Oxytocin release via activation of TRPM2 and CD38 in the hypothalamus during hyperthermia in mice: Implication for autism spectrum disorder

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Abstract

Oxytocin (OT) is a critical molecule for social recognition that mediates social and emotional behaviors. OT is released during stress and acts as an anxiolytic factor. To know the precise molecular mechanisms underlying OT release into the brain during stress is important. It has been reported that intracellular concentrations of free calcium in the hypothalamic neurons are elevated by simultaneous stimulation of cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR) and heat. We have reported in vitro and in vivo data that supports the idea that release of OT in the brain of male mice is regulated by cADPR and fever in relation to stress conditions. 1) Significantly higher levels of OT release were observed in hypothalamus cultures isolated from subordinate mice in group-housed males compared to dominant males after cage-switch stress; 2) OT concentrations in micro-perfusates at the paraventricular nucleus upon perfusion stimulation with cADPR were enhanced in subordinate mice compared to dominant mice; 3) The OT concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was higher in endotoxin-shock mice with fever compared to controls with no body temperature increase; and 4) In mice exposed to new environmental stress, the CSF OT level transiently increased 5 min after exposure, while the rectal temperature increased from 36.6 °C to 37.8 °C from 5 to 15 min after exposure. In this review, we examine whether or not cADPR and hyperthermia co-regulate hypothalamic OT secretion during social stress through the elevation of intracellular free Ca2+ concentrations involved in CD38-dependent Ca2+ mobilization and TRPM2-dependent Ca2+ influx. Finally, we propose that the interaction between CD38 and TRPM2 seems to be a new mechanism for stress-induced release of OT, which may result in anxiolytic effects for temporal recovery from social impairments in children with autism spectrum disorder during hyperthermia.

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