Search result for : author:gary j stephens

Total 8 result(s) found

CACHD1 is an α2δ-like protein that modulates Ca3 voltage-gated calcium channel activity.

The putative cache (Ca channel and chemotaxis receptor) domain containing 1 (CACHD1) protein has predicted structural similarities to members of the α2δ voltage-gated Ca channel (VGCC) auxiliary subunit family. CACHD1 mRNA and protein were highly expressed in the male mammalian CNS, in particular in the thalamus, hippocampus and cerebellum, with a broadly similar tissue distribution to Ca3 subunits, in particular, Ca3.1. In expression studies, CACHD1 increased cell-surface localization of Ca3.1 and these proteins were in close proximity at the cell surface consistent with the formation of CACHD1-Ca3.1 complexes. In functional electrophysiological studies, co-expression of human CACHD1 with Ca3.1, Ca3.2 and Ca3.3 caused a significant increase in peak current density and corresponding increases in maximal conductance. By contrast, α2δ-1 had no effect on peak current density or maximal conductance in either Ca3.1, Ca3.2 or Ca3.3. Comparison of CACHD1-mediated increases in Ca3.1 current density and gating currents revealed an increase in channel open probability. In hippocampal neurons from male and female E19 rats, CACHD1 overexpression increased Ca3-mediated action potential (AP) firing frequency and neuronal excitability. These data suggest that CACHD1 is structurally an α2δ-like protein that functionally modulates Ca3 voltage-gated calcium channel activity.This is the first study to characterise the CACHD1 protein. CACHD1 is widely expressed in the CNS, in particular in the thalamus, hippocampus and cerebellum. CACHD1 distribution is similar to that of low-voltage-activated (Ca3, T-type) calcium channels, in particular to Ca3.1, a protein which regulates neuronal excitability and is a potential therapeutic target in conditions such as epilepsy and pain. CACHD1 is structurally a α2δ-like protein that functionally increases Ca3 calcium current. CACHD1 increases the presence of Ca3.1 at the cell surface, forms complexes with Ca3.1 at the cell-surface and causes an increase in channel open probability. In hippocampal neurons, CACHD1 causes increases in neuronal firing. Thus, CACHD1 represents a novel protein that modulates Ca3 activity.

Graeme S Cottrell, Camille H Soubrane, James A Hounshell, Hong Lin, Venetia Owenson, Michael Rigby, Peter J Cox, Bryan S Barker, Matteo Ottolini, Selvi Ince, Claudia C Bauer, Edward Perez-Reyes, Manoj K Patel, Edward B Stevens, Gary J Stephens

G-protein-coupled-receptor-mediated presynaptic inhibition in the cerebellum.

Throughout the central nervous system a dominant form of inhibition of neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals is mediated by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Neurotransmitter release is typically induced by action potentials (APs), but can also occur spontaneously. Presynaptic inhibition by GPCRs has been associated with modulation of voltage-dependent ion channels. However, electrophysiological recordings of spontaneous, AP-independent (so-called 'miniature') postsynaptic events reveal an additional, important form of GPCR-mediated presynaptic inhibition, distinct from effects on ionic conductances and consistent with a direct action on the vesicle release machinery. Recent studies suggest that such miniature events might be of physiological relevance not only in signalling but also in development. In the cerebellum, neurotransmitter release onto Purkinje cells occurs by AP-dependent and AP-independent pathways. Here, I focus on inhibitory synapses between interneurons and Purkinje cells, which are subject to strong, identifiable regulation by endogenous GPCR agonists, to consider mechanisms of GPCR-mediated presynaptic inhibition.

Gary J Stephens

Evidence that GABA rho subunits contribute to functional ionotropic GABA receptors in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells.

Ionotropic gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) receptors composed of heterogeneous molecular subunits are major mediators of inhibitory responses in the adult CNS. Here, we describe a novel ionotropic GABA receptor in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) using agents reported to have increased affinity for rho subunit-containing GABA(C) over other GABA receptors. Exogenous application of the GABA(C)-preferring agonist cis-4-aminocrotonic acid (CACA) evoked whole-cell currents in PCs, whilst equimolar concentrations of GABA evoked larger currents. CACA-evoked currents had a greater sensitivity to the selective GABA(C) antagonist (1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA) than GABA-evoked currents. Focal application of agonists produced a differential response profile; CACA-evoked currents displayed a much more pronounced attenuation with increasing distance from the PC soma, displayed a slower time-to-peak and exhibited less desensitization than GABA-evoked currents. However, CACA-evoked currents were also completely blocked by bicuculline, a selective agent for GABA(A) receptors. Thus, we describe a population of ionotropic GABA receptors with a mixed GABA(A)/GABA(C) pharmacology. TPMPA reduced inhibitory synaptic transmission at interneurone-Purkinje cell (IN-PC) synapses, causing clear reductions in miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current (mIPSC) amplitude and frequency. Combined application of NO-711 (a selective GABA transporter subtype 1 (GAT-1) antagonist) and SNAP-5114 (a GAT-(2)/3/4 antagonist) induced a tonic GABA conductance in PCs; however, TPMPA had no effect on this current. Immunohistochemical studies suggest that rho subunits are expressed predominantly in PC soma and proximal dendritic compartments with a lower level of expression in more distal dendrites; this selective immunoreactivity contrasted with a more uniform distribution of GABA(A) alpha1 subunits in PCs. Finally, co-immunoprecipitation studies suggest that rho subunits can form complexes with GABA(A) receptor alpha1 subunits in the cerebellar cortex. Overall, these data suggest that rho subunits contribute to functional ionotropic receptors that mediate a component of phasic inhibitory GABAergic transmission at IN-PC synapses in the cerebellum.

Victoria L Harvey, Ian C Duguid, Cornelius Krasel, Gary J Stephens

Mechanism of GABA receptor-mediated inhibition of spontaneous GABA release onto cerebellar Purkinje cells.

gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)(B) receptor-mediated modulation of spontaneous GABA release onto Purkinje cells was investigated in cerebellar slices from 3- to 5-week-old mice. The GABA(B) receptor agonists baclofen and CGP 44533 each reduced the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), with no significant effect on mIPSC amplitude; together, consistent with a presynaptic site of action. The GABA(B) receptor antagonist CGP 55845 blocked baclofen-induced inhibition. The sulphydryl alkylating agent N-ethylmaleimide occluded baclofen effects, implicating G(i/o) subunits in mediating a GABA(B) G protein-coupled receptor pathway. Baclofen-induced inhibition persisted in the presence of Ba(2+), a blocker of K(+) channels, and Cd(2+), a blocker of Ca(2+) channel-mediated GABA release. Application of nominally Ca(2+)-free extracellular solutions reduced mIPSC frequency and amplitude; however, baclofen produced a significant inhibition in mIPSC frequency, further suggesting that this pathway was independent of Ca(2+) influx. Spontaneous GABA release was increased by the adenylate cyclase activator, forskolin, and the phorbol ester, phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate. However, baclofen-induced inhibition was not significantly changed in either condition. Baclofen action was also not affected by the adenylate cyclase inhibitor SQ 22536 or the protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine chloride. Baclofen still reduced mIPSC frequency in the presence of the polyvalent cation ruthenium red, which acts as a secretagogue here; however, baclofen-induced inhibition was reduced significantly. Furthermore, baclofen produced no clear inhibition during high-frequency mIPSCs bursts induced by the potent secretagogue alpha-Latrotoxin. Together, these results suggest that GABA(B) inhibition occurs downstream of Ca(2+) influx and may be mediated, in part, by an inhibition of the vesicular release mechanism.

Victoria L Harvey, Gary J Stephens

Presynaptic internal Ca2+ stores contribute to inhibitory neurotransmitter release onto mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells.

1. Miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) were recorded in mouse Purkinje cells in the presence of 1 micro M tetrodotoxin (TTX). Under these conditions, which eliminated Ca(2+) influx through voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (VDCCs), the contribution of Ca(2+) stores to spontaneous GABA release was examined. 2. The plant alkaloid ryanodine acts as an inhibitor of endoplasmic reticulum ryanodine-sensitive Ca(2+) release channels (ryanodine receptors) at low micromolar concentrations. Ryanodine effects were confined to a subpopulation of cells tested. At 10 micro M ryanodine, 4/12 cells showed a significant increase in mean mIPSC frequency of +19.6+/-4.0% (n=4). 3. The sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA) pump inhibitor cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) produced a more robust effect. In 8/10 cells, 25 micro M CPA caused a significant increase in mean mIPSC frequency; the mean increase being +26.0+/-3.0% (n=8). Similar results were seen with thapsigargin (1-2 micro M), another SERCA pump inhibitor. 4. Ruthenium red (RuR) has been proposed to either act directly on the release machinery or block Ca(2+) pumps on internal stores. At 10 micro M RuR, all cells showed a rapid, large increase in mean mIPSC frequency of +90.4+/-16.4% (n=9). This increase was greater than that seen by agents known to modulate Ca(2+) stores and was more consistent with a direct action. At this concentration, RuR also occluded the effects of CPA. 5. For all reagents, there were no obvious effects on mean mIPSC amplitude. However, the effects on mIPSC frequency were consistent with a presynaptic action and indicate that Ca(2+) stores may contribute to spontaneous GABA release onto mouse Purkinje cells.

Scott Bardo, Brian Robertson, Gary J Stephens

Cannabinoids and Tremor Induced by Motor-related Disorders: Friend or Foe?

Tremor arises from an involuntary, rhythmic muscle contraction/relaxation cycle and is a common disabling symptom of many motor-related diseases such as Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington disease, and forms of ataxia. In the wake of anecdotal, largely uncontrolled, observations claiming the amelioration of some symptoms among cannabis smokers, and the high density of cannabinoid receptors in the areas responsible for motor function, including basal ganglia and cerebellum, many researchers have pursued the question of whether cannabinoid-based compounds could be used therapeutically to alleviate tremor associated with central nervous system diseases. In this review, we focus on possible effects of cannabinoid-based medicines, in particular on Parkinsonian and multiple sclerosis-related tremors and the common probable molecular mechanisms. While, at present, inconclusive results have been obtained, future investigations should extend preclinical studies with different cannabinoids to controlled clinical trials to determine potential benefits in tremor.

Shokouh Arjmand, Zohreh Vaziri, Mina Behzadi, Hassan Abbassian, Gary J Stephens, Mohammad Shabani

The du(2J) mouse model of ataxia and absence epilepsy has deficient cannabinoid CB₁ receptor-mediated signalling.

Cerebellar ataxias are a group of progressive, debilitating diseases often associated with abnormal Purkinje cell (PC) firing and/or degeneration. Many animal models of cerebellar ataxia display abnormalities in Ca²⁺ channel function. The 'ducky' du(2J) mouse model of ataxia and absence epilepsy represents a clean knock-out of the auxiliary Ca²⁺ channel subunit α2δ-2, and has been associated with deficient Ca²⁺ channel function in the cerebellar cortex. Here, we investigate effects of du(2J) mutation on PC layer (PCL) and granule cell layer (GCL) neuronal spiking activity and, also, inhibitory neurotransmission at interneurone-Purkinje cell (IN-PC) synapses. Increased neuronal firing irregularity was seen in the PCL and, to a less marked extent, in the GCL in du(2J)/du(2J), but not +/du(2J), mice; these data suggest that the ataxic phenotype is associated with lack of precision of PC firing, that may also impinge on GC activity and requires expression of two du(2J) alleles to manifest fully. The du(2J) mutation had no clear effect on spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic current (sIPSC) frequency at IN-PC synapses, but was associated with increased sIPSC amplitudes. du(2J) mutation ablated cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R)-mediated modulation of spontaneous neuronal spike firing and CB1R-mediated presynaptic inhibition of synaptic transmission at IN-PC synapses in both +/du(2J) and du(2J)/du(2J) mutants, effects that occurred in the absence of changes in CB1R expression. These results demonstrate that the du(2J) ataxia model is associated with deficient CB1R signalling in the cerebellar cortex, putatively linked with compromised Ca²⁺ channel activity and the ataxic phenotype.

Xiaowei Wang, Benjamin J Whalley, Gary J Stephens

Effects of the allosteric antagonist 1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-[3-(6-pyrrolidin-1-ylpyridin-2-yl)phenyl]urea (PSNCBAM-1) on CB1 receptor modulation in the cerebellum.

1-(4-Chlorophenyl)-3-[3-(6-pyrrolidin-1-ylpyridin-2-yl)phenyl] urea (PSNCBAM-1) has recently been described as a cannabinoid CB1 receptor allosteric antagonist associated with hypophagic effects in vivo; however, PSNCBAM-1 effects on CB(1) ligand-mediated modulation of neuronal excitability remain unknown. Here, we investigate PSNCBAM-1 actions on CB(1) receptor-stimulated guanosine 5'-O-(3-[(35)S]thio)triphosphate ([(35)S]GTPγS) binding in cerebellar membranes and on CB(1) ligand modulation of presynaptic CB(1) receptors at inhibitory interneuron-Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum using whole-cell electrophysiology. PSNCBAM-1 caused noncompetitive antagonism in [(35)S]GTPγS binding studies, with higher potency against the CB receptor agonist (-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4-(1,1-dimethyl heptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxypropyl)cyclohexanol (CP55940) than for R(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(morpholinyl)methyl]-pyrrolo[1,2,3,-de]-1,4-benzoxazinyl]-(1-naphthalenyl)methanone mesylate] [WIN55,212-2 (WIN55)]. In electrophysiological studies, WIN55 and CP55940 reduced miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) frequency but not amplitude. PSNCBAM-1 application alone had no effect on mIPSCs; however, PSNCBAM-1 pretreatment revealed agonist-dependent functional antagonism, abolishing CP55940-induced reductions in mIPSC frequency but having no clear effect on WIN55 actions. The CB(1) antagonist/inverse agonist N-(piperidin-1-yl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-multipyrazole-3-carboxamide (AM251) increased mIPSC frequency beyond control; this effect was reversed by PSNCBAM-1. PSNCBAM-1 pretreatment also attenuated AM251 effects. Thus, PSNCBAM-1 reduced CB(1) receptor ligand functional efficacy in the cerebellum. The differential effect of PSNCBAM-1 on CP55940 versus WIN55 actions in [(35)S]GTPγS binding and electrophysiological studies and the attenuation of AM251 effects are consistent with the ligand-dependence associated with allosteric modulation. These data provide the first description of functional PSNCBAM-1 allosteric antagonist effects on neuronal excitability in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). PSNCBAM-1 allosteric antagonism may provide viable therapeutic alternatives to orthosteric CB(1) antagonists/inverse agonists in the treatment of CNS disease.

Xiaowei Wang, James G Horswill, Benjamin J Whalley, Gary J Stephens