Ependymal overexpression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) stimulates neuronal addition to the adult striatum, from subependymal progenitor cells. Noggin, by suppressing subependymal gliogenesis and increasing progenitor availability, potentiates this process. We asked whether BDNF/Noggin overexpression might be used to recruit new striatal neurons in R6/2 huntingtin transgenic mice. R6/2 mice injected with adenoviral BDNF and adenoviral Noggin (AdBDNF/AdNoggin) recruited BrdU+βIII-tubulin+ neurons, which developed as DARPP-32+ and GABAergic medium spiny neurons that expressed either enkephalin or substance P and extended fibers to the globus pallidus. Only AdBDNF/AdNoggin-treated R6/2 mice harbored migrating doublecortin-defined neuroblasts in their striata, and the new neurons expressed p27 as a marker of mitotic quiescence after parenchymal integration. AdBDNF/AdNoggin-treated R6/2 mice sustained their rotarod performance and open-field activity and survived longer than did AdNull-treated and untreated controls. Neither motor performance nor survival improved in R6/2 mice treated only with AdBDNF, and intraventricular infusion of the mitotic inhibitor Ara-C completely blocked the performance and survival effects of AdBDNF/AdNoggin, suggesting that the benefits of AdBDNF/AdNoggin derived from neuronal addition. Thus, BDNF and Noggin induced striatal neuronal regeneration, delayed motor impairment, and extended survival in R6/2 mice, suggesting a new therapeutic strategy in Huntington disease.
Sung-Rae Cho, Abdellatif Benraiss, Eva Chmielnicki, Amer Samdani, Aris Economides, Steven A. Goldman
Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) causes progressive hemorrhagic necrosis (PHN), a poorly understood pathological process characterized by hemorrhage and necrosis that leads to devastating loss of spinal cord tissue, cystic cavitation of the cord, and debilitating neurological dysfunction. Using a rodent model of severe cervical SCI, we tested the hypothesis that sulfonylurea receptor 1–regulated (SUR1-regulated) Ca2+-activated, [ATP]i-sensitive nonspecific cation (NCCa-ATP) channels are involved in PHN. In control rats, SCI caused a progressively expansive lesion with fragmentation of capillaries, hemorrhage that doubled in volume over 12 hours, tissue necrosis, and severe neurological dysfunction. SUR1 expression was upregulated in capillaries and neurons surrounding necrotic lesions. Patch clamp of cultured endothelial cells exposed to hypoxia showed that upregulation of SUR1 was associated with expression of functional SUR1-regulated NCCa-ATP channels. Following SCI, block of SUR1 by glibenclamide or repaglinide or suppression of Abcc8, which encodes for SUR1 by phosphorothioated antisense oligodeoxynucleotide essentially eliminated capillary fragmentation and progressive accumulation of blood, was associated with significant sparing of white matter tracts and a 3-fold reduction in lesion volume, and resulted in marked neurobehavioral functional improvement compared with controls. We conclude that SUR1-regulated NCCa-ATP channels in capillary endothelium are critical to development of PHN and constitute a major target for therapy in SCI.
J. Marc Simard, Orest Tsymbalyuk, Alexander Ivanov, Svetlana Ivanova, Sergei Bhatta, Zhihua Geng, S. Kyoon Woo, Volodymyr Gerzanich
Proinflammatory agents trypsin and mast cell tryptase cleave and activate PAR2, which is expressed on sensory nerves to cause neurogenic inflammation. Transient receptor potential A1 (TRPA1) is an excitatory ion channel on primary sensory nerves of pain pathway. Here, we show that a functional interaction of PAR2 and TRPA1 in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons could contribute to the sensation of inflammatory pain. Frequent colocalization of TRPA1 with PAR2 was found in rat DRG neurons. PAR2 activation increased the TRPA1 currents evoked by its agonists in HEK293 cells transfected with TRPA1, as well as DRG neurons. Application of phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitors or phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) suppressed this potentiation. Decrease of plasma membrane PIP2 levels through antibody sequestration or PLC-mediated hydrolysis mimicked the potentiating effects of PAR2 activation at the cellular level. Thus, the increased TRPA1 sensitivity may have been due to activation of PLC, which releases the inhibition of TRPA1 from plasma membrane PIP2. These results identify for the first time to our knowledge a sensitization mechanism of TRPA1 and a novel mechanism through which trypsin or tryptase released in response to tissue inflammation might trigger the sensation of pain by TRPA1 activation.
Yi Dai, Shenglan Wang, Makoto Tominaga, Satoshi Yamamoto, Tetsuo Fukuoka, Tomohiro Higashi, Kimiko Kobayashi, Koichi Obata, Hiroki Yamanaka, Koichi Noguchi
Mutations in presenilins are responsible for approximately 40% of all early-onset familial Alzheimer disease (FAD) cases in which a genetic cause has been identified. In addition, a number of mutations in presenilin-1 (PS1) have been suggested to be associated with the occurrence of frontal temporal dementia (FTD). Presenilins are highly conserved transmembrane proteins that support cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by γ-secretase. Recently, we discovered that presenilins also function as passive ER Ca2+ leak channels. Here we used planar lipid bilayer reconstitution assays and Ca2+ imaging experiments with presenilin-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts to analyze ER Ca2+ leak function of 6 FAD-linked PS1 mutants and 3 known FTD-associated PS1 mutants. We discovered that L166P, A246E, E273A, G384A, and P436Q FAD mutations in PS1 abolished ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1. In contrast, A79V FAD mutation or FTD-associated mutations (L113P, G183V, and Rins352) did not appear to affect ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1 in our experiments. We validated our findings in Ca2+ imaging experiments with primary fibroblasts obtained from an FAD patient possessing mutant PS1-A246E. Our results indicate that many FAD mutations in presenilins are loss-of-function mutations affecting ER Ca2+ leak activity. In contrast, none of the FTD-associated mutations affected ER Ca2+ leak function of PS1, indicating that the observed effects are disease specific. Our observations are consistent with the potential role of disturbed Ca2+ homeostasis in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis.
Omar Nelson, Huiping Tu, Tianhua Lei, Mostafa Bentahir, Bart de Strooper, Ilya Bezprozvanny
Mediators involved in the generation of symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are poorly understood. Here we show that colonic biopsy samples from IBS patients release increased levels of proteolytic activity (arginine cleavage) compared to asymptomatic controls. This was dependent on the activation of NF-κB. In addition, increased proteolytic activity was measured in vivo, in colonic washes from IBS compared with control patients. Trypsin and tryptase expression and release were increased in colonic biopsies from IBS patients compared with control subjects. Biopsies from IBS patients (but not controls) released mediators that sensitized murine sensory neurons in culture. Sensitization was prevented by a serine protease inhibitor and was absent in neurons lacking functional protease-activated receptor–2 (PAR2). Supernatants from colonic biopsies of IBS patients, but not controls, also caused somatic and visceral hyperalgesia and allodynia in mice, when administered into the colon. These pronociceptive effects were inhibited by serine protease inhibitors and a PAR2 antagonist and were absent in PAR2-deficient mice. Our study establishes that proteases are released in IBS and that they can directly stimulate sensory neurons and generate hypersensitivity symptoms through the activation of PAR2.
Nicolas Cenac, Christopher N. Andrews, Marinella Holzhausen, Kevin Chapman, Graeme Cottrell, Patricia Andrade-Gordon, Martin Steinhoff, Giovanni Barbara, Paul Beck, Nigel W. Bunnett, Keith A. Sharkey, Jose Geraldo P. Ferraz, Eldon Shaffer, Nathalie Vergnolle
The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by mutation of the telomeric survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene with retention of the centromeric SMN2 gene. We sought to establish whether the potent and specific hydroxamic acid class of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors activates SMN2 gene expression in vivo and modulates the SMA disease phenotype when delivered after disease onset. Single intraperitoneal doses of 10 mg/kg trichostatin A (TSA) in nontransgenic and SMA model mice resulted in increased levels of acetylated H3 and H4 histones and modest increases in SMN gene expression. Repeated daily doses of TSA caused increases in both SMN2-derived transcript and SMN protein levels in neural tissues and muscle, which were associated with an improvement in small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) assembly. When TSA was delivered daily beginning on P5, after the onset of weight loss and motor deficit, there was improved survival, attenuated weight loss, and enhanced motor behavior. Pathological analysis showed increased myofiber size and number and increased anterior horn cell size. These results indicate that the hydroxamic acid class of HDAC inhibitors activates SMN2 gene expression in vivo and has an ameliorating effect on the SMA disease phenotype when administered after disease onset.
Amy M. Avila, Barrington G. Burnett, Addis A. Taye, Francesca Gabanella, Melanie A. Knight, Parvana Hartenstein, Ziga Cizman, Nicholas A. Di Prospero, Livio Pellizzoni, Kenneth H. Fischbeck, Charlotte J. Sumner
Dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of molecular weight 32 kDa (DARPP-32), encoded by PPP1R1B, is a pivotal integrator of information in dopaminoceptive neurons, regulating the response to neuroleptics, psychotomimetics, and drugs of abuse, and affecting striatal function and plasticity. Despite extensive preclinical work, there are almost no data on DARPP-32 function in humans. Here, we identify, through resequencing in 298 chromosomes, a frequent PPP1R1B haplotype predicting mRNA expression of PPP1R1B isoforms in postmortem human brain. This haplotype was associated with enhanced performance on several cognitive tests that depend on frontostriatal function. Multimodal imaging of healthy subjects revealed an impact of the haplotype on neostriatal volume, activation, and the functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex. The haplotype was associated with the risk for schizophrenia in 1 family-based association analysis. Our convergent results identify a prefrontal-neostriatal system affected by variation in PPP1R1B and suggest that DARPP-32 plays a pivotal role in cognitive function and possibly in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Richard E. Straub, Barbara K. Lipska, Beth A. Verchinski, Terry Goldberg, Joseph H. Callicott, Michael F. Egan, Stephen S. Huffaker, Venkata S. Mattay, Bhaskar Kolachana, Joel E. Kleinman, Daniel R. Weinberger
Markers of oxidative damage have been detected in brain tissue from patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. These findings implicate oxidative injury in the neurodegenerative process, but whether oxidative stress is a cause or a consequence of neurotoxicity remains unclear. We used a Drosophila model of human tauopathies to investigate the role of oxidative stress in neurodegeneration. Genetic and pharmacological manipulation of antioxidant defense mechanisms significantly modified neurodegeneration in our model, suggesting that oxidative stress plays a causal role in neurotoxicity. We demonstrate that the JNK signaling pathway is activated in our model, which is in agreement with previous findings in AD tissue. Furthermore, we show that the extent of JNK activation correlates with the degree of tau-induced neurodegeneration. Finally, our findings suggest that oxidative stress acts not to promote tau phosphorylation, but to enhance tau-induced cell cycle activation. In summary, our study identifies oxidative stress as a causal factor in tau-induced neurodegeneration in Drosophila.
Dora Dias-Santagata, Tudor A. Fulga, Atanu Duttaroy, Mel B. Feany
Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the accumulation of PrPSc, the infectious and protease-resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). We generated lentivectors expressing PrPC-specific short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) that efficiently silenced expression of the prion protein gene (Prnp) in primary neuronal cells. Treatment of scrapie-infected neuronal cells with these lentivectors resulted in an efficient and stable suppression of PrPSc accumulation. After intracranial injection, lentiviral shRNA reduced PrPC expression in transgenic mice carrying multiple copies of Prnp. To test the therapeutic potential of lentiviral shRNA, we used what we believe to be a novel approach in which the clinical situation was mimicked. We generated chimeric mice derived from lentivector-transduced embryonic stem cells. Depending on the degree of chimerism, these animals carried the lentiviral shRNAs in a certain percentage of brain cells and expressed reduced levels of PrPC. Importantly, in highly chimeric mice, survival after scrapie infection was significantly extended. Taken together, these data suggest that lentivector-mediated RNA interference could be an approach for the treatment of prion disease.
Alexander Pfeifer, Sabina Eigenbrod, Saba Al-Khadra, Andreas Hofmann, Gerda Mitteregger, Markus Moser, Uwe Bertsch, Hans Kretzschmar
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive neurodegeneration and cerebral accumulation of the β-amyloid peptide (Aβ), but it is unknown what makes neurons susceptible to degeneration. We report that the TGF-β type II receptor (TβRII) is mainly expressed by neurons, and that TβRII levels are reduced in human AD brain and correlate with pathological hallmarks of the disease. Reducing neuronal TGF-β signaling in mice resulted in age-dependent neurodegeneration and promoted Aβ accumulation and dendritic loss in a mouse model of AD. In cultured cells, reduced TGF-β signaling caused neuronal degeneration and resulted in increased levels of secreted Aβ and β-secretase–cleaved soluble amyloid precursor protein. These results show that reduced neuronal TGF-β signaling increases age-dependent neurodegeneration and AD-like disease in vivo. Increasing neuronal TGF-β signaling may thus reduce neurodegeneration and be beneficial in AD.
Ina Tesseur, Kun Zou, Luke Esposito, Frederique Bard, Elisabeth Berber, Judith Van Can, Amy H. Lin, Leslie Crews, Patrick Tremblay, Paul Mathews, Lennart Mucke, Eliezer Masliah, Tony Wyss-Coray