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Peter M Grace, Xiaohui Wang, Keith A Strand, Michael V Baratta, Yingning Zhang, Erika L Galer, Hang Yin, Steven F Maier, Linda R Watkins
The absence of selective pharmacological tools is a major barrier to the in vivo study of microglia. To address this issue, we developed a Gq - and Gi -coupled Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by a Designer Drug (DREADD) to enable selective stimulation or inhibition of microglia, respectively. DREADDs under a CD68 (microglia/macrophage) promoter were intrathecally transfected via an AAV9 vector. Naïve male rats intrathecally transfected with Gq (stimulatory) DREADDs exhibited significant allodynia following intrathecal administration of the DREADD-selective ligand clozapine-N-oxide (CNO), which was abolished by intrathecal interleukin-1 receptor antagonist...
March 9, 2018: Experimental Neurology
S D Dolzani, M V Baratta, J M Moss, N L Leslie, S G Tilden, A T Sørensen, L R Watkins, Y Lin, S F Maier
Stress is a potent etiological factor in the onset of major depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, significant efforts have been made to identify factors that produce resilience to the outcomes of a later stressor, in hopes of preventing untoward clinical outcomes. The NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine has recently emerged as a prophylactic capable of preventing neurochemical and behavioral outcomes of a future stressor. Despite promising results of preclinical studies performed in male rats, the effects of proactive ketamine in female rats remains unknown...
January 2018: ENeuro
Daniel W Bloodgood, Jonathan A Sugam, Andrew Holmes, Thomas L Kash
Fear extinction involves the formation of a new memory trace that attenuates fear responses to a conditioned aversive memory, and extinction impairments are implicated in trauma- and stress-related disorders. Previous studies in rodents have found that the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL) and its glutamatergic projections to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and basomedial amygdala (BMA) instruct the formation of fear extinction memories. However, it is unclear whether these pathways are exclusively involved in extinction, or whether other major targets of the IL, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) also play a role...
March 6, 2018: Translational Psychiatry
J Stedehouder, D Brizee, G Shpak, S A Kushner
Axonal myelination of neocortical pyramidal neurons is dynamically modulated by neuronal activity. Recent studies have shown that a substantial proportion of neocortical myelin content is contributed by fast-spiking, parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons. However, it remains unknown whether the myelination of PV+ interneurons is also modulated by intrinsic activity. Here, we utilized cell-type specific Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) in adult male and female mice to activate a sparse population of medial prefrontal cortex PV+ interneurons...
March 5, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Safa Bouabid, Fu-Ming Zhou
The indirect pathway striatal medium spiny projection neurons (iMSNs) are critical to motor and cognitive brain functions. These neurons express a high level of cAMP-increasing adenosine A2a receptors (A2aRs). However, the potential effects of cAMP production on iMSN spiking activity have not been established, and recording identified iMSNs in freely moving animals is challenging. Here we show that in the transgenic mice expressing cAMP-producing G protein Gs -coupled designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug (Gs-DREADD) in iMSNs, the baseline spike firing in MSNs is normal, indicating DREADD expression does not affect the normal physiology of these neurons...
March 3, 2018: Journal of Neurochemistry
Daniel F Manvich, Kevin A Webster, Stephanie L Foster, Martilias S Farrell, James C Ritchie, Joseph H Porter, David Weinshenker
Clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) has long been the ligand of choice for selectively activating Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). However, recent studies have challenged the long-held assertion that CNO is otherwise pharmacologically inert. The present study aimed to 1) determine whether CNO is reverse-metabolized to its parent compound clozapine in mice (as has recently been reported in rats), and 2) determine whether CNO exerts clozapine-like interoceptive stimulus effects in rats and/or mice...
March 1, 2018: Scientific Reports
Sthitapranjya Pati, Ankit Sood, Sourish Mukhopadhyay, Vidita A Vaidya
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is implicated in anxiety-like behaviour. In rodent models, perturbations of mPFC neuronal activity through pharmacological manipulations, optogenetic activation of mPFC neurons or cell-type specific pharmacogenetic inhibition of somatostatin interneurons indicate conflicting effects on anxiety-like behaviour. In the present study we examined the effects of pharmacogenetic activation of Ca 2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase alpha (CamKII alpha)-positive excitatory neurons on anxiety-like behaviour...
March 2018: Journal of Biosciences
Dana Mayer, Evelyn Kahl, Taygun C Uzuneser, Markus Fendt
The relief from an aversive event is rewarding. Since organisms are able to learn which environmental cues can cease an aversive event, relief learning helps to better cope with future aversive events. Literature data suggest that relief learning is affected in various psychopathological conditions, such as anxiety disorders. Here, we investigated the role of the mesolimbic dopamine system in relief learning. Using a relief learning procedure in Sprague Dawley rats, we applied a combination of behavioral experiments with anatomical tracing, c-Fos immunohistochemistry, and local chemogenetic and pharmacological interventions to broadly characterize the role of the mesolimbic dopamine system...
February 5, 2018: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Aijing Gao, Frances Xia, Axel Guskjolen, Adam I Ramsaran, Adam Santoro, Sheena A Josselyn, Paul W Frankland
Throughout life neurons are continuously generated in the subgranular zone of the hippocampus. The subsequent integration of newly-generated neurons alters patterns of dentate gyrus input and output connectivity, potentially rendering memories already stored in those circuits harder to access. Consistent with this prediction, we previously showed that increasing hippocampal neurogenesis after training induces forgetting of hippocampus-dependent memories, including contextual fear memory. However, the brain regions supporting contextual fear memories change with time, and this time-dependent memory reorganization might regulate the sensitivity of contextual fear memories to fluctuations in hippocampal neurogenesis...
February 16, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Ying-Ying Jiang, Yu Zhang, Shuang Cui, Feng-Yu Liu, Ming Yi, You Wan
Cholinergic neurons in the medial septum (MS) participate in various cognitive and emotional behaviors, including innate anxiety. Chronic pain involves perceptual, cognitive and emotional components. Whether MS cholinergic system modulates pain-induced anxiety and the underlying neural circuits are involved remain unclear. In the present study, we showed that chemogenetic (DREADD) inhibition of MS cholinergic neurons relieved pain-induced anxiety-like behaviors in open field and elevated plus maze tests. Inhibiting the MS-rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), but not the MS-ventral hippocampal CA1 pathway, achieved anxiolysis...
February 1, 2018: Neuroscience Letters
Lauren C Anderson, Gorica D Petrovich
Contemporary environments are saturated with food cues that stimulate appetites in the absence of hunger, which leads to maladaptive eating. These settings can induce persistent drive to eat, as learned behaviors can reappear after extinction. Behavioral paradigms of responding renewal provide a valuable framework to study how food cues contribute to the inability to resist palatable foods and change maladaptive eating habits. Using a rat model for this persistent food motivation, we determined sex differences in the causal function for the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) during context-mediated renewal of responding to food cues...
February 2, 2018: Scientific Reports
D A Adekunbi, X F Li, G Lass, K Shetty, O A Adegoke, S H Yeo, W H Colledge, S L Lightman, K T O'Byrne
The posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) is a neural site in the limbic brain involved in regulating emotional and sexual behaviours. There is however limited information on the specific neuronal cell type in the MePD functionally mediating these behaviours in rodents. The recent discovery of a significant kisspeptin neurone population in the MePD has raised interest in the possible role of kisspeptin and its cognate receptor in sexual behaviour. This study therefore tested the hypothesis that the MePD kisspeptin neurone population is involved in regulating attraction towards opposite sex conspecifics, sexual behaviour, social interaction and anxiety response by selectively stimulating these neurones using the novel pharmacosynthetic DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) technique...
January 22, 2018: Journal of Neuroendocrinology
Erin J Campbell, Nathan J Marchant
The last decade has seen major advances in neuroscience tools allowing us to selectively modulate cellular pathways in freely moving animals. Chemogenetic approaches such as Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) permit the remote control of neuronal function by systemic drug administration. These approaches have dramatically advanced our understanding of the neural control of behaviour. Here we review the different techniques and genetic approaches available for the restriction of chemogenetic receptors to defined neuronal populations...
January 16, 2018: British Journal of Pharmacology
Madhurima Benekareddy, Tevye Jason Stachniak, Andreas Bruns, Frederic Knoflach, Markus von Kienlin, Basil Künnecke, Anirvan Ghosh
BACKGROUND: The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of social dysfunction, but the specific circuit partners mediating PFC function in health and disease are unclear. METHODS: The excitatory designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) hM3Dq was used to induce PFC activation during social behavior measured in the three-chamber sociability assay (rats/mice). Functional magnetic resonance imaging was combined with hM3Dq-mediated PFC activation to identify novel nodes in the "social brain" in a hypothesis-free manner...
December 2, 2017: Biological Psychiatry
Elizabeth A Fucich, Denisse Paredes, Madeleine O Saunders, David A Morilak
Poor response and high relapse rates remain problematic in the treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders like depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While mechanisms of pharmacotherapies are intensely studied, little is known about mechanisms of behavioral therapy that could inform improved treatments. We have previously demonstrated the therapeutic effects of extinction learning as a behavioral intervention modeling exposure therapy in rats. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that activity in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) during extinction is necessary for its therapeutic effects...
January 15, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
C James Howell, Michael P Sceniak, Min Lang, Wenceslas Krakowiecki, Fatimah E Abouelsoud, Saloni U Lad, Heping Yu, David M Katz
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2; Amir et al., 1999), a transcriptional regulatory protein (Klose et al., 2005). Mouse models of RTT (Mecp2 mutants) exhibit excitatory hypoconnectivity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC; Sceniak et al., 2015), a region critical for functions that are abnormal in RTT patients, ranging from learning and memory to regulation of visceral homeostasis (Riga et al...
November 2017: ENeuro
Wesley N Wayman, John J Woodward
Abuse rates for inhalants among adolescents continue to be high, yet preclinical models for studying mechanisms underlying inhalant abuse remain limited. Our lab has previously shown that, in male rats, an acute binge-like exposure to toluene vapor that mimics human solvent abuse modifies the intrinsic excitability of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) pyramidal neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). These changes showed region (infralimbic; IL vs. prelimbic; PRL), layer (shallow; 2/3 vs. deep; 5/6), target (core vs...
January 9, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Stephen V Mahler, Gary Aston-Jones
Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 05 January 2018. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.299.
January 5, 2018: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Helen E Scharfman
Hilar mossy cells (MCs) of the dentate gyrus (DG) distinguish the DG from other hippocampal subfields (CA1-3) because there are two glutamatergic cell types in the DG rather than one. Thus, in the DG, the main cell types include glutamatergic granule cells (GCs) and MCs, whereas in CA1-3, the only glutamatergic cell type is the pyramidal cell. In contrast to GCs, MCs are different in morphology, intrinsic electrophysiological properties, afferent input and axonal projections, so their function is likely to be very different from GCs...
December 8, 2017: Cell and Tissue Research
William T Keenan, Diego C Fernandez, Lukas J Shumway, Haiqing Zhao, Samer Hattar
Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) are an important tool for modulating and understanding neural circuits. Depending on the DREADD system used, DREADD-targeted neurons can be activated or repressed in vivo following a dose of the DREADD agonist clozapine- N -oxide (CNO). Because DREADD experiments often involve behavioral assays, the method of CNO delivery is important. Currently, the most common delivery method is intraperitoneal (IP) injection. IP injection is both a fast and reliable technique, but it is painful and stressful particularly when many injections are required...
2017: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
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