Homeostasis of bone metabolism is regulated by the central nervous system and mood disorders such as anxiety are associated with bone metabolism abnormalities, yet our understanding of the central neural circuits regulating bone metabolism is limited. Here, we demonstrate that chronic stress in crewmembers resulted in decreased bone density and elevated anxiety in an isolated habitat mimicking a space station. We then used a mouse model to demonstrate that GABAergic neural circuitry in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) mediates chronic stress-induced bone loss. We show that GABAergic inputs in the VMHdm arise from a specific group of somatostatin neurons in the posterior region of bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), which is indispensable for stress-induced bone loss and is able to trigger bone loss in the absence of stressors. In addition, the sympathetic system and glutamatergic neurons in nucleus tractus solitaries (NTS) were employed to regulate stress-induced bone loss. Our study has therefore identified the central neural mechanism by which chronic stress induced mood disorders, such as anxiety, influence bone metabolism.
Fan Yang, Yunhui Liu, Shanping Chen, Zhongquan Dai, Dazhi Yang, Dashuang Gao, Jie Shao, Yuyao Wang, Ting Wang, Zhijian Zhang, Lu Zhang, William W. Lu, Yinghui Li, Liping Wang
Astrocytes play multiple functions in the brain, including blood vessel (BV) homeostasis and function. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we provide evidence for astrocytic neogenin (NEO1), a member of deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) family netrin receptors, to be involved in this event. Mice with Neo1 depletion in astrocytes exhibited clustered astrocyte distribution and increased BVs in their cortex. These BVs were leaky with reduced blood flow, disrupted basement membranes (vBMs), decreased pericytes, impaired endothelial cell (EC) barrier, and elevated tip EC proliferation. Increased proliferation was also detected in cultured ECs exposed to the conditional medium (CM) of NEO1 depleted astrocytes. Further screening for angiogenetic factors in the CM identifies netrin-1 (NTN1), whose expression was decreased in NEO1 depleted cortical astrocytes. Adding NTN1 into the CM of NEO1 depleted astrocytes attenuated EC proliferation. Expressing NTN1 in NEO1 mutant cortical astrocytes ameliorated phenotypes in blood–brain barrier (BBB), EC, and astrocyte distribution. NTN1 depletion in astrocytes resulted in similar BV/BBB deficits in the cortex as those of Neo1 mutant mice. In aggregates, these results uncovered an unrecognized pathway, astrocytic NEO1 to NTN1, not only regulating astrocyte distribution, but also promoting cortical BV homeostasis and function.
Ling-ling Yao, Jin-xia Hu, Qiang Li, Daehoon Lee, Xiao Ren, Jun-shi Zhang, Dong Sun, Hong-sheng Zhang, Yong-gang Wang, Lin Mei, Wen-Cheng Xiong
The dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) has been recognized as a key cortical area for nociceptive modulation. However, the underlying neural pathway and the function of specific cell types remain largely unclear. Here, we showed that lesions of the dmPFC induced an algesic and anxious state. By using multiple tracing methods including rabies-based transsynaptic tracing method, an excitatory descending neural pathway from the dmPFC to the ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) was outlined. Specific activation of the dmPFC-vlPAG neural pathway by an optogenetic manipulation, produced analgesic and anxiolytic effects in a chronic pain mice model. Inhibitory neurons in the dmPFC were specifically activated by using a chemogenetic approach, which logically produced an algesic and anxious state under both normal and chronic pain conditions. Antagonists of GABAAR or mGluR1 were applied to the dmPFC, which produced analgesic and anxiolytic effects. In summary, the present results suggest that the dmPFC-vlPAG neural pathway might participate in the maintenance of pain thresholds and anxiolytic behaviors under normal conditions, while silencing or suppressing the dmPFC-vlPAG pathway might be involved in the initial stages and maintenance of chronic pain and the emergence of anxiety-like behaviors.
Jun-Bin Yin, Shao-Hua Liang, Fei Li, Wen-Jun Zhao, Yang Bai, Yi Sun, Zhen-Yu Wu, Tan Ding, Yan Sun, Hai-Xia Liu, Ya-Cheng Lu, Ting Zhang, Jing Huang, Tao Chen, Hui Li, Zhou-Feng Chen, Jing Cao, Rui Ren, Ya-Nan Peng, Juan Yang, Wei-Dong Zang, Xiang Li, Yu-Lin Dong, Yun-Qing Li
BACKGROUND Although mania is characteristic of bipolar disorder, it can also occur following focal brain damage. Such cases may provide unique insight into brain regions responsible for mania symptoms and identify therapeutic targets.METHODS Lesion locations associated with mania were identified using a systematic literature search (n = 41) and mapped onto a common brain atlas. The network of brain regions functionally connected to each lesion location was computed using normative human connectome data (resting-state functional MRI, n = 1000) and contrasted with those obtained from lesion locations not associated with mania (n = 79). Reproducibility was assessed using independent cohorts of mania lesions derived from clinical chart review (n = 15) and of control lesions (n = 490). Results were compared with brain stimulation sites previously reported to induce or relieve mania symptoms.RESULTS Lesion locations associated with mania were heterogeneous and no single brain region was lesioned in all, or even most, cases. However, these lesion locations showed a unique pattern of functional connectivity to the right orbitofrontal cortex, right inferior temporal gyrus, and right frontal pole. This connectivity profile was reproducible across independent lesion cohorts and aligned with the effects of therapeutic brain stimulation on mania symptoms.CONCLUSIONS Brain lesions associated with mania are characterized by a specific pattern of brain connectivity that lends insight into localization of mania symptoms and potential therapeutic targets.FUNDING Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), Harvard Medical School DuPont-Warren Fellowship, Portuguese national funds from FCT and Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional, Child Neurology Foundation Shields Research, Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation, Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation, Mather’s Foundation, and the NIH.
Gonçalo Cotovio, Daniel Talmasov, J. Bernardo Barahona-Corrêa, Joey Hsu, Suhan Senova, Ricardo Ribeiro, Louis Soussand, Ana Velosa, Vera Cruz e Silva, Natalia Rost, Ona Wu, Alexander L. Cohen, Albino J. Oliveira-Maia, Michael D. Fox
No treatment for frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common early-onset dementia, is available but therapeutics are being investigated to target the two main proteins associated with FTD pathological subtypes: TDP-43 (FTLD-TDP) and tau (FTLD-tau). Testing potential therapies in clinical trials is hamstrung by our inability to distinguish between patients with FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau. Therefore, we evaluated truncated stathmin-2 (STMN2) as a proxy of TDP-43 pathology, given reports that TDP-43 dysfunction causes truncated STMN2 accumulation. Truncated STMN2 accumulated in human iPSC-derived neurons depleted of TDP-43, but not in those with pathogenic TARDBP mutations in the absence of TDP-43 aggregation or loss of nuclear protein. In RNA-seq analyses of human brain samples from the NYGC ALS cohort, truncated STMN2 RNA was confined to tissues and disease sub-types marked by TDP-43 inclusions. Lastly, we validated that truncated STMN2 RNA is elevated in the frontal cortex of a cohort of FTLD-TDP cases but not in controls or cases with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a type of FTLD-tau. Further, in FTLD-TDP, we observed significant associations of truncated STMN2 RNA with phosphorylated TDP-43 levels and an earlier age of disease onset. Overall, our data uncovered truncated STMN2 as a marker for TDP-43 dysfunction in FTD.
Mercedes Prudencio, Jack Humphrey, Sarah Pickles, Anna-Leigh Brown, Sarah E. Hill, Jennifer Kachergus, Ji Shi, Michael Heckman, Matthew Spiegel, Casey Cook, Yuping Song, Mei Yue, Lillian Daughrity, Yari Carlomagno, Karen Jansen-West, Cristhoper Fernandez De Castro, Michael DeTure, Shunsuke Koga, Ying-Chih Wang, Prasanth Sivakumar, Cristian Bodo, Ana Candalija, Kevin Talbot, Bhuvaneish T. Selvaraj, Karen Burr, Siddharthan Chandran, Jia Newcombe, Tammaryn Lashley, Isabel Hubbard, Demetra Catalano, Duyang Kim, Nadia Propp, Samantha Fennessey, Delphine Fagegaltier, Hemali Phatnani, Maria Secrier, Elizabeth M.C. Fisher, Björn Oskarsson, Marka van Blitterswijk, Rosa Rademakers, Neill R. Graff-Radford, Bradley Boeve, David S. Knopman, Ronald Petersen, Keith Josephs, E. Aubrey Thompson, Towfique Raj, Michael E. Ward, Dennis Dickson, Tania F. Gendron, Pietro Fratta, Leonard Petrucelli
Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD; Krabbe disease) is a progressive, incurable neurodegenerative disease caused by deficient activity of the hydrolytic enzyme galactosylceramidase (GALC). The ensuing cytotoxic accumulation of psychosine results in diffuse central and peripheral nervous system (CNS, PNS) demyelination. Presymptomatic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only treatment for infantile-onset GLD; however, clinical outcomes of HSCT recipients often remain poor, and procedure-related morbidity is high. There are no effective therapies for symptomatic patients. Herein, we demonstrate in the naturally occurring canine model of GLD that presymptomatic monotherapy with intrathecal AAV9 encoding canine GALC administered into the cisterna magna increased GALC enzyme activity, normalized psychosine concentration, improved myelination, and attenuated inflammation in both the CNS and PNS. Moreover, AAV-mediated therapy successfully prevented clinical neurological dysfunction, allowing treated dogs to live beyond 2.5 years of age, more than 7 times longer than untreated dogs. Furthermore, we found that a 5-fold lower dose resulted in an attenuated form of disease, indicating that sufficient dosing is critical. Finally, postsymptomatic therapy with high-dose AAV9 also significantly extended lifespan, signifying a treatment option for patients for whom HSCT is not applicable. If translatable to patients, these findings would improve the outcomes of patients treated either pre- or postsymptomatically.
Allison M. Bradbury, Jessica H. Bagel, Duc Nguyen, Erik A. Lykken, Jill Pesayco Salvador, Xuntian Jiang, Gary P. Swain, Charles A. Assenmacher, Ian J. Hendricks, Keiko Miyadera, Rebecka S. Hess, Arielle Ostrager, Patricia ODonnell, Mark S. Sands, Daniel S. Ory, G. Diane Shelton, Ernesto R. Bongarzone, Steven J. Gray, Charles H. Vite
Essential tremor is a common brain disorder affecting millions of people, yet the neuronal mechanisms underlying this prevalent disease remain elusive. Here, we show that conditional deletion of synaptotagmin-2, the fastest Ca2+-sensor for synaptic neurotransmitter release, from parvalbumin neurons in mice causes an action tremor syndrome resembling the core symptom of essential tremor patients. Combining brain region-specific and cell type-specific genetic manipulation methods, we found that deletion of synaptotagmin-2 from excitatory parvalbumin-positive neurons in cerebellar nuclei was sufficient to generate an action tremor. The synaptotagmin-2 deletion converted synchronous into asynchronous neurotransmitter release in projections from cerebellar nuclei neurons onto gigantocellular reticular nucleus neurons, which might produce an action tremor by causing signal oscillations during movement. The tremor was rescued by completely blocking synaptic transmission with tetanus toxin in cerebellar nuclei, which also reversed the tremor phenotype in the traditional harmaline-induced essential tremor model. Using a promising animal model for action tremor, our results thus characterize a synaptic circuit mechanism that may underlie the prevalent essential tremor disorder.
Mu Zhou, Maxwell D. Melin, Wei Xu, Thomas C. Sudhof
Characterization of the key cellular targets contributing to sustained microglial activation in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), and optimal modulation of these targets can provide potential treatments to halt disease progression. Here, we demonstrated that microglial Kv1.3, a voltage-gated potassium channel, was transcriptionally upregulated in response to aggregated α-synuclein (αSynAgg) stimulation in primary microglial cultures and animal models of PD, as well as in postmortem human PD brains. Patch-clamp electrophysiological studies confirmed that the observed Kv1.3 upregulation translated to increased Kv1.3 channel activity. The kinase Fyn, a risk factor for PD, modulated transcriptional upregulation and posttranslational modification of microglial Kv1.3. Multiple state-of-the-art analyses, including Duolink proximity ligation assay imaging, revealed that Fyn directly bound to Kv1.3 and posttranslationally modified its channel activity. Furthermore, we demonstrated the functional relevance of Kv1.3 in augmenting the neuroinflammatory response by using Kv1.3-KO primary microglia and the Kv1.3-specific small-molecule inhibitor PAP-1, thus highlighting the importance of Kv1.3 in neuroinflammation. Administration of PAP-1 significantly inhibited neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in multiple animal models of PD. Collectively, our results imply that Fyn-dependent regulation of Kv1.3 channels plays an obligatory role in accentuating the neuroinflammatory response in PD and identify Kv1.3 as a potential therapeutic target for PD.
Souvarish Sarkar, Hai M. Nguyen, Emir Malovic, Jie Luo, Monica Langley, Bharathi N. Palanisamy, Neeraj Singh, Sireesha Manne, Matthew Neal, Michelle Gabrielle, Ahmed Abdalla, Poojya Anantharam, Dharmin Rokad, Nikhil Panicker, Vikrant Singh, Muhammet Ay, Adhithiya Charli, Dilshan Harischandra, Lee-Way Jin, Huajun Jin, Srikant Rangaraju, Vellareddy Anantharam, Heike Wulff, Anumantha G. Kanthasamy
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a severe inflammatory autoimmune CNS disorder triggered by binding of an IgG autoantibody to the aquaporin 4 (AQP4) water channel on astrocytes. Activation of cytolytic complement has been implicated as the major effector of tissue destruction that secondarily involves myelin. We investigated early precytolytic events in the evolving pathophysiology of NMO in mice by continuously infusing IgG (NMO patient serum–derived or AQP4-specific mouse monoclonal), without exogenous complement, into the spinal subarachnoid space. Motor impairment and sublytic NMO-compatible immunopathology were IgG dose dependent, AQP4 dependent, and, unexpectedly, microglia dependent. In vivo spinal cord imaging revealed a striking physical interaction between microglia and astrocytes that required signaling from astrocytes by the C3a fragment of their upregulated complement C3 protein. Astrocytes remained viable but lost AQP4. Previously unappreciated crosstalk between astrocytes and microglia involving early-activated CNS-intrinsic complement components and microglial C3a receptor signaling appears to be a critical driver of the precytolytic phase in the evolving NMO lesion, including initial motor impairment. Our results indicate that microglia merit consideration as a potential target for NMO therapeutic intervention.
Tingjun Chen, Vanda A. Lennon, Yong U. Liu, Dale B. Bosco, Yujiao Li, Min-Hee Yi, Jia Zhu, Shihui Wei, Long-Jun Wu
The amyloid hypothesis posits that the amyloid-beta (Aβ) protein precedes and requires microtubule-associated protein tau in a sort of trigger-bullet mechanism leading to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. This sequence of events has become dogmatic in the AD field and is used to explain clinical trial failures due to a late start of the intervention when Aβ already activated tau. Here, using a multidisplinary approach combining molecular biological, biochemical, histopathological, electrophysiological and behavioral methods we demonstrated that tau suppression did not protect against Aβ-induced damage of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory, as well as amyloid deposition. Tau suppression could even unravel a defect in basal synaptic transmission in a mouse model of amyloid deposition. Similarly, tau suppression did not protect against exogenous oligomeric tau induced impairment of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory. The protective effect of tau suppression was, in turn, confined to short-term plasticity and memory. Taken together, our data suggest that therapies downstream of Aβ and tau together are more suitable to combat AD than therapies against one or the other alone.
Daniela Puzzo, Elentina K. Argyrousi, Agnieszka Staniszewski, Hong Zhang, Elisa Calcagno, Elisa Zuccarello, Erica Acquarone, Mauro Fà, Domenica Donatella Li Puma, Claudio Grassi, Luciano D'Adamio, Nicholas M. Kanaan, Paul E. Fraser, Ottavio Arancio