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Becker J.A.,University of Strasbourg | Becker J.A.,CNRS Physiology of Reproduction and Behaviors | Clesse D.,Institute des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Integratives | Spiegelhalter C.,University of Strasbourg | And 6 more authors.
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2014

The etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) remains largely unknown. Identifying vulnerability genes for autism represents a major challenge in the field and allows the development of animal models for translational research. Mice lacking the mu opioid receptor gene (Oprm1-/-) were recently proposed as a monogenic mouse model of autism, based on severe deficits in social behavior and communication skills. We confirm this hypothesis by showing that adult Oprm1-/- animals recapitulate core and multiple comorbid behavioral symptoms of autism and also display anatomical, neurochemical, and genetic landmarks of the disease. Chronic facilitation of mGluR4 signaling, which we identified as a novel pharmacological target in ASDs in these mice, was more efficient in alleviating behavioral deficits than the reference molecule risperidone. Altogether, our data provide first evidence that disrupted mu opioid receptor signaling is sufficient to trigger a comprehensive autistic syndrome, maybe through blunted social reward processes, and this mouse model opens promising avenues for therapeutic innovation. © 2014 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Bodineau L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Bodineau L.,College de France | Bodineau L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Bodineau L.,The Interdisciplinary Center | And 27 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Apelin is a bioactive peptide identified as the endogenous ligand of the human orphan G protein-coupled receptor APJ in 1998. The present data show that apelin modulates the activity of magnocellular and parvocellular oxytocin (OXY) neurons in the lactating rat. A combination of in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of apelin receptor mRNA in hypothalamic OXY neurons. Double immunofluorescence labeling then revealed the colocalization of apelin with OXY in about 20% of the hypothalamic OXY-positive neurons. Intracerebroventricular apelin administration inhibited the activity of magnocellular and parvocellular OXY neurons, as shown by measuring the c-fos expression in OXY neurons or by direct electrophysiological measurements of the electrical activity of these neurons. This effect was correlated with a decrease in the amount of milk ejected. Thus, apelin inhibits the activity of OXY neurons through a direct action on apelin receptors expressed by these neurons in an autocrine and paracrine manner. In conclusion, these findings highlight the inhibitory role of apelin as an autocrine/paracrine peptide acting on OXY neurons during breastfeeding. Copyright © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.

Bur I.M.,Institute des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Integratives | Zouaoui S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Zouaoui S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Zouaoui S.,Montpellier University | And 18 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

The mammalian circadian system is composed of multiple peripheral clocks that are synchronized by a central pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus. This system keeps track of the external world rhythms through entrainment by various time cues, such as the light-dark cycle and the feeding schedule. Alterations of photoperiod and meal time modulate the phase coupling between central and peripheral oscillators. In this study, we used real-time quantitative PCR to assess circadian clock gene expression in the liver and pituitary gland from mice raised under various photoperiods, or under a temporal restricted feeding protocol. Our results revealed unexpected differences between both organs. Whereas the liver oscillator always tracked meal time, the pituitary circadian clockwork showed an intermediate response, in between entrainment by the light regimen and the feeding-fasting rhythm. The same composite response was also observed in the pituitary gland from adrenalectomized mice under daytime restricted feeding, suggesting that circulating glucocorticoids do not inhibit full entrainment of the pituitary clockwork by meal time. Altogether our results reveal further aspects in the complexity of phase entrainment in the circadian system, and suggest that the pituitary may host oscillators able to integrate multiple time cues. © 2010 Bur et al.

Jean A.,Institute Of Genomique Fonctionnelle | Jean A.,Universites Of Montpellier 1 And 2 | Jean A.,University of Nimes | Laurent L.,Institute Of Genomique Fonctionnelle | And 11 more authors.
Translational Psychiatry | Year: 2012

In mental diseases, the brain does not systematically adjust motor activity to feeding. Probably, the most outlined example is the association between hyperactivity and anorexia in Anorexia nervosa. The neural underpinnings of this 'paradox', however, are poorly elucidated. Although anorexia and hyperactivity prevail over self-preservation, both symptoms rarely exist independently, suggesting commonalities in neural pathways, most likely in the reward system. We previously discovered an addictive molecular facet of anorexia, involving production, in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), of the same transcripts stimulated in response to cocaine and amphetamine (CART) upon stimulation of the 5-HT 4 receptors (5-HTR4) or MDMA (ecstasy). Here, we tested whether this pathway predisposes not only to anorexia but also to hyperactivity. Following food restriction, mice are expected to overeat. However, selecting hyperactive and addiction-related animal models, we observed that mice lacking 5-HTR1B self-imposed food restriction after deprivation and still displayed anorexia and hyperactivity after ecstasy. Decryption of the mechanisms showed a gain-of-function of 5-HTR4 in the absence of 5-HTR 1B, associated with CART surplus in the NAc and not in other brain areas. NAc-5-HTR4 overexpression upregulated NAc-CART, provoked anorexia and hyperactivity. NAc-5-HTR4 knockdown or blockade reduced ecstasy-induced hyperactivity. Finally, NAc-CART knockdown suppressed hyperactivity upon stimulation of the NAc-5-HTR4. Additionally, inactivating NAc-5-HTR4 suppressed ecstasy's preference, strengthening the rewarding facet of anorexia. In conclusion, the NAc-5-HTR 4/CART pathway establishes a 'tight-junction' between anorexia and hyperactivity, suggesting the existence of a primary functional unit susceptible to limit overeating associated with resting following homeostasis rules. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Inquimbert P.,Institute des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Integratives
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE | Year: 2013

Intraparenchymal injection of a viral vector enables conditional gene manipulation in distinct populations of neurons or particular regions of the central nervous system. We demonstrate a stereotaxic injection technique that allows targeted gene expression or silencing in the dorsal horn of the mouse spinal cord. The surgical procedure is brief. It requires laminectomy of a single vertebra, providing for quick recovery of the animal and unimpaired motility of the spine. Controlled injection of a small vector suspension volume at low speed and use of a microsyringe with beveled glass cannula minimize the tissue lesion. The local immune response to the vector depends on the intrinsic properties of the virus employed; in our experience, it is minor and short-lived when a recombinant adeno-associated virus is used. A reporter gene such as enhanced green fluorescent protein facilitates monitoring spatial distribution of the vector, and the efficacy and cellular specificity of the transfection.

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