Spadin, a sortilin-derived peptide, targeting rodent TREK-1 channels: A new concept in the antidepressant drug design

Jean Mazella, Olivier Petrault, Guillaume Lucas, Emmanuel Deval, Sophie Beraud-Dufour, Carine Gandin, Malika El-Yacoubi, Catherine N Widmann, Alice Guyon, Eric Chevet, Said Taouji, Gregory Conductier, Alain Corinus, Thierry Coppola, Gabriella Gobbi, Jean-Louis Nahon, Catherine Heurteaux, Marc Borsotto

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102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current antidepressant treatments are inadequate for many individuals, and when they are effective, they require several weeks of administration before a therapeutic effect can be observed. Improving the treatment of depression is challenging. Recently, the two-pore domain potassium channel TREK-1 has been identified as a new target in depression, and its antagonists might become effective antidepressants. In mice, deletion of the TREK-1 gene results in a depression-resistant phenotype that mimics antidepressant treatments. Here, we validate in mice the antidepressant effects of spadin, a secreted peptide derived from the propeptide generated by the maturation of the neurotensin receptor 3 (NTSR3/Sortilin) and acting through TREK-1 inhibition. NTSR3/Sortilin interacted with the TREK-1 channel, as shown by immunoprecipitation of TREK-1 and NTSR3/Sortilin from COS-7 cells and cortical neurons co-expressing both proteins. TREK-1 and NTSR3/Sortilin were colocalized in mouse cortical neurons. Spadin bound specifically to TREK-1 with an affinity of 10 nM. Electrophysiological studies showed that spadin efficiently blocked the TREK-1 activity in COS-7 cells, cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurons, and CA3 hippocampal neurons in brain slices. Spadin also induced in vivo an increase of the 5-HT neuron firing rate in the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus. In five behavioral tests predicting an antidepressant response, spadin-treated mice showed a resistance to depression as found in TREK-1 deficient mice. More importantly, an intravenous 4-d treatment with spadin not only induced a strong antidepressant effect but also enhanced hippocampal phosphorylation of CREB protein and neurogenesis, considered to be key markers of antidepressant action after chronic treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This work also shows the development of a reliable method for dosing the propeptide in serum of mice by using AlphaScreen technology. These findings point out spadin as a putative antidepressant of new generation with a rapid onset of action. Spadin can be regarded as the first natural antidepressant peptide identified. It corresponds to a new concept to address the treatment of depression.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1000355
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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