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Experimental neurology [journal]
- Biphasic bisperoxovanadium administration and Schwann cell transplantation for repair after cervical contusive spinal cord injury. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 12.
Schwann cells (SCs) hold promise for spinal cord injury (SCI) repair; however, there are limitations for use as a lone treatment. We showed acute inhibition of the phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) by bisperoxovanadium (bpV) was neuroprotective and enhanced function following cervical hemicontusion SCI. We hypothesized that combining acute bpV therapy and delayed SC engraftment would further improve neuroprotection and recovery after cervical SCI. Adult female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were randomly sorted into 5 groups: sham, vehicle, bpV, SC transplantation, and bpV+SC transplantation. SCs were isolated from adult green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing SD rats (GFP-SCs). 200μg/kg bpV(pic) was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) twice daily for 7days post-SCI in bpV-treated groups. GFP-SCs (1 x 10(6) in 5μl medium) were transplanted into the lesion epicenter at the 8th day post-SCI. Forelimb function was tested for 10weeks and histology was assessed. bpV alone significantly reduced lesion (by 40%, p<0.05) and cavitation (by 65%, p<0.05) and improved functional recovery (p <0.05) compared to injury alone. The combination promoted similar neuroprotection (p<0.01 vs. injury); however, GFP-SCs alone did not. Both SC-transplanted groups exhibited remarkable long-term SC survival, SMI-31(+) axon ingrowth and RECA-1(+) vasculature presence in the SC graft; however, bpV+SCs promoted an 89% greater axon-to-lesion ratio than SCs only. We concluded that bpV likely contributed largely to the neuroprotective and functional benefits while SCs facilitated considerable host-tissue interaction and modification. The combination of the two shows promise as an attractive strategy to enhance recovery after SCI.
- Involvement of platelet-derived growth factor receptor β in fibrosis through extracellular matrix protein production after ischemic stroke. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 12.
Fibrosis is concomitant with repair processes following injuries in the central nervous system (CNS). Pericytes are considered as an origin of fibrosis-forming cells in the CNS. Here, we examined whether platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ), a well-known indispensable molecule for migration, proliferation, and survival of pericytes, was involved in the production of extracellular matrix proteins, fibronectin and collagen type I, which is crucial for fibrosis after ischemic stroke. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated induction of PDGFRβ expression in vascular cells of peri-infarct areas at 3-7 days in a mouse stroke model. The PDGFRβ-expressing cells extended from peri-infarct areas toward the ischemic core after day 7 while expressing fibronectin and collagen type I in the infarct areas. In contrast, desmin and α-smooth muscle actin, markers of pericytes, were only expressed in vascular cells. In PDGFRβ heterozygous knockout mice, the expression of fibronectin and collagen type I was attenuated at both mRNA and protein levels with an enlargement of the infarct volume after ischemic stroke compared with that in wild-type littermates. In cultured brain pericytes, the expression of PDGF-B, PDGFRβ, fibronectin, and collagen type I, but not desmin, was significantly increased by serum depletion (SD). The SD-induced upregulation of fibronectin and collagen type I was suppressed by SU11652, an inhibitor of PDGFRβ, while PDGF-B further increased the SD-induced upregulation. In conclusion, the expression level of PDGFRβ may be a crucial determinant of fibrosis after ischemic stroke. Moreover, PDGFRβ signaling participates in the production of fibronectin and collagen type I after ischemic stroke.
- Early hyperactivity in lateral entorhinal cortex is associated with elevated levels of AβPP metabolites in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 11.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly today. One of the earliest symptoms of AD is olfactory dysfunction. The present study investigated the effects of amyloid β precursor protein (AβPP) metabolites, including amyloid-β (Aβ) and AβPP C-terminal fragments (CTF), on olfactory processing in the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) using the Tg2576 mouse model of human AβPP over-expression. The entorhinal cortex is an early target of AD related neuropathology, and the LEC plays an important role in fine odor discrimination and memory. Cohorts of transgenic and age-matched wild-type (WT) mice at 3, 6, and 16months of age (MO) were anesthetized and acute, single-unit electrophysiology was performed in the LEC. Results showed that Tg2576 exhibited early LEC hyperactivity at 3 and 6 MO compared to WT mice in both local field potential and single-unit spontaneous activity. However, LEC single-unit odor responses and odor receptive fields showed no detectable difference compared to WT at any age. Finally, the very early emergence of olfactory system hyper-excitability corresponded not to detectable Aβ deposition in the olfactory system, but rather to high levels of intracellular AβPP-CTF and soluble Aβ in the anterior piriform cortex (aPCX), a major afferent input to the LEC, by 3 MO. The present results add to the growing evidence of AβPP-related hyper-excitability, and further implicate both soluble Aβ and non-Aβ AβPP metabolites in its early emergence.
- Spreading depression transiently disrupts myelin via interferon-gamma signaling. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 8.
Multiple sclerosis and migraine with aura are clinically correlated and both show imaging changes suggestive of myelin disruption. Furthermore, cortical myelin loss in the cuprizone animal model of multiple sclerosis enhances susceptibility to spreading depression, the likely underlying cause of migraine with aura. Since multiple sclerosis pathology involves inflammatory T cell lymphocyte production of interferon-gamma and a resulting increase in oxidative stress, we tested the hypothesis that spreading depression disrupts myelin through similar signaling pathways. Rat hippocampal slice cultures were initially used to explore myelin loss in spreading depression, since they contain T cells, and allow for controlled tissue microenvironment. These experiments were then translated to the in vivo condition in neocortex. Spreading depression in slice cultures induced significant loss of myelin integrity and myelin basic protein one day later, with gradual recovery by seven days. Myelin basic protein loss was abrogated by T cell depletion, neutralization of interferon-gamma, and pharmacological inhibition of neutral sphingomyelinase-2. Conversely, one day after exposure to interferon-gamma, significant reductions in spreading depression threshold, increases in oxidative stress, and reduced levels of glutathione, an endogenous neutral sphingomyelinase-2 inhibitor, emerged. Similarly, spreading depression triggered significant T cell accumulation, sphingomyelinase activation, increased oxidative stress, and reduction of gray and white matter myelin in vivo. Myelin disruption is involved in spreading depression, thereby providing pathophysiological links between multiple sclerosis and migraine with aura. Myelin disruption may promote spreading depression by enhancing aberrant excitability. Thus, preservation of myelin integrity may provide novel therapeutic targets for migraine with aura.
- GDNF preconditioning can overcome Schwann cell phenotypic memory. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 10.
While it is known that Schwann cells (SCs) provide cues to enhance regeneration following peripheral nerve injury, the effect of SC phenotypic memory (muscle or cutaneous nerve-derived) on enhancing axonal regeneration and functional recovery has been unclear in the literature. In particular, differences between muscle and cutaneous nerve-derived SC may encourage specific motor or sensory axonal guidance in cell/tissue transplantation therapies. Thus, the goal of this study was to determine whether phenotypically matched combinations of neurons and SCs stimulate greater axonal extension compared to mismatched combinations (i.e. motor neurons/muscle nerve-derived SCs vs. motor neurons/cutaneous nerve-derived SCs). Additionally, the effect of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) treatment on SC-neuron interaction was also evaluated. In order to examine these interactions, microfluidic devices were used to assess the effects of soluble factors secreted from SCs on neurons. Unlike traditional co-culture methods, the devices allow for easier quantification of single neurite extension over long periods of time, as well as easy cell and media sampling of pure populations for biochemical analyses. Results demonstrated longer neurite growth when neurons are cultured with phenotype matched SCs, suggesting that SCs are capable of retaining phenotypic memory despite a prolonged absence of axonal contact. Furthermore, the negative effect of mismatched cultures can be overcome when mismatched SCs are preconditioned with GDNF. These results suggest that treatment of SCs with GDNF could enhance their ability to promote regeneration through mismatched grafts frequently used in clinical settings.
- Desmoplakin is involved in organization of an adhesion complex in peripheral nerve regeneration after injury. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 10.
Peripheral nerves have the unique capability to regenerate after injury. Insights into regeneration of peripheral nerves after injury may have implications for neurodegenerative diseases of the nervous system. In this study, we analyzed the expression and function of desmoplakin in peripheral nerve regeneration. Desmoplakin was upregulated in spinal cord motoneurons after sciatic nerve injury. Conditional ablation of desmoplakin in motoneurons demonstrated that desmoplakin is necessary for normal motor regeneration. SiRNA and desmoplakin deletion-constructs revealed a role of desmoplakin in neurite extension in vitro. A complex of N-cadherin, plakoglobin, desmoplakin and vimentin was shown in motoneuronal cell cultures and peripheral nerves after injury in vivo. Motor nerve fiber regeneration and localization of N-cadherin and vimentin to axonal growth fronts was reduced in conditionally desmoplakin-ablated mice. These data indicate a function of desmoplakin in motor nerve regeneration by linking N-cadherin to intermediate filaments in regenerating motor axons.
- Perineuronal net digestion with chondroitinase restores memory in mice with tau pathology. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 4.
Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent tauopathy and cause of dementia. We investigate the hypothesis that reactivation of plasticity can restore function in the presence of neuronal damage resulting from tauopathy. We investigated two models with tau hyperphosphorylation, aggregation and neurodegeneration: a transgenic mouse model in which the mutant P301S tau is expressed in neurons (Tg P301S), and a model in which an adeno-associated virus expressing P301S tau (AAV-P301S) was injected in the perirhinal cortex, a region critical for object recognition (OR) memory. Both models show profound loss of OR memory despite only 15% neuronal loss in the Tg P301S and 26% in AAV-P301S-injected mice. Recordings from perirhinal cortex slices of 3month-old P301S transgenic mice showed a diminution in synaptic transmission following temporal stimulation. Chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) can reactivate plasticity and affect memory through actions on perineuronal nets. ChABC was injected into the perirhinal cortex and animals were tested for OR memory 1week later, demonstrating restoration of OR memory to normal levels. Synaptic transmission indicated by fEPSP amplitude was restored to control levels following ChABC treatment. ChABC did not affect the progression of neurodegenerative tauopathy. These findings suggest that increasing plasticity by manipulation of perineuronal nets offers a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of memory loss in neurodegenerative disorders.
- Thrombospondin-4 and excitatory synaptogenesis promote spinal sensitization after painful mechanical joint injury. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 5.
Facet joint injury induces persistent pain that may be maintained by structural plasticity in the spinal cord. Astrocyte-derived thrombospondins, especially thrombospondin-4 (TSP4), have been implicated in synaptogenesis and spinal sensitization in neuropathic pain, but the TSP4 response and its relationship to synaptic changes in the spinal cord have not been investigated for painful joint injury. This study investigates the role of TSP4 in the development and maintenance of persistent pain following injurious facet joint distraction in rats and tests the hypothesis that excitatory synaptogenesis contributes to such pain. Painful facet joint loading induces dorsal horn excitatory synaptogenesis along with decreased TSP4 in the DRG and increased astrocytic release of TSP4 in the spinal cord, all of which parallel the time course of sustained tactile allodynia. Blocking injury-induced spinal TSP4 expression with antisense oligonucleotides or reducing TSP4 activity at its neuronal receptor in the spinal cord with gabapentin treatment both attenuate the allodynia and dorsal horn synaptogenesis that develop after painful facet joint loading. Increased spinal TSP4 also facilitates the development of allodynia and spinal hyperexcitability, even after non-painful physiological loading of the facet joint. These results suggest that spinal TSP4 plays an important role in the development and maintenance of persistent joint-mediated pain by inducing excitatory synaptogenesis and facilitating the transduction of mechanical loading of the facet joint that leads to spinal hyperexcitability.
- Neural progenitor cell transplantation promotes neuroprotection, enhances hippocampal neurogenesis, and improves cognitive outcomes after traumatic brain injury. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 4.
Transplantation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) may be a potential treatment strategy for traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to their intrinsic advantages, including the secretion of neurotrophins. Neurotrophins are critical for neuronal survival and repair, but their clinical use is limited. In this study, we hypothesized that pericontusional transplantation of NPCs genetically modified to secrete a synthetic, human multineurotrophin (MNTS1) would overcome some of the limitations of traditional neurotrophin therapy. MNTS1 is a multifunctional neurotrophin that binds all three tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) receptors, recapitulating the prosurvival activity of 3 endogenous mature neurotrophins. NPCs obtained from rat fetuses at E15 were transduced with lentiviral vectors containing MNTS1 and GFP constructs (MNTS1-NPCs) or fluorescent constructs alone (control GFP-NPCs). Adult rats received fluid percussion-induced TBI or sham surgery. Animals were transplanted 1week later with control GFP-NPCs, MNTS1-NPCs, or injected with saline (vehicle). At five weeks, animals were evaluated for hippocampal-dependent spatial memory. Six weeks post-surgery, we observed significant survival and neuronal differentiation of MNTS1-NPCs and injury-activated tropism toward contused regions. NPCs displayed processes that extended into several remote structures, including the hippocampus and contralateral cortex. Both GFP- and MNTS1-NPCs conferred significant preservation of pericontusional host tissues and enhanced hippocampal neurogenesis. NPC transplantation improved spatial memory capacity on the Morris water maze (MWM) task. Transplant recipients exhibited escape latencies approximately half that of injured vehicle controls. While we observed greater transplant survival and neuronal differentiation of MNTS1-NPCs, our collective findings suggest that MNTS1 may be superfluous in terms of preserving the cytoarchitecture and rescuing behavioral deficits given the lack of significant difference between MNTS1- and GFP-control transplanted groups. Nevertheless, our overall findings support the potential of syngeneic NPC transplantation to enhance endogenous neuroreparative responses and may therefore be an effective treatment for TBI.
- Environmental enrichment: Evidence for an unexpected therapeutic influence. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Dec 4.
Environmental enrichment produces wide-ranging effects in the brain at molecular, cellular, network, and behavioral levels. The changes in neuronal plasticity are driven by changes in neurotransmitters, neurotrophic factors, neuronal morphology, neurogenesis, network properties of the brain, and behavioral correlates of learning and memory. Exposure to an enriched environment has also demonstrated intriguing possibilities for treatment of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. The effect of environmental enrichment in epilepsy, a neurodegenerative disorder with pathological neuronal plasticity, is of considerable interest. Recent reports of the effect of environmental enrichment in the Bassoon mutant mouse, a genetic model of early onset epilepsy, provides a significant addition to the literature in this area.