Enhancing proprioceptive input to motoneurons differentially affects expression of neurotrophin 3 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rat hoffmann-reflex circuitry.
ABSTRACT: The importance of neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) for motor control prompted us to ask the question whether direct electrical stimulation of low-threshold muscle afferents, strengthening the proprioceptive signaling, could effectively increase the endogenous pool of this neurotrophin and its receptor TrkC in the Hoffmann-reflex (H-reflex) circuitry. The effects were compared with those of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its TrkB receptor. Continuous bursts of stimuli were delivered unilaterally for seven days, 80 min daily, by means of a cuff-electrode implanted over the tibial nerve in awake rats. The H-reflex was recorded in the soleus muscle to control the strength of stimulation. Stimulation aimed at activation of Ia fibers produced a strong increase of NT-3 protein, measured with ELISA, in the lumbar L3-6 segments of the spinal cord and in the soleus muscle. This stimulation exerted much weaker effect on BDNF protein level which slightly increased only in L3-6 segments of the spinal cord. Increased protein level of NT-3 and BDNF corresponded to the changes of NT-3 mRNA and BDNF mRNA expression in L3-6 segments but not in the soleus muscle. We disclosed tissue-specificity of TrkC mRNA and TrkB mRNA responses. In the spinal cord TrkC and TrkB transcripts tended to decrease, whereas in the soleus muscle TrkB mRNA decreased and TrkC mRNA expression strongly increased, suggesting that stimulation of Ia fibers leads to sensitization of the soleus muscle to NT-3 signaling. The possibility of increasing NT-3/TrkC signaling in the neuromuscular system, with minor effects on BDNF/TrkB signaling, by means of low-threshold electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves, which in humans might be applied in non-invasive way, offers an attractive therapeutic tool.
Project description:We examined the potential influences of muscle-derived neurotrophins on the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) gene expression of adult rat motoneurons. Seven days after facial nerve transection, both AChE mRNA and enzyme activity levels were markedly reduced in untreated and vehicle-treated facial motoneurons, suggesting positive regulation of motoneuron AChE expression by muscle-derived factors. Because skeletal muscle is a source of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), NT-4/5, and BDNF, these neurotrophins were individually infused onto the proximal nerve stump for 7 d, beginning at the time of axotomy. The trkB ligands NT-4/5 and BDNF prevented the downregulation of AChE mRNA and enzymatic activity, as determined by in situ hybridization, biochemical assay, and histochemical visualization of enzyme activity. In contrast, NT-3 had limited effects, and NGF was without effect. Because motoneurons normally express both trkB and trkC receptors and the trkC ligand NT-3 is the most abundant muscle-derived neurotrophin, we investigated possible reasons for the limited effects of NT-3. In situ hybridization and reverse transcription-PCR both revealed a downregulation of trkC mRNA in axotomized motoneurons, which contrasted the upregulation of trkB expression. Furthermore, isoforms of trkC were detected carrying insertions within their kinase domains, known to limit certain trkC-mediated signal transduction pathways. Because the changes in trkB and trkC mRNA levels were not significantly altered by neurotrophin infusions, it is unlikely they were induced by loss of muscle-derived neurotrophins. These results demonstrate that NT-4/5 and BDNF stimulate AChE gene expression in motoneurons and support the concept that muscle-derived trkB ligands modulate the cholinergic phenotype of their innervating motoneurons.
Project description:Neurotrophins control neuronal survival in a target-derived manner during the period of naturally occurring cell death in development. The specificity of this mechanism has been attributed to a restricted spatio-temporal expression of neurotrophin ligands in target tissues, as well as a selective expression of their cognate tyrosine kinase (Trk) receptors in different neuronal subpopulations. However, several in vitro and in vivo studies of null mutant mice have suggested that neurotrophin 3 (NT 3) also signals through the non-preferred TrkB receptor. In this study, we have directly addressed the in vivo preference of NT 3 to signal through TrkB or TrkC, by crossing the NT 3 knock-in mice (BDNF(NT 3/NT 3) mice) with the TrkB- or TrkC-null mutant mice. We find that TrkB is dispensable, whereas TrkC is required for the neuronal rescue by the NT 3 allele in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor- and NT 3-dependent cochleovestibular system. Our results show that NT 3 maintains survival of cells as well as target innervation only through interactions with TrkC in vivo. TrkB and TrkC receptors are thus not functionally redundant for NT 3, even when coexpressed in neurons of the cochleovestibular system.
Project description:(±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a widely used drug of abuse, rapidly reduces serotonin levels in the brain when ingested or administered in sufficient quantities, resulting in deficits in complex route-based learning, spatial learning, and reference memory. Neurotrophins are important for survival and preservation of neurons in the adult brain, including serotonergic neurons. In this study, we examined the effects of MDMA on the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and their respective high-affinity receptors, tropomyosin receptor kinase (trk)B and trkC, in multiple regions of the rat brain. A serotonergic-depleting dose of MDMA (10 mg/kg × 4 at 2-hour intervals on a single day) was administered to adult Sprague-Dawley rats, and brains were examined 1, 7, or 24 hours after the last dose. Messenger RNA levels of BDNF, NT-3, trkB, and trkC were analyzed by using in situ hybridization with cRNA probes. The prefrontal cortex was particularly vulnerable to MDMA-induced alterations in that BDNF, NT-3, trkB, and trkC mRNAs were all upregulated at multiple time points. MDMA-treated animals had increased BDNF expression in the frontal, parietal, piriform, and entorhinal cortices, increased NT-3 expression in the anterior cingulate cortex, and elevated trkC in the entorhinal cortex. In the nigrostriatal system, BDNF expression was upregulated in the substantia nigra pars compacta, and trkB was elevated in the striatum in MDMA-treated animals. Both neurotrophins and trkB were differentially regulated in several regions of the hippocampal formation. These findings suggest a possible role for neurotrophin signaling in the learning and memory deficits seen following MDMA treatment.
Project description:The development of neuronal networks in the neocortex depends on control mechanisms for mitosis and migration that allow newborn neurons to find their accurate position. Multiple mitogens, neurotrophic factors, guidance molecules and their corresponding receptors are involved in this process, but the mechanisms by which these signals are integrated are only poorly understood. We found that TrkB and TrkC, the receptors for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), are activated by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling rather than by BDNF or NT-3 in embryonic mouse cortical precursor cells. This transactivation event regulated migration of early neuronal cells to their final position in the developing cortex. Transactivation by EGF led to membrane translocation of TrkB, promoting its signaling responsiveness. Our results provide genetic evidence that TrkB and TrkC activation in early cortical neurons do not depend on BDNF and NT-3, but instead on transactivation by EGFR signaling.
Project description:RNAseq data indicate that in the human brain, most neurons co-express the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) receptor TrkB and the Neurotrophin-3 (NT3) receptor TrkC. Because NT3 can also activate TrkB and TrkB is expressed at higher levels compared with TrkC, it has been difficult thus far to explore TrkC-mediated signaling. To this end, neurons were generated from human embryonic stem cells lacking the BDNF receptor TrkB using CRISPR/Cas9. These neurons were found to respond to very low concentrations of NT3, lower than the concentrations of BDNF needed to activate TrkB. In order to compare the transcriptional changes following treatment with NT3 RNA-seq analysis was performed and the results compared with those previously obtained following treatment of wild-type neurons with BDNF Merkouris et al. PMID: 29987039. The results indicate that downstream of TrkC activation, most of the changes in gene expression are similar to those seen after TrkB activation. The results also show that exposure to sub-saturating concentrations of either BDNF or NT3 does not cause receptor downregulation as seen with saturating ligand concentrations and that the receptors can be re-activated.
Project description:Neurotrophins and their mimetics are potential treatments for hearing disorders because of their trophic effects on spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) whose connections to hair cells may be compromised in many forms of hearing loss. Studies in noise or ototoxin-exposed animals have shown that local delivery of NT-3 or BDNF has beneficial effects on SGNs and hearing. We evaluated several TrkB or TrkC monoclonal antibody agonists and small molecules, along with BDNF and NT-3, in rat cochlea ex vivo models. The TrkB agonists BDNF and a monoclonal antibody, M3, had the greatest effects on SGN survival, neurite outgrowth and branching. In organotypic cochlear explants, BDNF and M3 enhanced synapse formation between SGNs and inner hair cells and restored these connections after excitotoxin-induced synaptopathy. Loss of these synapses has recently been implicated in hidden hearing loss, a condition characterized by difficulty hearing speech in the presence of background noise. The unique profile of M3 revealed here warrants further investigation, and the broad activity profile of BDNF observed underpins its continued development as a hearing loss therapeutic.
Project description:Signaling by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) via the TrkB receptor, or by neurotrophin-3 (NT3) through the TrkC receptor support distinct populations of sensory neurons. The intracellular signaling pathways activated by Trk (tyrosine kinase) receptors, which in vivo promote neuronal survival and target innervation, are not well understood. Using mice with TrkB or TrkC receptors lacking the docking site for Shc adaptors (trkB(shc/shc) and trkC(shc/shc) mice), we show that TrkB and TrkC promote survival of sensory neurons mainly through Shc site-independent pathways, suggesting that these receptors use similar pathways to prevent apoptosis. In contrast, the regulation of target innervation appears different: in trkB(shc/shc) mice neurons lose target innervation, whereas in trkC(shc/shc) mice the surviving TrkC-dependent neurons maintain target innervation and function. Biochemical analysis indicates that phosphorylation at the Shc site positively regulates autophosphorylation of TrkB, but not of TrkC. Our findings show that although TrkB and TrkC signals mediating survival are largely similar, TrkB and TrkC signals required for maintenance of target innervation in vivo are regulated by distinct mechanisms.
Project description:Dysfunction of inhibitory neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), represented by decreased expression of GABA-related genes such as the 67 kDa isoform of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD67) and parvalbumin (PV), appears to contribute to cognitive deficits in subjects with schizophrenia. We investigated the involvement of signaling mediated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB in producing the altered GABA-related gene expression in schizophrenia. In 15 pairs of subjects with schizophrenia and matched control subjects, both BDNF and TrkB mRNA levels, as assessed by in situ hybridization, were significantly decreased in the PFC of the subjects with schizophrenia, whereas the levels of mRNA encoding the receptor tyrosine kinase for neurotrophin-3, TrkC, were unchanged. In this cohort, within-pair changes in TrkB mRNA levels were significantly correlated with those in both GAD67 and PV mRNA levels. Decreased BDNF, TrkB, and GAD67 mRNA levels were replicated in a second cohort of 12 subject pairs. In the combined cohorts, the correlation between within-pair changes in TrkB and GAD67 mRNA levels was significantly stronger than the correlation between the changes in BDNF and GAD67 mRNA levels. Neither BDNF nor TrkB mRNA levels were changed in the PFC of monkeys after a long-term exposure to haloperidol. Genetically introduced decreases in TrkB expression, but not in BDNF expression, also resulted in decreased GAD67 and PV mRNA levels in the PFC of adult mice; in addition, the cellular pattern of altered GAD67 mRNA expression paralleled that present in schizophrenia. Decreased TrkB signaling appears to underlie the dysfunction of inhibitory neurons in the PFC of subjects with schizophrenia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Neurotrophin receptors were initially identified in neural cells. They were recently detected in some cancers in association with invasiveness, but the function of these tyrosine kinase receptors was not previously investigated in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We report herein that human CRC cell lines synthesize the neural growth factor Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) under stress conditions (serum starvation). In parallel, CRC cells expressed high- (TrkB) and low-affinity (p75(NTR)) receptors at the plasma membrane, whereas TrkA and TrkC, two other high affinity receptors for NGF and NT-3, respectively, were undetectable. We demonstrate that BDNF induced cell proliferation and had an anti-apoptotic effect mediated through TrkB, as assessed by K252a, a Trk pharmacologic inhibitor. It suppressed both cell proliferation and survival of CRC cells that do not express TrkA nor TrkC. In parallel to the increase of BDNF secretion, sortilin, a protein acting as a neurotrophin transporter as well as a co-receptor for p75(NTR), was increased in the cytoplasm of primary and metastatic CRC cells, which suggests that sortilin could regulate neurotrophin transport in these cells. However, pro-BDNF, also detected in CRC cells, was co-expressed with p75(NTR) at the cell membrane and co-localized with sortilin. In contrast to BDNF, exogenous pro-BDNF induced CRC apoptosis, which suggests that a counterbalance mechanism is involved in the control of CRC cell survival, through sortilin as the co-receptor for p75(NTR), the high affinity receptor for pro-neurotrophins. Likewise, we show that BDNF and TrkB transcripts (and not p75(NTR)) are overexpressed in the patients' tumors by comparison with their adjacent normal tissues, notably in advanced stages of CRC. CONCLUSION: Taken together, these results highlight that BDNF and TrkB are essential for CRC cell growth and survival in vitro and in tumors. This autocrine loop could be of major importance to define new targeted therapies.
Project description:Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) are postsynaptic to hair cells and project to the brainstem. The inner hair cell (IHC) to SGN synapse is susceptible to glutamate excitotoxicity and to acoustic trauma, with potentially adverse consequences to long-term SGN survival. We used a cochlear explant culture from P6 rat pups consisting of a portion of organ of Corti maintained intact with the corresponding portion of spiral ganglion to investigate excitotoxic damage to IHC-SGN synapses in vitro. The normal innervation pattern is preserved in vitro. Brief treatment with NMDA and kainate results in loss of IHC-SGN synapses and degeneration of the distal type 1 SGN peripheral axons, mimicking damage to SGN peripheral axons caused by excitotoxicity or noise in vivo. The number of IHC presynaptic ribbons is not significantly altered. Reinnervation of IHCs occurs and regenerating axons remain restricted to the IHC row. However, the number of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) does not fully recover and not all axons regrow to the IHCs. Addition of either neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) or BDNF increases axon growth and synaptogenesis. Selective blockade of endogenous NT-3 signaling with TrkC-IgG reduced regeneration of axons and PSDs, but TrkB-IgG, which blocks BDNF, has no such effect, indicating that endogenous NT-3 is necessary for SGN axon growth and synaptogenesis. Remarkably, TrkC-IgG reduced axon growth and synaptogenesis even in the presence of BDNF, indicating that endogenous NT-3 has a distinctive role, not mimicked by BDNF, in promoting SGN axon growth in the organ of Corti and synaptogenesis on IHCs.