tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2)



(Updated 6/23/04)

Zill P, Baghai TC, Zwanzger P, Schüle C, Eser D, Rupprecht R, Möller HJ, Bondy B, Ackenheil M
SNP and haplotype analysis of a novel tryptophan hydroxylase isoform (TPH2) gene provide evidence for association with major depression.
Mol Psychiatry. 2004 May 4;
Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), being the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin plays a major role as candidate gene in several psychiatric disorders. Recently, a second TPH isoform (TPH2) was identified in mice, which was exclusively present in the brain. In a previous post-mortem study of our own group, we could demonstrate that TPH2 is also expressed in the human brain, but not in peripheral tissues. This is the first report of an association study between polymorphisms in the TPH2 gene and major depression (MD). We performed single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), haplotype and linkage disequlibrium studies on 300 depressed patients and 265 healthy controls with 10 SNPs in the TPH2 gene. Significant association was detected between one SNP (P=0.0012, global P=0.0051) and MD. Haplotype analysis produced additional support for association (P<0.0001, global P=0.0001). Our findings provide evidence for an involvement of genetic variants of the TPH2 gene in the pathogenesis of MD and might be a hint on the repeatedly discussed duality of the serotonergic system. These results may open up new research strategies for the analysis of the observed disturbances in the serotonergic system in patients suffering from several other psychiatric disorders. [Abstract]

Peters EJ, Slager SL, McGrath PJ, Knowles JA, Hamilton SP
Investigation of serotonin-related genes in antidepressant response.
Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Sep;9(9):879-89.
In this study, we sought out to test the hypothesis that genetic factors may influence antidepressant response to fluoxetine. The investigation focused on seven candidate genes in the serotonergic pathway involved in the synthesis, transport, recognition, and degradation of serotonin. Our clinical sample consisted of 96 subjects with unipolar major depression treated with fluoxetine with response variables assessed after a 12-week trial. Patient data were also collected to investigate the pattern of drug response. Using a high-throughput single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping platform and capillary electrophoresis, we genotyped patients at 110 SNPs and four repeat polymorphisms located in seven candidate genes (HTR1A, HTR2A, HTR2C, MAOA, SLC6A4, TPH1, and TPH2). Statistical tests performed included single-locus and haplotype association tests, and linkage disequilibrium (LD) estimation. Little evidence of population stratification was observed in the sample with 20 random SNPs using a genomic control procedure. Our most intriguing result involved three SNPs in the TPH1 gene and one SNP in the SLC6A4 gene, which show significant single-locus association when response to fluoxetine is compared to nonresponse (P=0.02-0.04). All odds ratios indicated an increased risk of not responding to fluoxetine. In the specific response vs nonspecific and nonresponse comparison, three SNPs in the TPH2 gene (P=0.02-0.04) were positively associated and one SNP in the HTR2A gene (P=0.02) was negatively associated. When comparing specific response to nonspecific response, we found significant negative associations in three SNPs in the HTR2A gene (P=0.001-0.03) and two SNPs in the MAOA gene (P=0.03-0.05). We observed variable, although strong LD, in each gene and unexpectedly low numbers of estimated haplotypes, formed from tagged SNPs. Significant haplotype associations were found in all but the HTR1A and HTR2C genes. Although these data should be interpreted cautiously due to the small sample size, these results implicate TPH1 and SLC6A4 in general response, and HTR2A, TPH2, and MAOA in the specificity of response to fluoxetine. Intriguingly, we observe that a number of the less frequent alleles of many of the SNP markers were associated with the nonresponse and nonspecific phenotypes. [Abstract]

Breidenthal SE, White DJ, Glatt CE
Identification of genetic variants in the neuronal form of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH2).
Psychiatr Genet. 2004 Jun;14(2):69-72.
OBJECTIVE: We screened the complete protein coding sequence of the newly identified neuronal form of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH2) for genetic variants. METHODS: Genomic DNA samples from 24 African-Americans and 24 Caucasian-Americans in the Coriell human variation collection were screened by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography followed by sequencing. RESULTS: We identified a number of genetic variants in both the coding and exon-flanking intronic sequences. Only one variant was identified that predicts a structural change in the TPH2 protein, and this was seen in only one out of 96 chromosomes. CONCLUSIONS: The gene for TPH2 contains a number of polymorphisms that might serve as useful markers for association analyses of complex behavioral phenotypes or as actual risk factors. Structural polymorphisms are extremely rare in TPH2 and cannot therefore act as substantial risk factors for behavioral disorders in African-American and Caucasian populations. [Abstract]

Zhang X, Beaulieu JM, Sotnikova TD, Gainetdinov RR, Caron MG
Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 controls brain serotonin synthesis.
Science. 2004 Jul 9;305(5681):217.
Dysregulation of brain serotonin contributes to many psychiatric disorders. Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph2), rather than Tph1, is preferentially expressed in the brain. We report a functional (C1473G) single-nucleotide polymorphism in mouse Tph2 that results in the substitution of Pro447 with Arg447 and leads to decreased serotonin levels in PC12 cells. Moreover, in BALB/cJ and DBA/2 mice that are homozygous for the 1473G allele, brain serotonin tissue content and synthesis are reduced in comparison to C57Bl/6 and 129X1/SvJ mice that are homozygous for the 1473C allele. Our data provide direct evidence for a fundamental role of Tph2 in brain serotonin synthesis. [Abstract]

Harvey M, Shink E, Tremblay M, Gagné B, Raymond C, Labbé M, Walther DJ, Bader M, Barden N
Support for the involvement of TPH2 gene in affective disorders.
Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Jul 20; [Abstract]

De Luca V, Mueller DJ, Tharmalingam S, King N, Kennedy JL
Analysis of the novel TPH2 gene in bipolar disorder and suicidality.
Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Jun 15; [Abstract]

Walther DJ, Bader M
A unique central tryptophan hydroxylase isoform.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2003 Nov 1;66(9):1673-80.
Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter synthesized in the raphe nuclei of the brain stem and involved in the central control of food intake, sleep, and mood. Accordingly, dysfunction of the serotonin system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of psychiatric diseases. At the same time, serotonin is a peripheral hormone produced mainly by enterochromaffin cells in the intestine and stored in platelets, where it is involved in vasoconstriction, haemostasis, and the control of immune responses. Moreover, serotonin is a precursor for melatonin and is therefore synthesized in high amounts in the pineal gland. Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) catalyzes the rate limiting step in 5-HT synthesis. Until recently, only one gene encoding TPH was described for vertebrates. By gene targeting, we functionally ablated this gene in mice. To our surprise, the resulting animals, although being deficient for serotonin in the periphery and in the pineal gland, exhibited close to normal levels of 5-HT in the brain stem. This led us to the detection of a second TPH gene in the genome of humans, mice, and rats, called TPH2. This gene is predominantly expressed in the brain stem, while the classical TPH gene, now called TPH1, is expressed in the gut, pineal gland, spleen, and thymus. These findings clarify puzzling data, which have been collected over the last decades about partially purified TPH proteins with different characteristics and justify a new concept of the serotonin system. In fact, there are two serotonin systems in vertebrates, independently regulated and with distinct functions. [Abstract]

Veenstra-VanderWeele J, Cook EH
Knockout mouse points to second form of tryptophan hydroxylase.
Mol Interv. 2003 Mar;3(2):72-5, 50.
A second form of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) is expressed in the brain by the gene Tph2. The presence of the gene was discovered when Tph 1(-/-)mice were found to express normal amounts of serotonin in brain, but not in the periphery. Additionally, Tph1(-/-) mice showed no observed behavioral differences from wild-type littermates. Veenstra-Vanderweele and Cook discuss the ramifications of these findings and what they might mean for designing drugs that target the expression and activity of TPH in differing tissues. [Abstract]

Patel PD, Pontrello C, Burke S
Robust and tissue-specific expression of TPH2 versus TPH1 in rat raphe and pineal gland.
Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Feb 15;55(4):428-33.
BACKGROUND: Regulation of raphe serotonergic cells is fundamental to the prevailing hypothesis of major depression pathophysiology. Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) is the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin biosynthesis, but brainstem TPH mRNA expression has been difficult to measure and study. Recently, a novel paralog of TPH, TPH2 (or neuronal TPH), was described, but its anatomic expression is unknown. METHODS: In situ hybridization histochemical survey was conducted across Sprague-Dawley rat brain for TPH1 and TPH2 mRNA. Semiquantitative techniques were used to estimate relative mRNA levels in individual cells. RESULTS: Almost exclusively, TPH2 mRNA is expressed in raphe, in a pattern overlapping the histologically defined raphe nuclei. In sharp contrast, TPH1 (the previously known TPH) is expressed predominantly in pineal gland. There is no appreciable overlap in the expression of these paralogs. The level of TPH2 mRNA expression in individual raphe cells is approximately 2.5-fold greater than the level of TPH1 expression in pinealocytes. CONCLUSIONS: TPH2 mRNA has an anatomic expression pattern consistent with brainstem raphe nuclei and is likely to be the gene giving rise to the majority of TPH activity in these cells. The robust expression of TPH2 in brainstem should facilitate studies on the transcriptional regulation of raphe serotonin biosynthesis. [Abstract]

Zill P, Büttner A, Eisenmenger W, Bondy B, Ackenheil M
Regional mRNA expression of a second tryptophan hydroxylase isoform in postmortem tissue samples of two human brains.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2004 Aug;14(4):282-4.
Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) as rate limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin plays a major role as candidate gene in several psychiatric disorders. Recently a second TPH isoform (TPH2) was identified in mice, which was exclusively expressed in the brain. We investigated whether the mRNA of the human homologue of this new TPH2 isoform is expressed in the human brain but not in peripheral tissues. The study was performed with postmortem specimen obtained from two subjects who died on cardiovascular failure. TPH2 mRNA levels were determined by quantitative real time RT-PCR. TPH2 mRNA was exclusively present in the human brains but not in the investigated peripheral tissues. Our finding may open up new research strategies for the analysis of the repeatedly observed disturbances in the serotonergic system in patients suffering from several psychiatric disorders. [Abstract]

Sugden D
Comparison of circadian expression of tryptophan hydroxylase isoform mRNAs in the rat pineal gland using real-time PCR.
J Neurochem. 2003 Sep;86(5):1308-11.
A second gene encoding a functional tryptophan hydroxylase activity has recently been described (TPH2), which is expressed abundantly in brainstem, the primary site of serotonergic neurons in the CNS. As serotonin (5-HT) has an important role as a precursor of the nocturnal synthesis of the pineal gland hormone, melatonin, it was of interest to determine the relative expression of TPH1 and 2 mRNA in the rat pineal during the light:dark (L:D) cycle using sensitive real-time RT-PCR assays which were developed for each TPH isoform. TPH1 mRNA expression was 105-fold more abundant in rat pineal than TPH2, and showed a significant approximately 4-fold nocturnal increase in expression which may contribute to the previously described nocturnal increase in pineal tryptophan hydroxylase activity. TPH2 expression within the gland showed no significant variation with time of day and was very low (approximately 300 copies/gland) indicating expression in the small proportion of "non-pinealocyte" cells in the gland. [Abstract]

Liang J, Wessel JH, Iuvone PM, Tosini G, Fukuhara C
Diurnal rhythms of tryptophan hydroxylase 1 and 2 mRNA expression in the rat retina.
Neuroreport. 2004 Jun 28;15(9):1497-500.
Tryptophan hydroxylase is the first of four enzymes in the melatonin biosynthetic pathway. Recent studies have shown that there are two genes, Tph1 and Tph2, that encode tryptophan hydroxylase in mammals. In this study, we investigated which of the two genes is expressed in the rat retina. To that end, we measured Tph1 (classical Tph) and Tph2 mRNA levels using real-time quantitative RT-PCR in the retina. Our data demonstrate that Tph1 mRNA is the prevalent form expressed in the retina; Tph2 mRNA is also present but the level is very low. We also measured Tph1 expression levels in the outer nuclear layer, inner nuclear layer, and ganglion cell layer by combining laser capture microdissection and real-time RT-PCR. Tph1 mRNA is more abundant in the photoreceptors of the outer nuclear layer than in the inner nuclear layer or ganglion cell layer. Tph1 and Tph2 transcripts showed robust diurnal rhythms of abundance, with highest levels at night. Our results support the hypothesis that Tph1 is involved in melatonin synthesis in retinal photoreceptor cells. [Abstract]

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Recent TPH2 Research

1) Chi S, Teng L, Song JH, Zhou C, Pan WH, Zhao RL, Zhang C
Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 gene polymorphisms and poststroke anxiety disorders.
J Affect Disord. 2012 Jul 24;
BACKGROUND: Anxiety is common in stroke survivors and may adversely affect recovery. Polymorphisms of tryptophan hydroxylase2 (THP2) gene have been shown to be associated with anxiety disorders and other affective disorders. This study was aimed to investigate the association of two polymorphisms of THP2 gene, rs4570625 and rs4565946, with poststroke anxiety disorders in a Han Chinese population. METHODS: This case control study included 112poststroke anxiety patients and 246 non-anxious controls. All participants completed Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and DNA was extracted from blood and genotyped for the two polymorphisms of THP2 gene. RESULTS: Results revealed that the G allele of rs4570625 was associated with the increased risk of poststroke anxiety. In the female subgroup, both the GG genotype and G allele were observed to be significantly higher in case than in control. No significant difference in genotype and allele frequencies of the rs4565946 was found between case and control. Haplotype analysis identified that patients with the G-C haplotype had significantly increased the risk of poststroke anxiety. LIMITATIONS: More than 20 TPH2 polymorphisms have been detected, some of which are tightly-linked and may function together, only two SNPs of TPH2 were investigated in this study. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that these polymorphisms in TPH2 gene are involved in development of poststroke anxiety in the Han Chinese population. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

2) Mosienko V, Bert B, Beis D, Matthes S, Fink H, Bader M, Alenina N
Exaggerated aggression and decreased anxiety in mice deficient in brain serotonin.
Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 21;2:e122.
Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Dysregulation of serotonin transmission in the CNS is reported to be related to different psychiatric disorders in humans including depression, impulsive aggression and anxiety disorders. The most frequently prescribed antidepressants and anxiolytics target the serotonergic system. However, these drugs are not effective in 20-30% of cases. The causes of this failure as well as the molecular mechanisms involved in the origin of psychological disorders are poorly understood. Biosynthesis of serotonin in the CNS is initiated by tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2). In this study, we used Tph2-deficient (Tph2(-/-)) mice to evaluate the impact of serotonin depletion in the brain on mouse behavior. Tph2(-/-) mice exhibited increased depression-like behavior in the forced swim test but not in the tail suspension test. In addition, they showed decreased anxiety-like behavior in three different paradigms: elevated plus maze, marble burying and novelty-suppressed feeding tests. These phenotypes were accompanied by strong aggressiveness observed in the resident-intruder paradigm. Despite carrying only one copy of the gene, heterozygous Tph2(+/-) mice showed only 10% reduction in brain serotonin, which was not sufficient to modulate behavior in the tested paradigms. Our findings provide unequivocal evidence on the pivotal role of central serotonin in anxiety and aggression. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

3) Latapy C, Rioux V, Guitton MJ, Beaulieu JM
Selective deletion of forebrain glycogen synthase kinase 3β reveals a central role in serotonin-sensitive anxiety and social behaviour.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Sep 5;367(1601):2460-74.
Serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission is thought to underlie mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, depression, autism and schizophrenia. Independent studies have indicated that 5-HT or drugs acting on 5-HT neurotransmission regulate the serine/threonine kinase glycogen synthase kinase 3? (GSK3?). Furthermore, GSK3? inhibition rescues behavioural abnormalities in 5-HT-deficient mice with a loss-of-function mutation equivalent to the human variant (R441H) of tryptophan hydroxylase 2. In an effort to define neuroanatomical correlates of GSK3? activity in the regulation of behaviour, we generated CamKIIcre-floxGSK3? mice in which the gsk3b gene is postnatally inactivated in forebrain pyramidal neurons. Behavioural characterization showed that suppression of GSK3? in these brain areas has anxiolytic and pro-social effects. However, while a global reduction of GSK2? expression reduced responsiveness to amphetamine and increased resilience to social defeat, these behavioural effects were not found in CamKIIcre-floxGSK3? mice. These findings demonstrate a dissociation of behavioural effects related to GSK3 inhibition, with forebrain GSK3? being involved in the regulation of anxiety and sociability while social preference, resilience and responsiveness to psychostimulants would involve a function of this kinase in subcortical areas such as the hippocampus and striatum. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

4) Jacobsen JP, Medvedev IO, Caron MG
The 5-HT deficiency theory of depression: perspectives from a naturalistic 5-HT deficiency model, the tryptophan hydroxylase 2Arg439His knockin mouse.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Sep 5;367(1601):2444-59.
A decreased level of brain 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) has been theorized to be a core pathogenic factor in depression for half a century. The theory arose from clinical observations that drugs enhancing extracellular levels of 5-HT (5-HT(Ext)) have antidepressant effects in many patients. However, whether such drugs indeed correct a primary deficit remains unresolved. Still, a number of anomalies in putative biomarkers of central 5-HT function have been repeatedly reported in depression patients over the past 40 years, collectively indicating that 5-HT deficiency could be present in depression, particularly in severely ill and/or suicidal patients. This body of literature on putative 5-HT biomarker anomalies and depression has recently been corroborated by data demonstrating that such anomalies indeed occur consequent to severely reduced 5-HT(Ext) levels in a mouse model of naturalistic 5-HT deficiency, the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 His(439) knockin (Tph2KI) mouse. In this review, we will critically assess the evidence for 5-HT deficiency in depression and the possible role of polymorphisms in the Tph2 gene as a causal factor in 5-HT deficiency, the latter investigated from a clinical as well as preclinical angle. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

5) Lesch KP, Araragi N, Waider J, van den Hove D, Gutknecht L
Targeting brain serotonin synthesis: insights into neurodevelopmental disorders with long-term outcomes related to negative emotionality, aggression and antisocial behaviour.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Sep 5;367(1601):2426-43.
Aggression, which comprises multi-faceted traits ranging from negative emotionality to antisocial behaviour, is influenced by an interaction of biological, psychological and social variables. Failure in social adjustment, aggressiveness and violence represent the most detrimental long-term outcome of neurodevelopmental disorders. With the exception of brain-specific tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph2), which generates serotonin (5-HT) in raphe neurons, the contribution of gene variation to aggression-related behaviour in genetically modified mouse models has been previously appraised (Lesch 2005 Novartis Found Symp. 268, 111-140; Lesch & Merschdorf 2000 Behav. Sci. Law 18, 581-604). Genetic inactivation of Tph2 function in mice led to the identification of phenotypic changes, ranging from growth retardation and late-onset obesity, to enhanced conditioned fear response, increased aggression and depression-like behaviour. This spectrum of consequences, which are amplified by stress-related epigenetic interactions, are attributable to deficient brain 5-HT synthesis during development and adulthood. Human data relating altered TPH2 function to personality traits of negative emotionality and neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in cognitive control and emotion regulation are based on genetic association and are therefore not as robust as the experimental mouse results. Mouse models in conjunction with approaches focusing on TPH2 variants in humans provide unexpected views of 5-HT's role in brain development and in disorders related to negative emotionality, aggression and antisocial behaviour. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

6) Moon HY, Kim SH, Yang YR, Song P, Yu HS, Park HG, Hwang O, Lee-Kwon W, Seo JK, Hwang D, Choi JH, Bucala R, Ryu SH, Kim YS, Suh PG
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor mediates the antidepressant actions of voluntary exercise.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jul 23;
Voluntary exercise is known to have an antidepressant effect. However, the underlying mechanism for this antidepressant action of exercise remains unclear, and little progress has been made in identifying genes that are directly involved. We have identified macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) by analyzing existing mRNA microarray data and confirmed the augmented expression of selected genes under two experimental conditions: voluntary exercise and electroconvulsive seizure. A proinflammatory cytokine, MIF is expressed in the central nervous system and involved in innate and adaptive immune responses. A recent study reported that MIF is involved in antidepressant-induced hippocampal neurogenesis, but the mechanism remains elusive. In our data, tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) expression were induced after MIF treatment in vitro, as well as during both exercise and electroconvulsive seizure in vivo. This increment of Tph2 was accompanied by increases in the levels of total serotonin in vitro. Moreover, the MIF receptor CD74 and the ERK1/2 pathway mediate the MIF-induced Tph2 and Bdnf gene expression as well as serotonin content. Experiments in Mif(-/-) mice revealed depression-like behaviors and a blunted antidepressant effect of exercise, as reflected by changes in Tph2 and Bdnf expression in the forced swim test. In addition, administration of recombinant MIF protein produced antidepressant-like behavior in rats in the forced swim test. Taken together, these results suggest a role of MIF in mediating the antidepressant action of exercise, probably by enhancing serotonin neurotransmission and neurotrophic factor-induced neurogenesis in the brain. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

7) Manjarrez-Gutiérrez G, Martínez-Radilla K, Boyzo-Montes de Oca A, Orozco-Suárez S, Hernández-Rodríguez J
Increased expression of tryptophan-5-hydroxylase 1, but not 2, in brainstem as a result of intrauterine malnutrition.
Int J Dev Neurosci. 2012 Jul 20;
The aim of this study was to determine whether intrauterine malnutrition (IUM) produces a change in the expression of tryptophan-5-hydroxylase (TPH) 1 and/or 2 as the primary mechanism to explain the observed chronic cerebral acceleration of the synthesis of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). We used an IUM model and controls with ages of 1, 15 and 21 days. The brainstem was obtained to determine l-tryptophan, 5-HT and TPH activity. Expression of TPH1 and TPH2 via specific antibodies for each was also evaluated by immunocytochemistry and Western blot. Malnourished offspring had a significant elevation of l-Trp, TPH activity and 5-HT in the brainstem. Both isoforms (1 and 2) of TPH were expressed from birth in both groups; however, TPH1 expression was significantly higher in offspring with IUM in relation to the controls. Importantly, these malnourished offspring showed reduced expression of TPH2 compared to controls. It was confirmed that IUM produces an increase in 5-HT in the brainstem and also showed increased expression of TPH1 at birth, with decreased expression of TPH2. These findings together allow us to propose that chronic elevation of synthesis of 5-HT observed in the brain of the offspring with IUM is probably due to a change in the expression and activity of TPH1 induced from fetal life. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

8) Nikishin DA, Kremnyov SV, Konduktorova VV, Shmukler YB
Expression of serotonergic system components during early Xenopus embryogenesis.
Int J Dev Biol. 2012;56(5):385-91.
Despite abundant research studies on the physiological and biochemical nature of embryonic neurotransmitter function, little is known about the molecular genetic mechanisms involved. The expression of the main components of the serotonergic system during early Xenopus embryogenesis was investigated using RT-PCR, real time PCR and in situ hybridization. Transcripts encoding the serotonin receptors HTR2C and HTR7, as well as the vesicular monoamine transporter VMAT2, the serotonin transporter (SERT) and the serotonin synthesis enzymes tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH2) and aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AAAD) were found to be expressed during the cleavage division stages, whereas the degradation enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) was absent. The main components of the serotonergic system were found to be expressed during the earliest stages of embryonic development. The embryonic transmitter mechanism, its complexity, and its variability among various species are discussed. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

9) Abid S, Houssaini A, Chevarin C, Marcos E, Tissot CM, Gary-Bobo G, Wan F, Mouraret N, Amsellem V, Dubois-Rande JL, Hamon M, Adnot S
Inhibition of Gut- and Lung-Derived Serotonin Attenuates Pulmonary Hypertension in Mice.
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2012 Jul 13;
Decreasing the bioavailability of serotonin (5-HT) by inhibiting its biosynthesis may represent a useful adjunctive treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We assessed this hypothesis using LP533401, which inhibits the rate-limiting enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (Tph1) expressed in the gut and lung, without inhibiting Tph2 expressed in neurons. Mice treated repeatedly with LP533401 (30-250 mg/Kg/day) exhibited marked 5-HT content reductions in the gut, lungs, and blood, but not in the brain. After a single LP533401 dose (250 mg/Kg), lung and gut 5-HT contents decreased by 50%, while blood 5-HT levels remained unchanged, suggesting gut and lung 5-HT synthesis. Treatment with the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) inhibitor citalopram decreased 5-HT contents in the blood and lungs, but not in the gut. In transgenic SM22-5-HTT+ mice, which overexpress 5-HTT in smooth muscle cells and spontaneously develop PH, 250 mg/Kg/day LP533401 or 10 mg/Kg/day citalopram for 21 days markedly reduced lung and blood 5-HT levels, right ventricular (RV) systolic pressure, RV hypertrophy, distal pulmonary artery muscularization, and vascular Ki67-positive cells (P<0.001). Combined treatment with both drugs was more effective in improving PH-related hemodynamic parameters than either drug alone. LP533401 or citalopram treatment partially prevented PH development in wild-type mice exposed to chronic hypoxia. Lung and blood 5-HT levels were lower in hypoxic than in normoxic mice and decreased further after LP533401 or citalopram treatment. These results provide proof of concept that inhibiting Tph1 may represent a new therapeutic strategy for human PH. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

10) Stoltenberg SF, Christ CC, Highland KB
Serotonin system gene polymorphisms are associated with impulsivity in a context dependent manner.
Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Jun 23;
Impulsivity is a risk factor for adverse outcomes and characterizes several psychiatric disorders and risk for suicide. There is strong evidence that genetic variation influences individual differences in impulsivity, but the details are not yet understood. There is growing interest in better understanding the context dependency of genetic effects that is reflected in studies examining gender specificity, gene×environment interaction and epistasis (gene-gene interaction). In a cross-sectional study we examined whether polymorphisms in six serotonin system candidate genes and the experience of early life trauma (age 0-12) were associated with individual differences in impulsivity in a non-clinical sample of Caucasian university students (N=424). We specifically tested potential gender specific, gene-gene, and gene×environment (early life trauma) effects. In our main analyses with Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) total score, there were significant (i.e. p<.01 and False Discovery Rate <.10) interactions between (1) gender and TPH2 (rs1386483) genotype; (2) gender and HTR2A (rs6313) genotype; and epistatic interactions among (3) 5-HTTLPR and MAOA uVNTR; (4) 5-HTTLPR and rs6313 and (5) HTR1B (rs6296) and rs6313 genotypes. Our results strongly support the explicit investigation of context dependent genetic effects on impulsivity and may help to resolve some of the conflicting reports in the literature. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

11) Fasching PA, Faschingbauer F, Goecke TW, Engel A, Häberle L, Seifert A, Voigt F, Amann M, Rebhan D, Burger P, Kornhuber J, Ekici AB, Beckmann MW, Binder EB
Genetic variants in the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 gene (TPH2) and depression during and after pregnancy.
J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Jun 19;
BACKGROUND: A number of studies indicate that altered serotonergic transmission may be a risk factor for depression in the peripartum period. The aim of this study was to investigate whether genetic polymorphisms in the TPH2 gene, the gene product of which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system, are associated with depressive symptoms in pregnancy and the postpartum period. METHODS: In a cohort of 361 Caucasians, the severity of depression was assessed prospectively during pregnancy (third trimester) and the postpartum period (2-3 days and 6-8 months) using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TPH2 and SNPs that are known to be of functional relevance were genotyped. For each haplotype block or SNP, a multifactorial linear mixed model was performed to analyse the EPDS values over time. RESULTS: The haplotype block in the promoter region of TPH2 showed significant associations with depression values during pregnancy and 6-8 months afterwards. Additionally, a haplotype block in intron 8 had an influence on depression values during pregnancy, but not after birth. There was a significant interaction between time and haplotypes and the severity of depression. The effect of TPH2 haplotypes on EPDS values was strongest during pregnancy and 6 months after birth, with a low depression rating in the first few days after delivery for all women. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort, TPH2 haplotypes known to be of functional relevance were found to be associated with different EPDS values during and after pregnancy. These haplotypes were associated with depressive symptoms both before and after delivery and were thus not specific for postpartum-onset depression. This underlines the relevance of these functional polymorphisms for depression in general and the importance of longitudinal assessments in research on postpartum depression. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

12) Kondaurova EM, Naumenko VS, Popova NK
Effect of chronic activation of 5-HT(3) receptors on 5-HT(3), 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptors functional activity and expression of key genes of the brain serotonin system.
Neurosci Lett. 2012 Jul 26;522(1):52-6.
Among serotonin (5-HT) receptors, the 5-HT(3) receptor is the only ligand-gated ion-channel. Little is known about the interaction between the 5-HT(3) receptor and other 5-HT receptors and influence of 5-HT(3) chronic activation on other 5-HT receptors and the expression of key genes of 5-HT system. Chronic activation of 5-HT(3) receptor with intracerebroventricularly administrated selective agonist 1-(3-chlorophenyl)biguanide hydrochloride (m-CPBG) (14 days, 40nmol, i.c.v.) produced significant desensitization of 5-HT(3) and 5-HT(1A) receptors. The hypothermic responses produced by acute administration of selective agonist of 5-HT(3) receptor (m-CPBG, 40nmol, i.c.v.) or selective agonist of 5-HT(1A) receptor (8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin) (8-OH-DPAT, 1mg/kg, i.p.) was significantly lower in m-CPBG treated mice compared with the mice of control groups. Chronic m-CPBG administration failed to induce any significant change in the 5-HT(2A) receptor functional activity and in the expression of the gene encoding 5-HT(2A) receptor. Chronic activation of 5-HT(3) receptor produced no considerable effect on the expression on 5-HT(3), 5-HT(1A), and 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) and tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH-2) genes - the key genes of brain 5-HT system, in the midbrain, frontal cortex and hippocampus. In conclusion, chronic activation of ionotropic 5-HT(3) receptor produced significant desensitization of 5-HT(3) and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors but caused no considerable changes in the expression of key genes of the brain 5-HT system. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

13) Tencomnao T, Klangthong K, Pimpha N, Chaleawlert-Umpon S, Saesoo S, Woramongkolchai N, Saengkrit N
Acceleration of gene transfection efficiency in neuroblastoma cells through polyethyleneimine/poly(methyl methacrylate) core-shell magnetic nanoparticles.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:2783-92.
[PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

14) Yang SY, Yoo HJ, Cho IH, Park M, Kim SA
Association with tryptophan hydroxylase 2 gene polymorphisms and autism spectrum disorders in Korean families.
Neurosci Res. 2012 Aug;73(4):333-6.
It was performed a family-based association study of 6 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the TPH2 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 151 Korean trios. We found a significant association at the rs2129575 with ASD susceptibility (corrected p=0.006). Furthermore, after conducting with the quantitative scores in the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, there were associations between restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior (preoccupation with parts of objects or nonfunctional elements of materials) in ASD and SNPs in TPH2. These results suggest that TPH2 polymorphisms influence the phenotypic impairments of ASD and enhance ASD susceptibility. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

15) Natarajan R, Einarsdottir E, Riutta A, Hagman S, Raunio M, Mononen N, Lehtimäki T, Elovaara I
Melatonin pathway genes are associated with progressive subtypes and disability status in multiple sclerosis among Finnish patients.
J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Jun 12;
In this study we investigated the relationship between melatonin pathway and multiple sclerosis (MS) in a high-risk Finnish population by studying the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes coding for critical enzymes and receptors involved in the melatonin pathway. A total of 590 subjects (193 MS patients and 397 healthy controls) were genotyped for seven SNPs in four genes including tryptophan hydroxylases (TPH)1 and 2, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) and melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B). An overrepresentation of T allele carriers of a functional polymorphism (G-703T, rs4570625) in the promoter region of TPH2 gene was observed in the progressive MS subtypes. The haplotype rs4570625-rs10506645TT of TPH2 gene was associated with the risk of severe disability in primary progressive MS (PPMS), while haplotype rs4570625-rs10506645TC appeared to be protective against disability in secondary progressive MS (SPMS). In the MTNR1B gene, the haplotype rs10830963-rs4753426GC was associated with the risk of SPMS, whereas another haplotype rs10830963-rs4753426GT showed an association with the risk of PPMS. These data showing the association of polymorphisms in the TPH2 and MTNR1B genes with the progressive subtypes of MS and disability suggest dysregulation in melatonin pathway. Melatonin pathway seems to be involved in disease progression, and therefore its potential effects in overcoming MS-related neurodegeneration may be worth evaluating in future clinical trials. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

16) Weber T, Renzland I, Baur M, Mönks S, Herrmann E, Huppert V, Nürnberg F, Schönig K, Bartsch D
Tetracycline inducible gene manipulation in serotonergic neurons.
PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e38193.
The serotonergic (5-HT) neuronal system has important and diverse physiological functions throughout development and adulthood. Its dysregulation during development or later in adulthood has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Transgenic animal models designed to study the contribution of serotonergic susceptibility genes to a pathological phenotype should ideally allow to study candidate gene overexpression or gene knockout selectively in serotonergic neurons at any desired time during life. For this purpose, conditional expression systems such as the tet-system are preferable. Here, we generated a transactivator (tTA) mouse line (TPH2-tTA) that allows temporal and spatial control of tetracycline (Ptet) controlled transgene expression as well as gene deletion in 5-HT neurons. The tTA cDNA was inserted into a 196 kb PAC containing a genomic mouse Tph2 fragment (177 kb) by homologous recombination in E. coli. For functional analysis of Ptet-controlled transgene expression, TPH2-tTA mice were crossed to a Ptet-regulated lacZ reporter line (Ptet-nLacZ). In adult double-transgenic TPH2-tTA/Ptet-nLacZ mice, TPH2-tTA founder line L62-20 showed strong serotonergic ?-galactosidase expression which could be completely suppressed with doxycycline (Dox). Furthermore, Ptet-regulated gene expression could be reversibly activated or inactivated when Dox was either withdrawn or added to the system. For functional analysis of Ptet-controlled, Cre-mediated gene deletion, TPH2-tTA mice (L62-20) were crossed to double transgenic Ptet-Cre/R26R reporter mice to generate TPH2-tTA/Ptet-Cre/R26R mice. Without Dox, 5-HT specific recombination started at E12.5. With permanent Dox administration, Ptet-controlled Cre-mediated recombination was absent. Dox withdrawal either postnatally or during adulthood induced efficient recombination in serotonergic neurons of all raphe nuclei, respectively. In the enteric nervous system, recombination could not be detected. We generated a transgenic mouse tTA line (TPH2-tTA) which allows both inducible and reversible transgene expression and inducible Cre-mediated gene deletion selectively in 5-HT neurons throughout life. This will allow precise delineation of serotonergic gene functions during development and adulthood. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

17) Gao J, Pan Z, Jiao Z, Li F, Zhao G, Wei Q, Pan F, Evangelou E
TPH2 Gene Polymorphisms and Major Depression - A Meta-Analysis.
PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36721.
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18) Schuhmacher A, Becker T, Rujescu D, Quednow BB, Lennertz L, Wagner M, Benninghoff J, Rietschel M, Häfner H, Franke P, Wölwer W, Gaebel W, Maier W, Mössner R
Investigation of tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) in schizophrenia and in the response to antipsychotics.
J Psychiatr Res. 2012 Aug;46(8):1073-80.
Serotonergic transmission is considered relevant in the pathophysiology and the treatment of schizophrenia. Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) is the rate limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin. While the TPH1 gene has been found to be associated with schizophrenia, studies focusing on TPH2 variants did not yield conclusive results for schizophrenia or the response to antipsychotic medication. We analyzed eleven TPH2 SNPs in two case-control samples consisting of 4453 individuals in total. Six SNPs were selected because of their potential functional relevance (rs4570625, rs11178997, rs11178998, rs7954758, rs7305115, and, rs4290270) and were supported by another 5 tagging SNPs selected based on HapMap LD information. In the discovery sample (1476 individuals), we observed a significant association with schizophrenia for rs10784941 (p = 0.009, OR minor G-allele 0.82 [0.71-0.95]) and rs4565946 (p = 0.011, OR minor T-allele 0.83 [0.71-0.96]). Association was also observed with a common rs4570625-rs4565946 haplotype (OR G-C haplotype 1.20 [1.02-1.40]; p = 0.0046). Single-marker associations could not be replicated in the replication sample consisting of 2977 individuals, but there was a strong trend regarding the rs4570625-rs4565946 G-C haplotype (OR 1.10 [0.98-1.24]; p(one-sided test) = 0.054). In smaller sub-samples, the rare rs4570625-rs4565946 T-T haplotype was associated with reduced processing speed (n = 193, p = 0.004) and sensorimotor gating (n = 68, p = 0.006) of schizophrenia patients. TPH2 variants and the rs4570625-rs4565946 G-C haplotype did not influence the beneficial response to antipsychotic drugs (n = 210) after four weeks of treatment administering the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale of Schizophrenia (PANSS). We also investigated the association of the SNPs to treatment response, but did not get significant results. In sum, our results argue for only a minor role of TPH2 in schizophrenia. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

19) Yoon HK, Lee HJ, Kim L, Lee MS, Ham BJ
Impact of tryptophan hydroxylase 2 G-703T polymorphism on anger-related personality traits and orbitofrontal cortex.
Behav Brain Res. 2012 May 16;231(1):105-10.
Genetic variation in human tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) influences TPH enzymatic activity and is associated with emotion-related traits and mood disorders. The present study investigated the effect of the TPH2 G-703T polymorphism on regional brain volume, assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), and anger traits in mentally healthy individuals. We examined 63 healthy subjects to investigate structural abnormalities using a 1.5-T magnetic resonance imaging system, which was normalized to a customized T1 template and segmented with VBM. The VBM data were analyzed using an analysis of covariance, with age as a covariate. All subjects were assessed with the state-trait anger expression inventory (STAXI) and genotyped for TPH2 G-703T. The subjects with G/G genotype had significantly higher anger control (AX-Con) anger scores than T allele carriers (G/T and T/T genotype). There was a negative correlation between the anger out (AX-Out) and trait anger (T-Ang) scores and gray matter concentration (GMC) in the inferior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and hippocampus. Compared to T allele carriers, subjects with the G/G genotype had significantly lower GMC in the inferior OFC. Our findings suggest that OFC is an intermediate phenotype that bridges serotonin synthesis and anger-related traits. The mechanism underlying the effect of the TPH2 gene on OFC abnormality, however, may be complex and may involve several processes related to anger expression. [PubMed Citation] [Order full text from Infotrieve]

20) Słopień R, Słopień A, Różycka A, Warenik-Szymankiewicz A, Lianeri M, Jagodziński PP
The c.1460C>T polymorphism of MAO-A is associated with the risk of depression in postmenopausal women.
ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:194845.
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