Correlated gene expression encoding serotonin (5-HT) receptor 4 and 5-HT transporter in proximal colonic segments of mice across different colonization states and sexes.
ABSTRACT: The production and handling of serotonin (5-HT) is an important determinant of colonic motility and has been reported to be altered in gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Recent studies suggest that the intestinal microbiota and sex of the host can influence expression of genes involved in 5-HT biosynthesis and signaling. While expression of genes in serotonergic pathways has been shown to be variable, it remains unclear whether genes within this pathway are coregulated. As a first step in that direction, we investigated potential correlations in relative mRNA expression of serotonergic genes, in the proximal colon isolated from male and female mice in different states of microbial association: germ-free (GF), humanized (ex-germ-free colonized with human gut microbiota, HM), and conventionally raised (CR) mice. Among the 10 pairwise comparisons conducted between five serotonergic transcripts, Tph1, Chga, Maoa, Slc6a4, and Htr4, we found a strong, positive correlation between colonic expression of Slc6a4 and Htr4 across different colonization states and sexes. We also identified a positive correlation between the expression of Tph1 and Chga; however, there were no correlations observed between any other tested pair of 5-HT-related transcripts. These data suggest that correlated expression of Slc6a4 and Htr4 likely involves coregulation of genes located on different chromosomes which modulate serotonergic activity in the gut. Further work will need to be done to understand the pathways and cell types responsible for this correlated expression, given the important role of 5-HT in gastrointestinal physiology.
Project description:Gut microbiota alterations have been described in several diseases with altered gastrointestinal (GI) motility, and awareness is increasing regarding the role of the gut microbiome in modulating GI function. Serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] is a key regulator of GI motility and secretion. To determine the relationship among gut microbes, colonic contractility, and host serotonergic gene expression, we evaluated mice that were germ-free (GF) or humanized (HM; ex-GF colonized with human gut microbiota). 5-HT reduced contractile duration in both GF and HM colons. Microbiota from HM and conventionally raised (CR) mice significantly increased colonic mRNAs Tph1 [(tryptophan hydroxylase) 1, rate limiting for mucosal 5-HT synthesis; P < 0.01] and chromogranin A (neuroendocrine secretion; P < 0.01), with no effect on monoamine oxidase A (serotonin catabolism), serotonin receptor 5-HT4, or mouse serotonin transporter. HM and CR mice also had increased colonic Tph1 protein (P < 0.05) and 5-HT concentrations (GF, 17 ± 3 ng/mg; HM, 25 ± 2 ng/mg; and CR, 35 ± 3 ng/mg; P < 0.05). Enterochromaffin (EC) cell numbers (cells producing 5-HT) were unchanged. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) promoted TPH1 transcription in BON cells (human EC cell model). Thus, gut microbiota acting through SCFAs are important determinants of enteric 5-HT production and homeostasis.
Project description:Elevated platelet serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is found in a subset of children with autism and in some of their first-degree relatives. Indices of the platelet serotonin system, including whole blood 5-HT, 5-HT binding affinity for the serotonin transporter (K(m)), 5-HT uptake (V(max)), and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) receptor binding, were previously studied in 24 first-degree relatives of probands with autism, half of whom were selected for elevated whole blood 5-HT levels. All subjects were then genotyped for selected polymorphisms at the SLC6A4, HTR7, HTR2A, ITGB3, and TPH1 loci. Previous studies allowed an a priori prediction of SLC6A4 haplotypes that separated the subjects into three groups that showed significantly different 5-HT binding affinity (K(m), p=0.005) and 5-HT uptake rate (V(max), p=0.046). Genotypes at four individual polymorphisms in SLC6A4 were not associated with platelet 5-HT indices. Haplotypes at SLC6A4 and individual genotypes of polymorphisms at SLC6A4, HTR7, HTR2A, ITGB3, and TPH1 showed no significant association with whole blood 5-HT. Haplotype analysis of two polymorphisms in TPH1 revealed a nominally significant association with whole blood 5-HT (p=0.046). These initial studies of indices of the 5-HT system with several single-nucleotide polymorphisms at loci in this system generate hypotheses for testing in other samples.
Project description:Background:Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH)1 catalyzes the biosynthesis of serotonin (5-hydroxytrptamine; 5-HT) in enterochromaffin (EC) cells, the predominant source of gut 5-HT. Secreted 5-HT regulates various gut functions through diverse 5-HT receptor (5-HTR) families, and 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) sequesters its activity via uptake into surrounding cells. In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) mucosal 5-HT signaling is altered, including upregulated EC cell numbers and 5-HT levels. We examined key mucosal 5-HT signaling components and blood 5-HT levels and, as part of a pilot study, investigated the association between 5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region (5HTTLPR) and Crohn's disease (CD). Methods:In the context of inflammation, colonic expressions of TPH1, 5-HTT and 5-HTRs were studied in CD patients (n=15) and healthy controls (HC; n=10) using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). We also investigated 5HTTLPR in 40 CD patients and HC utilizing PCR and measured platelet-poor plasma (PPP) and plasma 5-HT concentrations. Results:Compared with HC, inflammation in CD patients was associated with elevated TPH1, 5-HTR3, 5-HTR4, 5-HTR7 and downregulated 5-HTT expressions. In our second cohort of participants, significantly higher PPP and plasma 5-HT levels and higher S-genotype (L/S+S/S) than L/L genotype were observed in CD patients compared with HC. Conclusion:Our results suggest that augmented mucosal 5-HT signaling and specific 5-HTTLPR genotype-associated decreased efficiency in 5-HT reuptake, the latter through increased 5-HT availability, may contribute to inflammation in CD patients. These findings revealed important information on various components of 5-HT signaling in intestinal inflammation which may ultimately lead to effective strategies targeting this pathway in IBD.
Project description:The use of fenfluramines can increase the risk of developing pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in humans, but the mechanisms responsible are unresolved. A recent study reported that female mice lacking the gene for tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (Tph1(-/-) mice) were protected from PAH caused by chronic dexfenfluramine, suggesting a pivotal role for peripheral serotonin (5-HT) in the disease process. Here we tested two alternative hypotheses which might explain the lack of dexfenfluramine-induced PAH in Tph1(-/-) mice. We postulated that: 1) Tph1(-/-) mice express lower levels of pulmonary 5-HT transporter (SERT) when compared to wild-type controls, and 2) Tph1(-/-) mice display adaptive changes in the expression of non-serotonergic pulmonary genes which are implicated in PAH. SERT was measured using radioligand binding methods, whereas gene expression was measured using microarrays followed by quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR). Contrary to our first hypothesis, the number of pulmonary SERT sites was modestly up-regulated in female Tph1(-/-) mice. The expression of 51 distinct genes was significantly altered in the lungs of female Tph1(-/-) mice. Consistent with our second hypothesis, qRT-PCR confirmed that at least three genes implicated in the pathogenesis of PAH were markedly up-regulated: Has2, Hapln3 and Retlna. The finding that female Tph1(-/-) mice are protected from dexfenfluramine-induced PAH could be related to compensatory changes in pulmonary gene expression, in addition to reductions in peripheral 5-HT. These observations emphasize the intrinsic limitation of interpreting data from studies conducted in transgenic mice that are not fully characterized.
Project description:Genes that regulate serotonin activity are regarded as promising predictors of heavy alcohol use. Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH2) plays an important role in serotonergic neurotransmission by serving as the rate-limiting enzyme for serotonin biosynthesis in the midbrain and serotonergic neurons. Despite the link between TPH2 and serotonergic function, TPH2's role in the pathogenesis of alcohol-use disorders remains unclear. The goal of this study was to examine whether a variation in the TPH2 gene is associated with risky alcohol consumption. Specifically, this study examined whether the TPH2 G-703T polymorphism predicted alcohol consumption among college students. In two successive years, 351 undergraduates were asked to record their alcohol use each day for 30 days using an Internet-based electronic diary. Participants' DNA was collected and polymerase chain reaction genotyping was performed. Results show that alcohol consumption was not associated with the TPH2 G-703T polymorphism alone, or the interaction of TPH2 with two other candidate polymorphisms (TPH1 C218A and the SLC6A4 tri-allelic 5-HTTLPR), or negative life events. In conclusion, this study supports recent null findings relating TPH2 to drinking outcomes. It also extends these findings by showing null interactions with the TPH1 C218A polymorphism, the SLC6A4 tri-allelic 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and environmental stressors in predicting sub-clinical alcohol use among Caucasian American young adults.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is crucial for the development and function of numerous organs, but its role on the function of pancreatic islets is not completely clear. To explore this question, we applied the high throughput transcriptomic analyses on the islets isolated from mice with a pancreas-specific deletion of the gene, Bmpr1a, encoding the type 1a BMP receptor. Consistently, these pBmpr1aKO mice had impaired glucose homeostasis at 3 months, and were more severely affected at 12 months of age. These had lower fasting blood insulin concentrations, with reduced expression of several key regulators of β-cell function. Importantly, transcriptomic profiling of 3-month pBmpr1aKO islets and bioinformatic analyses revealed abnormal expression of 203 metabolic genes. Critically among these, the tryptophan hydroxylase 1 gene (Tph1), encoding the rate-limiting enzyme for the production of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) was the highest over-expressed one. 5-HT is an important regulator of insulin secretion from β cells. Treatment with excess 5-HT inhibited this secretion. Thus our transcriptomic analysis links two highly conserved molecular pathways the BMP signaling and the TPH1-5-HT axis on glucose homeostasis.
Project description:Serotonin is a widely investigated neurotransmitter in several psychopathologies, including suicidal behavior (SB); however, its role extends to several physiological functions involving the nervous system, as well as the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. This review summarizes recent research into ten serotonergic genes related to SB. These genes - TPH1, TPH2, SLC6A4, SLC18A2, HTR1A, HTR1B, HTR2A, DDC, MAOA, and MAOB - encode proteins that are vital to serotonergic function: tryptophan hydroxylase; the serotonin transporter 5-HTT; the vesicular transporter VMAT2; the HTR1A, HTR1B, and HTR2A receptors; the L-amino acid decarboxylase; and the monoamine oxidases. This review employed a systematic search strategy and a narrative research methodology to disseminate the current literature investigating the link between SB and serotonin.
Project description:Alterations in 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) signaling have been implicated as a factor contributing to the altered bowel habit of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. Tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) is the rate-limiting enzyme in enterochromaffin cell 5-HT biosynthesis. We hypothesized that genetic variants affecting TPH1 gene expression might alter intestinal 5-HT bioavailability and subsequently the propensity for distinct bowel habit subtypes in IBS. In this study, we assessed the only common TPH1 proximal promoter variant (-347C/A; rs7130929) and its association with bowel habit predominance in IBS.Electrophoretic mobility shift assays were performed to assess whether the -347C/A-allele variant affects the DNA binding of nuclear factors. Genotype distribution was determined for 422 IBS patients subtyped using the Rome III criteria and for 495 healthy controls recruited from two university medical centers. Association with bowel habit was tested using a multinomial logistic regression model controlling for race, anxiety, depression, and study site.Early growth response factor 1 (EGR-1) bound with higher affinity to a site comprising the minor A-allele of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) -347C/A. TPH1 genotype frequencies did not differ between IBS patients and controls overall. The CC genotype was more prevalent in the IBS-D subtype (47%) than in the IBS-C (25%) and IBS-M (37%) subtypes (P=0.039) after adjusting for race and other covariates. Colonic biopsies from a small cohort of IBS patients from one center were tested for higher TPH1 mRNA expression in samples with CC compared with the CA genotype, but the results did not reach statistical significance.The TPH1 promoter SNP -347C/A differentially binds EGR-1 and correlates with IBS bowel habit subtypes and possibly colonic TPH1 expression consistent with its role in modulating intestinal 5-HT signaling.
Project description:Serotonin (5-HT) is an important neuromodulator, but recently has been shown to be involved in neurodevelopment. Although previous studies have demonstrated that the placenta is a major source of forebrain 5-HT during early forebrain development, the processes of how 5-HT production, metabolism, and transport from placenta to fetus are regulated are unknown. As an initial step in determining the mechanisms involved, we investigated the expression patterns of genes critical for 5-HT system function in mouse extraembryonic tissues.Mid-through late gestation expression of 5-HT system-related enzymes, Tph1, Ddc, Maoa, and 5-HT transporters, Sert/Slc6a4, Oct3/Slc22a3, Vmat2/Slc18a2, and 5-HT in placenta and yolk sac were examined, with cell type-specific resolution, using multiplex fluorescent in situ hybridization to co-localize transcripts and immunocytochemistry to co-localize the corresponding proteins and neurotransmitter.Tph1 and Ddc are found in the syncytiotrophoblast I (SynT-I) and sinusoidal trophoblast giant cells (S-TGC), whereas Maoa is expressed in SynT-I, syncytiotrophoblast II (SynT-II) and S-TGC. Oct3 expression is observed in the SynT-II only, while Vmat2 is mainly expressed in S-TGC. Surprisingly, there were comparatively high expression of Tph1, Ddc, and Maoa in the yolk sac visceral endoderm.In addition to trophoblast cells, visceral endoderm cells in the yolk sac may contribute to fetal 5-HT production. The findings raise the possibility of a more complex regulation of 5-HT access to the fetus through the differential roles of trophoblasts that surround maternal and fetal blood space and of yolk sac endoderm prior to normal degeneration.
Project description:The gut contains a large 5-HT pool in enterochromaffin (EC) cells and a smaller 5-HT pool in the enteric nervous system (ENS). During development, enteric neurons are generated asynchronously. We tested hypotheses that serotonergic neurons, which arise early, affect development/survival of later-born dopaminergic, GABAergic, nitrergic, and calcitonin gene-related peptide-expressing neurons and are essential for gastrointestinal motility. 5-HT biosynthesis depends on tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) in EC cells and on TPH2 in neurons; therefore, mice lacking TPH1 and/or TPH2 distinguish EC-derived from neuronal 5-HT. Deletion of TPH2, but not TPH1, decreased myenteric neuronal density and proportions of dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons but did not affect the extrinsic sympathetic innervation of the gut; intestinal transit slowed in mice lacking TPH2 mice, but gastric emptying accelerated. Isolated enteric crest-derived cells (ENCDCs) expressed the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) and 15 subtypes of 5-HT receptor. Addition of 5-HT to cultures of isolated ENCDCs promoted total and dopaminergic neuronal development. Rings of SERT-immunoreactive terminal axons surrounded myenteric dopaminergic neurons and SERT knock-out increased intestinal levels of dopamine metabolites, implying that enteric dopaminergic neurons receive a serotonergic innervation. Observations suggest that constitutive gastrointestinal motility depends more on neuronal than EC cell serotonin; moreover, serotonergic neurons promote development/survival of some classes of late-born enteric neurons, including dopaminergic neurons, which appear to innervate and activate in the adult ENS.