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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Changes in signaling pathways regulating neuroplasticity induced by neurokinin 1 receptor knockout.

Neurokinin 1 (NK-1) receptor knockout mice showed behavioral responses similar to animals chronically treated with antidepressants. The aim of this study was to analyse, in NK-1 receptor knockout, the molecular modifications of signaling pathways involved in the pathophysiology of depression and antidepressant mechanism. We found, in total cell cytosol from the prefrontal/frontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum, a marked up-regulation of Ca(2+)-independent enzymatic activity and Thr(286) autophosphorylation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) II. Similar changes in CaMKII regulation were previously observed in rats chronically treated with antidepressants. In striatum, up-regulation of the activity and phosphorylation of CaMKII was also found in the homogenate and synaptosomes. No major changes were observed in the Ca(2+)-dependent kinase activity, with the exception of homogenate from the prefrontal/frontal cortex. We also analysed the expression and phosphorylation of presynaptic proteins, which modulate synaptic vesicle trafficking and exocytosis, and found a marked decrease in synapsin I total expression and basal phosphorylation of Ser(603) (the phosphorylation site for CaMKII) in the prefrontal/frontal cortex. Accordingly, the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent posthoc endogenous phosphorylation of synapsin I in the same area was increased. The knockout of NK-1 receptor had no consequences on the expression or phosphorylation levels of the transcription factor cAMP-responsive element-binding protein and its regulating kinase CaMKIV. However, phosphorylation of ERK1/2-mitogen-activated protein kinases was reduced in the hippocampus and striatum, again resembling an effect previously observed in antidepressant-treated rats. These results show similarities between NK-1 knockouts and animals chronically treated with antidepressants and support the putative antidepressant activity of NK-1 receptor antagonists.[1]


  1. Changes in signaling pathways regulating neuroplasticity induced by neurokinin 1 receptor knockout. Musazzi, L., Perez, J., Hunt, S.P., Racagni, G., Popoli, M. Eur. J. Neurosci. (2005) [Pubmed]
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