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Author: Anthony A Grace (154)


Jan
2018

Preclinical models propose that the onset of psychosis is associated with hippocampal hyperactivity, thought to be driven by cortical GABAergic interneuron dysfunction and disinhibition of pyramidal neurons. Recent neuroimaging studies suggest that resting hippocampal perfusion is increased in subjects at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis, but how this may be related to GABA concentrations is unknown. The present study used a multimodal neuroimaging approach to address this issue in UHR subjects.

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Jan
2018

Despite evidence for a role of the dopamine system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, there has not been substantial evidence that this disorder originates from a pathological change within the dopamine system itself. Current data from human imaging studies and preclinical investigations instead point to a disruption in afferent regulation of the dopamine system, with a focus on the hippocampus. We found that the hippocampus in the methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) rodent developmental disruption model of schizophrenia is hyperactive and dysrhythmic, possibly due to loss of parvalbumin interneurons, leading to a hyperresponsive dopamine system.

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Dec
1969

A significant subpopulation of neurons in rat nucleus accumbens (NAc) coexpress dopamine D1 and D2 receptors, which can form a D1-D2 receptor complex, but their relevance in addiction is not known. The existence of the D1-D2 heteromer in the striatum of rat and monkey was established usingPLA,FRET and co-immunoprecipitation. In rat, D1-D2 receptor heteromer activation led to place aversion and abolished cocaine CPP and locomotor sensitization, cocaine intravenous self-administration and reinstatement of cocaine seeking, as well as inhibited sucrose preference and abolished the motivation to seek palatable food.

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Dec
2017

We recently reported that resting hippocampal, basal ganglia and midbrain perfusion is elevated in people at ultra high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The present study sought to replicate our previous finding in an independent UHR cohort, and examined the relationship between resting perfusion in these regions, psychosis and depression symptoms, and traumatic experiences in childhood. Pseudo-Continuous Arterial Spin Labelling (p-CASL) imaging was used to measure resting cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in 77 UHR for psychosis individuals and 25 healthy volunteers in a case-control design.

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Jan
2018

The amygdala receives cortical inputs from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) that are believed to affect emotional control and cue-outcome contingencies, respectively. Although mPFC impact on the amygdala has been studied, how the OFC modulates mPFC-amygdala information flow, specifically the infralimbic (IL) division of mPFC, is largely unknown. In this study, combined in vivo extracellular single-unit recordings and pharmacological manipulations were used in anesthetized rats to examine how OFC modulates amygdala neurons responsive to mPFC activation.

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Dec
2017

Clinical evidence supports the use of second-generation dopamine D2 receptor antagonists (D2RAs) as adjunctive therapy or in some cases monotherapy in patients with depression. However, the mechanism for the clinical antidepressant effect of D2RAs remains unclear. Specifically, given accumulating evidence for decreased ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine system function in depression, an antidepressant effect of a medication that is expected to further reduce dopamine system activity seems paradoxical.

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Dec
2017

Anhedonia is considered a core feature of major depressive disorder, and the dopamine system plays a pivotal role in the hedonic deficits described in this disorder. Dopaminergic activity is complex and under the regulation of multiple brain structures, including the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus and the basolateral amygdala. Whereas basic and clinical studies demonstrate deficits of the dopaminergic system in depression, the origin of these deficits likely lies in dysregulation of its regulatory afferent circuits.

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Jan
2018

There is common agreement that many disorders of the central nervous system are 'complex', that is, there are many potential factors that influence the development of the disease, underlying mechanisms, and successful treatment. Most of these disorders, unfortunately, have no cure at the present time, and therapeutic strategies often have debilitating side effects. Interestingly, some of the 'complexities' of one disorder are found in another, and the similarities are often network defects.

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Feb
2018

Whilst robust preclinical and postmortem evidence suggests that altered GABAergic function is central to the development of psychosis, little is known about whether it is altered in subjects at ultra-high risk of psychosis, or its relationship to prodromal symptoms.
Twenty-one antipsychotic naïve ultra-high risk individuals and 20 healthy volunteers underwent proton magnetic resonance imaging at 3T. Gamma-aminobutyric acid levels were obtained from the medial prefrontal cortex using MEGA-PRESS and expressed as peak-area ratios relative to the synchronously acquired creatine signal.

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Oct
2017

The ventral subiculum is known to be activated by the presentation of novel stressors. It has been hypothesized that neuronal ensembles at the ventral aspect of the hippocampal formation are involved in context-dependent processing and can guide the learning of appropriate action selections in response to threatening contexts. Artificial activation of the ventral subiculum can excite medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens and can increase the excitability of mesolimbic dopamine neurons via a polysynaptic pathway through the basal ganglia.

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Sep
2017

The methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) rodent neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia exhibits aberrant dopamine system activation attributed to hippocampal dysfunction. Context discrimination is a component of numerous behavioral and cognitive functions and relies on intact hippocampal processing. The present study explored context processing behaviors, along with dopamine system activation, during fear learning in the MAM model.

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Nov
2017

This Editorial highlights an article by Gulchina and colleagues in the current issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry, in which the authors describe molecular and epigenetic changes in the developing prefrontal cortex of the rats exposed to methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM). They found an NMDAR hypofunction present in the prefrontal cortex of juvenile MAM rats which was associated with abnormal epigenetic regulation of the Grin2b gene. These changes may be related to early cognitive impairments observed in MAM rats and schizophrenia patients.

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Aug
2017

Deficits in neuronal network synchrony in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex have been widely demonstrated in disorders of cognitive dysfunction, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. The atypical dopamine agonist SKF 83959 has been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor signalling and suppress activity of glycogen synthase kinase-3 in PFC, two processes important to learning and memory. The purpose of this study was to therefore evaluate the impact of SKF 83959 on oscillatory deficits in methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) rat model of schizophrenia.

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Oct
2017

Stress constitutes a risk factor across several psychiatric disorders. Moreover, females are more susceptible to stress-related disorders, such as depression, than males. Although dopamine system underactivation is implicated in the pathophysiology of depression, little is known about the female dopamine system at baseline and post-stress.

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May
2017

Schizophrenia has been associated with heightened stress responsivity in adolescence that precedes onset of psychosis. We now report that multiple stressors during adolescence in normal rats leads to deficits in adults analogous to that seen in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, impairment of stress control by lesion of the prelimbic prefontal cortex in adolescence caused previously subthreshold levels of stress to induce these deficit states when tested as adults.

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Mar
2017

Dopaminergic medications used in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease are associated with motor and non-motor behavioural side-effects, such as dyskinesias and impulse control disorders also known as behavioural addictions. Levodopa-induced dyskinesias occur in up to 80% of patients with Parkinson's after a few years of chronic treatment. Impulse control disorders, including gambling disorder, binge eating disorder, compulsive sexual behaviour, and compulsive shopping occur in about 17% of patients with Parkinson's disease on dopamine agonists.

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Dec
1969

Stress during adolescence is a risk factor for schizophrenia, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) dysfunction is proposed to interfere with stress control, increasing the susceptibility to stress. We evaluated the impact of different stressful events during adolescence (restraint stress [RS], footshock [FS], or the combination of FS and RS) on behaviors correlated with schizophrenia in rats as adults. At adulthood, animals were tested for anxiety responses (elevated plus-maze), cognitive function (novel-object recognition test) and dopamine (DA) system responsivity (locomotor response to amphetamine and DA neuron activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) using in vivo electrophysiology).

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Mar
2017

Emerging evidence supports a role for dopamine in major depressive disorder (MDD). We recently reported fewer spontaneously active ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons (ie, reduced dopamine neuron population activity) in the chronic mild stress (CMS) rodent model of MDD. In this study, we examined the role of two brain regions that have been implicated in MDD in humans, the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (ILPFC)-that is, rodent homolog of Brodmann area 25 (BA25), and the lateral habenula (LHb) in the CMS-induced attenuation of dopamine neuron activity.

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Jan
2017

The article by Hashemiyoon et al. is a masterful synthesis of the clinical, genetic, and neurobiological aspects of Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome that provides unique insights into the neural state dysfunctions that underlie this enigmatic disorder. In particular, the authors make a powerful argument for the disorder arising from hyposynchronization within cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical systems which may result from a genetically-driven developmental insult to interneuron regulation, and suggest deep brain stimulation as a valuable tool to assess how balance may be restored to the system and reverse the pathological state.

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Dec
1969

Adolescence is a time of extensive neuroanatomical, functional and chemical reorganization of the brain, which parallels substantial maturational changes in behavior and cognition. Environmental factors that impinge on the timing of these developmental factors, including stress and drug exposure, increase the risk for psychiatric disorders. Indeed, antecedents to affective and psychotic disorders, which have clinical and pathophysiological overlap, are commonly associated with risk factors during adolescence that predispose to these disorders.

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Dec
1969

The circuitry mediating top-down control of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is exceedingly complex. Characterizing these networks will be critical to our understanding of fundamental behaviors, such as motivation and reward processing, as well as several disease states. Previous work suggests that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exerts a profound influence on VTA DA neuron firing.

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Dec
1969

Loss of parvalbumin interneurons in the hippocampus is a robust finding in schizophrenia brains. Rats exposed during embryonic day 17 to methylazoxymethanol acetate exhibit characteristics consistent with an animal model of schizophrenia, including decreased parvalbumin interneurons in the ventral hippocampus. We reported previously that peripubertal administration of diazepam prevented the emergence of pathophysiology in adult methylazoxymethanol acetate rats.

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Dec
1969

The dopamine system is unique among the brain's modulatory systems in that it has discrete projections to specific brain regions involved in motor behaviour, cognition and emotion. Dopamine neurons exhibit several activity patterns - including tonic and phasic firing - that are determined by a combination of endogenous pacemaker conductances and regulation by multiple afferent systems. Emerging evidence suggests that disruptions in these regulatory systems may underlie the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and depression.

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Dec
1969

The life of schizophrenia patients is severely affected by deficits in working memory. In various brain regions, the reciprocal interactions between excitatory glutamatergic neurons and inhibitory GABAergic neurons are crucial. Other neurotransmitters, in particular dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine, modulate the local balance between glutamate and GABA and therefore regulate the function of brain regions.

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Dec
1969

Genetic variations in the dopamine (DA) system are associated with cortical-striatal behavior in multiple populations. This study assessed associations of functional polymorphisms in the ankyrin repeat and kinase domain (ANKK1; Taq1a) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT; Val158Met) genes with behavioral dysfunction following traumatic brain injury (TBI).
This was a prospective study of 90 survivors of severe TBI recruited from a level 1 trauma center.

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Dec
1969

In addition to prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus, amygdala may have a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, given its pivotal role in emotion and extensive connectivity with the PFC and hippocampus. Moreover, abnormal activities of amygdala may be related to the anxiety observed in schizophrenia patients and at-risk adolescents. These at-risk subjects demonstrated heightened levels of anxiety, which are correlated with the onset of psychosis later in life.

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Jan
2016

Drug addiction is a chronic disorder characterized by a cycle composed of drug seeking, intoxication with drug taking and withdrawal associated with negative affect. Numerous studies have examined withdrawal/negative affect after chronic use; however, very few have examined the effect of acute administration on the negative affective state after acute drug withdrawal. One dose of amphetamine was injected into Sprague-Dawley rats.

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Apr
2015

Although, historically, the norepinephrine system has attracted the majority of attention in the study of the stress response, the dopamine system has also been consistently implicated. It has long been established that stress plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders. However, the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate the stress response and its effect in psychiatric diseases are not well understood.

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Jun
2015

Previous studies, predominantly in experimental animals, have suggested the presence of a differentiation of function across the hippocampal formation. In rodents, ventral regions are thought to be involved in emotional behavior while dorsal regions mediate cognitive or spatial processes. Using a combination of modeling the co-occurrence of significant activations across thousands of neuroimaging experiments and subsequent data-driven clustering of these data we were able to provide evidence of distinct subregions within a region corresponding to the human subiculum, a critical hub within the hippocampal formation.

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Feb
2015

In auditory fear conditioning, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) integrates a conditioned stimulus (CS) from the auditory thalamus (MGN) and the auditory association cortex (Te3) with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. The thalamic input provides a basic version of the CS, while the cortical input provides a processed representation of the stimulus. Dopamine (DA) is released in the LA under heightened arousal during the presentation of the CS.

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Jan
2015

Impaired γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling may contribute to the emergence of cognitive deficits and subcortical dopaminergic hyperactivity in patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. Against this background, it has been proposed that pharmacological interventions targeting GABAergic dysfunctions may prove useful in correcting such cognitive impairments and dopaminergic imbalances.
Here, we explored possible beneficial effects of the benzodiazepine-positive allosteric modulator SH-053-2'F-S-CH₃, with partial selectivity at the α2, α3, and α5 subunits of the GABAA receptor in an immune-mediated neurodevelopmental disruption model.

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Feb
2015

Dual system theories suggest that behavioral control is parsed between a deliberative "model-based" and a more reflexive "model-free" system. A balance of control exerted by these systems is thought to be related to dopamine neurotransmission. However, in the absence of direct measures of human dopamine, it remains unknown whether this reflects a quantitative relation with dopamine either in the striatum or other brain areas.

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Mar
2015

Elevated dopamine function and alterations in medial temporal lobe (MTL) structure and function are two of the most robust findings in schizophrenia, but how interactions between these abnormalities underlie the onset of psychosis is unclear. The methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) rodent model proposes that psychosis develops as a result of a perturbation of MTL function, leading to elevated striatal dopamine dysfunction. Here, we review several recent neuroimaging studies that examine components of the putative model in humans with an ultra high risk (UHR) of the psychosis.

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Feb
2015

Drugs of abuse elicit dopamine release in the ventral striatum, possibly biasing dopamine-driven reinforcement learning towards drug-related reward at the expense of non-drug-related reward. Indeed, in alcohol-dependent patients, reactivity in dopaminergic target areas is shifted from non-drug-related stimuli towards drug-related stimuli. Such 'hijacked' dopamine signals may impair flexible learning from non-drug-related rewards, and thus promote craving for the drug of abuse.

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Dec
2014

Adolescent exposure to cannabinoids in vulnerable individuals is proposed to be a risk factor for psychiatric conditions later in life, particularly schizophrenia. Evidence from studies in animals has indicated that a combination of repeated pubertal cannabinoid administration with either neonatal prefrontocortical lesion, isolation rearing, or chronic NMDA receptor antagonism administration induces enhanced schizophrenia-like behavioral disruptions. The effects of adolescent exposure to CB1 receptor agonists, however, have not been tested in a developmental disruption model of schizophrenia.

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Feb
2015

Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) may experience impulse control disorders (ICDs) when on dopamine agonist therapy for their motor symptoms. In the last few years, a rapid growth of interest for the recognition of these aberrant behaviors and their neurobiological correlates has occurred. Recent advances in neuroimaging are helping to identify the neuroanatomical networks responsible for these ICDs, and together with psychopharmacological assessments are providing new insights into the brain status of impulsive behavior.

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Dec
2014

One of the most novel and exciting findings in major depressive disorder research over the last decade is the discovery of the fast-acting and long-lasting antidepressant effects of ketamine. Indeed, the therapeutic effects of classic antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, require a month or longer to be expressed, with about a third of major depressive disorder patients resistant to treatment. Clinical studies have shown that a low dose of ketamine exhibits fast-acting relatively sustained antidepressant action, even in treatment-resistant patients.

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Oct
2014

Alteration in normal hippocampal (HPC) function attributed to reduced parvalbumin (PV) expression has been consistently reported in schizophrenia patients and in animal models of schizophrenia. However, it is unclear whether there is an overall loss of interneurons as opposed to a reduction in activity-dependent PV content. Co-expression of PV and the constitutively expressed substance P (SP)-receptor protein has been utilized in other models to ascertain the degree of cell survival, as opposed to reduction in activity-dependent PV content, in the HPC.

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Mar
2014

Trials of novel compounds for the treatment of schizophrenia are typically tested in patients following brief withdrawal of ongoing medication despite known long-term changes in the dopamine (DA) system following chronic antipsychotic drug therapy. The present study explored the impact of withdrawal from repeated haloperidol (HAL) treatment, as well as the response to a novel α5 gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptor positive allosteric modulator (α5PAM), on the activity of the DA system in the methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia. Electrophysiological recordings were conducted from DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area of MAM and saline (SAL) rats following 7-day withdrawal from repeated HAL (21 d, 0.

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Dec
1969

Currently available pharmacotherapies for the treatment of schizophrenia are ineffective in restoring the disrupted cognitive function associated with this disorder. As such, there is a continued search for more viable novel drug targets. Engaging in cognitive behaviors is associated with distinct coordinated oscillatory activity across brain regions, in particular the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

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Aug
2014

Major depressive disorder affects more than 15% of the population across their lifespan. In this study, we used the well-characterized unpredictable chronic mild stress (CMS) model of depression to examine this condition.
Sprague-Dawley rats were presented randomly with mild stressors for 4 weeks, with body weight and sucrose intake monitored weekly.

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Oct
2013

Repeated exposure to cocaine is known to produce persistent deficits in behavioral flexibility. Evidence suggests that these deficits are mediated in part by a circuit involving the medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices (PFC and OFC), nucleus accumbens (NAC), and basolateral amygdala (BLA). To assess the effects of cocaine on this circuit, we treated rats with cocaine daily for 14 d, followed by 4 weeks of abstinence.

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Oct
2013

The ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been implicated in a number of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder. One major regulator of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system is the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which makes direct and indirect connections to the hippocampus and amygdala, as well as directly to the VTA. The mPFC is comprised of two subregions: the infralimbic and prelimbic cortices (ilPFC and plPFC).

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Mar
2014

High-frequency stimulation of the nucleus accumbens, also known as deep brain stimulation (DBS), is currently used to alleviate obsessive compulsive symptoms when pharmacotherapy is ineffective. However, the mechanism by which DBS achieves its therapeutic actions is not understood. Imaging studies and the actions of dopaminergic drugs in untreated patients suggest that the dopamine (DA) system likely plays a role in the pathophysiology of obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Oct
2013

Despite there being a relatively large number of methods papers which detail specifically the development of stimulation devices, only a small number of reports involve the application of these devices in freely moving animals. To date multiple preclinical neural stimulators have been designed and described but have failed to make an impact on the methods employed by the majority of laboratories studying DBS. Thus, the overwhelming majority of DBS studies are still performed by tethering the subject to an external stimulator.

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Nov
2013

A number of studies have implicated disruptions in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response in both schizophrenia patients and animal models of this disorder. These disruptions are believed to reflect deficits in sensorimotor gating and are ascribed to aberrant filtering of sensory inputs leading to sensory overload and enhanced "noise" in neural structures. Here we examined auditory evoked potentials in a rodent model of schizophrenia (MAM-GD17) during an auditory PPI paradigm to better understand this phenomenon.

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