Browsing by Subject "GABA"

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  • Ludwig, Anastasia; Rivera Baeza, Claudio; Uvarov, Pavel (2017)
    Background: Cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs) are indispensable for maintaining chloride homeostasis in multiple cell types, but K-Cl cotransporter KCC2 is the only CCC member with an exclusively neuronal expression in mammals. KCC2 is critical for rendering fast hyperpolarizing responses of ionotropic.-aminobutyric acid and glycine receptors in adult neurons, for neuronal migration in the developing central nervous system, and for the formation and maintenance of small dendritic protrusions-dendritic spines. Deficit in KCC2 expression and/or activity is associated with epilepsy and neuropathic pain, and effective strategies are required to search for novel drugs augmenting KCC2 function. Results: We revised current methods to develop a noninvasive optical approach for assessing KCC2 transport activity using a previously characterized genetically encoded chloride sensor. Our protocol directly assesses dynamics of KCC2-mediated chloride efflux and allows measuring genuine KCC2 activity with good spatial and temporal resolution. As a proof of concept, we used this approach to compare transport activities of the two known KCC2 splice isoforms, KCC2a and KCC2b, in mouse neuronal Neuro-2a cells. Conclusions: Our noninvasive optical protocol proved to be efficient for assessment of furosemide-sensitive chloride fluxes. Transport activities of the N-terminal splice isoforms KCC2a and KCC2b obtained by the novel approach matched to those reported previously using standard methods for measuring chloride fluxes.
  • Ludwig, Anastasia; Rivera, Claudio; Uvarov, Pavel (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs) are indispensable for maintaining chloride homeostasis in multiple cell types, but K–Cl cotransporter KCC2 is the only CCC member with an exclusively neuronal expression in mammals. KCC2 is critical for rendering fast hyperpolarizing responses of ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid and glycine receptors in adult neurons, for neuronal migration in the developing central nervous system, and for the formation and maintenance of small dendritic protrusions—dendritic spines. Deficit in KCC2 expression and/or activity is associated with epilepsy and neuropathic pain, and effective strategies are required to search for novel drugs augmenting KCC2 function. Results We revised current methods to develop a noninvasive optical approach for assessing KCC2 transport activity using a previously characterized genetically encoded chloride sensor. Our protocol directly assesses dynamics of KCC2-mediated chloride efflux and allows measuring genuine KCC2 activity with good spatial and temporal resolution. As a proof of concept, we used this approach to compare transport activities of the two known KCC2 splice isoforms, KCC2a and KCC2b, in mouse neuronal Neuro-2a cells. Conclusions Our noninvasive optical protocol proved to be efficient for assessment of furosemide-sensitive chloride fluxes. Transport activities of the N-terminal splice isoforms KCC2a and KCC2b obtained by the novel approach matched to those reported previously using standard methods for measuring chloride fluxes.
  • Puskarjov, Martin; Ahmad, Faraz; Khirug, Stanislav; Sivakumaran, Sudhir; Kaila, Kai; Blaesse, Peter (2015)
  • Vekka, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Wheat bread is one of the most discarded food at the global level. To fulfill the goals of waste reduction and increase the circular economy activities, the re-utilization of bread still fit for food in the food chain is a priority. However, the utilization of wheat bread waste in the food chain is challenging. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermentation has been recently studied as a potential processing method for bread waste slurry and applied as a dough ingredient in bread production. In LAB fermentation, functional and bioactive compounds can be produced. Some LAB strains can produce γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter in animals’ central nervous system with multiple physiological functions. GABA has received much attention due to its numerous beneficial bioactivities. Currently, information on GABA biosynthesis by LAB fermentation in bread substrate is not available. In this thesis, the effects of LAB strain selection and fermentation substrates in waste bread fermentation were studied. Four different fermentation trials using wheat bread as substrate were performed to select the best LAB strain, optimize bread matrix composition, and fermentation parameters for GABA production. Microbial growth, pH, total titratable acidity, organic acids (High Performance Liquid Chromatography ), sugar composition (High-Performance AnionExchange Chromatography and Pulsed Amperiometric Detection), and GABA content were assessed. Among the conditions tested, the addition of wheat bran as a nutrient source improved the GABA production most significantly. Thus, this condition was upscaled for bakery uptake and used in a baking trial to produce value-added bread containing GABA. LAB fermentation of waste bread to produce functional bioactive compounds was proven to be a potential processing method applicable to bakery products. The combination of two food sidestreams, waste wheat bread and wheat bran, can be implemented as a strategy to re-utilize food by-products in the food chain.
  • Prokic, Emma J.; Stanford, Ian M.; Woodhall, Gavin L.; Williams, Adrian C.; Hall, Stephen D. (2019)
    Spontaneous and "event-related" motor cortex oscillations in the beta (15-30 Hz) frequency range are well-established phenomena. However, the precise functional significance of these features is uncertain. An understanding of the specific function is of importance for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), where attenuation of augmented beta throughout the motor network coincides with functional improvement. Previous research using a discrete movement task identified normalization of elevated spontaneous beta and postmovement beta rebound following GABAergic modulation. Here, we explore the effects of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A modulator, zolpidem, on beta power during the performance of serial movement in 17 (15M, 2F; mean age, 66 ± 6.3 years) PD patients, using a repeated-measures, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-control design. Motor symptoms were monitored before and after treatment, using time-based Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale measurements and beta oscillations in primary motor cortex (M1) were measured during a serial-movement task, using magnetoencephalography. We demonstrate that a cumulative increase in M1 beta power during a 10-s tapping trial is reduced following zolpidem, but not placebo, which is accompanied by an improvement in movement speed and efficacy. This work provides a clear mechanism for the generation of abnormally elevated beta power in PD and demonstrates that perimovement beta accumulation drives the slowing, and impaired initiation, of movement. These findings further indicate a role for GABAergic modulation in bradykinesia in PD, which merits further exploration as a therapeutic target.
  • Brandt, Claudia; Seja, Patricia; Töllner, Kathrin; Römermann, Kerstin; Hampel, Philip; Kalesse, Markus; Kipper, Andi; Feit, Peter W.; Lykke, Kasper; Toft-Bertelsen, Trine Lisberg; Paavilainen, Pauliina; Spoljaric, Inkeri; Puskarjov, Martin; MacAulay, Nanna; Kaila, Kai; Löscher, Wolfgang (2018)
    Based on the potential role of Na-K-Cl cotransporters (NKCCs) in epileptic seizures, the loop diuretic bumetanide, which blocks the NKCC1 isoforms NKCC1 and NKCC2, has been tested as an adjunct with phenobarbital to suppress seizures. However, because of its physicochemical properties, bumetanide only poorly penetrates through the blood-brain barrier. Thus, concentrations needed to inhibit NKCC1 in hippocampal and neocortical neurons are not reached when using doses (0.1-0.5 mg/kg) in the range of those approved for use as a diuretic in humans. This prompted us to search for a bumetanide derivative that more easily penetrates into the brain. Here we show that bumepamine, a lipophilic benzylamine derivative of bumetanide, exhibits much higher brain penetration than bumetanide and is more potent than the parent drug to potentiate phenobarbital's anticonvulsant effect in two rodent models of chronic difficult-to-treat epilepsy, amygdala kindling in rats and the pilocarpine model in mice. However, bumepamine suppressed NKCC1-dependent giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) in neonatal rat hippocampal slices much less effectively than bumetanide and did not inhibit GABA-induced Ca2+ transients in the slices, indicating that bumepamine does not inhibit NKCC1. This was substantiated by an oocyte assay, in which bumepamine did not block NKCC1a and NKCC1b after either extra- or intracellular application, whereas bumetanide potently blocked both variants of NKCC1. Experiments with equilibrium dialysis showed high unspecific tissue binding of bumetanide in the brain, which, in addition to its poor brain penetration, further reduces functionally relevant brain concentrations of this drug. These data show that CNS effects of bumetanide previously thought to be mediated by NKCC1 inhibition can also be achieved by a close derivative that does not share this mechanism. Bumepamine has several advantages over bumetanide for CNS targeting, including lower diuretic potency, much higher brain permeability, and higher efficacy to potentiate the anti-seizure effect of phenobarbital.
  • Medina, Igor; Friedel, Perrine; Rivera, Claudio; Kahle, Kristopher T.; Kourdougli, Nazim; Uvarov, Pavel; Pellegrino, Christophe (2014)
  • Hampel, Philip; Johne, Marie; Gailus, Bjoern; Vogel, Alexandra; Schidlitzki, Alina; Gericke, Birthe; Toellner, Kathrin; Theilmann, Wiebke; Kaeufer, Christopher; Roemermann, Kerstin; Kaila, Kai; Loescher, Wolfgang (2021)
    Increased neuronal expression of the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter NKCC1 has been implicated in the generation of seizures and epilepsy. However, conclusions from studies on the NKCC1-specific inhibitor, bumetanide, are equivocal, which is a consequence of the multiple potential cellular targets and poor brain penetration of this drug. Here, we used Nkcc1 knockout (KO) and wildtype (WT) littermate control mice to study the ictogenic and epileptogenic effects of intrahippocampal injection of kainate. Kainate (0.23 ?g in 50 nl) induced limbic status epilepticus (SE) in both KO and WT mice with similar incidence, latency to SE onset, and SE duration, but the number of intermittent generalized convulsive seizures during SE was significantly higher in Nkcc1 KO mice, indicating increased SE severity. Following SE, spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRS) were recorded by continuous (24/7) video/EEG monitoring at 0-1, 4-5, and 12-13 weeks after kainate, using depth electrodes in the ipsilateral hippocampus. Latency to onset of electrographic SRS and the incidence of electrographic SRS were similar in WT and KO mice. However, the frequency of electrographic seizures was lower whereas the frequency of electroclinical seizures was higher in Nkcc1 KO mice, indicating a facilitated progression from electrographic to electroclinical seizures during chronic epilepsy, and a more severe epileptic phenotype, in the absence of NKCC1. The present findings suggest that NKCC1 is dispensable for the induction, progression and manifestation of epilepsy, and they do not support the widely held notion that inhibition of NKCC1 in the brain is a useful strategy for preventing or modifying epilepsy.
  • Kauhanen, Jenna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Histamine is an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). It is involved e.g. in the sleep-wake cycle, endocrine and energy homeostasis as well as in synaptic plasticity and learning. It is produced from L-histidine by histidine decarboxylase (HDC). Almost all species have histamine in their body although the amount varies between species. Histaminergic neurons are located in the tuberomamillary nucleus (TMN) of the posterior hypothalamus. There are four different histamine receptors in mammals and they are all metabotropic GPCR receptors. The first three (Hrh1, Hrh2 and Hrh3) are located in the brain while Hrh1 and Hrh2 along with Hrh4 that is mainly found in mast cells, are found in the periphery. Receptors have different functions e.g. Hrh1 regulates wakefulness and alertness while Hrh2 is involved in learning and memory. It is established that histaminergic neurons contain GABA-producing enzyme GAD1 and GABA itself. In the present study we aimed to evaluate GABAergic phenotype of the hypothalamic histaminergic neurons with double fluorescent in situ hybridization. Specifically, we were interested in co-existence of VGAT, which is responsible for vesicular release of GABA, and HDC mRNA. The animals used in this study were mouse and zebrafish. The percentage of mouse HDC-neurons that expressed GAD1 was 99.65% and co-expression for VGAT was also high (94.53%). This coexistence was verified also in the zebrafish model. Our data suggest that histaminergic neurons containing VGAT mRNA and are potentially able to release GABA. If GABA is released in a paracrine manner like histamine, it causes tonic inhibition that counterbalances the effects of histamine during wakefulness. The fact that VGAT mRNA was also found in zebrafish histaminergic neurons indicates that histamine-GABA system is preserved among species.
  • Marshall, Pepin; Garton, Daniel R.; Taira, Tomi; Voikar, Vootele; Vilenius, Carolina; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Rivera, Claudio; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle (2021)
    Parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PV+) are a key component of inhibitory networks in the brain and are known to modulate memory and learning by shaping network activity. The mechanisms of PV+ neuron generation and maintenance are not fully understood, yet current evidence suggests that signalling via the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) receptor GFR alpha 1 positively modulates the migration and differentiation of PV+ interneurons in the cortex. Whether GDNF also regulates PV+ cells in the hippocampus is currently unknown. In this study, we utilized a Gdnf "hypermorph" mouse model where GDNF is overexpressed from the native gene locus, providing greatly increased spatial and temporal specificity of protein expression over established models of ectopic expression. Gdnf(wt/hyper) mice demonstrated impairments in long-term memory performance in the Morris water maze test and an increase in inhibitory tone in the hippocampus measured electrophysiologically in acute brain slice preparations. Increased PV+ cell number was confirmed immunohistochemically in the hippocampus and in discrete cortical areas and an increase in epileptic seizure threshold was observed in vivo. The data consolidate prior evidence for the actions of GDNF as a regulator of PV+ cell development in the cortex and demonstrate functional effects upon network excitability via modulation of functional GABAergic signalling and under epileptic challenge.
  • Leopold, Anna V.; Shcherbakova, Daria; Verkhusha, Vladislav V. (2019)
    Understanding how neuronal activity patterns in the brain correlate with complex behavior is one of the primary goals of modern neuroscience. Chemical transmission is the major way of communication between neurons, however, traditional methods of detection of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator transients in mammalian brain lack spatiotemporal precision. Modern fluorescent biosensors for neurotransmitters and neuromodulators allow monitoring chemical transmission in vivo with millisecond precision and single cell resolution. Changes in the fluorescent biosensor brightness occur upon neurotransmitter binding and can be detected using fiber photometry, stationary microscopy and miniaturized head-mounted microscopes. Biosensors can be expressed in the animal brain using adeno-associated viral vectors, and their cell-specific expression can be achieved with Cre-recombinase expressing animals. Although initially fluorescent biosensors for chemical transmission were represented by glutamate biosensors, nowadays biosensors for GABA, acetylcholine, glycine, norepinephrine, and dopamine are available as well. In this review, we overview functioning principles of existing intensiometric and ratiometric biosensors and provide brief insight into the variety of neurotransmitter-binding proteins from bacteria, plants, and eukaryotes including G-protein coupled receptors, which may serve as neurotransmitter-binding scaffolds. We next describe a workflow for development of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator biosensors. We then discuss advanced setups for functional imaging of neurotransmitter transients in the brain of awake freely moving animals. We conclude by providing application examples of biosensors for the studies of complex behavior with the single-neuron precision.
  • Pavic, Ana; Ji, Yurui; Serafini, Agnese; Garza-Garcia, Acely; J. McPhillie, Martin; Holmes, Alexandra O. M.; Sório de Carvalho, Luiz Pedro; Wang, Yingying; Bartlam, Mark; Goldman, Adrian; Postis, Vincent L. G. (2021)
    Characterizing the mycobacterial transporters involved in the uptake and/or catabolism of host-derived nutrients required by mycobacteria may identify novel drug targets against tuberculosis. Here, we identify and characterize a member of the amino acid-polyamine-organocation superfamily, a potential gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transport protein, GabP, from Mycobacterium smegmatis. The protein was expressed to a level allowing its purification to homogeneity, and size exclusion chromatography coupled with multiangle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS) analysis of the purified protein showed that it was dimeric. We showed that GabP transported gamma-aminobutyric acid both in vitro and when overexpressed in E. coli. Additionally, transport was greatly reduced in the presence of beta-alanine, suggesting it could be either a substrate or inhibitor of GabP. Using GabP reconstituted into proteoliposomes, we demonstrated that gamma-aminobutyric acid uptake is driven by the sodium gradient and is stimulated by membrane potential. Molecular docking showed that gamma-aminobutyric acid binds MsGabP, another Mycobacterium smegmatis putative GabP, and the Mycobacterium tuberculosis homologue in the same manner. This study represents the first expression, purification, and characterization of an active gamma-aminobutyric acid transport protein from mycobacteria. IMPORTANCE The spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis increases its global health impact in humans. As there is transmission both to and from animals, the spread of the disease also increases its effects in a broad range of animal species. Identifying new mycobacterial transporters will enhance our understanding of mycobacterial physiology and, furthermore, provides new drug targets. Our target protein is the gene product of msmeg_6196, annotated as GABA permease, from Mycobacterium smegmatis strain MC2 155. Our current study demonstrates it is a sodium-dependent GABA transporter that may also transport beta-alanine. As GABA may well be an essential nutrient for mycobacterial metabolism inside the host, this could be an attractive target for the development of new drugs against tuberculosis.
  • Bhandage, Amol K.; Jin, Zhe; Bazov, Igor; Kononenko, Olga; Bakalkin, Georgy; Korpi, Esa R.; Birnir, Bryndis (2014)
  • Michallik, Heli (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    Inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission seems to play a central role in the effects of ethanol on the central nervous system. However, the exact mechanism of ethanol action as well as the role of the GABAA subunits in this mechanism remains unclear. The imidazobenzodiazepine Ro 15-4513 acts as a partial inverse agonist of the GABAA receptors by binding to their benzodiazepine sites which contain a γ2 subunit. In addition, ethanol and Ro 15-4513 seem to bind in a competitive manner and with high affinity to δ subunit-containing extrasynaptic GABAA receptors that mediate tonic inhibition. There exists conflicting evidence about the role of the δ subunit in the mechanism of antialcohol effects of Ro 15-4513. Clinical evidence of the efficacy of γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in suppressing alcohol withdrawal syndrome has been shown, even though only little preclinical research has been done on this subject. GHB has agonistic effect on the GABAB receptors and on the putative GHB receptors. GHB seems to share a very similar pharmacological profile with ethanol and there is also some proof of their synergistic effects. However, the exact mechanism of ethanol consumption suppressing action of GHB is not exactly known. The aim of this study was to determine the role of the γ2 and δ subunits in the effects of Ro 15-4513 (0, 3 mg/kg) on voluntary ethanol drinking and on the motor coordination suppression by ethanol (1.5 g/kg). In addition the effects of nonselective benzodiazepine flurazepam (0, 6 mg/kg) and GHB (0, 100, 150 mg/kg) on ethanol drinking and the effects of GHB on motor coordination were examined. The rotarod method (∅ 6 cm, fixed speed 6 r.p.m.) was chosen to determine the motor coordination. The drinking-in-the-dark (DID) method was applied to study the drinking effects. In this method the water bottle in the home cage of each mouse was replaced with an ethanol dilution (20 % v/v) for a certain time in the beginning of the dark phase of the light/dark cycle. A knock in mouse line γ2I77-lox with a point mutation in the γ2 subunit gene was used in the experiments. The mutation decreases the affinity of the receptor for certain benzodiazepine structures like that of Ro 15-4513 in the brain. The C57BL/6J mouse line was used as control. Both Ro 15-4513 (3 mg/kg) and GHB (150 mg/kg) significantly reduced ethanol drinking. The GHB dose of 100 mg/kg failed to reach significance probably due to the relatively long drinking time (1 h) used in the experiment in comparison to the short half-life of this drug. Flurazepam (6 mg/kg) significantly enhanced ethanol drinking which as expected was not affected by the mutation of the γ2I77-lox mouse line. Ro 15-4513 (3 mg/kg) failed to reduce the ethanol-induced suppression of motor coordination probably due to a too low dose. The GHB rotarod experiments suggest that the GHB (150 mg/kg) ethanol drinking suppressing effect may have been partly caused by its sedative effects. There was no significant difference between the used mouse lines in the effects of Ro 15-4513. This would suggest that the γ2 subunit does not play a significant role in the effects of Ro 15-4513. However, in order to draw a final conclusion more experiments must be done with the γ2I77-lox as well as with the δ subunit knockout mouse line, which we were unfortunately not able to include in this study as originally planned.
  • Abdurakhmanova, Shamsiiat; Grotell, Milo; Kauhanen, Jenna; Linden, Anni-Maija; Korpi, Esa R.; Panula, Pertti (2020)
    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 GABA(A) 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 GABA(A) receptor delta 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 alpha-fluoromethylhistidine (alpha FMH). The findings indicate that both histamine and GABA, released from histamine/GABA neurons, are involved in regulation of brain arousal states and delta-containing subunit GABA(A) receptors are involved in mediating GABA response.
  • Spoljaric, Inkeri; Spoljaric, Albert; Mavrovic, Martina; Seja, Patricia; Puskarjov, Martin; Kaila, Kai (2019)
    It is generally thought that hippocampal neurons of perinatal rats and mice lack transport-functional K-Cl cotransporter KCC2, and that Cl- regulation is dominated by Cl- uptake via the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter NKCC1. Here, we demonstrate a robust enhancement of spontaneous hippocampal network events (giant depolarizing potentials [GDPs]) by the KCC2 inhibitor VU0463271 in neonatal rats and late-gestation, wildtype mouse embryos, but not in their KCC2-null littermates. VU0463271 increased the depolarizing GABAergic synaptic drive onto neonatal CA3 pyramidal neurons, increasing their spiking probability and synchrony during the rising phase of a GDP. Our data indicate that Cl- extrusion by KCC2 is involved in modulation of GDPs already at their developmental onset during the perinatal period in mice and rats.
  • Mavrovic, Martina; Uvarov, Pavel; Delpire, Eric; Vutskits, Laszlo; Kaila, Kai; Puskarjov, Martin (2020)
    KCC2, encoded in humans by the SLC12A5 gene, is a multifunctional neuron-specific protein initially identified as the chloride (Cl-) extruder critical for hyperpolarizing GABA(A) receptor currents. Independently of its canonical function as a K-Cl cotransporter, KCC2 regulates the actin cytoskeleton via molecular interactions mediated through its large intracellular C-terminal domain (CTD). Contrary to the common assumption that embryonic neocortical projection neurons express KCC2 at non-significant levels, here we show that loss of KCC2 enhances apoptosis of late-born upper-layer cortical projection neurons in the embryonic brain. In utero electroporation of plasmids encoding truncated, transport-dead KCC2 constructs retaining the CTD was as efficient as of that encoding full-length KCC2 in preventing elimination of migrating projection neurons upon conditional deletion of KCC2. This was in contrast to the effect of a full-length KCC2 construct bearing a CTD missense mutation (KCC2(R952H)), which disrupts cytoskeletal interactions and has been found in patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders, notably seizures and epilepsy. Together, our findings indicate ion transport-independent, CTD-mediated regulation of developmental apoptosis by KCC2 in migrating cortical projection neurons.
  • Ojanen, Sami (2006)
    Repeated use of drugs of abuse induces permanent changes in the brain that together with environmental factors can promote the development of addiction. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is a chronic disease that is characterized by a compulsion to seek and take the drug, loss of control in limiting intake, continued use despite obvious harm, and recurrent relapses. Behavioral animal models of addiction are invaluable tools for evaluating the neuroadaptations underlying these behaviors. Behavioral sensitization is a form of neuronal plasticity where repeated administration of drugs induces a progressive and enduring enhancement in their behavioral and neurochemical effects. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in susceptibility to morphine-induced behavioral and neurochemical sensitization in alcohol-preferring AA and alcohol-avoiding ANA rat lines, and to clarify its role on voluntary intake of ethanol. In vivo microdialysis was used to examine dopaminergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in the brain. Interactions between behavioral sensitization and voluntary ethanol intake were assessed in AA rats during and after the rats were sensitized to morphine. The results showed that AA rats are more susceptible to morphine-induced behavioral sensitization than ANA rats. Neurochemical studies indicated a dissociation between the locomotor stimulant effects of morphine and extracellular levels of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. In addition, sensitization to morphine affected glutamatergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area differently in AA and ANA rats. In contrast, extracellular levels of GABA differed neither between the lines nor between morphine- sensitized rats and controls. Glutamatergic transmission is therefore potentially involved in the higher susceptibility to morphine-induced sensitization in AA rats relative to ANAs, but the role of GABA remains unclear. Morphine-induced behavioral sensitization or other long-term adaptations in the brain induced by repeated morphine administration were not critically involved in the regulation of voluntary ethanol drinking. Opioid receptor activation with morphine injection, however, was shown to dramatically increase ethanol drinking in morphine-sensitized AA rats. Thus, the neuronal mechanisms underlying behavioral sensitization to morphine probably are distinct from those mediating ethanol reinforcement. In contrast, when given an additional morphine injection, reinforcing effects of ethanol were enhanced in AA rats sensitized to morphine.
  • Mansikkamäki, Salla; Sinkkonen, Saku T.; Korpi, Esa R.; Lüddens, Hartmut (2019)
    The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) niflumic acid, a fenamate in structure, has many molecular targets, one of them being specific subtypes of the main inhibitory ligand-gated anion channel, the GABA(A) receptor. Here, we report on the effects of other fenamates and other classes of NSAIDs on brain picrotoxinin-sensitive GABA A receptors, using an autoradiographic assay with [S-35]TBPS as a ligand on mouse brain sections. We found that the other fenamates studied (flufenamic acid, meclofenamic acid, mefenamic acid and tolfenamic acid) affected the autoradiographic signal at low micromolar concentrations in a facilitatory-like allosteric fashion, i.e., without having affinity to the [S-35]TBPS binding site. Unlike niflumic acid that shows clear preference for inhibiting cerebellar granule cell layer GABA(A) receptors, the other fenamates showed little brain regional selectivity, indicating that their actions are not receptor-subtype selective. Of the non-fenamate NSAIDs studied at 100 mu M concentration, diclofenac induced the greatest inhibition of the binding, which is not surprising as it has close structural similarity with the potent fenamate meclofenamic acid. Using two-electrode voltage-clamp assays on Xenopus oocytes, the effect of niflumic acid was found to be dependent on the beta subunit variant and the presence of gamma 2 subunit in rat recombinant alpha 1 beta and alpha 1 beta gamma 2 GABA(A) receptors, with the beta 1 allowing the niflumic acid inhibition and beta 3 the stimulation of the receptor-mediated currents. In summary, the fenamate NSAID5 constitute an interesting class of compounds that could be used for development of potent GABA(A) receptor allosteric agonists with other targets to moderate inflammation, pain and associated anxiety/depression.