Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
Experimental neurology [journal]
- Role of striatal NMDA receptor subunits in a model of paroxysmal dystonia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 16.
Dystonia is a movement disorder in which abnormal plasticity in the basal ganglia has been hypothesized to play a critical role. In a model of paroxysmal dystonia, the dt(sz) mutant hamster, previous studies indicated striatal dysfunctions, including an increased long-term potentiation (LTP). Beneficial effects were exerted by subunit-unspecific antagonists at NMDA receptors, which blocked LTP. NR2B subtype selective antagonists aggravated dystonia after systemic treatment in dt(sz) hamsters, suggesting that beneficial effects involved the NR2A receptor subtype. In the present study, NVP-AAM077, an antagonist with preferential activity on NR2A-containing NMDA receptors, exerted significant antidystonic effects in mutant hamsters after systemic administration (20 and 30mg/kgi.p.) and delayed the onset of a dystonic episode after intrastriatal injections (0.12 and 0.24μg). As shown by present electrophysiological examinations in corticostriatal slices of dt(sz) hamsters and non-dystonic control hamsters, NVP-AAM077 (50 nM) completely blocked LTP in dt(sz) slices, but did not exert significant effects on LTP in non-dystonic controls. In contrast, the NR2B antagonist Ro 25-6981 (1-10μmol) reduced LTP to a lower extent in dt(sz) mutant hamsters than in control animals. By using quantitative RT-PCR, the NR2A/NR2B ratio was found be increased in the striatum, but not in the cortex of mutant hamsters in comparison to non-dystonic controls. These data indicate that NR2A-mediated activation may be involved in the pathophysiology of paroxysmal dystonia. Since significant antidystonic effects were observed after systemic administration of NVP-AAM077 already at well tolerated doses, antagonists with preferential activity on NR2A-containing NMDA receptors could be interesting candidates for the treatment of dystonia.
- Dexamethasone enhances necrosis-like neuronal death in ischemic rat hippocampus involving μ-calpain activation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 15.
Transient forebrain ischemia (TFI) leads to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell death which is aggravated by glucocorticoids (GC). It is unknown how GC affect apoptosis and necrosis in cerebral ischemia. We therefore investigated the co-localization of activated caspase-3 (casp-3) with apoptosis- and necrosis-like cell death morphologies in CA1 of rats treated with dexamethasone prior to TFI (DPTI). In addition, apoptosis- (casp-9, casp-3, casp-3-cleaved PARP and cleaved α-spectrin 145/150 and 120kDa) and necrosis-related (calpain-specific casp-9 cleavage, μ-calpain upregulation and cleaved α-spectrin 145/150kDa) cell death mechanisms were investigated by Western blot analysis. DPTI expedited CA1 neuronal death from day 4 to day 1 and increased the magnitude of CA1 neuronal death from 66.2% to 91.3% at day 7. Furthermore, DPTI decreased the overall (day 1-7) percentage of dying neurons displaying apoptosis-like morphology from 4.7% to 0.3% and, conversely, increased the percentage of neurons with necrosis-like morphology from 95.3% to 99.7%. In animals subjected to TFI without dexamethasone (ischemia-only), 7.4% of all dying CA1 neurons were casp-3-immunoreactive (IR), of which 3.1% co-localized with apoptosis-like and 4.3% with necrosis-like changes. By contrast, DPTI decreased the percentage of dying neurons with casp-3 IR to 1.4%, of which 0.3% co-localized with apoptosis-like changes and 1.1% with necrosis-like changes. Western blot analysis from DPTI animals showed a significant elevation of μ-calpain, a calpain-produced necrosis-related casp-9 fragment (25kDa) and cleavage of α-spectrin into 145/150kDa fragments at day 4, whereas in ischemia-only animals a significant increase of casp-3-cleaved PARP, cleavage of α-spectrin into 145/150 and 120kDa fragments was detected at day 7. We conclude that DPTI, in addition to augmenting and expediting CA1 neuronal death, causes a shift from apoptosis-like cell death to necrosis involving μ-calpain activation.
- 'Not-so-minor' stroke: Lasting psychosocial consequences of anterior cingulate cortical ischemia in the rat. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 15.
Patients with small, non-debilitating strokes often report a reduction in quality of life due to persistent cognitive and emotional alterations. Stroke may directly damage limbic circuitry resulting in an impaired stress response, however the possibility that this may in part explain the prevalence of stroke comorbidity with mood disorders has yet to be determined. Here we systematically examine psychosocial consequences of prefrontal lesions targeting the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) using hormone assays and a behavioral test battery in adult rats to probe whether a small stroke could alter stress behavior or response to psychosocial stress (chronic mild stress (CMS) or subordination stress). Minor stroke produced chronic hyperactivity in an open field but did not alter fear-related inhibition in the elevated plus maze. Novelty-induced defecation was increased by the combination of CMS, subordination and stroke. Anterior cingulate lesions alone increased distress vocalizations in the water maze. Interestingly, ACC stroke caused hyper-secretion of porphyrin and long-term hormonal alterations that resulted in adrenal hypertrophy and enhanced dexamethasone suppression of the HPA axis. We propose that this behavioral profile is consistent with an animal model of post-stroke distress-like syndrome which could be useful in understanding how stroke affects the capacity to cope with psychological stress.
- Epigenetics and Sex Differences in the Brain: A Genome-Wide Comparison of Histone-3 Lysine-4 Trimethylation (H3K4me3) in Male and Female Mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 14.
Many neurological and psychiatric disorders exhibit gender disparities, and sex differences in the brain likely explain some of these effects. Recent work in rodents points to a role for epigenetics in the development or maintenance of neural sex differences, although genome-wide studies have so far been lacking. Here we review the existing literature on epigenetics and brain sexual differentiation and present preliminary analyses on the genome-wide distribution of histone-3 lysine-4 trimethylation in a sexually dimorphic brain region in male and female mice. H3K4me3 is a histone mark primarily organized as 'peaks' surrounding the transcription start site of active genes. We microdissected the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and preoptic area (BNST/POA) in adult male and female mice and used ChIP-Seq to compare the distribution of H3K4me3 throughout the genome. We found 248 genes and loci with a significant sex difference in H3K4me3. Of these, the majority (71%) had larger H3K4me3 peaks in females. Comparisons with existing databases indicate that genes and loci with increased H3K4me3 in females are associated with synaptic function and with expression atlases from related brain areas. Based on RT-PCR, only a minority of genes with a sex difference in H3K4me3 has detectable sex differences in expression at baseline conditions. Together with previous findings, our data suggest there may be sex biases in the use of epigenetic marks. Such biases could underlie sex differences in vulnerabilities to drugs or diseases that disrupt specific epigenetic processes.
- Impaired Src signaling and post-synaptic actin polymerization in Alzheimer´s disease mice hippocampus - linking NMDA receptors and the reelin pathway. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 13.
Early cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been related to deregulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and synaptic dysfunction in response to amyloid-beta peptide. NMDARs anchorage to post-synaptic membrane depends in part on Src kinase, which is also implicated in NMDAR activation and actin cytoskeleton stabilization, two processes relevant for normal synaptic function. In this study we analysed the changes in GluN2B subunit phosphorylation and the levels of proteins involved in Src related signaling pathways linking the Tyr kinase to actin cytoskeleton polymerization, namely reelin, disabled-1 (Dab1) and cortactin, in hippocampal and cortical homogenates obtained from the triple transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTg-AD) that shows progression of pathology as a function of age versus age-matched wild-type mice. Moreover, we evaluated regional post-synaptic actin polymerization using phalloidin labelling in hippocampal slices. Young (3month-old) 3xTg-AD mice male hippocampus exhibited decreased GluN2B Tyr1472 phosphorylation and reduced Src activity. In the cortex, decreased Src activity correlated with reduced levels of reelin and Dab1, implicating changes in the reelin pathway. We also observed diminished phosphorylated Dab1 and cortactin protein levels in hippocampus and cortex of young 3xTg-AD male mice. Concordantly with the recognized role of these proteins in actin stabilization, we detected a significant decrease in post-synaptic F-actin in 3month-old 3xTg-AD male CA1 and CA3 hippocampal regions. These data suggest deregulated Src-dependent signaling pathways involving GluN2B-composed NMDARs and post-synaptic actin cytoskeleton depolymerization in the hippocampus in early stages of AD.
- A comparative morphological, electrophysiological and functional analysis of axon regeneration through peripheral nerve autografts genetically modified to overexpress BDNF, CNTF, GDNF, NGF, NT3 or VEGF. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 12.
The clinical outcome of microsurgical repair of an injured peripheral nerve with an autograft is suboptimal. A key question addressed here is: can axon regeneration through an autograft be further improved? In this article the impact of six neurotrophic factors (BDNF, CNTF, GDNF, NGF, NT3 or VEGF) on axon regeneration was compared after delivery to a 1cm long nerve autograft by gene therapy. To distinguish between early and late effects, regeneration was assessed at 2 and 20weeks post-surgery by histological, electrophysiological and functional analysis. BDNF, GDNF and NGF exhibited a spectrum of effects, including early stimulatory effects on axons entering the autograft and excessive axon growth and Schwann cell proliferation at 20weeks post-surgery. Persistent expression of these factors in autografts interfered with target cell reinnervation and functional recovery in a modality specific way. Autografts overexpressing VEGF displayed hypervascularization, while grafts transduced with CNTF and NT3 were indistinguishable from control grafts. These three factors did not have detectable pro-regenerative effects. In conclusion, autograft-based repair combined with gene therapy for three of the six growth factors investigated (BDNF, GDNF, NGF) showed considerable promise since these factors enhanced modality specific axon outgrowth in autografts. The remarkable and selective effects of BDNF, GDNF and NGF on motor or sensory regeneration will be exploited in future experiments that aim to carefully regulate their temporal and spatial expression since this has the potential to overcome the adverse effects on long-distance regeneration observed after uncontrolled delivery.
- MicroRNAs: small molecules with big roles in neurodevelopment and diseases. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 12.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded, non-coding RNA molecules that play important roles in the development and functions of the brain. Extensive studies have revealed critical roles for miRNAs in brain development and function. Dysregulation or altered expression of miRNAs is associated with abnormal brain development and pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental diseases. This review serves to highlight the versatile roles of these small RNA molecules in normal brain development and their association with neurodevelopmental disorders, in particular, two closely related neuropsychiatric disorders of neurodevelopmental origin, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
- Targeting the vasculature for cerebroprotection in the immature brain. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 10.
- Noninvasive detection of sleep/wake changes and cataplexy-like behaviors in orexin/ ataxin-3 transgenic narcoleptic mice across the disease onset. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 10.
Sleep and behavioral monitoring of young mice is necessary for understating the progress of these symptoms in congenital and acquired diseases associated with sleep and movement disorders. In the current study, we have developed a non-invasive sleep monitoring system that identifies wake and sleep of newborn mice using a simple piezoelectric transducer (PZT). Using this system, we have succeeded to detect age-dependent occurrences and changes in sleep fragmentation of orexin/ataxin-3 narcoleptic mice (a narcoleptic mouse of model of postnatal hypocretin/orexin cell death) across the disease onset. We also detected REM sleep/cataplexy patterns (i.e., immobility with clear heart bests [IMHB] signals due to the flaccid posture) by the PZT system, and found that sudden onset of REM sleep-like episodes specifically occur in narcoleptic, but not in wild type mice, suggesting that these episodes are likely to be cataplexy. In contrast, gradual onset of IMHB likely to reflect occurrence of REM sleep. In summary, we have shown that the PZT system is useful as a non-invasive sleep and behavior monitoring system to analyze the developmental aspects of sleep and movement disorders in mice models.
- Functional regulation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase expression and activity in the rat retina. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Exp Neurol 2014 Aug 6.:510-517.
In the nervous system within physiological conditions, nitric oxide (NO) production depends on the activity of nitric oxide synthases (NOSs), and particularly on the expression of the neuronal isoform (nNOS). In the sensory systems, the role of NO is poorly understood. In this study, we identified nNOS-positive cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL) of the rat retina, with distinct characteristics such as somata size, immunolabeling level and location. Employing mathematical cluster analysis, we determined that nNOS amacrine cells are formed by two distinct populations. We next investigated the molecular identity of these cells, which did not show colocalization with calbindin (CB), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), parvalbumin (PV) or protein kinase C (PKC), and only partial colocalization with calretinin (CR), revealing the accumulation of nNOS in specific amacrine cell populations. To access the functional, circuitry-related roles of these cells, we performed experiments after adaptation to different ambient light conditions. After 24h of dark-adaptation, we detected a subtle, yet statistically significant decrease in nNOS transcript levels, which returned to steady-state levels after 24h of normal light-dark cycle, revealing that nNOS expression is governed by ambient light conditions. Employing electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), we demonstrated that dark-adaptation decreases NO production in the retina. Furthermore, nNOS accumulation changed in the dark-adapted retinas, with a general reduction in the inner plexiform layer. Finally, computational analysis based on clustering techniques revealed that dark-adaptation differently affected both types of nNOS-positive amacrine cells. Taken together, our data disclosed functional regulation of nNOS expression and activity, disclosing new circuitry-related roles of nNOS-positive cells. More importantly, this study indicated unsuspected roles for NO in the sensory systems, particularly related to adaptation to ambient demands.