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Methamphetamine (METH) exposure results in dopaminergic neurotoxicity in striatal regions of the brain, an effect that has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease. Various aspects of neuroinflammation, including astrogliosis, are believed to be contributory factors in METH neurotoxicity. METH interacts with sigma receptors at physiologically relevant concentrations and treatment with sigma receptor antagonists has been shown to mitigate METH-induced neurotoxicity in rodent models. Whether these compounds alter the responses of glial cells within the central nervous system to METH however has yet to be determined. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to determine whether the sigma receptor antagonist, SN79, mitigates METH-induced striatal reactive astrogliosis. Male, Swiss Webster mice treated with a neurotoxic regimen of METH exhibited time-dependent increases in striatal gfap mRNA and concomitant increases in GFAP protein, indicative of astrogliosis. This is the first report that similar to other neurotoxicants that induce astrogliosis through the activation of JAK2/STAT3 signaling by stimulating gp-130-linked cytokine signaling resulting from neuroinflammation, METH treatment also increases astrocytic oncostatin m receptor (OSMR) expression and the phosphorylation of STAT3 (Tyr-705) in vivo. Pretreatment with SN79 blocked METH-induced increases in OSMR, STAT3 phosphorylation and astrocyte activation within the striatum. Additionally, METH treatment resulted in striatal cellular degeneration as measured by Fluoro-Jade B, an effect that was mitigated by SN79. The current study provides evidence that sigma receptor antagonists attenuate METH-induced astrocyte activation through a pathway believed to be shared by various neurotoxicants.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Heterozygous loss-of-function SCN1A mutations cause Dravet syndrome, an epileptic encephalopathy of infancy that exhibits variable clinical severity. We utilized a heterozygous Scn1a knockout (Scn1a(+/-)) mouse model of Dravet syndrome to investigate the basis for phenotype variability. These animals exhibit strain-dependent seizure severity and survival. Scn1a(+/-) mice on strain 129S6/SvEvTac (129.Scn1a(+/-)) have no overt phenotype and normal survival compared with Scn1a(+/-) mice bred to C57BL/6J (F1.Scn1a(+/-)) that have severe epilepsy and premature lethality. We tested the hypothesis that strain differences in sodium current (INa) density in hippocampal neurons contribute to these divergent phenotypes. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recording was performed on acutely-dissociated hippocampal neurons from postnatal days 21-24 (P21-24) 129.Scn1a(+/-) or F1.Scn1a(+/-) mice and wild-type littermates. INa density was lower in GABAergic interneurons from F1.Scn1a(+/-) mice compared to wild-type littermates, while on the 129 strain there was no difference in GABAergic interneuron INa density between 129.Scn1a(+/-) mice and wild-type littermate controls. By contrast, INa density was elevated in pyramidal neurons from both 129.Scn1a(+/-) and F1.Scn1a(+/-) mice, and was correlated with more frequent spontaneous action potential firing in these neurons, as well as more sustained firing in F1.Scn1a(+/-) neurons. We also observed age-dependent differences in pyramidal neuron INa density between wild-type and Scn1a(+/-) animals. We conclude that preserved INa density in GABAergic interneurons contributes to the milder phenotype of 129.Scn1a(+/-) mice. Furthermore, elevated INa density in excitatory pyramidal neurons at P21-24 correlates with age-dependent onset of lethality in F1.Scn1a(+/-) mice. Our findings illustrate differences in hippocampal neurons that may underlie strain- and age-dependent phenotype severity in a Dravet syndrome mouse model, and emphasize a contribution of pyramidal neuron excitability.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Blast-induced traumatic brain injury represents a leading cause of injury in modern warfare with injury pathogenesis poorly understood. Preclinical models of blast injury remain poorly standardized across laboratories and the clinical relevance unclear based upon pulmonary injury scaling laws. Models capable of high peak overpressures and of short duration may better replicate clinical exposure when scaling principles are considered. In this work we demonstrate a tabletop shock tube model capable of high peak overpressures and of short duration. By varying the thickness of the polyester membrane, peak overpressure can be controlled. We used membranes with a thickness of 0.003, 0.005, 0.007, and 0.010 in to generate peak reflected overpressures of 31.47, 50.72, 72.05, and 90.10 PSI, respectively. Blast exposure was shown to decrease total activity and produce neural degeneration as indicated by fluoro-jade B staining. Similarly, blast exposure resulted in increased glial activation as indicated by an increase in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein expressing astrocytes compared to control within the corpus callosum, the region of greatest apparent injury following blast exposure. Similar findings were observed with regard to activated microglia, some of which displayed phagocytic-like morphology within the corpus callosum following blast exposure, particularly with higher peak overpressures. Furthermore, hematoxylin and eosin staining showed the presence of red blood cells within the parenchyma and red, swollen neurons following blast injury. Exposure to blast with 90.10 PSI peak reflected overpressure resulted in immediate mortality associated with extensive intracranial bleeding. This work demonstrates one of the first examples of blast-induced brain injury in the rodent when exposed to a blast wave scaled from human exposure based on scaling principles derived from pulmonary injury lethality curves.
OBJECTIVE - There is significant evidence for a central role of inflammation in the development of Alzheimer disease (AD). Epidemiological studies indicate that chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of developing AD in healthy aging populations. As NSAIDs inhibit the enzymatic activity of the inflammatory cyclooxygenases COX-1 and COX-2, these findings suggest that downstream prostaglandin signaling pathways function in the preclinical development of AD. Here, we investigate the function of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2) ) signaling through its EP3 receptor in the neuroinflammatory response to Aβ peptide.
METHODS - The function of PGE(2) signaling through its EP3 receptor was examined in vivo in a model of subacute neuroinflammation induced by administration of Aβ(42) peptides. Our findings were then confirmed in young adult APPSwe-PS1ΔE9 transgenic mice.
RESULTS - Deletion of the PGE(2) EP3 receptor in a model of Aβ(42) peptide-induced neuroinflammation reduced proinflammatory gene expression, cytokine production, and oxidative stress. In the APPSwe-PS1ΔE9 model of familial AD, deletion of the EP3 receptor blocked induction of proinflammatory gene and protein expression and lipid peroxidation. In addition, levels of Aβ peptides were significantly decreased, as were β-secretase and β C-terminal fragment levels, suggesting that generation of Aβ peptides may be increased as a result of proinflammatory EP3 signaling. Finally, deletion of EP3 receptor significantly reversed the decline in presynaptic proteins seen in APPSwe-PS1ΔE9 mice.
INTERPRETATION - Our findings identify the PGE(2) EP3 receptor as a novel proinflammatory, proamyloidogenic, and synaptotoxic signaling pathway, and suggest a role for COX-PGE(2) -EP3 signaling in the development of AD.
Copyright © 2012 American Neurological Association.
Human high-grade gliomas (HGGs) are known for their histologic diversity. To address the role of cell of origin in glioma phenotype, transgenic mice were generated in which oncogenic Ras and p53 deletion were targeted to neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) and mature astrocytes. The hGFAP-Cre/Kras/p53 mice develop multifocal HGGs that vary histopathologically and with respect to the expression of markers associated with NSPCs. One HGG pattern strongly expressed markers of NSPCs and arose near the subventricular zone. Additional nonoverlapping patterns that recapitulate human HGG variants were present simultaneously in the same brain. These neoplastic foci were more often cortical or leptomeningeal based, and the neoplastic cells lacked expression of NSPC markers. To determine whether cell of origin determines tumor phenotype, astrocytes and NSPCs were harvested from neonatal mutant pups. Onorthotopic transplantation, early-passage astrocytes and NSPCs formed tumors that differed in engraftment rates, latency to clinical signs, histopathology, and protein expression. Astrocyte-derivedtumors were more aggressive, had giant-cell histology, and glial fibrillary acidic protein expression. The NSPC-derived tumors retained NSPC markers and showed evidence of differentiation along astrocytic, oligodendroglial, and neuronal lineages. These results indicate that identical tumorigenic stimuli produce markedly different glioma phenotypes, depending on the differentiation status of the transformed cell.
To determine if glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is associated with brain injury in children with sickle cell disease (SCD), we measured plasma GFAP among cross-sectional groups of unselected children with SCD, subsets of children with SCD and normal brain MRI or MRI evidence of cerebral infarct, healthy pediatric controls, and adults with brain injury. Children with SCD had higher plasma GFAP than healthy pediatric controls (mean concentrations 0.14 ± 0.37 vs. 0.07 ± 0.08 ng/mL; P 5 0.003); also, 16.0% (16/100) of children with SCD and cerebral infarct had GFAP elevations above the 95th percentile of healthy pediatric controls (P 5 0.04). Although not statistically significant, children with SCD and cerebral infarct had more elevated GFAP levels than with SCD and no infarct (16/100, 16.0% vs. 14/168, 8.3%; P 5 0.07). Children with SCD and acute brain ischemia had a higher proportion of elevated GFAP than SCD children with normal MRI (3/6, 50% vs.8.3%; P 5 0.01). GFAP was associated with elevated systolic blood pressure in the preceding year and correlated positively with white blood cell count and negatively with age and performance IQ. Plasma GFAP is elevated among children with SCD and may be associated with subclinical brain injury.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid, AA) depletion during prenatal and postnatal development can lead to oxidative stress in the developing brain and other organs. Such damage may lead to irreversible effects on later brain function. We studied the relationship between AA deficiency and oxidative stress during development in gulonolactone oxidase (gulo) knockout mice that are unable to synthesize their own ascorbic acid. Heterozygous gulo(+/-) mice can synthesize AA and typically have similar tissue levels to wild-type mice. Gulo(+/-) dams were mated with gulo(+/-) males to provide offspring of each possible genotype. Overall, embryonic day 20 (E20) and postnatal day 1 (P1) pups were protected against oxidative stress by sufficient AA transfer during pregnancy. On postnatal day 10 (P10) AA levels were dramatically lower in liver and cerebellum in gulo(-/-) mice and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were significantly increased. In postnatal day 18 pups (P18) AA levels decreased further in gulo(-/-) mice and oxidative stress was observed in the accompanying elevations in MDA in liver, and F(2)-isoprostanes in cortex. Further, total glutathione levels were higher in gulo(-/-) mice in cortex, cerebellum and liver, indicating that a compensatory antioxidant system was activated. These data show a direct relationship between AA level and oxidative stress in the gulo(-/-) mice. They reinforce the critical role of ascorbic acid in preventing oxidative stress in the developing brain in animals that, like humans, cannot synthesize their own AA.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Chronic injury changes the fate of certain cellular populations, inducing epithelial cells to generate fibroblasts by epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and mesenchymal cells to generate epithelial cells by mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET). Although contribution of EMT/MET to embryogenesis, renal fibrosis, and lung fibrosis is well documented, role of EMT/MET in liver fibrosis is unclear. We determined whether cytokeratin-19 positive (K19(+)) cholangiocytes give rise to myofibroblasts (EMT) and/or whether glial fibrillary acidic protein positive (GFAP(+)) hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) can express epithelial markers (MET) in response to experimental liver injury.
METHODS - EMT was studied with Cre-loxP system to map cell fate of K19(+) cholangiocytes in K19(YFP) or fibroblast-specific protein-1 (FSP-1)(YFP) mice, generated by crossing tamoxifen-inducible K19(CreERT) mice or FSP-1(Cre) mice with Rosa26(f/f-YFP) mice. MET of GFAP(+) HSCs was studied in GFAP(GFP) mice. Mice were subjected to bile duct ligation or CCl(4)-liver injury, and livers were analyzed for expression of mesodermal and epithelial markers.
RESULTS - On Cre-loxP recombination, >40% of genetically labeled K19(+) cholangiocytes expressed yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). All mice developed liver fibrosis. However, specific immunostaining of K19(YFP) cholangiocytes showed no expression of EMT markers alpha-smooth muscle actin, desmin, or FSP-1. Moreover, cells genetically labeled by FSP-1(YFP) expression did not coexpress cholangiocyte markers K19 or E-cadherin. Genetically labeled GFAP(GFP) HSCs did not express epithelial or liver progenitor markers in response to liver injury.
CONCLUSION - EMT of cholangiocytes identified by genetic labeling does not contribute to hepatic fibrosis in mice. Likewise, GFAP(Cre)-labeled HSCs showed no coexpression of epithelial markers, providing no evidence for MET in HSCs in response to fibrogenic liver injury.
Copyright © 2010 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are prone to develop optic pathway gliomas that can result in significant visual impairment. To explore the cellular basis for the reduced visual function resulting from optic glioma formation, we used a genetically engineered mouse model of Nf1 optic glioma (Nf1+/-(GFAP)CKO mice). We performed multimodal functional and structural analyses both before and after the appearance of macroscopic tumors. At 6 weeks of age, before obvious glioma formation, Nf1+/-(GFAP)CKO mice had decreased visual-evoked potential amplitudes and increased optic nerve axon calibers. By 3 months of age, Nf1+/-(GFAP)CKO mice exhibited pronounced optic nerve axonopathy and apoptosis of neurons in the retinal ganglion cell layer. Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging showed a progressive increase in radial diffusivity between 6 weeks and 6 months of age in the optic nerve proximal to the tumor indicating ongoing deterioration of axons. These data suggest that optic glioma formation results in early axonal disorganization and damage, which culminates in retinal ganglion cell death. Collectively, this study shows that Nf1+/-(GFAP)CKO mice can provide a useful model for defining mechanisms of visual abnormalities in children with NF1 and lay the foundations for future interventional studies aimed at reducing visual loss.
A subset of neoplastic cells within human high-grade gliomas has features associated with stem cells. These cells may sustain glioma growth, and their stem-like properties may confer resistance to standard glioma treatments. Whether glioma stem cells derive from indigenous neural stem cells (NSC), or from tumor cells that have reacquired stem cell-like properties, is unknown. However, signaling pathways that are tightly regulated and central to NSC biology, including the Ras/Raf/Erk pathway, are hyperactive and pathogenic in gliomagenesis. Furthermore, data in animal models suggests that, in some cases, tumors are initiated in the subventricular zone (SVZ), a stem/progenitor cell niche in the mature brain. We activated oncogenic K-ras in mouse glioneuronal precursor cells and adult SVZ cells using GFAP-Cre. GFAP-Cre+/K-ras(G12D) mice showed a marked expansion of glial fibriallary acidic protein (GFAP)- and TUJ1-expressing cell populations in the SVZ. In addition, mice developed intermediate grade, infiltrating glioma with 100% penetrance. Tumors were consistently located in the amygdalohippocampal region and nearby cortex, often in association with the lateral ventricle and expanded SVZ. Tumor cells expressed markers associated with neural progenitor cells, including Olig2, Bmi-1, and PDGFR-alpha. These data suggest that infiltrating tumor cells may arise from NSC transformed by activation of oncogenic K-ras in vivo.