Fluoxetine induces input-specific hippocampal dendritic spine remodeling along the septotemporal axis in adulthood and middle age.
ABSTRACT: Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is known to induce structural rearrangements and changes in synaptic transmission in hippocampal circuitry. In the adult hippocampus, structural changes include neurogenesis, dendritic, and axonal plasticity of pyramidal and dentate granule neurons, and dedifferentiation of dentate granule neurons. However, much less is known about how chronic fluoxetine affects these processes along the septotemporal axis and during the aging process. Importantly, studies documenting the effects of fluoxetine on density and distribution of spines along different dendritic segments of dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons along the septotemporal axis of hippocampus in adulthood and during aging are conspicuously absent. Here, we use a transgenic mouse line in which mature dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons are genetically labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) to investigate the effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment (18 mg/kg/day) on input-specific spine remodeling and mossy fiber structural plasticity in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in adulthood and middle age. In addition, we examine levels of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, maturation state of dentate granule neurons, neuronal activity, and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 expression in response to chronic fluoxetine in adulthood and middle age. Our studies reveal that while chronic fluoxetine fails to augment adult hippocampal neurogenesis in middle age, the middle-aged hippocampus retains high sensitivity to changes in the dentate gyrus (DG) such as dematuration, hypoactivation, and increased glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) expression. Interestingly, the middle-aged hippocampus shows greater sensitivity to fluoxetine-induced input-specific synaptic remodeling than the hippocampus in adulthood with the stratum-oriens of CA1 exhibiting heightened structural plasticity. The input-specific changes and circuit-level modifications in middle-age were associated with modest enhancement in contextual fear memory precision, anxiety-like behavior and antidepressant-like behavioral responses.
Project description:Adverse experiences by the developing fetus and in early childhood are associated with profound effects on learning, emotional behavior, and cognition as a whole. In this study we investigated the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure (NIC), postnatal maternal deprivation (MD) or the combination of the two (NIC+MD) to determine if hippocampal neuron development is modulated by exposure to drugs of abuse and/or stress. Growth of rat offspring exposed to MD alone or NIC+MD was repressed until after weaning. In CA1 but not CA3 of postnatal day 14 (P14) pups, MD increased pyramidal neurons, however, in dentate gyrus (DG), decreased granule neurons. NIC had no effect on neuron number in CA1, CA3 or DG. Unexpectedly, NIC plus MD combined caused a synergistic increase in the number of CA1 or CA3 neurons. Neuron density in CA regions was unaffected by treatment, but in the DG, granule neurons had a looser packing density after NIC, MD or NIC+MD exposure. When septotemporal axes were analyzed, the synergism of stress and drug exposure in CA1 and CA3 was associated with rostral, whereas MD effects were predominantly associated with caudal neurons. TUNEL labeling suggests no active apoptosis at P14, and doublecortin positive neurons and mossy fibers were diminished in NIC+MD relative to controls. The laterality of the effect of nicotine and/or maternal deprivation in right versus left hippocampus was also analyzed and found to be insiginificant. We report for the first time that early life stressors such as postnatal MD and prenatal NIC exposure, when combined, may exhibit synergistic consequences for CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neuron development, and a potential antagonistic influence on developing DG neurons. These results suggest that early stressors may modulate neurogenesis, apoptosis, or maturation of glutamatergic neurons in the hippocampus in a region-specific manner during critical periods of neurodevelopment.
Project description:Down syndrome (DS) is a high-incidence genetic pathology characterized by severe impairment of cognitive functions, including declarative memory. Impairment of hippocampus-dependent long-term memory in DS appears to be related to anatomo-functional alterations of the hippocampal trisynaptic circuit formed by the dentate gyrus (DG) granule cells - CA3 pyramidal neurons - CA1 pyramidal neurons. No therapies exist to improve cognitive disability in individuals with DS. In previous studies we demonstrated that pharmacotherapy with fluoxetine restores neurogenesis, granule cell number and dendritic morphology in the DG of the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. The goal of the current study was to establish whether treatment rescues the impairment of synaptic connectivity between the DG and CA3 that characterizes the trisomic condition. Euploid and Ts65Dn mice were treated with fluoxetine during the first two postnatal weeks and examined 45-60 days after treatment cessation. Untreated Ts65Dn mice had a hypotrophyc mossy fiber bundle, fewer synaptic contacts, fewer glutamatergic contacts, and fewer dendritic spines in the stratum lucidum of CA3, the terminal field of the granule cell projections. Electrophysiological recordings from CA3 pyramidal neurons showed that in Ts65Dn mice the frequency of both mEPSCs and mIPSCs was reduced, indicating an overall impairment of excitatory and inhibitory inputs to CA3 pyramidal neurons. In treated Ts65Dn mice all these aberrant features were fully normalized, indicating that fluoxetine can rescue functional connectivity between the DG and CA3. The positive effects of fluoxetine on the DG-CA3 system suggest that early treatment with this drug could be a suitable therapy, possibly usable in humans, to restore the physiology of the hippocampal networks and, hence, memory functions.
Project description:The expression of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF), an EGF receptor ligand, was investigated in rat forebrain under basal conditions and after kainate-induced excitotoxic seizures. In addition, a potential neuroprotective role for HB-EGF was assessed in hippocampal cultures. In situ hybridization analysis of HB-EGF mRNA in developing rat hippocampus revealed its expression in all principle cell layers of hippocampus from birth to postnatal day (P) 7, whereas from P14 through adulthood, expression decreased in the pyramidal cell layer versus the dentate gyrus granule cells. After kainate-induced excitotoxic seizures, levels of HB-EGF mRNA increased markedly in the hippocampus, as well as in several other cortical and limbic forebrain regions. In the hippocampus, HB-EGF mRNA expression increased within 3 hr after kainate treatment, continued to increase until 24 hr, and then decreased; increases occurred in the dentate gyrus granule cells, in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus, and in and around hippocampal pyramidal CA3 and CA1 neurons. At 48 hr after kainate treatment, HB-EGF mRNA remained elevated in vulnerable brain regions of the hippocampus and amygdaloid complex. Western blot analysis revealed increased levels of HB-EGF protein in the hippocampus after kainate administration, with a peak at 24 hr. Pretreatment of embryonic hippocampal cell cultures with HB-EGF protected neurons against kainate toxicity. The kainate-induced elevation of [Ca2+]i in hippocampal neurons was not altered in cultures pretreated with HB-EGF, suggesting an excitoprotective mechanism different from that of previously characterized excitoprotective growth factors. Taken together, these results suggest that HB-EGF may function as an endogenous neuroprotective agent after seizure-induced neural activity/injury.
Project description:Physical activity enhances hippocampal function but its effects on neuronal structure remain relatively unexplored outside of the dentate gyrus. Using Golgi impregnation and the lipophilic tracer DiI, we show that long-term voluntary running increases the density of dendritic spines in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus of adult rats. Exercise was associated with increased dendritic spine density not only in granule neurons of the dentate gyrus, but also in CA1 pyramidal neurons, and in layer III pyramidal neurons of the entorhinal cortex. In the CA1 region, changes in dendritic spine density are accompanied by changes in dendritic arborization and alterations in the morphology of individual spines. These findings suggest that physical activity exerts pervasive effects on neuronal morphology in the hippocampus and one of its afferent populations. These structural changes may contribute to running-induced changes in cognitive function.
Project description:The connectivity of the hippocampal trisynaptic circuit, formed by the dentate gyrus, the CA3 and the CA1 region, is well characterized anatomically and functionally in vitro. The functional connectivity of this circuit in vivo remains to be understood. Toward this goal, we investigated the influence of the spontaneous, synchronized oscillations in the neocortical local field potential, reflecting up-down states (UDS) of cortical neurons, on the hippocampus. We simultaneously measured the extracellular local field potential in association cortex and the membrane potential of identified hippocampal excitatory neurons in anesthetized mice. Dentate gyrus granule cells showed clear UDS modulation that was phase locked to cortical UDS with a short delay. In contrast, CA3 pyramidal neurons showed mixed UDS modulation, such that some cells were depolarized during the cortical up state and others were hyperpolarized. CA1 pyramidal neurons, located farther downstream, showed consistent UDS modulation, such that when the cortical and dentate gyrus neurons were depolarized, the CA1 pyramidal cells were hyperpolarized. These results demonstrate the differential functional connectivity between neocortex and hippocampal subfields during UDS oscillations.
Project description:Understanding the mechanisms of limbic epileptogenesis in cellular and molecular terms may provide novel therapeutic targets for its prevention. The neurotrophin receptor tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) is thought to be critical for limbic epileptogenesis. Enhanced activation of TrkB, revealed by immunodetection of enhanced phosphorylated TrkB (pTrkB), a surrogate measure of its activation, has been identified within the hippocampus in multiple animal models. Knowledge of the cellular locale of activated TrkB is necessary to elucidate its functional consequences. Using an antibody selective to pTrkB in conjunction with confocal microscopy and cellular markers, we determined the cellular and subcellular locale of enhanced pTrkB induced by status epilepticus (SE) evoked by infusion of kainic acid into the amygdala of adult mice. SE induced enhanced pTrkB immunoreactivity in two distinct populations of principal neurons within the hippocampus-the dentate granule cells and CA1 pyramidal cells. Enhanced immunoreactivity within granule cells was found within mossy fiber axons and giant synaptic boutons. By contrast, enhanced immunoreactivity was found within apical dendritic shafts and spines of CA1 pyramidal cells. A common feature of this enhanced pTrkB at these cellular locales is its localization to excitatory synapses between excitatory neurons, presynaptically in the granule cells and postsynaptically in CA1 pyramidal cells. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is one cellular consequence of TrkB activation at these excitatory synapses that may promote epileptogenesis.
Project description:Mounting evidence suggests numerous glutamatergic synapse subtypes exist in the brain, and that these subtypes are likely defined by unique molecular regulatory mechanisms. Recent work has identified substantial divergence of molecular composition between commonly studied Schaffer collateral synapses and perforant path-dentate gyrus (DG) synapses of the hippocampus. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that may confer unique properties to perforant path-DG synapses. Here we investigate whether the RhoGEF (Rho guanine-nucleotide exchange factor) protein Tiam1 plays a unique role in the regulation of glutamatergic synapses in dentate granule neurons using a combination of molecular, electrophysiological, and imaging approaches in rat entorhino-hippocampal slices of both sexes. We find that inhibition of Tiam1 function in dentate granule neurons reduces synaptic AMPA receptor function and causes dendritic spines to adopt an elongated filopodia-like morphology. We also find that Tiam1's support of perforant path-DG synapse function is dependent on its GEF domain and identify a potential role for the auto-inhibitory PH domain of Tiam1 in regulating Tiam1 function at these synapses. In marked contrast, reduced Tiam1 expression in CA1 pyramidal neurons produced no effect on glutamatergic synapse development. Together, these data identify a critical role for Tiam1 in the hippocampus and reveal a unique Tiam1-mediated molecular program of glutamatergic synapse regulation in dentate granule neurons.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Several lines of evidence independently point to the molecular diversity of glutamatergic synapses in the brain. Rho guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF) proteins as powerful modulators of glutamatergic synapse function have also become increasingly appreciated in recent years. Here we investigate the synaptic regulatory role of the RhoGEF protein Tiam1, whose expression appears to be remarkably enriched in granule neurons of the dentate gyrus. We find that Tiam1 plays a critical role in the development of glutamatergic perforant path-dentate gyrus synapses, but not in commonly studied in Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses. Together, these data reveal a unique RhoGEF-mediated molecular program of glutamatergic synapse regulation in dentate granule neurons.
Project description:Neuroimaging consistently reveals smaller hippocampal volume in recurrent or chronic major depressive disorder (MDD). The underlying cellular correlates of the smaller volume are not clearly known. Postmortem tissues from 17 pairs of depressed and control subjects were obtained at autopsy, and informant-based retrospective psychiatric assessment was performed. Formalin-fixed left temporal lobes were sectioned (40 ?m), stained for Nissl substance, and every 60th section selected throughout the entire hippocampus. Total volume of the hippocampal formation was calculated, and total numbers of pyramidal neurons (in hippocampal fields CA1, CA2/3, hilus), dentate gyrus (DG) granule cells, and glial cells were estimated stereologically. While hippocampal volume in all MDD subjects was not significantly smaller versus control subjects, in recurrent/chronic MDD, total volume decreased with duration of depressive illness (r = -0.696, p < 0.026). There was no significant difference between MDD and controls in total number or density of pyramidal neurons/granule cells or glial cells in CA1, CA2/3, hilus, or DG. However, CA1 pyramidal neuron density increased with duration of illness in recurrent/chronic MDD (r = 0.840, p < 0.002). Granule cell (r = 0.971, p < 0.002) and glial cell numbers (r = 0.980, p < 0.001) increased with age in those taking antidepressant medication (n = 6). Increasing DG granule cell and glial cell numbers with age in antidepressant-treated subjects may reflect proliferative effects of antidepressant medications. Decreasing total volume and increasing CA1 pyramidal neuron density with duration of illness in recurrent/chronic MDD lends support to the neuropil hypothesis of MDD.
Project description:Dendritic spines are the primary sites for excitatory neurotransmission in the adult brain and exhibit changes in their number and morphology with experience. The relationship between spine formation and synaptic activity has been best characterized along the apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA1 subfield. However, less is known about the structural mechanisms at the spine that mediate plasticity in other hippocampal subfields. The dentate gyrus is the predominant point of entry for synaptic input to the hippocampus, and dentate granule cells differ from CA1 pyramidal neurons in terms of their morphology and biophysical properties. In order to understand the structural mechanisms for plasticity in the dentate gyrus, we measured dendritic spine density in hippocampal slice preparations at different intervals following synaptic stimulation. We observed that transient increases in dendritic spine density are detectable 30 min after induction of long-term potentiation (LTP). By 60 min poststimulation, dendritic spine density has returned to basal levels. Both early LTP and enhancements in dendritic spine density could be blocked by destabilizing actin filaments, but not by inhibitors of transcription or protein synthesis. These results indicate that spine formation is a transient event that is required for dentate gyrus LTP.
Project description:The phosphoinositide signaling system is a crucial regulator of neural development, cell survival, and plasticity. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) negatively regulates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling and downstream targets. Nse-Cre Pten conditional knockout mice, in which Pten is ablated in granule cells of the dentate gyrus and pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA3, but not CA1, recapitulate many of the symptoms of humans with inactivating PTEN mutations, including progressive hypertrophy of the dentate gyrus and deficits in hippocampus-based social and cognitive behaviors. However, the impact of Pten loss on activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in this clinically relevant mouse model of Pten inactivation remains unclear. Here, we show that two phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase- and protein synthesis-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity, theta burst-induced long-term potentiation and metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent long-term depression, are dysregulated at medial perforant path-to-dentate gyrus synapses of young Nse-Cre Pten conditional knockout mice before the onset of visible morphological abnormalities. In contrast, long-term potentiation and mGluR-dependent long-term depression are normal at CA3-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses at this age. Our results reveal that deletion of Pten in dentate granule cells dysregulates synaptic plasticity, a defect that may underlie abnormal social and cognitive behaviors observed in humans with Pten inactivating mutations and potentially other autism spectrum disorders.