Mounting evidence suggests that stress and the major stress hormone, corticosterone, induce divergent and profound influences in the brain, with acute stress triggering responses that are essential for adaptation and maintenance of homeostasis and chronic stress producing maladaptive changes that lead to cognitive and emotional disturbances. In this application, we will use combined electrophysiological, biochemical, immunocytochemical, molecular and behavioral approaches to address 3 specific aims: (1) To examine the synaptic targets for the complex effects of stress. We will determine whether glutamate receptors (NMDARs and AMPARs) in prefrontal cortex (PFC) are key targets at synapses that are differentially regulated by different kinds of stress, which is causally linke to their complex effects on PFC-dependent cognitive functions. (2) To identify the determining factor for the switch from the positive effects of acute stress to the negative effects of repeated stress. We will determine whether the transition is attributable to the loss of key signaling molecules (e.g. Serum- and Glucocorticoid-Inducible Kinase) and synaptic proteins (e.g. AMPAR GluR1 subunit) by upregulated E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4 in response to prolonged glucocorticoid receptor activation. (3) To explore novel strategies to rescue the detrimental effects of chronic stress. Altered histone acetylation and transcriptional dysfunction have been implicated in a wide range of neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Our recent studies have found that HDAC2 is upregulated in PFC of repeatedly stressed animals, which is responsible for the transcriptional modification of Nedd4. We will examine whether HDAC2 inhibition is a potential therapeutic strategy to rescue the deleterious effects of chronic stress on synaptic and cognitive function. This proposal will address important issues on the molecular mechanisms underlying the complex actions of stress hormones. Results gained from study will reveal how the corticosteroid-glutamate interactions contribute to cognitive functions in normal states and stress-related mental illnesses. Our studies will also provide valuable targets for designing novel therapies to modify the stress responses.
Stress and the major stress hormone, corticosterone, induce divergent and profound influences in the brain. This study is to examine the molecular basis for the opposing effects of acute vs. chronic stress on synaptic transmission and cognitive behaviors, to identify the determining factor for the switch from the positive effects of acute stress to the negative effects of chronic stress, and to explore novel strategies to rescue the detrimental effects of chronic stress. Results gained from study will reveal how the corticosteroid-glutamate interactions contribute to cognitive functions in normal states and stress-related mental illnesses. It will also provide valuable targets for designing novel therapie to modify the stress responses.
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|Yuen, Eunice Y; Wei, Jing; Yan, Zhen (2017) Molecular and Epigenetic Mechanisms for the Complex Effects of Stress on Synaptic Physiology and Cognitive Functions. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 20:948-955|
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|Xu, Z; Jiang, H; Zhong, P et al. (2016) Direct conversion of human fibroblasts to induced serotonergic neurons. Mol Psychiatry 21:62-70|
|Qin, Luye; Liu, Wenhua; Ma, Kaijie et al. (2016) The ADHD-linked human dopamine D4 receptor variant D4.7 induces over-suppression of NMDA receptor function in prefrontal cortex. Neurobiol Dis 95:194-203|
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