Increased Sensitivity of Mice Lacking Extrasynaptic ?-Containing GABAA Receptors to Histamine Receptor 3 Antagonists.
ABSTRACT: Histamine/gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons of posterior hypothalamus send wide projections to many brain areas and participate in stabilizing the wake state. Recent research has suggested that GABA released from the histamine/GABA neurons acts on extrasynaptic GABAA receptors and balances the excitatory effect of histamine. In the current study, we show the presence of vesicular GABA transporter mRNA in a majority of quantified hypothalamic histaminergic neurons, which suggest vesicular release of GABA. As histamine/GABA neurons form conventional synapses infrequently, it is possible that GABA released from these neurons diffuses to target areas by volume transmission and acts on extrasynaptic GABA receptors. To investigate this hypothesis, mice lacking extrasynaptic GABAA receptor ? subunit (Gabrd KO) were used. A pharmacological approach was employed to activate histamine/GABA neurons and induce histamine and presumably, GABA, release. Control and Gabrd KO mice were treated with histamine receptor 3 (Hrh3) inverse agonists ciproxifan and pitolisant, which block Hrh3 autoreceptors on histamine/GABA neurons and histamine-dependently promote wakefulness. Low doses of ciproxifan (1 mg/kg) and pitolisant (5 mg/kg) reduced locomotion in Gabrd KO, but not in WT mice. EEG recording showed that Gabrd KO mice were also more sensitive to the wake-promoting effect of ciproxifan (3 mg/kg) than control mice. Low frequency delta waves, associated with NREM sleep, were significantly suppressed in Gabrd KO mice compared with the WT group. Ciproxifan-induced wakefulness was blocked by histamine synthesis inhibitor ?-fluoromethylhistidine (?FMH). The findings indicate that both histamine and GABA, released from histamine/GABA neurons, are involved in regulation of brain arousal states and ?-containing subunit GABAA receptors are involved in mediating GABA response.
Project description:Histaminergic neurons in the tuberomammilary nucleus (TMN) of the hypothalamus form a widely projecting, wake-active network that sustains arousal. Yet most histaminergic neurons contain GABA. Selective siRNA knockdown of the vesicular GABA transporter (vgat, SLC32A1) in histaminergic neurons produced hyperactive mice with an exceptional amount of sustained wakefulness. Ablation of the vgat gene throughout the TMN further sharpened this phenotype. Optogenetic stimulation in the caudate-putamen and neocortex of "histaminergic" axonal projections from the TMN evoked tonic (extrasynaptic) GABAA receptor Cl(-) currents onto medium spiny neurons and pyramidal neurons. These currents were abolished following vgat gene removal from the TMN area. Thus wake-active histaminergic neurons generate a paracrine GABAergic signal that serves to provide a brake on overactivation from histamine, but could also increase the precision of neocortical processing. The long range of histamine-GABA axonal projections suggests that extrasynaptic inhibition will be coordinated over large neocortical and striatal areas.
Project description:Background:Metabolic imaging has revealed excessive cerebellar activity in essential tremor patients. Golgi cells control cerebellar activity by releasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) onto synaptic and extrasynaptic receptors on cerebellar granule cells. We postulated that the extrasynaptic GABAA receptor-specific agonist THIP (gaboxadol; 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol) would suppress tremor in the harmaline model of essential tremor and, since cerebellar extrasynaptic receptors contain α6 and δ subunits, would fail to do so in mice lacking either subunit. Methods:Digitally measured motion power, expressed as 10-16 Hz power (the tremor bandwidth) divided by background 8-32 Hz motion power, was accessed during pre-harmaline baseline, pre-THIP harmaline exposure, and after THIP administration (0, 2, or 3 mg/kg). These low doses were chosen as they did not impair performance on the straight wire test, a sensitive test for psychomotor impairment. Littermate δ wild-type and knockout (Gabrd+/+, Gabrd-/-) and littermate α6 wild-type and knockout (Gabra6+/+, Gabra6-/- ) mice were tested. Results:Gabrd+/+ mice displayed tremor reduction at 3 mg/kg THIP but not 2 mg/kg, and Gabra6+/+ mice showed tremor reduction at 2 and 3 mg/kg. Their respective subunit knockout littermates displayed no tremor reduction compared with vehicle controls at either dose. Discussion:The loss of anti-tremor efficacy with deletion of either δ or α6 GABAA receptor subunits indicates that extrasynaptic receptors containing both subunits, most likely located on cerebellar granule cells where they are highly expressed, mediate tremor suppression by THIP. A medication designed to activate only these receptors may display a favorable profile for treating essential tremor.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Brain vascular endothelial cells express histamine H1 and H2 receptors, which regulate brain capillary permeability. We investigated whether H3 and H4 receptors are also expressed in these cells and may thus play a role in permeability regulation. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:An immortalized rat brain endothelial cell line RBE4 was used to assess the presence of H3 and H4 receptors. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and sequencing were used to identify the receptor mRNAs. The receptors were stimulated with histamine and immepip, and specific inverse agonists/antagonists ciproxifan and JNJ 7777120 were used to block H3 and H4 receptors, respectively. KEY RESULTS:RT-PCR of mRNA extracted from cultured immortalized RBE4 cells revealed two rat H4 receptor gene (Hrh4) transcripts, one full-length (coding sequence 1173?bp), and one with a 164?bp deletion. Also, two rat H3 receptor gene (Hrh3) isoform mRNAs were expressed in RBE4 cells, and sequencing showed they were the full-length H3 receptor and the 144?bp deletion form. Both histamine and immepip (H3 and H4 receptor agonists) activated the Erk1/2 MAPK pathway in the RBE4 cells and in vivo in brain blood vessels by activating H4 receptors, as the H4 receptor-specific inverse agonists/antagonist JNJ 7777120, but not ciproxifan, H3 receptor antagonist, dose-dependently blocked this effect in RBE4 cells. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Both Hrh3 and Hrh4 receptors are expressed in rat brain endothelial cells, and activation of the histamine H4 receptor activates the Erk1/2 cascade. H3 and H4 receptors in endothelial cells are potentially important for regulation of blood-brain barrier permeability, including trafficking of immunocompetent cells.
Project description:The neurotransmitter GABA mediates the majority of rapid inhibition in the CNS. Inhibition can occur via the conventional mechanism, the transient activation of subsynaptic GABAA receptors (GABAA-Rs), or via continuous activation of high-affinity receptors by low concentrations of ambient GABA, leading to "tonic" inhibition that can control levels of excitability and network activity. The GABAA-R alpha4 subunit is expressed at high levels in the dentate gyrus and thalamus and is suspected to contribute to extrasynaptic GABAA-R-mediated tonic inhibition. Mice were engineered to lack the alpha4 subunit by targeted disruption of the Gabra4 gene. alpha4 Subunit knockout mice are viable, breed normally, and are superficially indistinguishable from WT mice. In electrophysiological recordings, these mice show a lack of tonic inhibition in dentate granule cells and thalamic relay neurons. Behaviorally, knockout mice are insensitive to the ataxic, sedative, and analgesic effects of the novel hypnotic drug, gaboxadol. These data demonstrate that tonic inhibition in dentate granule cells and thalamic relay neurons is mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA-Rs containing the alpha4 subunit and that gaboxadol achieves its effects via the activation of this GABAA-R subtype.
Project description:Aminoquinoline derivatives were evaluated against a panel of receptors/channels/transporters in radioligand binding experiments. One of these derivatives (DCUK-OEt) displayed micromolar affinity for brain γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. DCUK-OEt was shown to be a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of GABA currents with α1β2γ2, α1β3γ2, α5β3γ2 and α1β3δ GABAA receptors, while having no significant PAM effect on αβ receptors or α1β1γ2, α1β2γ1, α4β3γ2 or α4β3δ receptors. DCUK-OEt modulation of α1β2γ2 GABAA receptors was not blocked by flumazenil. The subunit requirements for DCUK-OEt actions distinguished DCUK-OEt from other currently known modulators of GABA function (e.g., anesthetics, neurosteroids or ethanol). Simulated docking of DCUK-OEt at the GABAA receptor suggested that its binding site may be at the α + β- subunit interface. In slices of the central amygdala, DCUK-OEt acted primarily on extrasynaptic GABAA receptors containing the α1 subunit and generated increases in extrasynaptic "tonic" current with no significant effect on phasic responses to GABA. DCUK-OEt is a novel chemical structure acting as a PAM at particular GABAA receptors. Given that neurons in the central amygdala responding to DCUK-OEt were recently identified as relevant for alcohol dependence, DCUK-OEt should be further evaluated for the treatment of alcoholism.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Explorations into the heterogeneous population of native GABA type A receptors (GABAA Rs) and the physiological functions governed by the multiple GABAA R subtypes have for decades been hampered by the lack of subtype-selective ligands. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: The functional properties of the orthosteric GABAA receptor ligand 5-(4-piperidyl)-3-isothiazolol (Thio-4-PIOL) have been investigated in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo. KEY RESULTS: Thio-4-PIOL displayed substantial partial agonist activity at the human extrasynaptic GABAA R subtypes expressed in Xenopus oocytes, eliciting maximal responses of up to ?30% of that of GABA at ?5 ?3 ?2S , ?4 ?3 ? and ?6 ?3 ? and somewhat lower efficacies at the corresponding ?5 ?2 ?2S , ?4 ?2 ? and ?6 ?2 ? subtypes (maximal responses of 4-12%). In contrast, it was an extremely low efficacious agonist at the ?1 ?3 ?2S , ?1 ?2 ?2S , ?2 ?2 ?2S , ?2 ?3 ?2S , ?3 ?2 ?2S and ?3 ?3 ?2S GABAA Rs (maximal responses of 0-4%). In concordance with its agonism at extrasynaptic GABAA Rs and its de facto antagonism at the synaptic receptors, Thio-4-PIOL elicited robust tonic currents in electrophysiological recordings on slices from rat CA1 hippocampus and ventrobasal thalamus and antagonized phasic currents in hippocampal neurons. Finally, the observed effects of Thio-4-PIOL in rat tests of anxiety, locomotion, nociception and spatial memory were overall in good agreement with its in vitro and ex vivo properties. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: The diverse signalling characteristics of Thio-4-PIOL at GABAA Rs represent one of the few examples of a functionally subtype-selective orthosteric GABAA R ligand reported to date. We propose that Thio-4-PIOL could be a useful pharmacological tool in future studies exploring the physiological roles of native synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA Rs.
Project description:The main fast-acting inhibitory receptors in the mammalian brain are γ-aminobutyric acid type-A (GABAA) receptors for which neurosteroids, a subclass of steroids synthesized de novo in the brain, constitute a group of endogenous ligands with the most potent positive modulatory actions known. Neurosteroids can act on all subtypes of GABAA receptors, with a preference for δ-subunit-containing receptors that mediate extrasynaptic tonic inhibition. Pathological conditions characterized by emotional and motivational disturbances are often associated with perturbation in the levels of endogenous neurosteroids. We studied the effects of ganaxolone (GAN)-a synthetic analog of endogenous allopregnanolone that lacks activity on nuclear steroid receptors-on the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system involved in emotions and motivation. A single dose of GAN in young mice induced a dose-dependent, long-lasting neuroplasticity of glutamate synapses of DA neurons ex vivo in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Increased α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA)/N-methyl-D-aspartate ratio and rectification of AMPA receptor responses even at 6 days after GAN administration suggested persistent synaptic targeting of GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors. This glutamate neuroplasticity was not observed in GABAA receptor δ-subunit-knockout (δ-KO) mice. GAN (500 nM) applied locally to VTA selectively increased tonic inhibition of GABA interneurons and triggered potentiation of DA neurons within 4 h in vitro. Place-conditioning experiments in adult wild-type C57BL/6J and δ-KO mice revealed aversive properties of repeated GAN administration that were dependent on the δ-subunits. Prolonged neuroadaptation to neurosteroids in the VTA might contribute to both the physiology and pathophysiology underlying processes and changes in motivation, mood, cognition, and drug addiction.
Project description:Methylene blue (MB) is commonly used in diagnostic procedures and is also used to treat various medical conditions. Neurological effects of MB have been reported in clinical observations and experimental studies. Thus the modulation of GABAA receptor function by MB was investigated. Whole-cell GABA-activated currents were recorded from HEK293 cells expressing various GABAA receptor subunit configurations. MB inhibition of GABA currents was apparent at 3 ?M, and it had an IC50 of 31 ?M in human ?1?2?2 receptors. The MB action was rapid and reversible. MB inhibition was not mediated via the picrotoxin site, as a mutation (T6'F of the ?2 subunit) known to confer resistance to picrotoxin had no effect on MB-induced inhibition. Blockade of GABAA receptors by MB was demonstrated across a range of receptors expressing varying subunits, including those expressed at extrasynaptic sites. The sensitivity of ?1?2 receptors to MB was similar to that observed in ?1?2?2 receptors, indicating that MB's action via the benzodiazepine or Zn2+ site is unlikely. MB-induced inhibition of GABA response was competitive with respect to GABA. Furthermore, mutation of ?1 F64 to A and ?2 Y205 to F in the extracellular N-terminus, both residues which are known to comprise GABA binding pocket, remarkably diminished MB inhibition of GABA currents. These data suggest that MB inhibits GABAA receptor function by direct or allosteric interaction with the GABA binding site. Finally, in mouse hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, MB inhibited GABA-activated currents as well as GABAergic IPSCs. We demonstrate that MB directly inhibits GABAA receptor function, which may underlie some of the effects of MB on the CNS.
Project description:Alcohol abuse is a significant medical and social problem. Several neurotransmitter systems are implicated in ethanol's actions, with certain receptors and ion channels emerging as putative targets. The dorsal raphe (DR) nucleus is associated with the behavioral actions of alcohol, but ethanol actions on these neurons are not well understood. Here, using immunohistochemistry and electrophysiology we characterize DR inhibitory transmission and its sensitivity to ethanol. DR neurons exhibit inhibitory 'phasic' post-synaptic currents mediated primarily by synaptic GABAA receptors (GABAAR) and, to a lesser extent, by synaptic glycine receptors (GlyR). In addition to such phasic transmission mediated by the vesicular release of neurotransmitter, the activity of certain neurons may be governed by a 'tonic' conductance resulting from ambient GABA activating extrasynaptic GABAARs. However, for DR neurons extrasynaptic GABAARs exert only a limited influence. By contrast, we report that unusually the GlyR antagonist strychnine reveals a large tonic conductance mediated by extrasynaptic GlyRs, which dominates DR inhibition. In agreement, for DR neurons strychnine increases their input resistance, induces membrane depolarization, and consequently augments their excitability. Importantly, this glycinergic conductance is greatly enhanced in a strychnine-sensitive fashion, by behaviorally relevant ethanol concentrations, by drugs used for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, and by taurine, an ingredient of certain 'energy drinks' often imbibed with ethanol. These findings identify extrasynaptic GlyRs as critical regulators of DR excitability and a novel molecular target for ethanol.
Project description:Histamine is a neurotransmitter involved in a number of physiological and neuronal functions. In mammals, such as humans, and rodents, the histaminergic neurons found in the tuberomamillary nucleus project widely throughout the central nervous system. Histamine acts as positive modulator of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) and, in high concentrations (10 mM), as negative modulator of the strychnine-sensitive glycine receptor. However, the exact molecular mechanisms by which histamine acts on GABAARs are unknown. In our study, we aimed to identify amino acids potentially involved in the modulatory effect of histamine on GABAARs. We expressed GABAARs with 12 different point mutations in Xenopus laevis oocytes and characterized the effect of histamine on GABA-induced currents using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique. Our data demonstrate that the amino acid residues ?2(N265) and ?2(M286), which are important for modulation by propofol, are not involved in the action of histamine. However, we found that histamine modulation is dependent on the amino acid residues ?1(R120), ?2(Y157), ?2(D163), ?3(V175), and ?3(Q185). We showed that the amino acid residues ?2(Y157) and ?3(Q185) mediate the positive modulatory effect of histamine on GABA-induced currents, whereas ?1(R120) and ?2(D163) form a potential histamine interaction site in GABAARs.