S 38093, a histamine H3 antagonist/inverse agonist, promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and improves context discrimination task in aged mice.
ABSTRACT: Strategies designed to increase adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) may have therapeutic potential for reversing memory impairments. H3 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists also may be useful for treating cognitive deficits. However, it remains unclear whether these ligands have effects on AHN. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of a 28-day treatment with S 38093, a novel brain-penetrant antagonist/inverse agonist of H3 receptors, on AHN (proliferation, maturation and survival) in 3-month-old and in aged 16-month-old mice. In addition, the effects of S 38093 treatment on 7-month-old APPSWE Tg2576 transgenic mice, a model of Alzheimer's disease, were also assessed. In all tested models, chronic treatment with S 38093 stimulated all steps of AHN. In aged animals, S 38093 induced a reversal of age-dependent effects on hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) BDNF-IX, BDNF-IV and BDNF-I transcripts and increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. Finally, the effects of chronic administration of S 38093 were assessed on a neurogenesis-dependent "context discrimination (CS) test" in aged mice. While ageing altered mouse CS, chronic S 38093 treatment significantly improved CS. Taken together, these results provide evidence that chronic S 38093 treatment increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis and may provide an innovative strategy to improve age-associated cognitive deficits.
Project description:Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is impaired before the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. We found that exercise provided cognitive benefit to 5×FAD mice, a mouse model of AD, by inducing AHN and elevating levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Neither stimulation of AHN alone, nor exercise, in the absence of increased AHN, ameliorated cognition. We successfully mimicked the beneficial effects of exercise on AD mice by genetically and pharmacologically inducing AHN in combination with elevating BDNF levels. Suppressing AHN later led to worsened cognitive performance and loss of preexisting dentate neurons. Thus, pharmacological mimetics of exercise, enhancing AHN and elevating BDNF levels, may improve cognition in AD. Furthermore, applied at early stages of AD, these mimetics may protect against subsequent neuronal cell death.
Project description:Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in the dentate gyrus is known to respond to environmental enrichment, chronic stress, and many other factors. The function of AHN may vary across the septo-temporal axis of the hippocampus, as different subdivisions are responsible for different functions. The dorsal pole regulates cognitive-related behaviors, while the ventral pole mediates mood-related responses through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, we investigate different methods of quantifying the effect of environmental enrichment on AHN in the dorsal and ventral parts of the dentate gyrus (dDG and vDG). To this purpose, 11-week-old female CD-1 mice were assigned for 8 days to one of two conditions: the Environmental Enrichment (E) group received (i) running wheels, (ii) larger cages, (iii) plastic tunnels, and (iv) bedding with male urine, while the Control (C) group received standard housing. Dorsal CA (Cornu Ammonis) and DG regions were larger in the E than the C animals. Distance run linearly predicted the volume of the dorsal hippocampus, as well as of the intermediate and ventral CA regions. In the dDG, the amount of Doublecortin (DCX) immunoreactivity was significantly higher in E than in C mice. Surprisingly, this pattern was the opposite in the vDG (C > E). Real-time PCR measurement of Dcx mRNA and DCX protein analysis using ELISA showed the same pattern. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) immunoreactivity and mRNA displayed no difference between E and C, suggesting that upregulation of DCX was not caused by changes in BDNF levels. BDNF levels were higher in vDG than in dDG, as measured by both methods. Bdnf expression in vDG correlated positively with the distance run by individual E mice. The similarity in the patterns of immunoreactivity, mRNA and protein for differential DCX expression and for BDNF distribution suggests that the latter two methods might be effective tools for more rapid quantification of AHN.
Project description:Major Depressive Disorders (MDD) patients may exhibit cognitive deficits and it is currently unclear to which degree treatment with antidepressants may affect cognitive function. Preclinical and clinical observations showed that vortioxetine (VORT, an antidepressant with multimodal activity), presents beneficial effects on aspects of cognitive function. In addition, VORT treatment increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) in rodents, a candidate mechanism for antidepressant activity. Pattern separation (PS) is the ability to discriminate between two similar contexts/events generating two distinct and non-overlapping representations. Impaired PS may lead to overgeneralization and anxiety disorders. If PS impairments were described in depressed patients, the consequences of antidepressant treatment on context discrimination (CD) are still in its infancy. We hypothesized that VORT-increased AHN may improve CD. Thus, in an attempt to elucidate the molecular mechanism underpinning VORT treatment effects on CD, a rodent model of PS, the role of AHN and stress-induced c-Fos activation was evaluated in the adult mouse hippocampus. Chronic treatment with VORT (1.8 g/kg of food weight; corresponding to a daily dose of 10 mg/kg, 3 weeks) improved CD in mice. Interestingly, chronic treatment with VORT reversed ablation of AHN-induced delay in CD and freezing behavior. VORT treatment decreased stress-induced c-Fos activation in the dorsal but not ventral dentate gyrus. VORT treatment did not affect c-Fos activity in the hippocampus of mice with ablated neurogenesis. This study highlights a role of VORT in CD, which may be independent from AHN and hippocampal c-Fos activation. Further studies elucidating the mechanisms underlying VORT's effects in CD could contribute to future strategies for alleviating the disease burden for individuals suffering from depression and/or anxiety disorders.
Project description:The full role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) remains to be determined, yet it is implicated in learning and emotional functions, and is disrupted in negative mood disorders. Recent evidence indicates that AHN is decreased in persistent pain consistent with the idea that chronic pain is a major stressor, associated with negative moods and abnormal memories. Yet, the role of AHN in development of persistent pain has remained unexplored. In this study, we test the influence of AHN in postinjury inflammatory and neuropathic persistent pain-like behaviors by manipulating neurogenesis: pharmacologically through intracerebroventricular infusion of the antimitotic AraC; ablation of AHN by x-irradiation; and using transgenic mice with increased or decreased AHN. Downregulating neurogenesis reversibly diminished or blocked persistent pain; oppositely, upregulating neurogenesis led to prolonged persistent pain. Moreover, we could dissociate negative mood from persistent pain. These results suggest that AHN-mediated hippocampal learning mechanisms are involved in the emergence of persistent pain.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The persistence of adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is sharply decreased in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The neuropathologies of AD include the presence of amyloid-? deposition in plaques, tau hyperphosphorylation in neurofibrillary tangles, and cholinergic system degeneration. The focused ultrasound (FUS)-mediated blood-brain barrier opening modulates tau hyperphosphorylation, the accumulation of amyloid-? proteins, and increases in AHN. However, it remains unclear whether FUS can modulate AHN in cholinergic-deficient conditions. In this study, we investigated the effect of FUS on AHN in a cholinergic degeneration rat model of dementia. METHODS:Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (n?=?48; 200-250?g) were divided into control (phosphate-buffered saline injection), 192 IgG-saporin (SAP), and SAP+FUS groups; in the two latter groups, SAP was injected bilaterally into the lateral ventricle. We applied FUS to the bilateral hippocampus with microbubbles. Immunohistochemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoblotting, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine labeling, an acetylcholinesterase assay, and the Morris water maze test were performed to assess choline acetyltransferase, acetylcholinesterase activity, brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression, neural proliferation, and spatial memory, respectively. Statistical significance of differences in between groups was calculated using one-way and two-way analyses of variance followed by Tukey's multiple comparison test to determine the individual and interactive effects of FUS on immunochemistry and behavioral analysis. P?<?0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS:Cholinergic degeneration in rats significantly decreased the number of choline acetyltransferase neurons (P?<?0.05) in the basal forebrain, as well as AHN and spatial memory function. Rats that underwent FUS-mediated brain-blood barrier opening exhibited significant increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; P?<?0.05), early growth response protein 1 (EGR1) (P?<?0.01), AHN (P?<?0.01), and acetylcholinesterase activity in the frontal cortex (P?<?0.05) and hippocampus (P?<?0.01) and crossing over (P?<?0.01) the platform in the Morris water maze relative to the SAP group after sonication. CONCLUSIONS:FUS treatment increased AHN and improved spatial memory. This improvement was mediated by increased hippocampal BDNF and EGR1. FUS treatment may also restore AHN and protect against neurodegeneration, providing a potentially powerful therapeutic strategy for AD.
Project description:In this study, we investigated the effects of cold challenge on adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) and hippocampal gene expression and whether these are mediated by beigeing of peripheral fat tissues. Cold challenge (6 ± 2°C) for 1 and 4 weeks was found to induce beigeing effects in inguinal white adipose tissue based on hematoxylin and eosin staining as well as uncoupled protein-1 immunohistochemical staining. In the hippocampus, cold challenge for 1 or 4 weeks increased dentate gyrus neurogenesis and expression of genes related to AHN, including notch signaling, G protein-coupled receptor signaling, and adrenergic beta receptor-1. However, this enhancement of neurogenesis and gene expression by cold challenge was not shown by administration of CL 316,243, which induces peripheral beigeing similar to cold challenge but does not cross the blood-brain barrier. These results suggest that cold challenge promotes AHN and central expression of AHN-related, signaling, and ?1-adrenergic receptors genes, and that peripheral beigeing by itself is not sufficient to mediate these effects. Considering the increase in AHN and gene expression changes, cold challenge may offer a novel approach to hippocampal modulation.
Project description:Adult-onset stressors exert opposing effects on hippocampal neurogenesis and cognition, with enhancement observed following mild stress and dysfunction following severe chronic stress. While early life stress evokes persistent changes in anxiety, it is unknown whether early stress differentially regulates hippocampal neurogenesis, trophic factor expression, and cognition across the life span.Hippocampal-dependent cognitive behavior, neurogenesis, and epigenetic regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) expression was examined at distinct time points across the life span in rats subjected to the early stress of maternal separation (ES) and control groups. We also examined the influence of chronic antidepressant treatment on the neurogenic, neurotrophic, and cognitive changes in middle-aged ES animals.Animals subjected to early stress of maternal separation examined during postnatal life and young adulthood exhibited enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis, decreased repressive histone methylation at the Bdnf IV promoter along with enhanced BDNF levels, and improved performance on the stress-associated Morris water maze. Strikingly, opposing changes in hippocampal neurogenesis and epigenetic regulation of Bdnf IV expression, concomitant with impairments on hippocampal-dependent cognitive tasks, were observed in middle-aged ES animals. Chronic antidepressant treatment with amitriptyline attenuated the maladaptive neurogenic, epigenetic, transcriptional, and cognitive effects in middle-aged ES animals.Our study provides novel insights into the short- and long-term consequences of ES, demonstrating both biphasic and unique, age-dependent changes at the molecular, epigenetic, neurogenic, and behavioral levels. These results indicate that early stress may transiently endow animals with a potential adaptive advantage in stressful environments but across a life span is associated with long-term deleterious effects.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Depression is a neuropsychiatric disorder accompanied by a decrease in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signalling cascade in the hippocampus. Fenofibrate is a selective agonist of PPAR-?. In this study, we investigated the antidepressant-like effects of fenofibrate in C57BL/6J mice. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:The antidepressant-like effects of fenofibrate were first identified in the forced swim test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST), and then assessed in the chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) model. The changes in the hippocampal BDNF signalling pathway and adult hippocampal neurogenesis after CSDS and fenofibrate treatment were further investigated. A PPAR-? inhibitor, cannabinoid system inhibitors and BDNF signalling inhibitors were also used to determine the antidepressant mechanisms of fenofibrate. KEY RESULTS:Fenofibrate administration exhibited antidepressant-like effects in the FST and TST without affecting the locomotor activity of mice. Chronic fenofibrate treatment also prevented the depressive-like symptoms induced by CSDS. Moreover, fenofibrate restored the CSDS-induced decrease in the hippocampal BDNF signalling cascade and adult hippocampal neurogenesis. The antidepressant-like effects of fenofibrate could be blocked by a PPAR-? inhibitor and BDNF signalling inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Taken together, these results suggest that fenofibrate has antidepressant-like effects mediated through the promotion of the hippocampal BDNF signalling cascade.
Project description:Chronic stress produces sustained elevation of corticosteroid levels, which is why it is considered one of the most potent negative regulators of adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN). Several mood disorders are accompanied by elevated glucocorticoid levels and have been linked to alterations in AHN, such as major depression (MD). Nevertheless, the mechanism by which acute stress affects the maturation of neural precursors in the dentate gyrus is poorly understood. We analyzed the survival and differentiation of 1 to 8 week-old cells in the dentate gyrus of female C57/BL6 mice following exposure to an acute stressor (the Porsolt or forced swimming test). Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist mifepristone on the cell death induced by the Porsolt test. Forced swimming induced selective apoptotic cell death in 1 week-old cells, an effect that was abolished by pretreatment with mifepristone. Independent of its antagonism of GR, mifepristone also induced an increase in the percentage of 1 week-old cells that were AMPA(+). We propose that the induction of AMPA receptor expression in immature cells may mediate the neuroprotective effects of mifepristone, in line with the proposed antidepressant effects of AMPA receptor potentiators.
Project description:Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) deficits contribute to the progression of cognitive impairments during accelerated senescence, with the mechanistic causes poorly understood. Glycogen synthase kinase-3? (GSK-3?) is a critical regulator in prenatal neurodevelopment. The present study aims to study whether and how GSK-3? regulates AHN during the accelerated senescence. Methods: AHN and AHN-dependent cognition and GSK-3? were evaluated in 3- and 6-month senescence-accelerated mice prone 8 (SAM-P8) and senescence resistant 1 (SAM-R1) mice, respectively. GSK-3? was selectively overexpressed in wild-type mice using adeno-associated virus, or knocked-out by crossbreeding with GSK-3? floxed mice in the neural stem cells (NSCs) of Nestin-Cre mice, or pharmacologically inhibited with SB216763 in SAM-P8 mice. AHN was evaluated by BrdU-, DCX-staining and retrovirus-labeling. Results: AHN transiently increased at 3-month, but dramatically dropped at 6-month of age in SAM-P8 mice with a simultaneous activation of GSK-3? at 3-month. Selective overexpression of GSK-3? in hippocampal NSCs of wildtype mice induced long-term AHN deficits due to an accelerated depletion of NSC pool, although it transiently increased the proliferation and survival of the newborn neurons. Pharmacologically inhibiting GSK-3? by SB216763 efficiently preserved AHN and improved contextual memory in 6-month SAM-P8 mice, while conditional knock-out of GSK-3? in NSCs impaired AHN. Conclusion: Early-stage activation of GSK-3? in NSCs impairs AHN by accelerating the depletion of NSC pool, and pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3? is efficient to preserve AHN during the accelerated aging. These results reveal novel mechanisms underlying the AHN impairments during accelerated senescence and provide new targets for pro-neurogenic therapies for related diseases.