Publications by authors named "Anna K Schmidtner"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Chronic oxytocin-driven alternative splicing of Crfr2α induces anxiety.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 May 25. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, Regensburg Center of Neuroscience, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) has generated considerable interest as potential treatment for psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and autism spectrum disorders. However, the behavioral and molecular consequences associated with chronic OXT treatment and chronic receptor (OXTR) activation have scarcely been studied, despite the potential therapeutic long-term use of intranasal OXT. Here, we reveal that chronic OXT treatment over two weeks increased anxiety-like behavior in rats, with higher sensitivity in females, contrasting the well-known anxiolytic effect of acute OXT. The increase in anxiety was transient and waned 5 days after the infusion has ended. The behavioral effects of chronic OXT were paralleled by activation of an intracellular signaling pathway, which ultimately led to alternative splicing of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2α (Crfr2α), an important modulator of anxiety. In detail, chronic OXT shifted the splicing ratio from the anxiolytic membrane-bound (mCRFR2α) form of CRFR2α towards the soluble CRFR2α (sCRFR2α) form. Experimental induction of alternative splicing mimicked the anxiogenic effects of chronic OXT, while sCRFR2α-knock down reduced anxiety-related behavior of male rats. Furthermore, chronic OXT treatment triggered the release of sCRFR2α into the cerebrospinal fluid with sCRFR2α levels positively correlating with anxiety-like behavior. In summary, we revealed that the shifted splicing ratio towards expression of the anxiogenic sCRFR2α underlies the adverse effects of chronic OXT treatment on anxiety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01141-xDOI Listing
May 2021

Anxiety and Depression Are Related to Higher Activity of Sphingolipid Metabolizing Enzymes in the Rat Brain.

Cells 2020 05 17;9(5). Epub 2020 May 17.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Changes in sphingolipid metabolism have been suggested to contribute to the pathophysiology of major depression. In this study, we investigated the activity of acid and neutral sphingomyelinases (ASM, NSM) and ceramidases (AC, NC), respectively, in twelve brain regions of female rats selectively bred for high (HAB) versus low (LAB) anxiety-like behavior. Concomitant with their highly anxious and depressive-like phenotype, HAB rats showed increased activity of ASM and NSM as well as of AC and NC in multiple brain regions associated with anxiety- and depressive-like behavior, including the lateral septum, hypothalamus, ventral hippocampus, ventral and dorsal mesencephalon. Strong correlations between anxiety-like behavior and ASM activity were found in female HAB rats in the amygdala, ventral hippocampus and dorsal mesencephalon, whereas NSM activity correlated with anxiety levels in the dorsal mesencephalon. These results provide novel information about the sphingolipid metabolism, especially about the sphingomyelinases and ceramidases, in major depression and comorbid anxiety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9051239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7290887PMC
May 2020

Minocycline alters behavior, microglia and the gut microbiome in a trait-anxiety-dependent manner.

Transl Psychiatry 2019 09 13;9(1):223. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

University of Regensburg, Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, Regensburg Center of Neuroscience, Regensburg, Germany.

Major depressive disorder is the main cause of disability worldwide with imperfect treatment options. However, novel therapeutic approaches are currently discussed, from augmentation strategies to novel treatments targeting the immune system or the microbiome-gut-brain axis. Therefore, we examined the potential beneficial effects of minocycline, a tetracycline antibiotic with pleiotropic, immunomodulatory action, alone or as augmentation of escitalopram on behavior, prefrontal microglial density, and the gut microbiome in rats selectively bred for high anxiety-like behavior (HAB). We show that concomitant with their high innate anxiety and depression, HABs have lower microglial numbers in the infralimbic and prelimbic prefrontal cortex and an altered gut microbiota composition compared with controls. Three weeks of minocycline treatment alleviated the depressive-like phenotype, further reduced microglial density, exclusively in male HAB rats, and reduced plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, coadministration of escitalopram, which had no effect alone, prevented these minocycline-induced effects. Moreover, minocycline led to a robust shift in cecal microbial composition in both HABs and rats non-selected for anxiety-like behavior. Minocycline markedly increased relative abundance of Lachnospiraceae and Clostridiales Family XIII, families known for their butyrate production, with a corresponding increase and positive correlation in plasma 3-OH-butyrate levels in a trait-dependent manner. Thus, our data suggest that the antidepressant effect of minocycline is sex- and trait-dependent, associated with a reduced microglial number in the prefrontal cortex, and with changes in microbial composition and their metabolites. These results further support the microbiome-gut-brain axis as potential target in the treatment of depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0556-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6744405PMC
September 2019

Animal models of social stress: the dark side of social interactions.

Stress 2018 09 10;21(5):417-432. Epub 2018 May 10.

a Department of Behavioral and Molecular Neurobiology , University of Regensburg , Regensburg , Germany.

Social stress occurs in all social species, including humans, and shape both mental health and future interactions with conspecifics. Animal models of social stress are used to unravel the precise role of the main stress system - the HPA axis - on the one hand, and the social behavior network on the other, as these are intricately interwoven. The present review aims to summarize the insights gained from three highly useful and clinically relevant animal models of psychosocial stress: the resident-intruder (RI) test, the chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC), and the social fear conditioning (SFC). Each model brings its own focus: the role of the HPA axis in shaping acute social confrontations (RI test), the physiological and behavioral impairments resulting from chronic exposure to negative social experiences (CSC), and the neurobiology underlying social fear and its effects on future social interactions (SFC). Moreover, these models are discussed with special attention to the HPA axis and the neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin, which are important messengers in the stress system, in emotion regulation, as well as in the social behavior network. It appears that both nonapeptides balance the relative strength of the stress response, and simultaneously predispose the animal to positive or negative social interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253890.2018.1462327DOI Listing
September 2018
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