Gap junctions in the ventral hippocampal-medial prefrontal pathway are involved in anxiety regulation.

TitleGap junctions in the ventral hippocampal-medial prefrontal pathway are involved in anxiety regulation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSchoenfeld, TJ, Kloth, AD, Hsueh, B, Runkle, MB, Kane, GA, Wang, SS-H, Gould, E
JournalJ Neurosci
Volume34
Issue47
Pagination15679-88
Date Published2014 Nov 19
ISSN1529-2401
KeywordsAnimals, Anxiety, Behavior, Animal, Connexins, Electroencephalography, Gap Junctions, Hippocampus, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Neural Pathways, Prefrontal Cortex, Running, Theta Rhythm
Abstract

<p>Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent but little is known about their underlying mechanisms. Gap junctions exist in brain regions important for anxiety regulation, such as the ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and mPFC, but their functions in these areas have not been investigated. Using pharmacological blockade of neuronal gap junctions combined with electrophysiological recordings, we found that gap junctions play a role in theta rhythm in the vHIP and mPFC of adult mice. Bilateral infusion of neuronal gap junction blockers into the vHIP decreased anxiety-like behavior on the elevated plus maze and open field. Similar anxiolytic effects were observed with unilateral infusion of these drugs into the vHIP combined with contralateral infusion into the mPFC. No change in anxious behavior was observed with gap junction blockade in the unilateral vHIP alone or in the bilateral dorsal HIP. Since physical exercise is known to reduce anxiety, we examined the effects of long-term running on the expression of the neuronal gap junction protein connexin-36 among inhibitory interneurons and found a reduction in the vHIP. Despite this change, we observed no alteration in theta frequency or power in long-term runners. Collectively, these findings suggest that neuronal gap junctions in the vHIP-mPFC pathway are important for theta rhythm and anxiety regulation under sedentary conditions but that additional mechanisms are likely involved in running-induced reduction in anxiety. </p>

DOI10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3234-13.2014
Alternate JournalJ. Neurosci.
PubMed ID25411496
PubMed Central IDPMC4236399
Grant ListR21 MH091567 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
F31 MH098651 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
NS045193 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
T32 GM007388 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 NS045193 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
MH098651 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
MH091567 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States