Striatal transcriptome of a mouse model of ADHD reveals a pattern of synaptic remodeling
ABSTRACT: Despite the prevalence and high heritability of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), genetic etiology remains elusive. Clinical evidence points in part to reduced function of the striatum, but which specific genes are differentially expressed and how they sculpt striatal physiology to predispose ADHD are not well understood. As an exploratory tool, a polygenic mouse model of ADHD was recently developed through selective breeding for high home cage activity. Relative to the Control line, the High-Active line displays hyperactivity and motor impulsivity which are ameliorated with amphetamine. This study compared gene expression in the striatum between Control and High-Active mice to develop a coherent hypothesis for how genes might affect striatal physiology and predispose ADHD-like symptoms. To this end, striatal transcriptomes of High-Active and Control mice were analyzed after mice were treated with saline or amphetamines. The pseudogene Gm6180 for n-cofilin (Cfl1) displayed 20-fold higher expression in High-Active mice corresponding with reduced Cfl1 expression suggesting synaptic actin dysregulation. Latrophilin 3 (Lphn3), which is associated with ADHD in human populations and is involved in synapse structure, and its ligand fibronectin leucine rich transmembrane protein 3 (Flrt3), were downregulated in High-Active mice. Multiple genes were altered in High-Active mice in a manner predicted to downregulate the canonical Wnt pathway. A smaller and different set of genes including glyoxalase (Glo1) were differentially regulated in High-Active as compared to Control in response to amphetamine. Together, results suggest genes involved in excitatory synapse regulation and maintenance are downregulated in ADHD-like mice. Consistent with the molecular prediction, stereological analysis of the striatum from a separate set of mice processed for imunohistochemical detection of synaptophysin revealed approximately a 46% reduction in synaptophysin immunoreactivity in High-Active relative to Control. Results provide a new set of molecular targets related to synapse maintenance for the next generation of ADHD medicines. Overall design: There are a total of 20 samples: 5 striatum samples from control strain males treated with saline, 5 straitum samples from high-active strain males treated with saline, 5 striatum samples from control strain males treated with amphetamine, and 5 striatum samples from high-active strain males treated with amphetamine.
Project description:Despite the prevalence and high heritability of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), genetic etiology remains elusive. Clinical evidence points in part to reduced function of the striatum, but which specific genes are differentially expressed and how they sculpt striatal physiology to predispose ADHD are not well understood. As an exploratory tool, a polygenic mouse model of ADHD was recently developed through selective breeding for high home cage activity. Relative to the Control line, the High-Active line displays hyperactivity and motor impulsivity which are ameliorated with amphetamine. This study compared gene expression in the striatum between Control and High-Active mice to develop a coherent hypothesis for how genes might affect striatal physiology and predispose ADHD-like symptoms. To this end, striatal transcriptomes of High-Active and Control mice were analyzed after mice were treated with saline or amphetamines. The pseudogene Gm6180 for n-cofilin (Cfl1) displayed 20-fold higher expression in High-Active mice corresponding with reduced Cfl1 expression suggesting synaptic actin dysregulation. Latrophilin 3 (Lphn3), which is associated with ADHD in human populations and is involved in synapse structure, and its ligand fibronectin leucine rich transmembrane protein 3 (Flrt3), were downregulated in High-Active mice. Multiple genes were altered in High-Active mice in a manner predicted to downregulate the canonical Wnt pathway. A smaller and different set of genes including glyoxalase (Glo1) were differentially regulated in High-Active as compared to Control in response to amphetamine. Together, results suggest genes involved in excitatory synapse regulation and maintenance are downregulated in ADHD-like mice. Consistent with the molecular prediction, stereological analysis of the striatum from a separate set of mice processed for imunohistochemical detection of synaptophysin revealed approximately a 46% reduction in synaptophysin immunoreactivity in High-Active relative to Control. Results provide a new set of molecular targets related to synapse maintenance for the next generation of ADHD medicines.
Project description:The striatum of the brain coordinates motor function. Dopamine-related drugs may be therapeutic to patients with striatal neurodegeneration, such as Huntington's disease (HD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), but these drugs have unwanted side effects. In addition to stimulating the release of norepinephrine, amphetamines, which are used for narcolepsy and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), trigger dopamine release in the striatum. The guanosine triphosphatase Ras homolog enriched in the striatum (Rhes) inhibits dopaminergic signaling in the striatum, is implicated in HD and L-dopa-induced dyskinesia, and has a role in striatal motor control. We found that the guanine nucleotide exchange factor RasGRP1 inhibited Rhes-mediated control of striatal motor activity in mice. RasGRP1 stabilized Rhes, increasing its synaptic accumulation in the striatum. Whereas partially Rhes-deficient (Rhes+/-) mice had an enhanced locomotor response to amphetamine, this phenotype was attenuated by coincident depletion of RasGRP1. By proteomic analysis of striatal lysates from Rhes-heterozygous mice with wild-type or partial or complete knockout of Rasgrp1, we identified a diverse set of Rhes-interacting proteins, the "Rhesactome," and determined that RasGRP1 affected the composition of the amphetamine-induced Rhesactome, which included PDE2A (phosphodiesterase 2A; a protein associated with major depressive disorder), LRRC7 (leucine-rich repeat-containing 7; a protein associated with bipolar disorder and ADHD), and DLG2 (discs large homolog 2; a protein associated with chronic pain). Thus, this Rhes network provides insight into striatal effects of amphetamine and may aid the development of strategies to treat various neurological and psychological disorders associated with the striatal dysfunction.
Project description:Administration of amphetamine overstimulates medium spiny neurons (MSNs) by releasing dopamine and glutamate from afferents in the striatum. However, these afferents also release brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that protects striatal MSNs from overstimulation. Intriguingly, all three neurochemicals increase opioid gene expression in MSNs. In contrast, striatal opioid expression is less in naive BDNF heterozygous (BDNF(+/-)) vs. wild-type (WT) mice. This study was designed to determine whether partial genetic depletion of BDNF influences the behavioral and molecular response to an acute amphetamine injection. An acute injection of amphetamine [5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)] or saline was administered to WT and BDNF(+/-) mice. WT and BDNF(+/-) mice exhibited similar locomotor activity during habituation, whereas BDNF(+/-) mice exhibited more prolonged locomotor activation during the third hour after injection of amphetamine. Three hours after amphetamine injection, there was an increase of preprodynorphin mRNA in the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens (Acb) and dopamine D(3) receptor mRNA levels were increased in the Acb of BDNF(+/-) and WT mice. Striatal/cortical trkB and BDNF, and mesencephalic tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA levels were only increased in WT mice. These results indicate that BDNF modifies the locomotor responses of mice to acute amphetamine and differentially regulates amphetamine-induced gene expression.
Project description:Converging evidence from clinical, preclinical, neuroimaging, and genetic research implicates dopamine neurotransmission in the pathophysiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The in vivo neuroreceptor imaging evidence also suggests alterations in the dopamine system in ADHD; however, the nature and behavioral significance of those have not yet been established. Here, we investigated striatal dopaminergic function in ADHD using [(11)C]raclopride PET with a d-amphetamine challenge. We also examined the relationship of striatal dopamine responses to ADHD symptoms and neurocognitive function. A total of 15 treatment-free, noncomorbid adult males with ADHD (age: 29.87 ± 8.65) and 18 healthy male controls (age: 25.44 ± 6.77) underwent two PET scans: one following a lactose placebo and the other following d-amphetamine (0.3 mg/kg, p.o.), administered double blind and in random order counterbalanced across groups. In a separate session without a drug, participants performed a battery of neurocognitive tests. Relative to the healthy controls, the ADHD patients, as a group, showed greater d-amphetamine-induced decreases in striatal [(11)C]raclopride binding and performed more poorly on measures of response inhibition. Across groups, a greater magnitude of d-amphetamine-induced change in [(11)C]raclopride binding potential was associated with poorer performance on measures of response inhibition and ADHD symptoms. Our findings suggest an augmented striatal dopaminergic response in treatment-naive ADHD. Though in contrast to results of a previous study, this finding appears consistent with a model proposing exaggerated phasic dopamine release in ADHD. A susceptibility to increased phasic dopamine responsivity may contribute to such characteristics of ADHD as poor inhibition and impulsivity.
Project description:Mice with functional genetic ablation of the Tacr1 (substance P-preferring receptor) gene (NK1R-/-) are hyperactive. Here, we investigated whether this is mimicked by NK1R antagonism and whether dopaminergic transmission is disrupted in brain regions that govern motor performance. The locomotor activity of NK1R-/- and wild-type mice was compared after treatment with an NK1R antagonist and/or psychostimulant (d-amphetamine or methylphenidate). The inactivation of NK1R (by gene mutation or receptor antagonism) induced hyperactivity in mice, which was prevented by both psychostimulants. Using in vivo microdialysis, we then compared the regulation of extracellular dopamine in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum in the two genotypes. A lack of functional NK1R reduced (>50%) spontaneous dopamine efflux in the prefrontal cortex and abolished the striatal dopamine response to d-amphetamine. These behavioural and neurochemical abnormalities in NK1R-/- mice, together with their atypical response to psychostimulants, echo attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans. These findings prompted genetic studies on the TACR1 gene (the human equivalent of NK1R) in ADHD patients in a case-control study of 450 ADHD patients and 600 screened supernormal controls. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs3771829, rs3771833, rs3771856, and rs1701137) at the TACR1 gene, previously known to be associated with bipolar disorder or alcoholism, were strongly associated with ADHD. In conclusion, our proposal that NK1R-/- mice offer a mouse model of ADHD was borne out by our human studies, which suggest that DNA sequence changes in and around the TACR1 gene increase susceptibility to this disorder.
Project description:Synapse degeneration is an early and invariant feature of neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, synapse loss occurs prior to neuronal degeneration and correlates with the symptom severity of these diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms that trigger synaptic loss remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that deficient Wnt signalling elicits synaptic degeneration in the adult striatum. Inducible expression of the secreted Wnt antagonist Dickkopf1 (Dkk1) in adult mice (iDkk1) decreases the number of cortico-striatal glutamatergic synapses and of D1 and D2 dopamine receptor clusters. Synapse loss occurs in the absence of axon retraction or cell death. The remaining excitatory terminals contain fewer synaptic vesicles and have a reduced probability of evoked transmitter release. IDkk1 mice show impaired motor coordination and are irresponsive to amphetamine. These studies identify Wnts as key endogenous regulators of synaptic maintenance and suggest that dysfunction in Wnt signalling contributes to synaptic degeneration at early stages in neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Tolerance to the hypophagic effect of psychostimulants is contingent on having access to food while intoxicated. Rats given chronic injections of such drugs with access to food learn to suppress stereotyped movements, which interfere with feeding. In contrast, controls given the drug after food access do not learn to suppress stereotypy and, therefore, do not become tolerant. To determine the role of the basal ganglia in this phenomenon, we used in situ hybridization to measure the expression of c-fos mRNA, a marker for neural activation, in the brains of tolerant and nontolerant rats. Rats given chronic amphetamine injections prior to food access learned to suppress stereotyped movements, whereas yoked controls given the drug after feeding did not. Following an acute injection of amphetamine, both of these groups had higher levels of c-fos mRNA than saline-treated controls throughout the striatum, in the nucleus accumbens core, the ventral pallidum and layers V-VI of the motor cortex. In contrast, tolerant rats, which had learned to suppress stereotypy, had higher levels of c-fos mRNA than both amphetamine- and saline-treated controls in the entopeduncular nucleus, globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, pedunculopontine nucleus, nucleus accumbens shell, olfactory tubercle, somatosensory cortex, and layers II-IV of motor cortex. These data suggest that the learned suppression of amphetamine-induced stereotypy involves the activation of dorsal striatal pathways previously implicated in response selection as well as the ventral striatum, long implicated in appetitive motivation and reinforcement.
Project description:Psychostimulants, such as amphetamine, are widely used to treat attentional deficits. In humans, response to dopaminergic medications is complex with improvement often dependent on baseline performance. Our goal was to determine if attention in rats could be improved by low dose amphetamine in a baseline-dependent manner by examining the relationship between task performance, drug response and monoamine levels in corticostriatal tissue. Firstly, rats performed a signal detection task with varying signal durations before administration of saline, 0.1 or 0.25?mg/kg amphetamine. Following 0.1?mg/kg amphetamine, accuracy in poor performing individuals increased to that of high performing rats. Furthermore, baseline accuracy correlated with the magnitude of improvement after amphetamine. Secondly, neurochemical analysis of monoamine content and gene expression levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dorsal striatum (CPU) was conducted. CPU homovanillic acid and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels were increased in poor performers with a significant correlation between the expression of the dopamine transporter gene and baseline accuracy. No changes were found in the PFC. These results indicated poor performance was associated with greater response to amphetamine and altered DA and 5-HT neurotransmitter systems in CPU. These results suggest striatal monoamine function may be fundamental to explaining individual differences in psychostimulant response.
Project description:Regulators of G protein signaling are proteins that accelerate the termination of effector stimulation after G protein-coupled receptor activation. Many regulators of G protein signaling proteins are highly expressed in the brain and therefore considered potential drug discovery targets for central nervous system pathologies; for example, here we show that RGS12 is highly expressed in microdissected mouse ventral striatum. Given a role for the ventral striatum in psychostimulant-induced locomotor activity, we tested whether Rgs12 genetic ablation affected behavioral responses to amphetamine and cocaine. RGS12 loss significantly decreased hyperlocomotion to lower doses of both amphetamine and cocaine; however, other outcomes of administration (sensitization and conditioned place preference) were unaffected, suggesting that RGS12 does not function in support of the rewarding properties of these psychostimulants. To test whether observed response changes upon RGS12 loss were caused by changes to dopamine transporter expression and/or function, we prepared crude membranes from the brains of wild-type and RGS12-null mice and measured dopamine transporter-selective [3H]WIN 35428 binding, revealing an increase in dopamine transporter levels in the ventral-but not dorsal-striatum of RGS12-null mice. To address dopamine transporter function, we prepared striatal synaptosomes and measured [3H]dopamine uptake. Consistent with increased [3H]WIN 35428 binding, dopamine transporter-specific [3H]dopamine uptake in RGS12-null ventral striatal synaptosomes was found to be increased. Decreased amphetamine-induced locomotor activity and increased [3H]WIN 35428 binding were recapitulated with an independent RGS12-null mouse strain. Thus, we propose that RGS12 regulates dopamine transporter expression and function in the ventral striatum, affecting amphetamine- and cocaine-induced increases in dopamine levels that specifically elicit acute hyperlocomotor responses.
Project description:Neurotensin (NT) is a tridecapeptide that acts as a neuromodulator in the central nervous system mainly through two NT receptors, NTS1 and NTS2. The functional-anatomical interactions between NT, the mesotelencephalic dopamine system, and structures targeted by dopaminergic projections have been studied. The present study was conducted to determine the effects of NT receptor subtypes on dopaminergic function with the use of mice lacking either NTS1 (NTS1(-/-)) or NTS2 (NTS2(-/-)). Basal and amphetamine-stimulated locomotor activity was determined. In vivo microdialysis in freely moving mice, coupled with HPLC-ECD, was used to detect basal and d-amphetamine-stimulated striatal extracellular dopamine levels. In vitro radioligand binding and synaptosomal uptake assays for the dopamine transporters were conducted to test for the expression and function of the striatal pre-synaptic dopamine transporter. NTS1(-/-) and NTS2(-/-) mice had higher baseline locomotor activity and higher basal extracellular dopamine levels in striatum. NTS1(-/-) mice showed higher locomotor activity and exaggerated dopamine release in response to d-amphetamine. Both NTS1(-/-) and NTS2(-/-) mice exhibited lower dopamine D(1) receptor mRNA expression in the striatum relative to wild type mice. Dopamine transporter binding and dopamine reuptake in striatum were not altered. Therefore, lack of either NTS1 or NTS2 alters the dopaminergic system. The possibility that the dysregulation of dopamine transmission might stem from a deficiency in glutamate neurotransmission is discussed. The data strengthen the hypothesis that NT receptors are involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and provide a potential model for the biochemical changes of the disease.