A critical period for antidepressant-induced acceleration of neuronal maturation in adult dentate gyrus.
ABSTRACT: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly used medications for mood and anxiety disorders, and adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus has been shown to be involved in the behavioral effects of SSRIs in mice. Studies have shown the varied effects of chronic treatment with SSRIs on adult neurogenesis. One such effect is the acceleration of neuronal maturation, which affects the functional integration of new neurons into existing neuronal circuitry. In this study, we labeled new neurons by using GFP-expressing retroviral vectors in mice and investigated the effect of an SSRI, fluoxetine, on these neurons at different time points after neuronal birth. Chronic treatment with fluoxetine accelerated the dendritic development of the newborn neurons and shifted the timing of the expression of the maturational marker proteins, doublecortin and calbindin. This accelerated maturation was observed even after sub-chronic treatment, only when fluoxetine was administered during the second week of neuronal birth. These results suggest the existence of a 'critical period' for the fluoxetine-induced maturation of new neurons. We propose that the modified functional integration of new neurons in the critical period may underlie the behavioral effects of fluoxetine by regulating anxiety-related decision-making processes.
Project description:Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) display a delayed onset of action of several weeks. Past work in naive rats showed that 5-HT? receptor agonists had rapid effects on depression-related behaviors and on hippocampal neurogenesis. We decided to investigate whether 5-HT? receptor stimulation was necessary for the effects of SSRIs in a mouse model of anxiety/depression, and whether hippocampal neurogenesis contributed to these effects. Using the mouse corticosterone model of anxiety/depression, we assessed whether chronic treatment with a 5-HT? receptor agonist (RS67333, 1.5 mg/kg/day) had effects on anxiety- and depression-related behaviors, as well as on hippocampal neurogenesis in comparison with chronic fluoxetine treatment (18 mg/kg/day). Then, using our anxiety/depression model combined with ablation of hippocampal neurogenesis, we investigated whether neurogenesis was necessary for the behavioral effects of subchronic (7 days) or chronic (28 days) RS67333 treatment. We also assessed whether a 5-HT? receptor antagonist (GR125487, 1?mg/kg/day) could prevent the behavioral and neurogenic effects of fluoxetine. Chronic treatment with RS67333, similar to fluoxetine, induced anxiolytic/antidepressant-like activity and stimulated adult hippocampal neurogenesis, specifically facilitating maturation of newborn neurons. However, unlike fluoxetine, anxiolytic effects of RS67333 were already present after 7 days and did not require hippocampal neurogenesis. Chronic treatment with GR125487 prevented both anxiolytic/antidepressant-like and neurogenic effects of fluoxetine, indicating that 5-HT? receptor activation is necessary for these effects of SSRIs. 5-HT? receptor stimulation could represent an innovative and rapid onset therapeutic approach to treat depression with comorbid anxiety.
Project description: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:Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs in pregnant women. Given that SSRIs can cross the placental and blood-brain barriers, these drugs potentially affect serotonergic neurotransmission and neurodevelopment in the fetus. Although no gross SSRI-related teratogenic effect has been reported, infants born following prenatal exposure to SSRIs have a higher risk for various behavioral abnormalities. Therefore, we examined the effects of prenatal fluoxetine, the most commonly prescribed SSRI, on social and cognitive behavior in mice. Intriguingly, chronic in utero fluoxetine treatment impaired working memory and social novelty recognition in adult males with augmented spontaneous inhibitory synaptic transmission onto the layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Moreover, fast-spiking interneurons in the layer 5 mPFC exhibited enhanced basal intrinsic excitability, augmented serotonin-induced neuronal excitability, and increased inhibitory synaptic transmission onto the layer 5 pyramidal neurons due to augmented 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) signaling. More importantly, the observed behavioral deficits of in utero fluoxetine-treated mice could be reversed by acute systemic application of 5-HT2AR antagonist. Taken together, our findings support the notion that alterations in serotonin-mediated inhibitory neuronal modulation result in reduced cortical network activities and cognitive impairment following prenatal exposure to SSRIs. Overall design: We examined biological duplicate samples for each group.
Project description:The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (FLX) is widely used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Chronic FLX treatment reportedly induces cellular responses in the brain, including increased adult hippocampal and cortical neurogenesis and reversal of neuron maturation in the hippocampus, amygdala, and cortex. However, because most previous studies have used rodent models, it remains unclear whether these FLX-induced changes occur in the primate brain. To evaluate the effects of FLX in the primate brain, we used immunohistological methods to assess neurogenesis and the expression of neuronal maturity markers following chronic FLX treatment (3?mg/kg/day for 4?weeks) in adult marmosets (n =?3 per group). We found increased expression of doublecortin and calretinin, markers of immature neurons, in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of FLX-treated marmosets. Further, FLX treatment reduced parvalbumin expression and the number of neurons with perineuronal nets, which indicate mature fast-spiking interneurons, in the hippocampus, but not in the amygdala or cerebral cortex. We also found that FLX treatment increased the generation of cortical interneurons; however, significant up-regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis was not observed in FLX-treated marmosets. These results suggest that dematuration of hippocampal neurons and increased cortical neurogenesis may play roles in FLX-induced effects and/or side effects. Our results are consistent with those of previous studies showing hippocampal dematuration and increased cortical neurogenesis in FLX-treated rodents. In contrast, FLX did not affect hippocampal neurogenesis or dematuration of interneurons in the amygdala and cerebral cortex.
Project description:Serotonergic antidepressant drugs have been commonly used to treat mood and anxiety disorders, and increasing evidence suggests potential use of these drugs beyond current antidepressant therapeutics. Facilitation of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus has been suggested to be a candidate mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs, but this mechanism may be only one of the broad effects of antidepressants. Here we show a distinct unique action of the serotonergic antidepressant fluoxetine in transforming the phenotype of mature dentate granule cells. Chronic treatments of adult mice with fluoxetine strongly reduced expression of the mature granule cell marker calbindin. The fluoxetine treatment induced active somatic membrane properties resembling immature granule cells and markedly reduced synaptic facilitation that characterizes the mature dentate-to-CA3 signal transmission. These changes cannot be explained simply by an increase in newly generated immature neurons, but best characterized as "dematuration" of mature granule cells. This granule cell dematuration developed along with increases in the efficacy of serotonin in 5-HT(4) receptor-dependent neuromodulation and was attenuated in mice lacking the 5-HT(4) receptor. Our results suggest that serotonergic antidepressants can reverse the established state of neuronal maturation in the adult hippocampus, and up-regulation of 5-HT(4) receptor-mediated signaling may play a critical role in this distinct action of antidepressants. Such reversal of neuronal maturation could affect proper functioning of the mature hippocampal circuit, but may also cause some beneficial effects by reinstating neuronal functions that are lost during development.
Project description:Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) and the anterior subventricular zone (SVZ) is regulated by multiple factors, including neurotransmitters, hormones, stress, aging, voluntary exercise, environmental enrichment, learning, and ischemia. Chronic treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) modulates adult neurogenesis in the SGZ, the neuronal area that is hypothesized to mediate the antidepressant effects of these substances. Layer 1 inhibitory neuron progenitor cells (L1-INP cells) were recently identified in the adult cortex, but it remains unclear what factors other than ischemia affect the neurogenesis of L1-INP cells. Here, we show that chronic treatment with an SSRI, fluoxetine (FLX), stimulated the neurogenesis of ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons from L1-INP cells in the cortex of adult mice. Immunofluorescence and genetic analyses revealed that FLX treatment increased the number of L1-INP cells in all examined cortical regions in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, enhanced Venus reporter expression driven by the synapsin I promoter demonstrated that GABAergic interneurons were derived from retrovirally labeled L1-INP cells. In order to assess if these new GABAergic interneurons possess physiological function, we examined their effect on apoptosis surrounding areas following ischemia. Intriguingly, the number of neurons expressing the apoptotic marker, active caspase-3, was significantly lower in adult mice pretreated with FLX. Our findings indicate that FLX stimulates the neurogenesis of cortical GABAergic interneurons, which might have, at least, some functions, including a suppressive effect on apoptosis induced by ischemia.
Project description:The therapeutic activity of selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) relies on long-term adaptation at pre- and post-synaptic levels. The sustained administration of SSRIs increases the serotonergic neurotransmission in response to a functional desensitization of the inhibitory 5-HT1A autoreceptor in the dorsal raphe. At nerve terminal such as the hippocampus, the enhancement of 5-HT availability increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) synthesis and signaling, a major event in the stimulation of adult neurogenesis. In physiological conditions, BDNF would be expressed at functionally relevant levels in neurons. However, the recent observation that SSRIs upregulate BDNF mRNA in primary cultures of astrocytes strongly suggest that the therapeutic activity of antidepressant drugs might result from an increase in BDNF synthesis in this cell type. In this study, by overexpressing BDNF in astrocytes, we balanced the ratio between astrocytic and neuronal BDNF raising the possibility that such manipulation could positively reverberate on anxiolytic-/antidepressant-like activities in transfected mice. Our results indicate that BDNF overexpression in hippocampal astrocytes produced anxiolytic-/antidepressant-like activity in the novelty suppressed feeding in relation with the stimulation of hippocampal neurogenesis whereas it did not potentiate the effects of the SSRI fluoxetine on these parameters. Moreover, overexpressing BDNF revealed the anxiolytic-like activity of fluoxetine in the elevated plus maze while attenuating 5-HT neurotransmission in response to a blunted downregulation of the 5-HT1A autoreceptor. These results emphasize an original role of hippocampal astrocytes in the synthesis of BDNF, which can act through neurogenesis-dependent and -independent mechanisms to regulate different facets of anxiolytic-like responses.
Project description:Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs in pregnant women. Infants born following prenatal exposure to SSRIs have a higher risk for behavioral abnormalities, however, the underlying mechanisms remains unknown. Therefore, we examined the effects of prenatal fluoxetine, the most commonly prescribed SSRI, in mice. Intriguingly, chronic in utero fluoxetine treatment impaired working memory and social novelty recognition in adult males. In the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a key region regulating these behaviors, we found augmented spontaneous inhibitory synaptic transmission onto the layer 5 pyramidal neurons. Fast-spiking interneurons in mPFC exhibited enhanced intrinsic excitability and serotonin-induced excitability due to upregulated serotonin (5-HT) 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) signaling. More importantly, the behavioral deficits in prenatal fluoxetine treated mice were reversed by the application of a 5-HT2AR antagonist. Taken together, our findings suggest that alterations in inhibitory neuronal modulation are responsible for the behavioral alterations following prenatal exposure to SSRIs.
Project description:Chronic treatment with antidepressants increases neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. This increase in the production of new neurons may be required for the behavioral effects of antidepressants. However, it is not known which class of cells within the neuronal differentiation cascade is targeted by the drugs. We have generated a reporter mouse line, which allows identification and classification of early neuronal progenitors. It also allows accurate quantitation of changes induced by neurogenic agents in these distinct subclasses of neuronal precursors. We use this line to demonstrate that the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant fluoxetine does not affect division of stem-like cells in the dentate gyrus but increases symmetric divisions of an early progenitor cell class. We further demonstrate that these cells are the sole class of neuronal progenitors targeted by fluoxetine in the adult brain and suggest that the fluoxetine-induced increase in new neurons arises as a result of the expansion of this cell class. This finding defines a cellular target for antidepressant drug therapies.
Project description:Adolescence is a developmental stage in which the incidence of psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders, peaks. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the main class of agents used to treat anxiety disorders. However, the impact of SSRIs on the developing brain during adolescence remains unknown. The authors assessed the impact of developmentally timed SSRI administration in a genetic mouse model displaying elevated anxiety-like behaviors.Knock-in mice containing a common human single-nucleotide polymorphism (Val66Met; rs6265) in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth factor implicated in the mechanism of action of SSRIs, were studied based on their established phenotype of increased anxiety-like behavior. Timed administration of fluoxetine was delivered during one of three developmental periods (postnatal days 21-42, 40-61, or 60-81), spanning the transition from childhood to adulthood. Neurochemical and anxiety-like behavioral analyses were performed.We identified a "sensitive period" during periadolescence (postnatal days 21-42) in which developmentally timed fluoxetine administration rescued anxiety-like phenotypes in BDNF Val66Met mice in adulthood. Compared with littermate controls, BDNFMet/Met mice exhibited diminished maturation of serotonergic fibers projecting particularly to the prefrontal cortex, as well as decreased expression of the serotonergic trophic factor S100B in the dorsal raphe. Interestingly, deficient serotonergic innervation, as well as S100B levels, were rescued with fluoxetine administration during periadolescence.These findings suggest that SSRI administration during a "sensitive period" during periadolescence leads to long-lasting anxiolytic effects in a genetic mouse model of elevated anxiety-like behaviors. These persistent effects highlight the role of BDNF in the maturation of the serotonin system and the capacity to enhance its development through a pharmacological intervention.