Dopamine perturbation of gene co-expression networks reveals differential response in schizophrenia for translational machinery.
ABSTRACT: The dopaminergic hypothesis of schizophrenia (SZ) postulates that positive symptoms of SZ, in particular psychosis, are due to disturbed neurotransmission via the dopamine (DA) receptor D2 (DRD2). However, DA is a reactive molecule that yields various oxidative species, and thus has important non-receptor-mediated effects, with empirical evidence of cellular toxicity and neurodegeneration. Here we examine non-receptor-mediated effects of DA on gene co-expression networks and its potential role in SZ pathology. Transcriptomic profiles were measured by RNA-seq in B-cell transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines from 514 SZ cases and 690 controls, both before and after exposure to DA ex vivo (100??M). Gene co-expression modules were identified using Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis for both baseline and DA-stimulated conditions, with each module characterized for biological function and tested for association with SZ status and SNPs from a genome-wide panel. We identified seven co-expression modules under baseline, of which six were preserved in DA-stimulated data. One module shows significantly increased association with SZ after DA perturbation (baseline: P?=?0.023; DA-stimulated: P?=?7.8?×?10-5; ?AIC?=?-10.5) and is highly enriched for genes related to ribosomal proteins and translation (FDR?=?4?×?10-141), mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, and neurodegeneration. SNP association testing revealed tentative QTLs underlying module co-expression, notably at FASTKD2 (top P?=?2.8?×?10-6), a gene involved in mitochondrial translation. These results substantiate the role of translational machinery in SZ pathogenesis, providing insights into a possible dopaminergic mechanism disrupting mitochondrial function, and demonstrates the utility of disease-relevant functional perturbation in the study of complex genetic etiologies.
Project description:PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) is linked to recessive Parkinsonism (EOPD). Pink1 deletion results in impaired dopamine (DA) release and decreased mitochondrial respiration in the striatum of mice. To reveal additional mechanisms of Pink1-related dopaminergic dysfunction, we studied Ca²+ vulnerability of purified brain mitochondria, DA levels and metabolism and whether signaling pathways implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD) display altered activity in the nigrostriatal system of Pink1?/? mice.Purified brain mitochondria of Pink1?/? mice showed impaired Ca²+ storage capacity, resulting in increased Ca²+ induced mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT) that was rescued by cyclosporine A. A subpopulation of neurons in the substantia nigra of Pink1?/? mice accumulated phospho-c-Jun, showing that Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activity is increased. Pink1?/? mice 6 months and older displayed reduced DA levels associated with increased DA turnover. Moreover, Pink1?/? mice had increased levels of IL-1?, IL-12 and IL-10 in the striatum after peripheral challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and Pink1?/? embryonic fibroblasts showed decreased basal and inflammatory cytokine-induced nuclear factor kappa-? (NF-?B) activity. Quantitative transcriptional profiling in the striatum revealed that Pink1?/? mice differentially express genes that (i) are upregulated in animals with experimentally induced dopaminergic lesions, (ii) regulate innate immune responses and/or apoptosis and (iii) promote axonal regeneration and sprouting.Increased mitochondrial Ca²+ sensitivity and JNK activity are early defects in Pink1?/? mice that precede reduced DA levels and abnormal DA homeostasis and may contribute to neuronal dysfunction in familial PD. Differential gene expression in the nigrostriatal system of Pink1?/? mice supports early dopaminergic dysfunction and shows that Pink1 deletion causes aberrant expression of genes that regulate innate immune responses. While some differentially expressed genes may mitigate neurodegeneration, increased LPS-induced brain cytokine expression and impaired cytokine-induced NF-?B activation may predispose neurons of Pink1?/? mice to inflammation and injury-induced cell death.
Project description:Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex disease caused by multiple, mainly unknown, genetic and environmental factors. The Ventral root avulsion 1 (Vra1) locus on rat chromosome 8 includes the Glutathione S-transferase alpha 4 (Gsta4) gene and has been identified in crosses between Dark Agouti (DA) and Piebald Virol Glaxo (PVG) rat strains as being associated to neurodegeneration after nerve and brain injury. The Gsta4 protein clears lipid peroxidation by-products, a process suggested to being implicated in PD. We therefore investigated whether PVG alleles in Vra1 are neuroprotective in a toxin-induced model of PD and if this effect is coupled to Gsta4. We performed unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) partial lesions in the striatum and compared the extent of neurodegeration in parental (DA) and congenic (DA.VRA1) rats. At 8 weeks after 6-OHDA lesion, DA.VRA1 rats displayed a higher density of remaining dopaminergic fibers in the dorsolateral striatum compared to DA rats (44% vs. 23%, p < 0.01), indicating that Vra1 alleles derived from the PVG strain protect dopaminergic neurons from 6-OHDA toxicity. Gsta4 gene expression levels in the striatum and midbrain were higher in DA.VRA1 congenic rats compared to DA at 2 days post-lesion (p < 0.05). The GSTA4 protein co-localized with astrocytic marker GFAP, but not with neuronal marker NeuN or microglial marker IBA1, suggesting astrocyte-specific expression. This is the first report on Vra1 protective effects on dopaminergic neurodegeneration and encourages further studies on Gsta4 in relation to PD susceptibility.
Project description:Most of the Parkinson's disease (PD) cases are sporadic, although several genes are directly related to PD. Several pathways are central in PD pathogenesis: protein aggregation linked to proteasomal impairments, mitochondrial dysfunctions and impairment in dopamine (DA) release. Here we studied the close crossing of mitochondrial dysfunction and aggregation of ?-synuclein (?-syn) and in the extension in the dopaminergic neuronal death. Here, using rat primary cultures of mesencephalic neurons, we induced the mitochondrial impairments using "DA-toxins" (MPP+, 6OHDA, rotenone). We showed that the DA-Toxins induced dopaminergic cell death through different pathways: caspase-dependent cell death for 6OHDA; MPP+ stimulated caspase-independent cell death, and rotenone activated both pathways. In addition, a decrease in energy production and/or a development of oxidative stress were observed and were linked to ?-syn aggregation with generation of Lewy body-like inclusions (found inside and outside the dopaminergic neurons). We demonstrated that any of induced mitochondrial disturbances and processes of death led to ?-syn protein aggregation and finally to cell death. Our study depicts the cell death mechanisms taking place in in vitro models of Parkinson's disease and how mitochondrial dysfunctions is at the cross road of the pathologies of this disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mutations in PINK1 and parkin cause autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). Evidence placing PINK1 and parkin in common pathways regulating multiple aspects of mitochondrial quality control is burgeoning. However, compelling evidence to causatively link specific PINK1/parkin dependent mitochondrial pathways to dopamine neuron degeneration in PD is lacking. Although PINK1 and parkin are known to regulate mitophagy, emerging data suggest that defects in mitophagy are unlikely to be of pathological relevance. Mitochondrial functions of PINK1 and parkin are also tied to their proteasomal regulation of specific substrates. In this study, we examined how PINK1/parkin mediated regulation of the pathogenic substrate PARIS impacts dopaminergic mitochondrial network homeostasis and neuronal survival in Drosophila. METHODS:The UAS-Gal4 system was employed for cell-type specific expression of the various transgenes. Effects on dopamine neuronal survival and function were assessed by anti-TH immunostaining and negative geotaxis assays. Mitochondrial effects were probed by quantitative analysis of mito-GFP labeled dopaminergic mitochondria, assessment of mitochondrial abundance in dopamine neurons isolated by Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) and qRT-PCR analysis of dopaminergic factors that promote mitochondrial biogenesis. Statistical analyses employed two-tailed Student's T-test, one-way or two-way ANOVA as required and data considered significant when P <?0.05. RESULTS:We show that defects in mitochondrial biogenesis drive adult onset progressive loss of dopamine neurons and motor deficits in Drosophila models of PINK1 or parkin insufficiency. Such defects result from PARIS dependent repression of dopaminergic PGC-1? and its downstream transcription factors NRF1 and TFAM that cooperatively promote mitochondrial biogenesis. Dopaminergic accumulation of human or Drosophila PARIS recapitulates these neurodegenerative phenotypes that are effectively reversed by PINK1, parkin or PGC-1? overexpression in vivo. To our knowledge, PARIS is the only co-substrate of PINK1 and parkin to specifically accumulate in the DA neurons and cause neurodegeneration and locomotor defects stemming from disrupted dopamine signaling. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings identify a highly conserved role for PINK1 and parkin in regulating mitochondrial biogenesis and promoting mitochondrial health via the PARIS/ PGC-1? axis. The Drosophila models described here effectively recapitulate the cardinal PD phenotypes and thus will facilitate identification of novel regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis for physiologically relevant therapeutic interventions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the neurodegeneration diseases characterized by the gradual loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra region of the brain. Substantial evidence indicates that at the cellular level mitochondrial dysfunction is a key factor leading to pathological features such as neuronal death and accumulation of misfolded ?-synuclein aggregations. Autologous transplantation of healthy purified mitochondria has shown to attenuate phenotypes in vitro and in vivo models of PD. However, there are significant technical difficulties in obtaining large amounts of purified mitochondria with normal function. In addition, the half-life of mitochondria varies between days to a few weeks. Thus, identifying a continuous source of healthy mitochondria via intercellular mitochondrial transfer is an attractive option for therapeutic purposes. In this study, we asked whether iPSCs derived astrocytes can serve as a donor to provide functional mitochondria and rescue injured DA neurons after rotenone exposure in an in vitro model of PD. METHODS:We generated DA neurons and astrocytes from human iPSCs and hESCs. We established an astroglial-neuronal co-culture system to investigate the intercellular mitochondrial transfer, as well as the neuroprotective effect of mitochondrial transfer. We employed immunocytochemistry and FACS analysis to track mitochondria. RESULTS:We showed evidence that iPSCs-derived astrocytes or astrocytic conditioned media (ACM) can rescue DA neurons degeneration via intercellular mitochondrial transfer in a rotenone induced in vitro PD model. Specifically, we showed that iPSCs-derived astrocytes from health spontaneously release functional mitochondria into the media. Mito-Tracker Green tagged astrocytic mitochondria were detected in the ACM and were shown to be internalized by the injured neurons via a phospho-p38 depended pathway. Transferred mitochondria were able to significantly reverse DA neurodegeneration and axonal pruning following exposure to rotenone. When rotenone injured neurons were cultured in presence of ACM depleted of mitochondria (by ultrafiltration), the neuroprotective effects were abolished. CONCLUSIONS:Our studies provide the proof of principle that iPSCs-derived astrocytes can act as mitochondria donor to the injured DA neurons and attenuate pathology. Using iPSCs derived astrocytes as a donor can provide a novel strategy that can be further developed for cellular therapy for PD.
Project description:Progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration is responsible for the canonical motor deficits in Parkinson's disease (PD). The widely prescribed anti-diabetic medicine metformin is effective in preventing neurodegeneration in animal models; however, despite the significant potential of metformin for treating PD, the therapeutic effects and molecular mechanisms underlying dopaminergic neuroprotection by metformin are largely unknown.In this study, we found that metformin induced substantial proteomic changes, especially in metabolic and mitochondrial pathways in the substantia nigra (SN). Consistent with this data, metformin increased mitochondrial marker proteins in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Mitochondrial protein expression by metformin was found to be brain region specific, with metformin increasing mitochondrial proteins in the SN and the striatum, but not the cortex. As a potential upstream regulator of mitochondria gene transcription by metformin, PGC-1? promoter activity was stimulated by metformin via CREB and ATF2 pathways. PGC-1? and phosphorylation of ATF2 and CREB by metformin were selectively increased in the SN and the striatum, but not the cortex. Finally, we showed that metformin protected dopaminergic neurons and improved dopamine-sensitive motor performance in an MPTP-induced PD animal model. Together these results suggest that the metformin-ATF2/CREB-PGC-1? pathway might be promising therapeutic target for PD.
Project description:Subpopulations of dopaminergic (DA) neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) display a differential vulnerability to loss in Parkinson's disease (PD); however, it is not clear why these subsets are preferentially selected in PD-associated neurodegeneration. In rodent SNpc, DA neurons can be divided into two subpopulations based on the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1A1). Here, we have shown that, in ?-synuclein transgenic mice, a murine model of PD-related disease, DA neurodegeneration occurs mainly in a dorsomedial ALDH1A1-negative subpopulation that is also prone to cytotoxic aggregation of ?-synuclein. Notably, the topographic ALDH1A1 pattern observed in ?-synuclein transgenic mice was conserved in human SNpc. Postmortem evaluation of brains of patients with PD revealed a severe reduction of ALDH1A1 expression and neurodegeneration in the ventral ALDH1A1-positive DA subpopulations. ALDH1A1 expression was also suppressed in ?-synuclein transgenic mice. Deletion of Aldh1a1 exacerbated ?-synuclein-mediated DA neurodegeneration and ?-synuclein aggregation, whereas Aldh1a1-null and control DA neurons were comparably susceptible to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium-, glutamate-, or camptothecin-induced cell death. ALDH1A1 overexpression appeared to preferentially protect against ?-synuclein-mediated DA neurodegeneration but did not rescue ?-synuclein-induced loss of cortical neurons. Together, our findings suggest that ALDH1A1 protects subpopulations of SNpc DA neurons by preventing the accumulation of dopamine aldehyde intermediates and formation of cytotoxic ?-synuclein oligomers.
Project description:Astrocytes, the most populous glial cell type in the brain, are critical for regulating the brain microenvironment. In various neurodegenerative diseases, astrocytes determine the progression and outcome of the neuropathological process. We have recently revealed the direct involvement of mitochondrial function in human pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived dopaminergic (DA) neuronal differentiation. Using the astroglial-neuronal co-culture system, we show here that astrocytes effectively rescue defects in neurogenesis of DA neurons with mitochondrial respiratory chain disruption. Co-culture of astrocytes with defective DA neurons completely restored mitochondrial functions and dynamics insulted by mitochondrial toxins. These results suggest the significance of astroglia in maintaining mitochondrial development and bioenergetics during differentiation of hiPSC-derived DA neurons. Our study also provides an active astroglial-neuronal interaction model for future investigation of mitochondrial involvement in neurogenesis and neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Activation of the forkhead box transcription factor FoxO is suggested to be involved in dopaminergic (DA) neurodegeneration in a Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease (PD), in which a PD gene product LRRK2 activates FoxO through phosphorylation. In the current study that combines Drosophila genetics and biochemical analysis, we show that cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent kinase II (cGKII) also phosphorylates FoxO at the same residue as LRRK2, and Drosophila orthologues of cGKII and LRRK2, DG2/For and dLRRK, respectively, enhance the neurotoxic activity of FoxO in an additive manner. Biochemical assays using mammalian cGKII and FoxO1 reveal that cGKII enhances the transcriptional activity of FoxO1 through phosphorylation of the FoxO1 S319 site in the same manner as LRRK2. A Drosophila FoxO mutant resistant to phosphorylation by DG2 and dLRRK (dFoxO S259A corresponding to human FoxO1 S319A) suppressed the neurotoxicity and improved motor dysfunction caused by co-expression of FoxO and DG2. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) also increased FoxO's activity, whereas the administration of a NOS inhibitor L-NAME suppressed the loss of DA neurons in aged flies co-expressing FoxO and DG2. These results strongly suggest that the NO-FoxO axis contributes to DA neurodegeneration in LRRK2-linked PD.
Project description:Mitochondrial degeneration is considered one of the major causes of Parkinson's disease (PD). Improved mitochondrial functions are expected to be a promising therapeutic strategy for PD. In this study, we introduced a light-driven proton transporter, Delta-rhodopsin (dR), to Drosophila mitochondria, where the mitochondrial proton-motive force (?p) and mitochondrial membrane potential are maintained in a light-dependent manner. The loss of the PD-associated mitochondrial gene CHCHD2 resulted in reduced ATP production, enhanced mitochondrial peroxide production and lower Ca2+-buffering activity in dopaminergic (DA) terminals in flies. These cellular defects were improved by the light-dependent activation of mitochondrion-targeted dR (mito-dR). Moreover, mito-dR reversed the pathology caused by the CHCHD2 deficiency to suppress ?-synuclein aggregation, DA neuronal loss, and elevated lipid peroxidation in brain tissue, improving motor behaviors. This study suggests the enhancement of ?p by mito-dR as a therapeutic mechanism that ameliorates neurodegeneration by protecting mitochondrial functions.