CRF enhancement of GIRK channel-mediated transmission in dopamine neurons.
ABSTRACT: Dopamine neurons in the ventral midbrain contribute to learning and memory of natural and drug-related rewards. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a stress-related peptide, is thought to be involved in aspects of relapse following drug withdrawal, but the cellular actions are poorly understood. This study investigates the action of CRF on G-protein-linked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) mediated by GIRK (Kir3) channels in dopamine neurons. CRF enhanced the amplitude and slowed the kinetics of IPSCs following activation of D2-dopamine and GABA(B) receptors. This action was postsynaptic and dependent on the CRF(1) receptor. The enhancement induced by CRF was attenuated by repeated in vivo exposures to psychostimulants or restraint stress. The results indicate that CRF influences dopamine- and GABA-mediated inhibition in the midbrain, suggesting implications for the chronic actions of psychostimulants and stress on dopamine-mediated behaviors.
Project description:Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) influence learned behaviors and neuropsychiatric diseases including addiction. The stress peptide corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) contributes to relapse to drug and alcohol seeking following withdrawal, although the cellular actions are poorly understood. In this study, we show that presynaptic CRF type 1 receptors (CRF-R1) potentiate GABA release onto mouse VTA dopamine neurons via a PKC-Ca2+ signaling mechanism. In naive animals, activation of CRF-R1 by bath application of CRF or ethanol enhanced GABAA inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). Following 3 days of withdrawal from four weekly cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) vapor exposure, spontaneous IPSC frequency was enhanced while CRF and ethanol potentiation of IPSCs was intact. However, withdrawal for 3 weeks or more was associated with reduced spontaneous IPSC frequency and diminished CRF and ethanol responses. Long-term withdrawal was also accompanied by decreased sensitivity to the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55212 as well as greatly enhanced sensitivity to the CB1 antagonist AM251. Inclusion of BAPTA in the internal recording solution restored the responsiveness to CRF or ethanol and reduced the potentiating actions of AM251. Together, these data suggest that GABAA inhibition of VTA dopamine neurons is regulated by presynaptic actions of CRF and endocannabinoids and that long-term withdrawal from CIE treatment enhances endocannabinoid-mediated inhibition, thereby suppressing CRF facilitation of GABA release. Such findings have implications for understanding the impact of chronic alcohol on stress-related, dopamine-mediated alcohol-seeking behaviors.
Project description:Stress can reinstate cocaine seeking through an interaction between the stress hormone corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and glutamate release onto dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). To better understand the underlying causes, synaptic mechanisms were investigated in brain slices from rats. In control tissue, EPSCs displayed concentration-dependent, bimodal responses to CRF potentiation at low concentrations (3-100 nm) and attenuation at higher concentrations (300 nm). EPSC potentiation and attenuation were mediated by CRF-R1 and CRF-R2 receptor subtypes, respectively, localized to presynaptic terminals. The CRF-R2 attenuation was blocked by the GABA-B receptor antagonist CGP55843. Additional recordings of GABA-A IPSCs showed CRF-R2 activation-facilitated presynaptic release of GABA, suggesting that CRF-R2 may regulate glutamate release via heterosynaptic facilitation of GABA synapses. After chronic cocaine self-administration and extinction training, the sensitivity of glutamate and GABA receptors was unchanged. However, the ability of CRF-R2 agonists to depress EPSCs and potentiate IPSCs was diminished. After yohimbine plus cue reinstatement, the actions of CRF-R2 on GABA and glutamate release were reversed. CRF-R2 activation increased EPSCs as a result of a reduction of tonic GABA-dependent inhibition. After reinstatement, application of the A1 adenosine antagonist 1,3-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine increased GABA tone to inhibit the CRF-R2 action. Blockade of GABA-B receptors prevented both the CRF-R2 increase in EPSCs and the attenuation produced by 1,3-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine. These studies demonstrate that presynaptic CRF-R1/R2 tightly regulate glutamate transmission in the VTA via a concerted, heterosynaptic manner that may become altered by stress-related pathologies, such as addiction.
Project description:The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) system plays an important role in stress-related psychiatric disorders and substance abuse. Previous work has shown that the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR)-5-HT system is inhibited by swim stress via stimulation of GABA synaptic activity by the stress neurohormone corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). Additionally, the DR 5-HT system is regulated by opioids. The present study tests the hypothesis that the DR 5-HT system regulates stress-induced opioid relapse. In the first experiment, electrophysiological recordings of GABA synaptic activity in 5-HT DR neurons were conducted in brain slices from Sprague-Dawley rats that were exposed to swim stress-induced reinstatement of previously extinguished morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). Behavioral data indicate that swim stress triggers reinstatement of morphine CPP. Electrophysiology data indicate that 5-HT neurons in the morphine-conditioned group exposed to stress had increased amplitude of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs), which would indicate greater postsynaptic GABA receptor density and/or sensitivity, compared to saline controls exposed to stress. In the second experiment, rats were exposed to either morphine or saline CPP and extinction, and then 5-HT DR neurons from both groups were examined for sensitivity to CRF in vitro. CRF induced a greater inward current in 5-HT neurons from morphine-conditioned subjects compared to saline-conditioned subjects. These data indicate that morphine history sensitizes 5-HT DR neurons to the GABAergic inhibitory effects of stress as well as to some of the effects of CRF. These mechanisms may sensitize subjects with a morphine history to the dysphoric effects of stressors and ultimately confer an enhanced vulnerability to stress-induced opioid relapse.
Project description:Midbrain dopamine neurons project densely to the striatum and form so-called dopamine synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), principal neurons in the striatum. Because dopamine receptors are widely expressed away from dopamine synapses, it remains unclear how dopamine synapses are involved in dopaminergic transmission. Here we demonstrate that dopamine synapses are contacts formed between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures. The presynaptic structure expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and plasmalemmal dopamine transporter, which are essential for dopamine synthesis, vesicular filling, and recycling, but was below the detection threshold for molecules involving GABA synthesis and vesicular filling or for GABA itself. In contrast, the postsynaptic structure of dopamine synapses expressed GABAergic molecules, including postsynaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-2, postsynaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin, and GABAA receptor ?1, without any specific clustering of dopamine receptors. Of these, neuroligin-2 promoted presynaptic differentiation in axons of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal GABAergic neurons in culture. After neuroligin-2 knockdown in the striatum, a significant decrease of dopamine synapses coupled with a reciprocal increase of GABAergic synapses was observed on MSN dendrites. This finding suggests that neuroligin-2 controls striatal synapse formation by giving competitive advantage to heterologous dopamine synapses over conventional GABAergic synapses. Considering that MSN dendrites are preferential targets of dopamine synapses and express high levels of dopamine receptors, dopamine synapse formation may serve to increase the specificity and potency of dopaminergic modulation of striatal outputs by anchoring dopamine release sites to dopamine-sensing targets.
Project description:Stressors negatively impact emotional state and drive drug seeking, in part, by modulating the activity of the mesolimbic dopamine system. Unfortunately, the rapid regulation of dopamine signaling by the aversive stimuli that cause drug seeking is not well characterized. In a series of experiments, we scrutinized the subsecond regulation of dopamine signaling by the aversive stimulus, quinine, and tested its ability to cause cocaine seeking. Additionally, we examined the midbrain regulation of both dopamine signaling and cocaine seeking by the stress-sensitive peptide, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF).Combining fast-scan cyclic voltammetry with behavioral pharmacology, we examined the effect of intraoral quinine administration on nucleus accumbens dopamine signaling and hedonic expression in 21 male Sprague-Dawley rats. We tested the role of CRF in modulating aversion-induced changes in dopamine concentration and cocaine seeking by bilaterally infusing the CRF antagonist, CP-376395, into the ventral tegmental area (VTA).We found that quinine rapidly reduced dopamine signaling on two distinct time scales. We determined that CRF acted in the VTA to mediate this reduction on only one of these time scales. Further, we found that the reduction of dopamine tone and quinine-induced cocaine seeking were eliminated by blocking the actions of CRF in the VTA during the experience of the aversive stimulus.These data demonstrate that stress-induced drug seeking can occur in a terminal environment of low dopamine tone that is dependent on a CRF-induced decrease in midbrain dopamine activity.
Project description:The in vivo firing pattern of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons is controlled by GABA afferents originating primarily from the nucleus accumbens (NAc), rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), and local GABA neurons within the VTA. Although different forms of plasticity have been observed from GABA inputs to VTA dopamine neurons, one dependent on cyclic GMP synthesis and the other on adenylyl cyclase activation, it is unknown whether plasticity is differentially expressed in each. Using an optogenetic strategy, we show that identified inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) from local VTA GABA neurons and NAc afferents exhibit a cyclic GMP-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) that is capable of inhibiting the firing activity of dopamine neurons. However, this form of LTP was not induced from RMTg afferents. Only an adenylyl cyclase-mediated increase in IPSCs was exhibited by all three inputs. Thus discrete plasticity mechanisms recruit overlapping but different subsets of GABA inputs to VTA dopamine neurons.NEW & NOTEWORTHY We describe a mapping of plasticity expression, mediated by different mechanisms, among three distinct GABA afferents to ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons: the rostromedial tegmental nucleus, the nucleus accumbens, and the local GABA neurons within the VTA known to synapse on VTA dopamine neurons. This work is the first demonstration that discrete plasticity mechanisms recruit overlapping but different subsets of GABA inputs to VTA dopamine neurons.
Project description:Resveratrol is a natural phytoalexin synthesized by plants, including grapes. It displays a wide range of neuroprotective benefits associated with anti-aging. Recent studies have shown that resveratrol regulates dopaminergic transmission and behavioral effects of drugs of abuse. The goal of the present study is to investigate whether and how resveratrol alters basal inhibitory synaptic transmission and cocaine-induced inhibitory synaptic plasticity in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We report that resveratrol elevated cAMP levels by itself and further potentiated a forskolin-induced increase in cAMP levels in midbrain slices, consistent with reported effects of inhibition of phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Resveratrol potentiated GABAA and GABAB-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in VTA dopamine neurons, and these effects were mediated by a protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent enhancement of presynaptic GABA release. In addition, we found that resveratrol blocked endocannabinoid-mediated long-term synaptic depression in VTA dopamine neurons. Resveratrol pretreatments attenuated cocaine-induced conditioned place preference and blocked the cocaine-induced reduction of GABAergic inhibition in VTA dopamine neurons. Together, these results provide evidence that resveratrol modulates basal inhibitory synaptic transmission, cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, and drug-cue associative learning.
Project description:Current concepts suggest that stress-induced release of neuromodulators such as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) can drive drug-dependent behaviors. Although previous drug exposure can enhance behavioral and neurochemical responses to stress, it is unclear how such drug exposure alters the CRF modulation of excitatory synapses onto ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons, a key locus of drug- and stress-induced neuroadaptation. Here, we demonstrate that, after repeated cocaine exposure, the magnitude and duration of the CRF-induced potentiation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated neurotransmission was significantly increased compared with naive and saline-treated mice. Furthermore, CRF enhanced AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated transmission only in mice that were exposed to cocaine. Increased frequency of AMPAR-mediated spontaneous miniature EPSCs and the intracellular blockade of CRF potentiation of AMPAR-mediated transmission suggest both presynaptic and postsynaptic effects of CRF. Importantly, pharmacological experiments revealed that CRF receptor 1 and protein kinase A pathways were newly recruited after repeated cocaine for the enhancement of CRF-induced NMDAR potentiation and the appearance of AMPAR potentiation. Thus, enhanced CRF-induced potentiation of excitatory synaptic transmission onto VTA dopamine neurons after cocaine preexposure is likely to produce an abnormal increase in dopamine release during stressful events and could augment activation of addictive behaviors in response to stress.
Project description:Synaptic transmission is mediated by ionotropic and metabotropic receptors that together regulate the rate and pattern of action potential firing. Metabotropic receptors can activate ion channels and modulate other receptors and channels. The present paper examines the interaction between group 1 mGluR-mediated calcium release from stores and GABAB/D2-mediated GIRK currents in rat dopamine neurons of the Substantia Nigra. Transient activation of mGluRs decreased the GIRK current evoked by GABAB and D2 receptors, although less efficaciously for D2. The mGluR-induced inhibition of GIRK current peaked in 1 s and recovered to baseline after 5 s. The inhibition was dependent on release of calcium from stores, was larger for transient than for tonic currents, and was unaffected by inhibitors of PLC, PKC, PLA2, or calmodulin. This inhibition of GABAB IPSCs through release of calcium from stores is a postsynaptic mechanism that may broadly reduce GIRK-dependent inhibition of many central neurons.
Project description:The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) mediates stress- and addiction-related processes. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and nociceptin/orphanin FQ (nociceptin) regulate ethanol intake and anxiety-like behavior. In the rat, CRF and ethanol significantly augment CeA gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release, whereas nociceptin diminishes it.Using electrophysiologic techniques in an in vitro slice preparation, we investigated the interaction of nociceptin and CRF on evoked and spontaneous GABAergic transmission in CeA slices of naive and ethanol-dependent rats and the mechanistic role of protein kinase A.In neurons from naive animals, nociceptin dose-dependently diminished basal-evoked GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) by decreasing GABA release and prevented, as well as reversed, CRF-induced augmentation of IPSPs, actions that required PKA signaling. In neurons from ethanol-dependent animals, nociceptin decreased basal GABAergic transmission and blocked the CRF-induced increase in GABA release to a greater extent than in naive controls.These data provide new evidence for an interaction between the nociceptin and CRF systems in the CeA. Nociceptin opposes CRF effects on CeA GABAergic transmission with sensitization of this effect in dependent animals. These properties of nociceptin may underlie its anti-alcohol and anxiolytic properties and identify the nociceptin receptor as a useful therapeutic target for alcoholism.