Reduced post-synaptic serotonin type 1A receptor binding in bipolar depression.
ABSTRACT: Multiple lines of evidence suggest that serotonin type 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor dysfunction is involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, and that alterations in 5-HT(1A) receptor function play a role in the mechanisms of antidepressant and mood stabilizer treatment. The literature is in disagreement, however, as to whether 5-HT(1A) receptor binding abnormalities exist in bipolar disorder (BD). We acquired PET images of 5-HT(1A) receptor binding in 26 unmedicated BD subjects and 37 healthy controls using [¹?F]FCWAY, a highly selective 5-HT(1A) receptor radio-ligand. The mean 5-HT(1A) receptor binding potential (BP(P)) was significantly lower in BD subjects compared to controls in cortical regions where 5-HT(1A) receptors are expressed post-synaptically, most prominently in the mesiotemporal cortex. Post-hoc assessments involving other receptor specific binding parameters suggested that this difference particularly affected the females with BD. The mean BPP did not differ between groups in the raphe nucleus, however, where 5-HT(1A) receptors are predominantly expressed pre-synaptically. Across subjects the BPP in the mesiotemporal cortex was inversely correlated with trough plasma cortisol levels, consistent with preclinical literature indicating that hippocampal 5-HT(1A) receptor expression is inhibited by glucocorticoid receptor stimulation. These findings suggest that 5-HT(1A) receptor binding is abnormally reduced in BD, and this abnormality may particularly involve the postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptor system of individuals with a tendency toward cortisol hypersecretion.
Project description:Abnormal serotonin type 1A (5-HT1A) receptor function and binding have been implicated in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. Preclinical studies have consistently shown that stress decreases the gene expression of 5-HT1A receptors in experimental animals, and that the associated increase in hormone secretion plays a crucial role in mediating this effect. Chronic administration of the mood stabilizers lithium and divalproex (valproate semisodium) reduces glucocorticoid signaling and function in the hippocampus. Lithium has further been shown to enhance 5-HT1A receptor function. To assess whether these effects translate to human subject with bipolar disorder (BD), positron emission tomography (PET) and [18F]trans-4-fluoro-N-(2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl) piperazino]-ethyl)-N-(2-pyridyl) cyclohexanecarboxamide ([(18)F]FCWAY) were used to acquire PET images of 5-HT1A receptor binding in 10 subjects with BD, before and after treatment with lithium or divalproex. Mean 5-HT1A binding potential (BPP) significantly increased following mood stabilizer treatment, most prominently in the mesiotemporal cortex (hippocampus plus amygdala). When mood state was also controlled for, treatment was associated with increases in BPP in widespread cortical areas. These preliminary findings are consistent with the hypothesis that these mood stabilizers enhance 5-HT1A receptor expression in BD, which may underscore an important component of these agents' mechanism of action.
Project description:In mood disorder, early stressors including parental separation are vulnerability factors, and hippocampal involvement is prominent. In common marmoset monkeys, daily parental deprivation during infancy produces a prodepressive state of increased basal activity and reactivity in stress systems and mild anhedonia that persists at least to adolescence. Here we examined the expression of eight genes, each implicated in neural plasticity and in the pathophysiology of mood disorder, in the hippocampus of these same adolescent marmosets, relative to their normally reared sibling controls. We also measured hippocampal volume. Early deprivation led to decreases in hippocampal growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43) mRNA, serotonin 1A receptor (5-HT(1A)R) mRNA and binding ([3H]WAY100635), and to increased vesicular GABA transporter mRNA. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), synaptophysin, vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGluT1), microtubule-associated protein-2, and spinophilin transcripts were unchanged. There were some correlations with in vivo biochemical and behavioral indices, including VGluT1 mRNA with reward-seeking behavior, and serotonin 1A receptor mRNA with CSF cortisol. Early deprivation did not affect hippocampal volume. We conclude that early deprivation in a nonhuman primate, in the absence of subsequent stressors, has a long-term effect on the hippocampal expression of genes implicated in synaptic function and plasticity. The reductions in GAP-43 and serotonin 1A receptor expressions are comparable with findings in mood disorder, supporting the possibility that the latter reflect an early developmental contribution to disease vulnerability. Equally, the negative results suggest that other features of mood disorder, such as decreased hippocampal volume and BDNF expression, are related to different aspects of the pathophysiological process.
Project description:Estradiol regulates serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor signaling. Since desensitization of 5-HT(1A) receptors may be an underlying mechanism by which selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) mediate their therapeutic effects and combining estradiol with SSRIs enhances the efficacy of the SSRIs, it is important to determine which estrogen receptors are capable of desensitizating 5-HT(1A) receptor function. We previously demonstrated that selective activation of the estrogen receptor, GPR30, desensitizes 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling in rat hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). However, since estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta), is highly expressed in the PVN, we investigated the role of ERbeta in estradiol-induced desensitization of 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling. We first showed that a selective ERbeta agonist, diarylpropionitrile (DPN) has a 100-fold lower binding affinity than estradiol for GPR30. Administration of DPN did not desensitize 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling in rat PVN as demonstrated by agonist-stimulated hormone release. Second, we used a recombinant adenovirus containing ERbeta siRNAs to decrease ERbeta expression in the PVN. Reductions in ERbeta did not alter the estradiol-induced desensitization of 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling in oxytocin cells. In contrast, in animals with reduced ERbeta, estradiol administration, instead of producing desensitization, augmented the ACTH response to a 5-HT(1A) agonist. Combined with the results from the DPN treatment experiments, desensitization of 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling does not appear to be mediated by ERbeta in oxytocin cells, but that ERbeta, together with GPR30, may play a complex role in central regulation of 5-HT(1A)-mediated ACTH release. Determining the mechanisms by which estrogens induce desensitization may aid in the development of better treatments for mood disorders.
Project description:The modulation of the prefrontal cortex by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) is thought to play a key role in determining adult anxiety levels. Layer II/III of the prefrontal cortex, which mediates communication across cortical regions, displays a high level of 5-HT(1A) receptor binding in normal individuals and a significantly lower level in patients with mood and anxiety disorders. Here, we examine how serotonin modulates pyramidal neurons in layer II/III of the rat prefrontal cortex throughout postnatal development and in adulthood. Using whole cell recordings in brain slices of the rat medial prefrontal cortex, we observed that serotonin directly inhibits layer II/III pyramidal neurons through 5-HT(1A) receptors across postnatal development (postnatal days 6-96). In adulthood, a sex difference in these currents emerges, consistent with human imaging studies of 5-HT(1A) receptor binding. We examined the effects of early life stress on the 5-HT(1A) receptor currents in layer II/III. Surprisingly, animals subjected to early life stress displayed significantly larger 5-HT(1A)-mediated outward currents throughout the third and fourth postnatal weeks after elevated 5-HT(1A) expression during the second postnatal week. Subsequent exposure to social isolation in adulthood resulted in the almost-complete elimination of 5-HT(1A) currents in layer II/III neurons suggesting an interaction between early life events and adult experiences. These data represent the first examination of functional 5-HT(1A) receptors in layer II/III of the prefrontal cortex during normal development as well as after stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, serotonergic system, and stress response have been linked to the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder. State-dependent hyper-reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is seen in major depressive disorder, and higher binding to the serotonin 1A receptor is observed as a trait in both currently depressed and remitted untreated major depressive disorder. Here, we sought to examine whether a relationship exists between cortisol secretion in response to a stressor and serotonin 1A receptor binding throughout the brain, both in healthy controls and participants with major depressive disorder. METHODS:Research participants included 42 medication-free, depressed subjects and 31 healthy volunteers. Participants were exposed to either an acute, physical stressor (radial artery catheter insertion) or a psychological stressor (Trier Social Stress Test). Levels of serotonin 1A receptor binding on positron emission tomography with [11C]WAY-100635 were also obtained from all participants. The relationship between [11C]WAY-100635 binding and cortisol was examined using mixed linear effects models with group (major depressive disorder vs control), cortisol, brain region, and their interactions as fixed effects and subject as a random effect. RESULTS:We found a positive correlation between post-stress cortisol measures and serotonin 1A receptor ligand binding levels across multiple cortical and subcortical regions, independent of diagnosis and with both types of stress. The relationship between [11C]WAY-100635 binding and cortisol was homogenous across all a priori brain regions. In contrast, resting cortisol levels were negatively correlated with serotonin 1A receptor ligand binding levels independently of diagnosis, except in the RN. There was no significant difference in cortisol between major depressive disorder participants and healthy volunteers with either stressor. Similarly, there was no correlation between cortisol and depression severity in either stressor group. CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests that there may be a common underlying mechanism that links abnormalities in the serotonin system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyper-reactivity to stress. Future studies need to determine how hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction affects mood to increase the risk of suicide in major depression.
Project description:Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) regulates brain synaptic plasticity. BDNF affects serotonin signaling, increases serotonin levels in brain tissue and prevents degeneration of serotonin neurons. These effects have hardly been studied in human brain. We examined the relationship of the functional val66met polymorphism of the BDNF gene to serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor binding in vivo. 50 healthy volunteers (HV) and 50 acutely depressed, unmedicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) underwent PET scanning with the 5-HT(1A) receptor ligand, [(11)C]WAY-100635 and a metabolite corrected arterial input function. A linear mixed effects model compared 5-HT(1A) receptor binding potential (BP(F), proportional to the number of available receptors) in 13 brain regions of interest between met allele carriers (met/met and val/met) and noncarriers (val/val) using sex and C-1019G genotype of the 5-HT(1A) receptor promoter functional polymorphism as covariates. There was an interaction between diagnosis and allele (F=4.23, df=1, 94, p=0.042), such that met allele carriers had 17.4% lower BP(F) than non-met carriers in the HV group (t=2.6, df=96, p=0.010), but not in the MDD group (t=-0.4, df=96, p=0.58). These data are consistent with a model where the met allele of the val66met polymorphism causes less proliferation of serotonin synapses, and consequently fewer 5-HT(1A) receptors. In MDD, however, the effect of the val66met polymorphism is not detectable, possibly due to a ceiling effect of over-expression of 5-HT(1A) receptors in mood disorders.
Project description:Estrogen therapy used in combination with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment improves SSRI efficacy for the treatment of mood disorders. Desensitization of serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptors, which takes one to two weeks to develop in animals, is necessary for SSRI therapeutic efficacy. Estradiol modifies 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling and induces a partial desensitization in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the rat within two days, but the mechanisms underlying this effect are currently unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify the estrogen receptor necessary for estradiol-induced 5-HT(1A) receptor desensitization. We previously showed that estrogen receptor ? is not necessary for 5-HT(1A) receptor desensitization and that selective activation of estrogen receptor GPR30 mimics the effects of estradiol in rat PVN. Here, we used a recombinant adenovirus containing GPR30 siRNAs to decrease GPR30 expression in the PVN. Reduction of GPR30 prevented estradiol-induced desensitization of 5-HT(1A) receptor as measured by hormonal responses to the selective 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist, (+)8-OH-DPAT. To determine the possible mechanisms underlying these effects, we investigated protein and mRNA levels of 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling components including 5-HT(1A) receptor, G?z, and RGSz1. We found that two days of estradiol increased protein and mRNA expression of RGSz1, and decreased 5-HT(1A) receptor protein but increased 5-HT(1A) mRNA; GPR30 knockdown prevented the estradiol-induced changes in 5-HT(1A) receptor protein in the PVN. Taken together, these data demonstrate that GPR30 is necessary for estradiol-induced changes in the 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling pathway and desensitization of 5-HT(1A) receptor signaling.
Project description:The serotonin-1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor is an abundant post-synaptic 5-HT receptor (heteroreceptor) implicated in regulation of mood, emotion and stress responses and is the major somatodendritic autoreceptor that negatively regulates 5-HT neuronal activity. Based on animal models, an integrated model for opposing roles of pre- and post-synaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors in anxiety and depression phenotypes and response to antidepressants is proposed. Understanding differential transcriptional regulation of pre- versus post-synaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors could provide better tools for their selective regulation. This review examines the transcription factors that regulate brain region-specific basal and stress-induced expression of the 5-HT(1A) receptor gene (Htr1a). A functional polymorphism, rs6295 in the Htr1a promoter region, blocks the function of specific repressors Hes1, Hes5 and Deaf1, resulting in increased 5-HT(1A) autoreceptor expression in animal models and humans. Its association with altered 5-HT(1A) expression, depression, anxiety and antidepressant response are related to genotype frequency in different populations, sample homogeneity, disease outcome measures and severity. Preliminary evidence from gene × environment studies suggests the potential for synergistic interaction of stress-mediated repression of 5-HT(1A) heteroreceptors, and rs6295-induced upregulation of 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors. Targeted therapeutics to inhibit 5-HT(1A) autoreceptor expression and induce 5-HT(1A) heteroreceptor expression may ameliorate treatment of anxiety and major depression.
Project description:The complexities of the involvement of the serotonin transmitter system in numerous biological processes and psychiatric disorders is, to a substantial degree, attributable to the large number of serotonin receptor families and subtypes that have been identified and characterized for over four decades. Of these, the 5-HT(1A) receptor subtype, which was the first to be cloned and characterized, has received considerable attention based on its purported role in the etiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. 5-HT(1A) receptors function both at presynaptic (autoreceptor) and postsynaptic (heteroreceptor) sites. Recent research has implicated distinct roles for these two populations of receptors in mediating emotion-related behavior. New concepts as to how 5-HT(1A) receptors function to control serotonergic tone throughout life were highlights of the proceedings of the 2012 Serotonin Club Meeting in Montpellier, France. Here, we review recent findings and current perspectives on functional aspects of 5-HT(1A) auto- and heteroreceptors with particular regard to their involvement in altered anxiety and mood states.
Project description:1. Because changes 5-HT(1A) receptor number do not occur following repeated agonist treatment, we hypothesized that the basis for 5-HT(1A) receptor desensitization involves changes in receptor-G protein coupling. We measured the effect of repeated agonist administration on 5-HT(1A) receptor-stimulated [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding in forebrain areas, (i.e. anterior cingulate cortex, lateral septum, hippocampus, entorhinal cortex), and serotonergic cell body areas, the dorsal and median raphe nuclei. 2. Following treatment of rats with (+/-)8-OH-DPAT (1 mg kg(-1), s.c.) for 7 or 14 days, 5-HT(1A) receptor-stimulated [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding was significantly attenuated in both the dorsal and median raphe nuclei. 3. 5-HT(1A) receptor-stimulated [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding was significantly attenuated in the CA(1) region of the hippocampus after 7, but not 14 days of 8-OH-DPAT administration. 5-HT(1A) receptor-stimulated [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding was not altered in other forebrain areas examined. 4. The binding of [(3)H]-MPPF to 5-HT(1A) receptor sites was not altered in any brain region examined following repeated agonist administration, suggesting that the observed changes in (+/-)8-OH-DPAT-stimulated [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding were not due to changes in 5-HT(1A) receptor number. 5. Our data indicate that in serotonergic cell body areas the regulation of presynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptor function following repeated agonist administration occurs at the level of receptor-G protein interaction. In forebrain areas, however, the regulation of postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptor sensitivity appears not to be at the level of receptor-G protein coupling.