoxin linked to quantum dots in live rat cultured hippocampal interneurons. Quantitative analysis revealed different modes of lateral diffusion of alpha7-nAChR dependent on their subcellular localization. Confined receptors were found in the immediate vicinity of glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic densities, as well as in extrasynaptic clusters of alpha-bungarotoxin labeling on dendrites. alpha7-nAChRs avoided entering postsynaptic densities, but exhibited reduced mobility and long dwell times at perisynaptic locations, indicative of regulated confinement. Their diffusion coefficient was lower, on average, at glutamatergic than at GABAergic perisynaptic sites, suggesting differential, synapse-specific tethering mechanisms. Disruption of the cytoskeleton affected alpha7-nAChR mobility and cell surface expression, but not their ability to form clusters. Finally, using tetrodotoxin to silence network activity, as well as exposure to a selective alpha7-nAChR agonist or antagonist, we observed that alpha7-nAChRs cell surface dynamics is modulated by chronic changes in neuronal activity. Altogether, given their high Ca(2+)-permeability, our results suggest a possible role of alpha7-nAChR on interneurons for activating Ca(2+)-dependent signaling in the vicinity of GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists stimulate the release of GABA from GABAergic nerve terminals, but the nAChR subtypes that mediate this effect have not been elucidated. The studies reported here used synaptosomes derived from the cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and thalamus of wild-type and alpha4-, alpha5-, alpha7-, beta2-, and beta4-null mutant mice to identify nAChR subtypes involved in acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked GABA release. Null mutation of genes encoding the alpha4 or beta2 subunits resulted in complete loss of ACh-stimulated [(3)H]GABA release in all four brain regions. In contrast, alpha5 gene deletion exerted a small but significant decrease in maximal ACh-evoked [(3)H]GABA release in hippocampus and striatum, with a more profound effect in cortex. Acetylcholine-stimulated [(3)H]GABA release from thalamic synaptosomes was not significantly affected by alpha5 gene deletion. No effect was detected in the four brain regions examined in alpha7- or beta4-null mutant mice. Further analysis of ACh-evoked [(3)H]GABA release revealed biphasic concentration-response relationships in the four brain regions examined from all wild-type animals and in alpha5 null mutant mice. Moreover, a selective reduction in the maximum response of the high-affinity component was apparent in alpha5-null mutant mice. The results demonstrate that alpha4beta2-type nAChRs are critical for ACh-stimulated [(3)H]GABA release from all four brain regions examined. In addition, the results suggest that alpha5-containing receptors on GABAergic nerve terminals comprise a fraction of the high ACh-sensitivity component of the concentration-response curve and contribute directly to the ability of nicotinic agonists to evoke GABA release in these regions.
Project description:It is known that cigarette smoke inhalation causes airway irritation and cough, and the effect is caused by both direct and indirect stimulatory effects of nicotine on bronchopulmonary sensory nerves. However, little is known about the expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in these afferents. In the present study, whole-cell patch-clamp recording and RT-PCR were carried out to examine the expression and function of nAChRs in isolated rat vagal pulmonary sensory neurons that were identified by retrograde labeling with a fluorescent tracer. Patch-clamp recordings demonstrated that application of acetylcholine concentration-dependently evoked an inward current in a subset of pulmonary sensory neurons, which was inhibited by hexamethonium. Application of nicotine or 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium (DMPP) also activated these neurons, evoking an inward current in voltage-clamp configuration and causing depolarization and action potential in current-clamp recordings. RT-PCR analysis further demonstrated the expression of mRNA encoding for the nAChR subunits alpha4, alpha5, alpha6, alpha7, beta2, beta3 and beta4, but not alpha2 and alpha3 in these neurons.
Project description:Recent studies suggest that the neuronal nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) present in the habenulo-interpeduncular (Hb-IPn) system can modulate the reinforcing effect of addictive drugs and the anxiolytic effect of nicotine. Hb and IPn neurons express mRNAs for most nAChR subunits, thus making it difficult to establish the subunit composition of functional receptors. We used immunoprecipitation and immunopurification studies performed in rat and wild-type (+/+) and beta2 knock-out (-/-) mice to establish that the Hb and IPn contain significant beta2* and beta4* populations of nAChR receptors (each of which is heterogeneous). The beta4* nAChR are more highly expressed in the IPn. We also identified novel native subtypes (alpha2beta2*, alpha4beta3beta2*, alpha3beta3beta4*, alpha6beta3beta4*). Our studies on IPn synaptosomes obtained from +/+ and alpha2, alpha4, alpha5, alpha6, alpha7, beta2, beta3, and beta4(-/-) mice show that only the alpha3beta4 and alpha3beta3beta4 subtypes facilitate acetylcholine (ACh) release. Ligand binding, immunoprecipitation, and Western blotting studies in beta3(-/-) mice showed that, in the IPn of these mice, there is a concomitant reduction of ACh release and alpha3beta4* receptors, whereas the receptor number remains the same in the Hb. We suggest that, in habenular cholinergic neurons, the beta3 subunit may be important for transporting the alpha3beta4* subtype from the medial habenula to the IPn. Overall, these studies highlight the presence of a wealth of uncommon nAChR subtypes in the Hb-IPn system and identify alpha3beta4 and alpha3beta3beta4, transported from the Hb and highly enriched in the IPn, as the subtypes modulating ACh release in the IPn.
Project description:Postmortem prefrontal cortices (PFC) (Brodmann's areas 10 and 46), temporal cortices (Brodmann's area 22), hippocampi, caudate nuclei, and cerebella of schizophrenia patients and their matched nonpsychiatric subjects were compared for reelin (RELN) mRNA and reelin (RELN) protein content. In all of the brain areas studied, RELN and its mRNA were significantly reduced (approximately 50%) in patients with schizophrenia; this decrease was similar in patients affected by undifferentiated or paranoid schizophrenia. To exclude possible artifacts caused by postmortem mRNA degradation, we measured the mRNAs in the same PFC extracts from gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptors alpha1 and alpha5 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunits. Whereas the expression of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit was normal, that of the alpha1 and alpha5 receptor subunits of GABAA was increased when schizophrenia was present. RELN mRNA was preferentially expressed in GABAergic interneurons of PFC, temporal cortex, hippocampus, and glutamatergic granule cells of cerebellum. A protein putatively functioning as an intracellular target for the signal-transduction cascade triggered by RELN protein released into the extracellular matrix is termed mouse disabled-1 (DAB1) and is expressed at comparable levels in the neuroplasm of the PFC and hippocampal pyramidal neurons, cerebellar Purkinje neurons of schizophrenia patients, and nonpsychiatric subjects; these three types of neurons do not express RELN protein. In the same samples of temporal cortex, we found a decrease in RELN protein of approximately 50% but no changes in DAB1 protein expression. We also observed a large (up to 70%) decrease of GAD67 but only a small decrease of GAD65 protein content. These findings are interpreted within a neurodevelopmental/vulnerability "two-hit" model for the etiology of schizophrenia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The 26S proteasome is the proteolytic machinery of the ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic system responsible for most of the regulated intracellular protein degradation in eukaryotic cells. Previously, we demonstrated meiotic cell cycle dependent phosphorylation of alpha4 subunit of the 26S proteasome. In this study, we analyzed the changes in the spotting pattern separated by 2-D gel electrophoresis of alpha subunits during Xenopus oocyte maturation. RESULTS: We identified cDNA for three alpha-type subunits (alpha1, alpha5 and alpha6) of Xenopus, then prepared antibodies specific for five subunits (alpha1, alpha3, alpha5, alpha6, and alpha7). With these antibodies and previously described monoclonal antibodies for subunits alpha2 and alpha4, modifications to all alpha-type subunits of the 26S proteasome during Xenopus meiotic maturation were examined by 2D-PAGE. More than one spot for all subunits except alpha7 was identified. Immunoblot analysis of 26S proteasomes purified from immature and mature oocytes showed a difference in the blots of alpha2 and alpha4, with an additional spot detected in the 26S proteasome from immature oocytes (in G2-phase). CONCLUSIONS: Six of alpha-type subunits of the Xenopus 26S proteasome are modified in Xenopus immature oocytes and two subunits (alpha2 and alpha4) are modified meiotic cell cycle-dependently.
Project description:Dysfunction of cortical parvalbumin (PV)-containing GABAergic interneurons has been implicated in cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. In humans microdeletion of the CHRNA7 (?7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, nAChR) gene is associated with cortical dysfunction in a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia while in mice similar deletion causes analogous abnormalities including impaired attention, working-memory and learning. However, the pathophysiological roles of ?7 nAChRs in cortical PV GABAergic development remain largely uncharacterized. In both in vivo and in vitro models, we identify here that deletion of the ?7 nAChR gene in mice impairs cortical PV GABAergic development and recapitulates many of the characteristic neurochemical deficits in PV-positive GABAergic interneurons found in schizophrenia. ?7 nAChR null mice had decreased cortical levels of GABAergic markers including PV, glutamic acid decarboxylase 65/67 (GAD65/67) and the ?1 subunit of GABAA receptors, particularly reductions of PV and GAD67 levels in cortical PV-positive interneurons during late postnatal life and adulthood. Cortical GABAergic synaptic deficits were identified in the prefrontal cortex of ?7 nAChR null mice and ?7 nAChR null cortical cultures. Similar disruptions in development of PV-positive GABAergic interneurons and perisomatic synapses were found in cortical cultures lacking ?7 nAChRs. Moreover, NMDA receptor expression was reduced in GABAergic interneurons, implicating NMDA receptor hypofunction in GABAergic deficits in ?7 nAChR null mice. Our findings thus demonstrate impaired cortical PV GABAergic development and multiple characteristic neurochemical deficits reminiscent of schizophrenia in cortical PV-positive interneurons in ?7 nAChR gene deletion models. This implicates crucial roles of ?7 nAChRs in cortical PV GABAergic development and dysfunction in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
Project description:Homopentameric alpha7 nicotinic receptors have a high affinity for acetylcholine (ACh), are permeable to Ca2+ ions, and are abundant in hippocampal interneurons. Although nicotinic agonists evoke inward currents and Ca2+ transients in stratum radiatum interneurons, the role of endogenous ACh in modulating synaptic integration by interneurons is incompletely understood. Many cholinergic axonal varicosities do not have postsynaptic specializations, but alpha7 receptors frequently occur close to synaptic GABA(A) receptors. These observations raise the possibility that alpha7 nicotinic receptors activated by ACh released from cholinergic axons modulate GABAergic transmission in interneurons. We show that agonists of alpha7 receptors profoundly depress GABAergic IPSCs recorded in stratum radiatum interneurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. This depression is accompanied by a small increase in GABA release. Alpha7 nicotinic receptor agonists also depress GABA- or muscimol-evoked currents in interneurons, indicating that the major effect is a postsynaptic modulation of GABA(A) receptors. The depression of GABA-evoked currents is abolished by chelating Ca2+ in the recorded interneuron and attenuated by inhibitors of PKC. We also show that stimuli designed to release endogenous ACh from cholinergic axons evoke an alpha7 receptor-dependent heterosynaptic depression of GABAergic IPSCs in interneurons. This heterosynaptic modulation is amplified by blocking cholinesterases. These results reveal a novel mechanism by which cholinergic neurons modulate information processing in the hippocampus.
Project description:The olivocochlear efferent system is both cholinergic and GABAergic and innervates sensory cells and sensory neurons of the inner ear. Cholinergic effects on cochlear sensory cells are well characterized, both in vivo and in vitro; however, the robust GABAergic innervation is poorly understood. To explore the functional roles of GABA in the inner ear, we characterized the cochlear phenotype of seven mouse lines with targeted deletion of a GABA(A) receptor subunit (alpha1, alpha2, alpha5, alpha6, beta2, beta3, or delta). Four of the lines (alpha1, alpha2, alpha6, and delta) were normal: there was no cochlear histopathology, and cochlear responses suggested normal function of hair cells, afferent fibers, and efferent feedback. The other three lines (alpha5, beta2, and beta3) showed threshold elevations indicative of outer hair cell dysfunction. Alpha5 and beta2 lines also showed decreased effects of efferent bundle activation, associated with decreased density of efferent terminals on outer hair cells: although the onset of this degeneration was later in alpha5 (>6 weeks) than beta2 (<6 weeks), both lines shows normal efferent development (up to 3 weeks). Two lines (beta2 and beta3) showed signs of neuropathy, either decreased density of afferent innervation (beta3) or decreased neural responses without concomitant attenuation of hair cell responses (beta2). One of the lines (beta2) showed a clear sexual dimorphism in cochlear phenotype. Results suggest that the GABAergic component of the olivocochlear system contributes to the long-term maintenance of hair cells and neurons in the inner ear.
Project description:Parasympathetic neurons do not require neurotrophins for survival and are thought to lack high-affinity neurotrophin receptors (i.e., trks). We report here, however, that mRNAs encoding both brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high-affinity receptor tropomyosin-related kinase B (trkB) are expressed in the parasympathetic chick ciliary ganglion (CG) and that BDNF-like protein is present in the ganglion and in the iris, an important peripheral target of ciliary neurons. Moreover, CG neurons express surface trkB and exogenous BDNF not only initiates trk-dependent signaling, but also alters nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) expression and synaptic transmission. In particular, BDNF applied to CG neurons rapidly activates cAMP-dependent response element-binding protein (CREB), and over the long-term selectively upregulates expression of alpha7-subunit-containing, homomeric nAChRs (alpha7-nAChRs), increasing alpha7-subunit mRNA levels, alpha7-nAChR surface sites, and alpha7-nAChR-mediated whole-cell currents. At nicotinic synapses formed on CG neurons in culture, brief and long-term BDNF treatments also increase the frequency of spontaneous EPSCs, most of which are mediated by heteromeric nAChRs containing alpha3, alpha5, beta4, and beta2 subunits (alpha3*-nAChRs) with a minor contribution from alpha7-nAChRs. Our findings demonstrate unexpected roles for BDNF-induced, trk-dependent signaling in CG neurons, both in regulating expression of alpha7-nAChRs and in enhancing transmission at alpha3*-nAChR-mediated synapses. The presence of BDNF-like protein in CG and iris target coupled with that of functional trkB on CG neurons raise the possibility that signals generated by endogenous BDNF similarly influence alpha7-nAChRs and nicotinic synapses in vivo.