Restoring GABAergic inhibition rescues memory deficits in a Huntington's disease mouse model.
ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is classically characterized as a movement disorder, however cognitive impairments precede the motor symptoms by ?15 y. Based on proteomic and bioinformatic data linking the Huntingtin protein (Htt) and KCC2, which is required for hyperpolarizing GABAergic inhibition, and the important role of inhibition in learning and memory, we hypothesized that aberrant KCC2 function contributes to the hippocampal-associated learning and memory deficits in HD. We discovered that Htt and KCC2 interact in the hippocampi of wild-type and R6/2-HD mice, with a decrease in KCC2 expression in the hippocampus of R6/2 and YAC128 mice. The reduced expression of the Cl--extruding cotransporter KCC2 is accompanied by an increase in the Cl--importing cotransporter NKCC1, which together result in excitatory GABA in the hippocampi of HD mice. NKCC1 inhibition by the FDA-approved NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide abolished the excitatory action of GABA and rescued the performance of R6/2 mice on hippocampal-associated behavioral tests.
Project description:The amyloid precursor protein (APP) modulates synaptic activity, resulting from the fine tuning of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. GABAergic inhibitory neurotransmission is affected by modifications in intracellular chloride concentrations regulated by Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter 1 (NKCC1) and neuronal K+-Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2), allowing entrance and efflux of chloride, respectively. Modifications in NKCC1 and KCC2 expression during maturation of cortical cells induce a shift in GABAergic signaling. Here, we demonstrated that APP affects this GABA shift. Expression of APP in cortical cells decreased the expression of KCC2, without modifying NKCC1, eliciting a less inhibitory GABA response. Downregulation of KCC2 expression by APP was independent of the APP intracellular domain, but correlated with decreased expression of upstream stimulating factor 1 (USF1), a potent regulator of Slc12a5 gene expression (encoding KCC2). KCC2 was also downregulated in vivo following APP expression in neonatal mouse brain. These results argue for a key role of APP in the regulation of GABAergic neurotransmission.
Project description:Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is synthesized in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, plays an important role in the endocrine stress response. The excitability of CRH neurons is regulated by ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-containing neurons projecting to the PVN. We investigated the role of GABA in the regulation of CRH release. The release of CRH was impaired, accumulating in the cell bodies of CRH neurons in heterozygous GAD67-GFP (green fluorescent protein) knock-in mice (GAD67(+/GFP)), which exhibited decreased GABA content. The GABAA receptor (GABAAR) and the Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC1), but not the K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (KCC2), were expressed in the terminals of the CRH neurons at the median eminence (ME). In contrast, CRH neuronal somata were enriched with KCC2 but not with NKCC1. Thus, intracellular Cl(-) concentrations ([Cl(-)]i) may be increased at the terminals of CRH neurons compared with concentrations in the cell body. Moreover, GABAergic terminals projecting from the arcuate nucleus were present in close proximity to CRH-positive nerve terminals. Furthermore, a GABAAR agonist increased the intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) levels in the CRH neuron terminals but decreased the Ca(2+) levels in their somata. In addition, the increases in Ca(2+) concentrations were prevented by an NKCC1 inhibitor. We propose a novel mechanism by which the excitatory action of GABA maintains a steady-state CRH release from axon terminals in the ME.
Project description:gamma -aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS). During CNS development, the role of GABA is switched from an excitatory transmitter to an inhibitory transmitter, which is caused by an inhibition of calcium influx into postsynaptic neuron derived from release of GABA. The switch is influenced by the neuronal chloride concentration. When the neuronal chloride concentration is at a high level, GABA acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter. When neuronal chloride concentration decreases to some degree, GABA acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The neuronal chloride concentration is increased by Na+-K+-Cl(-)-Cl(-) cotransporters 1 (NKCC1), and decreased by K+-Cl(-) cotransporter 2 (KCC2).
Project description:Na-K-Cl cotransporter 1 (NKCC1) and K-Cl cotransporter 2 (KCC2) have fundamental roles in neuron differentiation that are integrated with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate receptors, GABA synthesized by GAD25/65/67 encoded by GAD1/GAD2 genes, and GABA transporters (GATs). Cells in the eye lens express at least 13 GABA receptor subunits, ?-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors, GAD1/GAD2, GAT1-4 and vGAT, and NKCC1. NKCC1:KCC2 ratios determine the switch in GABA actions from trophic/growth promoting early in development to their classic inhibitory roles in adult neurons. Lens epithelial cells cover the anterior surface and differentiate to elongated fiber cells in the lens interior with comparable morphology and sub-cellular structures as neurons. NKCC1 is expressed before KCC2 in neuron development and increases cell chloride, which stimulates differentiation and process formation. Subsequently, KCC2 increases and extrudes cell chloride linked with maturation. KCC2 has an additional structural moonlighting role interacting with F-actin scaffolding in dendritic spine morphogenesis. We examined KCC2 versus NKCC1 spatial expression in relation to fiber cell developmental status within the lens.Immunofluorescence and immunoblots were used to detect expression in mouse and rabbit lenses.NKCC1 was restricted to peripheral elongating lens fiber cells in young adult mouse and rabbit lenses. Lens KCC2 expression included the major KCC2b neuronal isoform and was detected in interior fiber cells with decreased NKCC1 expression and localized at the membranes. Lens expression of RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) regulated KCC2 is consistent with GAD1 and GAD2, several GABA and glutamate receptor subunits, miR-124, and other REST-regulated genes expressed in lenses.NKCC1 in peripheral elongating fiber cells is superseded by KCC2 expression in interior mature fiber cells that also express >20 additional integral GABA biology genes, AMPA/NMDA glutamate receptors, and an array of accessory proteins that together underlie morphogenesis in neurons. The present findings provide further evidence that this fundamental neuronal regulation is extensively conserved in lens and identify additional parallels in the morphogenetic programs that underlie lens fiber cell and neuronal differentiation and contribute to the development of visual acuity.
Project description:The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is a circadian oscillator and biological clock. Cell-to-cell communication is important for synchronization among SCN neuronal oscillators and the great majority of SCN neurons use GABA as a neurotransmitter, the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult CNS. Acting via the ionotropic GABA(A) receptor, a chloride ion channel, GABA typically evokes inhibitory responses in neurons via Cl(-) influx. Within the SCN GABA evokes both inhibitory and excitatory responses although the mechanism underlying GABA-evoked excitation in the SCN is unknown. GABA-evoked depolarization in immature neurons in several regions of the brain is a function of intracellular chloride concentration, regulated largely by the cation-chloride cotransporters NKCC1 (sodium/potassium/chloride cotransporter for chloride entry) and KCC1-4 (potassium/chloride cotransporters for chloride egress). It is well established that changes in the expression of the cation-chloride cotransporters through development determines the polarity of the response to GABA. To understand the mechanisms underlying GABA-evoked excitation in the SCN, we examined the SCN expression of cation-chloride cotransporters. Previously we reported that the K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter KCC2, a neuron-specific chloride extruder conferring GABA's more typical inhibitory effects, is expressed exclusively in vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) neurons in the SCN. Here we report that the K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter isoforms KCC4 and KCC3 are expressed solely in vasopressin (VP) neurons in the rat SCN whereas KCC1 is expressed in VIP neurons, similar to KCC2. NKCC1 is expressed in VIP, GRP and VP neurons in the SCN as is WNK3, a chloride-sensitive neuron-specific with no serine-threonine kinase which modulates intracellular chloride concentration via opposing actions on NKCC and KCC cotransporters. The heterogeneous distribution of cation-chloride cotransporters in the SCN suggests that Cl(-) levels are differentially regulated within VIP/GRP and VP neurons. We suggest that GABA's excitatory action is more likely to be evoked in VP neurons that express KCC4.
Project description:The thalamus is important for sensory integration with the ventrobasal thalamus (VB) as relay controlled by GABAergic projections from the nucleus reticularis thalami (NRT). Depending on the [Cl-]i primarily set by cation-chloride-cotransporters, GABA is inhibitory or excitatory. There is evidence that VB and NRT differ in terms of GABA action, with classical hyperpolarization in VB due to the expression of the Cl- extruder KCC2 and depolarizing/excitatory GABA action in the NRT, where KCC2 expression is low and Cl- accumulation by the Cl- inward transporter NKCC1 has been postulated. However, data on NKCC1 expression and functional analysis of both transporters are missing. We show that KCC2-mediated Cl- extrusion set the [Cl-]i in VB, while NKCC1 did not contribute substantially to Cl- accumulation and depolarizing GABA action in the NRT. The finding that NKCC1 did not play a major role in NRT neurons is of high relevance for ongoing studies on the therapeutic use of NKCC1 inhibitors trying to compensate for a disease-induced up-regulation of NKCC1 that has been described for various brain regions and disease states like epilepsy and chronic pain. These data suggest that NKCC1 inhibitors might have no major effect on healthy NRT neurons due to limited NKCC1 function.
Project description:The mRNA levels of NKCC1, an inwardly directed Na(+), K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter that facilitates the accumulation of intracellular Cl(-), and of KCC2, an outwardly directed K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter that extrudes Cl(-), were studied in surgically resected brain specimens from drug-resistant temporal lobe (TL) epilepsy (TLE) patients. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses of the mRNAs extracted from the human TLE-associated brain regions revealed an up-regulation of NKCC1 mRNA and a down-regulation of KCC2 mRNA in the hippocampal subiculum, compared with the hippocampus proper or the TL neocortex, suggesting an abnormal transcription of Cl(-) transporters in the TLE subiculum. In parallel experiments, cell membranes isolated from the same TLE-associated brain regions were injected into Xenopus oocytes that rapidly incorporated human GABA(A) receptors into their surface membrane. The GABA currents elicited in oocytes injected with membranes from the subiculum had a more depolarized reversal potential (E(GABA)) compared with the hippocampus proper or the neocortex. The NKCC1 blocker bumetanide or a temperature decrease of 10 degrees C shifted the GABA-current E(GABA) more negative in oocytes injected with membranes from TLE hippocampal subiculum, matching the E(GABA) of TL neocortex-injected oocytes. We conclude that the anomalous expression of both Cl(-) transporters, NKCC1 and KCC2 [corrected] in TLE hippocampal subiculum probably causes altered Cl(-) transport in the "epileptic" neurons, as revealed in the microtransplanted Xenopus oocytes, and renders GABA aberrantly "exciting," a feature that may contribute to the precipitation of epileptic seizures.
Project description:Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant progressive neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by a triad of motor, psychiatric and cognitive impairments. There is still no effective therapy to delay or halt the disease progress. The striatum and cortex are two particularly affected brain regions that exhibit dense reciprocal excitatory glutamate and inhibitory gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) connections. Imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory signalling is known to greatly affect motor and cognitive processes. Emerging evidence supports the hypothesis that disrupted GABAergic circuits underlie HD pathogenesis. In the present review, we focused on the multiple defects recently found in the GABAergic inhibitory system, including altered GABA level and synthesis, abnormal subunit composition and distribution of GABA<sub>A</sub> receptors and aberrant GABA<sub>A</sub> receptor-mediated signalling. In particular, the important role of cation-chloride cotransporters (i.e. NKCC1 and KCC2) is discussed. Recent studies also suggest that neuroinflammation contributes significantly to the abnormal GABAergic inhibition in HD. Thus, GABA<sub>A</sub> receptors and cation-chloride cotransporters are potential therapeutic targets for HD. Given the limited availability of therapeutic treatments for HD, a better understanding of GABAergic dysfunction in HD could provide novel therapeutic opportunities.
Project description:A shift of GABA(A)-mediated responses from hyperpolarizing to depolarizing after neuronal injury leads to GABA(A)-mediated increase in [Ca2+](i). In addition, central neurons become dependent on BDNF for survival. Whether these two mechanisms are causally interrelated is an open question. Here, we show in lesioned CA3 hippocampal neurons in vitro and in axotomized corticospinal neurons in vivo that posttraumatic downregulation of the neuron-specific K-Cl cotransporter KCC2 leads to intracellular chloride accumulation by the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter NKCC1, resulting in GABA-induced [Ca2+](i) transients. This mechanism is required by a population of neurons to survive in a BDNF-dependent manner after injury, because blocking GABA(A)-depolarization with the NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide prevents the loss of neurons on BDNF withdrawal. The resurgence of KCC2 expression during recovery coincides with loss of BDNF dependency for survival. This is likely mediated through BDNF itself, because injured neurons reverse their response to this neurotrophin by switching the BDNF-induced downregulation of KCC2 to upregulation.
Project description:The most common neurological symptom of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is early life refractory epilepsy. As previous studies have shown enhanced excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission in TSC and FCD brains, we hypothesized that neurons associated with these lesions may also express altered ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)(A) receptor (GABA(A)R)-mediated inhibition.Expression of the GABA(A)R subunits ?1 and ?4, and the Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) (NKCC1) and the K(+)-Cl(-) (KCC2) transporters, in human TSC and FCD type II specimens were analyzed by Western blot and double label immunocytochemistry. GABA(A) R responses in dysplastic neurons from a single case of TSC were measured by perforated patch recording and compared to normal-appearing cortical neurons from a non-TSC epilepsy case.TSC and FCD type IIb lesions demonstrated decreased expression of GABA(A)R ?1, and increased NKCC1 and decreased KCC2 levels. In contrast, FCD type IIa lesions showed decreased ?4, and increased expression of both NKCC1 and KCC2 transporters. Patch clamp recordings from dysplastic neurons in acute slices from TSC tubers demonstrated excitatory GABA(A)R responses that were significantly attenuated by the NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide, in contrast to hyperpolarizing GABA(A)R-mediated currents in normal neurons from non-TSC cortical slices.Expression and function of GABA(A)Rs in TSC and FCD type IIb suggest the relative benzodiazepine insensitivity and more excitatory action of GABA compared to FCD type IIa. These factors may contribute to resistance of seizure activity to anticonvulsants that increase GABAergic function, and may justify add-on trials of the NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide for the treatment of TSC and FCD type IIb-related epilepsy.