The deletion of M4 muscarinic receptors increases motor activity in females in the dark phase.
ABSTRACT: M4 muscarinic receptors (MR) presumably play a role in motor coordination. Previous studies have shown different results depending on genetic background and number of backcrosses. However, no attention has been given to biorhythms.We therefore analyzed biorhythms under a light/dark cycle obtained telemetrically in intact animals (activity, body temperature) in M4 KO mice growth on the C57Bl6 background using ChronosFit software. Studying pure effects of gene knockout in daily rhythms is especially important knowledge for pharmacological/behavioral studies in which drugs are usually tested in the morning.We show that M4 KO mice motor activity does not differ substantially from wild-type mice during light period while in the dark phase (mice active part of the day), the M4 KO mice reveal biorhythm changes in many parameters. Moreover, these differences are sex-dependent and are evident in females only. Mesor, night-day difference, and night value were doubled or tripled when comparing female KO versus male KO. Our in vitro autoradiography demonstrates that M4 MR proportion represents 24% in the motor cortex (MOCx), 30% in the somatosensory cortex, 50% in the striatum, 69% in the thalamus, and 48% in the intergeniculate leaflet (IGL). The M4 MR densities were negligible in the subparaventricular zone, the posterior hypothalamic area, and in the suprachiasmatic nuclei.We conclude that cholinergic signaling at M4 MR in brain structures such as striatum, MOCx, and probably with the important participation of IGL significantly control motor activity biorhythm. Animal activity differs in the light and dark phases, which should be taken into consideration when interpreting the results.
Project description:Mice are nocturnal animals. Surprisingly, the majority of physiological/pharmacological studies are performed in the morning, i.e., in the non-active phase of their diurnal cycle. We have shown recently that female (not male) mice lacking the M4 muscarinic receptors (MR, M4KO) did not differ substantially in locomotor activity from their wild-type counterparts (C57Bl/6Tac) during the inactive period. Increased locomotion has been shown in the active phase of their diurnal cycle. We compared the effects of scopolamine, oxotremorine, and cocaine on locomotor response, hypothermia and spontaneous behavior in the open field arena in the morning (9:00 AM) and in the evening (9:00 PM) in WT and in C57Bl/6NTac mice lacking the M4 MR. Furthermore, we also studied morning vs. evening densities of muscarinic, GABAA, D1-like, D2-like, NMDA and kainate receptors using autoradiography in the motor, somatosensory and visual cortex and in the striatum, thalamus, hippocampus, pons, and medulla oblongata. At 9:00 AM, scopolamine induced an increase in motor activity in WT and in M4KO, yet no significant increase was observed at 9:00 PM. Oxotremorine induced hypothermic effects in both WT and M4KO. Hypothermic effects were more evident in WT than in M4KO. Hypothermia in both cases was more pronounced at 9:00 AM than at 9:00 PM. Cocaine increased motor activity when compared to saline. There was no difference in behavior in the open field between WT and M4KO when tested at 9:00 AM; however, at 9:00 PM, activity of M4KO was doubled in comparison to that of WT. Both WT and KO animals spent less time climbing in their active phase. Autoradiography revealed no significant morning vs. evening difference. Altogether, our results indicate the necessity of comparing morning vs. evening drug effects.
Project description:The transition from non-dependent alcohol use to alcohol dependence involves increased activity of the dorsal striatum. Interestingly, the dorsal striatum expresses a large number of inhibitory G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which when activated may inhibit alcohol-induced increased activity and can decrease alcohol consumption. Here, we explore the hypothesis that dorsal striatal Gi/o-protein activation is sufficient to reduce voluntary alcohol intake. Using a voluntary, limited-access, two-bottle choice, drink-in-the-dark model of alcohol (10%) consumption, we validated the importance of Gi/o signaling in this region by locally expressing neuron-specific, adeno-associated-virus encoded Gi/o-coupled muscarinic M4 designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) in the dorsal striatum and observed a decrease in alcohol intake upon DREADD activation. We validated our findings by activating Gi/o-coupled delta-opioid receptors (DORs), which are natively expressed in the dorsal striatum, using either a G-protein biased agonist or a ?-arrestin-biased agonist. Local infusion of TAN-67, an in vitro-determined Gi/o-protein biased DOR agonist, decreased voluntary alcohol intake in wild-type and ?-arrestin-2 knockout (KO) mice. SNC80, a ?-arrestin-2 biased DOR agonist, increased alcohol intake in wild-type mice; however, SNC80 decreased alcohol intake in ?-arrestin-2 KO mice, thus resulting in a behavioral outcome generally observed for Gi/o-biased agonists and suggesting that ?-arrestin recruitment is required for SNC80-increased alcohol intake. Overall, these results suggest that activation Gi/o-coupled GPCRs expressed in the dorsal striatum, such as the DOR, by G-protein biased agonists may be a potential strategy to decrease voluntary alcohol consumption and ?-arrestin recruitment is to be avoided.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In the central nervous system (CNS), the muscarinic system plays key roles in learning and memory, as well as in the regulation of many sensory, motor, and autonomic processes, and is thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of several major diseases of the CNS, such as Alzheimer's disease, depression, and schizophrenia. Previous studies reveal that M4 muscarinic receptor knockout (M4R KO) mice displayed an increase in basal locomotor activity, an increase in sensitivity to the prepulse inhibition (PPI)-disrupting effect of psychotomimetics, and normal basal PPI. However, other behaviorally significant roles of M4R remain unclear. RESULTS: In this study, to further investigate precise functional roles of M4R in the CNS, M4R KO mice were subjected to a battery of behavioral tests. M4R KO mice showed no significant impairments in nociception, neuromuscular strength, or motor coordination/learning. In open field, light/dark transition, and social interaction tests, consistent with previous studies, M4R KO mice displayed enhanced locomotor activity compared to their wild-type littermates. In the open field test, M4R KO mice exhibited novelty-induced locomotor hyperactivity. In the social interaction test, contacts between pairs of M4R KO mice lasted shorter than those of wild-type mice. In the sensorimotor gating test, M4R KO mice showed a decrease in PPI, whereas in the startle response test, in contrast to a previous study, M4R KO mice demonstrated normal startle response. M4R KO mice also displayed normal performance in the Morris water maze test. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that M4R is involved in regulation of locomotor activity, social behavior, and sensorimotor gating in mice. Together with decreased PPI, abnormal social behavior, which was newly identified in the present study, may represent a behavioral abnormality related to psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Over the last decade, striatal cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) have reemerged as key actors in the pathophysiology of basal-ganglia-related movement disorders. However, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. In this study, we address the role of ChI activity in the expression of parkinsonian-like motor deficits in a unilateral nigrostriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion model using optogenetic and pharmacological approaches. Dorsal striatal photoinhibition of ChIs in lesioned ChAT(cre/cre) mice expressing halorhodopsin in ChIs reduces akinesia, bradykinesia, and sensorimotor neglect. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) blockade by scopolamine produces similar anti-parkinsonian effects. To decipher which of the mAChR subtypes provides these beneficial effects, systemic and intrastriatal administration of the selective M1 and M4 mAChR antagonists telenzepine and tropicamide, respectively, were tested in the same model of Parkinson's disease. The two compounds alleviate 6-OHDA lesion-induced motor deficits. Telenzepine produces its beneficial effects by blocking postsynaptic M1 mAChRs expressed on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) at the origin of the indirect striatopallidal and direct striatonigral pathways. The anti-parkinsonian effects of tropicamide were almost completely abolished in mutant lesioned mice that lack M4 mAChRs specifically in dopamine D1-receptor-expressing neurons, suggesting that postsynaptic M4 mAChRs expressed on direct MSNs mediate the antiakinetic action of tropicamide. The present results show that altered cholinergic transmission via M1 and M4 mAChRs of the dorsal striatum plays a pivotal role in the occurrence of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:The striatum, where dopaminergic and cholinergic systems interact, is the pivotal structure of basal ganglia involved in pathophysiological changes underlying Parkinson's disease. Here, using optogenetic and pharmacological approaches, we investigated the involvement of striatal cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) and muscarinic receptor subtypes (mAChRs) in the occurrence of a wide range of motor deficits such as akinesia, bradykinesia, motor coordination, and sensorimotor neglect after unilateral nigrostriatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesion in mice. Our results show that photoinhibition of ChIs in the dorsal striatum and pharmacological blockade of muscarinic receptors, specifically postsynaptic M1 and M4 mAChRs, alleviate lesion-induced motor deficits. The present study points to these receptor subtypes as potential targets for the symptomatic treatment of parkinsonian-like motor symptoms.
Project description:Caspr3 (Contactin-associated protein-like 3, Cntnap3) is a neural cell adhesion molecule belonging to the Caspr family. We have recently shown that Caspr3 is expressed abundantly between the first and second postnatal weeks in the mouse basal ganglia, including the striatum, external segment of the globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, and substantia nigra. However, its physiological role remains largely unknown. In this study, we conducted a series of behavioral analyses on Capsr3-knockout (KO) mice and equivalent wild-type (WT) mice to investigate the role of Caspr3 in brain function. No significant differences were observed in most behavioral traits between Caspr3-KO and WT mice, but we found that Caspr3-KO mice performed poorly during the early phase of the accelerated rotarod task in which latency to falling off a rod rotating with increasing velocity was examined. In the late phase, the performance of the Caspr3-KO mice caught up to the level of WT mice, suggesting that the deletion of Caspr3 caused a delay in motor learning. We then examined changes in neural activity after training on the accelerated rotarod by conducting immunohistochemistry using antibody to c-Fos, an indirect marker for neuronal activity. Experience of the accelerated rotarod task caused increases in the number of c-Fos-positive cells in the dorsal striatum, cerebellum, and motor cortex in both Caspr3-KO and WT mice, but the number of c-Fos-positive cells was significantly lower in the dorsal striatum of Caspr3-KO mice than in that of WT mice. The expression of c-Fos in the ventral striatum of Caspr3-KO and WT mice was not altered by the training. Our findings suggest that reduced activation of neural cells in the dorsal striatum in Caspr3-KO mice leads to a decline in motor learning in the accelerated rotarod task.
Project description:In early-onset generalized torsion dystonia, caused by a GAG deletion in TOR1A (DYT1), enhanced striatal cholinergic activity has been suggested to be critically involved. Previous studies have shown increased acetylcholine levels in the striatum of DYT1 knock-in (KI) mice. Ex vivo data indicated that muscarinic receptor antagonists normalize the activity of striatal cholinergic interneurons. Currently receptor subtype specific antagonists are developed for therapy, however, it is yet unknown whether the levels of targeted receptors are unaltered. In the present study, we firstly examined the expression of M1 and M4 receptors in DYT1 KI mice in comparison to wildtype mice. While no changes in mRNA were found in the motor cortex, the expression of M1 was higher in the striatum of DYT1 KI. However, M1 protein did not differ in striatum and cortex between the animal groups as shown by immunohistochemistry and western blot. M4 receptor protein, unaltered in the cortex, was slightly lower in lateral subparts of the striatum, but unchanged in somata of cholinergic interneurons and substance P immunoreactive projection neurons. Functional alterations of the cholinergic system and of aberrant striatal plasticity, demonstrated by previous studies, seem not to be related to overt changes in M1 and M4 expression. This critically informs the ongoing development of respective antagonists for therapy of dystonia.
Project description:DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia (M-D) is a movement disorder characterized by myoclonic jerks with dystonic symptoms and caused by mutations in paternally expressed SGCE, which codes for ?-sarcoglycan. Paternally inherited Sgce heterozygous knock-out (KO) mice exhibit motor deficits and spontaneous myoclonus. Abnormal nuclear envelopes have been reported in cellular and mouse models of early-onset DYT1 generalized torsion dystonia; however, the relationship between the abnormal nuclear envelopes and motor symptoms are not clear. Furthermore, it is not known whether abnormal nuclear envelope exists in non-DYT1 dystonia. In the present study, abnormal nuclear envelopes in the striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) were found in Sgce KO mice. To analyze whether the loss of ?-sarcoglycan in the striatum alone causes abnormal nuclear envelopes, motor deficits or myoclonus, we produced paternally inherited striatum-specific Sgce conditional KO (Sgce sKO) mice and analyzed their phenotypes. Sgce sKO mice exhibited motor deficits in both beam-walking and accelerated rotarod tests, while they did not exhibit abnormal nuclear envelopes, alteration in locomotion, or myoclonus. The results suggest that the loss of ?-sarcoglycan in the striatum contributes to motor deficits, while it alone does not produce abnormal nuclear envelopes or myoclonus. Development of therapies targeting the striatum to compensate for the loss of ?-sarcoglycan function may rescue the motor deficits in DYT11 M-D patients.
Project description:Purinergic P2X4 receptors (P2X4Rs) belong to the P2X superfamily of ion channels regulated by ATP. We recently demonstrated that P2X4R knockout (KO) mice exhibited deficits in sensorimotor gating, social interaction, and ethanol drinking behavior. Dopamine (DA) dysfunction may underlie these behavioral changes, but there is no direct evidence for P2X4Rs' role in DA neurotransmission. To test this hypothesis, we measured markers of DA function and dependent behaviors in P2X4R KO mice. P2X4R KO mice exhibited altered density of pre-synaptic markers including tyrosine hydroxylase, dopamine transporter; post-synaptic markers including dopamine receptors and phosphorylation of downstream targets including dopamine and cyclic-AMP regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa and cyclic-AMP-response element binding protein in different parts of the striatum. Ivermectin, an allosteric modulator of P2X4Rs, significantly affected dopamine and cyclic AMP regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa and extracellular regulated kinase1/2 phosphorylation in the striatum. Sensorimotor gating deficits in P2X4R KO mice were rescued by DA antagonists. Using the 6-hydroxydopamine model of DA depletion, P2X4R KO mice exhibited an attenuated levodopa (L-DOPA)-induced motor behavior, whereas ivermectin enhanced this behavior. Collectively, these findings identified an important role for P2X4Rs in maintaining DA homeostasis and illustrate how this association is important for CNS functions including motor control and sensorimotor gating. We propose that P2X4 receptors (P2X4Rs) regulate dopamine (DA) homeostasis and associated behaviors. Pre-synaptic and post-synaptic DA markers were significantly altered in the dorsal and ventral striatum of P2X4R KO mice, implicating altered DA neurotransmission. Sensorimotor gating deficits in P2X4R KO mice were rescued by DA antagonists. Ivermectin (IVM), a positive modulator of P2X4Rs, enhanced levodopa (L-DOPA)-induced motor behavior. These studies highlight potential interactions between P2X4Rs and DA system.
Project description:Calcium-independent phospholipase A2? (iPLA2?, PLA2G6) is essential for the remodeling of membrane glycerophospholipids. Mutations in this gene are responsible for autosomal recessive, young onset, L-dopa-responsive parkinsonism (PARK14), suggesting a neurodegenerative condition in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system in patients with PLA2G6 mutations. We previously observed slowly progressive motor deficits in iPLA2?-knockout (KO) mice. To clarify whether a deficiency of iPLA2? leads to the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, we analyzed the striatum of iPLA2?-KO mice. At all clinical stages, nerve terminals in the striatum were immunopositive for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT) in wild-type (WT) control mice. In iPLA2?-KO mice, focal loss of nerve terminals positive for TH and DAT was found from 56 weeks (early clinical stage), although iPLA2?-KO mice at 56 weeks showed no significant decrease in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra compared with age-matched WT mice, as reported previously. At 100 weeks (late clinical stage), greater decreases in DAT immunoreactivity were observed in the striatum of iPLA2?-KO mice. Moreover, strongly TH-positive structures, presumed to be deformed axons, were observed in the neuropils of the striatum of iPLA2?-KO mice starting at 15 weeks (preclinical stage) and increased with age. These results suggest that the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons occurs mainly in the distal region of axons in iPLA2?-KO mice.
Project description:Circadian rhythm and sleep disruptions occur frequently in individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUD) and present significant barriers to treatment. Recently, a variant of adenosine transporter, equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1), was associated with the co-occurrence of sleep problems and AUD. We have previously shown that mice lacking ENT1 (ENT1 KO) have reduced adenosine levels in the striatum and drink more alcohol compared with wild types (WT). However, it is unknown whether ENT1 deletion disrupts circadian rhythms, which may contribute to alcohol preference in ENT1 KO mice. Here we used these mice to determine whether endogenous adenosine regulates circadian genetic and behavioral rhythms and influences alcohol intake during chronodisruption. We examined circadian locomotor activity in ENT1 KO vs WT littermates and found that ENT1 KO mice were both active earlier and hyperactive compared with WT mice at night. We used real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry to estimate striatal clock gene levels and found that PER2 expression in the striatum was blunted by ENT1 deletion or A2A receptor (A2AR) antagonism. Next, we exposed ENT1 KO and WT mice to constant light (LL) and found further elevation in ethanol intake in ENT1 KO, but not in WT mice, supporting the notion that circadian dysfunction may contribute to increased alcohol intake in ENT1 KO mice. Finally, we showed that A2AR agonist administration normalized PER1 and PER2 expression and circadian locomotor activity in ENT1 KO mice. Together, our results demonstrate that adenosine signaling regulates cellular and behavioral circadian timing and influences alcohol intake during chronodisruption.