ResearchPad - neurotransmitters Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Monitoring of cardiovascular physiology augmented by a patient-specific biomechanical model during general anesthesia. A proof of concept study]]> During general anesthesia (GA), direct analysis of arterial pressure or aortic flow waveforms may be inconclusive in complex situations. Patient-specific biomechanical models, based on data obtained during GA and capable to perform fast simulations of cardiac cycles, have the potential to augment hemodynamic monitoring. Such models allow to simulate Pressure-Volume (PV) loops and estimate functional indicators of cardiovascular (CV) system, e.g. ventricular-arterial coupling (Vva), cardiac efficiency (CE) or myocardial contractility, evolving throughout GA. In this prospective observational study, we created patient-specific biomechanical models of heart and vasculature of a reduced geometric complexity for n = 45 patients undergoing GA, while using transthoracic echocardiography and aortic pressure and flow signals acquired in the beginning of GA (baseline condition). If intraoperative hypotension (IOH) appeared, diluted norepinephrine (NOR) was administered and the model readjusted according to the measured aortic pressure and flow signals. Such patients were a posteriori assigned into a so-called hypotensive group. The accuracy of simulated mean aortic pressure (MAP) and stroke volume (SV) at baseline were in accordance with the guidelines for the validation of new devices or reference measurement methods in all patients. After NOR administration in the hypotensive group, the percentage of concordance with 10% exclusion zone between measurement and simulation was >95% for both MAP and SV. The modeling results showed a decreased Vva (0.64±0.37 vs 0.88±0.43; p = 0.039) and an increased CE (0.8±0.1 vs 0.73±0.11; p = 0.042) in hypotensive vs normotensive patients. Furthermore, Vva increased by 92±101%, CE decreased by 13±11% (p < 0.001 for both) and contractility increased by 14±11% (p = 0.002) in the hypotensive group post-NOR administration. In this work we demonstrated the application of fast-running patient-specific biophysical models to estimate PV loops and functional indicators of CV system using clinical data available during GA. The work paves the way for model-augmented hemodynamic monitoring at operating theatres or intensive care units to enhance the information on patient-specific physiology.

<![CDATA[Disruption of genes associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 lead to common behavioural, cellular and molecular defects in Caenorhabditis elegans]]>

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited peripheral motor and sensory neuropathy. The disease is divided into demyelinating (CMT1) and axonal (CMT2) neuropathies, and although we have gained molecular information into the details of CMT1 pathology, much less is known about CMT2. Due to its clinical and genetic heterogeneity, coupled with a lack of animal models, common underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In order to gain an understanding of the normal function of genes associated with CMT2, and to draw direct comparisons between them, we have studied the behavioural, cellular and molecular consequences of mutating nine different genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (lin-41/TRIM2, dyn-1/DNM2, unc-116/KIF5A, fzo-1/MFN2, osm-9/TRPV4, cua-1/ATP7A, hsp-25/HSPB1, hint-1/HINT1, nep-2/MME). We show that C. elegans defective for these genes display debilitated movement in crawling and swimming assays. Severe morphological defects in cholinergic motors neurons are also evident in two of the mutants (dyn-1 and unc-116). Furthermore, we establish methods for quantifying muscle morphology and use these to demonstrate that loss of muscle structure occurs in the majority of mutants studied. Finally, using electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) activity, we uncover reductions in spontaneous postsynaptic current frequency in lin-41, dyn-1, unc-116 and fzo-1 mutants. By comparing the consequences of mutating numerous CMT2-related genes, this study reveals common deficits in muscle structure and function, as well as NMJ signalling when these genes are disrupted.

<![CDATA[Bilateral Parkinson’s disease model rats exhibit hyperalgesia to subcutaneous formalin administration into the vibrissa pad]]>

We bilaterally injected 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the medial forebrain bundle of rats and developed bilateral Parkinson’s disease (PD) model rats in order to experimentally investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the alteration of nociception in the orofacial region of patients with PD. We explored the effects of dopamine depletion on nociception by investigating behavioral responses (face rubbing) triggered by subcutaneous administration of formalin into the vibrissa pad. We also assessed the number of c-Fos–immunoreactive (c-Fos-IR) cells in the superficial layers of the trigeminal spinal subnucleus caudalis (Vc). Subcutaneous formalin administration evoked a two-phase increase in face rubbing. We observed the first increase 0–5 min after formalin administration (first phase) and the second increase 10–60 min after administration (second phase). The number of face rubbing behaviors of 6OHDA–injected rats did not significantly change compared with saline–injected rats in both phases. Significant increase of c-Fos-IR cells in the Vc was found in 6-OHDA–injected rats after formalin administration compared with those in saline–injected rats after formalin administration. We also assessed expression of c-Fos-IR cells in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and significant decrease of c-Fos-IR cells in the PVN of 6-OHDA–injected rats was found. Taken together, these findings suggest that bilateral dopaminergic denervation evoked by 6-OHDA administration causes hyperalgesia in the trigeminal region and the PVN may be involved in the hyperalgesia.

<![CDATA[Microglia exit the CNS in spinal root avulsion]]>

Microglia are central nervous system (CNS)-resident cells. Their ability to migrate outside of the CNS, however, is not understood. Using time-lapse imaging in an obstetrical brachial plexus injury (OBPI) model, we show that microglia squeeze through the spinal boundary and emigrate to peripheral spinal roots. Although both macrophages and microglia respond, microglia are the debris-clearing cell. Once outside the CNS, microglia re-enter the spinal cord in an altered state. These peripheral nervous system (PNS)-experienced microglia can travel to distal CNS areas from the injury site, including the brain, with debris. This emigration is balanced by two mechanisms—induced emigration via N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA) dependence and restriction via contact-dependent cellular repulsion with macrophages. These discoveries open the possibility that microglia can migrate outside of their textbook-defined regions in disease states.

<![CDATA[Association between sublingual microcirculation, tissue perfusion and organ failure in major trauma: A subgroup analysis of a prospective observational study]]>


Previous studies described impaired microvascular perfusion and tissue oxygenation as reliable predictors of Multiple Organ Failure in major trauma. However, this relationship has been incompletely investigated. The objective of this analysis is to further evaluate the association between organ dysfunction and microcirculation after trauma.

Materials and methods

This is a retrospective subgroup analysis on 28 trauma patients enrolled for the Microcirculation DAIly MONitoring in critically ill patients study (NCT 02649088). Patients were divided in two groups according with their Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score at day 4. At admission and every 24 hours, the sublingual microcirculation was evaluated with Sidestream Darkfield Imaging (SDF) and peripheral tissue perfusion was assessed with Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Vascular Occlusion Test (VOT). Simultaneously, hemodynamic, clinical/laboratory parameters and main organ supports were collected.


Median SOFA score at Day 4 was 6.5. Accordingly, patients were divided in two groups: D4-SOFA ≤6.5 and D4-SOFA >6.5. The Length of Stay in Intensive Care was significantly higher in patients with D4-SOFA>6.5 compared to D4-SOFA≤6.5 (p = 0.013). Total Vessel Density of small vessels was significantly lower in patients with high D4-SOFA score at Day 1 (p = 0.002) and Day 2 (p = 0.006) after admission; the Perfused Vessel Density was lower in patients with high D4-SOFA score at Day 1 (p = 0.007) and Day 2 (p = 0.033). At Day 1, NIRS monitoring with VOT showed significantly faster tissue oxygen saturation downslope (p = 0.018) and slower upslope (p = 0.04) in patients with high D4-SOFA.


In our cohort of major traumas, sublingual microcirculation and peripheral microvascular reactivity were significantly more impaired early after trauma in those patients who developed more severe organ dysfunctions. Our data would support the hypothesis that restoration of macrocirculation can be dissociated from restoration of peripheral and tissue perfusion, and that microvascular alterations can be associated with organ failure.

<![CDATA[Increased arterial pressure in mice with overexpression of the ADHD candidate gene calcyon in forebrain]]>

The link between blood pressure (BP) and cerebral function is well established. However, it is not clear whether a common mechanism could underlie the relationship between elevated BP and cognitive deficits. The expression of calcyon, a gene abundant in catecholaminergic and hypothalamic nuclei along with other forebrain regions, is increased in the brain of the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) which is a widely accepted animal model of essential hypertension and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous studies demonstrated that mice with up-regulation of calcyon in forebrain (CalOE) exhibit deficits in working memory. To date, there is no evidence directly connecting calcyon to BP regulation. Here, we investigated whether forebrain up-regulation of calcyon alters BP using radiotelemetry. We found that CalOE mice exhibited higher mean arterial pressure (MAP) compared to tTA controls. Plasma norepinephrine levels were significantly higher in CalOE mice compared to tTA controls. Silencing the transgene with doxycycline normalized BP in CalOE mice, whereas challenging the mice with 4% high salt diet for 12 days exacerbated the MAP differences between CalOE and tTA mice. High salt diet challenge also increased proteinuria and urinary thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) in tTA and CalOE; and the increases were more prominent in CalOE mice. Taken together, our data suggest that upregulation of calcyon in forebrain could increase BP via alterations in noradrenergic transmission and increased oxidative stress during high salt challenge. Overall, this study reveals that calcyon could be a novel neural regulator of BP raising the possibility that it could play a role in the development of vascular abnormalities.

<![CDATA[Fat cells gobbling up norepinephrine?]]>

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls key aspects of adipose tissue (AT) function through the release of norepinephrine (NE) and beta adrenergic signaling. Sympathetic tone is determined by NE release but also by the rate of extracellular NE clearance that historically has been believed to occur solely through solute carrier family 6 member 2 (SLC6A2) expressed on sympathetic neurons. Song and colleagues show that adipocytes can also clear NE through organic cation transporter 3 (Oct3). This contributes to our understanding of how adrenergic signaling is controlled in AT and also emphasizes the need to develop better methods to assess adrenergic signaling in vivo.

<![CDATA[The ovine hepatic mitochondrial proteome: Understanding seasonal weight loss tolerance in two distinct breeds]]>

Seasonal weight loss (SWL) is a primary constraint for farmers in the Mediterranean and tropics. One cost-effective solution to SWL is utilizing breeds like the Damara sheep that have adapted to deal with nutritional stress. Previous studies concluded that one of the adaptation mechanisms of SWL is a specialized fatty acid metabolism. Accordingly, hepatic-mitochondrial proteomes were compared across two different breeds (24 sheep total, Merino, n = 12 and Damara, n = 12) and two different diets (restricted vs unrestricted diet, 6 per breed, per diet, 24 total). Mitochondrial-proteins were isolated and relatively quantified using Blue native PAGE / 2D-electrophoresis and then analyzed via mass spectrometry. The tool ReviGO summarized the proteomes’ gene-ontology terms. A total of 50 proteins were identified with 7 changing significantly in abundance (ANOVA p-value<0.05). Specific abundance patterns of corticosteroid and inflammatory response-associated proteins such as annexin and glutamate dehydrogenase suggests that the Damara has an unusual inflammation response when subjected to SWL in addition to its unique metabolism. All significant proteins warrant further study; Annexin in particular shows promise as a potentially useful biomarker.

<![CDATA[Impulsivity across reactive, proactive and cognitive domains in Parkinson's disease on dopaminergic medication: Evidence for multiple domain impairment]]>

Impulse control disorders (ICD) may occur in Parkinson’s disease (PD) although it remains to be understood if such deficits may occur even in the absence of a formal ICD diagnosis. Moreover, studies addressing simultaneously distinct neurobehavioral domains, such as cognitive, proactive and reactive motor impulsivity, are still lacking. Here, we aimed to investigate if reactive, proactive and cognitive impulsivity involving risk taking are concomitantly affected in medicated PD patients, and whether deficits were dependent on response strategies, such as speed accuracy tradeoffs, or the proportion of omission vs. commission errors. We assessed three different impulsivity domains in a sample of 21 PD patients and 13 matched controls. We found impaired impulsivity in both reactive (p = 0.042) and cognitive domains (p = 0.015) for the PD patients, irrespective of response strategy. For the latter, effect sizes were larger for the actions related with reward processing (p = 0.017, dCohen = 0.9). In the proactive impulsivity task, PD patients showed significantly increased number of omissions (p = 0.041), a response strategy which was associated with preserved number of commission errors. Moreover, the number of premature and proactive response errors were correlated with disease stage. Our findings suggest that PD ON medication is characterized compared to healthy controls by impairment across several impulsivity domains, which is moderated in the proactive domain by the response strategy.

<![CDATA[Inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels mediate salivary gland function and blood feeding in the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum]]>


Tick feeding causes extreme morbidity and mortality to humans through transmission of pathogens and causes severe economic losses to the agricultural industry by reducing livestock yield. Salivary gland secretions are essential for tick feeding and thus, reducing or preventing saliva secretions into the vertebrate host is likely to reduce feeding and hinder pathogen life cycles. Unfortunately, the membrane physiology of tick salivary glands is underexplored and this gap in knowledge limits the development of novel therapeutics for inducing cessation of tick feeding.


We studied the influence of inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channel subtypes to the functional capacity of the isolated tick salivary gland through the use of a modified Ramsay assay. The secreted saliva was subsequently used for quantification of the elemental composition of the secreted saliva after the glands were exposed to K+ channel modulators as a measure of osmoregulatory capacity. Lastly, changes to blood feeding behavior and mortality were measured with the use of a membrane feeding system.

Principal findings

In this study, we characterized the fundamental role of Kir channel subtypes in tick salivary gland function and provide evidence that pharmacological inhibition of these ion channels reduces the secretory activity of the Amblyomma americanum salivary gland. The reduced secretory capacity of the salivary gland was directly correlated with a dramatic reduction of blood ingestion during feeding. Further, exposure to small-molecule modulators of Kir channel subtypes induced mortality to ticks that is likely resultant from an altered osmoregulatory capacity.


Our data contribute to understanding of tick salivary gland function and could guide future campaigns aiming to develop chemical or reverse vaccinology technologies to reduce the worldwide burden of tick feeding and tick-vectored pathogens.

<![CDATA[Metabolomic profiling reveals correlations between spermiogram parameters and the metabolites present in human spermatozoa and seminal plasma]]>

In 50% of all infertility cases, the male is subfertile or infertile, however, the underlying mechanisms are often unknown. Even when assisted reproductive procedures such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are performed, the causes of male factor infertility frequently remain elusive. Since the overall activity of cells is closely linked to their metabolic capacity, we analyzed a panel of 180 metabolites in human sperm and seminal plasma and elucidated their associations with spermiogram parameters. Therefore, metabolites from a group of 20 healthy donors were investigated using a targeted LC-MS/MS approach. The correlation analyses of the amino acids, biogenic amines, acylcarnitines, lysophosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins and sugars from sperm and seminal plasma with standard spermiogram parameters revealed that metabolites in sperm are closely related to sperm motility, whereas those in seminal plasma are closely related to sperm concentration and morphology. This study provides essential insights into the metabolome of human sperm and seminal plasma and its associations with sperm functions. This metabolomics technique could be a promising screening tool to detect the factors of male infertility in cases where the cause of infertility is unclear.

<![CDATA[GluClR-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents reveal targets for ivermectin and potential mechanisms of ivermectin resistance]]>

Glutamate-gated chloride channel receptors (GluClRs) mediate inhibitory neurotransmission at invertebrate synapses and are primary targets of parasites that impact drastically on agriculture and human health. Ivermectin (IVM) is a broad-spectrum pesticide that binds and potentiates GluClR activity. Resistance to IVM is a major economic and health concern, but the molecular and synaptic mechanisms of resistance are ill-defined. Here we focus on GluClRs of the agricultural endoparasite, Haemonchus contortus. We demonstrate that IVM potentiates inhibitory input by inducing a tonic current that plateaus over 15 minutes and by enhancing post-synaptic current peak amplitude and decay times. We further demonstrate that IVM greatly enhances the active durations of single receptors. These effects are greatly attenuated when endogenous IVM-insensitive subunits are incorporated into GluClRs, suggesting a mechanism of IVM resistance that does not affect glutamate sensitivity. We discovered functional groups of IVM that contribute to tuning its potency at different isoforms and show that the dominant mode of access of IVM is via the cell membrane to the receptor.

<![CDATA[Retraction: The Cellular Distribution of Serotonin Transporter Is Impeded on Serotonin-Altered Vimentin Network]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Serotonin and neuropeptides are both released by the HSN command neuron to initiate Caenorhabditis elegans egg laying]]>

Neurons typically release both a small-molecule neurotransmitter and one or more neuropeptides, but how these two types of signal from the same neuron might act together remains largely obscure. For example, serotonergic neurons in mammalian brain express the neuropeptide Substance P, but it is unclear how this co-released neuropeptide might modulate serotonin signaling. We studied this issue in C. elegans, in which all serotonergic neurons express the neuropeptide NLP-3. The serotonergic Hermaphrodite Specific Neurons (HSNs) are command motor neurons within the egg-laying circuit which have been shown to release serotonin to initiate egg-laying behavior. We found that egg-laying defects in animals lacking serotonin were far milder than in animals lacking HSNs, suggesting that HSNs must release other signal(s) in addition to serotonin to stimulate egg laying. While null mutants for nlp-3 had only mild egg-laying defects, animals lacking both serotonin and NLP-3 had severe defects, similar to those of animals lacking HSNs. Optogenetic activation of HSNs induced egg laying in wild-type animals, and in mutant animals lacking either serotonin or NLP-3, but failed to induce egg laying in animals lacking both. We recorded calcium activity in the egg-laying muscles of animals lacking either serotonin, NLP-3, or both. The single mutants, and to a greater extent the double mutant, showed muscle activity that was uncoordinated and unable to expel eggs. Specifically, the vm2 muscles cells, which are direct postsynaptic targets of the HSN, failed to contract simultaneously with other egg-laying muscle cells. Our results show that the HSN neurons use serotonin and the neuropeptide NLP-3 as partially redundant co-transmitters that together stimulate and coordinate activity of the target cells onto which they are released.

<![CDATA[Kami-shoyo-san improves ASD-like behaviors caused by decreasing allopregnanolone biosynthesis in an SKF mouse model of autism]]>

Dysfunctions in the GABAergic system are associated with the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the mechanisms by which GABAergic system dysfunctions induce the pathophysiology of ASD remain unclear. We previously demonstrated that a selective type I 5α-reductase inhibitor SKF105111 (SKF) induced ASD-like behaviors, such as impaired sociability-related performance and repetitive grooming behaviors, in male mice. Moreover, the effects of SKF were caused by a decrease in the endogenous levels of allopregnanolone (ALLO), a positive allosteric modulator of the GABAA receptor. In this study, we used SKF-treated male mice as a putative animal model of ASD and examined the effects of Kami-shoyo-san (KSS) as an experimental therapeutic strategy for ASD. KSS is a traditional Kampo formula consisting of 10 different crude drugs and has been used for the treatment of neuropsychiatric symptoms. KSS dose-dependently attenuated sociability deficits and suppressed an increase in grooming behaviors in SKF-treated mice without affecting ALLO content in the prefrontal cortex. The systemic administration of the dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390 reversed the ameliorative effects of KSS. On the other hand, the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride and GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline only attenuated the ameliorative effect of KSS on repetitive self-grooming behaviors. The present results indicate that KSS improves SKF-induced ASD-like behaviors by facilitating dopamine receptor-mediated mechanisms and partly by neurosteroid-independent GABAA receptor-mediated neurotransmission. Therefore, KSS is a potential candidate for the treatment of ASD.

<![CDATA[Short-term synaptic depression can increase the rate of information transfer at a release site]]>

The release of neurotransmitters from synapses obeys complex and stochastic dynamics. Depending on the recent history of synaptic activation, many synapses depress the probability of releasing more neurotransmitter, which is known as synaptic depression. Our understanding of how synaptic depression affects the information efficacy, however, is limited. Here we propose a mathematically tractable model of both synchronous spike-evoked release and asynchronous release that permits us to quantify the information conveyed by a synapse. The model transits between discrete states of a communication channel, with the present state depending on many past time steps, emulating the gradual depression and exponential recovery of the synapse. Asynchronous and spontaneous releases play a critical role in shaping the information efficacy of the synapse. We prove that depression can enhance both the information rate and the information rate per unit energy expended, provided that synchronous spike-evoked release depresses less (or recovers faster) than asynchronous release. Furthermore, we explore the theoretical implications of short-term synaptic depression adapting on longer time scales, as part of the phenomenon of metaplasticity. In particular, we show that a synapse can adjust its energy expenditure by changing the dynamics of short-term synaptic depression without affecting the net information conveyed by each successful release. Moreover, the optimal input spike rate is independent of the amplitude or time constant of synaptic depression. We analyze the information efficacy of three types of synapses for which the short-term dynamics of both synchronous and asynchronous release have been experimentally measured. In hippocampal autaptic synapses, the persistence of asynchronous release during depression cannot compensate for the reduction of synchronous release, so that the rate of information transmission declines with synaptic depression. In the calyx of Held, the information rate per release remains constant despite large variations in the measured asynchronous release rate. Lastly, we show that dopamine, by controlling asynchronous release in corticostriatal synapses, increases the synaptic information efficacy in nucleus accumbens.

<![CDATA[Sex differences in aggression: Differential roles of 5-HT2, neuropeptide F and tachykinin]]>

Despite the conserved function of aggression across taxa in obtaining critical resources such as food and mates, serotonin’s (5-HT) modulatory role on aggressive behavior appears to be largely inhibitory for vertebrates but stimulatory for invertebrates. However, critical gaps exist in our knowledge of invertebrates that need to be addressed before definitively stating opposing roles for 5-HT and aggression. Specifically, the role of 5-HT receptor subtypes are largely unknown, as is the potential interactive role of 5-HT with other neurochemical systems known to play a critical role in aggression. Similarly, the influence of these systems in driving sex differences in aggressive behavior of invertebrates is not well understood. Here, we investigated these questions by employing complementary approaches in a novel invertebrate model of aggression, the stalk-eyed fly. A combination of altered social conditions, pharmacological manipulation and 5-HT2 receptor knockdown by siRNA revealed an inhibitory role of this receptor subtype on aggression. Additionally, we provide evidence for 5-HT2’s involvement in regulating neuropeptide F activity, a suspected inhibitor of aggression. However, this function appears to be stage-specific, altering only the initiation stage of aggressive conflicts. Alternatively, pharmacologically increasing systemic concentrations of 5-HT significantly elevated the expression of the neuropeptide tachykinin, which did not affect contest initiation but instead promoted escalation via production of high intensity aggressive behaviors. Notably, these effects were limited solely to males, with female aggression and neuropeptide expression remaining unaltered by any manipulation that affected 5-HT. Together, these results demonstrate a more nuanced role for 5-HT in modulating aggression in invertebrates, revealing an important interactive role with neuropeptides that is more reminiscent of vertebrates. The sex-differences described here also provide valuable insight into the evolutionary contexts of this complex behavior.

<![CDATA[Dissecting the roles of β-arrestin2 and GSK-3 signaling in 5-HT1BR-mediated perseverative behavior and prepulse inhibition deficits in mice]]>

Serotonin-1B receptors (5-HT1BRs) modulate perseverative behaviors and prepulse inhibition (PPI) in humans and mice. These inhibitory G-protein-coupled receptors signal through a canonical G-protein-coupled pathway that is modulated by GSK-3β, and a noncanonical pathway mediated by the adaptor protein β-arrestin2 (Arrb2). Given the development of biased ligands that differentially affect canonical versus noncanonical signaling, we examined which signaling pathway mediates 5-HT1BR agonist-induced locomotor perseveration and PPI deficits, behavioral phenotypes observed in both obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To assess the role of canonical 5-HT1BR signaling, mice received acute pretreatment with a GSK-3 inhibitor (SB216763 or AR-A014418) and acute treatment with the 5-HT1A/1B receptor agonist RU24969 prior to assessing perseverative locomotor behavior in the open field, and PPI. To determine the role of noncanonical 5-HT1BR signaling, Arrb2 wild-type (WT), heterozygous (HT), and knockout (KO) mice received acute RU24969 treatment prior to behavioral testing. GSK-3 inhibition increased locomotor perseveration overall, and also failed to influence the RU24969-induced perseverative locomotor pattern in the open field. Yet, GSK-3 inhibition modestly reduced RU24969-induced PPI deficits. On the other hand, Arrb2 HT and KO mice showed reduced locomotion and no changes in perseveration overall, in addition to modest reductions in RU24969-induced locomotion and PPI deficits. In conclusion, our data do not support use of either GSK-3 inhibitors or β-arrestin2 inhibition in treatment of perseverative behaviors.

<![CDATA[Reproducibility and validity of a novel invasive method of assessing peripheral microvascular vasomotor function]]>

In healthy arteries, blood flow is regulated by microvascular tone assessed by changes in blood flow volume and vascular resistance to endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilators. We developed a novel method of using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and a Doppler flow wire to measure changes in blood flow volume and vascular resistance of the profunda arterial bed. We assessed the variability over 6 months in measuring microvascular endothelium-dependent dilation to acetylcholine and endothelium-independent dilation to adenosine in 20 subjects who were part of a larger study of Gulf War Illness without obstructive peripheral artery disease. Vasomotor function was assessed by Infusions of control (dextrose), acetylcholine (10-6M), adenosine (50μg), and nitroglycerin (25μg/ml). 400 IVUS and 240 flow velocity images were measured a mean 6 (SD = 2) months apart blind to measurement and infusion stage. The mean (SD) baseline profunda flow was 227 (172) ml/min and vascular resistance 4.6 x 104 (2.4 x 104) dynes-s/cm5. The intraclass correlation coefficients for 6-month variability for vascular function were excellent (range 0.827–0.995). Bland-Altman analyses showed mean differences of less than 2% for microvascular endothelium-dependent function (flow volume and resistance) and less than 1% for macrovascular endothelium-dependent function with acceptable limits of agreement. In 49 subjects assessing concurrent validity of the technique against atherosclerosis risk factors, we observed greater impairment in microvascular endothelium-dependent function per year of age (flow volume = -1.4% (p = 0.018), vascular resistance = 1.5% (p = 0.015)) and current smoking (flow volume = -36.7% (p = .006), vascular resistance = 50.0% (p<0.001)). This novel method of assessing microvascular vasomotor function had acceptable measurement reproducibility and validity.

<![CDATA[AMPA receptor antagonist perampanel affects glioblastoma cell growth and glutamate release in vitro]]>

Epileptic seizures are frequent in patients with glioblastoma, and anticonvulsive treatment is often necessary. While clinical guidelines recommend all approved anticonvulsants, so far it is still unclear which of the available drugs is the best therapeutic option for treating glioma-associated seizures, also in view of possible anti-tumorigenic effects. In our study, we employed four patient-derived low-passage cell lines of glioblastoma and three cell lines of brain metastases, and challenged these cultures with four anticonvulsants with different mechanisms of action: levetiracetam, valproic acid, carbamazepine and perampanel. Cell proliferation was determined by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. To further analyze the effects of perampanel, apoptosis induction was measured by caspase 3/7 activation. Glutamate release was quantified and glucose uptake was determined using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was employed to assess the expression of genes associated with glutamate release and uptake in brain tumor cells. Of the four anticonvulsants, only perampanel showed systematic inhibitory effects on cell proliferation, whereas all other anticonvulsants failed to inhibit glioma and metastasis cell growth in vitro. Metastasis cells were much more resistant to perampanel than glioblastoma cell lines. Glucose uptake was attenuated in all glioblastoma cells after perampanel exposure, whereas cell death via apoptosis was not induced. Extracellular glutamate levels were found to be significantly higher in glioblastoma cell lines as compared to metastasis cell lines, but could be reduced by perampanel exposure. Incubation with perampanel up-regulated glutamine synthetase expression in glioblastoma cells, whereas treatment with valproic acid and levetiracetam downregulated excitatory amino acid transporter-2 expression. Overall, our data suggest that perampanel acts as an anticonvulsive drug and additionally mediated anti-tumorigenic effects.