Subsets of parasympathetic and enteric neurons require neurturin signaling via glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor family receptor α2 (GFRα2) for development and target innervation. Why GFRα2-deficient (Gfra2–/–) mice grow poorly has remained unclear. Here, we analyzed several factors that could contribute to the growth retardation. Neurturin mRNA was localized in the gut circular muscle. GFRα2 protein was expressed in most substance P–containing myenteric neurons, in most intrapancreatic neurons, and in surrounding glial cells. In the Gfra2–/– mice, density of substance P–containing myenteric ganglion cells and nerve bundles in the myenteric ganglion cell layer was significantly reduced, and transit of test material through small intestine was 25% slower compared to wild-type mice. Importantly, the knockout mice had approximately 80% fewer intrapancreatic neurons, severely impaired cholinergic innervation of the exocrine but not the endocrine pancreas, and increased fecal fat content. Vagally mediated stimulation of pancreatic secretion by 2-deoxy-glucose in vivo was virtually abolished. Retarded growth of the Gfra2–/– mice was accompanied by reduced fat mass and elevated basal metabolic rate. Moreover, the knockout mice drank more water than wild-type controls, and wet-mash feeding resulted in partial growth rescue. Taken together, the results suggest that the growth retardation in mice lacking GFRα2 is largely due to impaired salivary and pancreatic secretion and intestinal dysmotility.
Jari Rossi, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Vootele Võikar, Päivi H. Hiltunen, Mikael Segerstråle, Matti S. Airaksinen
The type I IFNs (IFN-α and IFN-β), which are crucial in antiviral defense and immune regulation, signal via the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway with activation of STAT1 and STAT2. Here, the function of STAT2 was studied in transgenic mice (termed GIFN/STAT2–/–) with CNS production of IFN-α. Surprisingly, GIFN/STAT2–/–, but not GIFN/STAT1-null, transgenic mice, with CNS production of IFN-α, died prematurely with medulloblastoma. An immune response also induced in the brain of the GIFN/STAT2–/– mice was associated with IFN-γ gene expression by CD3+ T cells and the activation of the STAT1, STAT3, STAT4, and STAT5 molecules. Expression of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and the downstream transcriptional factor Gli-1 genes, implicated in the pathogenesis of medulloblastoma, was found to be significantly increased and cotranscribed in cerebellar granule neurons of the GIFN/STAT2–/– mice. IFN-γ, but not IFN-α, induced STAT1-dependent expression of the Shh gene in cultured cerebellar granule neurons. Thus, there is an unexpected and extraordinarily adverse biological potency of IFN-α in the CNS when the primary signal transduction molecule STAT2 is absent. Moreover, a hitherto unknown role is indicated for the immune system in the pathogenesis of developmental disorders and tumorigenesis of the CNS via dysregulated Shh signaling mediated by IFN-γ.
Jianping Wang, Ngan Pham-Mitchell, Christian Schindler, Iain L. Campbell
Epidemiologic studies demonstrate that long-term use of NSAIDs is associated with a reduced risk for the development of Alzheimer disease (AD). In this study, 20 commonly used NSAIDs, dapsone, and enantiomers of flurbiprofen were analyzed for their ability to lower the level of the 42-amino-acid form of amyloid β protein (Aβ42) in a human H4 cell line. Thirteen of the NSAIDs and the enantiomers of flurbiprofen were then tested in acute dosing studies in amyloid β protein precursor (APP) transgenic mice, and plasma and brain levels of Aβ and the drug were evaluated. These studies show that (a) eight FDA-approved NSAIDs lower Aβ42 in vivo, (b) the ability of an NSAID to lower Aβ42 levels in cell culture is highly predicative of its in vivo activity, (c) in vivo Aβ42 lowering in mice occurs at drug levels achievable in humans, and (d) there is a significant correlation between Aβ42 lowering and levels of ibuprofen. Importantly, flurbiprofen and its enantiomers selectively lower Aβ42 levels in broken cell γ-secretase assays, indicating that these compounds directly target the γ-secretase complex that generates Aβ from APP. Of the compounds tested, meclofenamic acid, racemic flurbiprofen, and the purified R and S enantiomers of flurbiprofen lowered Aβ42 levels to the greatest extent. Because R-flurbiprofen reduces Aβ42 levels by targeting γ-secretase and has reduced side effects related to inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX), it is an excellent candidate for clinical testing as an Aβ42 lowering agent.
Jason L. Eriksen, Sarah A. Sagi, Tawnya E. Smith, Sascha Weggen, Pritam Das, D.C. McLendon, Victor V. Ozols, Kevin W. Jessing, Kenton H. Zavitz, Edward H. Koo, Todd E. Golde
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an angiogenic protein with therapeutic potential in ischemic disorders, including stroke. VEGF confers neuroprotection and promotes neurogenesis and cerebral angiogenesis, but the manner in which these effects may interact in the ischemic brain is poorly understood. We produced focal cerebral ischemia by middle cerebral artery occlusion for 90 minutes in the adult rat brain and measured infarct size, neurological function, BrdU labeling of neuroproliferative zones, and vWF-immunoreactive vascular profiles, without and with intracerebroventricular administration of VEGF on days 1–3 of reperfusion. VEGF reduced infarct size, improved neurological performance, enhanced the delayed survival of newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus and subventricular zone, and stimulated angiogenesis in the striatal ischemic penumbra, but not the dentate gyrus. We conclude that in the ischemic brain VEGF exerts an acute neuroprotective effect, as well as longer latency effects on survival of new neurons and on angiogenesis, and that these effects appear to operate independently. VEGF may, therefore, improve histological and functional outcome from stroke through multiple mechanisms.
Yunjuan Sun, Kunlin Jin, Lin Xie, Jocelyn Childs, Xiao Ou Mao, Anna Logvinova, David A. Greenberg
The physiologic role of the μ opioid receptor (MOR) in gut nociception, motility, and secretion is well established. To evaluate whether MOR may also be involved in controlling gut inflammation, we first showed that subcutaneous administration of selective peripheral MOR agonists, named DALDA and DAMGO, significantly reduces inflammation in two experimental models of colitis induced by administration of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) or peripheral expansion of CD4+ T cells in mice. This therapeutic effect was almost completely abolished by concomitant administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone. Evidence of a genetic role for MOR in the control of gut inflammation was provided by showing that MOR-deficient mice were highly susceptible to colon inflammation, with a 50% mortality rate occurring 3 days after TNBS administration. The mechanistic basis of these observations suggests that the anti-inflammatory effects of MOR in the colon are mediated through the regulation of cytokine production and T cell proliferation, two important immunologic events required for the development of colon inflammation in mice and patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These data provide evidence that MOR plays a role in the control of gut inflammation and suggest that MOR agonists might be new therapeutic molecules in IBD.
David Philippe, Laurent Dubuquoy, Hervé Groux, Valérie Brun, Myriam Tran Van Chuoï-Mariot, Claire Gaveriaux-Ruff, Jean-Frédéric Colombel, Brigitte L. Kieffer, Pierre Desreumaux
EGF promotes proliferation and migration of stem/progenitor cells in the normal adult brain. The effect of epidermal growth factor on neurogenesis in ischemic brain is unknown, however. Here we show that intraventricular administration of EGF and albumin augments 100-fold neuronal replacement in the injured adult mouse striatum after cerebral ischemia. Newly born immature neurons migrate into the ischemic lesion and differentiate into mature parvalbumin-expressing neurons, replacing more than 20% of the interneurons lost by 13 weeks after ischemia and representing 2% of the total BrdU-labeled cells. These data suggest that administration of EGF and albumin could be used to manipulate endogenous neurogenesis in the injured brain and to promote brain self-repair.
Tetsuyuki Teramoto, Jianhua Qiu, Jean-Christophe Plumier, Michael A. Moskowitz
Deletions in the DAP12 gene in humans result in Nasu-Hakola disease, characterized by a combination of bone fractures and psychotic symptoms similar to schizophrenia, rapidly progressing to presenile dementia. However, it is not known why these disorders develop upon deficiency in DAP12, an immunoreceptor signal activator protein initially identified in the immune system. Here we show that DAP12-deficient (DAP12–/–) mice develop an increased bone mass (osteopetrosis) and a reduction of myelin (hypomyelinosis) accentuated in the thalamus. In vitro osteoclast induction from DAP12–/– bone marrow cells yielded immature cells with attenuated bone resorption activity. Moreover, immature oligodendrocytes were arrested in the vicinity of the thalamus, suggesting that the primary defects in DAP12–/– mice are the developmental arrest of osteoclasts and oligodendrocytes. In addition, the mutant mice also showed synaptic degeneration, impaired prepulse inhibition, which is commonly observed in several neuropsychiatric diseases in humans including schizophrenia, and aberrant electrophysiological profiles in the thalami. These results provide a molecular basis for a unique combination of skeletal and psychotic characteristics of Nasu-Hakola disease as well as for schizophrenia and presenile dementia.
Tomonori Kaifu, Jin Nakahara, Masanori Inui, Kenichi Mishima, Toshihiko Momiyama, Mitsuji Kaji, Akiko Sugahara, Hisami Koito, Azusa Ujike-Asai, Akira Nakamura, Kiyoshi Kanazawa, Kyoko Tan-Takeuchi, Katsunori Iwasaki, Wayne M. Yokoyama, Akira Kudo, Michihiro Fujiwara, Hiroaki Asou, Toshiyuki Takai
Manuela Neumann, Philipp J. Kahle, Benoit I. Giasson, Laurence Ozmen, Edilio Borroni, Will Spooren, Veronika Müller, Sabine Odoy, Hideo Fujiwara, Masato Hasegawa, Takeshi Iwatsubo, John Q. Trojanowski, Hans A. Kretzschmar, Christian Haass
Felix Kreier, Eric Fliers, Peter J. Voshol, Corbert G. Van Eden, Louis M. Havekes, Andries Kalsbeek, Caroline L. Van Heijningen, Arja A. Sluiter, Thomas C. Mettenleiter, Johannes A. Romijn, Hans P. Sauerwein, Ruud M. Buijs
Clyde W. Hodge, Jacob Raber, Thomas McMahon, Helen Walter, Ana Maria Sanchez-Perez, M. Foster Olive, Kristin Mehmert, A. Leslie Morrow, Robert O. Messing