ResearchPad - glial-cells https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Diffusion MRI reveals in vivo and non-invasively changes in astrocyte function induced by an aquaporin-4 inhibitor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14694 The Glymphatic System (GS) has been proposed as a mechanism to clear brain tissue from waste. Its dysfunction might lead to several brain pathologies, including the Alzheimer’s disease. A key component of the GS and brain tissue water circulation is the astrocyte which is regulated by acquaporin-4 (AQP4), a membrane-bound water channel on the astrocytic end-feet. Here we investigated the potential of diffusion MRI to monitor astrocyte activity in a mouse brain model through the inhibition of AQP4 channels with TGN-020. Upon TGN-020 injection, we observed a significant decrease in the Sindex, a diffusion marker of tissue microstructure, and a significant increase of the water diffusion coefficient (sADC) in cerebral cortex and hippocampus compared to saline injection. These results indicate the suitability of diffusion MRI to monitor astrocytic activity in vivo and non-invasively.

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<![CDATA[Interplay between axonal Wnt5-Vang and dendritic Wnt5-Drl/Ryk signaling controls glomerular patterning in the <i>Drosophila</i> antennal lobe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14504 During brain development, the processes of nerve cells, axons and dendrites, grow over long distances to find and connect with each other to form synapses in precise locations. Understanding the mechanisms that control the growth of these neurites is important for understanding normal brain functions like neuronal plasticity and neural diseases like autism. Although much progress has been made by studying the development of axons and dendrites separately, the mechanisms that guide neuronal processes to their final locations are still incompletely understood. In particular, careful observation of converging pre- and postsynaptic processes suggests that their targeting may be coordinated. Whether the final targeting of axons and dendrites are functionally linked and what molecular mechanisms may be involved are unknown. In this paper we show that, in the developing Drosophila olfactory circuit, coalescing axons and dendrites respond to the extracellular Wnt5 signal in a codependent manner. We demonstrate that the converging axons and dendrites contribute different signaling components to the Wnt5 pathway, the Vang Gogh and Derailed transmembrane receptors respectively, which allow Wnt5 to coordinately guide the targeting of the neurites. Our work thus reveals a novel mechanism of neural circuit patterning and the molecular mechanism that controls it.

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<![CDATA[Betanin purification from red beetroots and evaluation of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity on LPS-activated microglial cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13861 Microglial activation can release free radicals and various pro-inflammatory cytokines, which implicates the progress of a neurodegenerative disease. Therefore suppression of microglial activation can be an appropriate strategy for combating neurodegenerative diseases. Betanin is a red food dye that acts as free radical scavenger and can be a promising candidate for this purpose. In this study, purification of betanin from red beetroots was carried out by normal phase colum chromatography, yielding 500 mg of betanin from 100 g of red beetroot. The purified betanin was evaluated by TLC, UV-visible, HPLC, ESI-MASS, FT-IR spectroscopy. Investigation on the inhibitory effect of betanin on activated microglia was performed using primary microglial culture. The results showed that betanin significantly inhibited lipopolysaccharide induced microglial function including the production of nitric oxide free radicals, reactive oxygen species, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Moreover, betanin modulated mitochondrial membrane potential, lysosomal membrane permeabilization and adenosine triphosphate. We further investigated the interaction of betanin with TNF-α, IL-6 and Nitric oxide synthase (iNOS or NOS2) using in silico molecular docking analysis. The docking results demonstrated that betanin have significant negative binding energy against active sites of TNF-α, IL-6 and iNOS.

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<![CDATA[Microglia exit the CNS in spinal root avulsion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79a3e5d5eed0c4841d1bf2

Microglia are central nervous system (CNS)-resident cells. Their ability to migrate outside of the CNS, however, is not understood. Using time-lapse imaging in an obstetrical brachial plexus injury (OBPI) model, we show that microglia squeeze through the spinal boundary and emigrate to peripheral spinal roots. Although both macrophages and microglia respond, microglia are the debris-clearing cell. Once outside the CNS, microglia re-enter the spinal cord in an altered state. These peripheral nervous system (PNS)-experienced microglia can travel to distal CNS areas from the injury site, including the brain, with debris. This emigration is balanced by two mechanisms—induced emigration via N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA) dependence and restriction via contact-dependent cellular repulsion with macrophages. These discoveries open the possibility that microglia can migrate outside of their textbook-defined regions in disease states.

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<![CDATA[Methods of olfactory ensheathing cell harvesting from the olfactory mucosa in dogs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89778fd5eed0c4847d2ff8

Olfactory ensheathing cells are thought to support regeneration and remyelination of damaged axons when transplanted into spinal cord injuries. Following transplantation, improved locomotion has been detected in many laboratory models and in dogs with naturally-occurring spinal cord injury; safety trials in humans have also been completed. For widespread clinical implementation, it will be necessary to derive large numbers of these cells from an accessible and, preferably, autologous, source making olfactory mucosa a good candidate. Here, we compared the yield of olfactory ensheathing cells from the olfactory mucosa using 3 different techniques: rhinotomy, frontal sinus keyhole approach and rhinoscopy. From canine clinical cases with spinal cord injury, 27 biopsies were obtained by rhinotomy, 7 by a keyhole approach and 1 with rhinoscopy. Biopsy via rhinoscopy was also tested in 13 cadavers and 7 living normal dogs. After 21 days of cell culture, the proportions and populations of p75-positive (presumed to be olfactory ensheathing) cells obtained by the keyhole approach and rhinoscopy were similar (~4.5 x 106 p75-positive cells; ~70% of the total cell population), but fewer were obtained by frontal sinus rhinotomy. Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea was observed in one dog and emphysema in 3 dogs following rhinotomy. Blepharitis occurred in one dog after the keyhole approach. All three biopsy methods appear to be safe for harvesting a suitable number of olfactory ensheathing cells from the olfactory mucosa for transplantation within the spinal cord but each technique has specific advantages and drawbacks.

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<![CDATA[Trans ε viniferin decreases amyloid deposits and inflammation in a mouse transgenic Alzheimer model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe09d5eed0c484e5b330

As Alzheimer’s disease (AD) induces several cellular and molecular damages, it could be interesting to use multi-target molecules for therapeutics. We previously published that trans ε-viniferin induced the disaggregation of Aβ42 peptide and inhibited the inflammatory response in primary cellular model of AD. Here, effects of this stilbenoid were evaluated in transgenic APPswePS1dE9 mice. We report that trans ε-viniferin could go through the blood brain barrier, reduces size and density of amyloid deposits and decreases reactivity of astrocytes and microglia, after a weekly intraperitoneal injection at 10 mg/kg from 3 to 6 months of age.

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<![CDATA[Melatonin decreases M1 polarization via attenuating mitochondrial oxidative damage depending on UCP2 pathway in prorenin-treated microglia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b266ad5eed0c484289a2f

Accumulating evidence suggests that neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in cardiovascular center contribute to the pathological processes underlying hypertension. Microglia activation triggers the inflammation and oxidative stress. Melatonin is a documented potent anti-inflammatory regent and antioxidant, the underlying roles of melatonin in regulating microglia activation via mitochondria remain unclear. In present study, we investigated the protective role of melatonin in decreasing M1 phenotype switching via attenuating mitochondrial oxidative damage in dependence on uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) pathway in microglia. Prorenin (20 nmol/L; 24 hr) was used to induce inflammation in cultured microglia. Mitochondrial morphology was detected by transmission electron microscope. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by using DCFH-DA fluorescence imaging and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP, ΔΨm) was evaluated by JC-1 staining. The indicator of the redox status as the ratio of the amount of total NADP+ to total NADPH, and the expression of 6 subunits of NADPH oxidase is measured. The pro-inflammatory cytokines releasing was measured by qPCR. UCP2 and activated AMPKα (p-AMPKα) expression were examined by immunoblot. Melatonin (100 μM) markedly alleviated the M1 microglia phenotype shifting and abnormal mitochondria morphology. Melatonin attenuated prorenin-induced ΔΨm increasing and ROS overproduction. Melatonin decreased the redox ratio (NADP+/NADPH) and the p47phox and gp91phox subunits of NADPH oxidase expression in prorenin-treated microglia. These effects were reversed in the presence of UCP2 siRNA. Our results suggested that the protective effect of melatonin against prorenin-induced M1 phenotype switching via attenuating mitochondrial oxidative damage depending on UCP2 upregulation in prorenin-treated microglia.

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<![CDATA[miRNA expression profiles and molecular networks in resting and LPS-activated BV-2 microglia—Effect of cannabinoids]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26a9d5eed0c484289e22

Mammalian microRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role in modulating the response of immune cells to stimuli. Cannabinoids are known to exert beneficial actions such as neuroprotection and immunosuppressive activities. However, the underlying mechanisms which contribute to these effects are not fully understood. We previously reported that the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9–tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) differ in their anti-inflammatory signaling pathways. Using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to stimulate BV-2 microglial cells, we examined the role of cannabinoids on the expression of miRNAs. Expression was analyzed by performing deep sequencing, followed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis to describe networks and intracellular pathways. miRNA sequencing analysis revealed that 31 miRNAs were differentially modulated by LPS and by cannabinoids treatments. In addition, we found that at the concentration tested, CBD has a greater effect than THC on the expression of most of the studied miRNAs. The results clearly link the effects of both LPS and cannabinoids to inflammatory signaling pathways. LPS upregulated the expression of pro-inflammatory miRNAs associated to Toll-like receptor (TLR) and NF-κB signaling, including miR-21, miR-146a and miR-155, whereas CBD inhibited LPS-stimulated expression of miR-146a and miR-155. In addition, CBD upregulated miR-34a, known to be involved in several pathways including Rb/E2f cell cycle and Notch-Dll1 signaling. Our results show that both CBD and THC reduced the LPS-upregulated Notch ligand Dll1 expression. MiR-155 and miR-34a are considered to be redox sensitive miRNAs, which regulate Nrf2-driven gene expression. Accordingly, we found that Nrf2-mediated expression of redox-dependent genes defines a Mox-like phenotype in CBD treated BV-2 cells. In summary, we have identified a specific repertoire of miRNAs that are regulated by cannabinoids, in resting (surveillant) and in LPS-activated microglia. The modulated miRNAs and their target genes are controlled by TLR, Nrf2 and Notch cross-talk signaling and are involved in immune response, cell cycle regulation as well as cellular stress and redox homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[Toll-like receptor 3 regulates Zika virus infection and associated host inflammatory response in primary human astrocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730aad5eed0c484f37e84

The connection between Zika virus (ZIKV) and neurodevelopmental defects is widely recognized, although the mechanisms underlying the infectivity and pathology in primary human glial cells are poorly understood. Here we show that three isolated strains of ZIKV, an African strain MR766 (Uganda) and two closely related Asian strains R103451 (Honduras) and PRVABC59 (Puerto Rico) productively infect primary human astrocytes, although Asian strains showed a higher infectivity rate and increased cell death when compared to the African strain. Inhibition of AXL receptor significantly attenuated viral entry of MR766 and PRVABC59 and to a lesser extend R103451, suggesting an important role of TAM receptors in ZIKV cell entry, irrespective of lineage. Infection by PRVABC59 elicited the highest release of inflammatory molecules, with a 8-fold increase in the release of RANTES, 10-fold increase in secretion of IP-10 secretion and a 12-fold increase in IFN-β secretion when compared to un-infected human astrocytes. Minor changes in the release of several growth factors, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress response factors and the transcription factor, NF-κB were detected with the Asian strains, while significant increases in FOXO6, MAPK10 and JNK were detected with the African strain. Activation of the autophagy pathway was evident with increased expression of the autophagy related proteins Beclin1, LC3B and p62/SQSTM1 with all three strains of ZIKV. Pharmacological inhibition of the autophagy pathway and genetic inhibition of the Beclin1 showed minimal effects on ZIKV replication. The expression of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) was significantly increased with all three strains of ZIKV; pharmacological and genetic inhibition of TLR3 caused a decrease in viral titers and in viral-induced inflammatory response in infected astrocytes. We conclude that TLR3 plays a vital role in both ZIKV replication and viral-induced inflammatory responses, irrespective of the strains, while the autophagy protein Beclin1 influences host inflammatory responses.

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<![CDATA[LRRK2 kinase plays a critical role in manganese-induced inflammation and apoptosis in microglia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478ca0d5eed0c484bd3865

Long-term exposure to elevated levels of manganese (Mn) causes manganism, a neurodegenerative disorder with Parkinson’s disease (PD)-like symptoms. Increasing evidence suggests that leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), which is highly expressed in microglia and macrophages, contributes to the inflammation and neurotoxicity seen in autosomal dominant and sporadic PD. As gene-environment interactions have emerged as important modulators of PD-associated toxicity, LRRK2 may also mediate Mn-induced inflammation and pathogenesis. In this study, we investigated the role of LRRK2 in Mn-induced toxicity using human microglial cells (HMC3), LRRK2-wild-type (WT) and LRRK2-knockout (KO) RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Results showed that Mn activated LRRK2 kinase by phosphorylation of its serine residue at the 1292 position (S1292) as a marker of its kinase activity in macrophage and microglia, while inhibition with GSK2578215A (GSK) and MLi-2 abolished Mn-induced LRRK2 activation. LRRK2 deletion and its pharmacological inhibition attenuated Mn-induced apoptosis in macrophages and microglia, along with concomitant decreases in the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-associated X (Bax) protein. LRRK2 deletion also attenuated Mn-induced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. Mn-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 and ERK signaling proteins was significantly attenuated in LRRK2 KO cells and GSK-treated cells. Moreover, inhibition of MAPK p38 and ERK as well as LRRK2 attenuated Mn-induced oxidative stress and cytotoxicity. These findings suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity plays a critical role in Mn-induced toxicity via downstream activation of MAPK signaling in macrophage and microglia. Collectively, these results suggest that LRRK2 could be a potential molecular target for developing therapeutics to treat Mn-related neurodegenerative disorders.

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<![CDATA[Growth factors expression and ultrastructural morphology after application of low-level laser and natural latex protein on a sciatic nerve crush-type injury]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5aad5eed0c484ca713c

The effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and natural latex protein (F1, Hevea brasiliensis) were evaluated on crush-type injuries (15kg) to the sciatic nerve in the expressions of nerve growth factor (NGF) and vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF) and ultrastructural morphology to associate with previous morphometric data using the same protocol of injury and treatment. Thirty-six male rats were allocated into six experimental groups (n = 6): 1-Control; 2-Exposed nerve; 3-Injured nerve; 4-LLLT (15J/cm2, 780nm, 30mW, Continuous Wave) treated injured nerve; 5-F1 (0,1mg) treated injured nerve; and 6-LLLT&F1 treated injured nerve. Four or eight weeks after, sciatic nerve samples were processed for analysis. NGF expression were higher (p<0.05) four weeks after in all injured groups in comparison to Control (Med:0.8; Q1:0; Q3:55.5%area). Among them, the Injured (Med:70.7; Q1:64.4; Q3:77.5%area) showed the highest expression, and F1 (Med:17.3; Q1:14.1; Q3:21.7%area) had the lowest. At week 8, NGF expressions decreased in the injured groups. VEGF was expressed in all groups; its higher expression was observed in the injured groups 4 weeks after (Injured. Med:29.5; F1. Med:17.7 and LLLT&F1. Med:19.4%area). At week 8, a general reduction of VEGF expression was noted, remaining higher in F1 (Med:35.1; Q1.30.6; Q3.39.6%area) and LLLT&F1 (Med:18.5; Q1:16; Q3:25%area). Ultrastructural morphology revealed improvements in the treated groups; 4 weeks after, the F1 group presented greater quantity and diameter of the nerve fibers uniformly distributed. Eight weeks after, the F1 and LLLT&F1 showed similar characteristics to the non-injured groups. In summary, these results and our previous studies indicated that F1 and LLLT may favorably influence the healing of nerve crush injury. Four weeks after nerve injury F1 group showed the best results suggesting recovery acceleration; at 8th week F1 and LLLT&F1 groups presented better features and higher vascularization that could be associated with VEGF maintenance.

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<![CDATA[Dietary salt promotes ischemic brain injury and is associated with parenchymal migrasome formation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2e7fded5eed0c48451bdb9

Sodium chloride promotes vascular fibrosis, arterial hypertension, pro-inflammatory immune cell polarization and endothelial dysfunction, all of which might influence outcomes following stroke. But despite enormous translational relevance, the functional importance of sodium chloride in the pathophysiology of acute ischemic stroke is still unclear. In the current study, we show that high-salt diet leads to significantly worse functional outcomes, increased infarct volumes, and a loss of astrocytes and cortical neurons in acute ischemic stroke. While analyzing the underlying pathologic processes, we identified the migrasome as a novel, sodium chloride-driven pathomechanism in acute ischemic stroke. The migrasome was previously described in vitro as a migrating organelle, which incorporates and dispatches cytosol of surrounding cells and plays a role in intercellular signaling, whereas a pathophysiological meaning has not been elaborated. We here confirm previously reported characteristics of the migrasome in vivo. Immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and proteomic analyses further demonstrate that the migrasome incorporates and dispatches cytosol of surrounding neurons following stroke. The clinical relevance of these findings is emphasized by neuropathological examinations, which detected migrasome formation in infarcted brain parenchyma of human stroke patients. In summary, we demonstrate that high-salt diet aggravates stroke outcomes, and we characterize the migrasome as a novel mechanism in acute stroke pathophysiology.

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<![CDATA[An enriched environment prevents diabetes-induced cognitive impairment in rats by enhancing exosomal miR-146a secretion from endogenous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bae98f740307c0c23a1c153

Increasing evidence suggests that an enriched environment (EE) ameliorates cognitive impairment by promoting repair of brain damage. However, the mechanisms by which this occurs have not been determined. To address this issue, we investigated whether an EE enhanced the capability of endogenous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (BM-MSCs) to prevent hippocampal damage due to diabetes by focusing on miRNA carried in BM-MSC-derived exosomes. In diabetic streptozotocin (STZ) rats housed in an EE (STZ/EE), cognitive impairment was significantly reduced, and both neuronal and astroglial damage in the hippocampus was alleviated compared with STZ rats housed in conventional cages (STZ/CC). BM-MSCs isolated from STZ/CC rats had functional and morphological abnormalities that were not detected in STZ/EE BM-MSCs. The miR-146a levels in exosomes in conditioned medium of cultured BM-MSCs and serum from STZ/CC rats were decreased compared with non-diabetic rats, and the level was restored in STZ/EE rats. Thus, the data suggest that increased levels of miR-146a in sera were derived from endogenous BM-MSCs in STZ/EE rats. To examine the possibility that increased miR-146a in serum may exert anti-inflammatory effects on astrocytes in diabetic rats, astrocytes transfected with miR-146a were stimulated with advanced glycation end products (AGEs) to mimic diabetic conditions. The expression of IRAK1, NF-κB, and tumor necrosis factor-α was significantly higher in AGE-stimulated astrocytes, and these factors were decreased in miR-146a-transfected astrocytes. These results suggested that EEs stimulate up-regulation of exosomal miR-146a secretion by endogenous BM-MSCs, which exerts anti-inflammatory effects on damaged astrocytes and prevents diabetes-induced cognitive impairment.

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<![CDATA[Optimization of fluorophores for chemical tagging and immunohistochemistry of Drosophila neurons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8acdd740307c144d0de04e

The use of genetically encoded ‘self-labeling tags’ with chemical fluorophore ligands enables rapid labeling of specific cells in neural tissue. To improve the chemical tagging of neurons, we synthesized and evaluated new fluorophore ligands based on Cy, Janelia Fluor, Alexa Fluor, and ATTO dyes and tested these with recently improved Drosophila melanogaster transgenes. We found that tissue clearing and mounting in DPX substantially improves signal quality when combined with specific non-cyanine fluorophores. We compared and combined this labeling technique with standard immunohistochemistry in the Drosophila brain.

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<![CDATA[The effects of aging on neuropil structure in mouse somatosensory cortex—A 3D electron microscopy analysis of layer 1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a08df463d7e3fbe689132

This study has used dense reconstructions from serial EM images to compare the neuropil ultrastructure and connectivity of aged and adult mice. The analysis used models of axons, dendrites, and their synaptic connections, reconstructed from volumes of neuropil imaged in layer 1 of the somatosensory cortex. This shows the changes to neuropil structure that accompany a general loss of synapses in a well-defined brain region. The loss of excitatory synapses was balanced by an increase in their size such that the total amount of synaptic surface, per unit length of axon, and per unit volume of neuropil, stayed the same. There was also a greater reduction of inhibitory synapses than excitatory, particularly those found on dendritic spines, resulting in an increase in the excitatory/inhibitory balance. The close correlations, that exist in young and adult neurons, between spine volume, bouton volume, synaptic size, and docked vesicle numbers are all preserved during aging. These comparisons display features that indicate a reduced plasticity of cortical circuits, with fewer, more transient, connections, but nevertheless an enhancement of the remaining connectivity that compensates for a generalized synapse loss.

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<![CDATA[Alpha-Synuclein Proteins Promote Pro-Inflammatory Cascades in Microglia: Stronger Effects of the A53T Mutant]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae3ab0ee8fa60bbc4e6

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is histologically described by the deposition of α-synuclein, whose accumulation in Lewy bodies causes dopaminergic neuronal death. Although most of PD cases are sporadic, point mutations of the gene encoding the α-synuclein protein cause inherited forms of PD. There are currently six known point mutations that result in familial PD. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation have also been described as early events associated with dopaminergic neuronal degeneration in PD. Though it is known that microglia are activated by wild-type α-synuclein, little is known about its mutated forms and the signaling cascades responsible for this microglial activation. The present study was designed to investigate consequences of wild-type and mutant α-synuclein (A53T, A30P and E46K) exposure on microglial reactivity. Interestingly, we described that α-synuclein-induced microglial reactivity appeared to be peptide-dependent. Indeed, the A53T protein activated more strongly microglia than the wild-type α-synuclein and other mutants. This A53T-induced microglial reactivity mechanism was found to depend on phosphorylation mechanisms mediated by MAPKs and on successive NFkB/AP-1/Nrf2 pathways activation. These results suggest that the microgliosis intensity during PD might depend on the type of α-synuclein protein implicated. Indeed, mutated forms are more potent microglial stimulators than wild-type α-synuclein. Based on these data, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant therapeutic strategies may be valid in order to reduce microgliosis but also to subsequently slow down PD progression, especially in familial cases.

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<![CDATA[A Role for Neuropilins in the Interaction between Schwann Cells and Meningeal Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e9ab0ee8fa60b6c37f

In their natural habitat, the peripheral nerve, Schwann cells (SCs) form nicely aligned pathways (also known as the bands of Büngner) that guide regenerating axons to their targets. Schwann cells that are implanted in the lesioned spinal cord fail to align in pathways that could support axon growth but form cellular clusters that exhibit only limited intermingling with the astrocytes and meningeal cells (MCs) that are present in the neural scar. The formation of cell clusters can be studied in co-cultures of SCs and MCs. In these co-cultures SCs form cluster-like non-overlapping cell aggregates with well-defined boundaries. There are several indications that neuropilins (NRPs) play an important role in MC-induced SC aggregation. Both SCs and MCs express NRP1 and NRP2 and SCs express the NRP ligands Sema3B, C and E while MCs express Sema3A, C, E and F. We now demonstrate that in SC-MC co-cultures, siRNA mediated knockdown of NRP2 in SCs decreased the formation of SC clusters while these SCs maintained their capacity to align in bands of Büngner-like columnar arrays. Unexpectedly, knockdown of NRP1 expression resulted in a significant increase in SC aggregation. These results suggest that a reduction in NRP2 expression may enhance the capacity of implanted SCs to interact with MCs that invade a neural scar formed after a lesion of the spinal cord.

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<![CDATA[Asarone from Acori Tatarinowii Rhizome prevents oxidative stress-induced cell injury in cultured astrocytes: A signaling triggered by Akt activation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be04fa

Acori Tatarinowii Rhizome (ATR; the dried rhizome of Acori tatarinowii Schott) is a well-known herb being used for mental disorder in China and Asia. Volatile oil is considered as the active ingredient of ATR, and asarones account for more than 90% of total volatile oil. Here, the protective effects of ATR oil and asarones, both α-asarone and β-asarone, were probed in cultured rat astrocytes. The cyto-protective effect of ATR oil and asarones against tBHP-induced astrocyte injury was revealed, and additionally ATR oil and asarones reduced the tBHP-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. In parallel, the activity of anti-oxidant response element (ARE) promoter construct (pARE-Luc), being transfected in cultured astrocytes, was markedly induced by application of ATR oil and asarones. The mRNAs encoding anti-oxidant enzymes, e.g. glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutamate-cysteine ligase modulatory subunit (GCLM), glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC) and NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1) were induced by ATR oil and asarones in a dose-dependent manner. The ATR oil/asarone-induced gene expression could be mediated by Akt phosphorylation; because the applied LY294002, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor, fully abolished the induction. These results demonstrated that α-asarone and β-asarone could account, at least partly, the function of ATR being a Chinese medicinal herb.

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<![CDATA[Astrocytic β2 Adrenergic Receptor Gene Deletion Affects Memory in Aged Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3bab0ee8fa60bd4e2e

In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that the astrocytic adrenergic signalling enhances glycogenolysis which provides energy to be transported to nearby cells and in the form of lactate. This energy source is important for motor and cognitive functioning. While it is suspected that the β2-adrenergic receptor on astrocytes might contribute to this energy balance, it has not yet been shown conclusively in vivo. Inducible astrocyte specific β2-adrenergic receptor knock-out mice were generated by crossing homozygous β2-adrenergic receptor floxed mice (Adrb2flox) and mice with heterozygous tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase-expression driven by the astrocyte specific L-glutamate/L-aspartate transporter promoter (GLAST-CreERT2). Assessments using the modified SHIRPA (SmithKline/Harwell/Imperial College/Royal Hospital/Phenotype Assessment) test battery, swimming ability test, and accelerating rotarod test, performed at 1, 2 and 4 weeks, 6 and 12 months after tamoxifen (or vehicle) administration did not reveal any differences in physical health or motor functions between the knock-out mice and controls. However deficits were found in the cognitive ability of aged, but not young adult mice, reflected in impaired learning in the Morris Water Maze. Similarly, long-term potentiation (LTP) was impaired in hippocampal brain slices of aged knock-out mice maintained in low glucose media. Using microdialysis in cerebellar white matter we found no significant differences in extracellular lactate or glucose between the young adult knock-out mice and controls, although trends were detected. Our results suggest that β2-adrenergic receptor expression on astrocytes in mice may be important for maintaining cognitive health at advanced age, but is dispensable for motor function.

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<![CDATA[Evaluating Tissue-Specific Recombination in a Pdgfrα-CreERT2 Transgenic Mouse Line]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9daab0ee8fa60b6727a

In the central nervous system (CNS) platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα) is expressed exclusively by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), making the Pdgfrα promoter an ideal tool for directing transgene expression in this cell type. Two Pdgfrα-CreERT2 mouse lines have been generated for this purpose which, when crossed with cre-sensitive reporter mice, allow the temporally restricted labelling of OPCs for lineage-tracing studies. These mice have also been used to achieve the deletion of CNS-specific genes from OPCs. However the ability of Pdgfrα-CreERT2 mice to induce cre-mediated recombination in PDGFRα+ cell populations located outside of the CNS has not been examined. Herein we quantify the proportion of PDGFRα+ cells that become YFP-labelled following Tamoxifen administration to adult Pdgfrα-CreERT2::Rosa26-YFP transgenic mice. We report that the vast majority (>90%) of PDGFRα+ OPCs in the CNS, and a significant proportion of PDGFRα+ stromal cells within the bone marrow (~38%) undergo recombination and become YFP-labelled. However, only a small proportion of the PDGFRα+ cell populations found in the sciatic nerve, adrenal gland, pituitary gland, heart, gastrocnemius muscle, kidney, lung, liver or intestine become YFP-labelled. These data suggest that Pdgfrα-CreERT2 transgenic mice can be used to achieve robust recombination in OPCs, while having a minimal effect on most PDGFRα+ cell populations outside of the CNS.

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