The HDAC inhibitor SAHA improves depressive-like behavior of CRTC1-deficient mice: Possible relevance for treatment-resistant depression.
ABSTRACT: Major depression is a highly complex disabling psychiatric disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. Despite the availability of several classes of antidepressants, a substantial percentage of patients are unresponsive to these medications. A better understanding of the neurobiology of depression and the mechanisms underlying antidepressant response is thus critically needed. We previously reported that mice lacking CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) exhibit a depressive-like phenotype and a blunted antidepressant response to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine. In this study, we similarly show that Crtc1(-/-) mice are resistant to the antidepressant effect of chronic desipramine in a behavioral despair paradigm. Supporting the blunted response to this tricyclic antidepressant, we found that desipramine does not significantly increase the expression of Bdnf and Nr4a1-3 in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of Crtc1(-/-) mice. Epigenetic regulation of neuroplasticity gene expression has been associated with depression and antidepressant response, and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been shown to have antidepressant-like properties. Here, we show that unlike conventional antidepressants, chronic systemic administration of the HDAC inhibitor SAHA partially rescues the depressive-like behavior of Crtc1(-/-) mice. This behavioral effect is accompanied by an increased expression of Bdnf, but not Nr4a1-3, in the prefrontal cortex of these mice, suggesting that this epigenetic intervention restores the expression of a subset of genes by acting downstream of CRTC1. These findings suggest that CRTC1 alterations may be associated with treatment-resistant depression, and support the interesting possibility that targeting HDACs may be a useful therapeutic strategy in antidepressant development.
Project description:Recent studies implicate the arginine-decarboxylation product agmatine in mood regulation. Agmatine has antidepressant properties in rodent models of depression, and agmatinase (Agmat), the agmatine-degrading enzyme, is upregulated in the brains of mood disorder patients. We have previously shown that mice lacking CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) associate behavioral and molecular depressive-like endophenotypes, as well as blunted responses to classical antidepressants. Here, the molecular basis of the behavioral phenotype of Crtc1(-/-) mice was further examined using microarray gene expression profiling that revealed an upregulation of Agmat in the cortex of Crtc1(-/-) mice. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analyses confirmed Agmat upregulation in the Crtc1(-/-) prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus, which were further demonstrated by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy to comprise an increased number of Agmat-expressing cells, notably parvalbumin- and somatostatin-positive interneurons. Acute agmatine and ketamine treatments comparably improved the depressive-like behavior of male and female Crtc1(-/-) mice in the forced swim test, suggesting that exogenous agmatine has a rapid antidepressant effect through the compensation of agmatine deficit because of upregulated Agmat. Agmatine rapidly increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels only in the PFC of wild-type (WT) females, and decreased eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) phosphorylation in the PFC of male and female WT mice, indicating that agmatine might be a fast-acting antidepressant with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist properties. Collectively, these findings implicate Agmat in the depressive-like phenotype of Crtc1(-/-) mice, refine current understanding of the agmatinergic system in the brain and highlight its putative role in major depression.
Project description:To identify gene expression changes associated with Crtc1 deficiency, we performed genome-wide transcriptome profile analyses by using mouse cDNA microarrays in the cortex of Crtc1‒/‒ and WT female mice BACKGROUND: Recent studies involve the arginine-decarboxylation product agmatine in mood regulation. Agmatine has antidepressant properties in rodent models of depression, and agmatinase (Agmat), the agmatine-degrading enzyme, is upregulated in the brain of mood disorders patients. We showed that mice lacking CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) associate neurobehavioral and molecular depressive-like endophenotypes, as well as blunted responses to classical antidepressants. METHODS: The molecular basis of the behavioral phenotype of Crtc1‒/‒ mice was further examined using microarray analysis. We characterized Agmat expression in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HIP) by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), Western blot (WB) analysis, and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. The antidepressant effect of agmatine was assessed by the forced swim test (FST). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) phosphorylation were measured by WB. RESULTS: Microarray, qPCR and WB analyses revealed an upregulation of Agmat in Crtc1‒/‒ PFC and HIP, where immunofluorescence microscopy showed more Agmat-expressing cells, notably parvalbumin- and somatostatin-interneurons. Acute agmatine treatment efficiently improved depressive-like behavior of Crtc1‒/‒ mice in the FST, suggesting that exogenous agmatine has a rapid antidepressant effect through the compensation of agmatine deficit induced by upregulated Agmat. In WT mice, agmatine rapidly increased BDNF levels and eEF2 dephosphorylation, indicating that it might be a fast–acting antidepressant with NMDA receptor antagonist properties. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these findings support the involvement of the agmatinergic system in the depressive-like phenotype of Crtc1‒/‒ mice, and allow a better understanding of the agmatinergic system and its putative role in major depression. RNA from cortex of 5 WT and 5 KO mice was used
Project description:Depression is a complex, heterogeneous mental disorder. Currently available antidepressants are only effective in about one-third to one-half of all patients. The mechanisms underlying antidepressant response and treatment resistance are poorly understood. Recent clinical evidence implicates the involvement of leptin in treatment response to antidepressants. In this study, we determined the functional role of the leptin receptor (LepRb) in behavioral responses to the selective serotonergic antidepressant fluoxetine and the noradrenergic antidepressant desipramine. While acute and chronic treatment with fluoxetine or desipramine in wild-type mice elicited antidepressant-like effects in the forced swim test, mice null for LepRb (db/db) displayed resistance to treatment with either fluoxetine or desipramine. Fluoxetine stimulated phosphorylation of Akt(Thr308) and GSK-3β(Ser9) in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of wild-type mice but not in db/db mice. Desipramine failed to induce measurable changes in Akt, GSK-3β or ERK1/2 phosphorylation in the hippocampus and PFC, as well as hypothalamus of either genotype of mice. Deletion of LepRb specifically from hippocampal and cortical neurons resulted in fluoxetine insensitivity in the forced swim test and tail suspension test while leaving the response to desipramine intact. These results suggest that functional LepRb is critically involved in regulating the antidepressant-like behavioral effects of both fluoxetine and desipramine. The antidepressant effects of fluoxetine but not desipramine are dependent on the presence of functional LepRb in the hippocampus and cortex.
Project description:Depression is a prevalent and debilitating psychiatric illnesses. However, currently prescribed antidepressant drugs are only efficacious in a limited group of patients. Studies on Balb/c mice suggested that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition may enhance the efficacy of the widely-prescribed antidepressant drug fluoxetine. This study shows that reducing HDAC activity in fluoxetine-treated Balb/c mice leads to robust antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. While reducing the activity of class I HDACs 1 and 3 led to antidepressant effects, additional class II HDAC inhibition was necessary to exert anxiolytic effects. In fluoxetine-treated mice, HDAC inhibitors increased enrichment of acetylated histone H4 protein and RNA polymerase II at promotor 3 of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene and increased Bdnf transcription from this promotor. Reducing Bdnf-stimulated tropomyosin kinase B receptor activation in fluoxetine-treated mice with low HDAC activity abolished the behavioral effects of fluoxetine, suggesting that the HDAC-triggered epigenetic stimulation of Bdnf expression is critical for therapeutic efficacy.
Project description:Mice unable to synthesize norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine due to targeted disruption of the dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene, Dbh, were used to critically test roles for NE in mediating acute behavioral changes elicited by different classes of antidepressants. To this end, we used the tail suspension test, one of the most widely used paradigms for assessing antidepressant activity and depression-related behaviors in normal and genetically modified mice. Dbh(-/-) mice failed to respond to the behavioral effects of various antidepressants, including the NE reuptake inhibitors desipramine and reboxetine, the monoamine oxidase inhibitor pargyline, and the atypical antidepressant bupropion, even though they did not differ in baseline immobility from Dbh(+/-) mice, which have normal levels of NE. Surprisingly, the effects of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine were also absent or severely attenuated in the Dbh(-/-) mice. In contrast, citalopram (the most selective SSRI) was equally effective at reducing immobility in mice with and without NE. Restoration of NE by using L-threo-3,4-dihydroxyphenylserine reinstated the behavioral effects of both desipramine and paroxetine in Dbh(-/-) mice, thus demonstrating that the reduced sensitivity to antidepressants is related to NE function, as opposed to developmental abnormalities resulting from chronic NE deficiency. Microdialysis studies demonstrated that the ability of fluoxetine to increase hippocampal serotonin was blocked in Dbh(-/-) mice, whereas citalopram's effect was only partially attenuated. These data show that NE plays an important role in mediating acute behavioral and neurochemical actions of many antidepressants, including most SSRIs.
Project description:Recent evidence supports 'the neurotrophin hypothesis of depression' in its prediction that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in depression. However, some key questions remain unanswered, including whether abnormalities in BDNF persist beyond the clinical state of depression, whether BDNF levels are related to the clinical features of depression and whether distinct antidepressants affect BDNF levels equally. We addressed these questions and investigated serum BDNF levels in 962 depressed patients, 700 fully remitted persons (≥6 months) and 382 healthy controls. We found serum BDNF levels to be low in antidepressant-free depressed patients relative to controls (P=0.007) and to depressed patients who were treated with an antidepressant (P=0.001). BDNF levels of fully remitted persons (whether unmedicated or treated with an antidepressant) were comparable to those of controls. Analyzing the sample of antidepressant-free depressed patients showed that BDNF levels were unrelated to the core clinical features of depression such as its severity or first versus a recurrent episode. The antidepressant associated upregulation of serum BDNF in depressed patients was confined to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (P=0.003) and St John's wort (P=0.03). Our results suggest that low serum levels of BDNF are a state abnormality that is evident during depression and normalizes during remission. Increases in serum levels of BDNF during antidepressant treatment appear to be confined to some antidepressants and do not parallel clinical characteristics, such as the severity of depressive symptoms.
Project description:Accumulating evidence demonstrates that the gut microbiota affects brain function and behavior, including depressive behavior. Antidepressants are the main drugs used for treatment of depression. We hypothesized that antidepressant treatment could modify gut microbiota which can partially mediate their antidepressant effects. Mice were chronically treated with one of five antidepressants (fluoxetine, escitalopram, venlafaxine, duloxetine or desipramine), and gut microbiota was analyzed, using 16s rRNA gene sequencing. After characterization of differences in the microbiota, chosen bacterial species were supplemented to vehicle and antidepressant-treated mice, and depressive-like behavior was assessed to determine bacterial effects. RNA-seq analysis was performed to determine effects of bacterial treatment in the brain. Antidepressants reduced richness and increased beta diversity of gut bacteria, compared to controls. At the genus level, antidepressants reduced abundances of Ruminococcus, Adlercreutzia, and an unclassified Alphaproteobacteria. To examine implications of the dysregulated bacteria, we chose one of antidepressants (duloxetine) and investigated if its antidepressive effects can be attenuated by simultaneous treatment with Ruminococcus flavefaciens or Adlercreutzia equolifaciens. Supplementation with R. flavefaciens diminished duloxetine-induced decrease in depressive-like behavior, while A. equolifaciens had no such effect. R. flavefaciens treatment induced changes in cortical gene expression, up-regulating genes involved in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, while down-regulating genes involved in neuronal plasticity. Our results demonstrate that various types of antidepressants alter gut microbiota composition, and further implicate a role for R. flavefaciens in alleviating depressive-like behavior. Overall design: Examination of whole genome transcription in frontal cortex of mice treated with duloxetine with/without R. flavefaciens treatment
Project description:Antidepressant treatment alters brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels, but it is not well established whether BDNF can be used as a marker to prove the efficacy of antidepressant treatment. The present systematic review and meta-analysis aim at assessing the influence of antidepressant treatment on BDNF level and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score, thereby to establish the rationale of utilizing BDNF as a predictive biomarker and HDRS score as an indicator for antidepressant treatment efficacy.Search was conducted in PubMed, Science Direct, and Cochrane databases using the key words "BDNF" and "Depression" and "Antidepressants." On the basis of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, studies were filtered and finally 6 randomized controlled trials were shortlisted.Comparison of serum BDNF level before and after antidepressant treatment was performed and the result showed that antidepressant treatment does not significantly affect the BDNF levels (confidence interval [CI]: -0.483 to 0.959; standard mean difference [SMD]: 0.238, P = 0.518). Egger's regression test (P = 0.455) and heterogeneity test (I2 = 88.909%) were done. Similarly, comparison of HDRS scores before and after antidepressant treatment indicated improvement in HDRS score suggesting positive outcome (CI: 1.719 to 3.707; SMD: 2.713, P < 0.001). Egger's regression test (P = 0.1417) and heterogeneity test (I2 = 89.843%) were performed. Publication bias was observed by funnel plot.Changes in BDNF levels do not occur uniformly for all the antidepressants. Hence, to use BDNF as a biomarker, it needs to be seen whether the same is true for all antidepressants.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Current antidepressants in clinic need weeks of administration and always have significant limitations. Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside (TSG) is one of the major bioactive ingredients of Polygonum multiflorum with neuroprotective effects. This study aimed to evaluate the antidepressant effects of TSG in mice. METHODS:The antidepressant-like effects of TSG in mice were examined in the forced swim test (FST), tail suspension test (TST), and chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) model of depression. The effects of CSDS and TSG on the hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling pathway and neurogenesis were further investigated. Moreover, the pharmacological inhibitors and lentiviral-shRNA were used to explore the antidepressant mechanisms of TSG. RESULTS:TSG produced antidepressant-like effects in the FST and TST and also reversed the CSDS-induced depressive-like symptoms. Moreover, TSG treatment significantly restored the decreased hippocampal BDNF signaling pathway and neurogenesis in CSDS mice. Importantly, blockade of the hippocampal BDNF system fully abolished the antidepressant-like effects of TSG in mice. CONCLUSION:In conclusion, TSG produces antidepressant-like effects in mice via enhancement of the hippocampal BDNF system.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is upregulated in the hippocampus by antidepressant treatments, and BDNF produces antidepressant-like effects in behavioral models of depression. In our previous work, we identified genes induced by BDNF and defined their specific roles in hippocampal neuronal development and plasticity. To identify genes downstream of BDNF that may play roles in psychiatric disorders, we examined a subset of BDNF-induced genes also regulated by 5-HT (serotonin), which includes the neuropeptide VGF (nonacronymic). To explore the function of VGF in depression, we first investigated the expression of the neuropeptide in animal models of depression. VGF was downregulated in the hippocampus after both the learned helplessness and forced swim test (FST) paradigms. Conversely, VGF infusion in the hippocampus of mice subjected to FST reduced the time spent immobile for up to 6 d, thus demonstrating a novel role for VGF as an antidepressant-like agent. Recent evidence indicates that chronic treatment of rodents with antidepressants increases neurogenesis in the adult dentate gyrus and that neurogenesis is required for the behavioral effects of antidepressants. Our studies using [(3)H]thymidine and bromodeoxyuridine as markers of DNA synthesis indicate that chronic VGF treatment enhances proliferation of hippocampal progenitor cells both in vitro and in vivo with survival up to 21 d. By double immunocytochemical analysis of hippocampal neurons, we demonstrate that VGF increases the number of dividing cells that express neuronal markers in vitro. Thus, VGF may act downstream of BDNF and exert its effects as an antidepressant-like agent by enhancing neurogenesis in the hippocampus.