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  • Baronio, Diego; Chen, Yu-Chia; Panula, Pertti (2022)
    Monoamine oxidase (MAO) deficiency and imbalanced levels of brain monoamines have been associated with developmental delay, neuropsychiatric disorders and aggressive behavior. Animal models are valuable tools to gain mechanistic insight into outcomes associated with MAO deficiency. Here, we report a novel genetic model to study the effects of mao loss of function in zebrafish. Quantitative PCR, in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry were used to study neurotransmitter systems and expression of relevant genes for brain development in zebrafish mao mutants. Larval and adult fish behavior was evaluated through different tests. Stronger serotonin immunoreactivity was detected in mao(+/-) and mao(-/-) larvae compared with their mao(+/+) siblings. mao(-/-) larvae were hypoactive, and presented decreased reactions to visual and acoustic stimuli. They also had impaired histaminergic and dopaminergic systems, abnormal expression of developmental markers and died within 20 days post-fertilization. mao(+/-) fish were viable, grew until adulthood, and demonstrated anxiety-like behavior and impaired social interactions compared with adult mao(+/+) siblings. Our results indicate that mao(-/-) and mao(+/-) mutants could be promising tools to study the roles of MAO in brain development and behavior.
  • Chalazonitis, Alcmène; Li, ZhiShan; Pham, Tuan D.; Chen, Jason; Rao, Meenakshi; Lindholm, Päivi; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria; Gershon, Michael D. (2020)
    Abstract Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is expressed in the brain and is neuroprotective. We have previously shown that CDNF is also expressed in the bowel and that its absence leads to degeneration and autophagy in the enteric nervous system (ENS), particularly in the submucosal plexus. We now demonstrate that enteric CDNF immunoreactivity is restricted to neurons (submucosal > myenteric) and is not seen in glia, interstitial cells of Cajal, or smooth muscle. Expression of CDNF, moreover, is essential for the normal development and survival of enteric dopaminergic neurons; thus, expression of the dopaminergic neuronal markers, dopamine, tyrosine hydroxylase, and dopamine transporter are deficient in the ileum of Cdnf -/- mice. The normal age-related decline in proportions of submucosal dopaminergic neurons is exacerbated in Cdnf -/- animals. The defect in Cdnf -/- animals is not dopamine-restricted; proportions of other submucosal neurons (NOS-, GABA-, and CGRP-expressing), are also deficient. The deficits in submucosal neurons are reflected functionally in delayed gastric emptying, slowed colonic motility, and prolonged total gastrointestinal transit. CDNF is expressed selectively in isolated enteric neural crest-derived cells (ENCDC), which also express the dopamine-related transcription factor Foxa2. Addition of CDNF to ENCDC promotes development of dopaminergic neurons; moreover, survival or these neurons becomes CDNF-dependent after exposure to bone morphogenetic protein 4. The effects of neither glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) nor serotonin are additive with CDNF. We suggest that CDNF plays a critical role in development and long-term maintenance of dopaminergic and other sets of submucosal neurons. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.