Alternative sulfonylurea receptor expression defines metabolic sensitivity of K-ATP channels in dopaminergic midbrain neurons.
ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels couple the metabolic state to cellular excitability in various tissues. Several isoforms of the K-ATP channel subunits, the sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) and inwardly rectifying K channel (Kir6.X), have been cloned, but the molecular composition and functional diversity of native neuronal K-ATP channels remain unresolved. We combined functional analysis of K-ATP channels with expression profiling of K-ATP subunits at the level of single substantia nigra (SN) neurons in mouse brain slices using an RT-multiplex PCR protocol. In contrast to GABAergic neurons, single dopaminergic SN neurons displayed alternative co-expression of either SUR1, SUR2B or both SUR isoforms with Kir6.2. Dopaminergic SN neurons expressed alternative K-ATP channel species distinguished by significant differences in sulfonylurea affinity and metabolic sensitivity. In single dopaminergic SN neurons, co-expression of SUR1 + Kir6.2, but not of SUR2B + Kir6.2, correlated with functional K-ATP channels highly sensitive to metabolic inhibition. In contrast to wild-type, surviving dopaminergic SN neurons of homozygous weaver mouse exclusively expressed SUR1 + Kir6.2 during the active period of dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Therefore, alternative expression of K-ATP channel subunits defines the differential response to metabolic stress and constitutes a novel candidate mechanism for the differential vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons in response to respiratory chain dysfunction in Parkinson's disease. (+info)
Effects of stimulants of abuse on extrapyramidal and limbic neuropeptide Y systems.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY), an apparent neuromodulating neuropeptide, has been linked to dopamine systems and dopamine-related psychotic disorders. Because of this association, we determined and compared the effects of psychotomimetic drugs on extrapyramidal and limbic NPY systems. We observed that phencyclidine, methamphetamine (METH), (+)methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and cocaine, but not (-)MDMA, similarly reduced the striatal content of NPY-like immunoreactivity from 54% (phencyclidine) to 74% [(+) MDMA] of control. The effects of METH on NPY levels in the nucleus accumbens, caudate nucleus, globus pallidus, and substantia nigra were characterized in greater detail. We observed that METH decreased NPY levels in specific regions of the nucleus accumbens and the caudate, but had no effect on NPY in the globus pallidus or the substantia nigra. The dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH-23390 blocked these effects of METH, suggesting that NPY levels throughout the nucleus accumbens and the caudate are regulated through D1 pathways. The D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride did not appear to alter the METH effect, but this was difficult to determine because eticlopride decreased NPY levels by itself. A single dose of METH was sufficient to lower NPY levels, in some, but not all, regions examined. The effects on NPY levels after multiple METH administrations were substantially greater and persisted up to 48 h after treatment; this suggests that synthesis of this neuropeptide may be suppressed even after the drug is gone. These findings suggest that NPY systems may contribute to the D1 receptor-mediated effects of the psychostimulants. (+info)
Age-related reductions in [3H]WIN 35,428 binding to the dopamine transporter in nigrostriatal and mesolimbic brain regions of the fischer 344 rat.
In the present study, we used the potent cocaine analog [3H]WIN 35, 428 to map and quantify binding to the dopamine transporter (DAT) within the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, substantia nigra, and ventral tegmental area in young (6-month-old), middle-aged (12-month-old), and aged (18- and 24-month-old) Fischer 344 rats. Quantitative autoradiographic analysis of indirect [3H]WIN 35,428 saturation curves revealed two-site binding for all four brain regions in every age group. The percentage of binding to the high- or low-affinity sites did not differ with age or region and was approximately 50%. However, significant age-related decreases in the overall density (Bmax) of [3H]WIN 35,428-binding sites were observed in the striatum, nucleus accumbens, substantia nigra, and ventral tegmental area. The Bmax within all brain regions declined by more than 15% every 6 months, with the Bmax in the aged (24-month-old) group being approximately half that measured in the young adult (6-month-old) group. Competition experiments indicated that nomifensine also exhibited two-site binding to the DAT in Fischer 344 rats. No consistent age-related differences in binding affinities were noted with either [3H]WIN 35,428 or nomifensine. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that functional DATs within the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic systems are down-regulated with age, without changing their affinity for ligands. (+info)
Functional integrity of mitochondrial genomes in human platelets and autopsied brain tissues from elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease.
To determine whether pathogenic mutations in mtDNA are involved in phenotypic expression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the transfer of mtDNA from elderly patients with AD into mtDNA-less (rho0) HeLa cells was carried out by fusion of platelets or synaptosomal fractions of autopsied brain tissues with rho0 HeLa cells. The results showed that mtDNA in postmortem brain tissue survives for a long time without degradation and could be rescued in rho0 HeLa cells. Next, the cybrid clones repopulated with exogenously imported mtDNA from patients with AD were used for examination of respiratory enzyme activity and transfer of mtDNA with the pathogenic mutations that induce mitochondrial dysfunction. The presence of the mutated mtDNA was restricted to brain tissues and their cybrid clones that formed with synaptosomes as mtDNA donors, whereas no cybrid clones that isolated with platelets as mtDNA donors had detectable mutated mtDNA. However, biochemical analyses showed that all cybrid clones with mtDNA imported from platelets or brain tissues of patients with AD restored mitochondrial respiration activity to almost the same levels as those of cybrid clones with mtDNA from age-matched normal controls, suggesting functional integrity of mtDNA in both platelets and brain tissues of elderly patients with AD. These observations warrant the reassessment of the conventional concept that the accumulation of pathogenic mutations in mtDNA throughout the aging process is responsible for the decrease of mitochondrial respiration capacity with age and with the development of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. (+info)
Specification of distinct dopaminergic neural pathways: roles of the Eph family receptor EphB1 and ligand ephrin-B2.
Dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area project to the caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens/olfactory tubercle, respectively, constituting mesostriatal and mesolimbic pathways. The molecular signals that confer target specificity of different dopaminergic neurons are not known. We now report that EphB1 and ephrin-B2, a receptor and ligand of the Eph family, are candidate guidance molecules for the development of these distinct pathways. EphB1 and ephrin-B2 are expressed in complementary patterns in the midbrain dopaminergic neurons and their targets, and the ligand specifically inhibits the growth of neurites and induces the cell loss of substantia nigra, but not ventral tegmental, dopaminergic neurons. These studies suggest that the ligand-receptor pair may contribute to the establishment of distinct neural pathways by selectively inhibiting the neurite outgrowth and cell survival of mistargeted neurons. In addition, we show that ephrin-B2 expression is upregulated by cocaine and amphetamine in adult mice, suggesting that ephrin-B2/EphB1 interaction may play a role in drug-induced plasticity in adults as well. (+info)
A glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-secreting clone of the Schwann cell line SCTM41 enhances survival and fiber outgrowth from embryonic nigral neurons grafted to the striatum and to the lesioned substantia nigra.
We have developed a novel Schwann cell line, SCTM41, derived from postnatal sciatic nerve cultures and have stably transfected a clone with a rat glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) construct. Coculture with this GDNF-secreting clone enhances in vitro survival and fiber growth of embryonic dopaminergic neurons. In the rat unilateral 6-OHDA lesion model of Parkinson's disease, we have therefore made cografts of these cells with embryonic day 14 ventral mesencephalic grafts and assayed for effects on dopaminergic cell survival and process outgrowth. We show that cografts of GDNF-secreting Schwann cell lines improve the survival of intrastriatal embryonic dopaminergic neuronal grafts and improve neurite outgrowth into the host neuropil but have no additional effect on amphetamine-induced rotation. We next looked to see whether bridge grafts of GDNF-secreting SCTM41 cells would promote the growth of axons to their striatal targets from dopaminergic neurons implanted orthotopically into the 6-OHDA-lesioned substantia nigra. We show that such bridge grafts increase the survival of implanted embryonic dopaminergic neurons and promote the growth of axons through the grafts to the striatum. (+info)
Blockade of SK-type Ca2+-activated K+ channels uncovers a Ca2+-dependent slow afterdepolarization in nigral dopamine neurons.
Sharp electrode current-clamp recording techniques were used to characterize the response of nigral dopamine (DA)-containing neurons in rat brain slices to injected current pulses applied in the presence of TTX (2 microM) and under conditions in which apamin-sensitive Ca2+-activated K+ channels were blocked. Addition of apamin (100-300 nM) to perfusion solutions containing TTX blocked the pacemaker oscillation in membrane voltage evoked by depolarizing current pulses and revealed an afterdepolarization (ADP) that appeared as a shoulder on the falling phase of the voltage response. ADP were preceded by a ramp-shaped slow depolarization and followed by an apamin-insensitive hyperpolarizing afterpotential (HAP). Although ADPs were observed in all apamin-treated cells, the duration of the response varied considerably between individual neurons and was strongly potentiated by the addition of TEA (2-3 mM). In the presence of TTX, TEA, and apamin, optimal stimulus parameters (0.1 nA, 200-ms duration at -55 to -68 mV) evoked ADP ranging from 80 to 1,020 ms in duration (355.3 +/- 56.5 ms, n = 16). Both the ramp-shaped slow depolarization and the ensuing ADP were markedly voltage dependent but appeared to be mediated by separate conductance mechanisms. Thus, although bath application of nifedipine (10-30 microM) or low Ca2+, high Mg2+ Ringer blocked the ADP without affecting the ramp potential, equimolar substitution of Co2+ for Ca2+ blocked both components of the voltage response. Nominal Ca2+ Ringer containing Co2+ also blocked the HAP evoked between -55 and -68 mV. We conclude that the ADP elicited in DA neurons after blockade of apamin-sensitive Ca2+-activated K+ channels is mediated by a voltage-dependent, L-type Ca2+ channel and represents a transient form of the regenerative plateau oscillation in membrane potential previously shown to underlie apamin-induced bursting activity. These data provide further support for the notion that modulation of apamin-sensitive Ca2+-activated K+ channels in DA neurons exerts a permissive effect on the conductances that are involved in the expression of phasic activity. (+info)
Differences in pharmacological properties of dopamine release between the substantia nigra and striatum: an in vivo electrochemical study.
The properties of dopamine (DA) release in the rat substantia nigra (SN) and striatum were investigated using high-speed chronoamperometric recordings in brain slices. In both brain regions, a 2-min bath superfusion with 30 mM KCl produced robust DA-like electrochemical signals, with the mean amplitude of the signal being >10-fold greater in the striatum than the SN. The reproducibility of the response was confirmed by a second stimulus (S2)/first-stimulus (S1) ratio of >0.8 in both regions. The bath application of tetrodotoxin significantly reduced the S2/S1 ratio in both the striatum and SN, implicating the requirement for voltage-sensitive sodium channels in the DA-release process. However, the application of cadmium chloride, a nonselective blocker of voltage-sensitive calcium channels, reduced the S2/S1 ratio only in the striatum and not within the SN. Moreover, removal of Ca2+ from the buffer did not significantly affect release within the SN, despite a >85% reduction in release within the striatum. In addition, although the D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride enhanced the S2/S1 ratio in the striatum, no effect of this agent was seen in the SN. Finally, the application of d-amphetamine produced DA-like electrochemical signals in both the striatum and SN. However, the amplitude of the d-amphetamine-evoked response, relative to the KCl-evoked release, was much smaller in the striatum than in the SN. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that differences in the mechanism or mechanisms of release exist between somatodendritic and axonal elements within the nigrostriatal pathway. (+info)