Local potentiation of excitatory synapses by serotonin and its alteration in rodent models of depression.
ABSTRACT: The causes of major depression remain unknown. Antidepressants elevate concentrations of monoamines, particularly serotonin, but it remains uncertain which downstream events are critical to their therapeutic effects. We found that endogenous serotonin selectively potentiated excitatory synapses formed by the temporoammonic pathway with CA1 pyramidal cells via activation of serotonin receptors (5-HT(1B)Rs), without affecting nearby Schaffer collateral synapses. This potentiation was expressed postsynaptically by AMPA-type glutamate receptors and required calmodulin-dependent protein kinase-mediated phosphorylation of GluA1 subunits. Because they share common expression mechanisms, long-term potentiation and serotonin-induced potentiation occluded each other. Long-term consolidation of spatial learning, a function of temporoammonic-CA1 synapses, was enhanced by 5-HT(1B)R antagonists. Serotonin-induced potentiation was quantitatively and qualitatively altered in a rat model of depression, restored by chronic antidepressants, and required for the ability of chronic antidepressants to reverse stress-induced anhedonia. Changes in serotonin-mediated potentiation, and its recovery by antidepressants, implicate excitatory synapses as a locus of plasticity in depression.
Project description:Depression is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine, are the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medication. SSRIs produce their therapeutic effects by elevating extracellular concentrations of serotonin. Although this elevation occurs rapidly, there is a paradoxical delay of weeks-to-months of continuous treatment before most patients experience meaningful relief of their depressive symptoms. Here, we address the effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment and prolonged elevation of serotonin in the rat hippocampus. Previous work has shown that acute administration of fluoxetine rapidly potentiates the excitatory temporoammonic synapse onto CA1 pyramidal cells in the hippocampus via activation of serotonin 1B receptor in brain slices. In contrast to observations in brain slices, we report here that prolonged administration of fluoxetine was required to produce significant changes in temporoammonic-CA1 synaptic strength in ex vivo brain slices. Evidence of potentiation included increases in the ratio of AMPA receptor-to NMDA receptor-mediated temporoammonic-CA1 synaptic responses, occlusion of electrically evoked long-term potentiation, enhanced long-term depression, impaired anpirtoline-mediated potentiation, and impaired memory recall in the Morris water maze task. These synaptic and behavioral changes coincided with the alleviation of anhedonic behavioral state. We conclude that the effects of elevated serotonin accumulate slowly in vivo and may account for the delay to relief of depressive symptoms by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Acceleration of this process should lead to faster therapeutic responses to antidepressants.
Project description:The efficacy and duration of memory storage is regulated by neuromodulatory transmitter actions. While the modulatory transmitter serotonin (5-HT) plays an important role in implicit forms of memory in the invertebrate Aplysia, its function in explicit memory mediated by the mammalian hippocampus is less clear. Specifically, the consequences elicited by the spatio-temporal gradient of endogenous 5-HT release are not known. Here we applied optogenetic techniques in mice to gain insight into this fundamental biological process. We find that activation of serotonergic terminals in the hippocampal CA1 region both potentiates excitatory transmission at CA3-to-CA1 synapses and enhances spatial memory. Conversely, optogenetic silencing of CA1 5-HT terminals inhibits spatial memory. We furthermore find that synaptic potentiation is mediated by 5-HT4 receptors and that systemic modulation of 5-HT4 receptor function can bidirectionally impact memory formation. Collectively, these data reveal powerful modulatory influence of serotonergic synaptic input on hippocampal function and memory formation.
Project description:The role of serotonin in major depressive disorder (MDD) is the focus of accumulating clinical and preclinical research. The results of these studies reflect the complexity of serotonin signaling through many receptors, in a large number of brain regions, and throughout the lifespan. The role of the serotonin transporter in MDD has been highlighted in gene by environment association studies as well as its role as a critical player in the mechanism of the most effective antidepressant treatments - selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. While the majority of the 15 known receptors for serotonin have been implicated in depression or depressive-like behavior, the serotonin 1A (5-HT 1A) and 1B (5-HT 1B) receptors are among the most studied. Human brain imaging and genetic studies point to the involvement of 5-HT 1A and 5-HT 1B receptors in MDD and the response to antidepressant treatment. In rodents, the availability of tissue-specific and inducible knockout mouse lines has made possible the identification of the involvement of 5-HT 1A and 5-HT 1B receptors throughout development and in a cell-type specific manner. This, and other preclinical pharmacology work, shows that autoreceptor and heteroreceptor populations of these receptors have divergent roles in modulating depression-related behavior as well as responses to antidepressants and also have different functions during early postnatal development compared to during adulthood.
Project description:Cognitive impairments are common in depression and involve dysfunctional serotonin neurotransmission. The 5-HT1B receptor (5-HT(1B)R) regulates serotonin transmission, via presynaptic receptors, but can also affect transmitter release at heterosynaptic sites. This study aimed at investigating the roles of the 5-HT(1B)R, and its adapter protein p11, in emotional memory and object recognition memory processes by the use of p11 knockout (p11KO) mice, a genetic model for aspects of depression-related states. 5-HT(1B)R agonist treatment induced an impairing effect on emotional memory in wild type (WT) mice. In comparison, p11KO mice displayed reduced long-term emotional memory performance. Unexpectedly, 5-HT(1B)R agonist stimulation enhanced memory in p11KO mice, and this atypical switch was reversed after hippocampal adeno-associated virus mediated gene transfer of p11. Notably, 5-HT(1B)R stimulation increased glutamatergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus in p11KO mice, but not in WT mice, as measured by both pre- and postsynaptic criteria. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrated global hippocampal reductions of inhibitory GABA, which may contribute to the memory enhancement and potentiation of pre- and post-synaptic measures of glutamate transmission by a 5-HT(1B)R agonist in p11KO mice. It is concluded that the level of hippocampal p11 determines the directionality of 5-HT(1B)R action on emotional memory processing and modulates hippocampal functionality. These results emphasize the importance of using relevant disease models when evaluating the role of serotonin neurotransmission in cognitive deficits related to psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the primary pharmacological treatment for depression, but SSRIs are effective in only half of the patients and typically take several weeks to relieve symptoms. The NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine exerts a rapid antidepressant action, but has troubling side effects. We hypothesized that negative allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors would exert similar effects on brain activity as ketamine, but would not exert as many side effects if targeted only to GABAA receptors containing ?5 subunits, which are enriched in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Here, we show that the ?5-selective negative modulator L-655,708 reversed the alterations in hedonic behavior in the sucrose preference and social interaction tests produced by two different chronic stress paradigms in rats within 24?h of systemic administration. Similar effects were observed with another ?5-selective negative modulator, MRK-016. L-655,708 had no effect on hedonic or open-field behavior in unstressed animals. Within 24?h, L-655,708 injection also restored the strength of pathologically weakened excitatory synaptic transmission at the stress-sensitive temporoammonic-CA1 synapse, measured electrophysiologically, and increased levels of the GluA1 subunit of the AMPA receptor, measured with western blotting. We suggest that the ability of L-655,708 to restore excitatory synaptic strength rapidly may underlie its ability to restore stress-induced behavioral alterations rapidly, supporting evidence that dysfunction of multiple excitatory synapses in cortico-mesolimbic reward pathways contributes, in part, to the genesis of depression. Negative allosteric modulators of ?5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors represent a promising novel class of fast-acting and clinically viable antidepressant compounds.
Project description:Midbrain raphe nuclei provide strong serotonergic projections to the hippocampus, in which serotonin (5-HT) exerts differential effects mediated by multiple 5-HT receptor subtypes. The functional relevance of this diversity of information processing is poorly understood. Here we show that serotonin via 5-HT(1B) heteroreceptors substantially reduces synaptic excitation of cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons in area CA1 of the rat hippocampus, in contrast to parvalbumin-expressing basket cells. The reduction is input specific, affecting only glutamatergic synaptic transmission originating from CA1 pyramidal cells. As a result, serotonin selectively decreases feedback inhibition via 5-HT(1B) receptor activation and subsequently increases the integration time window for spike generation in CA1 pyramidal cells. Our data imply an important role for serotonergic modulation of GABAergic action in subcortical control of hippocampal output.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>17? estradiol (E2) rapidly regulates excitatory synaptic transmission at the classical Schaffer collateral (SC) input to hippocampal CA1 neurons. However, the impact of E2 on excitatory synaptic transmission at the distinct temporoammonic (TA) input to CA1 neurons and the oestrogen receptors involved is less clear.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>Extracellular recordings were used to monitor excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices from juvenile male (P11-24) Sprague Dawley rats. Immunocytochemistry combined with confocal microscopy was used to monitor the surface expression of the AMPA receptor (AMPAR) subunit, GluA1 in hippocampal neurons cultured from neonatal (P0-3) rats.<h4>Key results</h4>Here, we show that E2 induces a novel form of LTP at TA-CA1 synapses, an effect mirrored by the ER? agonist, PPT, and blocked by an ER? antagonist. ER?-induced LTP is NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent and involves a postsynaptic expression mechanism that requires PI 3-kinase signalling and synaptic insertion of GluA2-lacking AMPARs. ER?-induced LTP has overlapping expression mechanisms with classical Hebbian LTP, as HFS-induced LTP occluded PPT-induced LTP and vice versa. In addition, activity-dependent LTP was blocked by the ER? antagonist, suggesting that ER? activation is involved in NMDA-LTP at TA-CA1 synapses.<h4>Conclusion and implications</h4>ER? induces a novel form of LTP at juvenile male hippocampal TA-CA1 synapses. As TA-CA1 synapses are implicated in episodic memory processes and are an early target for neurodegeneration, these findings have important implications for the role of oestrogens in CNS health and neurodegenerative disease.
Project description:The induction of long-term potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses is caused by an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptordependent accumulation of intracellular Ca(2+), followed by Src family kinase activation and a positive feedback enhancement of NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Nevertheless, the amplitude of baseline transmission remains remarkably constant even though low frequency stimulation is also associated with an NMDAR-dependent influx of Ca(2+) into dendritic spines. We show here that an interaction between C-terminal Src kinase (Csk) and NMDARs controls the Src-dependent regulation of NMDAR activity. Csk associates with the NMDAR signaling complex in the adult brain, inhibiting the Src-dependent potentiation of NMDARs in CA1 neurons and attenuating the Src-dependent induction of long-term potentiation. Csk associates directly with Src-phosphorylated NR2 subunits in vitro. An inhibitory antibody for Csk disrupts this physical association, potentiates NMDAR mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents, and induces long-term potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses. Thus, Csk serves to maintain the constancy of baseline excitatory synaptic transmission by inhibiting Src kinase-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.
Project description:CA1 pyramidal neurons receive two distinct excitatory inputs that are each capable of influencing hippocampal output and learning and memory. The Schaffer collateral (SC) input from CA3 axons onto the more proximal dendrites of CA1 is part of the trisynaptic circuit, which originates in Layer II of the entorhinal cortex (EC). The temporoammonic (TA) pathway to CA1 provides input directly from Layer III of the EC onto the most distal dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells, and is involved in spatial memory and memory consolidation. We have previously described a developmental decrease in short-term facilitation from juvenile (P13-18) to young adult (P28-42) rats at SC synapses that is due to feedback inhibition via synaptically activated mGluR1 on CA1 interneurons. It is not known how short-term changes in synaptic strength are regulated at TA synapses, nor is it known how short-term plasticity is balanced at SC and TA inputs during development. Here we describe a novel developmental increase in short-term facilitation at TA synapses, which is the opposite of the decrease in facilitation occurring at SC synapses. Although short-term facilitation is much lower at TA synapses when compared with SC synapses in juveniles, short-term plasticity at SC and TA synapses converges at similar levels of paired-pulse facilitation in the young adult rat. However, in young adults CA3-CA1 synapses still exhibit more facilitation than TA-CA1 synapses during physiologically-relevant activity, suggesting that the two pathways are each poised to uniquely modulate CA1 output in an activity-dependent manner. Finally, we show that there is a developmental decrease in the initial release probability at TA synapses that underlies their developmental decrease in facilitation, but no developmental change in release probability at SC synapses. This represents a fundamental difference in the presynaptic function of the two major inputs to CA1, which could alter the flow of information in hippocampus during development.
Project description:In spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), the direction and degree of synaptic modification are determined by the coherence of pre- and postsynaptic activities within a neuron. However, in the adult rat hippocampus, it remains unclear whether STDP-like mechanisms in a neuronal population induce synaptic potentiation of a long duration. Thus, we asked whether the magnitude and maintenance of synaptic plasticity in a population of CA1 neurons differ as a function of the temporal order and interval between pre- and postsynaptic activities. Modulation of the relative timing of Schaffer collateral fibers (presynaptic component) and CA1 axons (postsynaptic component) stimulations resulted in an asymmetric population STDP (pSTDP). The resulting potentiation in response to 20 pairings at 1 Hz was largest in magnitude and most persistent (4 h) when presynaptic activity coincided with or preceded postsynaptic activity. Interestingly, when postsynaptic activation preceded presynaptic stimulation by 20 ms, an immediate increase in field excitatory postsynaptic potentials was observed, but it eventually transformed into a synaptic depression. Furthermore, pSTDP engaged in selective forms of late-associative activity: It facilitated the maintenance of tetanization-induced early long-term potentiation (LTP) in neighboring synapses but not early long-term depression, reflecting possible mechanistic differences with classical tetanization-induced LTP. The data demonstrate that a pairing of pre- and postsynaptic activities in a neuronal population can greatly reduce the required number of synaptic plasticity-evoking events and induce a potentiation of a degree and duration similar to that with repeated tetanization. Thus, pSTDP determines synaptic efficacy in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 circuit and could bias the CA1 neuronal population toward potentiation in future events.