- Surgical repair in humans after traumatic nerve injury provides limited functional neural regeneration in adults. [Review]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 19
- Traumatic nerve injuries result in devastating loss of neurologic function with unpredictable functional recovery despite optimal medical management. After traumatic nerve injury and denervation, reg...
Traumatic nerve injuries result in devastating loss of neurologic function with unpredictable functional recovery despite optimal medical management. After traumatic nerve injury and denervation, regenerating axons must traverse a complex environment in which they encounter numerous barriers on the way to reinnervation of their target muscle. Outcomes of surgical intervention alone have unfortunately reached a plateau, resulting in often unsatisfactory functional recovery. Over the past few decades, many improvements were developed to supplement and boost the results of surgical repair. Biological optimization of Schwann cells, macrophages, and degradation enzymes have been studied due to the key roles of these components in axonal development, maintenance and response to injury. Moreover, surgical techniques such as nerve grafting, conduits, and growth factor supplementation are also employed to enhance the microenvironment and nerve regeneration. Yet, most of the roadblocks to recovery after nerve injury remain unsolved. These roadblocks include, but are not limited to: slow regeneration rates and specificity of target innervation, the presence of a segmental nerve defect, and degeneration of the target end-organ after prolonged periods of denervation. A recognition of these limitations is necessary so as to develop new strategies to improve functional regeneration for these life changing injuries.
- Facilitation of distinct inhibitory synaptic inputs by chemical anoxia in neurons in the oculomotor, facial and hypoglossal motor nuclei of the rat. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 18
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. Clinical studies have indicated that t...
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. Clinical studies have indicated that there is a distinct region-dependent difference in the vulnerability of motor neurons. For example, the motor neurons in the facial and hypoglossal nuclei are more susceptible to neuronal death than those in the oculomotor nucleus. To understand the mechanism underlying the differential susceptibility to cell death of the neurons in different motor nuclei, we compared the effects of chemical anoxia on the membrane currents and postsynaptic currents in different motor nuclei. The membrane currents were recorded from neurons in the oculomotor, facial and hypoglossal nuclei in brain slices of juvenile Wistar rats by using whole-cell recording in the presence of tetrodotoxin that prevents action potential-dependent synaptic transmission. NaCN consistently induced an inward current and a significant increase in the frequency of spontaneous synaptic inputs in neurons from these three nuclei. However, this increase in the synaptic input frequency was abolished by strychnine, a glycine receptor antagonist, but not by picrotoxin in neurons from the hypoglossal and facial nuclei, whereas that in neurons from the oculomotor nucleus was abolished by picrotoxin, but not by strychnine. Blocking ionotropic glutamate receptors did not significantly affect the NaCN-induced release facilitation in any of the three motor nuclei. These results suggest that anoxia selectively facilitates glycine release in the hypoglossal and facial nuclei and GABA release in the oculomotor nucleus. The region-dependent differences in the neurotransmitters involved in the anoxia-triggered release facilitation might provide a basis for the selective vulnerability of motor neurons in the neurodegeneration associated with ALS.
- Rapid neuroinflammatory response localized to injured neurons after diffuse traumatic brain injury in swine. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 09; 290:85-94
- Despite increasing appreciation of the critical role that neuroinflammatory pathways play in brain injury and neurodegeneration, little is known about acute microglial reactivity following diffuse tr...
Despite increasing appreciation of the critical role that neuroinflammatory pathways play in brain injury and neurodegeneration, little is known about acute microglial reactivity following diffuse traumatic brain injury (TBI) - the most common clinical presentation that includes all concussions. Therefore, we investigated acute microglial reactivity using a porcine model of closed-head rotational velocity/acceleration-induced TBI that closely mimics the biomechanical etiology of inertial TBI in humans. We observed rapid microglial reactivity within 15min of both mild and severe TBI. Strikingly, microglial activation was restrained to regions proximal to individual injured neurons - as denoted by trauma-induced plasma membrane disruption - which served as epicenters of acute reactivity. Single-cell quantitative analysis showed that in areas free of traumatically permeabilized neurons, microglial density and morphology were similar between sham or following mild or severe TBI. However, microglia density increased and morphology shifted to become more reactive in proximity to injured neurons. Microglial reactivity around injured neurons was exacerbated following repetitive TBI, suggesting further amplification of acute neuroinflammatory responses. These results indicate that neuronal trauma rapidly activates microglia in a highly localized manner, and suggest that activated microglia may rapidly influence neuronal stability and/or pathophysiology after diffuse TBI.
- Omega-3 fatty acids regulate NLRP3 inflammasome activation and prevent behavior deficits after traumatic brain injury. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 08
- Omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FAs) attenuate inflammation and improve neurological outcome in response to traumatic brain injury (TBI), but the specific anti-inflammatory mechanisms remain to be elucidate...
Omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3 FAs) attenuate inflammation and improve neurological outcome in response to traumatic brain injury (TBI), but the specific anti-inflammatory mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Here we found that NLRP3 inflammasome and subsequent pro-inflammatory cytokines were activated in human brains after TBI. Rats treated with ω-3 FAs had significantly less TBI-induced caspase-1 cleavage and IL-1β secretion than those with vehicle. G protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40) was observed to be involved in this anti-inflammation. GW1100, a GPR40 inhibitor, eliminated the anti-inflammatory effect of ω-3 FAs after TBI. β-Arrestin-2 (ARRB2), a downstream scaffold protein of GPR40, was activated to inhibit inflammation via directly binding with NLRP3 in the ω-3 FAs treatment group. Interestingly, we also observed that ω-3 FAs prevented NLRP3 mitochondrial localization, which was reversed by GW1100. Furthermore, ω-3 FAs markedly ameliorated neuronal death and behavioral deficits after TBI, while GW1100 significantly suppressed this effect. Collectively, these data indicate that the GPR40-mediated pathway is involved in the inhibitory effects of ω-3 FAs on TBI-induced inflammation and ARRB2 is activated to interact with NLRP3.
- The neuroprotective compound P7C3-A20 promotes neurogenesis and improves cognitive function after ischemic stroke. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 08; 290:63-73
- Ischemic stroke is a devastating condition with few therapeutic interventions available. The neuroprotective compound P7C3-A20 inhibits mature neuronal cell death while also increasing the net magnit...
Ischemic stroke is a devastating condition with few therapeutic interventions available. The neuroprotective compound P7C3-A20 inhibits mature neuronal cell death while also increasing the net magnitude of postnatal neurogenesis in models of neurodegeneration and acute injury. P7C3 compounds enhance flux of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in mammalian cells, a proposed therapeutic approach to treating cerebral ischemia. The effectiveness of P7C3-A20 treatment on chronic histopathological and behavioral outcomes and neurogenesis after ischemic stroke has not previously been established. Here, a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats was followed by twice daily injection of P7C3-A20 or vehicle for 7days. P7C3-A20-treated rats performed significantly better than vehicle-treated controls in sensorimotor cylinder and grid-walk tasks, and in a chronic test of spatial learning and memory. These behavioral improvements with P7C3-A20 treatment were correlated with significantly decreased cortical and hippocampal atrophy, and associated with increased neurogenesis in the subventricular zone and hippocampal dentate gyrus subgranular zone. Furthermore, cerebral ischemia significantly reduced NAD in the cortex but P7C3-A20 treatment restored NAD to sham levels. Thus, P7C3-A20 treatment mitigates neurodegeneration and augments repair in the brain after focal ischemia, which translates into chronic behavioral improvement. This suggests a new therapeutic approach of using P7C3 compounds to safely augment NAD and thereby promote two independent processes critical to protecting the brain from ischemic stroke: mature neuron survival and postnatal neurogenesis throughout the post-ischemic brain.
- Ventral medullary control of rapid eye movement sleep and atonia. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 07; 290:53-62
- Discrete populations of neurons at multiple levels of the brainstem control rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the accompanying loss of postural muscle tone, or atonia. The specific contributions of ...
Discrete populations of neurons at multiple levels of the brainstem control rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the accompanying loss of postural muscle tone, or atonia. The specific contributions of these brainstem cell populations to REM sleep control remains incompletely understood. Here we show in rats that viral vector-based lesions of the ventromedial medulla at a level rostral to the inferior olive (pSOM) produced violent myoclonic twitches and abnormal electromyographic spikes, but not complete loss of tonic atonia, during REM sleep. Motor tone during non-REM (NREM) sleep was unaffected in these same animals. Acute chemogenetic activation of pSOM neurons in rats robustly and selectively suppressed REM sleep but not NREM sleep. Similar lesions targeting the more rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) did not affect sleep or atonia, while chemogenetic stimulation of the RVM produced wakefulness and reduced sleep. Finally, selective activation of vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) pSOM neurons in mice produced complete suppression of REM sleep whereas their loss increased EMG spikes during REM sleep. These results reveal a key contribution of the pSOM and specifically the VGAT+ neurons in this region in REM sleep and motor.
- Glutamine triggers long-lasting increase in striatal network activity in vitro. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 06; 290:41-52
- Accumulation of ammonium and glutamine in blood and brain is a key factor in hepatic encephalopathy (HE) - a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by various cognitive and motor deficits. MRI imagi...
Accumulation of ammonium and glutamine in blood and brain is a key factor in hepatic encephalopathy (HE) - a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by various cognitive and motor deficits. MRI imaging identified abnormalities notably in the basal ganglia of HE patients, including its major input station, the striatum. While neurotoxic effects of ammonia have been extensively studied, glutamine is primarily perceived as "detoxified" form of ammonia. We applied ammonium and glutamine to striatal and cortical cells from newborn rats cultured on microelectrode arrays. Glutamine, but not ammonium significantly increased spontaneous spike rate with a long-lasting excitation outlasting washout. This effect was more prominent in striatal than in cortical cultures. Calcium imaging revealed that glutamine application caused a rise in intracellular calcium that depended both on system A amino acid transport and activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors. This pointed to downstream glutamate release that was triggered by intracellular glutamine. Using an enzymatic assay kit we confirmed glutamine-provoked glutamate release from striatal cells. Real-time PCR and immunocytochemistry demonstrated the presence of vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUT1 and VGLUT2) necessary for synaptic glutamate release in striatal neurons. We conclude that extracellular glutamine is taken up by neurons, triggers synaptic release of glutamate which is then taken up by astrocytes and again converted to glutamine. This feedback-loop causes a sustained long-lasting excitation of network activity. Thus, apart from ammonia also its "detoxified" form glutamine might be responsible for the neuropsychiatric symptoms in HE.
- Intranasal C3a treatment ameliorates cognitive impairment in a mouse model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2017 Jan 04; 290:74-84
- Perinatal asphyxia-induced brain injury is often associated with irreversible neurological complications such as intellectual disability and cerebral palsy but available therapies are limited. Novel ...
Perinatal asphyxia-induced brain injury is often associated with irreversible neurological complications such as intellectual disability and cerebral palsy but available therapies are limited. Novel neuroprotective therapies as well as approaches stimulating neural plasticity mechanism that can compensate for cell death after hypoxia-ischemia (HI) are urgently needed. We previously reported that single i.c.v. injection of complement-derived peptide C3a 1h after HI induction prevented HI-induced cognitive impairment when mice were tested as adults. Here, we tested the effects of intranasal treatment with C3a on HI-induced cognitive deficit. Using the object recognition test, we found that intranasal C3a treated mice were protected from HI-induced impairment of memory function assessed 6weeks after HI induction. C3a treatment ameliorated HI-induced reactive gliosis in the hippocampus, while it did not affect the extent of hippocampal tissue loss, neuronal cell density, expression of the pan-synaptic marker synapsin I or the expression of growth associated protein 43. In conclusion, our results reveal that brief pharmacological treatment with C3a using a clinically feasible non-invasive mode of administration ameliorates HI-induced cognitive impairment. Intranasal administration is a plausible route to deliver C3a into the brain of asphyxiated infants at high risk of developing hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
- Disinhibition of the intergeniculate leaflet network in the WAG/Rij rat model of absence epilepsy. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2016 Dec 30; 289:103-116
- The intergeniculate leaflet (IGL) of the thalamus is a retinorecipient structure implicated in orchestrating circadian rhythmicity. The IGL network is highly GABAergic and consists mainly of neuropep...
The intergeniculate leaflet (IGL) of the thalamus is a retinorecipient structure implicated in orchestrating circadian rhythmicity. The IGL network is highly GABAergic and consists mainly of neuropeptide Y-synthesising and enkephalinergic neurons. A high density of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes has been observed in the IGL, with a probable function in guarding neuronal inhibition. Interestingly, putatively enkephalinergic IGL neurons generate action potentials with an infra-slow oscillatory (ISO) pattern in vivo in urethane anesthetised Wistar rats, under light-on conditions only. Absence epilepsy (AE) is a disease characterised by spike-wave discharges present in the encephalogram, directly caused by hypersynchronous thalamo-cortical oscillations. Many pathologies connected with the arousal system, such as abnormalities in sleep architecture and an insufficient brain sleep-promoting system accompany the epileptic phenotype. We hypothesise that disturbances in the function of biological clock structures, controlling this rhythmic physiological process, may be responsible for the observed pathomechanism. To test this hypothesis, we performed an in vitro patch-clamp study on WAG/Rij rats, a well-validated genetic model of AE, in order to assess dampened GABAergic synaptic transmission in the IGL expressed as a lower IPSC amplitude and reduced sIPSC frequency. Moreover, our in vivo extracellular recordings showed higher firing rate of ISO IGL neurons with an abnormal reaction to a change in constant illumination (maintenance of rhythmic neuronal activity in darkness) in the AE model. Additional immunohistochemical experiments indicated astrogliosis in the area of the IGL, which may partially underlie the observed changes in inhibition. Altogether, the data presented here show for the first time the disinhibition of IGL neurons in a model of AE, thereby proposing the possible involvement of circadian-related brain structures in the epileptic phenotype.
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- Serial in vivo imaging of transplanted allogeneic neural stem cell survival in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [Journal Article]
- ENExp Neurol 2016 Dec 28; 289:96-102
- Neural stem cells (NSCs) are being investigated as a possible treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through intraspinal transplantation, but no longitudinal imaging studies exist that des...
Neural stem cells (NSCs) are being investigated as a possible treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through intraspinal transplantation, but no longitudinal imaging studies exist that describe the survival of engrafted cells over time. Allogeneic firefly luciferase-expressing murine NSCs (Luc(+)-NSCs) were transplanted bilaterally (100,000 cells/2μl) into the cervical spinal cord (C5) parenchyma of pre-symptomatic (63day-old) SOD1(G93A) ALS mice (n=14) and wild-type age-matched littermates (n=14). Six control SOD1(G93A) ALS mice were injected with saline. Mice were immunosuppressed using a combination of tacrolimus+sirolimus (1mg/kg each, i.p.) daily. Compared to saline-injected SOD1(G93A) ALS control mice, a transient improvement (p<0.05) in motor performance (rotarod test) was observed after NSC transplantation only at the early disease stage (weeks 2 and 3 post-transplantation). Compared to day one post-transplantation, there was a significant decline in bioluminescent imaging (BLI) signal in SOD1(G93A) ALS mice at the time of disease onset (71.7±17.9% at 4weeks post-transplantation, p<0.05), with a complete loss of BLI signal at endpoint (120day-old mice). In contrast, BLI signal intensity was observed in wild-type littermates throughout the entire study period, with only a 41.4±8.7% decline at the endpoint. In SOD1(G93A) ALS mice, poor cell survival was accompanied by accumulation of mature macrophages and the presence of astrogliosis and microgliosis. We conclude that the disease progression adversely affects the survival of engrafted murine Luc(+)-NSCs in SOD1(G93A) ALS mice as a result of the hostile ALS spinal cord microenvironment, further emphasizing the challenges that face successful cell therapy of ALS.