Publications by authors named "Kerri Whitlock"

2 Publications

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Receptor dependence of BDNF actions in superficial dorsal horn: relation to central sensitization and actions of macrophage colony stimulating factor 1.

J Neurophysiol 2019 06 17;121(6):2308-2322. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, University of Alberta , Edmonton , Canada.

Peripheral nerve injury elicits an enduring increase in the excitability of the spinal dorsal horn. This change, which contributes to the development of neuropathic pain, is a consequence of release and prolonged exposure of dorsal horn neurons to various neurotrophins and cytokines. We have shown in rats that nerve injury increases excitatory synaptic drive to excitatory neurons but decreases drive to inhibitory neurons. Both effects, which contribute to an increase in dorsal horn excitability, appear to be mediated by microglia-derived BDNF. We have used multiphoton Ca imaging and whole cell recording of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in defined-medium organotypic cultures of GAD67-GFP mice spinal cord to determine the receptor dependence of these opposing actions of BDNF. In mice, as in rats, BDNF enhances excitatory transmission onto excitatory neurons. This is mediated via presynaptic TrkB and p75 neurotrophin receptors and exclusively by postsynaptic TrkB. By contrast with findings from rats, in mice BDNF does not decrease excitation of inhibitory neurons. The cytokine macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) has also been implicated in the onset of neuropathic pain. Nerve injury provokes its de novo synthesis in primary afferents, its release in spinal cord, and activation of microglia. We now show that CSF-1 increases excitatory drive to excitatory neurons via a BDNF-dependent mechanism and decreases excitatory drive to inhibitory neurons via BDNF-independent processes. Our findings complete missing steps in the cascade of events whereby peripheral nerve injury instigates increased dorsal horn excitability in the context of central sensitization and the onset of neuropathic pain. Nerve injury provokes synthesis of macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1) in primary afferents and its release in the dorsal horn. We show that CSF-1 increases excitatory drive to excitatory dorsal horn neurons via BDNF activation of postsynaptic TrkB and presynaptic TrkB and p75 neurotrophin receptors. CSF-1 decreases excitatory drive to inhibitory neurons via a BDNF-independent processes. This completes missing steps in understanding how peripheral injury instigates central sensitization and the onset of neuropathic pain.
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June 2019

Missense Variants in the Histone Acetyltransferase Complex Component Gene TRRAP Cause Autism and Syndromic Intellectual Disability.

Benjamin Cogné Sophie Ehresmann Eliane Beauregard-Lacroix Justine Rousseau Thomas Besnard Thomas Garcia Slavé Petrovski Shiri Avni Kirsty McWalter Patrick R Blackburn Stephan J Sanders Kévin Uguen Jacqueline Harris Julie S Cohen Moira Blyth Anna Lehman Jonathan Berg Mindy H Li Usha Kini Shelagh Joss Charlotte von der Lippe Christopher T Gordon Jennifer B Humberson Laurie Robak Daryl A Scott Vernon R Sutton Cara M Skraban Jennifer J Johnston Annapurna Poduri Magnus Nordenskjöld Vandana Shashi Erica H Gerkes Ernie M H F Bongers Christian Gilissen Yuri A Zarate Malin Kvarnung Kevin P Lally Peggy A Kulch Brina Daniels Andres Hernandez-Garcia Nicholas Stong Julie McGaughran Kyle Retterer Kristian Tveten Jennifer Sullivan Madeleine R Geisheker Asbjorg Stray-Pedersen Jennifer M Tarpinian Eric W Klee Julie C Sapp Jacob Zyskind Øystein L Holla Emma Bedoukian Francesca Filippini Anne Guimier Arnaud Picard Øyvind L Busk Jaya Punetha Rolph Pfundt Anna Lindstrand Ann Nordgren Fayth Kalb Megha Desai Ashley Harmon Ebanks Shalini N Jhangiani Tammie Dewan Zeynep H Coban Akdemir Aida Telegrafi Elaine H Zackai Amber Begtrup Xiaofei Song Annick Toutain Ingrid M Wentzensen Sylvie Odent Dominique Bonneau Xénia Latypova Wallid Deb Sylvia Redon Frédéric Bilan Marine Legendre Caitlin Troyer Kerri Whitlock Oana Caluseriu Marine I Murphree Pavel N Pichurin Katherine Agre Ralitza Gavrilova Tuula Rinne Meredith Park Catherine Shain Erin L Heinzen Rui Xiao Jeanne Amiel Stanislas Lyonnet Bertrand Isidor Leslie G Biesecker Dan Lowenstein Jennifer E Posey Anne-Sophie Denommé-Pichon Claude Férec Xiang-Jiao Yang Jill A Rosenfeld Brigitte Gilbert-Dussardier Séverine Audebert-Bellanger Richard Redon Holly A F Stessman Christoffer Nellaker Yaping Yang James R Lupski David B Goldstein Evan E Eichler Francois Bolduc Stéphane Bézieau Sébastien Küry Philippe M Campeau

Am J Hum Genet 2019 03 28;104(3):530-541. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Centre, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T1J4, Canada. Electronic address:

Acetylation of the lysine residues in histones and other DNA-binding proteins plays a major role in regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. This process is controlled by histone acetyltransferases (HATs/KATs) found in multiprotein complexes that are recruited to chromatin by the scaffolding subunit transformation/transcription domain-associated protein (TRRAP). TRRAP is evolutionarily conserved and is among the top five genes intolerant to missense variation. Through an international collaboration, 17 distinct de novo or apparently de novo variants were identified in TRRAP in 24 individuals. A strong genotype-phenotype correlation was observed with two distinct clinical spectra. The first is a complex, multi-systemic syndrome associated with various malformations of the brain, heart, kidneys, and genitourinary system and characterized by a wide range of intellectual functioning; a number of affected individuals have intellectual disability (ID) and markedly impaired basic life functions. Individuals with this phenotype had missense variants clustering around the c.3127G>A p.(Ala1043Thr) variant identified in five individuals. The second spectrum manifested with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or ID and epilepsy. Facial dysmorphism was seen in both groups and included upslanted palpebral fissures, epicanthus, telecanthus, a wide nasal bridge and ridge, a broad and smooth philtrum, and a thin upper lip. RNA sequencing analysis of skin fibroblasts derived from affected individuals skin fibroblasts showed significant changes in the expression of several genes implicated in neuronal function and ion transport. Thus, we describe here the clinical spectrum associated with TRRAP pathogenic missense variants, and we suggest a genotype-phenotype correlation useful for clinical evaluation of the pathogenicity of the variants.
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March 2019