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Experimental neurology [journal]
- Improving Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: From Molecular Mechanisms to Potential Therapeutic Targets. [REVIEW]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 11.
Peripheral nerve injury is common especially among young individuals. Although injured neurons have the ability to regenerate, the rate is slow and functional outcomes are often poor. Several potential therapeutic agents have shown considerable promise for improving the survival and regenerative capacity of injured neurons. These agents are reviewed within the context of their molecular mechanisms. The PI3K/Akt and Ras/ERK signaling cascades play a key role in neuronal survival. A number of agents that target these pathways, including erythropoietin, tacrolimus, acetyl-l-carnitine, n-acetylcysteine and geldanamycin have been shown to be effective. Trk receptor signaling events that up-regulate cAMP play an important role in enhancing the rate of axonal outgrowth. Agents that target this pathway including rolipram, testosterone, fasudil, ibuprofen and chondroitinase ABC hold considerable promise for human application. A tantalizing prospect is to combine different molecular targeting strategies in complementary pathways to optimize their therapeutic effects. Although further study is needed prior to human trials, these modalities could open a new horizon in the clinical arena that has so far been elusive.
- Sucrose consumption test reveals pharmacoresistant depression-associated behavior in two mouse models of temporal lobe epilepsy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 11.
Among the co-morbidities observed in epilepsy patients depression is the most frequent one. Likewise, depression by itself is accompanied by an increased risk to develop epilepsy. Both epilepsy and depression are characterized by a high incidence of pharmacoresistance, which might be based on overactivity of multidrug transporters like P-glycoprotein at the blood-brain barrier. Using genetically modified mice in preclinical epilepsy research is pivotal for investigating this bidirectional relationship. In the present study, we used the sucrose consumption test (SCT) in the pilocarpine and the intrahippocampal kainate mouse post-status epilepticus model to reveal anhedonic behavior, i.e. hyposensitivity to pleasure, as a key symptom of depression. Mice were repetitively investigated by SCT during early epilepsy and the chronic phase of the disease, during which response to antidepressant drug treatment was assessed. SCT revealed long-lasting anhedonia in both models. Anhedonia appeared to be pharmacoresistant, as neither chronic treatment with imipramine in the pilocarpine model nor chronic treatment with fluoxetine in the kainate model could annihilate the differences in sucrose consumption between control and epileptic mice. Moreover, knock-out of P-glycoprotein did not improve the treatment effect of fluoxetine. In conclusion, our findings show for the first time that the SCT is suited for detection of depression-like behavior in mouse models of temporal-lobe epilepsy. Both models might serve as tools to further investigate the neurobiology and pharmacology of epilepsy-associated pharmacoresistant depression.
- Increased neurotrophic factor levels in ventral mesencephalic cultures do not explain the protective effect of osteopontin and the synthetic 15-mer RGD domain against MPP+toxicity. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 11.
The synthetic 15-mer arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) domain of osteopontin (OPN) is protective in vitro and in vivo against dopaminergic cell death and this protective effect may be mediated through an interaction with integrin receptors to regulate neurotrophic factor levels (Iczkiewicz, 2010). We now examine this concept in rat primary ventral mesencephalic (VM) cultures. 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) exposure reduced tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive cell number and activated glial cells as shown by increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), oxycocin-42 (OX-42) and Ectodermal dysplasia 1 (ED-1) immunoreactivity. Both OPN and the RGD domain of OPN were equally protective against MPP+toxicity in VM cultures and both increased glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. The effects of OPN and the RGD domain were accompanied by a decrease in numbers of activated microglia but with no change in astrocyte number. However, full length OPN and the RGD domain of OPN remained protective against MPP+toxicity in the presence of a GDNF neutralising antibody. This suggests that increased GDNF levels do not underlie the protective effect observed with OPN. Rather, OPN's protective effect may be mediated through decreased glial cell activation.
- Deletion of olfactomedin 2 induces changes in the AMPA receptor complex and impairs visual, olfactory, and motor functions in mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 10.
Olfactomedin 2 (Olfm2) is a secretory glycoprotein belonging to the family of olfactomedin domain-containing proteins. A previous study has shown that a mutation in OLFM2 is associated with primary open angle glaucoma in Japanese patients. In the present study, we generated Olfm2 deficient mice by replacing the Olfm2 gene with the LacZ gene. The loss of Olfm2 resulted in no gross abnormalities. However, Olfm2 null mice showed reduced exploration, locomotion, olfactory sensitivity, abnormal motor coordination, and anxiety related behavior. The pattern of the Olfm2 gene expression was studied in the brain and eye using β-galactosidase staining. In the brain, Olfm2 was mainly expressed in the olfactory bulb, cortex, piriform cortex, olfactory trabeculae, and inferior and superior colliculus. In the eye expression was detected mainly in retinal ganglion cells. In Olfm2 null mice, the amplitude of the first negative wave in the visual evoked potential test was significantly reduced as compared with wild-type littermates. Olfm2, similar to Olfm1, interacted with the GluR2 subunit of the AMPAR complexes and Olfm2 co-segregated with the AMPA receptor subunit GluR2 and other synaptic proteins in the synaptosomal membrane fraction upon biochemical fractionation of the adult mice cortex and retina. Immunoprecipitation from the synaptosomal membrane fraction of the Olfm2 null mouse brain cortex using the GluR2 antibody showed reduced levels of several components of the AMPAR complex in the immunoprecipitates including Olfm1, PSD95 and CNIH2. These results suggest that heterodimers of Olfm1 and Olfm2 interact with AMPAR more efficiently than Olfm2 homodimers and that Olfm2 plays a role in the organization of the AMPA receptor complexes.
- Repurposing of sodium channel antagonists as potential new anti-myotonic drugs. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 9.
Myotonia is often a painful and disabling symptom which can interfere with daily motor function resulting in significant morbidity. Since myotonic disorders are rare it has generally proved difficult to obtain class I level evidence for anti-myotonic drug efficacy by performing randomized placebo controlled trials. Current treatment guidance is therefore largely based on anecdotal reports and physician experience. Despite the genetic channel heterogeneity of the myotonic disorders the sodium channel antagonists have become the main focus of pharmacological interest. Mexiletine is currently regarded as the first choice sodium channel blocker based on a recent placebo controlled randomized trial. However, some patients do not respond to mexiletine or have significant side effects limiting its use. There is a clinical need to develop additional antimyotonic agents. The study of Desaphy et al. is therefore important and provides in vitro evidence that a number of existing drugs with sodium channel blocking capability could potentially be repurposed as anti-myotonic drugs. Translation of these potentially important in vitro findings into clinical practice requires carefully designed randomized controlled trials. Here we discuss Desaphy's findings in the wider context of attempts to develop additional therapies for patients with clinically significant myotonia.
- The effects of early life stress on the epigenome: From the womb to adulthood and even before. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 9.
Exposure to early life stress (ELS), such as childhood abuse and neglect is a well established major risk factor for developing psychiatric and behavioral disorders later in life. Both prenatal and postnatal stressors have been shown to have a long-lasting impact on adult pathological states where the type and timing of the stressor are important factors to consider. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms play a major role in the biological embedding of ELS. A number of studies now indicate that the epigenome is responsive to external environmental exposures, including the social environment, both during intra-uterine development and after birth. In this review, we summarize the evidence of long-lasting effects of ELS on mental health and behavior and highlight common and distinct epigenetic effects of stress exposure at different stages during development. These stages include postnatal stress, prenatal stress, i.e. in utero and stress occurring pre-conception, i.e. effects of stress exposure transmitted to the next generation. We also delineate the evidence for the possible molecular mechanisms involved in epigenetic programming by ELS and how these maybe distinct, according to the timing of the stress exposure.
- Loss of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase in Drosophila photoreceptors leads to blindness and age-dependent neurodegeneration. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 7.:791-801.
The activity of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase establishes transmembrane ion gradients and is essential to cell function and survival. Either dysregulation or deficiency of neuronal Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and rapid-onset dystonia Parkinsonism. However, genetic evidence that directly links neuronal Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase deficiency to in vivo neurodegeneration has been lacking. In this study, we use Drosophila photoreceptors to investigate the cell-autonomous effects of neuronal Na(+)/K(+) ATPase. Loss of ATPα, an α subunit of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, in photoreceptors through UAS/Gal4-mediated RNAi eliminated the light-triggered depolarization of the photoreceptors, rendering the fly virtually blind in behavioral assays. Intracellular recordings indicated that ATPα knockdown photoreceptors were already depolarized in the dark, which was due to a loss of intracellular K(+). Importantly, ATPα knockdown resulted in the degeneration of photoreceptors in older flies. This degeneration was independent of light and showed characteristics of apoptotic/hybrid cell death as observed via electron microscopy analysis. Loss of Nrv3, a Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase β subunit, partially reproduced the signaling and degenerative defects observed in ATPα knockdown flies. Thus, the loss of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase not only eradicates visual function but also causes age-dependent degeneration in photoreceptors, confirming the link between neuronal Na(+)/K(+) ATPase deficiency and in vivo neurodegeneration. This work also establishes Drosophila photoreceptors as a genetic model for studying the cell-autonomous mechanisms underlying neuronal Na(+)/K(+) ATPase deficiency-mediated neurodegeneration.
- Beta oscillatory neurons in the motor thalamus of movement disorder and pain patients. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Sep 7.:782-790.
Excessive beta oscillations (15-25Hz) in the basal ganglia have been linked to the akineto-rigid symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) although it remains unclear whether the underlying mechanism is causative or associative. While a number of studies have reported beta activity in the subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus internus, relatively little is known about the beta rhythm of the motor thalamus and its relation to movement disorders. To test whether thalamic beta oscillations are related to parkinsonian symptoms, we examined the spectral properties of neuronal activity in the ventral thalamic nuclei of five Parkinson's disease patients (two female, age range 50-72years) and compared them to five essential tremor (three female, aged 41-75) and four central pain patients (one female, aged 38-60). Spike and local field potential recordings were obtained during microelectrode-guided localization of thalamic nuclei prior to the implantation of deep brain stimulating electrodes. A total of 118 movement-related neurons in the region of the ventral intermediate nucleus (Vim) were analyzed across all patient groups. Eighty of these neurons (68%) displayed significant oscillatory firing in the beta range with the limbs at rest. In contrast, only 5.7% of the ventral oral posterior (Vop) (χ(2) test, p<0.05) and only 7.2% of the ventral caudal (Vc) neurons fired rhythmically at beta frequency (χ(2) test, p<0.05). Beta power was significantly decreased during limb movements (ANOVA, p<0.05) and was inversely related to tremor-frequency power during tremor epochs in ET and PD (r(2)=0.44). Comparison between patient groups showed that Vim beta power was significantly higher in ET patients versus pain and PD groups (ANOVA, p<0.05). The findings suggest that beta oscillations are found predominantly in Vim and are involved in movement but are not enhanced in tremor-dominant Parkinson's patients.
- Development and characterization of an aged onset model of Alzheimer's disease in Drosophila melanogaster. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 27.:772-781.
The biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) is age. Depending on the age of onset, AD is clinically categorized into either the early-onset form (before age 60years old), or the late-onset form (after age 65years old), with the vast majority of AD diagnosed as late onset (LOAD). LOAD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that involves the accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of elderly patients. Affected individuals often experience symptoms including memory loss, confusion, and behavioral changes. Though many animal models of AD exist, very few are capable of analyzing the effect of older age on AD pathology. In an attempt to better model LOAD, we developed a novel "aged AD" model using Drosophila melanogaster. In our model, we express low levels of the human AD proteins APP (amyloid precursor protein) and BACE1 (β-site APP cleaving enzyme BACE) specifically in the fly's central nervous system. Advantages of our model include the onset of behavioral and neuropathological symptoms later in the fly's lifespan due to a gradual accrual of Aβ within the central nervous system (CNS), making age the key factor in the behavioral and neuroanatomical phenotypes that we observe in this model.
- The prickly, stressful business of burn pain. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 27.:752-756.