Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a mental illness with the highest rates of mortality and relapse, and no approved pharmacological treatment. Using an animal model of AN, called activity-based anorexia (ABA), we showed earlier that a single intraperitoneal injection of ketamine at a dose of 30 mg/kg (30mgKET), but not 3 mg/kg (3mgKET), has a long-lasting effect upon adolescent females of ameliorating anorexia-like symptoms through the following changes: enhanced food consumption and body weight; reduced running and anxiety-like behavior. However, there were also individual differences in the drug's efficacy. We hypothesized that individual differences in ketamine's ameliorative effects involve drebrin A, an F-actin-binding protein known to be required for the activity-dependent trafficking of NMDA receptors (NMDARs). We tested this hypothesis by electron microscopic quantifications of drebrin A immunoreactivity at excitatory synapses of pyramidal neurons (PN) and GABAergic interneurons (GABA-IN) in deep layer 1 of prefrontal cortex (PFC) of these mice. Results reveal that (1) the areal density of excitatory synapses on GABA-IN is greater for the 30mgKET group than the 3mgKET group; (2) the proportion of drebrin A+ excitatory synapses is greater for both PN and GABA-IN of 30mgKET than 3mgKET group. Correlation analyses with behavioral measurements revealed that (3) 30mgKET's protection is associated with reduced levels of drebrin A in the cytoplasm of GABA-IN and higher levels at extrasynaptic membranous sites of PN and GABA-IN; (5) altogether pointing to 30mgKET-induced homeostatic plasticity that engages drebrin A at excitatory synapses of both PN and GABA-IN.
- anorexia nervosa
- prefrontal cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience