ResearchPad - Neuroscience (miscellaneous) https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Neural Field Models with Threshold Noise]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5bc8ebd840307c5a79c66c11 <![CDATA[Phenotypic rescue of a Drosophila model of mitochondrial ANT1 disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba528f840307c1b35dac820

A point mutation in the Drosophila gene that codes for the major adult isoform of adenine nuclear translocase (ANT) represents a model for human diseases that are associated with ANT insufficiency [stress-sensitive B1 (sesB1)]. We characterized the organismal, bioenergetic and molecular phenotype of sesB1 flies then tested strategies to compensate the mutant phenotype. In addition to developmental delay and mechanical-stress-induced seizures, sesB1 flies have an impaired response to sound, defective male courtship, female sterility and curtailed lifespan. These phenotypes, excluding the latter two, are shared with the mitoribosomal protein S12 mutant, tko25t. Mitochondria from sesB1 adults showed a decreased respiratory control ratio and downregulation of cytochrome oxidase. sesB1 adults exhibited ATP depletion, lactate accumulation and changes in gene expression that were consistent with a metabolic shift towards glycolysis, characterized by activation of lactate dehydrogenase and anaplerotic pathways. Females also showed downregulation of many genes that are required for oogenesis, and their eggs, although fertilized, failed to develop to the larval stages. The sesB1 phenotypes of developmental delay and mechanical-stress-induced seizures were alleviated by an altered mitochondrial DNA background. Female sterility was substantially rescued by somatic expression of alternative oxidase (AOX) from the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis, whereas AOX did not alleviate developmental delay. Our findings illustrate the potential of different therapeutic strategies for ANT-linked diseases, based on alleviating metabolic stress.

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<![CDATA[Cross-species analysis of genetically engineered mouse models of MAPK-driven colorectal cancer identifies hallmarks of the human disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba528f440307c1b35dac81e

Effective treatment options for advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) are limited, survival rates are poor and this disease continues to be a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Despite being a highly heterogeneous disease, a large subset of individuals with sporadic CRC typically harbor relatively few established ‘driver’ lesions. Here, we describe a collection of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of sporadic CRC that combine lesions frequently altered in human patients, including well-characterized tumor suppressors and activators of MAPK signaling. Primary tumors from these models were profiled, and individual GEMM tumors segregated into groups based on their genotypes. Unique allelic and genotypic expression signatures were generated from these GEMMs and applied to clinically annotated human CRC patient samples. We provide evidence that a Kras signature derived from these GEMMs is capable of distinguishing human tumors harboring KRAS mutation, and tracks with poor prognosis in two independent human patient cohorts. Furthermore, the analysis of a panel of human CRC cell lines suggests that high expression of the GEMM Kras signature correlates with sensitivity to targeted pathway inhibitors. Together, these findings implicate GEMMs as powerful preclinical tools with the capacity to recapitulate relevant human disease biology, and support the use of genetic signatures generated in these models to facilitate future drug discovery and validation efforts.

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<![CDATA[A novel mouse model of Warburg Micro syndrome reveals roles for RAB18 in eye development and organisation of the neuronal cytoskeleton]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba5290640307c1b35dac826

Mutations in RAB18 have been shown to cause the heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder Warburg Micro syndrome (WARBM). Individuals with WARBM present with a range of clinical symptoms, including ocular and neurological abnormalities. However, the underlying cellular and molecular pathogenesis of the disorder remains unclear, largely owing to the lack of any robust animal models that phenocopy both the ocular and neurological features of the disease. We report here the generation and characterisation of a novel Rab18-mutant mouse model of WARBM. Rab18-mutant mice are viable and fertile. They present with congenital nuclear cataracts and atonic pupils, recapitulating the characteristic ocular features that are associated with WARBM. Additionally, Rab18-mutant cells exhibit an increase in lipid droplet size following treatment with oleic acid. Lipid droplet abnormalities are a characteristic feature of cells taken from WARBM individuals, as well as cells taken from individuals with other neurodegenerative conditions. Neurological dysfunction is also apparent in Rab18-mutant mice, including progressive weakness of the hind limbs. We show that the neurological defects are, most likely, not caused by gross perturbations in synaptic vesicle recycling in the central or peripheral nervous system. Rather, loss of Rab18 is associated with widespread disruption of the neuronal cytoskeleton, including abnormal accumulations of neurofilament and microtubule proteins in synaptic terminals, and gross disorganisation of the cytoskeleton in peripheral nerves. Global proteomic profiling of peripheral nerves in Rab18-mutant mice reveals significant alterations in several core molecular pathways that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics in neurons. The apparent similarities between the WARBM phenotype and the phenotype that we describe here indicate that the Rab18-mutant mouse provides an important platform for investigation of the disease pathogenesis and therapeutic interventions.

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<![CDATA[Absence of strong strain effects in behavioral analyses of Shank3-deficient mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba528fe40307c1b35dac822

Haploinsufficiency of SHANK3, caused by chromosomal abnormalities or mutations that disrupt one copy of the gene, leads to a neurodevelopmental syndrome called Phelan-McDermid syndrome, symptoms of which can include absent or delayed speech, intellectual disability, neurological changes and autism spectrum disorders. The SHANK3 protein forms a key structural part of the post-synaptic density. We previously generated and characterized mice with a targeted disruption of Shank3 in which exons coding for the ankyrin-repeat domain were deleted and expression of full-length Shank3 was disrupted. We documented specific deficits in synaptic function and plasticity, along with reduced reciprocal social interactions, in Shank3 heterozygous mice. Changes in phenotype owing to a mutation at a single locus are quite frequently modulated by other loci, most dramatically when the entire genetic background is changed. In mice, each strain of laboratory mouse represents a distinct genetic background and alterations in phenotype owing to gene knockout or transgenesis are frequently different across strains, which can lead to the identification of important modifier loci. We have investigated the effect of genetic background on phenotypes of Shank3 heterozygous, knockout and wild-type mice, using C57BL/6, 129SVE and FVB/Ntac strain backgrounds. We focused on observable behaviors with the goal of carrying out subsequent analyses to identify modifier loci. Surprisingly, there were very modest strain effects over a large battery of analyses. These results indicate that behavioral phenotypes associated with Shank3 haploinsufficiency are largely strain-independent.

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<![CDATA[Precise control of miR-125b levels is required to create a regeneration-permissive environment after spinal cord injury: a cross-species comparison between salamander and rat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba528f240307c1b35dac81d

Most spinal cord injuries lead to permanent paralysis in mammals. By contrast, the remarkable regenerative abilities of salamanders enable full functional recovery even from complete spinal cord transections. The molecular differences underlying this evolutionary divergence between mammals and amphibians are poorly understood. We focused on upstream regulators of gene expression as primary entry points into this question. We identified a group of microRNAs (miRNAs) that are conserved between the Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum) and mammals but show marked cross-species differences in regulation patterns following spinal cord injury. We found that precise post-injury levels of one of these miRNAs (miR-125b) is essential for functional recovery, and guides correct regeneration of axons through the lesion site in a process involving the direct downstream target Sema4D in axolotls. Translating these results to a mammalian model, we increased miR-125b levels in the rat through mimic treatments following spinal cord transection. These treatments downregulated Sema4D and other glial-scar-related genes, and enhanced the animal’s functional recovery. Our study identifies a key regulatory molecule conserved between salamander and mammal, and shows that the expression of miR-125b and Sema4D must be carefully controlled in the right cells at the correct level to promote regeneration. We also show that these molecular components of the salamander’s regeneration-permissive environment can be experimentally harnessed to improve treatment outcomes for mammalian spinal cord injuries.

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<![CDATA[Cryptosporidium parvum-induced ileo-caecal adenocarcinoma and Wnt signaling in a mouse model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba5290240307c1b35dac824

Cryptosporidium species are apicomplexan protozoans that are found worldwide. These parasites constitute a large risk to human and animal health. They cause self-limited diarrhea in immunocompetent hosts and a life-threatening disease in immunocompromised hosts. Interestingly, Cryptosporidium parvum has been related to digestive carcinogenesis in humans. Consistent with a potential tumorigenic role of this parasite, in an original reproducible animal model of chronic cryptosporidiosis based on dexamethasone-treated or untreated adult SCID mice, we formerly reported that C. parvum (strains of animal and human origin) is able to induce digestive adenocarcinoma even in infections induced with very low inoculum. The aim of this study was to further characterize this animal model and to explore metabolic pathways potentially involved in the development of C. parvum-induced ileo-caecal oncogenesis. We searched for alterations in genes or proteins commonly involved in cell cycle, differentiation or cell migration, such as β-catenin, Apc, E-cadherin, Kras and p53. After infection of animals with C. parvum we demonstrated immunohistochemical abnormal localization of Wnt signaling pathway components and p53. Mutations in the selected loci of studied genes were not found after high-throughput sequencing. Furthermore, alterations in the ultrastructure of adherens junctions of the ileo-caecal neoplastic epithelia of C. parvum-infected mice were recorded using transmission electron microscopy. In conclusion, we found for the first time that the Wnt signaling pathway, and particularly the cytoskeleton network, seems to be pivotal for the development of the C. parvum-induced neoplastic process and cell migration of transformed cells. Furthermore, this model is a valuable tool in understanding the host-pathogen interactions associated with the intricate infection process of this parasite, which is able to modulate host cytoskeleton activities and several host-cell biological processes and remains a significant cause of infection worldwide.

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<![CDATA[Kelch-like ECT2-interacting protein KLEIP regulates late-stage pulmonary maturation via Hif-2  in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba5290040307c1b35dac823

Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) caused by preterm delivery is a major clinical problem with limited mechanistic insight. Late-stage embryonic lung development is driven by hypoxia and the hypoxia-inducible transcription factors Hif-1α and Hif-2α, which act as important regulators for lung development. Expression of the BTB-and kelch-domain-containing (BTB-kelch) protein KLEIP (Kelch-like ECT2-interacting protein; also named Klhl20) is controlled by two hypoxia response elements, and KLEIP regulates stabilization and transcriptional activation of Hif-2α. Based on the available data, we hypothesized an essential role for KLEIP in murine lung development and function. Therefore, we have performed a functional, histological, mechanistic and interventional study in embryonic and neonatal KLEIP−/− mice. Here, we show that about half of the KLEIP−/− neonates die due to respiratory failure that is caused by insufficient aeration, reduced septal thinning, reduced glycogenolysis, type II pneumocyte immaturity and reduced surfactant production. Expression analyses in embryonic day (E) 18.5 lungs identified KLEIP in lung capillaries, and showed strongly reduced mRNA and protein levels for Hif-2α and VEGF; such reduced levels are associated with embryonic endothelial cell apoptosis and lung bleedings. Betamethasone injection in pregnant females prevented respiratory failure in KLEIP−/− neonates, normalized lung maturation, vascularization, aeration and function, and increased neonatal Hif-2α expression. Thus, the experimental study shows that respiratory failure in KLEIP−/− neonates is determined by insufficient angiocrine Hif-2α–VEGF signaling and that betamethasone activates this newly identified signaling cascade in late-stage embryonic lung development.

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<![CDATA[A new mouse model of Canavan leukodystrophy displays hearing impairment due to central nervous system dysmyelination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba528fa40307c1b35dac821

Canavan disease is a leukodystrophy caused by mutations in the ASPA gene. This gene encodes the enzyme that converts N-acetylaspartate into acetate and aspartic acid. In Canavan disease, spongiform encephalopathy of the brain causes progressive mental retardation, motor deficit and death. We have isolated a mouse with a novel ethylnitrosourea-induced mutation in Aspa. This mutant, named deaf14, carries a c.516T>A mutation that is predicted to cause a p.Y172X protein truncation. No full-length ASPA protein is produced in deaf14 brain and there is extensive spongy degeneration. Interestingly, we found that deaf14 mice have an attenuated startle in response to loud noise. The first auditory brainstem response peak has normal latency and amplitude but peaks II, III, IV and V have increased latency and decreased amplitude in deaf14 mice. Our work reveals a hitherto unappreciated pathology in a mouse model of Canavan disease, implying that auditory brainstem response testing could be used in diagnosis and to monitor the progression of this disease.

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<![CDATA[Balance between the two kinin receptors in the progression of experimental focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba5290440307c1b35dac825

Focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is one of the most important renal diseases related to end-stage renal failure. Bradykinin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of renal inflammation, whereas the role of its receptor 2 (B2RBK; also known as BDKRB2) in FSGS has not been studied. FSGS was induced in wild-type and B2RBK-knockout mice by a single intravenous injection of Adriamycin (ADM). In order to further modulate the kinin receptors, the animals were also treated with the B2RBK antagonist HOE-140 and the B1RBK antagonist DALBK. Here, we show that the blockage of B2RBK with HOE-140 protects mice from the development of FSGS, including podocyte foot process effacement and the re-establishment of slit-diaphragm-related proteins. However, B2RBK-knockout mice were not protected from FSGS. These opposite results were due to B1RBK expression. B1RBK was upregulated after the injection of ADM and this upregulation was exacerbated in B2RBK-knockout animals. Furthermore, treatment with HOE-140 downregulated the B1RBK receptor. The blockage of B1RBK in B2RBK-knockout animals promoted FSGS regression, with a less-inflammatory phenotype. These results indicate a deleterious role of both kinin receptors in an FSGS model and suggest a possible cross-talk between them in the progression of disease.

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<![CDATA[Role of insulin signaling impairment, adiponectin and dyslipidemia in peripheral and central neuropathy in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba528f640307c1b35dac81f

One of the tissues or organs affected by diabetes is the nervous system, predominantly the peripheral system (peripheral polyneuropathy and/or painful peripheral neuropathy) but also the central system with impaired learning, memory and mental flexibility. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the pre-diabetic or diabetic condition caused by a high-fat diet (HFD) can damage both the peripheral and central nervous systems. Groups of C57BL6 and Swiss Webster mice were fed a diet containing 60% fat for 8 months and compared to control and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic groups that were fed a standard diet containing 10% fat. Aspects of peripheral nerve function (conduction velocity, thermal sensitivity) and central nervous system function (learning ability, memory) were measured at assorted times during the study. Both strains of mice on HFD developed impaired glucose tolerance, indicative of insulin resistance, but only the C57BL6 mice showed statistically significant hyperglycemia. STZ-diabetic C57BL6 mice developed learning deficits in the Barnes maze after 8 weeks of diabetes, whereas neither C57BL6 nor Swiss Webster mice fed a HFD showed signs of defects at that time point. By 6 months on HFD, Swiss Webster mice developed learning and memory deficits in the Barnes maze test, whereas their peripheral nervous system remained normal. In contrast, C57BL6 mice fed the HFD developed peripheral nerve dysfunction, as indicated by nerve conduction slowing and thermal hyperalgesia, but showed normal learning and memory functions. Our data indicate that STZ-induced diabetes or a HFD can damage both peripheral and central nervous systems, but learning deficits develop more rapidly in insulin-deficient than in insulin-resistant conditions and only in Swiss Webster mice. In addition to insulin impairment, dyslipidemia or adiponectinemia might determine the neuropathy phenotype.

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<![CDATA[Understanding positional cues in salamander limb regeneration: implications for optimizing cell-based regenerative therapies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba528ef40307c1b35dac81c

Regenerative medicine has reached the point where we are performing clinical trials with stem-cell-derived cell populations in an effort to treat numerous human pathologies. However, many of these efforts have been challenged by the inability of the engrafted populations to properly integrate into the host environment to make a functional biological unit. It is apparent that we must understand the basic biology of tissue integration in order to apply these principles to the development of regenerative therapies in humans. Studying tissue integration in model organisms, where the process of integration between the newly regenerated tissues and the ‘old’ existing structures can be observed and manipulated, can provide valuable insights. Embryonic and adult cells have a memory of their original position, and this positional information can modify surrounding tissues and drive the formation of new structures. In this Review, we discuss the positional interactions that control the ability of grafted cells to integrate into existing tissues during the process of salamander limb regeneration, and discuss how these insights could explain the integration defects observed in current cell-based regenerative therapies. Additionally, we describe potential molecular tools that can be used to manipulate the positional information in grafted cell populations, and to promote the communication of positional cues in the host environment to facilitate the integration of engrafted cells. Lastly, we explain how studying positional information in current cell-based therapies and in regenerating limbs could provide key insights to improve the integration of cell-based regenerative therapies in the future.

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<![CDATA[Contribution of neural cell death to depressive phenotypes of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ba5290840307c1b35dac827

Major depression disorder (MDD) or depression is highly prevalent in individuals with diabetes, and the depressive symptoms are more severe and less responsive to antidepressant therapies in these patients. The underlying mechanism is little understood. We hypothesized that the pathophysiology of comorbid depression was more complex than that proposed for MDD and that neural cell death played a role in the disease severity. To test this hypothesis, we generated streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. These mice had blood glucose levels threefold above controls and exhibited depressive phenotypes as judged by a battery of behavioral tests, thus confirming the comorbidity in mice. Immunohistological studies showed markedly increased TUNEL-positive cells in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of the comorbid mice, indicating apoptosis. This finding was supported by increased caspase-3 and decreased Bcl-2 proteins in these brain regions. In addition, the serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level of comorbid mice was reduced compared with controls, further supporting the neurodegenerative change. Mechanistic analyses showed an increased expression of mitochondrial fission genes fission protein 1 (Fis1) and dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), and a decreased expression of mitochondrial fusion genes mitofusin 1 (Mfn1), mitofusin 2 (Mfn2) and optical atrophy 1 (Opa1). Representative assessment of the proteins Drp1 and Mfn2 mirrored the mRNA changes. The data demonstrated that neural cell death was associated with the depressive phenotype of comorbid mice and that a fission-dominant expression of genes and proteins mediating mitochondrial dynamics played a role in the hyperglycemia-induced cell death. The study provides new insight into the disease mechanism and could aid the development of novel therapeutics aimed at providing neuroprotection by modulating mitochondrial dynamics to treat comorbid depression with diabetes.

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<![CDATA[The chaperone domain BRICHOS prevents CNS toxicity of amyloid-  peptide in Drosophila melanogaster]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ad6729c463d7e79293ee4e7

Aggregation of the amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) into toxic oligomers and amyloid fibrils is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Mutations of the BRICHOS chaperone domain are associated with amyloid disease and recent in vitro data show that BRICHOS efficiently delays Aβ42 oligomerization and fibril formation. We have generated transgenic Drosophila melanogaster flies that express the Aβ42 peptide and the BRICHOS domain in the central nervous system (CNS). Co-expression of Aβ42 and BRICHOS resulted in delayed Aβ42 aggregation and dramatic improvements of both lifespan and locomotor function compared with flies expressing Aβ42 alone. Moreover, BRICHOS increased the ratio of soluble:insoluble Aβ42 and bound to deposits of Aβ42 in the fly brain. Our results show that the BRICHOS domain efficiently reduces the neurotoxic effects of Aβ42, although significant Aβ42 aggregation is taking place. We propose that BRICHOS-based approaches should be explored with an aim towards the future prevention and treatment of AD.

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<![CDATA[The Roles of PDGF in Development and During Neurogenesis in the Normal and Diseased Nervous System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ad338f3463d7e7e2aff86f1

The four platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) ligands and PDGF receptors (PDGFRs), α and β (PDGFRA, PDGFRB), are essential proteins that are expressed during embryonic and mature nervous systems, i.e., in neural progenitors, neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and vascular cells. PDGF exerts essential roles from the gastrulation period to adult neuronal maintenance by contributing to the regulation of development of preplacodal progenitors, placodal ectoderm, and neural crest cells to adult neural progenitors, in coordinating with other factors. In adulthood, PDGF plays critical roles for maintenance of many specific cell types in the nervous system together with vascular cells through controlling the blood brain barrier homeostasis. At injury or various stresses, PDGF modulates neuronal excitability through adjusting various ion channels, and affecting synaptic plasticity and function. Furthermore, PDGF stimulates survival signals, majorly PI3-K/Akt pathway but also other ways, rescuing cells from apoptosis. Studies imply an involvement of PDGF in dendrite spine morphology, being critical for memory in the developing brain. Recent studies suggest association of PDGF genes with neuropsychiatric disorders. In this review, we will describe the roles of PDGF in the nervous system, from the discovery to recent findings, in order to understand the broad spectrum of PDGF in the nervous system. Recent development of pharmacological and replacement therapies targeting the PDGF system is discussed.

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<![CDATA[A gutsy approach to stem cells and signalling: an interview with Hans Clevers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5acdb81e463d7e40db774af6

Hans Clevers, Professor of Molecular Genetics at Utrecht University, began his career in immunology and developmental biology, but a shift towards intestinal research in the late 1990s led to his group’s pioneering discovery that Lgr5 is a marker of tissue stem cells – a finding that paved the way for a cascade of key insights into the molecular signalling pathways that are dysregulated in cancer. Interviewed here by Ross Cagan, Editor-in-Chief of Disease Models & Mechanisms, Hans recalls the mentors and discoveries that motivated his transition from basic to applied science, discusses his style of lab management and mentorship, and highlights the potential of organoid-based therapy for personalised medicine.

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<![CDATA[Fluoxetine Reduces Murine Graft-Versus-Host Disease by Induction of T cell Immunosuppression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5acd1630463d7e725d739c12

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are widely used drugs in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Although SRIs are generally regarded as safe drugs with relatively few side effects, literature suggests that high concentrations of SRIs may alter immune function. We investigated whether high-dose treatment with fluoxetine was able to suppress acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in a MHC-matched, minor histocompatibility antigen mismatched murine bone marrow transplantation model. We found that high doses fluoxetine induce a significant reduction of clinical symptoms and increase survival of these animals. The amelioration of clinical GvHD was accompanied by a reduced expansion of alloreactive T cells. We further analyzed the direct in vitro effect of six SRIs on the viability and proliferation of human T cells and found an anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect that was significantly larger in activated than in resting T cells. We discuss these results in the light of potential future exploration of SRIs as a novel class of T cell immunosuppressive drugs.

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<![CDATA[16th Annual Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology Conference]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5abcef79463d7e5f10f56ced ]]> <![CDATA[Analysis of early phase and subsequent phase III stroke studies of neuroprotectants: outcomes and predictors for success]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989dadaab0ee8fa60bb986e

Background

Efficacy of neuroprotective treatments for ischemic stroke was not convincingly demonstrated in clinical phase III trials so far, whereas some preceding early phase studies found neuroprotection to be beneficial. We aimed to determine the frequency with which phase III studies are preceded by positive early phase studies, and to identify characteristics of early phase studies that are associated with correct prediction of phase III studies.

Methods

We identified phase III studies and corresponding early phase studies of neuroprotective treatments for stroke. Data on study characteristics of early phase trials were extracted and compared between studies that were classified according to their results as “false positive” and “true neutral” using logistic regression analysis.

Results

Forty-six phase III studies and 59 corresponding early phase studies were identified. Only one phase III study was positive and this study was followed by a larger negative study. Twenty-two (37.3%) early phase studies were considered to be false positive and 37 (62.7%) to be true neutral. None of the early phase study characteristics were significantly associated with correct prediction of phase III studies.

Conclusions

More than one third of early phase studies on neuroprotective stroke treatments are false positive. Neither the results nor specific study design characteristics of early phase stroke studies reliably predict success in phase III trials. Further efforts are needed to improve early phase studies regarding its predictability and to identify those early studies that should be advanced to phase III trials.

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<![CDATA[Magnesium treatment for neuroprotection in ischemic diseases of the brain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989dae0ab0ee8fa60bbba09

This article reviews experimental and clinical data on the use of magnesium as a neuroprotective agent in various conditions of cerebral ischemia. Whereas magnesium has shown neuroprotective properties in animal models of global and focal cerebral ischemia, this effect could not be reproduced in a large human stroke trial. These conflicting results may be explained by the timing of treatment. While treatment can be started before or early after ischemia in experimental studies, there is an inevitable delay of treatment in human stroke. Magnesium administration to women at risk for preterm birth has been investigated in several randomized controlled trials and was found to reduce the risk of neurological deficits for the premature infant. Postnatal administration of magnesium to babies after perinatal asphyxia has been studied in a number of controlled clinical trials. The results are promising but the trials have, so far, been underpowered. In aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), cerebral ischemia arises with the onset of delayed cerebral vasospasm several days after aneurysm rupture. Similar to perinatal asphyxia in impending preterm delivery, treatment can be started prior to ischemia. The results of clinical trials are conflicting. Several clinical trials did not show an additive effect of magnesium with nimodipine, another calcium antagonist which is routinely administered to SAH patients in many centers. Other trials found a protective effect after magnesium therapy. Thus, it may still be a promising substance in the treatment of secondary cerebral ischemia after aneurysmal SAH. Future prospects of magnesium therapy are discussed.

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