The NKCC1 antagonist bumetanide mitigates interneuronopathy associated with ethanol exposure in utero.
ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposure to ethanol induces aberrant tangential migration of corticopetal GABAergic interneurons, and long-term alterations in the form and function of the prefrontal cortex. We have hypothesized that interneuronopathy contributes significantly to the pathoetiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Activity-dependent tangential migration of GABAergic cortical neurons is driven by depolarizing responses to ambient GABA present in the cortical enclave. We found that ethanol exposure potentiates the depolarizing action of GABA in GABAergic cortical interneurons of the embryonic mouse brain. Pharmacological antagonism of the cotransporter NKCC1 mitigated ethanol-induced potentiation of GABA depolarization and prevented aberrant patterns of tangential migration induced by ethanol in vitro. In a model of FASD, maternal bumetanide treatment prevented interneuronopathy in the prefrontal cortex of ethanol exposed offspring, including deficits in behavioral flexibility. These findings position interneuronopathy as a mechanism of FASD symptomatology, and posit NKCC1 as a pharmacological target for the management of FASD.
Project description:GABA is the key inhibitory neurotransmitter in the cortex but regulation of its synthesis during forebrain development is poorly understood. In the telencephalon, members of the distal-less (Dlx) homeobox gene family are expressed in, and regulate the development of, the basal ganglia primodia from which many GABAergic neurons originate and migrate to other forebrain regions. The Dlx1/Dlx2 double knock-out mice die at birth with abnormal cortical development, including loss of tangential migration of GABAergic inhibitory interneurons to the neocortex (Anderson et al., 1997a). We have discovered that specific promoter regulatory elements of glutamic acid decarboxylase isoforms (Gad1 and Gad2), which regulate GABA synthesis from the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, are direct transcriptional targets of both DLX1 and DLX2 homeoproteins in vivo Further gain- and loss-of-function studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrated that both DLX1 and DLX2 are necessary and sufficient for Gad gene expression. DLX1 and/or DLX2 activated the transcription of both Gad genes, and defects in Dlx function disrupted the differentiation of GABAergic interneurons with global reduction in GABA levels in the forebrains of the Dlx1/Dlx2 double knock-out mouse in vivo Identification of Gad genes as direct Dlx transcriptional targets is significant; it extends our understanding of Dlx gene function in the developing forebrain beyond the regulation of tangential interneuron migration to the differentiation of GABAergic interneurons arising from the basal telencephalon, and may help to unravel the pathogenesis of several developmental brain disorders.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. We show that Dlx1/Dlx2 homeobox genes regulate GABA synthesis during forebrain development through direct activation of glutamic acid decarboxylase enzyme isoforms that convert glutamate to GABA. This discovery helps explain how Dlx mutations result in abnormal forebrain development, due to defective differentiation, in addition to the loss of tangential migration of GABAergic inhibitory interneurons to the neocortex. Reduced numbers or function of cortical GABAergic neurons may lead to hyperactivity states such as seizures (Cobos et al., 2005) or contribute to the pathogenesis of some autism spectrum disorders. GABAergic dysfunction in the basal ganglia could disrupt the learning and development of complex motor and cognitive behaviors (Rubenstein and Merzenich, 2003).
Project description:Alcohol affects multiple neurotransmitter systems, notably the GABAergic system and has been recognised for a long time as particularly damaging during critical stages of brain development. Nevertheless, data from the literature are most often derived from animal or in vitro models. In order to study the production, migration and cortical density disturbances of GABAergic interneurons upon prenatal alcohol exposure, we performed immunohistochemical studies by means of the proliferation marker Ki67, GABA and calretinin antibodies in the frontal cortical plate of 17 foetal and infant brains antenatally exposed to alcohol, aged 15 weeks' gestation to 22 postnatal months and in the ganglionic eminences and the subventricular zone of the dorsal telencephalon until their regression, i.e., 34 weeks' gestation. Results were compared with those obtained in 17 control brains aged 14 weeks of gestation to 35 postnatal months. We also focused on interneuron vascular migration along the cortical microvessels by confocal microscopy with double immunolabellings using Glut1, GABA and calretinin. Semi-quantitative and quantitative analyses of GABAergic and calretininergic interneuron density allowed us to identify an insufficient and delayed production of GABAergic interneurons in the ganglionic eminences during the two first trimesters of the pregnancy and a delayed incorporation into the laminar structures of the frontal cortex. Moreover, a mispositioning of GABAergic and calretininergic interneurons persisted throughout the foetal life, these cells being located in the deep layers instead of the superficial layers II and III. Moreover, vascular migration of calretininergic interneurons within the cortical plate was impaired, as reflected by low numbers of interneurons observed close to the cortical perforating vessel walls that may in part explain their abnormal intracortical distribution. Our results are globally concordant with those previously obtained in mouse models, in which alcohol has been shown to induce an interneuronopathy by affecting interneuron density and positioning within the cortical plate, and which could account for the neurological disabilities observed in children with foetal alcohol disorder spectrum.
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:?-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, early in postnatal life exerts a depolarizing and excitatory action. This depends on accumulation of chloride inside the cell via the cation-chloride importer NKCC1, being the expression of the chloride exporter KCC2 very low at birth. The developmentally regulated expression of KCC2 results in extrusion of chloride with age and a shift of GABA from the depolarizing to the hyperpolarizing direction. The depolarizing action of GABA leads to intracellular calcium rise through voltage-dependent calcium channels and/or N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. GABA-mediated calcium signals regulate a variety of developmental processes from cell proliferation migration, differentiation, synapse maturation, and neuronal wiring. Therefore, it is not surprising that some forms of neuro-developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are associated with alterations of GABAergic signaling and impairment of the excitatory/inhibitory balance in selective neuronal circuits. In this review, we will discuss how changes of GABAA-mediated neurotransmission affect several forms of ASDs including the Fragile X, the Angelman, and Rett syndromes. Then, we will describe various animal models of ASDs with GABAergic dysfunctions, highlighting their behavioral deficits and the possibility to rescue them by targeting selective components of the GABAergic synapse. In particular, we will discuss how in some cases, reverting the polarity of GABA responses from the depolarizing to the hyperpolarizing direction with the diuretic bumetanide, a selective blocker of NKCC1, may have beneficial effects on ASDs, thus opening new therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of these devastating disorders.
Project description:Cerebral cortical ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons originate from the basal forebrain and migrate into the cortex in 2 phases. First, interneurons cross the boundary between the developing striatum and the cortex to migrate tangentially through the cortical primordium. Second, interneurons migrate radially to their correct neocortical layer position. A previous study demonstrated that mice in which the cortical hem was genetically ablated displayed a massive reduction of Cajal-Retzius (C-R) cells in the neocortical marginal zone (MZ), thereby losing C-R cell-generated reelin in the MZ. Surprisingly, pyramidal cell migration and subsequent layering were almost normal. In contrast, we find that the timing of migration of cortical GABAergic interneurons is abnormal in hem-ablated mice. Migrating interneurons both advance precociously along their tangential path and switch prematurely from tangential to radial migration to invade the cortical plate (CP). We propose that the cortical hem is responsible for establishing cues that control the timing of interneuron migration. In particular, we suggest that loss of a repellant signal from the medial neocortex, which is greatly decreased in size in hem-ablated mice, allows the early advance of interneurons and that reduction of another secreted molecule from C-R cells, the chemokine SDF-1/CXCL12, permits early radial migration into the CP.
Project description:Exposure to ethanol during development triggers neuronal cell death and this is thought to play a central role in the pathophysiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Studies suggest that ethanol-induced neurodegeneration during the period of synaptogenesis results from widespread potentiation of GABA(A) receptors and inhibition of NMDA receptors throughout the brain, with neocortical layer II being particularly sensitive. Here, we tested whether ethanol modulates the function of these receptors during this developmental period using patch-clamp electrophysiological and Ca(2+) imaging techniques in acute slices from postnatal day 7-9 rats. We focused on pyramidal neurons in layer II of the parietal cortex (with layer III as a control). Ethanol (70mM) increased spontaneous action potential-dependent GABA release in layer II (but not layer III) neurons without affecting postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors. Protein and mRNA expression for both the Cl(-) importer, NKCC1, and the Cl(-) exporter, KCC2, were detected in layer II/III neurons. Perforated-patch experiments demonstrated that E(Cl)((-)) is shifted to the right of E(m); activation of GABA(A) receptors with muscimol depolarized E(m), decreased action potential firing, and minimally increased [Ca(2+)](i). However, the ethanol-induced increase of GABAergic transmission did not affect neuronal excitability. Ethanol had no effect on currents exogenously evoked by NMDA or AMPA receptor-mediated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents. Acute application of ethanol in the absence of receptor antagonists minimally increased [Ca(2+)](i). These findings are inconsistent with the excessive inhibition model of ethanol-induced neurodegeneration, supporting the view that ethanol damages developing neurons via more complex mechanisms that vary among specific neuronal populations.
Project description:Striatum processes a wide range of functions including goal-directed behavior and habit formation, respectively encoded by the dorsomedial striatum (DMS) and dorsolateral striatum (DLS). GABAergic feedforward inhibition is known to control the integration of cortical information by striatal projection neurons (SPNs). Here we questioned whether this control is specific between distinct striatal functional territories. Using opto-activation and opto-inhibition of identified GABAergic interneurons, we found that different circuits are engaged in DLS and DMS, both ex vivo and in vivo: while parvalbumin interneurons efficiently control SPNs in DLS, somatostatin interneurons control SPNs in DMS. Moreover, both parvalbumin and somatostatin interneurons use a dual hyperpolarizing/depolarizing effect to control cortical input integration depending on SPN activity state: GABAergic interneurons potently inhibit spiking SPNs while in resting SPNs, they favor cortical activity summation via a depolarizing effect. Our findings establish that striatal GABAergic interneurons exert efficient territory-specific and state-dependent control of SPN activity and functional output.
Project description:GABAergic interneurons control the neural circuitry and network activity in the brain. The advances in genetics have identified genes that control the development, maturation and integration of GABAergic interneurons and implicated them in the pathogenesis of epileptic encephalopathies or neurodevelopmental disorders. For example, mutations of the Aristaless-Related homeobox X-linked gene (ARX) may result in defective GABAergic interneuronal migration in infants with epileptic encephalopathies like West syndrome (WS), Ohtahara syndrome or X-linked lissencephaly with abnormal genitalia (XLAG). The concept of "interneuronopathy", i.e. impaired development, migration or function of interneurons, has emerged as a possible etiopathogenic mechanism for epileptic encephalopathies. Treatments that enhance GABA levels, may help seizure control but do not necessarily show disease modifying effect. On the other hand, interneuronopathies can be seen in other conditions in which epilepsy may not be the primary manifestation, such as autism. In this review, we plan to outline briefly the current state of knowledge on the origin, development, and migration and integration of GABAergic interneurons, present neurodevelopmental conditions, with or without epilepsy, that have been associated with interneuronopathies and discuss the evidence linking certain types of interneuronal dysfunction with epilepsy and/or cognitive or behavioral deficits.
Project description:Hypertension is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, and kidney failure. However, the etiology of hypertension in most patients is poorly understood. Increased sympathetic drive emanating from the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) plays a major role in the development of hypertension. Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter-1 (NKCC1) in the brain is critically involved in maintaining chloride homeostasis and in neuronal responses mediated by GABA(A) receptors. Here we present novel evidence that the GABA reversal potential (E(GABA)) of PVN presympathetic neurons undergoes a depolarizing shift that diminishes GABA inhibition in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Inhibition of NKCC1, but not KCC2, normalizes E(GABA) and restores GABA inhibition of PVN neurons in SHRs. The mRNA and protein levels of NKCC1, but not KCC2, in the PVN are significantly increased in SHRs, and the NKCC1 proteins on the plasma membrane are highly glycosylated. Inhibiting NKCC1 N-glycosylation restores E(GABA) and GABAergic inhibition of PVN presympathetic neurons in SHRs. Furthermore, NKCC1 inhibition significantly reduces the sympathetic vasomotor tone and augments the sympathoinhibitory responses to GABA(A) receptor activation in the PVN in SHRs. These findings suggest that increased NKCC1 activity and glycosylation disrupt chloride homeostasis and impair synaptic inhibition in the PVN to augment the sympathetic drive in hypertension. This information greatly improves our understanding of the pathogenesis of hypertension and helps to design better treatment strategies for neurogenic hypertension.
Project description:During cerebral cortical development, excitatory glutamatergic projection neurons are generated from neural stem cells intrinsic to the early embryonic cortical ventricular zone by a process of radial migration, whereas most inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons and oligodendrocytes (OLs) appear to be elaborated from ventral forebrain stem cells that initially undergo tangential cortical migration before terminal lineage maturation. In contrast to the more compartmentalized developmental organization of the spinal cord, the generation of neurons and OLs from a common ventral forebrain stem cell would expose these cells to the sequential actions of ventral and dorsal gradient morphogens [sonic hedgehog (Shh) and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs)] that normally mediate opposing developmental programs. Here we report that Shh promotes GABAergic neuronalOL lineage restriction of forebrain stem cells, in part, by activation of the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, Olig2 and Mash1. In mutant mice with a generalized defect in tangential cortical migration (Dlx12--), there is a profound and selective reduction in the elaboration of both cortical GABAergic neurons and OLs. Our studies further demonstrate that the sequential elaboration of cortical GABAergic neurons and OLs from common Shh-responsive ventral forebrain progenitors requires the spatial and temporal modulation of cortical BMP signaling by BMP ligands and the BMP antagonist, noggin, respectively. These findings suggest an integrative model for cerebral cortical GABAergic neuronal and OL lineage maturation that would incorporate the sequential contributions of the ventral and dorsal forebrain, and the potential role of regional developmental cues in modulating transcriptional codes within evolving neural lineage species.