24 research outputs found

    Group I metabotropic glutamatergic receptors regulating glutamate release and microglia phenotype in a murine model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the death of upper and lower motor neurons. Although the aetiology of the disease is still unclear, glutamate (Glu)-mediated excitotoxicity is a major cause. Our previous studies demonstrated that presynaptic Group-I metabotropic Glu receptors (mGluR1 and mGluR5) are over-expressed in spinal cord synaptosomes of 120-day-old SOD1G93A mice, that represent the late stage of the disease, and that their activation by the selective mGluR1/5 agonist (S)-3,5-Dihydroxyphenylglycine (3,5-DHPG) produced abnormal Glu release. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether mGluR1 and mGluR5 also affect Glu release during the pre- and early-symptomatic time-course of the pathlogy (30, 60 and 90 days), in the same animal model. Our results showed that the mGluR1/5 agonist 3,5-DHPG evoked the release of glutamate in a concentration-dependent way and the effects were almost superimposable between 30/60-day-old WT and SOD1G93A mice. At variance, 0.3 \u3bcM 3,5-DHPG significantly increased Glu release (25%, p<0.05) in 90-day-old SOD1G93A mice but not in WT aged controls. The involvement of both metabotropic glutamate receptor subtypes was demonstrated using mGluR1 and mGluR5 selective antagonists/negative allosteric modulators (LY367385, MPEP, respectively). The analysis of the molecular mechanisms underlying the 3,5-DHPG-evoked Glu release revealed that it was of vesicular origin and induced by Ca2+ released from intra terminal stores. Confocal imaging confirmed that both mGluR1 and mGluR5 were co-localized onto glutamatergic nerve terminals and their expression was increased in SOD1G93A mice at the onset of the disease. We have also set up a method to isolate extracellular vesicles enriched in exosomes to investigate whether EVs derived from cultured activated astrocytes, treated with a mGluR5 antagonist, were able to change the the inflammatory pattern of microglia

    Inversion of neurovascular coupling after subarachnoid hemorrhage in vivo

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    Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) induces acute changes in the cerebral microcirculation. Recent findings ex vivo suggest neurovascular coupling (NVC), the process that increases cerebral blood flow upon neuronal activity, is also impaired after SAH. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether this occurs also invivo. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to either sham surgery or SAH by filament perforation. Twenty-four hours later NVC was tested by forepaw stimulation and CO2 reactivity by inhalation of 10% CO2. Vessel diameter was assessed invivo by two-photon microscopy. NVC was also investigated ex vivo using brain slices. Cerebral arterioles of sham-operated mice dilated to 130% of baseline upon CO2 inhalation or forepaw stimulation and cerebral blood flow (CBF) increased. Following SAH, however, CO2 reactivity was completely lost and the majority of cerebral arterioles showed paradoxical constriction invivo and ex vivo resulting in a reduced CBF response. As previous results showed intact NVC 3h after SAH, the current findings indicate that impairment of NVC after cerebral hemorrhage occurs secondarily and is progressive. Since neuronal activity-induced vasoconstriction (inverse NVC) is likely to further aggravate SAH-induced cerebral ischemia and subsequent brain damage, inverse NVC may represent a novel therapeutic target after SAH

    Enhanced Function and Overexpression of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors 1 and 5 in the Spinal Cord of the SOD1G93A Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis during Disease Progression

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    open10Glutamate (Glu)-mediated excitotoxicity is a major cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and our previous work highlighted that abnormal Glu release may represent a leading mechanism for excessive synaptic Glu. We demonstrated that group I metabotropic Glu receptors (mGluR1, mGluR5) produced abnormal Glu release in SOD1G93A mouse spinal cord at a late disease stage (120 days). Here, we studied this phenomenon in pre-symptomatic (30 and 60 days) and early-symptomatic (90 days) SOD1G93A mice. The mGluR1/5 agonist (S)-3,5-Dihydroxyphenylglycine (3,5-DHPG) concentration dependently stimulated the release of [3H]d-Aspartate ([3H]d-Asp), which was comparable in 30- and 60-day-old wild type mice and SOD1G93A mice. At variance, [3H]d-Asp release was significantly augmented in 90-day-old SOD1G93A mice and both mGluR1 and mGluR5 were involved. The 3,5-DHPG-induced [3H]d-Asp release was exocytotic, being of vesicular origin and mediated by intra-terminal Ca2+ release. mGluR1 and mGluR5 expression was increased in Glu spinal cord axon terminals of 90-day-old SOD1G93A mice, but not in the whole axon terminal population. Interestingly, mGluR1 and mGluR5 were significantly augmented in total spinal cord tissue already at 60 days. Thus, function and expression of group I mGluRs are enhanced in the early-symptomatic SOD1G93A mouse spinal cord, possibly participating in excessive Glu transmission and supporting their implication in ALS. Please define all abbreviations the first time they appear in the abstract, the main text, and the first figure or table caption.openTiziana Bonifacino, Claudia Rebosio, Francesca Provenzano, Carola Torazza, Matilde Balbi, Marco Milanese, Luca Raiteri, Cesare Usai, Ernesto Fedele, Giambattista Bonanno.Bonifacino, Tiziana; Rebosio, Claudia; Provenzano, Francesca; Torazza, Carola; Balbi, Matilde; Milanese, Marco; Raiteri, Luca; Usai, Cesare; Fedele, Ernesto; Bonanno, Giambattist

    Memory-enhancing effects of GEBR-32a, a new PDE4D inhibitor holding promise for the treatment of Alzheimer\u2019s disease.

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    Memory loss characterizes several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Inhibition of type 4 phosphodiesterase (PDE4) and elevation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) has emerged as a promising therapeutic approach to treat cognitive deficits. However, PDE4 exists in several isoforms and pan inhibitors cannot be used in humans due to severe emesis. Here, we present GEBR-32a, a new PDE4D full inhibitor that has been characterized both in vitro and in vivo using biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioural analyses. GEBR-32a efficiently enhances cAMP in neuronal cultures and hippocampal slices. In vivo pharmacokinetic analysis shows that GEBR-32a is rapidly distributed within the central nervous system with a very favourable brain/blood ratio. Specific behavioural tests (object location and Y-maze continuous alternation tasks) demonstrate that this PDE4D inhibitor is able to enhance memory in AD transgenic mice and concomitantly rescues their hippocampal long-term potentiation deficit. Of great relevance, our preliminary toxicological analysis indicates that GEBR-32a is not cytotoxic and genotoxic, and does not seem to possess emetic-like side effects. In conclusion, GEBR-32a could represent a very promising cognitive-enhancing drug with a great potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

    Ultrasound-Mediated Bioeffects in Senescent Mice and Alzheimer’s Mouse Models

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    Ultrasound is routinely used for a wide range of diagnostic imaging applications. However, given that ultrasound can operate over a wide range of parameters that can all be modulated, its applicability extends far beyond the bioimaging field. In fact, the modality has emerged as a hybrid technology that effectively assists drug delivery by transiently opening the blood–brain barrier (BBB) when combined with intravenously injected microbubbles, and facilitates neuromodulation. Studies in aged mice contributed to an insight into how low-intensity ultrasound brings about its neuromodulatory effects, including increased synaptic plasticity and improved cognitive functions, with a potential role for neurogenesis and the modulation of NMDA receptor-mediated neuronal signalling. This work is complemented by studies in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a form of pathological ageing. Here, ultrasound was mainly employed as a BBB-opening tool that clears protein aggregates via microglial activation and neuronal autophagy, thereby restoring cognition. We discuss the currently available ultrasound approaches and how studies in senescent mice are relevant for AD and can accelerate the application of low-intensity ultrasound in the clinic

    Acute changes in neurovascular reactivity after subarachnoid hemorrhage in vivo

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    Subarachnoid hemorrhage causes acute and long-lasting constrictions of pial arterioles. Whether these vessels dilate normally to neuronal activity is of great interest since a mismatch between delivery and consumption of glucose and oxygen may cause additional neuronal damage. Therefore, we investigated neurovascular reactivity of pial and parenchymal arterioles after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to subarachnoid hemorrhage by filament perforation or sham surgery. Neurovascular reactivity was assessed 3 h later by forepaw stimulation or inhalation of 10% CO2. Diameters of cerebral arterioles were assessed using two-photon microscopy. Neurovascular coupling and astrocytic endfoot Ca2+ were measured in brain slices using two-photon and infrared-differential interference contrast microscopy. Vessels of sham-operated mice dilated normally to CO2 and forepaw stimulation. Three hours after subarachnoid hemorrhage, CO2 reactivity was completely lost in both pial and parenchymal arterioles, while neurovascular coupling was not affected. Brain slices studies also showed normal neurovascular coupling and a normal increase in astrocytic endfoot Ca2+ acutely after subarachnoid hemorrhage. These findings suggest that communication between neurons, astrocytes, and parenchymal arterioles is not affected in the first few hours after subarachnoid hemorrhage, while CO2 reactivity, which is dependent on NO signaling, is completely lost

    Mesoscale mapping of mouse cortex reveals frequency-dependent cycling between distinct macroscale functional modules

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    Connectivity mapping based on resting-state activity in mice has revealed functional motifs of correlated activity. However, the rules by which motifs organize into larger functional modules that lead to hemisphere wide spatial-temporal activity sequences is not clear. We explore cortical activity parcellation in head-fixed, quiet awake GCaMP6 mice from both sexes by using mesoscopic calcium imaging. Spectral decomposition of spontaneous cortical activity revealed the presence of two dominant frequency modes

    Temporal profile of MicroRNA expression in contused cortex after traumatic brain injury in mice

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    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) were recently identified as important regulators of gene expression under a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Thus, they may represent a novel class of molecular targets for the management of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this study, we investigated the temporal profile of miRNA expression during the development of secondary brain damage after experimental TBI. For this purpose, we used a controlled cortical impact model in C57Bl/6 mice (n = 6) to induce a cortical contusion and analyzed miRNA expression in the traumatized cortex by microarray analysis during the development of secondary contusion expansion-i.e., at 1, 6, and 12 h after TBI. Of a total 780 mature miRNA sequences analyzed, 410 were detected in all experimental groups. Of these, 158 miRNAs were significantly upregulated or downregulated in TBI compared with sham-operated animals, and 52 miRNAs increased more than twofold. We validated the upregulation of five of the most differentially expressed miRNAs (miR-21*, miR-144, miR-184, miR-451, miR-2137) and the downregulation of four of the most differentially expressed miRNAs (miR-107, miR-137, miR-190, miR-541) by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). miR-2137, the most differentially expressed miRNA after TBI, was further investigated by in situ hybridization and was found to be upregulated in neurons within the traumatic penumbra. This study gives a comprehensive picture of miRNA expression levels during secondary contusion expansion after TBI and may pave the way for the identification of novel targets for the management of brain trauma

    Impairment of cerebrovascular reactivity in response to hypercapnic challenge in a mouse model of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury

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    Incidences of repetitive mild TBI (r-mTBI), like those sustained by contact sports athletes and military personnel, are thought to be a risk factor for development of neurodegenerative disorders. Those suffering from chronic TBI-related illness demonstrate deficits in cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR), the ability of the cerebral vasculature to respond to a vasoactive stimulus. CVR is thus an important measure of traumatic cerebral vascular injury (TCVI), and a possible in vivo endophenotype of TBI-related neuropathogenesis. We combined laser speckle imaging of CVR in response to hypercapnic challenge with neurobehavioral assessment of learning and memory, to investigate if decreased cerebrovascular responsiveness underlies impaired cognitive function in our mouse model of chronic r-mTBI. We demonstrate a profile of blunted hypercapnia-evoked CVR in the cortices of r-mTBI mice like that of human TBI, alongside sustained memory and learning impairment, without biochemical or immunohistopathological signs of cerebral vessel laminar or endothelium constituent loss. Transient decreased expression of alpha smooth muscle actin and platelet-derived growth factor receptor ő≤, indicative of TCVI, is obvious only at the time of the most pronounced CVR deficit. These findings implicate CVR as a valid preclinical measure of TCVI, perhaps useful for developing therapies targeting TCVI after recurrent mild head trauma

    Inadequate food and water intake determine mortality following stroke in mice

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    Experimental stroke models producing clinically relevant functional deficits are often associated with high mortality. Because the mechanisms that underlie post-stroke mortality are largely unknown, results obtained using these models are often difficult to interpret, thereby limiting their translational potential. Given that specific forms of post-stroke care reduce mortality in patients, we hypothesized that inadequate food and water intake may underlie mortality following experimental stroke. C57BL/6 mice were subjected to 1h of intraluminal filament middle cerebral artery occlusion. Nutritional support beginning on the second day after filament middle cerebral artery occlusion reduced the 14-day mortality rate from 59% to 15%. The surviving mice in the post-stroke support group had the same infarct size as non-surviving control mice, suggesting that post-stroke care was not neuroprotective and that inadequate food and/or water intake are the main reasons for filament middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced mortality. This notion was supported by the presence of significant hypoglycemia, ketonemia, and dehydration in control mice. Taken together, these data suggest that post-filament middle cerebral artery occlusion mortality in mice is not primarily caused by ischemic brain damage, but secondarily by inadequate food and/or water intake. Thus, providing nutritional support following filament middle cerebral artery occlusion greatly minimizes mortality bias and allows the study of long-term morphological and functional sequelae of stroke in mice
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