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  • Blackwell Science Ltd  (7)
  • 1
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Rats exposed to a low-light, low-noise, novel environment exhibit differences in individual locomotor response to the novelty stressor. The categorization of rats in a locomotor screening procedure as low- (LR) or high-responders (HR), where LRs are in the low locomotor range while HRs belong to the high locomotor range, is significant in that HRs show higher activity in mesencephalic dopaminergic projection neurons, and also show a higher propensity to self-administer psychostimulants and other drugs of abuse compared with LRs. In this study, we examined the neurobiological basis of dopaminergic hyperactivity by comparing in HRs and LRs the steady-state differences in regulatory inputs to mesencephalic (substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area: VTA) dopaminergic neurons. In particular, using in situ hybridization, we studied levels of mRNA for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and cholecystokinin (CCK) in the mesencephalon, and for preprodynorphin (DYN), preproenkephalin (PPE), and preprotachykinin (PPT) in the striatum and nucleus accumbens (Acb). We also evaluated TH levels by radioimmunocytochemistry (TH-RIC) in striatal, accumbal and mesencephalic regions. HRs versus LRs had lower levels of neurochemicals belonging to the intrinsic inhibitory input to dopaminergic neurons in the VTA, e.g. lower TH-RIC (–25%) and CCK-mRNA (–48%). In contrast, HRs showed higher levels of parameters belonging to extrinsic facilitating inputs, e.g. higher PPE-mRNA (+ 37%). In addition, HRs had higher DYN-mRNA in Acb (+ 61%), which has been shown to be positively correlated with higher dopaminergic activity. These results enhance our knowledge of the neurobiological correlates of individual rats' propensities to develop drug-intake and provide some putative mechanisms for the dopaminergic hyperactivity that characterizes drug-prone animals.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: During adulthood, neural precursors located in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus continue to proliferate, leading to the generation of new granule neurons. These recently generated cells transiently express the polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule, PSA-NCAM, and are supported by radial glia-like cells that are likely to play a role in neuronal migration and differentiation, or even act as their precursors. Previous reports indicate that treatment with NMDA receptor antagonists stimulates adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, and because of the potential therapeutic value of this approach, we were interested in further characterizing the consequences of pharmacologically modulating this process. We treated adult rats with the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, CGP43487, and examined cell proliferation, PSA-NCAM expression, and changes in the radial glia cell population in the subgranular zone at different time points. In addition, we sought to determine if this treatment led to changes in cell death or gliotic reactions. The number of proliferating cells in the subgranular region of the dentate gyrus was increased significantly 2 days after treatment and it remained elevated 7 days postinjection. PSA-NCAM-immunoreactive granule cells and nestin-expressing radial glia-like cells also increased in number 7 days after the treatment. In contrast, we did not observe any change in granule cell death, and we were unable to detect any microglial or astroglial reaction during the first 7 days after treatment. Thus, NMDA receptor antagonist treatment serves as a valuable tool to increase neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus without undesirable collateral deleterious effects.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract: The Na+,K+-ATPase plays a key role in the regulation of ion fluxes and membrane repolarization in the CNS. We have studied glucocorticoid effects on biosynthesis of the Na+,K+-ATPase and on ouabain binding in the ventral horn of the spinal cord using intact rats, adrenalectomized (ADX) rats, and ADX rats receiving dexamethasone (ADX + DEX) during 4 days. Cryostat sections from spinal cords were incubated with a 35S-oligonucleotide coding for the α3-subunit or a 3H-cDNA coding for the β1-subunit of the Na+,K+-ATPase using in situ hybridization techniques. In ventral horn motoneurons, grain density per cell and grain density per area of some for both probes were slightly reduced in ADX rats but significantly increased in the ADX + DEX group, using ANOVA and the Bonferroni's test. Statistical analysis of frequency histograms of neuronal densities further indicated a significant shift to the right for intact rats compared with ADX rats for both probes. Concomitantly, [3H]ouabain binding to membrane preparations from ventral horns was reduced in ADX rats and restored to normal by DEX administration. No effect of adrenalectomy or DEX treatment was obtained in the dorsal horn. In conclusion, glucocorticoids positively modulate the mRNA for the α3-subunit and the β1-subunit of the Na+,K+-ATPase and recover ouabain binding to normal values. The increments of the synthesis and activity of an enzyme affecting membrane repolarization and synaptic neurotransmission are consistent with the alleged stimulatory effect of glucocorticoids on spinal cord function.
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  • 4
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Science Ltd
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Doublecortin (DCX) is a protein required for normal neuronal migration in the developing cerebral cortex, where it is widely expressed in both radially and tangentially migrating neuroblasts. Moreover, it has been observed in the adult rostral migratory stream, which contains the neuronal precursors traveling to the olfactory bulb. We have performed DCX immunocytochemistry in the adult rat brain to identify precisely the neuronal populations expressing this protein. Our observations confirm the presence of DCX immunoreactive cells with the characteristic morphology of migrating neuroblasts in the subventricular zone, rostral migratory stream and the main and accessory olfactory bulbs. We have also found putative migratory cells expressing DCX in regions were no adult neuronal migration has been described, as the corpus callosum, the piriform cortex layer III/endopiriform nucleus and the striatum. Surprisingly, many cells with the phenotype of differentiated neurons were DCX immunoreactive; e.g. certain granule neurons in the hilar border of the granular layer of the dentate gyrus, some neuronal types in the piriform cortex layer II, granule and periglomerular neurons in the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, and isolated cells in the striatum. Almost all DCX immunoreactive cells also express the polysialylated form of neural cell adhesion molecule and have a similar distribution to rat collapsin receptor-mediated protein-4, two molecules involved in neuronal structural plasticity. Given these results, we hypothesize that DCX expression in differentiated neurons could be related to its capacity for microtubule reorganization and that this fact could be linked to axonal outgrowth or synaptogenesis.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Cerebral apolipoprotein E (apoE) has been implicated in neuronal protection and repair. Due to the variable levels and types of estrogen receptors within different brain regions, the effect of estrogen on apoE and the mechanism of this effect may vary within different regions. Ovariectomized female C57BL/6 mice were treated with pharmacological levels of 17β-estradiol or placebo for 5 days, resulting in supraphysiological plasma levels of estradiol in the treated mice. ApoE and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels were measured in the cortex, hippocampus and diencephalon. 17β-Estradiol up-regulated apoE but not GFAP in the cortex and diencephalon, whereas in the hippocampus, GFAP and apoE were equally up-regulated. Treatment of estrogen receptor (ER) α knockout mice with 17β-estradiol or treatment of C57BL/6 mice with 17α-estradiol, a poor estrogen receptor agonist, specifically induced apoE in the cortex, but not in the diencephalon. These results indicate that 17β-estradiol effects on apoE are either directly or indirectly mediated by ERα in the diencephalon, while the effects in the cortex may be mediated by a non-classical mechanism or by ERβ. Measurement of mRNA levels in estrogen versus placebo-treated wild-type mice indicated that the effect of 17β-estradiol on apoE was not associated with changes in apoE mRNA levels.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Stress is a part of daily life. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the activation of limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (LHPA) axis remains unknown. In this study, we explored whether activation of the mitogen-activated kinase kinase 4 (MKK4)-c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway may play a role in the activation of the LHPA axis. We found that forced-swim stress induced elevation of activated MKK4 in the hippocampal formation, amygdala, and hypothalamus. Unlike MKK4, a high basal level of JNK activity is present in many brain areas of unstressed mice. Forced-swim stress significantly elevated JNK activity in the hypothalamus and amygdala and, to a lesser extent, in the cortex, CA1 and CA3 regions, and the dentate gyrus. To further investigate the role of MKK4 and JNK in induction of stress responses, we investigated whether a different stress, namely, restraint stress, induced activation of MKK4 or JNK in the brain. We found that restraint stress also induced elevation of activated MKK4 and JNK in the hippocampal formation, amygdala, and hypothalamus. Because MKK4 and JNK were activated within 5 min following stress, we propose that the MKK4-JNK signaling may be an early neural event in the initiation of neuroendocrine, autonomic and behavioral stress responses.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract: To investigate the effects of type I (mineralocorticoid) and type II (glucocorticoid) receptor activation on striatal neuropeptide [preproenkephalin (PPE), preprotachykinin (PPT), and preprodynorphin (DYN)] mRNA and midbrain cholecystokinin (CCK) mRNA as well as striatal tyrosine hydroxylase radioimmunoreactivity (TH-RIC) levels, we administered either replacement levels of corticosterone (CORT; 0.5 mg/kg/day, s.c.) or pharmacological levels of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA; a mineralocorticoid steroid with ability to bind to type I and type II receptors; 5 mg/kg, s.c.) to adrenalectomized adult male rats. After 1 week of recovery from adrenalectomy surgery, animals were injected daily with sesame oil or CORT for 1, 3, or 7 days or DOCA for 3 or 7 days and killed 16 h after the last injection. Adrenalectomy resulted in a decrease in all three striatal neuropeptide mRNA levels, compared with sham-operated rats. CORT replacement resulted in recovered PPE and PPT mRNA levels after 1 day and elevated PPE mRNA levels over those in sham-operated controls after 3 days. In contrast, DYN mRNA levels showed recovery after 7 days of CORT replacement. Results after DOCA treatment largely paralleled those after CORT replacement. There were no significant treatment effects on indirect markers of midbrain dopaminergic activity, i.e., CCK mRNA and TH-RIC. From these results we conclude that compared with striatal tachykinin and dynorphinergic neurons, enkephalinergic cells show greater sensitivity, whereas the dopaminergic system, including mesencephalic CCK, demonstrates an insensitivity to physiological CORT and to pharmacological DOCA treatment.
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