The neuropeptide slow transmitter PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide) is released at synapses that transduce stress responses to the brain, and mediate homeostatic adjustments to stress by the organism. Allostatic responses to systemic and psychogenic stressors at multiple points in development and throughout the life span are implicated as causative factors in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress response pathways (resilience responses) may also be required to ameliorate delayed neuronal death (DND) in traumatic brain injury, long-term exposure to intense physical or psychological stimuli, or brain inflammation in chronic neurodegenerative disease. Understanding the cellular mechanisms of stress transduction is crucial to developing effective therapeutic interventions for these disorders. We recently completed and published, with our collaborators Eberhard Weihe (Marburg University), Greti Aguilera (NIH), and Corey Smith (Case Western Reserve), experiments demonstrating that PACAP release at the adrenomedullary synapse is required for acute and chronic systemic and psychogenic stress responses, while in the PACAP is required specifically for psychogenic stress responses (Stroth and Eiden, Neuroscience 165:1025, 2010;Stroth et al., J. Neuroendocrinol. 23:944, 2011;Stroth et al., Endocrinology 154: 330, 2013). PACAP-dependent activation of neuroprotective proteins accompanies prolonged stress at these anatomical locations, suggesting a second role for PACAP in limiting cellular damage accompanying overstimulation of stress-transducing cells. PACAP activates several genes in cultured bovine chromaffin cells which are also regulated by PACAP during stress in vivo, including those encoding steroidogenic and neuroprotective secreted peptides, such as galanin, stanniocalcin, and VIP. This induction is dependent on a novel cAMP-dependent, PKA-independent signaling pathway different from the one required for cAMP- and calcium-dependent effects on memory and learning. We have now characterized this signaling pathway so that pharmacological interventions in stress relevant to mental health might be developed that do not at the same time interfere with normal processes of memory and learning that depend on cyclic AMP. We have also characterized the induction of the neuro- and cardio-protective gene product stanniocalcin as a PACAP-regulated gene in a neuroblastoma-glioma cell line, and in cultured rat cortical neurons, and demonstrated that this pathway is also a cAMP-dependent, PKA-independent one (Holighaus, Mustafa and Eiden, Peptides 32:1647, 2011;Holighaus, Weihe and Eiden, J. Mol. Neurosci. 46:75, 2011). Recently, we have developed in collaboration with members of the Section on Functional Neuroanatomy, NIMH-IRP, behavioral assays for monitoring the role of PACAP in depressive behaviors generated by prolonged social stress. These studies suggest a role for PACAP in extrahypothalamic stress responses as well as in the regulation of the HPA axis (Lehmann et al., Pshcyoneuroendocrinology 38: 702, 2013). We continue to investigate differential PACAP signaling in hypothalamus and limbic system relevant to stress management, and PACAP signaling in cerebral cortex relevant to neuroprotection from the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury, as an urgent translational goal. The neuropeptide slow transmitter PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide) is released at synapses that transduce stress responses to the brain, and mediate homeostatic adjustments to stress by the organism. Allostatic responses to systemic and psychogenic stressors at multiple points in development and throughout the life span are implicated as causative factors in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress response pathways (resilience responses) may also be required to ameliorate delayed neuronal death (DND) in traumatic brain injury, long-term exposure to intense physical or psychological stimuli, or brain inflammation in chronic neurodegenerative disease. Understanding the cellular mechanisms of stress transduction is crucial to developing effective therapeutic interventions for these disorders. We recently completed and published, with our collaborators Eberhard Weihe (Marburg University), Greti Aguilera (NIH), and Corey Smith (Case Western Reserve), experiments demonstrating that PACAP release at the adrenomedullary synapse is required for acute and chronic systemic and psychogenic stress responses, while in the PACAP is required specifically for psychogenic stress responses (Stroth and Eiden, Neuroscience 165:1025, 2010;Stroth et al., J. Neuroendocrinol. 23:944, 2011;Stroth et al., Endocrinology 154: 330, 2013). PACAP-dependent activation of neuroprotective proteins accompanies prolonged stress at these anatomical locations, suggesting a second role for PACAP in limiting cellular damage accompanying overstimulation of stress-transducing cells. PACAP activates several genes in cultured bovine chromaffin cells which are also regulated by PACAP during stress in vivo, including those encoding steroidogenic and neuroprotective secreted peptides, such as galanin, stanniocalcin, and VIP. This induction is dependent on a novel cAMP-dependent, PKA-independent signaling pathway different from the one required for cAMP- and calcium-dependent effects on memory and learning. We have now characterized this signaling pathway so that pharmacological interventions in stress relevant to mental health might be developed that do not at the same time interfere with normal processes of memory and learning that depend on cyclic AMP. We have also characterized the induction of the neuro- and cardio-protective gene product stanniocalcin as a PACAP-regulated gene in a neuroblastoma-glioma cell line, and in cultured rat cortical neurons, and demonstrated that this pathway is also a cAMP-dependent, PKA-independent one (Holighaus, Mustafa and Eiden, Peptides 32:1647, 2011;Holighaus, Weihe and Eiden, J. Mol. Neurosci. 46:75, 2011). Recently, we have developed in collaboration with members of the Section on Functional Neuroanatomy, NIMH-IRP, behavioral assays for monitoring the role of PACAP in depressive behaviors generated by prolonged social stress. These studies suggest a role for PACAP in extrahypothalamic stress responses as well as in the regulation of the HPA axis (Lehmann et al., Pshcyoneuroendocrinology 38: 702, 2013). We continue to investigate differential PACAP signaling in hypothalamus and limbic system relevant to stress management, and PACAP signaling in cerebral cortex relevant to neuroprotection from the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury, as an urgent translational goal. Most recently, we have begun to screen, in collaboration with M. Ferrer, NCATS, small molecule inhibitors of the PAC1 receptor in furtherance of this goal.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
27
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$1,143,051
Indirect Cost
Name
U.S. National Institute of Mental Health
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
State
Country
Zip Code
Schütz, Burkhard; Schäfer, Martin K-H; Gördes, Markus et al. (2015) Satb2-independent acquisition of the cholinergic sudomotor phenotype in rodents. Cell Mol Neurobiol 35:205-16
Almeida-Suhett, Camila P; Li, Zheng; Marini, Ann M et al. (2014) Temporal course of changes in gene expression suggests a cytokine-related mechanism for long-term hippocampal alteration after controlled cortical impact. J Neurotrauma 31:683-90
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Emery, Andrew C; Eiden, Maribeth V; Mustafa, Tomris et al. (2013) Rapgef2 connects GPCR-mediated cAMP signals to ERK activation in neuronal and endocrine cells. Sci Signal 6:ra51
Samal, Babru; Ait-Ali, Djida; Bunn, Stephen et al. (2013) Discrete signal transduction pathway utilization by a neuropeptide (PACAP) and a cytokine (TNF-alpha) first messenger in chromaffin cells, inferred from coupled transcriptome-promoter analysis of regulated gene cohorts. Peptides 45:48-60
Emery, Andrew C; Eiden, Maribeth V; Eiden, Lee E (2013) A new site and mechanism of action for the widely used adenylate cyclase inhibitor SQ22,536. Mol Pharmacol 83:95-105
Ringer, Cornelia; Büning, Luisa-Sybille; Schäfer, Martin K H et al. (2013) PACAP signaling exerts opposing effects on neuroprotection and neuroinflammation during disease progression in the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurobiol Dis 54:32-42
Ait-Ali, Djida; Stroth, Nikolas; Sen, Jyoti M et al. (2010) PACAP-cytokine interactions govern adrenal neuropeptide biosynthesis after systemic administration of LPS. Neuropharmacology 58:208-14
Beaule, Christian; Mitchell, Jennifer W; Lindberg, Peder T et al. (2009) Temporally restricted role of retinal PACAP: integration of the phase-advancing light signal to the SCN. J Biol Rhythms 24:126-34

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