Fluoxetine administered to juvenile monkeys: effects on the serotonin transporter and behavior.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:This study examined the long-term effects of fluoxetine administered to juvenile rhesus monkeys who, as young adults, were imaged with positron emission tomography for two serotonergic markers: serotonin transporter (SERT) and serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptor. An equal number of monkeys separated from their mothers at birth-an animal model of human childhood stress-were also studied. METHOD:At birth, 32 male rhesus monkeys were randomly assigned to either maternal separation or normal rearing conditions. At age 2, half (N=8) of each group was randomly assigned to fluoxetine (3 mg/kg) or placebo for 1 year. To eliminate the confounding effects of residual drug in the brain, monkeys were scanned at least 1.5 years after drug discontinuation. Social interactions were assessed both during and after drug administration. RESULTS:Fluoxetine persistently upregulated SERT, but not 5-HT1A receptors, in both the neocortex and the hippocampus. Whole-brain voxel-wise analysis revealed that fluoxetine had a significant effect in the lateral temporal and cingulate cortices. In contrast, neither maternal separation by itself nor the rearing-by-drug interaction was significant for either marker. Fluoxetine had no significant effect on the behavioral measures. CONCLUSIONS:Fluoxetine administered to juvenile monkeys upregulates SERT into young adulthood. Implications regarding the efficacy or potential adverse effects of SSRIs in patients cannot be directly drawn from this study. Its purpose was to investigate effects of SSRIs on brain development in nonhuman primates using an experimental approach that randomly assigned long-term SSRI treatment or placebo.
Project description:Male rhesus monkeys received a therapeutic oral dose of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine daily from 1 to 3 years of age. Puberty is typically initiated between 2 and 3 years of age in male rhesus and reproductive maturity is reached at 4 years. The study group was genotyped for polymorphisms in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and serotonin transporter (SERT) genes that affect serotonin neurotransmission. Growth was assessed with morphometrics at 4 month intervals and radiographs of long bones were taken at 12 month intervals to evaluate skeletal growth and maturation. No effects of fluoxetine, or MAOA or SERT genotype were found for growth during the first year of the study. Linear growth began to slow during the second year of the study and serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) long polymorphic region (5HTTLPR) polymorphism effects with drug interactions emerged. Monkeys with two SERT 5HTTLPR L alleles (LL, putative greater transcription) had 25-39% less long bone growth, depending on the bone, than monkeys with one S and one L allele (SL). More advanced skeletal maturity was also seen in the LL group, suggesting earlier onset of puberty. An interaction between 5HTTLPR polymorphisms and fluoxetine was identified for femur and tibia growth; the 5HTTLPR effect was seen in controls (40% less growth for LL) but not in the fluoxetine treated group (10% less growth for LL). A role for serotonin in peripubertal skeletal growth and maturation has not previously been investigated but may be relevant to treatment of children with SSRIs.
Project description:Sertraline and fluoxetine are selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that are widely prescribed to treat depression. They exert their effects by inhibiting the presynaptic plasma membrane serotonin transporter (SERT). All SSRIs possess halogen atoms at specific positions, which are key determinants for the drugs' specificity for SERT. For the SERT protein, however, the structural basis of its specificity for SSRIs is poorly understood. Here we report the crystal structures of LeuT, a bacterial SERT homolog, in complex with sertraline, R-fluoxetine or S-fluoxetine. The SSRI halogens all bind to exactly the same pocket within LeuT. Mutation at this halogen-binding pocket (HBP) in SERT markedly reduces the transporter's affinity for SSRIs but not for tricyclic antidepressants. Conversely, when the only nonconserved HBP residue in both norepinephrine and dopamine transporters is mutated into that found in SERT, their affinities for all the three SSRIs increase uniformly. Thus, the specificity of SERT for SSRIs is dependent largely on interaction of the drug halogens with the protein's HBP.
Project description:1. The present study was undertaken to characterise the relationship between in vivo brain serotonin transporter (SERT) binding, plasma concentration and pharmacological effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in mice. Oral administration of fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline at pharmacologically relevant doses exerted dose- and time-dependent binding activity of brain SERT as revealed by significant increases in KD for specific [3H]paroxetine binding, and the in vivo SERT-binding potency was in the order of paroxetine>>fluoxetine, sertraline>fluvoxamine. 2. The time courses of brain SERT binding by SSRIs in mice were mostly in parallel to those of their plasma concentrations. Also, norfluoxetine (active metabolite) has been suggested to contribute largely to the long-lasting binding activity of brain SERT after the fluoxetine administration. 3. Oral administration of each SSRI suppressed significantly the marble-burying behaviour with no change in locomotor activity in mice, and the extent and time course of suppression agreed well with those of brain SERT binding. Thus, the pharmacological potencies of SSRIs in the attenuation of marble-burying behaviour correlated significantly with their brain SERT binding activities. 4. In conclusion, the present study has provided the first in vivo evidences to support that fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline orally administered bind to the pharmacologically relevant brain SERT in mice and that their SERT-binding characteristics is closely associated with the pharmacokinetics and inhibition of marble-burying behaviour.
Project description:Fluoxetine improves social interactions in children with autism, social anxiety and social phobia. It is not known whether this effect is mediated directly or indirectly by correcting the underlying pathology. Genetics may also influence the drug effect. Polymorphisms of the MAOA (monoamine oxidase A) gene interact with fluoxetine to influence metabolic profiles in juvenile monkeys. Juvenile nonhuman primates provide an appropriate model for studying fluoxetine effects and drug*gene interactions in children. Male rhesus monkeys 1-3 years of age living in permanent social pairs were treated daily with a therapeutic dose of fluoxetine or vehicle (n = 16/group). Both members of each social pair were assigned to the same treatment group. They were observed for social interactions with their familiar cagemate over a 2-year dosing period. Subjects were genotyped for MAOA variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphisms categorized for high or low transcription rates (hi-MAOA, low-MAOA). Fluoxetine-treated animals spent 30% more time in social interaction than vehicle controls. Fluoxetine significantly increased the duration of quiet interactions, the most common type of interaction, and also of immature sexual behavior typical of rhesus in this age group. Specific behaviors affected depended on MAOA genotype of the animal and its social partner. When given fluoxetine, hi-MOAO monkeys had more social invitation and initiation behaviors and low-MAOA subjects with low-MAOA partners had more grooming and an increased frequency of some facial and vocal expressive behaviors. Fluoxetine may facilitate social interaction in children independent of remediation of psychopathology. Common genetic variants may modify this effect.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The potential long-term effects of childhood fluoxetine therapy on brain serotonin systems were studied using a nonhuman primate model, the rhesus monkey. METHODS:Juvenile male rhesus (1-4 years of age, corresponding to 4-11 years of age in children) were treated orally with fluoxetine (2 mg/kg) or vehicle daily for 2 years and removed from treatment during the third year. Each treatment group was assigned an equal number of subjects with low and high transcription polymorphisms of MAOA. One year after discontinuation of treatment, positron emission tomography scans were conducted (n = 8 treated monkeys, n = 8 control monkeys) using [11C]DASB to quantify serotonin transporter in 16 cortical and subcortical regions. RESULTS:Fluoxetine-treated monkeys with MAOA low transcription polymorphism had significantly lower [11C]DASB binding potentials than control monkeys. This finding was seen throughout the brain but was strongest in prefrontal and cingulate cortices. The MAOA × fluoxetine interaction was enhanced by binding potentials that were nonsignificantly higher in monkeys with high transcription polymorphism. CONCLUSIONS:Juvenile fluoxetine treatment has residual posttreatment effects on brain serotonin transporter that depend on MAOA genotype. MAOA genotype may be important to consider when treating children with fluoxetine.
Project description:Alterations in circadian rhythm generation may be related to the development of mood disorders. Although it has been reported that the most popular antidepressant, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) affect circadian phase, no data are available that describe the effects of SSRIs on other circadian parameters (period, amplitude and damping rate) in dissociated cells. In the present study we used real-time monitoring of bioluminescence in rat-1 fibroblasts expressing the Period1-luciferase transgene, and that in Period1-luciferase transgenic mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) explants, in order to characterize the effects of SSRI on circadian oscillator function in vitro. We found that mRNA of the serotonin transporter (SERT), a target of SSRIs, was expressed in rat-1 fibroblasts. Sertraline, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, citalopram and paroxetine all significantly shortened the period of Period1-bioluminescence rhythms in rat-1 fibroblasts. The amplitude was reduced by sertraline, and the damping rate was decreased by sertraline, fluoxetine, flvoxamine and paroxetine. The effect of sertraline was dose-dependent, and it also shortened the circadian period in the SCN. SERT is associated with lipid microdomains, which are required for efficient SERT activity. Indeed, cholesterol chelating reagent methyl-beta-cyclodextrin significantly reduced the period and the amplitude in rat-1 fibroblasts. Furthermore, lipid binding reagent xylazine significantly reduced the period. In summary our data present evidence that SSRIs affect circadian rhythmicity. The action of SSRIs is likely mediated by suppression of SERT activity. A better understanding of the relationship between mental illness and biological timing may yield new insight into disease etiology and avenues for treatment.
Project description:Child-rearing environments have been associated with morbidity in adult rhesus monkeys. We examine whether such links are also seen with leukocyte telomere length.To determine telomere length in leukocytes, blood was collected from 11 adult female monkeys aged 7 to 10 years who had been exposed to different rearing environments between birth and 7 months. Four had been reared with their mothers in typical social groups composed of other female monkeys, their offspring, and 1 to 2 adult male monkeys. The other 7 had been reared in either small groups of peers or individual cages with extensive peer interaction daily. After 7 months, all shared a common environment.Telomere lengths were longer for those adults who had been reared with their mothers in social groups (median = 16.0 kb, interquartile range = 16.5-15.4) than for those who were reared without their mothers (median = 14.0 kb, interquartile range = 14.3-12.7; 2.2 kb/telomere difference, p < .027).This observation adds to emerging knowledge about early adverse child-rearing conditions and their potential for influencing later morbidity. Because newborns were randomly assigned to the mother or other rearing conditions, the findings are not confounded by other conditions that co-occur with adverse child-rearing environments in humans (e.g., prenatal stress, nutrition and health as well as postnatal nutrition and negative life experiences over and above rearing conditions).
Project description:This paper exploits a unique ongoing experiment to analyze the effects of early rearing conditions on physical and mental health in a sample of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We analyze the health records of 231 monkeys that were randomly allocated at birth across three rearing conditions: mother rearing, peer rearing, and surrogate peer rearing. We show that the lack of a secure attachment relationship in the early years engendered by adverse rearing conditions has detrimental long-term effects on health that are not compensated for by a normal social environment later in life.
Project description:Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) blockers potentiate the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in some treatment-resistant patients; however, it is not known whether these effects are independent, or whether the two neurotransmitter systems act synergistically. We first determined that the SSRI fluoxetine and the nicotinic partial agonist cytisine have synergistic effects in a mouse model of antidepressant efficacy, whereas serotonin depletion blocked the effects of cytisine. Using a pharmacological approach, we found that the 5-HT1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT also potentiated the antidepressant-like effects of cytisine, suggesting that this subtype might mediate the interaction between the serotonergic and cholinergic systems. The 5-HT1A receptors are located both presynaptically and postsynaptically. We therefore knocked down 5-HT1A receptors in either the dorsal raphe (presynaptic autoreceptors) or the hippocampus (a brain area with high expression of 5-HT1A heteroreceptors sensitive to cholinergic effects on affective behaviors). Knockdown of 5-HT1A receptors in hippocampus, but not dorsal raphe, significantly decreased the antidepressant-like effect of cytisine. This study suggests that serotonin signaling through postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors in the hippocampus is critical for the antidepressant-like effects of a cholinergic drug and begins to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying interactions between the serotonergic and cholinergic systems related to mood disorders.
Project description:A major problem with current anti-depressant therapy is that it takes on average 6-7 weeks for remission. Since desensitization of serotonin (5-HT)1A receptor signaling contributes to the anti-depressive response, acceleration of the desensitization may reduce this delay in response to antidepressants. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that estradiol accelerates fluoxetine-induced desensitization of 5-HT1A receptor signaling in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) of rats, via alterations in components of the 5-HT1A receptor signaling pathway. Ovariectomized rats were injected with estradiol and/or fluoxetine, then adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and oxytocin responses to a 5-HT1A receptor agonist (+)-8-hydroxy-2-dipropylaminotetralin (8-OH-DPAT) were examined to assess the function of 5-HT1A receptors in the PVN. Treatment with estradiol for either 2 or 7 days or fluoxetine for 2 days produced at most a partial desensitization of 5-HT1A receptor signaling, whereas 7 days of fluoxetine produced full desensitization. Combined treatment with estradiol and fluoxetine for 2 days produced nearly a full desensitization, demonstrating an accelerated response compared to either treatment alone. With two days of combined treatments, estradiol prevented the fluoxetine-induced increase in 5-HT1A receptor protein, which could contribute to the more rapid desensitization. Furthermore, EB treatment for 2 days decreased the abundance of the 35 kD G?z protein which could contribute to the desensitization response. We found two isoforms of G?z proteins with molecular mass of 35 and 33 kD, which differentially distributed in the detergent resistant microdomain (DRM) and in Triton X-100 soluble membrane region, respectively. The 35 kD G?z proteins in the DRM can be sumoylated by SUMO1. Stimulation of 5-HT1A receptors with 8-OH-DPAT increases the sumoylation of G?z proteins and reduces the 33 kD G?z proteins, suggesting that these responses may be related to the desensitization of 5-HT1A receptors. Treatment with estradiol for 2 days also reduced the levels of the G-protein coupled estrogen receptor GPR30, possibly limiting to the ability of estradiol to produce only a partial desensitization response. These data provide evidence that estradiol may be effective as a short-term adjuvant to SSRIs to accelerate the onset of therapeutic effects.