Human and murine cerebral malaria are associated with elevated levels of cytokines in the brain and adherence of platelets to the microvasculature. Here we demonstrated that the accumulation of platelets in the brain microvasculature can be detected with MRI, using what we believe to be a novel contrast agent, at a time when the pathology is undetectable by conventional MRI. Ligand-induced binding sites (LIBS) on activated platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptors were detected in the brains of malaria-infected mice 6 days after inoculation with Plasmodium berghei using microparticles of iron oxide (MPIOs) conjugated to a single-chain antibody specific for the LIBS (LIBS-MPIO). No binding of the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent was detected in uninfected animals. A combination of LIBS-MPIO MRI, confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, but not IL-1β or lymphotoxin-α (LT-α), induced adherence of platelets to cerebrovascular endothelium. Peak platelet adhesion was found 12 h after TNF-α injection and was readily detected with LIBS-MPIO contrast-enhanced MRI. Temporal studies revealed that the level of MPIO-induced contrast was proportional to the number of platelets bound. Thus, the LIBS-MPIO contrast agent enabled noninvasive detection of otherwise undetectable cerebral pathology by in vivo MRI before the appearance of clinical disease, highlighting the potential of targeted contrast agents for diagnostic, mechanistic, and therapeutic studies.
Constantin von zur Muhlen, Nicola R. Sibson, Karlheinz Peter, Sandra J. Campbell, Panop Wilainam, Georges E. Grau, Christoph Bode, Robin P. Choudhury, Daniel C. Anthony
Although opioids are highly effective analgesics, they are also known to induce cellular adaptations resulting in tolerance. Experimental studies are often performed in the absence of painful tissue injury, which precludes extrapolation to the clinical situation. Here we show that rats with chronic morphine treatment do not develop signs of tolerance at peripheral μ-opioid receptors (μ-receptors) in the presence of painful CFA-induced paw inflammation. In sensory neurons of these animals, internalization of μ-receptors was significantly increased and G protein coupling of μ-receptors as well as inhibition of cAMP accumulation were preserved. Opioid receptor trafficking and signaling were reduced, and tolerance was restored when endogenous opioid peptides in inflamed tissue were removed by antibodies or by depleting opioid-producing granulocytes, monocytes, and lymphocytes with cyclophosphamide (CTX). Our data indicate that the continuous availability of endogenous opioids in inflamed tissue increases recycling and preserves signaling of μ-receptors in sensory neurons, thereby counteracting the development of peripheral opioid tolerance. These findings infer that the use of peripherally acting opioids for the prolonged treatment of inflammatory pain associated with diseases such as chronic arthritis, inflammatory neuropathy, or cancer, is not necessarily accompanied by opioid tolerance.
Christian Zöllner, Shaaban A. Mousa, Oliver Fischer, Heike L. Rittner, Mohammed Shaqura, Alexander Brack, Mehdi Shakibaei, Waltraud Binder, Florian Urban, Christoph Stein, Michael Schäfer
APOE genotype is a major genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). ABCA1, a member of the ATP-binding cassette family of active transporters, lipidates apoE in the CNS. Abca1–/– mice have decreased lipid associated with apoE and increased amyloid deposition in several AD mouse models. We hypothesized that mice overexpressing ABCA1 in the brain would have increased lipidation of apoE-containing lipoproteins and decreased amyloid deposition. To address these hypotheses, we created PrP-mAbca1 Tg mice that overexpress mouse Abca1 throughout the brain under the control of the mouse prion promoter. We bred the PrP-mAbca1 mice to the PDAPP AD mouse model, a transgenic line overexpressing a mutant human amyloid precursor protein. PDAPP/Abca1 Tg mice developed a phenotype remarkably similar to that seen in PDAPP/Apoe–/– mice: there was significantly less amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) deposition, a redistribution of Aβ to the hilus of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus, and an almost complete absence of thioflavine S–positive amyloid plaques. Analyses of CSF from PrP-mAbca1 Tg mice and media conditioned by PrP-mAbca1 Tg primary astrocytes demonstrated increased lipidation of apoE-containing particles. These data support the conclusions that increased ABCA1-mediated lipidation of apoE in the CNS can reduce amyloid burden and that increasing ABCA1 function may have a therapeutic effect on AD.
Suzanne E. Wahrle, Hong Jiang, Maia Parsadanian, Jungsu Kim, Aimin Li, Amanda Knoten, Sanjay Jain, Veronica Hirsch-Reinshagen, Cheryl L. Wellington, Kelly R. Bales, Steven M. Paul, David M. Holtzman
Local anesthetics (LAs) block the generation and propagation of action potentials by interacting with specific sites of voltage-gated Na+ channels. LAs can also excite sensory neurons and be neurotoxic through mechanisms that are as yet undefined. Nonspecific cation channels of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family that are predominantly expressed by nociceptive sensory neurons render these neurons sensitive to a variety of insults. Here we demonstrated that the LA lidocaine activated TRP channel family receptors TRPV1 and, to a lesser extent, TRPA1 in rodent dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons as well as in HEK293t cells expressing TRPV1 or TRPA1. Lidocaine also induced a TRPV1-dependent release of calcitonin gene–related peptide (CGRP) from isolated skin and peripheral nerve. Lidocaine sensitivity of TRPV1 required segments of the putative vanilloid-binding domain within and adjacent to transmembrane domain 3, was diminished under phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate depletion, and was abrogated by a point mutation at residue R701 in the proximal C-terminal TRP domain. These data identify TRPV1 and TRPA1 as putative key elements of LA-induced nociceptor excitation. This effect is sufficient to release CGRP, a key component of neurogenic inflammation, and warrants investigation into the role of TRPV1 and TRPA1 in LA-induced neurotoxicity.
Andreas Leffler, Michael J. Fischer, Dietlinde Rehner, Stephanie Kienel, Katrin Kistner, Susanne K. Sauer, Narender R. Gavva, Peter W. Reeh, Carla Nau
Altered degradation of α-synuclein (α-syn) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). We have shown that α-syn can be degraded via chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), a selective lysosomal mechanism for degradation of cytosolic proteins. Pathogenic mutants of α-syn block lysosomal translocation, impairing their own degradation along with that of other CMA substrates. While pathogenic α-syn mutations are rare, α-syn undergoes posttranslational modifications, which may underlie its accumulation in cytosolic aggregates in most forms of PD. Using mouse ventral medial neuron cultures, SH-SY5Y cells in culture, and isolated mouse lysosomes, we have found that most of these posttranslational modifications of α-syn impair degradation of this protein by CMA but do not affect degradation of other substrates. Dopamine-modified α-syn, however, is not only poorly degraded by CMA but also blocks degradation of other substrates by this pathway. As blockage of CMA increases cellular vulnerability to stressors, we propose that dopamine-induced autophagic inhibition could explain the selective degeneration of PD dopaminergic neurons.
Marta Martinez-Vicente, Zsolt Talloczy, Susmita Kaushik, Ashish C. Massey, Joseph Mazzulli, Eugene V. Mosharov, Roberto Hodara, Ross Fredenburg, Du-Chu Wu, Antonia Follenzi, William Dauer, Serge Przedborski, Harry Ischiropoulos, Peter T. Lansbury, David Sulzer, Ana Maria Cuervo
Astrogliosis is a pathological hallmark of the epileptic brain. The identification of mechanisms that link astrogliosis to neuronal dysfunction in epilepsy may provide new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Here we show that astrocyte-expressed adenosine kinase (ADK), a key negative regulator of the brain inhibitory molecule adenosine, is a potential predictor and modulator of epileptogenesis. In a mouse model of focal epileptogenesis, in which astrogliosis is restricted to the CA3 region of the hippocampus, we demonstrate that upregulation of ADK and spontaneous focal electroencephalographic seizures were both restricted to the affected CA3. Furthermore, spontaneous seizures in CA3 were mimicked in transgenic mice by overexpression of ADK in this brain region, implying that overexpression of ADK without astrogliosis is sufficient to cause seizures. Conversely, after pharmacological induction of an otherwise epileptogenesis-precipitating acute brain injury, transgenic mice with reduced forebrain ADK were resistant to subsequent epileptogenesis. Likewise, ADK-deficient ES cell–derived brain implants suppressed astrogliosis, upregulation of ADK, and spontaneous seizures in wild-type mice when implanted after the epileptogenesis-precipitating brain injury. Our findings suggest that astrocyte-based ADK provides a critical link between astrogliosis and neuronal dysfunction in epilepsy.
Tianfu Li, Gaoying Ren, Theresa Lusardi, Andrew Wilz, Jing Q. Lan, Takuji Iwasato, Shigeyoshi Itohara, Roger P. Simon, Detlev Boison
Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that some antihypertensive medications may reduce the risk for Alzheimer disease (AD). We screened 55 clinically prescribed antihypertensive medications for AD-modifying activity using primary cortico-hippocampal neuron cultures generated from the Tg2576 AD mouse model. These agents represent all drug classes used for hypertension pharmacotherapy. We identified 7 candidate antihypertensive agents that significantly reduced AD-type β-amyloid protein (Aβ) accumulation. Through in vitro studies, we found that only 1 of the candidate drugs, valsartan, was capable of attenuating oligomerization of Aβ peptides into high-molecular-weight (HMW) oligomeric peptides, known to be involved in cognitive deterioration. We found that preventive treatment of Tg2576 mice with valsartan significantly reduced AD-type neuropathology and the content of soluble HMW extracellular oligomeric Aβ peptides in the brain. Most importantly, valsartan administration also attenuated the development of Aβ-mediated cognitive deterioration, even when delivered at a dose about 2-fold lower than that used for hypertension treatment in humans. These preclinical studies suggest that certain antihypertensive drugs may have AD-modifying activity and may protect against progressive Aβ-related memory deficits in subjects with AD or in those at high risk of developing AD.
Jun Wang, Lap Ho, Linghong Chen, Zhong Zhao, Wei Zhao, Xianjuan Qian, Nelson Humala, Ilana Seror, Sadie Bartholomew, Clive Rosendorff, Giulio Maria Pasinetti
Glutaric acidemia type I (GA-I) is an inherited disorder of lysine and tryptophan metabolism presenting with striatal lesions anatomically and symptomatically similar to Huntington disease. Affected children commonly suffer acute brain injury in the context of a catabolic state associated with nonspecific illness. The mechanisms underlying injury and age-dependent susceptibility have been unknown, and lack of a diagnostic marker heralding brain injury has impeded intervention efforts. Using a mouse model of GA-I, we show that pathologic events began in the neuronal compartment while enhanced lysine accumulation in the immature brain allowed increased glutaric acid production resulting in age-dependent injury. Glutamate and GABA depletion correlated with brain glutaric acid accumulation and could be monitored in vivo by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy as a diagnostic marker. Blocking brain lysine uptake reduced glutaric acid levels and brain injury. These findings provide what we believe are new monitoring and treatment strategies that may translate for use in human GA-I.
William J. Zinnanti, Jelena Lazovic, Cathy Housman, Kathryn LaNoue, James P. O’Callaghan, Ian Simpson, Michael Woontner, Stephen I. Goodman, James R. Connor, Russell E. Jacobs, Keith C. Cheng
The slow-channel myasthenic syndrome (SCS) is a hereditary disorder of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) that leads to prolonged AChR channel opening, Ca2+ overload, and degeneration of the NMJ. We used an SCS transgenic mouse model to investigate the role of the calcium-activated protease calpain in the pathogenesis of synaptic dysfunction in SCS. Cleavage of a fluorogenic calpain substrate was increased at the NMJ of dissociated muscle fibers. Inhibition of calpain using a calpastatin (CS) transgene improved strength and neuromuscular transmission. CS caused a 2-fold increase in the frequency of miniature endplate currents (MEPCs) and an increase in NMJ size, but MEPC amplitudes remained reduced. Persistent degeneration of the NMJ was associated with localized activation of the non-calpain protease caspase-3. This study suggests that calpain may act presynaptically to impair NMJ function in SCS but further reveals a role for other cysteine proteases whose inhibition may be of additional therapeutic benefit in SCS and other excitotoxic disorders.
Jason S. Groshong, Melissa J. Spencer, Bula J. Bhattacharyya, Elena Kudryashova, Bhupinder P.S. Vohra, Roberto Zayas, Robert L. Wollmann, Richard J. Miller, Christopher M. Gomez
Yi Dai, Shenglan Wang, Makoto Tominaga, Satoshi Yamamoto, Tetsuo Fukuoka, Tomohiro Higashi, Kimiko Kobayashi, Koichi Obata, Hiroki Yamanaka, Koichi Noguchi