Neuroimaging Analysis of the Dopamine Basis for Apathetic Behaviors in an MPTP-Lesioned Primate Model.
ABSTRACT: Apathy commonly occurs in Parkinson disease (PD) patients; however, the role of dopamine in the pathophysiology of apathy remains elusive. We previously demonstrated that dopaminergic dysfunction within the ventral tegmental area (VTA)-nucleus accumbens (NAcc) pathway contributes to the manifestation of apathetic behaviors in monkeys treated with the selective dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We now extend these studies to identify dopaminergic dysfunction in cortical regions that correlate with development of apathetic behaviors. Specifically, we measured the effects of MPTP on monkeys' willingness to attempt goal directed behaviors, which is distinct from their ability to perform tasks. A total of 16 monkeys had baseline magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), using 6-[18F]fluorodopa (FD), [11C]dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ), and 2?-[11C]carbomethoxy-3?-(4-fluorophenyl)tropane (CFT). The monkeys received unilateral infusion of different doses of MPTP (0 - 0.31mg/kg) to produce a wide range of severity of motor parkinsonism. Eight weeks after MPTP, PET scans were repeated and animals were euthanized. Apathetic behavior and motor impairments were assessed blindly both pre- and post-MPTP infusion. Apathy scores were compared to in vitro and in vivo dopaminergic measures. Apathy scores increased following MPTP and correlated with PET measures of dopaminergic terminals (DTBZ or CFT) in dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), and insular cortex (IC). Among all the cortical regions assessed, forward step-wise regression analyses indicated that only stereologic cell counts in VTA, and not counts in the substantia nigra (SN), predict dopamine transporter changes in IC. Our findings suggest that dopaminergic dysfunction within the VTA-IC pathway plays a role in the manifestation of apathetic behaviors in MPTP-lesioned primates.
Project description:Molecular imaging and clinical endpoints are frequently discordant in Parkinson disease clinical trials, raising questions about validity of these imaging measures to reflect disease severity. We compared striatal uptake for 3 positron emission tomography (PET) tracers with in vitro measures of nigral cell counts and striatal dopamine in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated monkeys.Sixteen macaques had magnetic resonance imaging and baseline PETs using 6-[18F]fluorodopa (FD), [11C]dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ), and 2beta-[11 C]carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-fluorophenyl)tropane (CFT). MPTP (0-0.31 mg/kg) infused unilaterally via the internal carotid artery produced stable hemiparkinsonism by 3 weeks. After 8 weeks, PETs were repeated and animals were euthanized for striatal dopamine measurements and unbiased counts of tyrosine hydroxylase-stained nigral cells.Striatal uptake for each radiotracer (FD, DTBZ, CFT) correlated with stereologic nigral cell counts only for nigral loss<50% (r2=0.84, r2=0.86, r2=0.87, p<0.001 respectively; n=10). In contrast, striatal uptake correlated with striatal dopamine over the full range of dopamine depletion (r2=0.95, r2=0.94, r2=0.94, p<0.001; n=16). Interestingly, indices of striatal uptake of FD, DTBZ, and CFT correlated strongly with each other (r2=0.98, p<0.001).Tracer uptake correlated with nigral neurons only when nigral loss was <50%. This along with previous work demonstrating that nigral cell counts correlate strongly with parkinsonism ratings may explain discordant results between neuroimaging and clinical endpoints. Furthermore, strong correlations among striatal uptake for these tracers support lack of differential regulation of decarboxylase activity (FD), vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (DTBZ), and dopamine transporter (CFT) within 2 months after nigrostriatal injury.
Project description:Individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are often plagued by debilitating neurocognitive impairments and affective alterations;the pathophysiology underlying these deficits likely includes dopaminergic system dysfunction. The present review utilized four interrelated aims to critically examine the evidence for dopaminergic alterations following HIV-1 viral protein exposure. First, basal dopamine (DA) values are dependent upon both brain region andexperimental approach (i.e., high-performance liquid chromatography, microdialysis or fast-scan cyclic voltammetry). Second, neurochemical measurements overwhelmingly support decreased DA concentrations following chronic HIV-1 viral protein exposure. Neurocognitive impairments, including alterations in pre-attentive processes and attention, as well as apathetic behaviors, provide an additional line of evidence for dopaminergic deficits in HIV-1. Third, to date, there is no compelling evidence that combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the primary treatment regimen for HIV-1 seropositive individuals, has any direct pharmacological action on the dopaminergic system. Fourth, the infection of microglia by HIV-1 viral proteins may mechanistically underlie the dopamine deficit observed following chronic HIV-1 viral protein exposure. An inclusive and critical evaluation of the literature, therefore, supports the fundamental conclusion that long-term HIV-1 viral protein exposure leads to a decreased dopaminergic state, which continues to persist despite the advent of cART. Thus, effective treatment of HIV-1-associated apathy/depression and neurocognitive impairments must focus on strategies for rectifying decreases in dopamine function.
Project description:Apathy is a neuropsychiatric condition characterized by reduced motivation, initiative, and interest in daily life activities, and it is commonly reported in several neurodegenerative disorders. The study aims to investigate large-scale brain networks involved in apathy syndrome in patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) compared to a group of healthy controls (HC). The study sample includes a total of 60 subjects: 20 apathetic FTD and PD patients, 20 non apathetic FTD and PD patients, and 20 HC matched for age. Two disease-specific apathy-evaluation scales were used to measure the presence of apathy in FTD and PD patients; in the same day, a 3T brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with structural and resting-state functional (fMRI) sequences was acquired. Differences in functional connectivity (FC) were assessed between apathetic and non-apathetic patients with and without primary clinical diagnosis revealed, using a whole-brain, seed-to-seed approach. A significant hypoconnectivity between apathetic patients (both FTD and PD) and HC was detected between left planum polare and both right pre- or post-central gyrus. Finally, to investigate whether such neural alterations were due to the underlying neurodegenerative pathology, we replicated the analysis by considering two independent patients' samples (i.e., non-apathetic PD and FTD). In these groups, functional differences were no longer detected. These alterations may subtend the involvement of neural pathways implicated in a specific reduction of information/elaboration processing and motor outcome in apathetic patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Apathy is an important neuropsychiatric feature of Parkinson's disease (PD), which often emerges before the onset of motor symptoms. Patients with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD) have a high probability of developing PD in future. Neuropsychiatric problems are common in RBD, but apathy has not previously been detailed in this key prodromal population. METHODS:Eighty-eight patients with polysomnographically proven RBD, 65 patients with PD and 33 controls were assessed for apathy using the Lille Apathy Rating Scale. Cognition and depression were also quantified. The sensitivity of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale screening questions for apathy and depression was calculated. RESULTS:A total of 46% of patients with RBD were apathetic, compared with 31% of patients with PD in our sample. Most patients with RBD with depression were apathetic but more than half of apathetic patients were not depressed. The sensitivity of the single Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale screening question was only 33% for mild apathy and 50% for severe apathy. CONCLUSIONS:Apathy is common in RBD and is underestimated by a single self-report question. Recognition of apathy as a distinct neuropsychiatric feature in RBD could aid targeted treatment interventions and might contribute to the understanding of prodromal PD.
Project description:Effort-based decision-making is a cognitive process crucial to normal motivated behaviour. Apathy is a common and disabling complication of Parkinson's disease, but its aetiology remains unclear. Intriguingly, the neural substrates associated with apathy also subserve effort-based decision-making in animal models and humans. Furthermore, the dopaminergic system plays a core role in motivating effortful behaviour for reward, and its dysfunction has been proposed to play a crucial role in the aetiology of apathy in Parkinson's disease. We hypothesized that disrupted effort-based decision-making underlies the syndrome of apathy in Parkinson's disease, and that this disruption may be modulated by the dopaminergic system. An effort-based decision-making task was administered to 39 patients with Parkinson's disease, with and without clinical apathy, ON and OFF their normal dopaminergic medications across two separate sessions, as well as 32 healthy age- and gender-matched controls. On a trial-by-trial basis, participants decided whether to accept or reject offers of monetary reward in return for exerting different levels of physical effort via handheld, individually calibrated dynamometers. Effort and reward were manipulated independently, such that offers spanned the full range of effort/reward combinations. Apathy was assessed using the Lille apathy rating scale. Motor effects of the dopamine manipulation were assessed using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part three motor score. The primary outcome variable was choice (accept/decline offer) analysed using a hierarchical generalized linear mixed effects model, and the vigour of squeeze (Newtons exerted above required force). Both apathy and dopamine depletion were associated with reduced acceptance of offers. However, these effects were driven by dissociable patterns of responding. While apathy was characterized by increased rejection of predominantly low reward offers, dopamine increased responding to high effort, high reward offers, irrespective of underlying motivational state. Dopamine also exerted a main effect on motor vigour, increasing force production independently of reward offered, while apathy did not affect this measure. The findings demonstrate that disrupted effort-based decision-making underlies Parkinson's disease apathy, but in a manner distinct to that caused by dopamine depletion. Apathy is associated with reduced incentivization by the rewarding outcomes of actions. In contrast, dopamine has a general effect in motivating behaviour for high effort, high reward options without altering the response pattern that characterizes the apathetic state. Thus, the motivational deficit observed in Parkinson's disease appears not to be simply secondary to dopaminergic depletion of mesocorticolimbic pathways, suggesting non-dopaminergic therapeutic strategies for apathy may be important future targets.
Project description:Fatigue is disabling in Parkinson disease. It is often associated with other non-motor symptoms, but little is known about its underlying pathophysiology.To investigate neuroimaging (using dopaminergic and cholinergic PET) and clinical factors associated with fatigue severity in PD.133 PD subjects (96M/37F) completed the Fatigue Severity Scale, Movement Disorders Society-Sponsored Revision of the Unified PD Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS), Hoehn-Yahr staging, validated scales for depression, anxiety, apathy, sleep, and cognition, and underwent [(11)C]methyl-4-piperidinyl propionate (PMP) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and [(11)C]dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ) monoaminergic PET imaging. We explored contributions to PD fatigue using separate regression models based either on neuroimaging parameters or clinicometric scales.In a neuroimaging regression model, neither striatal DTBZ uptake nor AChE PMP uptake were predictors of fatigue in PD. In a post-hoc neuroimaging regression model, stratifying the total cohort into mild vs. moderate-to-severe PD, striatal DTBZ uptake was a significant predictor of fatigue in mild but not moderate-to-severe PD. In a clinicometric regression model, higher Beck Depression Inventory-somatic subscore, higher levodopa dose equivalents and younger age were all significant predictors of fatigue in PD, but the MDS-UPDRS non-motor experiences of daily living score was the best predictor overall.Cholinergic uptake was not a predictor of fatigue in PD, but nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation predicted fatigue in mild disease. Total non-motor symptom burden, somatic affective symptoms, levodopa dose equivalents, and younger age were independent clinical predictors of fatigue.
Project description:To understand the connectome of the axonal arborizations of dopaminergic midbrain neurons, we investigated the anterograde spread of highly sensitive viral tracers injected into the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and adjacent areas in 3 macaques. In 2 monkeys, injections were centered on the lateral VTA with some spread into the substantia nigra, while in one animal the injection targeted the medial VTA with partial spread into the ventro-medial thalamus. Double-labeling with antibodies against transduced fluorescent proteins (FPs) and tyrosine hydroxylase indicated that substantial portions of transduced midbrain neurons were dopaminergic. Interestingly, cortical terminals were found either homogeneously in molecular layer I, or more heterogeneously, sometimes forming patches, in the deeper laminae II-VI. In the animals with injections in lateral VTA, terminals were most dense in somatomotor cortex and the striatum. In contrast, when the medial VTA was transduced, dense terminals were found in dorsal prefrontal and temporal cortices, while projections to striatum were sparse. In all monkeys, orbitofrontal and occipito-parietal cortex received strong and weak innervation, respectively. Thus, the dopaminergic ventral midbrain sends heterogeneous projections throughout the brain. Furthermore, our results suggest the existence of subgroups in meso-dopaminergic neurons depending on their location in the primate ventral midbrain.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Tourette syndrome (TS) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder marked by tics and behavioral comorbidities. Clinical pharmacology suggests that dopaminergic signaling abnormalities are part of the pathophysiology of TS. Prior molecular imaging studies of nigrostriatal dopaminergic terminal markers report conflicting results. Our goal was to characterize the distribution of nigrostriatal dopaminergic terminals in subjects with TS.<h4>Methods</h4>Thirty-three adult subjects with TS were studied with PET using [11C]dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ), a ligand for the type 2 vesicular monoamine transporter, and with [11C] methylphenidate (MP), a ligand for the plasmalemmal dopamine transporter. Subjects were characterized with standard rating instruments for tic severity, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and attentional deficits.<h4>Results</h4>We found no differences between subjects with TS and control subjects in DTBZ and MP binding in any striatal region. There was no correlation between binding measures and clinical variables. Ventral striatal DTBZ and MP binding distributions in subjects with TS were normal.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We found no evidence of increased striatal dopaminergic innervation in Tourette syndrome (TS). Discrepancy between our present results and those of other studies may be explained by heterogeneity of TS.
Project description:The impact of age-associated disorders is increasing as the life expectancy of the population increments. Cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, have the highest social and economic burden and increasing evidence show interrelations between them. Particularly, dysfunction of the cardiovascular nervous system is part of the dysautonomic symptoms of Parkinson's disease, although more studies are needed to elucidate the role of cardiac function on it. We analyzed the dopaminergic system in the nigrostriatal pathway of Parkinsonian and dyskinetic monkeys and the expression of some key proteins in the metabolism and synthesis of catecholamines in the heart: total and phosphorylated (phospho) tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and membrane (MB) and soluble (S) isoforms of catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT). The dopaminergic system was significantly depleted in all MPTP-intoxicated monkeys. MPTP- and MPTP + L-DOPA-treated animals also showed a decrease in total TH expression in both right (RV) and left ventricle (LV). We found a significant increase of phospho-TH in both groups (MPTP and MPTP + L-DOPA) in the LV, while this increase was only observed in MPTP-treated monkeys in the RV. MB-COMT analysis showed a very significant increase of this isoform in the LV of MPTP- and MPTP + L-DOPA-treated animals, with no significant differences in S-COMT levels. These data suggest that MB-COMT is the main isoform implicated in the cardiac noradrenergic changes observed after MPTP treatment, suggesting an increase in noradrenaline (NA) metabolism. Moreover, the increase of TH activity indicates that cardiac noradrenergic neurons still respond despite MPTP treatment.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by deficits in goal-directed behavior as well as mood and motivational symptoms, including apathy, depression, and anxiety. The present study investigated novelty processing in PD, using event-related potentials (ERPs) to characterize electrophysiological reflections of visual novelty processing. Since apathy has been associated with decreased novelty processing (P3 potentials) in highly apathetic PD patients, we were particularly interested to see if this relationship exists in a sample of PD patients with heterogeneous levels of apathy. Non-demented patients with PD receiving dopaminergic treatment (n?=?14) and healthy control participants (n?=?12) completed a three-stimulus oddball task while EEG was recorded. Relative to controls, the PD patients exhibited reductions in centrofrontally distributed P3 potentials when viewing novel distracters during this task. Distracter-related P3 amplitudes evoked by novel distracters were strongly associated with apathy symptoms, even after controlling for the effects of depression, anxiety, and executive function. Executive dysfunction was also predictive of novelty-related P3 processing, yet this relationship was independent from that of apathy. These findings suggest that the brain's electrophysiological response to novelty is closely related to both motivational and cognitive symptoms in PD, even for patients whose apathy symptoms are not excessive. These results have significant implications for our understanding of non-motor symptoms in this clinical population.