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Background: A subanesthetic dose of ketamine provides rapid and effective antidepressant effects, but the molecular mechanism remains elusive. It has been reported that overactivation of extrasynaptic GluN2B receptors is associated with the antidepressant effects of ketamine and the interaction between GluN2B and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) is important for GluN2B localization and activity. Here, we tested whether changes of CaMKIIα and GluN2B are involved in the antidepressant effects of ketamine. Methods: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) into male C57BL/6 mice. For the interventional study, mice were administrated with ketamine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) or a CaMKIIα inhibitor KN93. Behavioral alterations were evaluated by open-field, novelty-suppressed feeding, and forced-swimming tests. Physiological functions were evaluated by the body weight and fur coat state of mice. The levels of p-CaMKIIα, CaMKIIα, p-GluN2B, GluN2B, p-CREB, CREB, BDNF, GluR1, and GluR2 in the hippocampus were detected by western blotting. The interaction between GluN2B and CaMKIIα was studied using immunoprecipitation assay and small interfering RNA (siRNA) assays. The colocalizations of GluN2B/PSD95 and p-GluN2B/PSD95 were detected by immunofluorescence. The long-term potentiation (LTP) in SC-CA1 of the hippocampus was detected by electrophysiology. Results: LPS injection induced depression-like behaviors, which were accompanied by significant increases in extrasynaptic p-CaMKIIα expression, extrasynaptic GluN2B localization, and phosphorylation and decreases in p-CREB, BDNF, and GluR1 expressions and LTP impairment. These changes were prevented by ketamine administration. Immunoprecipitation assay revealed that LPS induced an increase in the p-CaMKIIα-GluN2B interaction, which was attenuated by ketamine administration. SiRNA assay revealed that CaMKIIα knockdown reduced the level and number of clusters of GluN2B in the cultured hippocampal neurons. KN93 administration also reduced extrasynaptic p-CaMKIIα expression, extrasynaptic GluN2B localization, and phosphorylation and exerted antidepressant effects. Conclusion: These results indicate that extrasynaptic CaMKIIα plays a key role in the cellular mechanism of ketamine's antidepressant effect and it is related to the downregulation of extrasynaptic GluN2B localization and phosphorylation.
Tang, X. H., Zhang, G. F., Xu, N., Duan, G. F., Jia, M., Liu, R., … Yang, J. J. (2020). Extrasynaptic CaMKIIα is involved in the antidepressant effects of ketamine by downregulating GluN2B receptors in an LPS-induced depression model. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-020-01843-z
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