Probing the ability of presynaptic tyrosine kinase receptors to regulate striatal dopamine dynamics.
ABSTRACT: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the synaptic transmission of several monoaminergic neuronal systems. Molecular techniques using synapatosomes in previous studies have suggested that BDNF's receptor, tyrosine kinases (Trk), can quickly regulate dopamine release and transporter dynamics. Our main objective in this study is to determine whether slice fast scan cyclic voltammetry can be used to investigate the role of the TrkB receptor on dopamine release and uptake processes in the caudate-putamen. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry measured dopamine release and uptake rates in the presence of BDNF, or its agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, or a TrkB inhibitor K252a. Superfusion of BDNF led to partial recovery of the electrically stimulated dopamine release response in BDNF(+/-) mice which is blunted compared to wildtype mice, with no effect in wildtype mice. Conversely, infusion of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone increased electrically stimulated dopamine release in wildtype mice with no difference in BDNF(+/-) mice. Overall, BDNF and 7,8-dihydroxyflavone had no effect on dopamine uptake rates. Concentrations greater than 3 μM 7,8-dihydroxyflavone affected dopamine uptake rates in BDNF(+/-) mice only. To demonstrate that BDNF and 7,8-dihydroxyflavone modulate dopamine release by activating the TrkB receptor, both genotypes were pretreated with K252a. K252a was able to block BDNF and 7,8-DHF induced increases during stimulated dopamine release in BDNF(+/-) and wildtype mice, respectively. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry demonstrates that acute TrkB activation potentiates dopamine release in both genotypes.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a cognate ligand for the tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) receptor, mediates neuronal survival, differentiation, synaptic plasticity, and neurogenesis. However, BDNF has a poor pharmacokinetic profile that limits its therapeutic potential. Here we report the identification of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone as a bioactive high-affinity TrkB agonist that provokes receptor dimerization and autophosphorylation and activation of downstream signaling. 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone protected wild-type, but not TrkB-deficient, neurons from apoptosis. Administration of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone to mice activated TrkB in the brain, inhibited kainic acid-induced toxicity, decreased infarct volumes in stroke in a TrkB-dependent manner, and was neuroprotective in an animal model of Parkinson disease. Thus, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone imitates BDNF and acts as a robust TrkB agonist, providing a powerful therapeutic tool for the treatment of various neurological diseases.
Project description:A number of specific genetic variants including gene mutations and single nucleotide variations have been identified in genomewide association studies of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD phenotypes in individuals carrying specific genetic variations are manifest mostly in a heterozygous state. Furthermore, individuals with most genetic variants show incomplete penetrance and phenotypic variability, suggesting that non-genetic factors are also involved in developing ASD. However, the mechanisms of how genetic and environmental factors interactively promote ASD are not clearly understood. In the present study, we investigated whether early-life stress (ELS) in D2 dopamine receptor heterozygous knockout (D2+/-) mice induces ASD-like symptoms. To address that, we exposed D2 heterozygous pups to maternal separation stress for 3 h daily for 13 days beginning on postnatal day 2. D2+/- adult mice that had experienced ELS exhibited impaired sociability in the three-chamber test and home-cage social interaction test and increased grooming behavior, whereas wildtype littermates exposed to ELS did not show those phenotypes. ELS-exposed D2+/- mice had decreased levels of BDNF, TrkB, phospho-ERK1/2 and phospho-CREB in the dorsal striatum. Administration of the TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) to ELS-exposed D2+/- mice rescued the sociability deficits and repetitive behavior. In contrast, behavioral rescue by 7,8-DHF in ELS-exposed D2+/- mice was blocked when TrkB expression in the dorsal striatum was locally inhibited by the injection of TrkB-siRNA. Together, our results suggest that the interaction between ELS and defective D2 gene function promotes autistic-like behaviors by downregulating the BDNF-TrkB pathway in the dorsal striatum.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is followed by a state of metabolic dysfunction, affecting the ability of neurons to use energy and support brain plasticity; there is no effective therapy to counteract the TBI pathology. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has an exceptional capacity to support metabolism and plasticity, which highly contrasts with its poor pharmacological profile. We evaluated the action of a flavonoid derivative 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), a BDNF receptor (TrkB) agonist with the pharmacological profile congruent for potential human therapies. Treatment with 7,8-DHF (5mg/kg, ip, daily for 7 days) was effective to ameliorate the effects of TBI on plasticity markers (CREB phosphorylation, GAP-43 and syntaxin-3 levels) and memory function in Barnes maze test. Treatment with 7,8-DHF restored the decrease in protein and phenotypic expression of TrkB phosphorylation after TBI. In turn, intrahippocampal injections of K252a, a TrkB antagonist, counteracted the 7,8-DHF induced TrkB signaling activation and memory improvement in TBI, suggesting the pivotal role of TrkB signaling in cognitive performance after brain injury. A potential action of 7,8-DHF on cell energy homeostasis was corroborated by the normalization in levels of PGC-1?, TFAM, COII, AMPK and SIRT1 in animals subjected to TBI. Results suggest a potential mechanism by which 7,8-DHF counteracts TBI pathology via activation of the TrkB receptor and engaging the interplay between cell energy management and synaptic plasticity. Since metabolic dysfunction is an important risk factor for the development of neurological and psychiatric disorders, these results set a precedent for the therapeutic use of 7,8-DHF in a larger context.
Project description:Chronic activation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) receptor TrkB is a potential method to prevent development of obesity, but the short half-life and nonbioavailable nature of BDNF hampers validation of the hypothesis. We report here that activation of muscular TrkB by the BDNF mimetic, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF), is sufficient to protect the development of diet-induced obesity in female mice. Using in vitro and in vivo models, we found that 7,8-DHF treatment enhanced the expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity in skeletal muscle, which resulted in increased systemic energy expenditure, reduced adiposity, and improved insulin sensitivity in female mice fed a high-fat diet. This antiobesity activity of 7,8-DHF is muscular TrkB-dependent as 7,8-DHF cannot mitigate diet-induced obesity in female muscle-specific TrkB knockout mice. Hence, our data reveal that chronic activation of muscular TrkB is useful in alleviating obesity and its complications.
Project description:The goal of this study was to determine whether a reduction in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in female mice leads to dopaminergic system dysregulation. Through a series of in vivo brain microdialysis and slice voltammetry experiments, we discerned that female BDNF heterozygous (BDNF(+/-)) mice are hyperdopaminergic, similar to their male BDNF(+/-) counterparts. Zero-net flux microdialysis results showed that female BDNF(+/-) mice had increased striatal extracellular dopamine levels, while stimulated regional release by high potassium concentrations potentiated dopamine release through vesicular-mediated depolarization. Using the complementary technique of fast scan cyclic voltammetry, electrical stimulation evoked greater dopamine release in the female BDNF(+/-) mice, whereas dopamine uptake remained unchanged relative to that of female wildtype mice. Following psychostimulant methamphetamine administration, female BDNF(+/-) mice showed potentiated dopamine release compared to their wildtype counterparts. Taken together, these dopamine release impairments in female mice appear to result in a hyperdopaminergic phenotype without concomitant alterations in dopamine uptake.
Project description:Depression is a core symptom of methamphetamine (METH) withdrawal during the first several weeks of abstinence. However, the precise mechanisms underlying METH withdrawal symptoms remain unknown. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its specific receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase (TrkB), have a role the in pathophysiology of depression. In this study, we examined the role of BDNF-TrkB signaling in different brain regions of male mice with METH withdrawal symptoms. Repeated METH (3?mg?kg(-1) per day for 5 days) administration to mice caused a long-lasting depression-like behavior including anhedonia. Western blot analysis showed that BDNF levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of METH-treated mice were significantly higher than those of control mice whereas BDNF levels in other regions, including the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, were not altered. METH-induced depression-like behavior, behavioral sensitization and dendritic changes in the NAc shell were improved by subsequent subchronic administration of TrkB antagonist ANA-12 (0.5?mg?kg(-1) per day for 14 days), but not TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (10?mg?kg(-1) per day for 14 days). In vivo microdialysis showed that METH (1?mg?kg(-1))-induced dopamine release in NAc shell of METH-treated mice was attenuated after subsequent subchronic ANA-12 administration. Interestingly, a single bilateral infusion of ANA-12 into the NAc shell, but not NAc core, showed a rapid and long-lasting therapeutic effect. However, ketamine and paroxetine had no effect. These findings suggest that increased BDNF-TrkB signaling in the NAc shell has an important role in the behavioral abnormalities after withdrawal from repeated METH administration, and that TrkB antagonists are potential therapeutic drugs for withdrawal symptoms in METH abusers.
Project description:Despite increasing awareness of the many important roles played by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activation of TrkB, a fuller understanding of this system and the use of potential TrkB-acting therapeutic agents has been limited by the lack of any identified small-molecule TrkB agonists that fully mimic the actions of BDNF at brain TrkB receptors in vivo. However, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) has recently been identified as a specific TrkB agonist that crosses the blood-brain barrier after oral or intraperitoneal administration. The authors combined pharmacological, biochemical, and behavioral approaches in a preclinical study examining the role of 7,8-DHF in modulating emotional memory in mice.The authors first examined the ability of systemic 7,8-DHF to activate TrkB receptors in the amygdala. They then examined the effects of systemic 7,8-DHF on acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear, using specific and well-characterized BDNF-dependent learning paradigms in several models using naive mice and mice with prior traumatic stress exposure.Amygdala TrkB receptors, which have previously been shown to be required for emotional learning, were activated by systemic 7,8-DHF (at 5 mg/kg i.p.). 7,8-DHF enhanced both the acquisition of fear and its extinction. It also appeared to rescue an extinction deficit in mice with a history of immobilization stress.These data suggest that 7,8-DHF may be an excellent agent for use in understanding the effects of TrkB activation in learning and memory paradigms and may be attractive for use in reversing learning and extinction deficits associated with psychopathology.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the synaptic transmission of several monoaminergic neuronal systems, including forebrain dopamine-containing neurons. Recent evidence shows a strong correlation between neuropsychiatric disorders and BDNF hypofunction. The aim of the present study was to characterize the effect of low endogenous levels of BDNF on dopamine system function in the caudate-putamen using heterozygous BDNF (BDNF(+/-) ) mice. Apparent extracellular dopamine levels in the caudate-putamen, determined by quantitative microdialysis, were significantly elevated in BDNF(+/-) mice compared with wildtype controls (12 vs. 5 nM, respectively). BDNF(+/-) mice also had a potentiated increase in dopamine levels following potassium (120 mM)-stimulation (10-fold) relative to wildtype controls (6-fold). Slice fast-scan cyclic voltammetry revealed that BDNF(+/-) mice had reductions in both electrically evoked dopamine release and dopamine uptake rates in the caudate-putamen. Superfusion of BDNF led to partial recovery of the electrically stimulated dopamine release response in BDNF(+/-) mice. Conversely, tissue accumulation of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, extracellular levels of dopamine metabolites, and spontaneous locomotor activity were unaltered. Together, this study indicates that endogenous BDNF influences dopamine system homeostasis by regulating the release and uptake dynamics of pre-synaptic dopamine transmission.
Project description:The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is known to regulate executive decisions and the expression of emotional memories. More specifically, the prelimbic cortex (PL) of the mPFC is implicated in driving emotional responses via downstream targets including the nucleus accumbens and amygdala, but mechanisms are yet to be fully understood. Therefore, we investigated whether prelimbic cortical brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling through the high-affinity tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) receptor may serve as a molecular mechanism underlying emotional memory encoding. Here, we utilized viral-mediated inducible bdnf deletion within the PL, as well as TrkB(F616A) mutant mice, wherein TrkB receptor point mutation results in its being highly sensitive to inhibition by small PP1-derivative molecules, serving as a specific TrkB inhibitor. The site-specific TrkB antagonism and viral-mediated bdnf deletion within the PL resulted in deficits in both cocaine-dependent associative learning and fear expression. Deficiencies were rescued by the novel TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, indicating that PL BDNF expression and downstream signaling through the TrkB receptor are required for memory formation in both appetitive and aversive domains.
Project description:Prenatal infection and subsequent abnormal neurodevelopment of offspring is involved in the etiology of schizophrenia. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high affinity receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) signaling plays a key role in the neurodevelopment. Pregnant mice exposed to polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] causes schizophrenia-like behavioral abnormalities in their offspring at adulthood. Here we found that the juvenile offspring of poly(I:C)-treated mice showed cognitive deficits, as well as reduced BDNF-TrkB signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Furthermore, the adult offspring of poly(I:C)-treated mice showed cognitive deficits, prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits, reduced BDNF-TrkB signaling, immunoreactivity of parvalbumin (PV) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? coactivator 1? (PGC-1?) in the prelimbic (PrL) of medial PFC and CA1 of hippocampus. Supplementation of a TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (1?mg/mL in drinking water) during juvenile and adolescent stages could prevent these behavioral abnormalities, reduced BDNF-TrkB signaling in PFC and CA1, and immunoreactivity of PV and PGC-1? in the PrL of medial PFC and CA1 in the adult offspring from poly(I:C)-treated mice. These findings suggest that early intervention by a TrkB agonist in subjects with ultra-high risk for psychosis may reduce the risk of subsequent transition to schizophrenia.