Huntington’s disease (HD) is a polyglutamine (polyQ) disease caused by aberrant expansion of the polyQ tract in Huntingtin (HTT). While motor impairment mediated by polyQ-expanded HTT has been intensively studied, molecular mechanisms for nonmotor symptoms in HD, such as psychiatric manifestations, remain elusive. Here we have demonstrated that HTT forms a ternary protein complex with the scaffolding protein DISC1 and cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) to regulate PDE4 activity. We observed pathological cross-seeding between DISC1 and mutant HTT aggregates in the brains of HD patients as well as in a murine model that recapitulates the polyQ pathology of HD (R6/2 mice). In R6/2 mice, consequent reductions in soluble DISC1 led to dysregulation of DISC1-PDE4 complexes, aberrantly increasing the activity of PDE4. Importantly, exogenous expression of a modified DISC1, which binds to PDE4 but not mutant HTT, normalized PDE4 activity and ameliorated anhedonia in the R6/2 mice. We propose that cross-seeding of mutant HTT and DISC1 and the resultant changes in PDE4 activity may underlie the pathology of a specific subset of mental manifestations of HD, which may provide an insight into molecular signaling in mental illness in general.
Motomasa Tanaka, Koko Ishizuka, Yoko Nekooki-Machida, Ryo Endo, Noriko Takashima, Hideyuki Sasaki, Yusuke Komi, Amy Gathercole, Elaine Huston, Kazuhiro Ishii, Kelvin Kai-Wan Hui, Masaru Kurosawa, Sun-Hong Kim, Nobuyuki Nukina, Eiki Takimoto, Miles D. Houslay, Akira Sawa
Leptin contributes to the control of resting metabolic rate (RMR) and blood pressure (BP) through its actions in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and angiotensin AT1 receptors within the brain are also involved in the control of RMR and BP, but whether this regulation overlaps with leptin’s actions is unclear. Here, we have demonstrated the selective requirement of the AT1A receptor in leptin-mediated control of RMR. We observed that AT1A receptors colocalized with leptin receptors (LEPRs) in the ARC. Cellular coexpression of AT1A and LEPR was almost exclusive to the ARC and occurred primarily within neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP). Mice lacking the AT1A receptor specifically in LEPR-expressing cells failed to show an increase in RMR in response to a high-fat diet and deoxycorticosterone acetate–salt (DOCA-salt) treatments, but BP control remained intact. Accordingly, loss of RMR control was recapitulated in mice lacking AT1A in AgRP-expressing cells. We conclude that angiotensin activates divergent mechanisms to control BP and RMR and that the brain RAS functions as a major integrator for RMR control through its actions at leptin-sensitive AgRP cells of the ARC.
Kristin E. Claflin, Jeremy A. Sandgren, Allyn M. Lambertz, Benjamin J. Weidemann, Nicole K. Littlejohn, Colin M.L. Burnett, Nicole A. Pearson, Donald A. Morgan, Katherine N. Gibson-Corley, Kamal Rahmouni, Justin L. Grobe
Peptides derived from pre-proglucagon (GCG peptides) act in both the periphery and the CNS to change food intake, glucose homeostasis, and metabolic rate while playing a role in anxiety behaviors and physiological responses to stress. Although the actions of GCG peptides produced in the gut and pancreas are well described, the role of glutamatergic GGC peptide–secreting hindbrain neurons in regulating metabolic homeostasis has not been investigated. Here, we have shown that chemogenetic stimulation of GCG-producing neurons reduces metabolic rate and food intake in fed and fasted states and suppresses glucose production without an effect on glucose uptake. Stimulation of GCG neurons had no effect on corticosterone secretion, body weight, or conditioned taste aversion. In the diet-induced obese state, the effects of GCG neuronal stimulation on gluconeogenesis were lost, while the food intake–lowering effects remained, resulting in reductions in body weight and adiposity. Our work suggests that GCG peptide–expressing neurons can alter feeding, metabolic rate, and glucose production independent of their effects on hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, aversive conditioning, or insulin secretion. We conclude that GCG neurons likely stimulate separate populations of downstream cells to produce a change in food intake and glucose homeostasis and that these effects depend on the metabolic state of the animal.
Ronald P. Gaykema, Brandon A. Newmyer, Matteo Ottolini, Vidisha Raje, Daniel M. Warthen, Philip S. Lambeth, Maria Niccum, Ting Yao, Yiru Huang, Ira G. Schulman, Thurl E. Harris, Manoj K. Patel, Kevin W. Williams, Michael M. Scott
Munc13 proteins are essential regulators of neurotransmitter release at nerve cell synapses. They mediate the priming step that renders synaptic vesicles fusion-competent, and their genetic elimination causes a complete block of synaptic transmission. Here we have described a patient displaying a disorder characterized by a dyskinetic movement disorder, developmental delay, and autism. Using whole-exome sequencing, we have shown that this condition is associated with a rare, de novo Pro814Leu variant in the major human Munc13 paralog UNC13A (also known as Munc13-1). Electrophysiological studies in murine neuronal cultures and functional analyses in
Noa Lipstein, Nanda M. Verhoeven-Duif, Francesco E. Michelassi, Nathaniel Calloway, Peter M. van Hasselt, Katarzyna Pienkowska, Gijs van Haaften, Mieke M. van Haelst, Ron van Empelen, Inge Cuppen, Heleen C. van Teeseling, Annemieke M.V. Evelein, Jacob A. Vorstman, Sven Thoms, Olaf Jahn, Karen J. Duran, Glen R. Monroe, Timothy A. Ryan, Holger Taschenberger, Jeremy S. Dittman, Jeong-Seop Rhee, Gepke Visser, Judith J. Jans, Nils Brose
The mechanisms underlying the neurodevelopmental deficits associated with CHARGE syndrome, which include cerebellar hypoplasia, developmental delay, coordination problems, and autistic features, have not been identified. CHARGE syndrome has been associated with mutations in the gene encoding the ATP-dependent chromatin remodeler CHD7. CHD7 is expressed in neural stem and progenitor cells, but its role in neurogenesis during brain development remains unknown. Here we have shown that deletion of
Danielle E. Whittaker, Kimberley L.H. Riegman, Sahrunizam Kasah, Conor Mohan, Tian Yu, Blanca Pijuan Sala, Husam Hebaishi, Angela Caruso, Ana Claudia Marques, Caterina Michetti, María Eugenia Sanz Smachetti, Apar Shah, Mara Sabbioni, Omer Kulhanci, Wee-Wei Tee, Danny Reinberg, Maria Luisa Scattoni, Holger Volk, Imelda McGonnell, Fiona C. Wardle, Cathy Fernandes, M. Albert Basson
Olfactory dysfunction is broadly associated with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases and predicts increased mortality rates in healthy individuals. Conventional measurements of olfactory health assess odor processing pathways within the brain and provide a limited understanding of primary odor detection. Quantification of the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), which detect odors within the nasal cavity, would provide insight into the etiology of olfactory dysfunction associated with disease and mortality. Notably, OSNs are continually replenished by adult neurogenesis in mammals, including humans, so OSN measurements are primed to provide specialized insights into neurological disease. Here, we have evaluated a PET radiotracer, [11C]GV1-57, that specifically binds mature OSNs and quantifies the mature OSN population in vivo. [11C]GV1-57 monitored native OSN population dynamics in rodents, detecting OSN generation during postnatal development and aging-associated neurodegeneration. [11C]GV1-57 additionally measured rates of neuron regeneration after acute injury and early-stage OSN deficits in a rodent tauopathy model of neurodegenerative disease. Preliminary assessment in nonhuman primates suggested maintained uptake and saturable binding of [18F]GV1-57 in primate nasal epithelium, supporting its translational potential. Future applications for GV1-57 include monitoring additional diseases or conditions associated with olfactory dysregulation, including cognitive decline, as well as monitoring effects of neuroregenerative or neuroprotective therapeutics.
Genevieve C. Van de Bittner, Misha M. Riley, Luxiang Cao, Janina Ehses, Scott P. Herrick, Emily L. Ricq, Hsiao-Ying Wey, Michael J. O’Neill, Zeshan Ahmed, Tracey K. Murray, Jaclyn E. Smith, Changning Wang, Frederick A. Schroeder, Mark W. Albers, Jacob M. Hooker
Alexander N. Comninos, Matthew B. Wall, Lysia Demetriou, Amar J. Shah, Sophie A. Clarke, Shakunthala Narayanaswamy, Alexander Nesbitt, Chioma Izzi-Engbeaya, Julia K. Prague, Ali Abbara, Risheka Ratnasabapathy, Victoria Salem, Gurjinder M. Nijher, Channa N. Jayasena, Mark Tanner, Paul Bassett, Amrish Mehta, Eugenii A. Rabiner, Christoph Hönigsperger, Meire Ribeiro Silva, Ole Kristian Brandtzaeg, Elsa Lundanes, Steven Ray Wilson, Rachel C. Brown, Sarah A. Thomas, Stephen R. Bloom, Waljit S. Dhillo
Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experience loss of normal motor function (hypokinesia), but can develop uncontrollable movements known as dyskinesia upon treatment with L-DOPA. Poverty or excess of movement in PD has been attributed to overactivity of striatal projection neurons forming either the indirect (iSPNs) or the direct (dSPNs) pathway, respectively. Here, we investigated the two pathways’ contribution to different motor features using SPN type–specific chemogenetic stimulation in rodent models of PD (PD mice) and L-DOPA–induced dyskinesia (LID mice). Using the activatory Gq-coupled human M3 muscarinic receptor (hM3Dq), we found that chemogenetic stimulation of dSPNs mimicked, while stimulation of iSPNs abolished the therapeutic action of L-DOPA in PD mice. In LID mice, hM3Dq stimulation of dSPNs exacerbated dyskinetic responses to L-DOPA, while stimulation of iSPNs inhibited these responses. In the absence of L-DOPA, only chemogenetic stimulation of dSPNs mediated through the Gs-coupled modified rat muscarinic M3 receptor (rM3Ds) induced appreciable dyskinesia in PD mice. Combining D2 receptor agonist treatment with rM3Ds-dSPN stimulation reproduced all symptoms of LID. These results demonstrate that dSPNs and iSPNs oppositely modulate both therapeutic and dyskinetic responses to dopamine replacement therapy in PD. We also show that chemogenetic stimulation of different signaling pathways in dSPNs leads to markedly different motor outcomes. Our findings have important implications for the design of effective antiparkinsonian and antidyskinetic drug therapies.
Cristina Alcacer, Laura Andreoli, Irene Sebastianutto, Johan Jakobsson, Tim Fieblinger, Maria Angela Cenci
Sensory neurons have the capacity to produce, release, and respond to acetylcholine (ACh), but the functional role of cholinergic systems in adult mammalian peripheral sensory nerves has not been established. Here, we have reported that neurite outgrowth from adult sensory neurons that were maintained under subsaturating neurotrophic factor conditions operates under cholinergic constraint that is mediated by muscarinic receptor–dependent regulation of mitochondrial function via AMPK. Sensory neurons from mice lacking the muscarinic ACh type 1 receptor (M1R) exhibited enhanced neurite outgrowth, confirming the role of M1R in tonic suppression of axonal plasticity. M1R-deficient mice made diabetic with streptozotocin were protected from physiological and structural indices of sensory neuropathy. Pharmacological blockade of M1R using specific or selective antagonists, pirenzepine, VU0255035, or muscarinic toxin 7 (MT7) activated AMPK and overcame diabetes-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro and in vivo. These antimuscarinic drugs prevented or reversed indices of peripheral neuropathy, such as depletion of sensory nerve terminals, thermal hypoalgesia, and nerve conduction slowing in diverse rodent models of diabetes. Pirenzepine and MT7 also prevented peripheral neuropathy induced by the chemotherapeutic agents dichloroacetate and paclitaxel or HIV envelope protein gp120. As a variety of antimuscarinic drugs are approved for clinical use against other conditions, prompt translation of this therapeutic approach to clinical trials is feasible.
Nigel A. Calcutt, Darrell R. Smith, Katie Frizzi, Mohammad Golam Sabbir, Subir K. Roy Chowdhury, Teresa Mixcoatl-Zecuatl, Ali Saleh, Nabeel Muttalib, Randy Van der Ploeg, Joseline Ochoa, Allison Gopaul, Lori Tessler, Jürgen Wess, Corinne G. Jolivalt, Paul Fernyhough
The current frontline symptomatic treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is whole-body upregulation of cholinergic transmission via inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. This approach leads to profound dose-related adverse effects. An alternative strategy is to selectively target muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, particularly the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M1 mAChR), which was previously shown to have procognitive activity. However, developing M1 mAChR–selective orthosteric ligands has proven challenging. Here, we have shown that mouse prion disease shows many of the hallmarks of human AD, including progressive terminal neurodegeneration and memory deficits due to a disruption of hippocampal cholinergic innervation. The fact that we also show that muscarinic signaling is maintained in both AD and mouse prion disease points to the latter as an excellent model for testing the efficacy of muscarinic pharmacological entities. The memory deficits we observed in mouse prion disease were completely restored by treatment with benzyl quinolone carboxylic acid (BQCA) and benzoquinazoline-12 (BQZ-12), two highly selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of M1 mAChRs. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to BQCA markedly extended the lifespan of diseased mice. Thus, enhancing hippocampal muscarinic signaling using M1 mAChR PAMs restored memory loss and slowed the progression of mouse prion disease, indicating that this ligand type may have clinical benefit in diseases showing defective cholinergic transmission, such as AD.
Sophie J. Bradley, Julie-Myrtille Bourgognon, Helen E. Sanger, Nicholas Verity, Adrian J. Mogg, David J. White, Adrian J. Butcher, Julie A. Moreno, Colin Molloy, Timothy Macedo-Hatch, Jennifer M. Edwards, Jurgen Wess, Robert Pawlak, David J. Read, Patrick M. Sexton, Lisa M. Broad, Joern R. Steinert, Giovanna R. Mallucci, Arthur Christopoulos, Christian C. Felder, Andrew B. Tobin