1J. Chem. Neuroanat. 2014 Nov 61-62: 64-71
TitleDifferential distribution of hypoxia-inducible factor 1-beta (ARNT or ARNT2) in mouse substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area.
AbstractHypoxia has been proposed as a mechanism underlying gene-environment interactions in the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) could mediate the interactions. In the current study, we analyzed the HIF-1 beta subunit, as formed by aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) or ARNT2, in the mouse substantia nigra (SN) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We performed immunohistochemical studies of ARNT and ARNT2 in the adult mouse brain, and colocalization analyses, with specific emphasis on dopaminergic cells, i.e. tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive cells. Bioinformatic analyses identified shared protein partners for ARNT and ARNT2. ARNT immunoreactivity showed widespread neuronal labeling without overt regional specificity. We observed co-localization of ARNT and TH in the SN compacta and VTA. Nuclei strongly labeled for ARNT2 were observed in the SN reticulata, while only weak immunoreactivity for ARNT2 was found in TH-immunoreactive neurons in SN compacta and VTA. Stereological analysis showed that ARNT was preferentially expressed in dopaminergic neurons in SN compacta and VTA. Nuclei strongly labeled for ARNT2 were present in neocortex and CA1 of hippocampus. Differential expression of ARNT and ARNT2 in dopaminergic neurons may relate to the vulnerability of distinct dopaminergic projections to hypoxia and to functional vulnerability in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2PLoS ONE 2014 -1 9: e85768
TitleHuman variants in the neuronal basic helix-loop-helix/Per-Arnt-Sim (bHLH/PAS) transcription factor complex NPAS4/ARNT2 disrupt function.
AbstractNeuronal Per-Arnt-Sim homology (PAS) Factor 4 (NPAS4) is a neuronal activity-dependent transcription factor which heterodimerises with ARNT2 to regulate genes involved in inhibitory synapse formation. NPAS4 functions to maintain excitatory/inhibitory balance in neurons, while mouse models have shown it to play roles in memory formation, social interaction and neurodegeneration. NPAS4 has therefore been implicated in a number of neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative diseases which are underpinned by defects in excitatory/inhibitory balance. Here we have explored a broad set of non-synonymous human variants in NPAS4 and ARNT2 for disruption of NPAS4 function. We found two variants in NPAS4 (F147S and E257K) and two variants in ARNT2 (R46W and R107H) which significantly reduced transcriptional activity of the heterodimer on a luciferase reporter gene. Furthermore, we found that NPAS4.F147S was unable to activate expression of the NPAS4 target gene BDNF due to reduced dimerisation with ARNT2. Homology modelling predicts F147 in NPAS4 to lie at the dimer interface, where it appears to directly contribute to protein/protein interaction. We also found that reduced transcriptional activation by ARNT2 R46W was due to disruption of nuclear localisation. These results provide insight into the mechanisms of NPAS4/ARNT dimerisation and transcriptional activation and have potential implications for cognitive phenotypic variation and diseases such as autism, schizophrenia and dementia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
3PLoS ONE 2014 -1 9: e94968
TitleHeat shock alters the expression of schizophrenia and autism candidate genes in an induced pluripotent stem cell model of the human telencephalon.
Abstractschizophrenia (SZ) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are highly heritable neuropsychiatric disorders, although environmental factors, such as maternal immune activation (MIA), play a role as well. Cytokines mediate the effects of MIA on neurogenesis and behavior in animal models. However, MIA stimulators can also induce a febrile reaction, which could have independent effects on neurogenesis through heat shock (HS)-regulated cellular stress pathways. However, this has not been well-studied. To help understand the role of fever in MIA, we used a recently described model of human brain development in which induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) differentiate into 3-dimensional neuronal aggregates that resemble a first trimester telencephalon. RNA-seq was carried out on aggregates that were heat shocked at 39C for 24 hours, along with their control partners maintained at 37C. 186 genes showed significant differences in expression following HS (p<0.05), including known HS-inducible genes, as expected, as well as those coding for NGFR and a number of SZ and ASD candidates, including SMARCA2, DPP10, ARNT2, AHI1 and ZNF804A. The degree to which the expression of these genes decrease or increase during HS is similar to that found in copy loss and copy gain copy number variants (CNVs), although the effects of HS are likely to be transient. The dramatic effect on the expression of some SZ and ASD genes places HS, and perhaps other cellular stressors, into a common conceptual framework with disease-causing genetic variants. The findings also suggest that some candidate genes that are assumed to have a relatively limited impact on SZ and ASD pathogenesis based on a small number of positive genetic findings, such as SMARCA2 and ARNT2, may in fact have a much more substantial role in these disorders - as targets of common environmental stressors.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia