Publications by authors named "Jennifer L Warner-Schmidt"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Serotonin receptor 4 in the hippocampus modulates mood and anxiety.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Jan 13. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Laboratory of Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, 10065, USA.

Serotonin receptor 4 (5-HTR) plays an important role in regulating mood, anxiety, and cognition, and drugs that activate this receptor have fast-acting antidepressant (AD)-like effects in preclinical models. However, 5-HTR is widely expressed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and periphery, making it difficult to pinpoint the cell types and circuits underlying its effects. Therefore, we generated a Cre-dependent 5-HTR knockout mouse line to dissect the function of 5-HTR in specific brain regions and cell types. We show that the loss of functional 5-HTR specifically from excitatory neurons of hippocampus led to robust AD-like behavioral responses and an elevation in baseline anxiety. 5-HTR was necessary to maintain the proper excitability of dentate gyrus (DG) granule cells and cell type-specific molecular profiling revealed a dysregulation of genes necessary for normal neural function and plasticity in cells lacking 5-HTR. These adaptations were accompanied by an increase in the number of immature neurons in ventral, but not dorsal, dentate gyrus, indicating a broad impact of 5-HTR loss on the local cellular environment. This study is the first to use conditional genetic targeting to demonstrate a direct role for hippocampal 5-HTR signaling in modulating mood and anxiety. Our findings also underscore the need for cell type-based approaches to elucidate the complex action of neuromodulatory systems on distinct neural circuits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-00994-yDOI Listing
January 2021

Gaboxadol Normalizes Behavioral Abnormalities in a Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome.

Front Behav Neurosci 2019 25;13:141. Epub 2019 Jun 25.

Ovid Therapeutics, New York, NY, United States.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability and autism. FXS is also accompanied by attention problems, hyperactivity, anxiety, aggression, poor sleep, repetitive behaviors, and self-injury. Recent work supports the role of γ-aminobutyric-acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, in mediating symptoms of FXS. Deficits in GABA machinery have been observed in a mouse model of FXS, including a loss of tonic inhibition in the amygdala, which is mediated by extrasynaptic GABA receptors. Humans with FXS also show reduced GABA receptor availability. Here, we sought to evaluate the potential of gaboxadol (also called OV101 and THIP), a selective and potent agonist for delta-subunit-containing extrasynaptic GABA receptors (dSEGA), as a therapeutic agent for FXS by assessing its ability to normalize aberrant behaviors in a relatively uncharacterized mouse model of FXS ( KO2 mice). Four behavioral domains (hyperactivity, anxiety, aggression, and repetitive behaviors) were probed using a battery of behavioral assays. The results showed that KO2 mice were hyperactive, had abnormal anxiety-like behavior, were more irritable and aggressive, and had an increased frequency of repetitive behaviors compared to wild-type (WT) littermates, which are all behavioral deficits reminiscent of individuals with FXS. Treatment with gaboxadol normalized all of the aberrant behaviors observed in KO2 mice back to WT levels, providing evidence of its potential benefit for treating FXS. We show that the potentiation of extrasynaptic GABA receptors alone, by gaboxadol, is sufficient to normalize numerous behavioral deficits in the FXS model using endpoints that are directly translatable to the clinical presentation of FXS. Taken together, these data support the future evaluation of gaboxadol in individuals with FXS, particularly with regard to symptoms of hyperactivity, anxiety, irritability, aggression, and repetitive behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00141DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6603241PMC
June 2019

Axonal ribosomes and mRNAs associate with fragile X granules in adult rodent and human brains.

Hum Mol Genet 2017 01;26(1):192-209

Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, RI.

Local mRNA translation in growing axons allows for rapid and precise regulation of protein expression in response to extrinsic stimuli. However, the role of local translation in mature CNS axons is unknown. Such a mechanism requires the presence of translational machinery and associated mRNAs in circuit-integrated brain axons. Here we use a combination of genetic, quantitative imaging and super-resolution microscopy approaches to show that mature axons in the mammalian brain contain ribosomes, the translational regulator FMRP and a subset of FMRP mRNA targets. This axonal translational machinery is associated with Fragile X granules (FXGs), which are restricted to axons in a stereotyped subset of brain circuits. FXGs and associated axonal translational machinery are present in hippocampus in humans as old as 57 years. This FXG-associated axonal translational machinery is present in adult rats, even when adult neurogenesis is blocked. In contrast, in mouse this machinery is only observed in juvenile hippocampal axons. This differential developmental expression was specific to the hippocampus, as both mice and rats exhibit FXGs in mature axons in the adult olfactory system. Experiments in Fmr1 null mice show that FMRP regulates axonal protein expression but is not required for axonal transport of ribosomes or its target mRNAs. Axonal translational machinery is thus a feature of adult CNS neurons. Regulation of this machinery by FMRP could support complex behaviours in humans throughout life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddw381DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5815656PMC
January 2017

Cholinergic interneurons in the nucleus accumbens regulate depression-like behavior.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012 Jul 25;109(28):11360-5. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

A large number of studies have demonstrated that the nucleus accumbens (NAC) is a critical site in the neuronal circuits controlling reward responses, motivation, and mood, but the neuronal cell type(s) underlying these processes are not yet known. Identification of the neuronal cell types that regulate depression-like states will guide us in understanding the biological basis of mood and its regulation by diseases like major depressive disorder. Taking advantage of recent findings demonstrating that the serotonin receptor chaperone, p11, is an important molecular regulator of depression-like states, here we identify cholinergic interneurons (CINs) as a primary site of action for p11 in the NAC. Depression-like behavior is observed in mice after decrease of p11 levels in NAC CINs. This phenotype is recapitulated by silencing neuronal transmission in these cells, demonstrating that accumbal cholinergic neuronal activity regulates depression-like behaviors and suggesting that accumbal CIN activity is crucial for the regulation of mood and motivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1209293109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396525PMC
July 2012

Identification of the cortical neurons that mediate antidepressant responses.

Cell 2012 May;149(5):1152-63

Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Ave., New York, NY 10065, USA.

Our understanding of current treatments for depression, and the development of more specific therapies, is limited by the complexity of the circuits controlling mood and the distributed actions of antidepressants. Although the therapeutic efficacy of serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is correlated with increases in cortical activity, the cell types crucial for their action remain unknown. Here we employ bacTRAP translational profiling to show that layer 5 corticostriatal pyramidal cells expressing p11 (S100a10) are strongly and specifically responsive to chronic antidepressant treatment. This response requires p11 and includes the specific induction of Htr4 expression. Cortex-specific deletion of p11 abolishes behavioral responses to SSRIs, but does not lead to increased depression-like behaviors. Our data identify corticostriatal projection neurons as critical for the response to antidepressants, and suggest that the regulation of serotonergic tone in this single cell type plays a pivotal role in antidepressant therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3397430PMC
May 2012

Antidepressant effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are attenuated by antiinflammatory drugs in mice and humans.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 May 25;108(22):9262-7. Epub 2011 Apr 25.

Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Antiinflammatory drugs achieve their therapeutic actions at least in part by regulation of cytokine formation. A "cytokine hypothesis" of depression is supported by the observation that depressed individuals have elevated plasma levels of certain cytokines compared with healthy controls. Here we investigated a possible interaction between antidepressant agents and antiinflammatory agents on antidepressant-induced behaviors and on p11, a biochemical marker of depressive-like states and antidepressant responses. We found that widely used antiinflammatory drugs antagonize both biochemical and behavioral responses to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In contrast to the levels detected in serum, we found that frontal cortical levels of certain cytokines (e.g., TNFα and IFNγ) were increased by serotonergic antidepressants and that these effects were inhibited by antiinflammatory agents. The antagonistic effect of antiinflammatory agents on antidepressant-induced behaviors was confirmed by analysis of a dataset from a large-scale real-world human study, "sequenced treatment alternatives to relieve depression" (STAR*D), underscoring the clinical significance of our findings. Our data indicate that clinicians should carefully balance the therapeutic benefits of antiinflammatory agents versus the potentially negative consequences of antagonizing the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressant agents in patients suffering from depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1104836108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3107316PMC
May 2011

A role for p11 in the antidepressant action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

Biol Psychiatry 2010 Sep 29;68(6):528-35. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

The Rockefeller University, New York, New York, USA.

Background: The protein p11 (also called S100A10) is downregulated in human and rodent depressive-like states. Considerable experimental evidence also implicates p11 in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive seizures, in part due to its interaction with specific serotonin receptors. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been linked to the therapeutic activity of antidepressants in rodent models and humans. In the current study, we investigated whether BDNF regulates p11 in vitro and in vivo.

Methods: We utilized primary neuronal cultures, in vivo analyses of transgenic mice, and behavioral techniques to assess the effects of BDNF on p11.

Results: Results indicate that BDNF stimulates p11 expression through tropomyosin-related kinase B (trkB) receptors and via the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor-induced changes in p11 in vivo correlate with changes in ligand binding to the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1B, the subcellular localization of which is known to be regulated by p11. Behavioral studies demonstrate that p11 knockout mice are insensitive to the antidepressant actions of BDNF.

Conclusions: Taken together, our data demonstrate that p11 levels are regulated by BDNF in vitro and in vivo and that the antidepressant-like effect of BDNF in two well-established behavioral models requires p11. These data support a role for p11 in the antidepressant activity of neurotrophins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929288PMC
September 2010

Forebrain overexpression of CK1delta leads to down-regulation of dopamine receptors and altered locomotor activity reminiscent of ADHD.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 Mar 9;107(9):4401-6. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Dopamine neurotransmission controls motor and perseverative behavior, is mediated by protein phosphorylation, and may be perturbed in disorders of attention and hyperactivity. To assess the role of casein kinase I (CK1) in the regulation of dopamine signaling, we generated a genetically modified mouse line that overexpresses CK1delta (CK1delta OE) specifically in the forebrain. Overexpression was confirmed both at the mRNA and at the protein levels. Under basal conditions, CK1delta OE mice exhibited horizontal and vertical hyperactivity, reduced anxiety, and nesting behavior deficiencies. The CK1delta OE mice also presented paradoxical responses to dopamine receptor stimulation, showing hypoactivity following injection of d-amphetamine or methylphenidate, indicating that CK1 activity has a profound effect on dopamine signaling in vivo. Interestingly, CK1delta overexpression led to significantly reduced D1R and D2R dopamine receptor levels. All together, under basal conditions and in response to drug stimulation, the behavioral phenotype of CK1delta OE mice is reminiscent of the symptoms and drug responses observed in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and therefore the CK1delta OE mice appear to be a model for this disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0915173107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840146PMC
March 2010

Role of p11 in cellular and behavioral effects of 5-HT4 receptor stimulation.

J Neurosci 2009 Feb;29(6):1937-46

Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10065, USA.

p11 (S100A10), a member of a large family of S100 proteins, interacts with serotonin receptor 1B (5-HTR1B), modulates 5-HT1B receptor signal transduction, and is required for antidepressant responses to activation of this receptor. In the current study, we investigated the specificity of the interaction between 5-HTR1B and p11 by screening brain-expressed S100 proteins against serotonin and noradrenergic receptors. The data indicate that p11 is unique among its family members for its interactions with defined serotonin receptors. We identify a novel p11-interacting receptor (5-HTR4) and characterize the interaction between p11 and 5-HTR4, demonstrating that (1) p11 and 5-HTR4 mRNA and protein are coexpressed in brain regions that are relevant for major depression, (2) p11 increases 5-HTR4 surface expression and facilitates 5-HTR4 signaling, and (3) p11 is required for the behavioral antidepressant responses to 5-HTR4 stimulation in vivo. The essential role played by p11 in modulating signaling through 5-HT4 as well as 5-HT1B receptors supports the concept that this protein may be a key determinant of vulnerability to depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5343-08.2009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6666274PMC
February 2009

Remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses in the rat learned helplessness model of depression.

Biol Psychiatry 2009 Mar 12;65(5):392-400. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.

Background: Although it has been postulated for many years that depression is associated with loss of synapses, primarily in the hippocampus, and that antidepressants facilitate synapse growth, we still lack ultrastructural evidence that changes in depressive behavior are indeed correlated with structural synaptic modifications.

Methods: We analyzed hippocampal spine synapses of male rats (n=127) with electron microscopic stereology in association with performance in the learned helplessness paradigm.

Results: Inescapable footshock (IES) caused an acute and persistent loss of spine synapses in each of CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus, which was associated with a severe escape deficit in learned helplessness. On the other hand, IES elicited no significant synaptic alterations in motor cortex. A single injection of corticosterone reproduced both the hippocampal synaptic changes and the behavioral responses induced by IES. Treatment of IES-exposed animals for 6 days with desipramine reversed both the hippocampal spine synapse loss and the escape deficit in learned helplessness. We noted, however, that desipramine failed to restore the number of CA1 spine synapses to nonstressed levels, which was associated with a minor escape deficit compared with nonstressed control rats. Shorter, 1-day or 3-day desipramine treatments, however, had neither synaptic nor behavioral effects.

Conclusions: These results indicate that changes in depressive behavior are associated with remarkable remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses at the ultrastructural level. Because spine synapse loss contributes to hippocampal dysfunction, this cellular mechanism may be an important component in the neurobiology of stress-related disorders such as depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.09.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2663388PMC
March 2009

Electroconvulsive seizure and VEGF increase the proliferation of neural stem-like cells in rat hippocampus.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2008 Aug 5;105(32):11352-7. Epub 2008 Aug 5.

Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06508, USA.

All classes of antidepressants increase hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, which contributes, in part, to the behavioral actions of these treatments. Among antidepressant treatments, electroconvulsive seizure (ECS) is the most robust stimulator of hippocampal cell proliferation and the most efficacious treatment for depression, but the cellular mechanisms underlying the actions of ECS are unknown. To address this question, we investigated the effect of ECS on proliferation of neural stem-like and/or progenitor cells in the subgranular zone of rat dentate gyrus. We define the neural differentiation cascade from stem-like cells to early neural progenitors (also referred to as quiescent and amplifying neural progenitors, respectively) by coexpression of selective cellular and mitotic activity markers. We find that at an early mitotic phase ECS increases the proliferation of quiescent progenitors and then at a later phase increases the proliferation of amplifying progenitors. We further demonstrate that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling is necessary for ECS induction of quiescent neural progenitor cell proliferation and is sufficient to produce this effect. These findings demonstrate that ECS and subsequent induction of VEGF stimulates the proliferation of neural stem-like cells and neural progenitor cells, thereby accounting for the superior neurogenic actions of ECS compared with chemical antidepressants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0710858105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2516270PMC
August 2008

Electroconvulsive seizure restores neurogenesis and hippocampus-dependent fear memory after disruption by irradiation.

Eur J Neurosci 2008 Mar 10;27(6):1485-93. Epub 2008 Mar 10.

Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry, Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Ongoing neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus is thought to play a role in learning and memory processes, and in response to antidepressant treatments. Low doses of irradiation (IRR) produce a significant long-lasting inhibitory effect on hippocampal neurogenesis that correlates with long-lasting behavioral deficits. Here we report that electroconvulsive seizure (ECS), which robustly increases adult neurogenesis in naïve animals, also reverses the disruption of neurogenesis produced by IRR exposure. Moreover, we find that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an essential mediator of this effect. Expression of VEGF in the granule cell layer (GCL) of the hippocampus is decreased by IRR, and ECS administration reverses this deficit in VEGF. There is a corresponding alteration in the number of endothelial cells, which express VEGF, in the hippocampal GCL following IRR and ECS. We also find that blockade of VEGF signaling attenuates ECS-induced proliferation, and VEGF infusion partially restores proliferation in irradiated animals. To examine the functional consequences of IRR and ECS on neurogenesis, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning was assessed. We found that following disruption by IRR, ECS restores contextual learning to baseline levels at time points consistent with its effects on neurogenesis. These findings demonstrate that ECS, in part via induction of VEGF, can reverse long-term neurogenesis deficits resulting from IRR, and that these effects have functional consequences on hippocampus-dependent fear memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06118.xDOI Listing
March 2008

VEGF as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in depression.

Curr Opin Pharmacol 2008 Feb 3;8(1):14-9. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Antidepressants are among the most widely prescribed drugs, however the mechanism underlying their therapeutic efficacy is not known. Neurotrophic factors represent a promising class of targets for antidepressant treatments. We recently characterized a role for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in cellular and behavioral antidepressant responses. VEGF is a potent mitogen and survival factor for endothelial cells (ECs) and neurons, and modulator of synaptic transmission. Because VEGF has been implicated in a variety of diseases, understanding the molecular and cellular specificity of antidepressant-induced VEGF will be crucial to determine its potential as a therapeutic target in depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coph.2007.10.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2259283PMC
February 2008

VEGF is an essential mediator of the neurogenic and behavioral actions of antidepressants.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007 Mar 5;104(11):4647-52. Epub 2007 Mar 5.

Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06508, USA.

The neural mechanisms underlying the cellular and behavioral responses to antidepressants are not yet known. Up-regulation of growth factors and adult neurogenesis suggest a role for one or more of these factors in the action of antidepressants. One candidate of interest is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which was initially characterized for its role in angiogenesis, but also exerts direct mitogenic effects on neural progenitors in vitro. Results of this study demonstrate that VEGF is induced by multiple classes of antidepressants at time points consistent with the induction of cell proliferation and therapeutic action of these treatments. We find that VEGF signaling through the Flk-1 receptor is required for antidepressant-induced cell proliferation. We also show that VEGF-Flk-1 signaling is required and sufficient for behavioral responses in two chronic and two subchronic antidepressant models. Taken together, these studies identify VEGF and VEGF-Flk-1 signaling as mediators of antidepressant actions and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0610282104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1838655PMC
March 2007

Hippocampal neurogenesis: opposing effects of stress and antidepressant treatment.

Hippocampus 2006 ;16(3):239-49

Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06508, USA.

The hippocampus is one of several limbic brain structures implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of mood disorders. Preclinical and clinical studies demonstrate that stress and depression lead to reductions of the total volume of this structure and atrophy and loss of neurons in the adult hippocampus. One of the cellular mechanisms that could account for alterations of hippocampal structure as well as function is the regulation of adult neurogenesis. Stress exerts a profound effect on neurogenesis, leading to a rapid and prolonged decrease in the rate of cell proliferation in the adult hippocampus. In contrast, chronic antidepressant treatment up-regulates hippocampal neurogenesis, and could thereby block or reverse the atrophy and damage caused by stress. Recent studies also demonstrate that neurogenesis is required for the actions of antidepressants in behavioral models of depression. This review discusses the literature that has lead to a neurogenic hypothesis of depression and antidepressant action, as well as the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of adult neurogenesis by stress and antidepressant treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hipo.20156DOI Listing
May 2006