ResearchPad - depolarization https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Genetic algorithm-based personalized models of human cardiac action potential]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7669 We present a novel modification of genetic algorithm (GA) which determines personalized parameters of cardiomyocyte electrophysiology model based on set of experimental human action potential (AP) recorded at different heart rates. In order to find the steady state solution, the optimized algorithm performs simultaneous search in the parametric and slow variables spaces. We demonstrate that several GA modifications are required for effective convergence. Firstly, we used Cauchy mutation along a random direction in the parametric space. Secondly, relatively large number of elite organisms (6–10% of the population passed on to new generation) was required for effective convergence. Test runs with synthetic AP as input data indicate that algorithm error is low for high amplitude ionic currents (1.6±1.6% for IKr, 3.2±3.5% for IK1, 3.9±3.5% for INa, 8.2±6.3% for ICaL). Experimental signal-to-noise ratio above 28 dB was required for high quality GA performance. GA was validated against optical mapping recordings of human ventricular AP and mRNA expression profile of donor hearts. In particular, GA output parameters were rescaled proportionally to mRNA levels ratio between patients. We have demonstrated that mRNA-based models predict the AP waveform dependence on heart rate with high precision. The latter also provides a novel technique of model personalization that makes it possible to map gene expression profile to cardiac function.

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<![CDATA[Tuft dendrites of pyramidal neurons operate as feedback-modulated functional subunits]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897706d5eed0c4847d22c8

Dendrites of pyramidal cells exhibit complex morphologies and contain a variety of ionic conductances, which generate non-trivial integrative properties. Basal and proximal apical dendrites have been shown to function as independent computational subunits within a two-layer feedforward processing scheme. The outputs of the subunits are linearly summed and passed through a final non-linearity. It is an open question whether this mathematical abstraction can be applied to apical tuft dendrites as well. Using a detailed compartmental model of CA1 pyramidal neurons and a novel theoretical framework based on iso-response methods, we first show that somatic sub-threshold responses to brief synaptic inputs cannot be described by a two-layer feedforward model. Then, we relax the core assumption of subunit independence and introduce non-linear feedback from the output layer to the subunit inputs. We find that additive feedback alone explains the somatic responses to synaptic inputs to most of the branches in the apical tuft. Individual dendritic branches bidirectionally modulate the thresholds of their input-output curves without significantly changing the gains. In contrast to these findings for precisely timed inputs, we show that neuronal computations based on firing rates can be accurately described by purely feedforward two-layer models. Our findings support the view that dendrites of pyramidal neurons possess non-linear analog processing capabilities that critically depend on the location of synaptic inputs. The iso-response framework proposed in this computational study is highly efficient and could be directly applied to biological neurons.

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<![CDATA[Minimal model of interictal and ictal discharges “Epileptor-2”]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b39f463d7e126303d2ad

Seizures occur in a recurrent manner with intermittent states of interictal and ictal discharges (IIDs and IDs). The transitions to and from IDs are determined by a set of processes, including synaptic interaction and ionic dynamics. Although mathematical models of separate types of epileptic discharges have been developed, modeling the transitions between states remains a challenge. A simple generic mathematical model of seizure dynamics (Epileptor) has recently been proposed by Jirsa et al. (2014); however, it is formulated in terms of abstract variables. In this paper, a minimal population-type model of IIDs and IDs is proposed that is as simple to use as the Epileptor, but the suggested model attributes physical meaning to the variables. The model is expressed in ordinary differential equations for extracellular potassium and intracellular sodium concentrations, membrane potential, and short-term synaptic depression variables. A quadratic integrate-and-fire model driven by the population input current is used to reproduce spike trains in a representative neuron. In simulations, potassium accumulation governs the transition from the silent state to the state of an ID. Each ID is composed of clustered IID-like events. The sodium accumulates during discharge and activates the sodium-potassium pump, which terminates the ID by restoring the potassium gradient and thus polarizing the neuronal membranes. The whole-cell and cell-attached recordings of a 4-AP-based in vitro model of epilepsy confirmed the primary model assumptions and predictions. The mathematical analysis revealed that the IID-like events are large-amplitude stochastic oscillations, which in the case of ID generation are controlled by slow oscillations of ionic concentrations. The IDs originate in the conditions of elevated potassium concentrations in a bath solution via a saddle-node-on-invariant-circle-like bifurcation for a non-smooth dynamical system. By providing a minimal biophysical description of ionic dynamics and network interactions, the model may serve as a hierarchical base from a simple to more complex modeling of seizures.

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<![CDATA[New approach for visualization of relationships between RR and JT intervals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1a3

This paper presents the concept of perfect matrices of Lagrange differences which are used to analyze relationships between RR and JT intervals during the bicycle ergometry exercise. The concept of the perfect matrix of Lagrange differences, its parameters, the construction of the load function and the corresponding optimization problem, the introduction of internal and external smoothing, embedding of the scalar parameter time series into the phase plane—all these computational techniques allow visualization of complex dynamical processes taking place in the cardiovascular system during the load and the recovery processes. Detailed analysis is performed with one person’s RR and JT records only—but the presented techniques open new possibilities for novel interpretation of the dynamics of the cardiovascular system.

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<![CDATA[Exosomes are released by bystander cells exposed to radiation-induced biophoton signals: Reconciling the mechanisms mediating the bystander effect]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc629

Objective

The objective of our study was to explore a possible molecular mechanism by which ultraviolet (UV) biophotons could elicit bystander responses in reporter cells and resolve the problem of seemingly mutually exclusive mechanisms of a physical UV signal & a soluble factor-mediated bystander signal.

Methods

The human colon carcinoma cell line, HCT116 p53 +/+, was directly irradiated with 0.5 Gy tritium beta particles to induce ultraviolet biophoton emission. Bystander cells were not directly irradiated but were exposed to the emitted UV biophotons. Medium was subsequently harvested from UV-exposed bystander cells. The exosomes extracted from this medium were incubated with reporter cell populations. These reporter cells were then assayed for clonogenic survival and mitochondrial membrane potential with and without prior treatment of the exosomes with RNase.

Results

Clonogenic cell survival was significantly reduced in reporter cells incubated with exosomes extracted from cells exposed to secondarily-emitted UV. These exosomes also induced significant mitochondrial membrane depolarization in receiving reporter cells. Conversely, exosomes extracted from non-UV-exposed cells did not produce bystander effects in reporter cells. The treatment of exosomes with RNase prior to their incubation with reporter cells effectively abolished bystander effects in reporter cells and this suggests a role for RNA in mediating the bystander response elicited by UV biophotons and their produced exosomes.

Conclusion

This study supports a role for exosomes released from UV biophoton-exposed bystander cells in eliciting bystander responses and also indicates a reconciliation between the UV-mediated bystander effect and the bystander effect which has been suggested in the literature to be mediated by soluble factors.

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<![CDATA[Cardiac strength-interval curves calculated using a bidomain tissue with a parsimonious ionic current]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbb18

The strength-interval curve plays a major role in understanding how cardiac tissue responds to an electrical stimulus. This complex behavior has been studied previously using the bidomain formulation incorporating the Beeler-Reuter and Luo-Rudy dynamic ionic current models. The complexity of these models renders the interpretation and extrapolation of simulation results problematic. Here we utilize a recently developed parsimonious ionic current model with only two currents—a sodium current that activates rapidly upon depolarization INa and a time-independent inwardly rectifying repolarization current IK—which reproduces many experimentally measured action potential waveforms. Bidomain tissue simulations with this ionic current model reproduce the distinctive dip in the anodal (but not cathodal) strength-interval curve. Studying model variants elucidates the necessary and sufficient physiological conditions to predict the polarity dependent dip: a voltage and time dependent INa, a nonlinear rectifying repolarization current, and bidomain tissue with unequal anisotropy ratios.

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<![CDATA[Pancreatic Beta Cell G-Protein Coupled Receptors and Second Messenger Interactions: A Systems Biology Computational Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db16ab0ee8fa60bcd3a8

Insulin secretory in pancreatic beta-cells responses to nutrient stimuli and hormonal modulators include multiple messengers and signaling pathways with complex interdependencies. Here we present a computational model that incorporates recent data on glucose metabolism, plasma membrane potential, G-protein-coupled-receptors (GPCR), cytoplasmic and endoplasmic reticulum calcium dynamics, cAMP and phospholipase C pathways that regulate interactions between second messengers in pancreatic beta-cells. The values of key model parameters were inferred from published experimental data. The model gives a reasonable fit to important aspects of experimentally measured metabolic and second messenger concentrations and provides a framework for analyzing the role of metabolic, hormones and neurotransmitters changes on insulin secretion. Our analysis of the dynamic data provides support for the hypothesis that activation of Ca2+-dependent adenylyl cyclases play a critical role in modulating the effects of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and catecholamines. The regulatory properties of adenylyl cyclase isoforms determine fluctuations in cytoplasmic cAMP concentration and reveal a synergistic action of glucose, GLP-1 and GIP on insulin secretion. On the other hand, the regulatory properties of phospholipase C isoforms determine the interaction of glucose, acetylcholine and free fatty acids (FFA) (that act through the FFA receptors) on insulin secretion. We found that a combination of GPCR agonists activating different messenger pathways can stimulate insulin secretion more effectively than a combination of GPCR agonists for a single pathway. This analysis also suggests that the activators of GLP-1, GIP and FFA receptors may have a relatively low risk of hypoglycemia in fasting conditions whereas an activator of muscarinic receptors can increase this risk. This computational analysis demonstrates that study of second messenger pathway interactions will improve understanding of critical regulatory sites, how different GPCRs interact and pharmacological targets for modulating insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes.

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<![CDATA[Observation of σ-pore currents in mutant hKv1.2_V370C potassium channels]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc5dc

Current through the σ-pore was first detected in hKv1.3_V388C channels, where the V388C mutation in hKv1.3 channels opened a new pathway (σ-pore) behind the central α-pore. Typical for this mutant channel was inward current at potentials more negative than -100 mV when the central α-pore was closed. The α-pore blockers such as TEA+ and peptide toxins (CTX, MTX) could not reduce current through the σ-pore of hKv1.3_V388C channels. This new pathway would proceed in parallel to the α-pore in the S6-S6 interface gap. To see whether this phenomenon is restricted to hKv1.3 channels we mutated hKv1.2 at the homologue position (hKv1.2_V370C). By overexpression of hKv1.2_V370C mutant channels in COS-7 cells we could show typical σ-currents. The electrophysiological properties of the σ-pore in hKv1.3_V388C and hKv1.2_V370C mutant channels were similar. The σ-pore of hKv1.2_V370C channels was most permeable to Na+ and Li+ whereas Cl- and protons did not influence current through the σ-pore. Tetraethylammonium (TEA+), charybdotoxin (CTX) and maurotoxin (MTX), known α-pore blockers, could not reduce current through the σ-pore of hKv1.2_V370C channels. Taken together we conclude that the observation of σ-pore currents is not restricted to Kv1.3 potassium channels but can also be observed in a closely related potassium channel. This finding could have implications in the treatment of different ion channel diseases linked to mutations of the respective channels in regions close to homologue position investigated by us.

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<![CDATA[Rosuvastatin Treatment Affects Both Basal and Glucose-Induced Insulin Secretion in INS-1 832/13 Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db37ab0ee8fa60bd3994

Rosuvastatin is a member of the statin family. Like the other statins it is prescribed to lower cholesterol levels and thereby reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Rosuvastatin lowers the cholesterol levels by inhibiting the key enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMG-CoA reductase) in the cholesterol producing mevalonate pathway. It has been recognized that apart from their beneficial lipid lowering effects, statins also exhibit diabetogenic properties. The molecular mechanisms behind these remain unresolved. To investigate the effects of rosuvastatin on insulin secretion, we treated INS-1 832/13 cells with varying doses (20 nM to 20 μM) of rosuvastatin for 48 h. At concentrations of 2 μM and above basal insulin secretion was significantly increased. Using diazoxide we could determine that rosuvastatin did not increase basal insulin secretion by corrupting the KATP channels. Glucose-induced insulin secretion on the other hand seemed to be affected differently at different rosuvastatin concentrations. Rosuvastatin treatment (20 μM) for 24–48 h inhibited voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, which lead to reduced depolarization-induced exocytosis of insulin-containing granules. At lower concentrations of rosuvastatin (≤ 2 μM) the stimulus-secretion coupling pathway was intact downstream of the KATP channels as assessed by the patch clamp technique. However, a reduction in glucose-induced insulin secretion could be observed with rosuvastatin concentrations as low as 200 nM. The inhibitory effects of rosuvastatin on glucose-induced insulin secretion could be reversed with mevalonate, but not squalene, indicating that rosuvastatin affects insulin secretion through its effects on the mevalonate pathway, but not through the reduction of cholesterol biosynthesis. Taken together, these data suggest that rosuvastatin has the potential to increase basal insulin secretion and reduce glucose-induced insulin secretion. The latter is possibly an unavoidable side effect of rosuvastatin treatment as it occurs through the same mechanisms as the lipid-lowering effects of the drug.

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<![CDATA[Control of Ca2+ Influx and Calmodulin Activation by SK-Channels in Dendritic Spines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daeaab0ee8fa60bbeda9

The key trigger for Hebbian synaptic plasticity is influx of Ca2+ into postsynaptic dendritic spines. The magnitude of [Ca2+] increase caused by NMDA-receptor (NMDAR) and voltage-gated Ca2+ -channel (VGCC) activation is thought to determine both the amplitude and direction of synaptic plasticity by differential activation of Ca2+ -sensitive enzymes such as calmodulin. Ca2+ influx is negatively regulated by Ca2+ -activated K+ channels (SK-channels) which are in turn inhibited by neuromodulators such as acetylcholine. However, the precise mechanisms by which SK-channels control the induction of synaptic plasticity remain unclear. Using a 3-dimensional model of Ca2+ and calmodulin dynamics within an idealised, but biophysically-plausible, dendritic spine, we show that SK-channels regulate calmodulin activation specifically during neuron-firing patterns associated with induction of spike timing-dependent plasticity. SK-channel activation and the subsequent reduction in Ca2+ influx through NMDARs and L-type VGCCs results in an order of magnitude decrease in calmodulin (CaM) activation, providing a mechanism for the effective gating of synaptic plasticity induction. This provides a common mechanism for the regulation of synaptic plasticity by neuromodulators.

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<![CDATA[Spikelets in Pyramidal Neurons: Action Potentials Initiated in the Axon Initial Segment That Do Not Activate the Soma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd049

Spikelets are small spike-like depolarizations that can be measured in somatic intracellular recordings. Their origin in pyramidal neurons remains controversial. To explain spikelet generation, we propose a novel single-cell mechanism: somato-dendritic input generates action potentials at the axon initial segment that may fail to activate the soma and manifest as somatic spikelets. Using mathematical analysis and numerical simulations of compartmental neuron models, we identified four key factors controlling spikelet generation: (1) difference in firing threshold, (2) impedance mismatch, and (3) electrotonic separation between the soma and the axon initial segment, as well as (4) input amplitude. Because spikelets involve forward propagation of action potentials along the axon while they avoid full depolarization of the somato-dendritic compartments, we conjecture that this mode of operation saves energy and regulates dendritic plasticity while still allowing for a read-out of results of neuronal computations.

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<![CDATA[Volatile Organic Compound Gamma-Butyrolactone Released upon Herpes Simplex Virus Type -1 Acute Infection Modulated Membrane Potential and Repressed Viral Infection in Human Neuron-Like Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad3ab0ee8fa60bb703d

Herpes Simplex Virus Type -1 (HSV-1) infections can cause serious complications such as keratitis and encephalitis. The goal of this study was to identify any changes in the concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced during HSV-1 infection of epithelial cells that could potentially be used as an indicator of a response to stress. An additional objective was to study if any VOCs released from acute epithelial infection may influence subsequent neuronal infection to facilitate latency. To investigate these hypotheses, Vero cells were infected with HSV-1 and the emission of VOCs was analyzed using two-dimensional gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry (2D GC/MS). It was observed that the concentrations of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) in particular changed significantly after a 24-hour infection. Since HSV-1 may establish latency in neurons after the acute infection, GBL was tested to determine if it exerts neuronal regulation of infection. The results indicated that GBL altered the resting membrane potential of differentiated LNCaP cells and promoted a non-permissive state of HSV-1 infection by repressing viral replication. These observations may provide useful clues towards understanding the complex signaling pathways that occur during the HSV-1 primary infection and establishment of viral latency.

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<![CDATA[Angiotensin II Induced Cardiac Dysfunction on a Chip]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d9ab0ee8fa60b66d91

In vitro disease models offer the ability to study specific systemic features in isolation to better understand underlying mechanisms that lead to dysfunction. Here, we present a cardiac dysfunction model using angiotensin II (ANG II) to elicit pathological responses in a heart-on-a-chip platform that recapitulates native laminar cardiac tissue structure. Our platform, composed of arrays of muscular thin films (MTF), allows for functional comparisons of healthy and diseased tissues by tracking film deflections resulting from contracting tissues. To test our model, we measured gene expression profiles, morphological remodeling, calcium transients, and contractile stress generation in response to ANG II exposure and compared against previous experimental and clinical results. We found that ANG II induced pathological gene expression profiles including over-expression of natriuretic peptide B, Rho GTPase 1, and T-type calcium channels. ANG II exposure also increased proarrhythmic early after depolarization events and significantly reduced peak systolic stresses. Although ANG II has been shown to induce structural remodeling, we control tissue architecture via microcontact printing, and show pathological genetic profiles and functional impairment precede significant morphological changes. We assert that our in vitro model is a useful tool for evaluating tissue health and can serve as a platform for studying disease mechanisms and identifying novel therapeutics.

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<![CDATA[Thalamocortical control of propofol phase-amplitude coupling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab4e0c4463d7e0b99f2c8cc

The anesthetic propofol elicits many different spectral properties on the EEG, including alpha oscillations (8–12 Hz), Slow Wave Oscillations (SWO, 0.1–1.5 Hz), and dose-dependent phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) between alpha and SWO. Propofol is known to increase GABAA inhibition and decrease H-current strength, but how it generates these rhythms and their interactions is still unknown. To investigate both generation of the alpha rhythm and its PAC to SWO, we simulate a Hodgkin-Huxley network model of a hyperpolarized thalamus and corticothalamic inputs. We find, for the first time, that the model thalamic network is capable of independently generating the sustained alpha seen in propofol, which may then be relayed to cortex and expressed on the EEG. This dose-dependent sustained alpha critically relies on propofol GABAA potentiation to alter the intrinsic spindling mechanisms of the thalamus. Furthermore, the H-current conductance and background excitation of these thalamic cells must be within specific ranges to exhibit any intrinsic oscillations, including sustained alpha. We also find that, under corticothalamic SWO UP and DOWN states, thalamocortical output can exhibit maximum alpha power at either the peak or trough of this SWO; this implies the thalamus may be the source of propofol-induced PAC. Hyperpolarization level is the main determinant of whether the thalamus exhibits trough-max PAC, which is associated with lower propofol dose, or peak-max PAC, associated with higher dose. These findings suggest: the thalamus generates a novel rhythm under GABAA potentiation such as under propofol, its hyperpolarization may determine whether a patient experiences trough-max or peak-max PAC, and the thalamus is a critical component of propofol-induced cortical spectral phenomena. Changes to the thalamus may be a critical part of how propofol accomplishes its effects, including unconsciousness.

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<![CDATA[Descending Vasa Recta Endothelial Membrane Potential Response Requires Pericyte Communication]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db23ab0ee8fa60bcfd05

Using dual-cell electrophysiological recording, we examined the routes for equilibration of membrane potential between the pericytes and endothelia that comprise the descending vasa recta (DVR) wall. We measured equilibration between pericytes in intact vessels, between pericytes and endothelium in intact vessels and between pericytes physically separated from the endothelium. Dual pericyte recording on the abluminal surface of DVR showed that both resting potential and subsequent time-dependent voltage fluctuations after vasoconstrictor stimulation remained closely equilibrated, regardless of the agonist employed (angiotensin II, vasopressin or endothelin 1). When pericytes where removed from the vessel wall but retained physical contact with one another, membrane potential responses were also highly coordinated. In contrast, responses of pericytes varied independently when they were isolated from both the endothelium and from contact with one another. When pericytes and endothelium were in contact, their resting potentials were similar and their temporal responses to stimulation were highly coordinated. After completely isolating pericytes from the endothelium, their mean resting potentials became discordant. Finally, complete endothelial isolation eliminated all membrane potential responses to angiotensin II. We conclude that cell-to-cell transmission through the endothelium is not needed for pericytes to equilibrate their membrane potentials. AngII dependent responses of DVR endothelia may originate from gap junction coupling to pericytes rather than via receptor dependent signaling in the endothelium, per se.

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<![CDATA[Polarization image segmentation of radiofrequency ablated porcine myocardial tissue]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc336

Optical polarimetry has previously imaged the spatial extent of a typical radiofrequency ablated (RFA) lesion in myocardial tissue, exhibiting significantly lower total depolarization at the necrotic core compared to healthy tissue, and intermediate values at the RFA rim region. Here, total depolarization in ablated myocardium was used to segment the total depolarization image into three (core, rim and healthy) zones. A local fuzzy thresholding algorithm was used for this multi-region segmentation, and then compared with a ground truth segmentation obtained from manual demarcation of RFA core and rim regions on the histopathology image. Quantitative comparison of the algorithm segmentation results was performed with evaluation metrics such as dice similarity coefficient (DSC = 0.78 ± 0.02 and 0.80 ± 0.02), sensitivity (Sn = 0.83 ± 0.10 and 0.91 ± 0.08), specificity (Sp = 0.76 ± 0.17 and 0.72 ± 0.17) and accuracy (Acc = 0.81 ± 0.09 and 0.71 ± 0.10) for RFA core and rim regions, respectively. This automatic segmentation of parametric depolarization images suggests a novel application of optical polarimetry, namely its use in objective RFA image quantification.

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<![CDATA[Doxycycline protects against ROS-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and ISO-induced heart failure]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc355

In addition to their anti-bacterial action, tetracyclines also have complex biological effects, including the modification of mitochondrial protein synthesis, metabolism and gene-expression. Long-term clinical studies have been performed using tetracyclines, without significant side effects. Previous studies demonstrated that doxycycline (DOX), a major tetracyclin antibiotic, exerted a protective effect in animal models of heart failure; however, its exact molecular mechanism is still unknown. Here, we provide the first evidence that DOX reduces oxidative stress—induced mitochondrial fragmentation and depolarization in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and beneficially alters the expression of Mfn-2, OPA-1 and Drp-1 –the main regulators of mitochondrial fusion and fission—in our isoproterenol (ISO)–induced heart failure model, ultimately decreasing the severity of heart failure. In mitochondria, oxidative stress causes a shift toward fission which leads to mitochondrial fragmentation and cell death. Protecting mitochondria from oxidative stress, and the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics by drugs that shift the balance toward fusion, could be a novel therapeutic approach for heart failure. On the basis of our findings, we raise the possibility that DOX could be a novel therapeutic agent in the future treatment of heart failure.

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<![CDATA[BGP-15 Protects against Oxidative Stress- or Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Mitochondrial Destabilization and Reduces Mitochondrial Production of Reactive Oxygen Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da18ab0ee8fa60b7bf40

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a critical role in the progression of mitochondria-related diseases. A novel insulin sensitizer drug candidate, BGP-15, has been shown to have protective effects in several oxidative stress-related diseases in animal and human studies. In this study, we investigated whether the protective effects of BGP-15 are predominantly via preserving mitochondrial integrity and reducing mitochondrial ROS production. BGP-15 was found to accumulate in the mitochondria, protect against ROS-induced mitochondrial depolarization and attenuate ROS-induced mitochondrial ROS production in a cell culture model, and also reduced ROS production predominantly at the complex I-III system in isolated mitochondria. At physiologically relevant concentrations, BGP-15 protected against hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death by reducing both apoptosis and necrosis. Additionally, it attenuated bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential and ROS production in LPS-sensitive U-251 glioma cells, suggesting that BGP-15 may have a protective role in inflammatory diseases. However, BGP-15 did not have any antioxidant effects as shown by in vitro chemical and cell culture systems. These data suggest that BGP-15 could be a novel mitochondrial drug candidate for the prevention of ROS-related and inflammatory disease progression.

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<![CDATA[Combined Changes in Chloride Regulation and Neuronal Excitability Enable Primary Afferent Depolarization to Elicit Spiking without Compromising its Inhibitory Effects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b85ff3

The central terminals of primary afferent fibers experience depolarization upon activation of GABAA receptors (GABAAR) because their intracellular chloride concentration is maintained above electrochemical equilibrium. Primary afferent depolarization (PAD) normally mediates inhibition via sodium channel inactivation and shunting but can evoke spikes under certain conditions. Antidromic (centrifugal) conduction of these spikes may contribute to neurogenic inflammation while orthodromic (centripetal) conduction could contribute to pain in the case of nociceptive fibers. PAD-induced spiking is assumed to override presynaptic inhibition. Using computer simulations and dynamic clamp experiments, we sought to identify which biophysical changes are required to enable PAD-induced spiking and whether those changes necessarily compromise PAD-mediated inhibition. According to computational modeling, a depolarizing shift in GABA reversal potential (EGABA) and increased intrinsic excitability (manifest as altered spike initiation properties) were necessary for PAD-induced spiking, whereas increased GABAAR conductance density (GABA) had mixed effects. We tested our predictions experimentally by using dynamic clamp to insert virtual GABAAR conductances with different EGABA and kinetics into acutely dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron somata. Comparable experiments in central axon terminals are prohibitively difficult but the biophysical requirements for PAD-induced spiking are arguably similar in soma and axon. Neurons from naïve (i.e. uninjured) rats were compared before and after pharmacological manipulation of intrinsic excitability, and against neurons from nerve-injured rats. Experimental data confirmed that, in most neurons, both predicted changes were necessary to yield PAD-induced spiking. Importantly, such changes did not prevent PAD from inhibiting other spiking or from blocking spike propagation. In fact, since the high value of GABA required for PAD-induced spiking still mediates strong inhibition, we conclude that PAD-induced spiking does not represent failure of presynaptic inhibition. Instead, diminished PAD caused by reduction of GABA poses a greater risk to presynaptic inhibition and the sensory processing that relies upon it.

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<![CDATA[Dopamine Neurons Change the Type of Excitability in Response to Stimuli]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db13ab0ee8fa60bcc850

The dynamics of neuronal excitability determine the neuron’s response to stimuli, its synchronization and resonance properties and, ultimately, the computations it performs in the brain. We investigated the dynamical mechanisms underlying the excitability type of dopamine (DA) neurons, using a conductance-based biophysical model, and its regulation by intrinsic and synaptic currents. Calibrating the model to reproduce low frequency tonic firing results in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) excitation balanced by γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated inhibition and leads to type I excitable behavior characterized by a continuous decrease in firing frequency in response to hyperpolarizing currents. Furthermore, we analyzed how excitability type of the DA neuron model is influenced by changes in the intrinsic current composition. A subthreshold sodium current is necessary for a continuous frequency decrease during application of a negative current, and the low-frequency “balanced” state during simultaneous activation of NMDA and GABA receptors. Blocking this current switches the neuron to type II characterized by the abrupt onset of repetitive firing. Enhancing the anomalous rectifier Ih current also switches the excitability to type II. Key characteristics of synaptic conductances that may be observed in vivo also change the type of excitability: a depolarized γ-Aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR) reversal potential or co-activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) leads to an abrupt frequency drop to zero, which is typical for type II excitability. Coactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) together with AMPARs and GABARs shifts the type I/II boundary toward more hyperpolarized GABAR reversal potentials. To better understand how altering each of the aforementioned currents leads to changes in excitability profile of DA neuron, we provide a thorough dynamical analysis. Collectively, these results imply that type I excitability in dopamine neurons might be important for low firing rates and fine-tuning basal dopamine levels, while switching excitability to type II during NMDAR and AMPAR activation may facilitate a transient increase in dopamine concentration, as type II neurons are more amenable to synchronization by mutual excitation.

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