Browsing by Subject "LONG-TERM POTENTIATION"

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  • Hlushchenko, Iryna; Khanal, Pushpa; Abouelezz, Amr; Paavilainen, Ville O.; Hotulainen, Pirta (2018)
    Many actin cytoskeleton-regulating proteins control dendritic spine morphology and density, which are cellular features often altered in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Recent studies using animal models show that autism-related behavior can be rescued by either manipulating actin regulators or by reversing dendritic spine density or morphology. Based on these studies, the actin cytoskeleton is a potential target pathway for developing new ASD treatments. Thus, it is important to understand how different ASD-associated actin regulators contribute to the regulation of dendritic spines and how ASD-associated mutations modulate this regulation. For this study, we selected five genes encoding different actin-regulating proteins and induced ASD-associated de novo missense mutations in these proteins. We assessed the functionality of the wild-type and mutated proteins by analyzing their subcellular localization, and by analyzing the dendritic spine phenotypes induced by the expression of these proteins. As the imbalance between excitation and inhibition has been suggested to have a central role in ASD, we additionally evaluated the density, size and subcellular localization of inhibitory synapses. Common for all the proteins studied was the enrichment in dendritic spines. ASD-associated mutations induced changes in the localization of alpha-actinin-4, which localized less to dendritic spines, and for SWAP-70 and SrGAP3, which localized more to dendritic spines. Among the wild-type proteins studied, only alpha-actinin-4 expression caused a significant change in dendritic spine morphology by increasing the mushroom spine density and decreasing thin spine density. We hypothesized that mutations associated with ASD shift dendritic spine morphology from mushroom to thin spines. An M554V mutation in alpha-actinin-4 (ACTN4) resulted in the expected shift in dendritic spine morphology by increasing the density of thin spines. In addition, we observed a trend toward higher thin spine density withmutations inmyosin IXb and SWAP-70. Myosin IIb and myosin IXb expression increased the proportion of inhibitory synapses in spines. The expression of mutated myosin IIb (Y265C), SrGAP3 (E469K), and SWAP-70 (L544F) induced variable changes in inhibitory synapses.
  • Popova, Dina; Castren, Eero; Taira, Tomi (2017)
    Recent studies demonstrate that chronic administration of the widely used antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX) promotes neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the adult hippocampus, cortex and amygdala. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects and how are they related to the clinical antidepressant efficacy are still poorly understood. We show here that chronic FLX administration decreases hippocampus-associated neophobia in naive mice. In parallel, electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal CA3-CA1 circuitry revealed that the FLX treatment resulted in increased short and long-term plasticity likely attributed to changes in presynaptic function. These changes were accompanied by enhancement in the expression of proteins related to vesicular trafficking and release, namely synaptophysin, synaptotagmin 1, MUNC 18 and syntaxin 1. Thus, chronic FLX administration is associated with enhanced synaptic dynamics atypical of mature CA1 synapses, elevated hippocampal plasticity, improved hippocampus-dependent behavior as well as altered expression of synaptic proteins regulating neurotransmitter trafficking and release. The results support the idea that antidepressants can promote neuronal plasticity and show that they can increase the functional dynamic range and information processing in synaptic circuitries. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Marjonen, Heidi; Sierra, Alejandra; Nyman, Anna; Rogojin, Vladimir; Grohn, Olli; Linden, Anni-Maija; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Kaminen-Ahola, Nina (2015)
    The adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are known, but the molecular events that lead to the phenotypic characteristics are unclear. To unravel the molecular mechanisms, we have used a mouse model of gestational ethanol exposure, which is based on maternal ad libitum ingestion of 10% (v/v) ethanol for the first 8 days of gestation (GD 0.5-8.5). Early neurulation takes place by the end of this period, which is equivalent to the developmental stage early in the fourth week post-fertilization in human. During this exposure period, dynamic epigenetic reprogramming takes place and the embryo is vulnerable to the effects of environmental factors. Thus, we hypothesize that early ethanol exposure disrupts the epigenetic reprogramming of the embryo, which leads to alterations in gene regulation and life-long changes in brain structure and function. Genome-wide analysis of gene expression in the mouse hippocampus revealed altered expression of 23 genes and three miRNAs in ethanol-exposed, adolescent offspring at postnatal day (P) 28. We confirmed this result by using two other tissues, where three candidate genes are known to express actively. Interestingly, we found a similar trend of upregulated gene expression in bone marrow and main olfactory epithelium. In addition, we observed altered DNA methylation in the CpG islands upstream of the candidate genes in the hippocampus. Our MRI study revealed asymmetry of brain structures in ethanol-exposed adult offspring (P60): we detected ethanol-induced enlargement of the left hippocampus and decreased volume of the left olfactory bulb. Our study indicates that ethanol exposure in early gestation can cause changes in DNA methylation, gene expression, and brain structure of offspring. Furthermore, the results support our hypothesis of early epigenetic origin of alcohol-induced disorders: changes in gene regulation may have already taken place in embryonic stem cells and therefore can be seen in different tissue types later in life.
  • Guirado, Ramon; La Terra, Danilo; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Carceller, Hector; Umemori, Juzoh; Sipilä, Pia; Nacher, Juan; Castren, Eero (2016)
    Neuronal plasticity peaks during critical periods of postnatal development and is reduced towards adulthood. Recent data suggests that windows of juvenile-like plasticity can be triggered in the adult brain by antidepressant drugs such as Fluoxetine. Although the exact mechanisms of how Fluoxetine promotes such plasticity remains unknown, several studies indicate that inhibitory circuits play an important role. The polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecules (PSA-NCAM) has been suggested to mediate the effects of Fluoxetine and it is expressed in the adult brain by mature interneurons. Moreover, the enzymatic removal of PSA by neuroaminidase-N not only affects the structure of interneurons but also has been shown to play a role in the onset of critical periods during development. We have here used ocular dominance plasticity in the mouse visual cortex as a model to investigate whether removal of PSA might influence the Fluoxetine-induced plasticity. We demonstrate that PSA removal in the adult visual cortex alters neither the baseline ocular dominance, nor the fluoxetine-induced shift in the ocular dominance. We also show that both chronic Fluoxetine treatment and PSA removal independently increase the basal FosB expression in parvalbumin (PV) interneurons in the primary visual cortex. Therefore, our data suggest that although PSA-NCAM regulates inhibitory circuitry, it is not required for the reactivation of juvenile like plasticity triggered by Fluoxetine.
  • Rantamäki, Tomi; Kohtala, Samuel (2020)
    Recent studies have strived to find an association between rapid antidepressant effects and a specific subset of pharmacological targets and molecular pathways. Here, we propose a broader hypothesis of encoding, consolidation, and renormalization in depression (ENCORE-D), which suggests that, fundamentally, rapid and sustained antidepressant effects rely on intrinsic homeostatic mechanisms evoked as a response to the acute pharmacological or physiologic effects triggered by the treatment. We review evidence that supports the notion that various treatments with a rapid onset of action, such as ketamine, electroconvulsive therapy, and sleep deprivation, share the ability to acutely excite cortical networks, which increases synaptic potentiation, alters patterns of functional connectivity, and ameliorates depressive symptoms. We proceed to examine how the initial effects are short-lived and, as such, require both consolidation during wake and maintenance throughout sleep to remain sustained. Here, we incorporate elements from the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis and theorize that the fundamental mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and sleep, particularly the homeostatic emergence of slow-wave electroencephalogram activity and the renormalization of synaptic strength, are at the center of sustained antidepressant effects. We conclude by discussing the various implications of the ENCORE-D hypothesis and offer several considerations for future experimental and clinical research. Significance Statement-Proposed molecular perspectives of rapid antidepressant effects fail to appreciate the temporal distribution of the effects of ketamine on cortical excitation and plasticity as well as the prolonged influence on depressive symptoms. The encoding, consolidation, and renormalization in depression hypothesis proposes that the lasting clinical effects can be best explained by adaptive functional and structural alterations in neural circuitries set in motion in response to the acute pharmacological effects of ketamine (i.e., changes evoked during the engagement of receptor targets such as N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors) or other putative rapid-acting antidepressants. The present hypothesis opens a completely new avenue for conceptualizing and targeting brain mechanisms that are important for antidepressant effects wherein sleep and synaptic homeostasis are at the center stage.
  • Hyvärinen, Tanja; Hyysalo, Anu; Kapucu, Fikret Emre; Aarnos, Laura; Vinogradov, Andrey; Eglen, Stephen J.; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Narkilahti, Susanna (2019)
    Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neurons provide exciting opportunities for in vitro modeling of neurological diseases and for advancing drug development and neurotoxicological studies. However, generating electrophysiologically mature neuronal networks from hPSCs has been challenging. Here, we report the differentiation of functionally active hPSC-derived cortical networks on defined laminin-521 substrate. We apply microelectrode array (MEA) measurements to assess network events and compare the activity development of hPSC-derived networks to that of widely used rat embryonic cortical cultures. In both of these networks, activity developed through a similar sequence of stages and time frames; however, the hPSC-derived networks showed unique patterns of bursting activity. The hPSC-derived networks developed synchronous activity, which involved glutamatergic and GABAergic inputs, recapitulating the classical cortical activity also observed in rodent counterparts. Principal component analysis (PCA) based on spike rates, network synchronization and burst features revealed the segregation of hPSC-derived and rat network recordings into different clusters, reflecting the species-specific and maturation state differences between the two networks. Overall, hPSC-derived neural cultures produced with a defined protocol generate cortical type network activity, which validates their applicability as a human-specific model for pharmacological studies and modeling network dysfunctions.
  • de Miguel, Elena; Vekovischeva, Olga; Kuokkanen, Katja; Vesajoki, Marja; Paasikoski, Nelli; Kaskinoro, Janne; Myllymäki, Mikko; Lainiola, Mira; Janhunen, Sanna K.; Hyytiä, Petri; Linden, Anni-Maija; Korpi, Esa R. (2019)
    Drugs of abuse induce widespread synaptic adaptations in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons. Such drug-induced neuroadaptations may constitute an initial cellular mechanism eventually leading to compulsive drug-seeking behavior. To evaluate the impact of GABA(B) receptors on addiction-related persistent neuroplasticity, we tested the ability of orthosteric agonist baclofen and two positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of GABA(B) receptors to suppress neuroadaptations in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and reward-related behaviors induced by ethanol and cocaine. A novel compound (S)-1-(5-fluoro-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-2-yl)-4-methyl-6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-a]quinazolin-5(4H)-one (ORM-27669) was found to be a GABA(B) PAM of low efficacy as agonist, whereas the reference compound (R,S)-5,7-di-tert-butyl-3-hydroxy-3-trifluoromethyl-3H-benzofuran-2-one (rac-BHFF) had a different allosteric profile being a more potent PAM in the calcium-based assay and an agonist, coupled with potent PAM activity, in the [S-35] GTP gamma S binding assay in rat and human recombinant receptors. Using autoradiography, the high-efficacy rac-BHFF and the low-efficacy ORM-27669 potentiated the effects of baclofen on [S-35] GTP gamma S binding with identical brain regional distribution. Treatment of mice with baclofen, rac-BHFF, or ORM-27669 failed to induce glutamate receptor neuroplasticity in the VTA DA neurons. Pretreatment with rac-BHFF at non-sedative doses effectively reversed both ethanol- and cocaine-induced plasticity and attenuated cocaine i.v. self-administration and ethanol drinking. Pretreatment with ORM-27669 only reversed ethanol-induced neuroplasticity and attenuated ethanol drinking but had no effects on cocaine-induced neuroplasticity or self-administration. These findings encourage further investigation of GABA(B) receptor PAMs with different efficacies in addiction models to develop novel treatment strategies for drug addiction.
  • Bhandage, Amol K.; Jin, Zhe; Bazov, Igor; Kononenko, Olga; Bakalkin, Georgy; Korpi, Esa R.; Birnir, Bryndis (2014)
  • Chen, Jingchun; Bacanu, S. A.; Yu, H.; Zhao, Z.; Jia, P.; Kendler, K. S.; Kranzler, H. R.; Gelernter, J.; Farrer, L.; Minica, C.; Pool, R.; Milaneschi, Y.; Boomsma, D. I.; Penninx, B. W.; Tyndale, R. F.; Ware, J. J.; Vink, J. M.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Munafo, M.; Chen, X.; Ware, J. J.; Chen, X.; Vink, J. M.; Loukola, Anu; Minica, C.; Pool, R.; Milaneschi, Y.; Mangino, M.; Menni, C.; Chen, J.; Peterson, R.; Auro, Kirsi; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Wedenoja, Juho; Stiby, A. I.; Hemani, G.; Willemsen, G.; Hottenga, J. J.; Korhonen, Tellervo; Heliövaara, Markku; Perola, Markus; Rose, R.; Paternoster, L.; Timpson, N.; Wassenaar, C. A.; Zhu, A. Z.; Smith, G. D.; Raitakari, Olli; Lehtimäki, Terho; Kähönen, Mika; Koskinen, Seppo; Spector, T.; Penninx, B. W.; Salomaa, Veikko; Boomsma, D. I.; Tyndale, R. F.; Munafo, M.; Ware, J. J.; Chen, X.; Vink, J. M.; Minica, C.; Chen, J.; Peterson, R.; Timpson, N.; Taylor, M.; Boomsma, D. I.; Munafo, M.; Maes, H.; Riley, B.; Kendler, K. S.; Gelernter, J.; Sherva, R.; Farrer, L.; Kranzler, H. R.; Maher, B.; Vanyukov, M. (2016)
    It is well known that most schizophrenia patients smoke cigarettes. There are different hypotheses postulating the underlying mechanisms of this comorbidity. We used summary statistics from large meta-analyses of plasma cotinine concentration (COT), Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence (FTND) and schizophrenia to examine the genetic relationship between these traits. We found that schizophrenia risk scores calculated at P-value thresholds of 5 x 10(-3) and larger predicted FTND and cigarettes smoked per day (CPD), suggesting that genes most significantly associated with schizophrenia were not associated with FTND/CPD, consistent with the self-medication hypothesis. The COT risk scores predicted schizophrenia diagnosis at P-values of 5 x 10(-3) and smaller, implying that genes most significantly associated with COT were associated with schizophrenia. These results implicated that schizophrenia and FTND/CPD/COT shared some genetic liability. Based on this shared liability, we identified multiple long non-coding RNAs and RNA binding protein genes (DA376252, BX089737, LOC101927273, LINC01029, LOC101928622, HY157071, DA902558, RBFOX1 and TINCR), protein modification genes (MANBA, UBE2D3, and RANGAP1) and energy production genes (XYLB, MTRF1 and ENOX1) that were associated with both conditions. Further analyses revealed that these shared genes were enriched in calcium signaling, long-term potentiation and neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction pathways that played a critical role in cognitive functions and neuronal plasticity.
  • Mohammadnejad, Afsaneh; Li, Weilong; Beltoft Lund, Jesper; Li, Shuxia; Larsen, Martin Jakob; Mengel-From, Jonas; Sheldrick-Michel, Tanja Maria; Christiansen, Lene; Christensen, Kaare; Hjelmborg, Jacob; Baumbach, Jan; Tan, Qihua (2021)
    Cognitive aging is one of the major problems worldwide, especially as people get older. This study aimed to perform global gene expression profiling of cognitive function to identify associated genes and pathways and a novel transcriptional regulatory network analysis to identify important regulons. We performed single transcript analysis on 400 monozygotic twins using an assumption-free generalized correlation coefficient (GCC), linear mixed-effect model (LME) and kinship model and identified six probes (one significant at the standard FDR < 0.05 while the other results were suggestive with 0.18 ≤ FDR ≤ 0.28). We combined the GCC and linear model results to cover diverse patterns of relationships, and meaningful and novel genes like APOBEC3G, H6PD, SLC45A1, GRIN3B, and PDE4D were detected. Our exploratory study showed the downregulation of all these genes with increasing cognitive function or vice versa except the SLC45A1 gene, which was upregulated with increasing cognitive function. Linear models found only H6PD and SLC45A1, the other genes were captured by GCC. Significant functional pathways (FDR < 3.95e-10) such as focal adhesion, ribosome, cysteine and methionine metabolism, Huntington's disease, eukaryotic translation elongation, nervous system development, influenza infection, metabolism of RNA, and cell cycle were identified. A total of five regulons (FDR< 1.3e-4) were enriched in a transcriptional regulatory analysis in which CTCF and REST were activated and SP3, SRF, and XBP1 were repressed regulons. The genome-wide transcription analysis using both assumption-free GCC and linear models identified important genes and biological pathways implicated in cognitive performance, cognitive aging, and neurological diseases. Also, the regulatory network analysis revealed significant activated and repressed regulons on cognitive function.
  • Ning, Lin; Paetau, Sonja; Nyman-Huttunen, Henrietta; Tian, Li; Gahmberg, Carl G. (2015)
    ICAM-5 is a negative regulator of dendritic spine maturation and facilitates the formation of filopodia. Its absence results in improved memory functions, but the mechanisms have remained poorly understood. Activation of NMDA receptors induces ICAM-5 ectodomain cleavage through a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-dependent pathway, which promotes spine maturation and synapse formation. Here, we report a novel, ICAM-5-dependent mechanism underlying spine maturation by regulating the dynamics and synaptic distribution of a-actinin. We found that GluN1 and ICAM-5 partially compete for the binding to alpha-actinin; deletion of the cytoplasmic tail of ICAM-5 or ablation of the gene resulted in increased association of GluN1 with alpha-actinin, whereas internalization of ICAM-5 peptide perturbed the GluN1/alpha-actinin interaction. NMDA treatment decreased alpha-actinin binding to ICAM-5, and increased the binding to GluN1. Proper synaptic distribution of alpha-actinin requires the ICAM-5 cytoplasmic domain, without which alpha-actinin tended to accumulate in filopodia, leading to F-actin reorganization. The results indicate that ICAM-5 retards spine maturation by preventing reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, but NMDA receptor activation is sufficient to relieve the brake and promote the maturation of spines.
  • Aitta-aho, Teemu; Möykkynen, Tommi Petteri; Panhelainen, Anne E.; Vekovischeva, Olga Yu; Bäckström, Pia; Korpi, Esa R. (2012)
  • Laukkanen, Virpi; Kärkkäinen, Olli; Kautiainen, Hannu; Tiihonen, Jari; Storvik, Markus (2019)
    The function of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors mGluR1 and mGluR5 is involved in the hyperglutamatergic state caused by chronic alcohol. Preclinical studies suggest that group I mGluR modulation could serve as a novel treatment of alcoholism. Considering the wide role of glutamatergic neurochemistry in addiction, group I mGluR binding was studied in brain areas involved in decision-making, learning and memory. Post-mortem whole hemisphere autoradiography was used to study the binding density of [H-3] quisqualic acid, a potent group I mGluR agonist, in 9 Cloninger type 1 alcoholics, 8 Cloninger type 2 alcoholics and 10 controls. Binding was studied in the dorsal striatum, hippocampus and cortex. Alcoholics displayed a trend towards increased [ H-3] quisqualic acid binding in all brain areas. The most robust findings were in the putamen (p = 0.006) and anterior insula (p = 0.005), where both alcoholic subtypes displayed increased binding compared to the controls. These findings suggest altered group I mGluR function in alcoholic subjects in the dorsal striatum, which is involved in habitual learning, and in the anterior insula, which has a pivotal role in the perception of bodily sensations. Increased [H-3] quisqualic acid binding might suggest a beneficial impact of mGluR1/5 modulators in the treatment of alcoholism.
  • Umemori, Juzoh; Winkel, Frederike; Didio, Giuliano; Pou, Maria Llach; Castren, Eero (2018)
    The network hypothesis of depression proposes that mood disorders reflect problems in information processing within particular neural networks. Antidepressants (AD), including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), function by gradually improving information processing within these networks. AD have been shown to induce a state of juvenile-like plasticity comparable to that observed during developmental critical periods: Such critical-period-like plasticity allows brain networks to better adapt to extrinsic and intrinsic signals. We have coined this drug-induced state of juvenile-like plasticity iPlasticity.' A combination of iPlasticity induced by chronic SSRI treatment together with training, rehabilitation, or psychotherapy improves symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders and issues underlying the developmentally or genetically malfunctioning networks. We have proposed that iPlasticity might be a critical component of AD action. We have demonstrated that iPlasticity occurs in the visual cortex, fear erasure network, extinction of aggression caused by social isolation, and spatial reversal memory in rodent models. Chronic SSRI treatment is known to promote neurogenesis and to cause dematuration of granule cells in the dentate gyrus and of interneurons, especially parvalbumin interneurons enwrapped by perineuronal nets in the prefrontal cortex, visual cortex, and amygdala. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), via its receptor tropomyosin kinase receptor B, is involved in the processes of synaptic plasticity, including neurogenesis, neuronal differentiation, weight of synapses, and gene regulation of synaptic formation. BDNF can be activated by both chronic SSRI treatment and neuronal activity. Accordingly, the BDNF/tropomyosin kinase receptor B pathway is critical for iPlasticity, but further analyses will be needed to provide mechanical insight into the processes of iPlasticity.
  • Lauri, Sari E.; Ryazantseva, Maria; Orav, Ester; Vesikansa, Aino; Taira, Tomi (2021)
    Kainate receptors (KARs) are highly expressed in the immature brain and have unique developmentally regulated functions that may be important in linking neuronal activity to morphogenesis during activitydependent fine-tuning of the synaptic connectivity. Altered expression of KARs in the developing neural network leads to changes in glutamatergic connectivity and network excitability, which may lead to longlasting changes in behaviorally relevant circuitries in the brain. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on physiological and morphogenic functions described for different types of KARs at immature neural circuitries, focusing on their roles in modulating synaptic transmission and plasticity as well as circuit maturation in the rodent hippocampus and amygdala. Finally, we discuss the emerging evidence suggesting that malfunction of KARs in the immature brain may contribute to the pathophysiology underlying developmentally originating neurological disorders.
  • Virachit, Sophie; Mathews, Kathryn J.; Cottam, Veronica; Werry, Eryn; Galli, Emilia; Rappou, Elisabeth; Lindholm, Pӓivi; Saarma, Mart; Halliday, Glenda M.; Weickert, Cynthia Shannon; Double, Kay L. (2019)
    Growth factors can facilitate hippocampus-based learning and memory and are potential targets for treatment of cognitive dysfunction via their neuroprotective and neurorestorative effects. Dementia is common in Parkinson's disease (PD), but treatment options are limited. We aimed to determine if levels of growth factors are altered in the hippocampus of patients with PD, and if such alterations are associated with PD pathology. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to quantify seven growth factors in fresh frozen hippocampus from 10 PD and nine age-matched control brains. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to explore cellular and inflammatory changes that may be associated with growth factor alterations. In the PD hippocampus, protein levels of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were significantly decreased, despite no evidence of neuronal loss. In contrast, protein levels of fibroblast growth factor 2 and cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor were significantly increased in PD compared to controls. Levels of the growth factors epidermal growth factor, heparin-binding epidermal growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor did not differ between groups. Our data demonstrate changes in specific growth factors in the hippocampus of the PD brain, which potentially represent targets for modification to help attenuate cognitive decline in PD. These data also suggest that multiple growth factors and direction of change needs to be considered when approaching growth factors as a potential treatment for cognitive decline.
  • Tian, Li; Hui, Chin Wai; Bisht, Kanchan; Tan, Yunlong; Sharma, Kaushik; Chen, Song; Zhang, Xiangyang; Tremblay, Marie-Eve (2017)
    Mounting evidence indicates the importance of microglia for proper brain development and function, as well as in complex stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive decline along the aging trajectory. Considering that microglia are resident immune cells of the brain, a homeostatic maintenance of their effector functions that impact neuronal circuitry, such as phagocytosis and secretion of inflammatory factors, is critical to prevent the onset and progression of these pathological conditions. However, the molecular mechanisms by which microglial functions can be properly regulated under healthy and pathological conditions are still largely unknown. We aim to summarize recent progress regarding the effects of psychosocial stress and oxidative stress on microglial phenotypes, leading to neuroinflammation and impaired microglia-synapse interactions, notably through our own studies of inbred mouse strains, and most importantly, to discuss about promising therapeutic strategies that take advantage of microglial functions to tackle such brain disorders in the context of adult psychosocial stress or aging-induced oxidative stress. (c) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Castren, E.; Antila, H. (2017)
    Neurotrophic factors, particularly brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and other members of the neurotrophin family, are central mediators of the activity-dependent plasticity through which environmental experiences, such as sensory information are translated into the structure and function of neuronal networks. Synthesis, release and action of BDNF is regulated by neuronal activity and BDNF in turn leads to trophic effects such as formation, stabilization and potentiation of synapses through its high-affinity TrkB receptors. Several clinically available drugs activate neurotrophin signaling and neuronal plasticity. In particular, antidepressant drugs rapidly activate TrkB signaling and gradually increase BDNF expression, and the behavioral effects of antidepressants are mediated by and dependent on BDNF signaling through TrkB at least in rodents. These findings indicate that antidepressants, widely used drugs, effectively act as TrkB activators. They further imply that neuronal plasticity is a central mechanism in the action of antidepressant drugs. Indeed, it was recently discovered that antidepressants reactivate a state of plasticity in the adult cerebral cortex that closely resembles the enhanced plasticity normally observed during postnatal critical periods. This state of induced plasticity, known as iPlasticity, allows environmental stimuli to beneficially reorganize networks abnormally wired during early life. iPlasticity has been observed in cortical as well as subcortical networks and is induced by several pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. iPlasticity is a new pharmacological principle where drug treatment and rehabilitation cooperate; the drug acts permissively to enhance plasticity and rehabilitation provides activity to guide the appropriate wiring of the plastic network. Optimization of iPlastic drug treatment with novel means of rehabilitation may help improve the efficacy of available drug treatments and expand the use of currently existing drugs into new indications.
  • Kiiskinen, Tuomo; Korpi, Esa R.; Aitta-aho, Teemu (2019)
    Extinction and reinstatement of morphine-induced conditioned place preference were studied in glutamate α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-receptor GluA1 subunit-deficient mice (global GluA1-KO mice). In line with previous findings, both acquisition and expression of conditioned place preference to morphine (20 mg/kg, subcutaneously) were fully functional in GluA1 KO mice compared with wild-type littermate controls (GluA1-WT), thus enabling the study of extinction. With a 10-session extinction paradigm, the GluA1 KO mice showed complete extinction similar to that of the GluA1-WT mice. Morphine-induced reinstatement (10 mg/kg, subcutaneously) was detected in both mouse lines. GluA1 KO mice moved more during all the phases of the experiment, including the place conditioning trials, extinction sessions, and place preference tests. The results suggest that the GluA1 subunit may be dispensable or prone to compensation at the neural circuitries delineating extinction and reinstatement. The GluA1 KO mice show altered long-term between-session habituation, which extends longer than previously anticipated.