Veratridine: A Janus-Faced Modulator of Voltage-Gated Sodium Ion Channels.
ACS chemical neuroscience
Voltage-gated sodium ion channels (NaVs) are integral to both neuronal and muscular signaling and are a primary target for a number of proteinaceous and small molecule toxins. Included among these neurotoxins is veratridine (VTD), a C-nor-D homosteroidal alkaloid from the seeds of members of the Veratrum genus. VTD binds to NaV within the pore region, causing a hyperpolarizing shift in the activation threshold in addition to reducing peak current. We have characterized the activity of VTD against heterologously expressed rat NaV1.4 and have demonstrated that VTD acts on the channel as either an agonist or antagonist depending on the nature of the electrophysiological stimulation protocol. Structure-activity studies with VTD and VTD derivatives against NaV mutants show that the functional duality of VTD can be decoupled. These findings suggest that the dichotomous activity of VTD may derive from two distinct, use-dependent binding orientations of the toxin.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acschemneuro.9b00621
View details for PubMedID 31951114
Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons Modulate Spike-Timing in Striosomes and Matrix by an Amphetamine-Sensitive Mechanism
FRONTIERS IN NEUROANATOMY
2017; 11: 20
The striatum is key for action-selection and the motivation to move. Dopamine and acetylcholine release sites are enriched in the striatum and are cross-regulated, possibly to achieve optimal behavior. Drugs of abuse, which promote abnormally high dopamine release, disrupt normal action-selection and drive restricted, repetitive behaviors (stereotypies). Stereotypies occur in a variety of disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, schizophrenia and Huntington's disease, as well as in addictive states. The severity of drug-induced stereotypy is correlated with induction of c-Fos expression in striosomes, a striatal compartment that is related to the limbic system and that directly projects to dopamine-producing neurons of the substantia nigra. These characteristics of striosomes contrast with the properties of the extra-striosomal matrix, which has strong sensorimotor and associative circuit inputs and outputs. Disruption of acetylcholine signaling in the striatum blocks the striosome-predominant c-Fos expression pattern induced by drugs of abuse and alters drug-induced stereotypy. The activity of striatal cholinergic interneurons is associated with behaviors related to sensory cues, and cortical inputs to striosomes can bias action-selection in the face of conflicting cues. The neurons and neuropil of striosomes and matrix neurons have observably separate distributions, both at the input level in the striatum and at the output level in the substantia nigra. Notably, cholinergic axons readily cross compartment borders, providing a potential route for local cross-compartment communication to maintain a balance between striosomal and matrix activity. We show here, by slice electrophysiology in transgenic mice, that repetitive evoked firing patterns in striosomal and matrix striatal projection neurons (SPNs) are interrupted by optogenetic activation of cholinergic interneurons either by the addition or the deletion of spikes. We demonstrate that this cholinergic modulation of projection neurons is blocked in brain slices taken from mice exposed to amphetamine and engaged in amphetamine-induced stereotypy, and lacking responsiveness to salient cues. Our findings support a model whereby activity in striosomes is normally under strong regulation by cholinergic interneurons, favoring behavioral flexibility, but that in animals with drug-induced stereotypy, this cholinergic signaling breaks down, resulting in differential modulation of striosomal activity and an inability to bias action-selection according to relevant sensory cues.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fnana.2017.00020
View details for Web of Science ID 000396750200002
View details for PubMedID 28377698
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5359318
Evaluation of Bio-VOC Sampler for Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Exhaled Breath.
2014; 4 (4): 879-888
Monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from exhaled breath has been used to determine exposures of humans to chemicals. Prior to analysis of VOCs, breath samples are often collected with canisters or bags and concentrated. The Bio-VOC breath sampler, a commercial sampling device, has been recently introduced to the market with growing use. The main advantage for this sampler is to collect the last portion of exhaled breath, which is more likely to represent the air deep in the lungs. However, information about the Bio-VOC sampler is somewhat limited. Therefore, we have thoroughly evaluated the sampler here. We determined the volume of the breath air collected in the sampler was approximately 88 mL. When sampling was repeated multiple times, with the succeeding exhalations applied to a single sorbent tube, we observed linear relationships between the normalized peak intensity and the number of repeated collections with the sampler in many of the breath VOCs detected. No moisture effect was observed on the Tenax sorbent tubes used. However, due to the limitation in the collection volume, the use of the Bio-VOC sampler is recommended only for detection of VOCs present at high concentrations unless repeated collections of breath samples on the sampler are conducted.
View details for DOI 10.3390/metabo4040879
View details for PubMedID 25532709