Binge eating afflicts approximately 5% of US adults, though effective treatments are limited. Here, we showed that estrogen replacement substantially suppresses binge-like eating behavior in ovariectomized female mice. Estrogen-dependent inhibition of binge-like eating was blocked in female mice specifically lacking estrogen receptor-? (ER?) in serotonin (5-HT) neurons in the dorsal raphe nuclei (DRN). Administration of a recently developed glucagon-like peptide-1-estrogen (GLP-1-estrogen) conjugate designed to deliver estrogen to GLP1 receptor-enhanced regions effectively targeted bioactive estrogens to the DRN and substantially suppressed binge-like eating in ovariectomized female mice. Administration of GLP-1 alone reduced binge-like eating, but not to the same extent as the GLP-1-estrogen conjugate. Administration of ER?-selective agonist propylpyrazole triol (PPT) to murine DRN 5-HT neurons activated these neurons in an ER?-dependent manner. PPT also inhibited a small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (SK) current; blockade of the SK current prevented PPT-induced activation of DRN 5-HT neurons. Furthermore, local inhibition of the SK current in the DRN markedly suppressed binge-like eating in female mice. Together, our data indicate that estrogens act upon ER? to inhibit the SK current in DRN 5-HT neurons, thereby activating these neurons to suppress binge-like eating behavior and suggest ER? and/or SK current in DRN 5-HT neurons as potential targets for anti-binge therapies.
Activation of cannabinoid receptor type 1 on presynaptic neurons is postulated to suppress neurotransmission by decreasing Ca(2+) influx through high voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. However, recent studies suggest that cannabinoids which activate cannabinoid receptor type 1 can increase neurotransmitter release by enhancing Ca(2+) influx in vitro. The aim of the present study was to investigate the modulation of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration by the cannabinoid receptor type 1 agonist anandamide, and its underlying mechanisms. Using whole cell voltage-clamp and calcium imaging in cultured trigeminal ganglion neurons, we found that anandamide directly caused Ca(2+) influx in a dose-dependent manner, which then triggered an increase of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. The cyclic adenosine and guanosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase systems, but not the protein kinase C system, were involved in the increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration by anandamide. This result showed that anandamide increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and inhibited high voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels through different signal transduction pathways.
Ca(2+)-calmodulin (CaM) dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is an important intracellular signal transduction pathway. CaMKII is rich in the primary sensory neurons and specifically presents in the small- and medium-sized neurons. It remains unclear about the modulation on the excitability of primary sensory neurons by Ca(2+)-CaM-CaMKII pathway. By current clamp recording, we found that the excitability of capsaicin-sensitive small and medium trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons was significantly reduced by a CaM specific antagonist (W-7) and a CaMKII antagonist (KN-93). The inhibition is represented as the reduction of numbers of action potential (AP), decrease of the amplitude of AP, increase of threshold, and prolongation of duration of AP. Consistently, by voltage clamp recording, we found that both voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) and voltage-gated potassium channels (VGPCs) were inhibited by W-7 and KN-93 in the order of total sodium (Na(+)) current (INa-T) > sustained potassium (K(+)) current (IK) > A-type K(+) current (IA). In addition, AIP (a selective CaMKII peptide inhibitor) and KN-93 caused a similar inhibition of INa-T and IK. Those evidences show that the excitability of capsaicin sensitive small and medium TG neurons can be regulated by Ca(2+)-CaM-CaMKII pathway through modulating VGSCs and VGPCs. Considering the specific distribution of CaMKII and its susceptibility to many analgesic stimuli, Ca(2+)-CaM-CaMKII pathway may play an important role in the peripheral sensory transduction, especially in nociception.
Although the inhibitory effect of cannabinoids on transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel may explain the efficacy of peripheral cannabinoids in antihyperalgesia and antinociceptive actions, the mechanism for cannabinoid-induced inhibition of TRPV1 in primary sensory neurons is not understood. Therefore, we explored how WIN55,212-2 (WIN, a synthetic cannabinoid) inhibited TRPV1 in rat trigeminal ganglion neurons. A "bell"-shaped concentration-dependent curve was obtained from the effects of WIN on TRPV1 channel. The maximal inhibition on capsaicin-induced current (I (cap)) by WIN was at a concentration of 10(-9) M, and at this concentration I (cap) was reduced by 95 ± 1.6%. When the concentration of WIN was at 10(-6) M, it displayed a stimulatory effect on I (cap). In this study, several intracellular signaling transduction pathways were tested to study whether they were involved in the inhibitory effects of WIN on I (cap). We found that the inhibitory effect of WIN on I (cap) was completely reversed by PKA antagonists H-89 and KT5720 as well as by PKC antagonists BIM and staurosporine. It was also found that the inhibitory effect was partly reversed by PKG antagonist PKGi, while G-protein antagonist GDP-?s/pertussis toxin (PTX) and PLC antagonist U-73122 had no effect on the inhibitory effect of WIN on I(cap). These results suggest that several intracellular signaling transduction pathways including PKA and PKC systems underlie the inhibitory effects of WIN on I (cap); however, G protein-coupled receptors CB1 or CB2 were not involved.
Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are important channels which participate in many physiological functions. Whether VGSCs can be modulated by changes in osmolality in trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons remains unknown. In this study, by using whole-cell patch clamp techniques, we tested the effects of hypo- and hypertonicity on VGSCs in cultured TG neurons. Our data show that tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium current (TTX-R current) was inhibited in the presence of hypo- and hypertonic solutions. In hypertonic solutions both voltage-dependent activation and inactivation curves shifted to the hyperpolarizing direction, while in hypotonic solutions only inactivation curve shifted to the hyperpolarizing direction. Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) receptor activator mimicked the inhibition of TTX-R current by hypotonicity and the inhibition by hypotonicity was markedly attenuated by TRPV4 receptor blocker and in TRPV4(-/-) mice TG neurons. We also demonstrate that the inhibition of PKA selectively attenuated hypotonicity-induced inhibition, whereas antagonism of PLC and PI3K selectively attenuated hypertonicity-induced inhibition. We conclude that although hypo- and hypertonicity have similar effect on VGSCs, receptor and intracellular signaling pathways are different for hypo- versus hypertonicity-induced inhibition of TTX-R current.
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