Neurobiology Research

North Hills, CA, United States

Neurobiology Research

North Hills, CA, United States
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Shan L.,Zhejiang University | Shan L.,an Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Shan L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Shan L.,Neurobiology Research | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Neurosciences | Year: 2015

Histaminergic neurons are exclusively located in the hypothalamic tuberomamillary nucleus, from where they project to many brain areas. The histaminergic system is involved in basic physiological functions, such as the sleep-wake cycle, energy and endocrine homeostasis, sensory and motor functions, cognition, and attention, which are all severely affected in neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we present recent postmortem findings on the alterations in this system in neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), depression, and narcolepsy. In addition, we highlight the need to validate animal models for these diseases and also for Tourette's syndrome (TS) in relation to alterations in the histaminergic system. Moreover, we discuss the potential for, and concerns over, the use of novel histamine 3 receptor (H3R) antagonists/inverse agonists as treatment for such disorders. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


McGregor R.,University of California at Los Angeles | McGregor R.,Neurobiology Research | Shan L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Shan L.,Neurobiology Research | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

The loss of specific neuronal phenotypes, as determined by immunohistochemistry, has become a powerful tool for identifying the nature and cause of neurological diseases. Here we show that the number of neurons identified and quantified using this method misses a substantial percentage of extant neurons in a phenotype specific manner. In mice, 24% more hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt) neurons are seen in the night compared to the day, and an additional 17% are seen after inhibiting microtubule polymerization with colchicine. We see no such difference between the number of MCH (melanin concentrating hormone) neurons in dark, light or colchicine conditions, despite MCH and Hcrt both being hypothalamic peptide transmitters. Although the size of Hcrt neurons did not differ between light and dark, the size of MCH neurons was increased by 15% in the light phase. The number of neurons containing histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the histamine synthesizing enzyme, was 34% greater in the dark than in the light, but, like Hcrt, cell size did not differ. We did not find a significant difference in the number or the size of neurons expressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the acetylcholine synthesizing enzyme, in the horizontal diagonal band (HBD) during the dark and light conditions. As expected, colchicine treatment did not increase the number of these neurons. Understanding the function and dynamics of transmitter production within 'non-visible' phenotypically defined cells has fundamental implications for our understanding of brain plasticity.


McGregor R.,Neurobiology Research | Siegel J.M.,University of California at Los Angeles
Nature Neuroscience | Year: 2010

Optogenetic stimulation of the locus coeruleus noradrenergic neurons can increase wakefulness, and high-frequency stimulation decreases noradrenaline levels and produces loss of muscle tone similar to that seen in cataplexy. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Blouin A.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Blouin A.M.,Johns Hopkins University | Fried I.,University of California at Los Angeles | Wilson C.L.,University of California at Los Angeles | And 9 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

The neurochemical changes underlying human emotions and social behaviour are largely unknown. Here we report on the changes in the levels of two hypothalamic neuropeptides, hypocretin-1 and melanin-concentrating hormone, measured in the human amygdala. We show that hypocretin-1 levels are maximal during positive emotion, social interaction and anger, behaviours that induce cataplexy in human narcoleptics. In contrast, melanin-concentrating hormone levels are minimal during social interaction, but are increased after eating. Both peptides are at minimal levels during periods of postoperative pain despite high levels of arousal. Melanin-concentrating hormone levels increase at sleep onset, consistent with a role in sleep induction, whereas hypocretin-1 levels increase at wake onset, consistent with a role in wake induction. Levels of these two peptides in humans are not simply linked to arousal, but rather to specific emotions and state transitions. Other arousal systems may be similarly emotionally specialized. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


McGregor R.,Neurobiology Research | McGregor R.,University of California at Los Angeles | Wu M.-F.,Neurobiology Research | Wu M.-F.,University of California at Los Angeles | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2011

Hypocretin (Hcrt) cell loss is responsible for narcolepsy, but Hcrt's role in normal behavior is unclear.Wefound that Hcrt knock-out mice were unable to work for food or water reward during the light phase. However, they were unimpaired relative to wild-type (WT) mice when working for reward during the dark phase or when working to avoid shock in the light or dark phase. InWTmice, expression of Fos in Hcrt neurons occurs only in the light phase when working for positive reinforcement. Expression was seen throughout the mediolateral extent of the Hcrt field. Fos was not expressed when expected or unexpected unearned rewards were presented, when working to avoid negative reinforcement, or when given or expecting shock, even though these conditions elicit maximal electroencephalogram (EEG) arousal. Fos was not expressed in the light phase when light was removed. This may explain the lack of light-induced arousal in narcoleptics and its presence in normal individuals. This is the first demonstration of such specificity of arousal system function and has implications for understanding the motivational and circadian consequences of arousal system dysfunction. The current results also indicate that comparable and complementary specificities must exist in other arousal systems. © 2011 the authors.


Ramanathan L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Ramanathan L.,Neurobiology Research | Siegel J.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Siegel J.M.,Neurobiology Research
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2011

We previously showed that total sleep deprivation increased antioxidant responses in several rat brain regions. We also reported that chronic hypoxia enhanced antioxidant responses and increased oxidative stress in rat cerebellum and pons, relative to normoxic conditions. In the current study, we examined the interaction between these two parameters (sleep and hypoxia). We exposed rats to total sleep deprivation under sustained hypoxia (SDSH) and compared changes in antioxidant responses and oxidative stress markers in the neocortex, hippocampus, brainstem, and cerebellum to those in control animals left undisturbed under either sustained hypoxia (UCSH) or normoxia (UCN). We measured changes in total nitrite levels as an indicator of nitric oxide (NO) production, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and total glutathione (GSHt) levels as markers of antioxidant responses, and levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and protein carbonyls as signs of lipid and protein oxidation products, respectively. We found that acute (6 h) SDSH increased NO production in the hippocampus and increased GSHt levels in the neocortex, brainstem, and cerebellum while decreasing hippocampal lipid oxidation. Additionally, we observed increased hexokinase activity in the neocortex of SDSH rats compared to UCSH rats, suggesting that elevated glucose metabolism may be one potential source of the enhanced free radicals produced in this brain region. We conclude that short-term insomnia under hypoxia may serve as an adaptive response to prevent oxidative stress. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Neurobiology Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience | Year: 2011

Hypocretin (Hcrt) cell loss is responsible for narcolepsy, but Hcrts role in normal behavior is unclear. We found that Hcrt knock-out mice were unable to work for food or water reward during the light phase. However, they were unimpaired relative to wild-type (WT) mice when working for reward during the dark phase or when working to avoid shock in the light or dark phase. In WT mice, expression of Fos in Hcrt neurons occurs only in the light phase when working for positive reinforcement. Expression was seen throughout the mediolateral extent of the Hcrt field. Fos was not expressed when expected or unexpected unearned rewards were presented, when working to avoid negative reinforcement, or when given or expecting shock, even though these conditions elicit maximal electroencephalogram (EEG) arousal. Fos was not expressed in the light phase when light was removed. This may explain the lack of light-induced arousal in narcoleptics and its presence in normal individuals. This is the first demonstration of such specificity of arousal system function and has implications for understanding the motivational and circadian consequences of arousal system dysfunction. The current results also indicate that comparable and complementary specificities must exist in other arousal systems.

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