The habenula, located on the dorsal thalamic surface, is an emotional and reward processing center. As in the mammalian brain, the zebrafish habenula is divided into dorsal (dHb) and ventral (vHb) subdivisions that project to the interpeduncular nucleus and median raphe (MR) respectively. Previously, we have shown that kisspeptin 1 (Kiss1) expressing in the vHb, regulates the serotonin (5-HT) system in the MR. However, the connectivity between the Kiss1 neurons and the 5-HT system remains unknown. To resolve this issue, we generated a specific antibody against zebrafish Kiss1 receptor (Kiss-R1); using this primary antibody we found intense immunohistochemical labeling in the ventro-anterior corner of the MR (vaMR) but not in 5-HT neurons, suggesting the potential involvement of interneurons in 5-HT modulation by Kiss1. Double-fluorescence labeling showed that the majority of habenular Kiss1 neurons are glutamatergic. In the MR region, Kiss1 fibers were mainly seen in close association with glutamatergic neurons and only scarcely within GABAergic and 5-HT neurons. Our findings indicate that the habenular Kiss1 neurons potentially modulate the 5-HT system primarily through glutamatergic neurotransmission via as yet uncharacterized interneurons. The neuropeptide kisspeptin (Kiss1) play a key role in vertebrate reproduction. We have previously shown modulatory role of habenular Kiss1 in the raphe serotonin (5-HT) systems. This study proposed that the habenular Kiss1 neurons modulate the 5-HT system primarily through glutamatergic neurotransmission, which provides an important insight for understanding of the modulation of 5-HT system by the habenula-raphe pathway.
Kiss1, a neuropeptide predominantly expressed in the habenula, modulates the serotonin (5-HT) system to decrease odorant cue [alarm substance (AS)]-evoked fear behaviour in the zebrafish. The purpose of this study was to assess the interaction of Kiss1 with the 5-HT system as well as to determine the involvement of the 5-HT receptor subtypes in AS-evoked fear. We utilized 0. 28 mg/kg WAY 100635 (WAY), a selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, to observe the effects of Kiss1 administration on AS-evoked fear. We found WAY significantly inhibited the anxiolytic effects of Kiss1 (p < 0.001) with an exception of freezing behaviour. Based on this, we utilized 92.79 mg/kg methysergide, a 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptor antagonist, and found that methysergide significantly blocked the anxiolytic effects of Kiss1 in the presence of the AS (p < 0.001). From this, we conclude that Kiss1 modulates AS-evoked fear responses mediated by the 5-HT1A and 5-HT2 receptors. Kiss1 peptide intracranially (IC) administrated has been shown to decrease olfactory, alarm substance (AS)-evoked fear response. Blockade of the 5-HT1A receptor utilizing WAY 100635 (0.28 mg/kg) and the 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptor utilizing methysergide (92.79 mg/kg) produced increased AS-evoked fear responses that were unable to be overcome even during the recovery period. Blockade of this 5-HT system followed by Kiss1 administration showed that the peptide was unable to recover the anxiolytic effects upon 5-HT1A blocking using WAY 100635 with the exception of freezing behaviour while methysergide significantly blocked all the anxiolytic effects of Kiss1. These findings implicate that Kiss1 could modulate AS-evoked fear responses mediated by 5-HT1A and 5-HT2 receptors.
Zebrafish possess two isoforms of vertebrate ancient long (VAL)-opsin, val-opsinA (valopa) and val-opsinB (valopb), which probably mediate non-visual responses to light. To understand the diurnal and light-sensitive regulation of the valop genes in different cell groups, the current study used real-time quantitative PCR to examine the diurnal changes of valopa and b mRNA levels in different brain areas of adult male zebrafish. Furthermore, effects of the extended exposure to light or dark condition, luminous levels and the treatment with a melatonin receptor agonist or antagonist on valop transcription were examined. In the thalamus, valop mRNA levels showed significant diurnal changes; valopa peaked in the evening, while valopb peaked in the morning. The diurnal change of valopa mRNA levels occurred independent of light conditions, whereas that of valopb mRNA levels were regulated by light. A melatonin receptor agonist or antagonist did not affect the changes of valop mRNA levels. In contrast, the midbrain and hindbrain showed arrhythmic valop mRNA levels under light and dark cycles. The differential diurnal regulation of the valopa and b genes in the thalamus and the arrhythmic expression in the midbrain and hindbrain suggest involvement of deep brain VAL-opsin in time- and light-dependent physiology. We show diurnal expression changes of vertebrate ancient long (VAL) opsin genes (valopa and valopb), depending on brain area, time of day and light condition, in the adult male zebrafish. Differential regulation of the valop genes in the thalamus and arrhythmic expression in the midbrain and hindbrain suggest their involvement in time- and light-dependent physiology to adjust to environmental changes.
Epilepsy is a serious neurological condition exhibiting complex pathology and deserving of more serious attention. More than 30% of people with epilepsy are not responsive to more than 20 anti-epileptic drugs currently available, reflecting an unmet clinical need for novel therapeutic strategies. Not much is known about the pathogenesis of epilepsy, but evidence indicates that neuroinflammation might contribute to the onset and progression of epilepsy following acquired brain insults. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these pathophysiological processes are yet to be fully understood. The emerging research suggests that high-mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1), a DNA-binding protein that is both actively secreted by inflammatory cells and released by necrotic cells, might contribute to the pathogenesis of epilepsy. HMGB1 as an initiator and amplifier of neuroinflammation, and its activation is implicated in the propagation of seizures in animal models. The current review will highlight the potential role of HMGB1 in the pathogenesis of epilepsy, and implications of HMGB1-targeted therapies against epilepsy. HMGB1 in this context is an emerging concept deserving further exploration. Increased understanding of HMGB1 in seizures and epilepsy will pave the way in designing novel and innovative therapeutic strategies that could modify the disease course or prevent its development.
One of the most intriguing features of the brain is its ability to be malleable, allowing it to adapt continually to changes in the environment. Specific neuronal activity patterns drive long-lasting increases or decreases in the strength of synaptic connections, referred to as long-term potentiation and long-term depression, respectively. Such phenomena have been described in a variety of model organisms, which are used to study molecular, structural, and functional aspects of synaptic plasticity. This review originated from the first International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) and Journal of Neurochemistry (JNC) Flagship School held in Alpbach, Austria (Sep 2016), and will use its curriculum and discussions as a framework to review some of the current knowledge in the field of synaptic plasticity. First, we describe the role of plasticity during development and the persistent changes of neural circuitry occurring when sensory input is altered during critical developmental stages. We then outline the signaling cascades resulting in the synthesis of new plasticity-related proteins, which ultimately enable sustained changes in synaptic strength. Going beyond the traditional understanding of synaptic plasticity conceptualized by long-term potentiation and long-term depression, we discuss system-wide modifications and recently unveiled homeostatic mechanisms, such as synaptic scaling. Finally, we describe the neural circuits and synaptic plasticity mechanisms driving associative memory and motor learning. Evidence summarized in this review provides a current view of synaptic plasticity in its various forms, offers new insights into the underlying mechanisms and behavioral relevance, and provides directions for future research in the field of synaptic plasticity. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on doi: 10.1111/jnc.14102.
The past 20 years have resulted in unprecedented progress in understanding brain energy metabolism and its role in health and disease. In this review, which was initiated at the 14th International Society for Neurochemistry Advanced School, we address the basic concepts of brain energy metabolism and approach the question of why the brain has high energy expenditure. Our review illustrates that the vertebrate brain has a high need for energy because of the high number of neurons and the need to maintain a delicate interplay between energy metabolism, neurotransmission, and plasticity. Disturbances to the energetic balance, to mitochondria quality control or to glia-neuron metabolic interaction may lead to brain circuit malfunction or even severe disorders of the CNS. We cover neuronal energy consumption in neural transmission and basic ('housekeeping') cellular processes. Additionally, we describe the most common (glucose) and alternative sources of energy namely glutamate, lactate, ketone bodies, and medium chain fatty acids. We discuss the multifaceted role of non-neuronal cells in the transport of energy substrates from circulation (pericytes and astrocytes) and in the supply (astrocytes and microglia) and usage of different energy fuels. Finally, we address pathological consequences of disrupted energy homeostasis in the CNS.
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been reported to enhance dopaminergic neuron survival and differentiation in vitro and in vivo, although those results are still being debated. gdnf is highly conserved in zebrafish and plays a role in enteric nervous system function. However, little is known about gdnf function in the teleost brain. Here, we employed CRISPR/Cas9 to impede gdnf function in the maintenance of dopaminergic neuron development. Genotyping of gdnf crispants revealed successful deletions of the coding region with various mutant band sizes and down-regulation of gdnf transcripts at 1, 3 and 7 day(s) post fertilization. Notably, ~20% reduction in ventral diencephalic (vDC) dopaminergic neuron numbers in clusters 8 and 13 was observed in the gdnf-deficient crispants. In addition, gdnf depletion caused a modest reduction in dopaminergic neurogenesis as determined by EdU pulse chase assay. These deleterious effects could be partly attributed to deregulation of dopaminergic neuron fate specification-related transcription factors (otp, lmx1b, shha, and ngn1) in both crispants and established homozygous mutants with whole mount in-situ hybridization (WISH) on gdnf mutants showing reduced otpb and lmx1b.1 expression in the vDC. Interestingly, locomotor function of crispants was only impacted at 7 dpf, but not earlier. Lastly, as expected, gdnf deficiency heightened crispants vulnerability to MPP+ toxic insult. Our results suggest conservation of teleost gdnf brain function with mammals and revealed the interactions between gdnf and transcription factors in dopaminergic neuron differentiation.