Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex condition with environmental and genetic etiologies. Up to this point, research has identified genetic associations with candidate genes from known biological pathways. In order to identify novel ADHD susceptibility genes, 600,000 SNPs were genotyped in 958 ADHD proband-parent trios. After applying data cleaning procedures we examined 429,981 autosomal SNPs in 909 family trios. We generated six quantitative phenotypes from 18 ADHD symptoms to be used in genome-wide association analyses. With the PBAT screening algorithm, we identified 2 SNPs, rs6565113 and rs552655 that met the criteria for significance within a specified phenotype. These SNPs are located in intronic regions of genes CDH13 and GFOD1, respectively. CDH13 has been implicated previously in substance use disorders. We also evaluated the association of SNPs from a list of 37 ADHD candidate genes that was specified a priori. These findings, along with association P-values with a magnitude less than 10(-5), are discussed in this manuscript. Seventeen of these candidate genes had association P-values lower then 0.01: SLC6A1, SLC9A9, HES1, ADRB2, HTR1E, DDC, ADRA1A, DBH, DRD2, BDNF, TPH2, HTR2A, SLC6A2, PER1, CHRNA4, SNAP25, and COMT. Among the candidate genes, SLC9A9 had the strongest overall associations with 58 association test P-values lower than 0.01 and multiple association P-values at a magnitude of 10(-5) in this gene. In sum, these findings identify novel genetic associations at viable ADHD candidate genes and provide confirmatory evidence for associations at previous candidate genes. Replication of these results is necessary in order to confirm the proposed genetic variants for ADHD.
The physiological role of BDNF and NT-3 in the development of the vestibular and auditory systems was investigated in mice that carry a deleted BDNF and/or NT-3 gene. BDNF was the major survival factor for vestibular ganglion neurons, and NT-3, for spiral ganglion neurons. Lack of BDNF and NT-3 did not affect ingrowth of nerve fibers into the vestibular epithelium, but BDNF mutants failed to maintain afferent and efferent innervation. In the cochlea, BDNF mutants lost type 2 spiral neurons, causing an absence of outer hair cell innervation. NT-3 mutants showed a paucity of afferents and lost 87% of spiral neurons, presumably corresponding to type 1 neurons, which innervate inner hair cells. Double mutants had an additive loss, lacking all vestibular and spiral neurons. These results show that BDNF and NT-3 are crucial for inner ear development and, although largely coexpressed, have distinct and nonoverlapping roles in the vestibular and auditory systems.
Internalization and transport of a ligand-receptor complex are required to initiate cell body responses to target-derived neurotrophin. However, it is not known whether internalized receptors and cell surface receptors initiate the same signaling pathways and biological responses. Here we use a temperature-sensitive mutant of dynamin (G273D) to control the subcellular localization of activated NGF receptors (Trks). We show that dynamin function is required for ligand-dependent endocytosis of Trk receptors. In PC12 cells, nerve growth factor (NGF) stimulation promotes both survival and neuronal differentiation. These distinct biological responses to NGF are controlled by receptors signaling from different locations within the cell. Neuronal differentiation is promoted by catalytically active Trks within endosomes in the cell interior. In contrast, survival responses are initiated by activated receptors at the cell surface where they orchestrate prolonged activation of the kinase Akt. Thus, interactions between Trk receptor tyrosine kinases and intracellular signaling molecules are dictated both by phosphotyrosine motifs within the receptors and by the intracellular location of phosphorylated receptors.
Interactions between FGF10 and the IIIb isoform of FGFR-2 appear to be crucial for the induction and growth of several organs, particularly those that involve budding morphogenesis. We determined their expression patterns in the inner ear and analyzed the inner ear phenotype of mice specifically deleted for the IIIb isoform of FGFR-2. FGF10 and FGFR-2(IIIb) mRNAs showed distinct, largely nonoverlapping expression patterns in the undifferentiated otic epithelium. Subsequently, FGF10 mRNA became confined to the presumptive cochlear and vestibular sensory epithelia and to the neuronal precursors and neurons. FGFR-2(IIIb) mRNA was expressed in the nonsensory epithelium of the otocyst that gives rise to structures such as the endolymphatic and semicircular ducts. These data suggest that in contrast to mesenchymal-epithelial-based FGF10 signaling demonstrated for other organs, the inner ear seems to depend on paracrine signals that operate within the epithelium. Expression of FGF10 mRNA partly overlapped with FGF3 mRNA in the sensory regions, suggesting that they may form parallel signaling pathways within the otic epithelium. In addition, hindbrain-derived FGF3 might regulate otocyst morphogenesis through FGFR-2(IIIb). Targeted deletion of FGFR-2(IIIb) resulted in severe dysgenesis of the cochleovestibular membraneous labyrinth, caused by a failure in morphogenesis at the otocyst stage. In addition to the nonsensory epithelium, sensory patches and the cochleovestibular ganglion remained at a rudimentary stage. Our findings provide genetic evidence that signaling by FGFR-2(IIIb) is critical for the morphological development of the inner ear.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been reported to play a critical role in modulating plasticity in developing sensory cortices. In the visual cortex, maturation of neuronal circuits involving GABAergic neurons has been shown to trigger a critical period. To date, several classes of GABAergic neurons are known, each of which are thought to play distinct functions. Of these, parvalbumin (PV)-containing, fast-spiking (FS) cells are suggested to be involved in the initiation of the critical period. Here, we report that BDNF plays an essential role in the normal development of PV-FS cells during a plastic period in the barrel cortex. We found that characteristic electrophysiological properties of PV-FS cells, such as low spike adaptation ratio, reduced voltage sags in response to hyperpolarization, started to develop around the second postnatal week and attained adult level in several days. We also found that immunoreactivity against PV was also acquired after the similar developmental time course. Then, using BDNF-/- mice, we found that these electrophysiological as well as chemical properties were underdeveloped or did not appear at all. We conclude BDNF regulates the development of electrophysiological and immunohistochemical characteristics in PV-FS cells. Because BDNF is suggested to regulate the initiation of plasticity, our results strongly indicate that BDNF is involved in the regulation of the critical period by promoting the functional development of PV-FS GABAergic neurons.
It has been shown that music might be able to improve mood state in people affected by psychiatric disorders, ameliorate cognitive deficits in people with dementia and increase motor coordination in Parkinson patients. Robust experimental evidence explaining the central effects of music, however, is missing. This study was designed to investigate the effect of music on brain neurotrophin production and behavior in the mouse. We exposed young adult mice to music with a slow rhythm (6 h/day; mild sound pressure levels, between 50 and 60 db) for 21 consecutive days. At the end of the treatment, mice were tested for passive avoidance learning and then killed for analysis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in selected brain regions. We found that music-exposed mice showed increased BDNF, but not nerve growth factor in the hippocampus. Furthermore, we observed that music exposure significantly enhanced learning performance, as measured by the passive avoidance test. Our results demonstrate that exposure to music can modulate the activity of the hippocampus by influencing BDNF production. Our findings also suggest that music exposure might be of help in several central nervous system pathologies.
Atonal homolog1 (Atoh1, formerly Math1) is a crucial bHLH transcription factor for inner ear hair cell differentiation. Its absence in embryos results in complete absence of mature hair cells at birth and its misexpression can generate extra hair cells. Thus Atoh1 may be both necessary and sufficient for hair cell differentiation in the ear. Atoh1 null mice die at birth and have some undifferentiated cells in sensory epithelia carrying Atoh1 markers. The fate of these undifferentiated cells in neonates is unknown due to lethality. We use Tg(Pax2-Cre) to delete floxed Atoh1 in the inner ear. This generates viable conditional knockout (CKO) mice for studying the postnatal development of the inner ear without differentiated hair cells. Using in situ hybridization we find that Tg(Pax2-Cre) recombines the floxed Atoh1 prior to detectable Atoh1 expression. Only the posterior canal crista has Atoh1 expressing hair cells due to incomplete recombination. Most of the organ of Corti cells are lost in CKO mice via late embryonic cell death. Marker genes indicate that the organ of Corti is reduced to two rows of cells wedged between flanking markers of the organ of Corti (Fgf10 and Bmp4). These two rows of cells (instead of five rows of supporting cells) are positive for Prox1 in neonates. By postnatal day 14 (P14), the remaining cells of the organ of Corti are transformed into a flat epithelium with no distinction of any specific cell type. However, some of the remaining organ of Corti cells express Myo7a at late postnatal stages and are innervated by remaining afferent fibers. Initial growth of afferents and efferents in embryos shows no difference between control mice and Tg(Pax2-Cre)::Atoh1 CKO mice. Most afferents and efferents are lost in the CKO mutant before birth, except for the apex and few fibers in the base. Afferents focus their projections on patches that express the prosensory specifying gene, Sox2. This pattern of innervation by sensory neurons is maintained at least until P14, but fibers target the few Myo7a positive cells found in later stages.
The neurotrophin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is essential for synaptic function, plasticity and neuronal survival. At the axon terminal, when BDNF binds to its receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB), the signal is propagated along the axon to the cell body, via retrograde transport, regulating gene expression and neuronal function. Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by early impairments in synaptic function that may result in part from neurotrophin signaling deficits. Growing evidence suggests that soluble β-amyloid (Aβ) assemblies cause synaptic dysfunction by disrupting both neurotransmitter and neurotrophin signaling. Utilizing a novel microfluidic culture chamber, we demonstrate a BDNF retrograde signaling deficit in AD transgenic mouse neurons (Tg2576) that can be reversed by γ-secretase inhibitors. Using BDNF-GFP, we show that BDNF-mediated TrkB retrograde trafficking is impaired in Tg2576 axons. Furthermore, Aβ oligomers alone impair BDNF retrograde transport. Thus, Aβ reduces BDNF signaling by impairing axonal transport and this may underlie the synaptic dysfunction observed in AD.
The neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) are hypothesized to play an important role in vertebrate eye development because of their patterned expression in the developing and adult neuroretina, their regulated response to retinal and optic nerve injury, and the effects of altered neurotrophin signaling on retinal development. To further characterize the role of these neurotrophins in mammalian eye development and maintenance, the pattern of expression of BDNF and NT-3 was analyzed in the developing and mature mouse eye.
Using mouse strains in which the reporter gene lacZ, encoding the enzyme beta-galactosidase, was targeted to either the BDNF or NT-3 locus, the expression of BDNF and NT-3 in the eyes of mice heterozygous for these mutations was analyzed by enzyme histochemistry during embryogenesis, postnatal development, and adulthood.
BDNF and NT-3 expression were first observed in the inner and outer segments of the developing optic cup at embryonic days 10.5 to 11.5. As the retina matured, BDNF expression was restricted to retinal ganglion cells and a subset of cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL), whereas NT-3 expression was confined to a small subset of cells in the INL and ganglion cell layer. Both neurotrophins were expressed within the developing retinal pigment epithelium. In the anterior segment, BDNF and NT-3 were expressed at high levels in the developing and mature ciliary epithelium. In the lens and cornea, however, these neurotrophins displayed distinct patterns of expression during development and adulthood. BDNF expression was found in the lens epithelium, immature trabecular meshwork, corneal endothelium, and corneal epithelium, whereas NT-3 expression was confined to the corneal epithelium.
BDNF and NT-3 exhibit different, yet overlapping, patterns of expression during the development and differentiation of the mouse eye. In addition to the neuroretina, the spatiotemporal expression of BDNF and NT-3 may play an important role in the development and maintenance of the lens, ciliary body, trabecular meshwork, and cornea.
The serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) val66met polymorphism have both been linked to depression symptoms and to depression diagnosis (MDD) in interaction with adversity; there have also been failures to find the effects. We reexamined both interactions for lifetime MDD in a college sample. Lifetime MDD was diagnosed by Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV in 133 undergraduates; genotypes for 5-HTTLPR and BDNF were assayed from blood, and self-reports were collected concerning childhood adversity (Risk). 5-HTTLPR interacted with Risk such that Risk predicted less likelihood of MDD among ll carriers and tended to predict greater likelihood of MDD among s carriers. BDNF interacted with Risk such that Risk predicted greater likelihood of MDD among met carriers and did not influence val/val carriers. These two interactions were additive: both were significant in a combined model.