30 research outputs found

    CSF GABA is reduced in first-episode psychosis and associates to symptom severity

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    Schizophrenia is characterized by a multiplicity of symptoms arising from almost all domains of mental function. γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and is increasingly recognized to have a significant role in the pathophysiology of the disorder. In the present study, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of GABA were analyzed in 41 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 21 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers by high-performance liquid chromatography. We found lower CSF GABA concentration in FEP patients compared with that in the healthy volunteers, a condition that was unrelated to antipsychotic and/or anxiolytic medication. Moreover, lower CSF GABA levels were associated with total and general score of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, illness severity and probably with a poor performance in a test of attention. This study offers clinical in vivo evidence for a potential role of GABA in early-stage schizophrenia

    Tracking seasonal changes in North Sea zooplankton trophic dynamics using stable isotopes

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    Trophodynamics of meso-zooplankton in the North Sea (NS) were assessed at a site in the southern NS, and at a shallow and a deep site in the central NS. Offshore and neritic species from different ecological niches, including Calanus spp., Temora spp. and Sagitta spp., were collected during seven cruises over 14 months from 2007 to 2008. Bulk stable isotope (SI) analysis, phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) compositions, and δ 13CPLFA data of meso-zooplankton and particulate organic matter (POM) were used to describe changes in zooplankton relative trophic positions (RTPs) and trophodynamics. The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that the RTPs of zooplankton in the North Sea vary spatially and seasonally, in response to hydrographic variability, with the microbial food web playing an important role at times. Zooplankton RTPs tended to be higher during winter and lower during the phytoplankton bloom in spring. RTPs were highest for predators such as Sagitta sp. and Calanus helgolandicus and lowest for small copepods such as Pseudocalanus elongatus and zoea larvae (Brachyura). δ 15NPOM-based RTPs were only moderate surrogates for animals’ ecological niches, because of the plasticity in source materials from the herbivorous and the microbial loop food web. Common (16:0) and essential (eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid, DHA) structural lipids showed relatively constant abundances. This could be explained by incorporation of PLFAs with δ 13C signatures which followed seasonal changes in bulk δ 13CPOM and PLFA δ 13CPOM signatures. This study highlighted the complementarity of three biogeochemical approaches for trophodynamic studies and substantiated conceptual views of size-based food web analysis, in which small individuals of large species may be functionally equivalent to large individuals of small species. Seasonal and spatial variability was also important in altering the relative importance of the herbivorous and microbial food webs

    Calpain Cleavage of Brain Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase 65 Is Pathological and Impairs GABA Neurotransmission

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    Previously, we have shown that the GABA synthesizing enzyme, L-glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) is cleaved to form its truncated form (tGAD65) which is 2–3 times more active than the full length form (fGAD65). The enzyme responsible for cleavage was later identified as calpain. Calpain is known to cleave its substrates either under a transient physiological stimulus or upon a sustained pathological insult. However, the precise role of calpain cleavage of fGAD65 is poorly understood. In this communication, we examined the cleavage of fGAD65 under diverse pathological conditions including rats under ischemia/reperfusion insult as well as rat brain synaptosomes and primary neuronal cultures subjected to excessive stimulation with high concentration of KCl. We have shown that the formation of tGAD65 progressively increases with increasing stimulus concentration both in rat brain synaptosomes and primary rat embryo cultures. More importantly, direct cleavage of synaptic vesicle - associated fGAD65 by calpain was demonstrated and the resulting tGAD65 bearing the active site of the enzyme was detached from the synaptic vesicles. Vesicular GABA transport of the newly synthesized GABA was found to be reduced in calpain treated SVs. Furthermore, we also observed that the levels of tGAD65 in the focal cerebral ischemic rat brain tissue increased corresponding to the elevation of local glutamate as indicated by microdialysis. Moreover, the levels of tGAD65 was also proportional to the degree of cell death when the primary neuronal cultures were exposed to high KCl. Based on these observations, we conclude that calpain-mediated cleavage of fGAD65 is pathological, presumably due to decrease in the activity of synaptic vesicle - associated fGAD65 resulting in a decrease in the GABA synthesis - packaging coupling process leading to reduced GABA neurotransmission

    The Sun Health Research Institute Brain Donation Program: Description and Eexperience, 1987–2007

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    The Brain Donation Program at Sun Health Research Institute has been in continual operation since 1987, with over 1000 brains banked. The population studied primarily resides in the retirement communities of northwest metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. The Institute is affiliated with Sun Health, a nonprofit community-owned and operated health care provider. Subjects are enrolled prospectively to allow standardized clinical assessments during life. Funding comes primarily from competitive grants. The Program has made short postmortem brain retrieval a priority, with a 2.75-h median postmortem interval for the entire collection. This maximizes the utility of the resource for molecular studies; frozen tissue from approximately 82% of all cases is suitable for RNA studies. Studies performed in-house have shown that, even with very short postmortem intervals, increasing delays in brain retrieval adversely affect RNA integrity and that cerebrospinal fluid pH increases with postmortem interval but does not predict tissue viability

    Twenty-first century brain banking. Processing brains for research: the Columbia University methods

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    Carefully categorized postmortem human brains are crucial for research. The lack of generally accepted methods for processing human postmortem brains for research persists. Thus, brain banking is essential; however, it cannot be achieved at the cost of the teaching mission of the academic institution by routing brains away from residency programs, particularly when the autopsy rate is steadily decreasing. A consensus must be reached whereby a brain can be utilizable for diagnosis, research, and teaching. The best diagnostic categorization possible must be secured and the yield of samples for basic investigation maximized. This report focuses on integrated, novel methods currently applied at the New York Brain Bank, Columbia University, New York, which are designed to reach accurate neuropathological diagnosis, optimize the yield of samples, and process fresh-frozen samples suitable for a wide range of modern investigations. The brains donated for research are processed as soon as possible after death. The prosector must have a good command of the neuroanatomy, neuropathology, and the protocol. One half of each brain is immersed in formalin for performing the thorough neuropathologic evaluation, which is combined with the teaching task. The contralateral half is extensively dissected at the fresh state. The anatomical origin of each sample is recorded using the map of Brodmann for the cortical samples. The samples are frozen at −160°C, barcode labeled, and ready for immediate disbursement once categorized diagnostically. A rigorous organization of freezer space, coupled to an electronic tracking system with its attached software, fosters efficient access for retrieval within minutes of any specific frozen samples in storage. This report describes how this achievement is feasible with emphasis on the actual processing of brains donated for research

    Excitotoxic Lesions of the Neostriatum as an Animal Model of Huntington’s Disease

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    Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons and Alzheimer’s Disease

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    Uses of Neuronal Transplantation in Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases

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    Biochemistry of Senile Dementia

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