The etiology of mood disorders is unknown, a critical problem considering their lifetime prevalence of ~20%. Many studies support a role of dysregulated GSK3 in contributing to mood disorders including studies of human postmortem brain, peripheral cells, and genetics, and behavioral studies in glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) transgenic mice and with GSK3 inhibitors. Lithium, the classical mood stabilizer used to treat bipolar disorder, inhibits GSK3 by a dual mechanism, directly inhibiting enzyme activity and increasing the inhibitory serine-phosphorylation of GSK3. This project will extend key findings from our current period of support that provide important links between lithium's inhibition of GSK3 and susceptibility to mood disorders in behavior, neurogenesis, signaling, and developmental studies. These topics represent novel findings by this laboratory, indicative of the innovation and productivity of this project, and significantly contribute to progress in understanding the etiology of mood disorders and mechanisms of action of therapeutic drugs that should help to develop improved interventions.
Specific Aim 1 will test if serine-phosphorylation of GSK3 regulates mood-relevant behaviors. We will use isoform-selective GSK3?21A/21A/?9A/9A knockin mice, where the regulatory serine of either GSK3 isoform is mutated to alanines, for behavioral tests to clarify the regulation of mood relevant behaviors by active GSK3. Since neurogenesis may be involved in mood disorder susceptibility and/or therapeutic responses, Specific Aim 2 will test if GSK3 regulates the plasticity of neurogenesis. We will test if GSK3 knockin mice display altered neurogenesis increased by exercise and impaired by chronic stress, relate to mood-relevant behaviors, and examine mechanisms. Vulnerability to mood disorders is greatest during development. Since we found GSK3 levels are elevated several-fold in juvenile and adolescent mouse brain, the increased GSK3 may contribute to developmentally-regulated susceptibility to mood disorders.
Specific Aim 3 will test mechanisms by which dysregulated GSK3 may be involved in mood-relevant behaviors and responses to therapeutic drugs. We will test if the rapid antidepressant effect of ketamine involves inhibition of GSK3, test if neurotrophins or inflammatory molecules are altered by GSK3 and associated with susceptibilities to mood-relevant behaviors and neurogenesis studied in SA1 and SA2, and examine changes in GSK3 association in protein complexes that regulate signaling.
Specific Aim 4 will test the developmental profile of heightened susceptibility to depression-like behavior and hyperactivity in GSK3 knockin mice and developmental responses to drugs. Altogether, this project will continue to address important problems concerning the causes and treatments of mood disorders.

Public Health Relevance

Mood disorders afflict approximately 20% of the population of the United States at some point in their lifetimes. However, because the underlying biochemical causes of these diseases are not known, treatments often do not adequately provide therapeutic benefits. The classical mood stabilizer lithium is an inhibitor of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3). Increasing evidence suggests this contributes to lithium's therapeutic effects and that GSK3 is dysregulated in mood disorders. This project will address potential causes of susceptibilities to mood disorders associated with dysregulated GSK3 and lithium's therapeutic effects with the aim of understanding the etiologies of mood disorders and developing better therapeutic interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling Study Section (MNPS)
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Nadler, Laurie S
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University of Miami School of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Coral Gables
United States
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Beurel, Eleonore; Grieco, Steven F; Jope, Richard S (2015) Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3): regulation, actions, and diseases. Pharmacol Ther 148:114-31
Franklin, Aimee V; King, Margaret K; Palomo, Valle et al. (2014) Glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitors reverse deficits in long-term potentiation and cognition in fragile X mice. Biol Psychiatry 75:198-206
King, Margaret K; Pardo, Marta; Cheng, Yuyan et al. (2014) Glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitors: Rescuers of cognitive impairments. Pharmacol Ther 141:1-12
King, M K; Jope, R S (2013) Lithium treatment alleviates impaired cognition in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. Genes Brain Behav 12:723-31
Beurel, Eléonore; Kaidanovich-Beilin, Oksana; Yeh, Wen-I et al. (2013) Regulation of Th1 cells and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by glycogen synthase kinase-3. J Immunol 190:5000-11
Sun, Mianen; Zhou, Tong; Jonasch, Eric et al. (2013) DDX3 regulates DNA damage-induced apoptosis and p53 stabilization. Biochim Biophys Acta 1833:1489-97
Yang, Jia-Ying; Deng, Wu; Chen, Yumay et al. (2013) Impaired translocation and activation of mitochondrial Akt1 mitigated mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation Complex V activity in diabetic myocardium. J Mol Cell Cardiol 59:167-75
Mines, Marjelo A; Beurel, Eleonore; Jope, Richard S (2013) Examination of methylphenidate-mediated behavior regulation by glycogen synthase kinase-3 in mice. Eur J Pharmacol 698:252-8
Beurel, Eléonore; Harrington, Laurie E; Jope, Richard S (2013) Inflammatory T helper 17 cells promote depression-like behavior in mice. Biol Psychiatry 73:622-30
Jope, Richard S; Nemeroff, Charles B (2013) The ups and downs of bipolar disorder research. Biol Psychiatry 73:597-9

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