Evidence of decreased gap junction coupling between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in the anterior cingulate cortex of depressed suicides.

TitleEvidence of decreased gap junction coupling between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in the anterior cingulate cortex of depressed suicides.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsTanti A, Lutz P-E, Kim J, O'Leary L, Théroux J-F, Turecki G, Mechawar N
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume44
Issue12
Pagination2099-2111
Date Published2019 Nov
ISSN1740-634X
Abstract

Glial dysfunction is a major pathophysiological feature of mood disorders. While altered astrocyte (AS) and oligodendrocyte-lineage (OL) functions have been associated with depression, the crosstalk between these glial cell types has never been assessed in that context. AS are potent regulators of myelination, in part through gap junction (GJ) channels formed by the heterotypic coupling of AS-specific (Cx30 and Cx43) and OL-specific (Cx32 and Cx47) connexins. This study therefore aimed at addressing the integrity of AS/OL coupling in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of depressed suicides. Using immunofluorescence and confocal imaging, we characterized the distribution of Cx30 and mapped its expression onto OL somas, myelinated axons, and brain vasculature in postmortem brain samples from depressed suicides (N = 48) and matched controls (N = 23). Differential gene expression of key components of the GJ nexus was also screened through RNA-sequencing previously generated by our group, and validated by quantitative real-time PCR. We show that Cx30 expression localized onto OL cells and myelinated fibers is decreased in deep cortical layers of the ACC in male-depressed suicides. This effect was associated with decreased expression of OL-specific connexins, as well as the downregulation of major connexin-interacting proteins essential for the scaffolding, trafficking, and function of GJs. These results provide a first evidence of impaired AS/OL GJ-mediated communication in the ACC of individuals with mood disorders. These changes in glial coupling are likely to have significant impact on brain function, and may contribute to the altered OL function previously reported in this brain region.

DOI10.1038/s41386-019-0471-z
Alternate JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
PubMed ID31374562
Grant ListPJT-156346 / / Gouvernement du Canada | Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Instituts de Recherche en Santé du Canada) /
SRG-0-088-15 / / The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American College of Neuropsychopharmacology /