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Märstetten-Dorf, Switzerland

Savioz A.,University of Geneva | Leuba G.,Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience | Vallet P.G.,University of Geneva
Ageing Research Reviews | Year: 2015

The postsynaptic density protein PSD-95 is a major element of synapses. PSD-95 is involved in aging, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and numerous psychiatric disorders. However, contradictory data about PSD-95 expression in aging and AD have been reported. Indeed in AD versus control brains PSD-95 varies according to regions, increasing in the frontal cortex, at least in a primary stage, and decreasing in the temporal cortex. In contrast, in transgenic mouse models of aging and AD PSD-95 expression is decreased, in behaviorally aged impaired versus unimpaired rodents it can decrease or increase and finally, it is increased in rodents grown in enriched environments. Different factors explain these contradictory results in both animals and humans, among others concomitant psychiatric endophenotypes, such as depression. The possible involvement of PSD-95 in reactive and/or compensatory mechanisms during AD progression is underscored, at least before the occurrence of important synaptic elimination. Thus, in AD but not in AD transgenic mice, enhanced expression might precede the diminution commonly observed in advanced aging. A two-compartments cell model, separating events taking place in cell bodies and synapses, is presented. Overall these data suggest that AD research will progress by untangling pathological from protective events, a prerequisite for effective therapeutic strategies. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source


Garey L.,Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience
Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2010

Schizophrenia probably has a developmental origin. This review refers to three of our published series of studies related to this hypothesis: loss of dendritic spines on cerebral neocortical pyramidal neurons, decreased numerical density of glutamatergic neurons, and microgliosis. First, brains of schizophrenic patients and non-schizophrenic controls were obtained post mortem and blocks of multiple cortical areas impregnated with a Rapid Golgi method. Spines were counted on the dendrites of pyramidal neurons of which the soma was in layer III (which takes part in corticocortical connectivity) and which met strict criteria for impregnation quality. Data were obtained blind: diagnoses were only revealed by a third party after measurements were completed. The mean spine count in all cortical areas studied in the control series was 243 mm-1 of dendrite and in the schizophrenics 108. Measurements in frontal and temporal association cortex showed the greatest reduction in spine number in schizophrenia (299 in control frontal cortex and 101 in schizophrenics, and 276 mm-1 in control temporal cortex and 125 in schizophrenics). There was no correlation of spine loss with age at death. Our results support the concept of a neurodevelopmental defect in the neuropil affecting glutamatergic neurons in schizophrenia and may help to explain loss of cortical volume without loss of neurons. In a second part of our study we used an antibody to the kainate receptor subunit GluR 5/6/7 and showed a decrease in numerical density of presumed glutamatergic neurons in schizophrenic orbitofrontal cortex. Finally, as glia play a major role in the developing nervous system, we investigated whether schizophrenia was associated with glial changes in frontal and temporal cortex. Astroglia and microglia were identified in schizophrenic and control brains, using antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and class II human leucocyte antigen (HLA-DR), respectively. Significant increases were found in microglial numerical density in schizophrenics compared with controls: 28% in frontal area 9 (115 cells mm-2 compared with 89), and a 57% increase in temporal area 22 (139 cells mm-2 compared with 88). For both areas, astroglia showed no significant differences between schizophrenics and controls. No significant differences were found in cortical thickness or total neuronal numerical density between the two groups. This specific increase in numerical density of microglia in temporal and frontal cortex of chronic schizophrenics, not related to aging, could be related to possible changes in cortical neuropil architecture as revealed by loss of dendritic spines. © 2010 The Author. Journal of Anatomy © 2010 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Source


Boutrel B.,Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience | Cannella N.,Stanford University | de Lecea L.,Stanford University
Brain Research | Year: 2010

The hypocretins (Hcrts), also called orexins, are two neuropeptides secreted by a few thousand neurons restricted to the lateral hypothalamus. The Hcrt peptides bind to two receptors located in nuclei associated with diverse cognitive and physiological functions. Experimental evidence has demonstrated that the physiological roles of hypocretins extend far beyond its initial role in food consumption and has emerged as a key system in the fields of sleep disorders and drug addiction. Here, we discuss recent evidence demonstrating a key role of hypocretin in the motivation for reward seeking in general, and drug taking in particular, and we delineate a physiological framework for this peptidergic system in orchestrating the appropriate levels of alertness required for the elaboration and the execution of goal-oriented behaviors. We propose a general role for hypocretins in mediating arousal, especially when an organism must respond to unexpected stressors and environmental challenges, which serve to shape survival behaviors. We also discuss the limit of the current experimental paradigms to address the question of how a system normally involved in the regulation of vigilance states and hyperarousal may promote a pathological state that elicits compulsive craving and relapse to drug seeking. © 2009. Source


Magistretti P.J.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Magistretti P.J.,Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience
Cell Metabolism | Year: 2014

Functional brain imaging studies show that in certain brain regions glucose utilization exceeds oxygen consumption, indicating the predominance of aerobic glycolysis. In this issue, Goyal et al. (2014) report that this metabolic profile is associated with an enrichment in the expression of genes involved in synaptic plasticity and remodeling processes. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source


Giuliani F.,University of Lausanne | Schenk F.,University of Lausanne | Schenk F.,Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience
Research in Developmental Disabilities | Year: 2015

Vision is the most synthetic sensory channel and it provides specific information about the relative position of distant landmarks during visual exploration. In this paper we propose that visual exploration, as assessed by the recording of eye movements, offers an original method to analyze spatial cognition and to reveal alternative adaptation strategies in people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Our general assumption is that eye movement exploration may simultaneously reveal whether, why, and how, compensatory strategies point to specific difficulties related to neurological symptoms. An understanding of these strategies will also help in the development of optimal rehabilitation procedures. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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