Publications by authors named "Marika Nosten-Bertrand"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Elevated expression of complement C4 in the mouse prefrontal cortex causes schizophrenia-associated phenotypes.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

INSERM UMR-S 1270, Paris, France.

Accumulating evidence supports immune involvement in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, a severe psychiatric disorder. In particular, high expression variants of C4, a gene of the innate immune complement system, were shown to confer susceptibility to schizophrenia. However, how elevated C4 expression may impact brain circuits remains largely unknown. We used in utero electroporation to overexpress C4 in the mouse prefrontal cortex. We found reduced glutamatergic input to pyramidal cells of juvenile and adult, but not of newborn C4-overexpressing (C4-OE) mice, together with decreased spine density, which mirrors spine loss observed in the schizophrenic cortex. Using time-lapse two-photon imaging in vivo, we observed that these deficits were associated with decreased dendritic spine gain and elimination in juvenile C4-OE mice, which may reflect poor formation and/or stabilization of immature spines. In juvenile and adult C4-OE mice, we found evidence for NMDA receptor hypofunction, another schizophrenia-associated phenotype, and synaptic accumulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors. Alterations in cortical GABAergic networks have been repeatedly associated with schizophrenia. We found that functional GABAergic transmission was reduced in C4-OE mice, in line with diminished GABA release probability from parvalbumin interneurons, lower GAD67 expression, and decreased intrinsic excitability in parvalbumin interneurons. These cellular abnormalities were associated with working memory impairment. Our results substantiate the causal relationship between an immunogenetic risk factor and several distinct cortical endophenotypes of schizophrenia and shed light on the underlying cellular mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01081-6DOI Listing
April 2021

Deleting IGF-1 receptor from forebrain neurons confers neuroprotection during stroke and upregulates endocrine somatotropin.

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 2017 Feb 20;37(2):396-412. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

1 INSERM Research Center UMR938, Paris, France.

Insulin-like growth factors control numerous processes, namely somatic growth, metabolism and stress resistance, connecting this pathway to aging and age-related diseases. Insulin-like growth factor signaling also impacts on neurogenesis, neuronal survival and structural plasticity. Recent reports demonstrated that diminished insulin-like growth factor signaling confers increased stress resistance in brain and other tissues. To better understand the role of neuronal insulin-like growth factor signaling in neuroprotection, we inactivated insulin-like growth factor type-1-receptor in forebrain neurons using conditional Cre-LoxP-mediated gene targeting. We found that brain structure and function, including memory performance, were preserved in insulin-like growth factor receptor mutants, and that certain characteristics improved, notably synaptic transmission in hippocampal neurons. To reveal stress-related roles of insulin-like growth factor signaling, we challenged the brain using a stroke-like insult. Importantly, when charged with hypoxia-ischemia, mutant brains were broadly protected from cell damage, neuroinflammation and cerebral edema. We also found that in mice with insulin-like growth factor receptor knockout specifically in forebrain neurons, a substantial systemic upregulation of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I occurred, which was associated with significant somatic overgrowth. Collectively, we found strong evidence that blocking neuronal insulin-like growth factor signaling increases peripheral somatotropic tone and simultaneously protects the brain against hypoxic-ischemic injury, findings that may contribute to developing new therapeutic concepts preventing the disabling consequences of stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0271678X15626718DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5381438PMC
February 2017

Neuronal migration and its disorders affecting the CA3 region.

Front Cell Neurosci 2014 4;8:63. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

INSERM UMR-S 839 Paris, France ; Sorbonne Universités, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Univ Paris 06 Paris, France ; Institut du Fer à Moulin Paris, France.

In this review, we focus on CA3 neuronal migration disorders in the rodent. We begin by introducing the main steps of hippocampal development, and we summarize characteristic hippocampal malformations in human. We then describe various mouse mutants showing structural hippocampal defects. Notably, genes identified in human cortical neuronal migration disorders consistently give rise to a CA3 phenotype when mutated in the mouse. We successively describe their molecular, physiological and behavioral phenotypes that together contribute to a better understanding of CA3-dependent functions. We finally discuss potential factors underlying the CA3 vulnerability revealed by these mouse mutants and that may also contribute to other human neurological and psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2014.00063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941003PMC
March 2014

Selective disruption of acetylcholine synthesis in subsets of motor neurons: a new model of late-onset motor neuron disease.

Neurobiol Dis 2014 May 28;65:102-11. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

CRICM, CNRS UMR 7225, Paris, France; UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7225, Paris, France; Inserm, UMR_S975, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Motor neuron diseases are characterized by the selective chronic dysfunction of a subset of motor neurons and the subsequent impairment of neuromuscular function. To reproduce in the mouse these hallmarks of diseases affecting motor neurons, we generated a mouse line in which ~40% of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brainstem become unable to sustain neuromuscular transmission. These mice were obtained by conditional knockout of the gene encoding choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for acetylcholine. The mutant mice are viable and spontaneously display abnormal phenotypes that worsen with age including hunched back, reduced lifespan, weight loss, as well as striking deficits in muscle strength and motor function. This slowly progressive neuromuscular dysfunction is accompanied by muscle fiber histopathological features characteristic of neurogenic diseases. Unexpectedly, most changes appeared with a 6-month delay relative to the onset of reduction in ChAT levels, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms preserve muscular function for several months and then are overwhelmed. Deterioration of mouse phenotype after ChAT gene disruption is a specific aging process reminiscent of human pathological situations, particularly among survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis. These mutant mice may represent an invaluable tool to determine the sequence of events that follow the loss of function of a motor neuron subset as the disease progresses, and to evaluate therapeutic strategies. They also offer the opportunity to explore fundamental issues of motor neuron biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2014.01.014DOI Listing
May 2014

Doublecortin knockout mice show normal hippocampal-dependent memory despite CA3 lamination defects.

PLoS One 2013 20;8(9):e74992. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

INSERM UMRS 952, Paris, France ; CNRS UMR 7224, Paris, France ; UPMC, Paris, France ; Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.

Mutations in the human X-linked doublecortin gene (DCX) cause major neocortical disorganization associated with severe intellectual disability and intractable epilepsy. Although Dcx knockout (KO) mice exhibit normal isocortical development and architecture, they show lamination defects of the hippocampal pyramidal cell layer largely restricted to the CA3 region. Dcx-KO mice also exhibit interneuron abnormalities. As well as the interest of testing their general neurocognitive profile, Dcx-KO mice also provide a relatively unique model to assess the effects of a disorganized CA3 region on learning and memory. Based on its prominent anatomical and physiological features, the CA3 region is believed to contribute to rapid encoding of novel information, formation and storage of arbitrary associations, novelty detection, and short-term memory. We report here that Dcx-KO adult males exhibit remarkably preserved hippocampal- and CA3-dependant cognitive processes using a large battery of classical hippocampus related tests such as the Barnes maze, contextual fear conditioning, paired associate learning and object recognition. In addition, we show that hippocampal adult neurogenesis, in terms of proliferation, survival and differentiation of granule cells, is also remarkably preserved in Dcx-KO mice. In contrast, following social deprivation, Dcx-KO mice exhibit impaired social interaction and reduced aggressive behaviors. In addition, Dcx-KO mice show reduced behavioral lateralization. The Dcx-KO model thus reinforces the association of neuropsychiatric behavioral impairments with mouse models of intellectual disability.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0074992PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3779246PMC
May 2014

Inhibition of dopamine transporter activity impairs synaptic depression in rat prefrontal cortex through over-stimulation of D1 receptors.

Cereb Cortex 2014 Apr 12;24(4):945-55. Epub 2012 Dec 12.

Physiopathology of the CNS Diseases, INSERM U952, CNRS-UMR 7224, University of Pierre, Paris, France.

In rat prefrontal cortex (PFC), long-term depression induced by low-frequency single stimuli has never been studied. Combined with the well-documented involvement of dopamine transporters (DATs) in the regulation of PFC-dependent cognitive processes, it is important to test whether this form of plasticity can be modulated by DAT activity in the PFC. Here, we show first that prolonged 3-Hz stimuli successfully induced synaptic depression in rat PFC slices whose induction depended on endogenous stimulation of D1-like and D2-like receptors and the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). This depression was found to be significantly impaired by selective inhibition of the DAT by GBR12909 (1-200 nM) or GBR12935 (100 nM). The excess amount of extracellular dopamine caused by DAT inhibition acted critically on D1-like receptors to impair depression. Furthermore, this impairment by GBR12 909 was cancelled by the allosteric-positive mGluR5 modulator CDPPB, the drug known to reverse hyperdopaminergia-induced abnormal PFC activity, and the associated cognitive disturbances. Finally, these induction, impairment, and restoration of synaptic depression were correlated by an inverted-U shape manner with the phosphorylation level of ERK1/2. We suggest that abnormal increases of the extracellular dopamine level by DAT inhibition impair synaptic depression in the PFC through over-stimulation of D1-like receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhs376DOI Listing
April 2014

L-DOPA impairs proteasome activity in parkinsonism through D1 dopamine receptor.

J Neurosci 2012 Jan;32(2):681-91

Université Victor Segalen-Bordeaux 2, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases, 33076 Bordeaux, France.

Aberrant membrane localization of dopamine D(1) receptor (D1R) is associated with L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID), a major complication of L-DOPA treatment in Parkinson's disease (PD). Since the proteasome plays a central role in modulating neuronal response through regulation of neurotransmitter receptor intraneuronal fate, we hypothesized that the ubiquitine-proteasome proteolytic pathway could be impaired in LID. Those LIDs are actually associated with a striatum-specific decrease in proteasome catalytic activity and accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins in experimental rodent and monkey parkinsonism. We then demonstrated that such decreased proteasome catalytic activity (1) results from D1R activation and (2) feed-back the D1R abnormal trafficking, i.e., its exaggerated cell surface abundance. We further showed that the genetic invalidation of the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase parkin PD gene leads to exaggerated abnormal involuntary movements compared with wild-type mice. We thus established in an unprecedented series of experimental models that impairment of the ubiquitine-proteasome system at specific nodes (E3 ligase parkin, polyubiquitination, proteasome catalytic activity) leads to the same phenomenon, i.e., aberrant behavioral response to dopamine replacement therapy in PD, highlighting the intimate interplay between dopamine receptor and proteasome activity in a nondegenerative context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1541-11.2012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6621078PMC
January 2012

Endogenous morphine-like compound immunoreactivity increases in parkinsonism.

Brain 2011 Aug 8;134(Pt 8):2321-38. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

University of Bordeaux, Institut des Maladies Neurodegeneratives, Bordeaux, France.

Morphine is endogenously synthesized in the central nervous system and endogenous dopamine is thought to be necessary for endogenous morphine formation. As Parkinson's disease results from the loss of dopamine and is associated with central pain, we considered how endogenous morphine is regulated in the untreated and l-DOPA-treated parkinsonian brain. However, as the cellular origin and overall distribution of endogenous morphine remains obscure in the pathological adult brain, we first characterized the distribution of endogenous morphine-like compound immunoreactive cells in the rat striatum. We then studied changes in the endogenous morphine-like compound immunoreactivity of medium spiny neurons in normal, Parkinson's disease-like and l-DOPA-treated Parkinson's disease-like conditions in experimental (rat and monkey) and human Parkinson's disease. Our results reveal an unexpected dramatic upregulation of neuronal endogenous morphine-like compound immunoreactivity and levels in experimental and human Parkinson's disease, only partially normalized by l-DOPA treatment. Our data suggest that endogenous morphine formation is more complex than originally proposed and that the parkinsonian brain experiences a dramatic upregulation of endogenous morphine immunoreactivity. The functional consequences of such endogenous morphine upregulation are as yet unknown, but based upon the current knowledge of morphine signalling, we hypothesize that it is involved in fatigue, depression and pain symptoms experienced by patients with Parkinson's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awr166DOI Listing
August 2011

Evidence of long-term expression of behavioral sensitization to both cocaine and ethanol in dopamine transporter knockout mice.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2010 Jan 24;208(1):57-66. Epub 2009 Nov 24.

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), U952, 9 quai Saint Bernard, 75005, Paris, France.

Introduction: Locomotor sensitization, defined as the progressive and enduring enhancement of the motor stimulant effects elicited by repeated exposure to drugs of abuse, is the consequence of drug-induced cellular neuroadaptations that likely contribute to addictive behavior. Neuroadaptations within the dopaminergic system have been shown to be involved both in the induction phase and in the long-term expression phase of sensitization upon drug readministration after withdrawal.

Materials And Methods: Mice lacking the dopamine transporter (DAT-KO) were used to test the effect of constitutive hyperdopaminergia on the durability of behavioral sensitization to both cocaine and ethanol. The effect of the DAT mutation was simultaneously tested on two inbred genetic backgrounds, C57Bl/6 and DBA/2, chosen for their contrasting addiction-related phenotypes, as well as on the hybrid F(1) offspring of a cross between C57Bl/6 and DBA/2 congenic strains.

Results And Discussion: In spite of the absence of the DAT, mutant mice were able to develop long-term expression of sensitization to cocaine. Compared to their wild-type littermates, DAT-KO mice exhibited a markedly increased acute ethanol-evoked locomotor activity and developed stronger behavioral sensitization to ethanol during both induction and long-term expression phases. Interestingly, this increased ethanol-induced sensitization was potentiated by the DBA/2 genetic background.

Conclusion: These findings, showing that DAT deletion facilitates sensitization, suggest a cross-sensitization-like effect between genetic- and pharmacological-induced hyperdopaminergia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-009-1707-0DOI Listing
January 2010

Epilepsy in Dcx knockout mice associated with discrete lamination defects and enhanced excitability in the hippocampus.

PLoS One 2008 Jun 25;3(6):e2473. Epub 2008 Jun 25.

INSERM, U513, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

Patients with Doublecortin (DCX) mutations have severe cortical malformations associated with mental retardation and epilepsy. Dcx knockout (KO) mice show no major isocortical abnormalities, but have discrete hippocampal defects. We questioned the functional consequences of these defects and report here that Dcx KO mice are hyperactive and exhibit spontaneous convulsive seizures. Changes in neuropeptide Y and calbindin expression, consistent with seizure occurrence, were detected in a large proportion of KO animals, and convulsants, including kainate and pentylenetetrazole, also induced seizures more readily in KO mice. We show that the dysplastic CA3 region in KO hippocampal slices generates sharp wave-like activities and possesses a lower threshold for epileptiform events. Video-EEG monitoring also demonstrated that spontaneous seizures were initiated in the hippocampus. Similarly, seizures in human patients mutated for DCX can show a primary involvement of the temporal lobe. In conclusion, seizures in Dcx KO mice are likely to be due to abnormal synaptic transmission involving heterotopic cells in the hippocampus and these mice may therefore provide a useful model to further study how lamination defects underlie the genesis of epileptiform activities.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0002473PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2429962PMC
June 2008

Loss of X-linked mental retardation gene oligophrenin1 in mice impairs spatial memory and leads to ventricular enlargement and dendritic spine immaturity.

J Neurosci 2007 Aug;27(35):9439-50

Department of Genetic and Development, Institut Cochin, Université Paris Descartes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique [Unité Mixte de Recherche 8104], F-75014 Paris, France.

Loss of oligophrenin1 (OPHN1) function in human causes X-linked mental retardation associated with cerebellar hypoplasia and, in some cases, with lateral ventricle enlargement. In vitro studies showed that ophn1 regulates dendritic spine through the control of Rho GTPases, but its in vivo function remains unknown. We generated a mouse model of ophn1 deficiency and showed that it mimics the ventricles enlargement without affecting the cerebellum morphoanatomy. The ophn1 knock-out mice exhibit behavioral defects in spatial memory together with impairment in social behavior, lateralization, and hyperactivity. Long-term potentiation and mGluR-dependent long-term depression are normal in the CA1 hippocampal area of ophn1 mutant, whereas paired-pulse facilitation is reduced. This altered short-term plasticity that reflects changes in the release of neurotransmitters from the presynaptic processes is associated with normal synaptic density together with a reduction in mature dendritic spines. In culture, inactivation of ophn1 function increases the density and proportion of immature spines. Using a conditional model of loss of ophn1 function, we confirmed this immaturity defect and showed that ophn1 is required at all the stages of the development. These studies show that, depending of the context, ophn1 controls the maturation of dendritic spines either by maintaining the density of mature spines or by limiting the extension of new filopodia. Altogether, these observations indicate that cognitive impairment related to OPHN1 loss of function is associated with both presynaptic and postsynaptic alterations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2029-07.2007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6673114PMC
August 2007

Nicotine improves cognitive deficits of dopamine transporter knockout mice without long-term tolerance.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2007 Dec 21;32(12):2465-78. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Inserm, U513, Laboratoire de Neurobiologie et Psychiatrie, University Paris 12, Créteil, France.

Various studies suggest a dysfunction of nicotinic neurotransmission in schizophrenia and establish that patients suffering from schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a high tobacco consumption, potentially for the purpose of self-medication. Owing to its neuroprotective and procognitive effects, transdermal nicotine was proposed to be an effective treatment of some neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. Mice deficient in the dopamine transporter (DAT KO) exhibit a phenotype reminiscent of schizophrenia and ADHD, including hyperdopaminergia, hyperactivity, paradoxical calming by methylphenidate and cognitive deficits, some of which being improved by antipsychotic agents. We recently demonstrated that nicotinic receptor content and function were profoundly modified in DAT KO mice. In this study, we assessed the effects of a chronic nicotine treatment in the drinking water on the nicotine-induced locomotion, anxiety status and learning performance. Chronically nicotine-treated DAT KO mice were always hypersensitive to the hypolocomotor effect of nicotine without tolerance and did not exhibit the anxiogenic effect of nicotine treatment observed in WT mice. Very interestingly, both acute and chronic nicotine treatments greatly improved their deficits in the cued and spatial learning, without eliciting tolerance. We speculate that the procognitive effects of nicotine in DAT KO mice are related to the upregulation of alpha7 nicotinic receptors in the hippocampus, amygdala, and prelimbic cortex, all areas involved in cognition. Data from our studies on DAT KO mice shed light on the nicotine self-medication in psychiatric patients and suggest that nicotinic agonists could favorably lead to additional therapy of psychiatric diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.npp.1301385DOI Listing
December 2007

Parallel loss of hippocampal LTD and cognitive flexibility in a genetic model of hyperdopaminergia.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2007 Oct 7;32(10):2108-16. Epub 2007 Mar 7.

INSERM U513, Neurobiologie et Psychiatrie, 94010 Créteil Cedex, France.

Dopamine-mediated neurotransmission has been implicated in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and in the mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In the present study, we tested different forms of activity-dependent neuronal and behavioral plasticity in knockout mice for the dopamine transporter (DAT-KO), which constitute a unique genetic model of constitutive hyperdopaminergia. We report that DAT-KO mice exhibit slightly increased long-term potentiation and severely decreased long-term depression at hippocampal CA3-CA1 excitatory synapses. Mutant mice also show impaired adaptation to environmental changes in the Morris watermaze. Both the electrophysiological and behavioral phenotypes are reversed by the dopamine antagonist haloperidol, suggesting that hyperdopaminergia is involved in these deficits. These findings support the modulation by dopamine of synaptic plasticity and cognitive flexibility. The behavioral deficits seen in DAT-KO mice are reminiscent of the deficits in executive functions observed in dopamine-related neuropsychiatric disorders, suggesting that the study of DAT-KO mice can contribute to the understanding of the molecular basis of these disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.npp.1301354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2547847PMC
October 2007

PTD-XIAP protects against cerebral ischemia by anti-apoptotic and transcriptional regulatory mechanisms.

Neurobiol Dis 2006 Apr 19;22(1):177-86. Epub 2005 Dec 19.

INSERM UMR421, Universite Paris 12, 8, rue du Général Sarrail, F-94010 Creteil cedex, France.

Caspases play a major role in the infarction process that follows occlusion of cerebral arteries and are important targets for stroke therapy. We have generated three fusion proteins that link various domains of the X chromosome-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP), a potent caspase inhibitor, to the protein transduction domain (PTD) of HIV-1/Tat, and have tested their efficacy after distal occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (dMCAO) in mice. PTD-XIAP failed to accumulate in brain structures after intravenous (iv) delivery, but properly transduced cortical cells when applied topically. Shorter constructs efficiently targeted the lesion after iv delivery. All proteins retained their caspase inhibitory activity and significantly reduced infarct volumes. PTD-XIAP reversed long-term impairments in the water maze test. Sequential activation of transcription factors was observed, suggesting that the effects of XIAP are mediated by both direct inhibition of apoptotic mechanisms and secondary regulation of transcription factors involved in neuronal survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2005.10.014DOI Listing
April 2006

Augmented constitutive CREB expression in the nucleus accumbens and striatum may contribute to the altered behavioral response to cocaine of adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero.

Dev Neurosci 2005 Mar-Aug;27(2-4):235-48

Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience, Massachusetts General Hospital-East, Charlestown, MA, USA.

Neuroadaptations occurring in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway following recurrent exposure to drugs of abuse have been correlated with a behavioral phenomenon known as behavioral sensitization. We have developed an animal model of prenatal cocaine exposure and, using a postnatal sensitization protocol, have examined the subsequent sensitivity of offspring to cocaine. Pregnant Swiss Webster dams were injected twice daily from embryonic day 8 to 17, inclusive, with cocaine (COC40: administered cocaine HCl at a dose of 40 mg/kg/day, and COC20: administered cocaine HCl at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day), or saline (SAL). The SPF40 group (saline pair-fed), a nutritional control group, was 'pair-fed' with COC40 dams. Activity was recorded for 30 min during a 3-day saline habituation, a 14-day 'initiation' phase, when animals received cocaine (15 mg/kg) or saline every other day, and following a 21-day 'withdrawal' period when all mice were challenged with cocaine. COC40 offspring, as compared with SAL controls, did not habituate to a novel environment, demonstrated increased cocaine-induced stereotypy on Coc 1 (first cocaine injection), and blunted locomotor sensitization on challenge as measured by the percentage of each animal's baseline locomotion. Tissue samples of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and striatum (Str) of all four prenatal treatment groups were examined to determine whether alterations in the transcription factor CREB or glutamate receptor subunit, GluR1, induced by prenatal cocaine treatment may have contributed to the altered behavioral responses. Immunoblot quantitation revealed significantly increased constitutive CREB expression in the NAc and Str of COC40 mice as compared with SAL controls. Such alterations in constitutive CREB levels may contribute to some of the behavioral differences reported in adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000085997DOI Listing
August 2005

Cerebral asymmetry and behavioral lateralization in rats chronically lacking n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Biol Psychiatry 2005 Nov 25;58(10):805-11. Epub 2005 Jul 25.

INRA Laboratoire de Nutrition et Sécurité Alimentaire, Jouy-en-Josas, France.

Background: Anatomic and functional brain lateralization underlies hemisphere specialization for cognitive and motor control, and deviations from the normal patterns of asymmetry appear to be related to behavioral deficits. Studies on n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) deficiency and behavioral impairments led us to postulate that a chronic lack of n-3 PUFA can lead to changes in lateralized behavior by affecting structural or neurochemical patterns of asymmetry in motor-related brain structures.

Methods: We compared the effects of a chronic n-3 PUFA deficient diet with a balanced diet on membrane phospholipid fatty acids composition and immunolabeling of choline acetyltransferase (ChAt), as a marker of cholinergic neurons, in left and right striatum of rats. Lateral motor behavior was assessed by rotation and paw preference.

Results: Control rats had an asymmetric PUFA distribution with a right behavioral preference, whereas ChAt density was symmetrical. In deficient rats, the cholinergic neuron density was 30% lower on the right side, associated with a loss of PUFA asymmetry and behavior laterality. They present higher rotation behavior, and significantly more of them failed the handedness test.

Conclusion: These results indicate that a lack of n-3 PUFA is linked with a lateral behavior deficit, possibly leading to cognitive disturbances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.04.045DOI Listing
November 2005

Constitutive hyperdopaminergia is functionally associated with reduced behavioral lateralization.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2005 Mar;30(3):575-81

INSERM-U513, Neurobiologie et Psychiatrie, Créteil Cedex, France.

According to the dopamine (DA) hypothesis of schizophrenia and the strong evidence for decreased cerebral lateralization in schizophrenic patients, we postulated that hyperactivity of the dopaminergic system could be associated with a reduced behavioral lateralization in mice. Mice lacking the dopamine transporter (DAT) gene were used as a genetic model of persistent hyperdopaminergia. The DAT null mutation was transferred on C57BL/6JOrl (B6) and DBA/2JOrl (D2) inbred backgrounds for more than 10 generations of backcrossing to derive three DAT strains, B6, D2, and B6xD2(F1). Adult mutant mice of the three DAT strains and their littermates were tested for paw preference using Collins' protocol. Our results demonstrated that, whatever the genetic background, persistent hyperdopaminergia directly impairs the degree of lateralization without affecting the direction. Our results support the degree of lateralization as a good candidate phenotype to further improve genetic analysis of cerebral lateralization in normal and pathological conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.npp.1300570DOI Listing
March 2005

Phenotypic expression of the targeted null-mutation in the dopamine transporter gene varies as a function of the genetic background.

Eur J Neurosci 2004 Jul;20(1):120-6

INSERM-U513, Neurobiologie et Psychiatrie, 8 rue du Général Sarrail, 94010 Créteil Cedex, France.

The dopamine transporter (DAT) plays a critical role in calibrating the duration and intensity of dopamine (DA) neurotransmission. Mice in which the DAT gene has been genetically deleted exhibit constitutively high levels of extrasynaptic DA and spontaneous hyperactivity. Numerous studies have characterized the adaptive molecular, physiological, and behavioural consequences of abnormal DA neurotransmission in these mice. In order to determine the genetic background contribution to these phenotypes, the DAT mutation was transferred on C57BL/6JOrl (B6) or DBA/2JOrl (D2) inbred backgrounds for more than ten generations of back-crossing to derive three B6-, D2-, and B6xD2(F(1))-DAT strains. We observed that the genetic background dramatically affects phenotypes previously reported on DAT knockout (KO) mice. Depending on the genetic background, it was possible to restore survival, growth rate and ability to lactate. Interactions with the genetic background were found to modulate both quantitative and qualitative patterns of novelty-driven spontaneous hyperactivity. The paradoxical calming effect of cocaine was observed for all DAT-KO mice. However, the genetic background influenced individual threshold responses to both locomotor and rewarding effects of cocaine. These findings reveal the extent of phenotypic variation associated with the DAT mutation. They also provide concrete arguments against the assumption that the normal function of a gene can be inferred directly from its mutant phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03465.xDOI Listing
July 2004

Altered cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization in adult mice exposed to cocaine in utero.

Brain Res Dev Brain Res 2003 Dec;147(1-2):97-105

INSERM U513, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, 94010 Créteil, France.

Behavioral sensitization induced by psychostimulants is characterized by increased locomotion and stereotypy and may reflect aspects of neuronal adaptations underlying drug addiction in humans. To study the developmental contributions to addictive behaviors, we measured behavioral responses in adult offspring to a cocaine sensitization paradigm following prenatal cocaine exposure. Pregnant Swiss-Webster (SW) mice were injected twice daily from embryonic days 8 to 17 (E8-E17, inclusive) with cocaine (20 or 40 mg/kg/day; COC20 and COC40, respectively), or saline vehicle (SAL and SPF40) subcutaneously (s.c.). A nutritional control group of dams were 'pair-fed' with COC40 dams (SPF40). P120 male offspring from each prenatal treatment group were assigned to a behavioral sensitization group and injected with cocaine (15 mg/kg) or saline intraperitoneally (i.p.) every other day for seven doses. Locomotor activity and stereotypy were measured during habituation, cocaine initiation, and following a cocaine challenge 21 days after the last initiation injection. As expected, animals demonstrated significantly more locomotion and stereotypic behavior following acute and recurrent injection of cocaine compared to saline-injected animals. However, for each prenatal treatment group, cocaine-sensitized animals showed unique temporal profiles for the increase in locomotor sensitization and stereotypy over the course of the sensitization protocol. Two features that distinguished the altered behavioral progression of prenatally cocaine-exposed animals (COC40) from control (SAL) animals included blunted augmentation of locomotion and enhanced patterns of stereotypic behavior. These findings provide evidence that the behavioral activating effects of cocaine in adult animals are altered following exposure to cocaine in utero.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devbrainres.2003.10.006DOI Listing
December 2003

Posture and balance responses to a sensory challenge are related to anxiety in mice.

Psychiatry Res 2003 Jun;118(3):273-84

CNRS UMR 7593 'Vulnérabilité, Adaptation et Psychopathologie', CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, 91, bd de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France.

Anxiety disorders and balance disorders share common clinical features related to perception such as spatial disorientation or dizziness. The search for the mechanism underlying this core of symptoms led us to investigate impairments in multisensory integration. In mice, the 'rotating beam test' allows analysis of changes in balance control and posture in response to a multisensory challenge. We used the BALB/c and C57BL/6 inbred strains of mice, known for their contrasted anxiety-related behavior. The level of anxiety was also manipulated using anxiolytic and anxiogenic pharmacological compounds. Despite equal sensori-motor abilities, anxious mice were more prone to fall off the rotating beam and showed more imbalance than non-anxious mice. Striking inter-strain differences in posture were also observed. Diazepam and beta-CCM reversed these strain-specific responses in opposite directions. We demonstrated that balance and postural strategies developed in response to a multisensory challenge vary as a function of the level of anxiety in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0165-1781(03)00069-6DOI Listing
June 2003