Electrical Stimulation Using Conductive Polymer Polypyrrole Counters Reduced Neurite Outgrowth of Primary Prefrontal Cortical Neurons from NRG1-KO and DISC1-LI Mice.
ABSTRACT: Deficits in neurite outgrowth, possibly involving dysregulation of risk genes neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) have been implicated in psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. Electrical stimulation using conductive polymers has been shown to stimulate neurite outgrowth of differentiating human neural stem cells. This study investigated the use of the electroactive conductive polymer polypyrrole (Ppy) to counter impaired neurite outgrowth of primary pre-frontal cortical (PFC) neurons from NRG1-knock out (NRG1-KO) and DISC1-locus impairment (DISC1-LI) mice. Whereas NRG1-KO and DISC1-LI exhibited reduced neurite length and number of neurite branches compared to wild-type controls, this was not apparent for cultures on electroactive Ppy. Additionally, the use of the Ppy substrate normalised the synaptophysin and PSD95 protein and mRNA expression whereas both are usually reduced by NRG1-KO or DISC1-LI. Our findings support the utility of Ppy mediated electrical stimulation to prevent the reduction of neurite outgrowth and related synaptic protein expression in the primary PFC neurons from NRG1-KO and DISC1-LI mice, providing proof-of-concept for treating neurodevelopmental diseases including schizophrenia.
Project description:Dysbindin and DISC1 are schizophrenia susceptibility factors playing roles in neuronal development. Here we show that the physical interaction between dysbindin and DISC1 is critical for the stability of dysbindin and for the process of neurite outgrowth. We found that DISC1 forms a complex with dysbindin and increases its stability in association with a reduction in ubiquitylation. Furthermore, knockdown of DISC1 or expression of a deletion mutant, DISC1 lacking amino acid residues 403-504 of DISC1 (DISC1(?403-504)), effectively decreased levels of endogenous dysbindin. Finally, the neurite outgrowth defect induced by knockdown of DISC1 was partially reversed by coexpression of dysbindin. Taken together, these results indicate that dysbindin and DISC1 form a physiologically functional complex that is essential for normal neurite outgrowth.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that reducing neurite outgrowth and synaptic plasticity plays a critical role in the pathology of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) can induce symptoms of schizophrenia as well as reduce dendritic spine density and neurite growth. The antipsychotic drug olanzapine may improve these deficits. This study aimed to investigate: (1) if olanzapine prevents PCP-induced suppression of neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression; (2) if olanzapine affects the Akt-GSK3 signaling pathway; and (3) the role of neuregulin 1 (NRG1) in this process. Immunofluorescence revealed that PCP treatment for 24?hours reduces both neurite length (28.5%) and the number of neurite branches (35.6%) in primary prefrontal cortical neuron cultures. PCP reduced protein and mRNA expressions of synaptophysin (24.9% and 23.2%, respectively) and PSD95 (31.5% and 21.4%, respectively), and the protein expression of p-Akt (26.7%) and p-GSK3? (35.2%). Olanzapine co-treatment prevented these PCP-induced effects in normal neurons but not in neurons from NRG1-knockout mice. These results indicate that NRG1 mediates the preventive effects of olanzapine on the PCP-induced impairment of neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression. This study provides potential targets for interventions on improving the efficacy of olanzapine on preventing cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.
Project description:Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) forms nitric oxide (NO), which functions as a signaling molecule via S-nitrosylation of various proteins and regulation of soluble guanylate cyclase (cGC)/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway in the central nervous system. nNOS signaling regulates diverse cellular processes during brain development and molecular mechanisms required for higher brain function. Human genetics have identified nNOS and several downstream effectors of nNOS as risk genes for schizophrenia. Besides the disease itself, nNOS has also been associated with prefrontal cortical functioning, including cognition, of which disturbances are a core feature of schizophrenia. Although mice with genetic deletion of nNOS display various behavioral deficits, no studies have investigated prefrontal cortex-associated behaviors. Here, we report that nNOS knockout (KO) mice exhibit hyperactivity and impairments in contextual fear conditioning, results consistent with previous reports. nNOS KO mice also display mild impairments in object recognition memory. Most importantly, we report for the first time working memory deficits, potential impairments in prefrontal cortex mediated cognitive function in nNOS KO mice. Furthermore, we demonstrate Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), another genetic risk factor for schizophrenia that plays roles for cortical development and prefrontal cortex functioning, including working memory, is a novel protein binding partner of nNOS in the developing cerebral cortex. Of note, genetic deletion of nNOS appears to increase the binding of DISC1 to NDEL1, regulating neurite outgrowth as previously reported. These results suggest that nNOS KO mice are useful tools in studying the role of nNOS signaling in cortical development and prefrontal cortical functioning.
Project description:Nuclear distribution factor E-homolog 1 (NDE1), Lissencephaly 1 (LIS1), and NDE-like 1 (NDEL1) together participate in essential neurodevelopmental processes, including neuronal precursor proliferation and differentiation, neuronal migration, and neurite outgrowth. NDE1/LIS1/NDEL1 interacts with Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) and the cAMP-hydrolyzing enzyme phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4). DISC1, PDE4, NDE1, and NDEL1 have each been implicated as genetic risk factors for major mental illness. Here, we demonstrate that DISC1 and PDE4 modulate NDE1 phosphorylation by cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) and identify a novel PKA substrate site on NDE1 at threonine-131 (T131). Homology modeling predicts that phosphorylation at T131 modulates NDE1-LIS1 and NDE1-NDEL1 interactions, which we confirm experimentally. DISC1-PDE4 interaction thus modulates organization of the NDE1/NDEL1/LIS1 complex. T131-phosphorylated NDE1 is present at the postsynaptic density, in proximal axons, within the nucleus, and at the centrosome where it becomes substantially enriched during mitosis. Mutation of the NDE1 T131 site to mimic PKA phosphorylation inhibits neurite outgrowth. Thus PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the NDE1/LIS1/NDEL1 complex is DISC1-PDE4 modulated and likely to regulate its neural functions.
Project description:Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) are promising susceptibility factors for schizophrenia. Both are multifunctional proteins with roles in a variety of neurodevelopmental processes, including progenitor cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Here, we provide evidence linking these factors together in a single pathway, which is mediated by ErbB receptors and PI3K/Akt. We show that signaling by NRG1 and NRG2, but not NRG3, increase expression of an isoform of DISC1 in vitro. Receptors ErbB2 and ErbB3, but not ErbB4, are responsible for transducing this effect, and PI3K/Akt signaling is also required. In NRG1 knockout mice, this DISC1 isoform is selectively reduced during neurodevelopment. Furthermore, a similar decrease in DISC1 expression is seen in beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1) knockout mice, in which NRG1/Akt signaling is reportedly impaired. In contrast to neuronal DISC1 that was reported and characterized, expression of DISC1 in other types of cells in the brain has not been addressed. Here we demonstrate that DISC1, like NRG and ErbB proteins, is expressed in neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and radial progenitors. These findings may connect NRG1, ErbBs, Akt, and DISC1 in a common pathway, which may regulate neurodevelopment and contribute to susceptibility to schizophrenia.
Project description:Cortical inhibitory neurons play crucial roles in regulating excitatory synaptic networks and cognitive function and aberrant development of these cells have been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders. The secreted neurotrophic factor Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and its receptor ErbB4 are established regulators of inhibitory neuron connectivity, but the developmental signalling mechanisms regulating this process remain poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence that NRG1-ErbB4 signalling functions through the multifunctional scaffold protein, Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), to regulate the development of cortical inhibitory interneuron dendrite and synaptic growth. We found that NRG1 increases inhibitory neuron dendrite complexity and glutamatergic synapse formation onto inhibitory neurons and that this effect is blocked by expression of a dominant negative DISC1 mutant, or DISC1 knockdown. We also discovered that NRG1 treatment increases DISC1 expression and its localization to glutamatergic synapses being made onto cortical inhibitory neurons. Mechanistically, we determined that DISC1 binds ErbB4 within cortical inhibitory neurons. Collectively, these data suggest that a NRG1-ErbB4-DISC1 signalling pathway regulates the development of cortical inhibitory neuron dendrite and synaptic growth. Given that NRG1, ErbB4, and DISC1 are schizophrenia-linked genes, these findings shed light on how independent risk factors may signal in a common developmental pathway that contributes to neural connectivity defects and disease pathogenesis.
Project description:Few studies have addressed likely gene × gene (ie, epistatic) interactions in mediating risk for schizophrenia. Using a preclinical genetic approach, we investigated whether simultaneous disruption of the risk factors Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) would produce a disease-relevant phenotypic profile different from that observed following disruption to either gene alone. NRG1 heterozygotes exhibited hyperactivity and disruption to prepulse inhibition, both reversed by antipsychotic treatment, and accompanied by reduced striatal dopamine D2 receptor protein expression, impaired social cognition, and altered glutamatergic synaptic protein expression in selected brain areas. Single gene DISC1 mutants demonstrated a disruption in social cognition and nest-building, altered brain 5-hydroxytryptamine levels and hippocampal ErbB4 expression, and decreased cortical expression of the schizophrenia-associated microRNA miR-29b. Co-disruption of DISC1 and NRG1, indicative of epistasis, evoked an impairment in sociability and enhanced self-grooming, accompanied by changes in hypothalamic oxytocin/vasopressin gene expression. The findings indicate specific behavioral correlates and underlying cellular pathways downstream of main effects of DNA variation in the schizophrenia-associated genes NRG1 and DISC1.
Project description:Schizophrenia and related disorders have a major genetic component, but despite much effort and many claims, few genes have been consistently replicated and fewer have biological support. One recent exception is "Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1" (DISC1), which was identified at the breakpoint on chromosome 1 of the balanced translocation (1;11)(q42.1;q14.3) that co-segregated in a large Scottish family with a wide spectrum of major mental illnesses. Since then, genetic analysis has implicated DISC1 in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar affective disorder, and major depression. Importantly, evidence is emerging from genetic studies for a causal relationship between DISC1 and directly measurable trait variables such as working memory, cognitive aging, and decreased gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex, abnormalities in hippocampal structure and function, and reduction in the amplitude of the P300 event-related potential. Further, DISC1 binds a number of proteins known to be involved in essential processes of neuronal function, including neuronal migration, neurite outgrowth, cytoskeletal modulation, and signal transduction. Thus, both genetic and functional data provide evidence for a critical role for DISC1 in schizophrenia and related disorders, supporting the neurodevelopmental hypothesis for the molecular pathogenesis of these devastating illnesses.
Project description:Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) and its receptor ErbB4 influence several processes of neurodevelopment, but the mechanisms regulating this signalling in the mature brain are not well known. DISC1 is a multifunctional scaffold protein that mediates many cellular processes. Here we present a functional relationship between DISC1 and NRG1-ErbB4 signalling in mature cortical interneurons. By cell type-specific gene modulation in vitro and in vivo including in a mutant DISC1 mouse model, we demonstrate that DISC1 inhibits NRG1-induced ErbB4 activation and signalling. This effect is likely mediated by competitive inhibition of binding of ErbB4 to PSD95. Finally, we show that interneuronal DISC1 affects NRG1-ErbB4-mediated phenotypes in the fast spiking interneuron-pyramidal neuron circuit. Post-mortem brain analyses and some genetic studies have reported interneuronal deficits and involvement of the DISC1, NRG1 and ErbB4 genes in schizophrenia, respectively. Our results suggest a mechanism by which cross-talk between DISC1 and NRG1-ErbB4 signalling may contribute to these deficits.
Project description:Aberrant neuregulin 1-ErbB4 signaling has been implicated in schizophrenia. We previously identified a novel schizophrenia-associated missense mutation (valine to leucine) in the NRG1 transmembrane domain. This variant inhibits formation of the NRG1 intracellular domain (ICD) and causes decreases in dendrite formation. To assess the global effects of this mutation, we used lymphoblastoid cell lines from unaffected heterozygous carriers (Val/Leu) and non-carriers (Val/Val). Transcriptome data showed 367 genes differentially expressed between the two groups (Val/Val N = 6, Val/Leu N = 5, T test, FDR (1 %), ? = 0.05, -log10 p value >1.5). Ingenuity pathway (IPA) analyses showed inflammation and NRG1 signaling as the top pathways altered. Within NRG1 signaling, protein kinase C (PKC)-eta (PRKCH) and non-receptor tyrosine kinase (SRC) were down-regulated in heterozygous carriers. Novel kinome profiling (serine/threonine) was performed after stimulating cells (V/V N = 6, V/L N = 6) with ErbB4, to induce release of the NRG1 ICD, and revealed significant effects of treatment on the phosphorylation of 35 peptides. IPA showed neurite outgrowth (six peptides) as the top annotated function. Phosphorylation of these peptides was significantly decreased in ErbB4-treated Val/Val but not in Val/Leu cells. These results show that perturbing NRG1 ICD formation has major effects on cell signaling, including inflammatory and neurite formation pathways, and may contribute significantly to schizophrenia pathophysiology.