Neurodegenerative Processes (neurodegenerative + process)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Metals and oxidative homeostasis in Alzheimer's disease

George Perry
Abstract Oxidative damage to every class of biological macromolecule has been characterized in Alzheimer's disease. Abnormalities in iron and copper metabolism are also being implicated as playing a crucial role in neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. Metal homeostasis as it pertains to alterations in brain function in neurodegenerative diseases is reviewed here with its relationship to oxidative stress. While there is documented evidence for alterations in transition metal homeostasis, redox-activity, and localization, it is also important to realize that alterations in specific copper- and iron-containing metalloenzymes also contribute to the neurodegenerative process. These changes offer the opportunity to identify pathways where modification of the disease process can offer new routes for clinical efficacy, from gene therapy to use of antioxidant and chelating drugs. Drug Dev. Res. 56:293,299, 2002. 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of white matter lesions , cross-sectional results from the LADIS study

M. Jonsson
Background and purpose:, White matter lesions (WMLs) caused by small vessel disease are common in elderly people and contribute to cognitive impairment. There are no established biochemical markers for WMLs. We aimed to study the relation between degree of WMLs rated on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of structural biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and subcortical vascular dementia. Methods:, Fifty-three non-demented elderly individuals with WMLs were subjected to lumbar puncture. Degree of WMLs was rated using the Fazekas scale. Volumetric assessment of WMLs was performed. CSF samples were analyzed for the 40 and 42 amino acid fragments of amyloid ,, ,- and ,-cleaved soluble amyloid precursor protein, total tau (T-tau), hyperphosphorylated tau (P-tau181), neurofilament light protein (NFL), sulfatide and CSF/Serum-albumin ratio. Results:, Fifteen subjects had mild, 23 had moderate and 15 had severe degree of WMLs. CSF-NFL levels differed between the groups (P < 0.001) and correlated with the volume of WMLs (r = 0.477, P < 0.001). CSF sulfatide concentration displayed similar changes but less strongly. T-tau, P-tau181 and the different amyloid markers as well as CSF/S-albumin ratio did not differ significantly between the groups. Conclusions:, The association of increased CSF-NFL levels with increasing severity of WMLs in non-demented subjects suggests that NFL is a marker for axonal damage in response to small vessel disease in the brain. This manifestation may be distinct from or earlier than the neurodegenerative process seen in AD, as reflected by the lack of association between WMLs and AD biomarkers. [source]

Neurodegeneration in an A,-induced model of Alzheimer's disease: the role of Cdk5

AGING CELL, Issue 1 2010
Joao P. Lopes
Summary Cdk5 dysregulation is a major event in the neurodegenerative process of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In vitro studies using differentiated neurons exposed to A, exhibit Cdk5-mediated tau hyperphosphorylation, cell cycle re-entry and neuronal loss. In this study we aimed to determine the role of Cdk5 in neuronal injury occurring in an AD mouse model obtained through the intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of the A,1,40 synthetic peptide. In mice icv-injected with A,, Cdk5 activator p35 is cleaved by calpains, leading to p25 formation and Cdk5 overactivation. Subsequently, there was an increase in tau hyperphosphorylation, as well as decreased levels of synaptic markers. Cell cycle reactivation and a significant neuronal loss were also observed. These neurotoxic events in A,-injected mice were prevented by blocking calpain activation with MDL28170, which was administered intraperitoneally (ip). As MDL prevents p35 cleavage and subsequent Cdk5 overactivation, it is likely that this kinase is involved in tau hyperphosphorylation, cell cycle re-entry, synaptic loss and neuronal death triggered by A,. Altogether, these data demonstrate that Cdk5 plays a pivotal role in tau phosphorylation, cell cycle induction, synaptotoxicity, and apoptotic death in postmitotic neurons exposed to A, peptides in vivo, acting as a link between diverse neurotoxic pathways of AD. [source]

Abnormal accumulation of citrullinated proteins catalyzed by peptidylarginine deiminase in hippocampal extracts from patients with Alzheimer's disease

Akihito Ishigami
Abstract Citrullinated proteins are the products of a posttranslational process in which arginine residues undergo modification into citrulline residues when catalyzed by peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) in a calcium ion-dependent manner. In our previous report, PAD2 expressed mainly in the rat cerebrum became activated early in the neurodegenerative process. To elucidate the involvement of protein citrullination in human neuronal degeneration, we examined whether citrullinated proteins are produced during Alzheimer's disease (AD). By Western blot analysis with antimodified citrulline antibody, citrullinated proteins of varied molecular weights were detected in hippocampal tissues from patients with AD but not normal humans. Two of the citrullinated proteins were identified as vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) by using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Interestingly, PAD2 was detected in hippocampal extracts from AD and normal brains, but the amount of PAD2 in the AD tissue was markedly greater. Histochemical analysis revealed citrullinated proteins throughout the hippocampus, especially in the dentate gyrus and stratum radiatum of CA1 and CA2 areas. However, no citrullinated proteins were detected in the normal hippocampus. PAD2 immunoreactivity was also ubiquitous throughout both the AD and the normal hippocampal areas. PAD2 enrichment coincided well with citrullinated protein positivity. Double immunofluorescence staining revealed that citrullinated protein- and PAD2-positive cells also coincided with GFAP-positive cells, but not all GFAP-positive cells were positive for PAD2. As with GFAP, which is an astrocyte-specific marker protein, PAD2 is distributed mainly in astrocytes. These collective results, the abnormal accumulation of citrullinated proteins and abnormal activation of PAD2 in hippocampi of patients with AD, strongly suggest that PAD has an important role in the onset and progression of AD and that citrullinated proteins may become a useful marker for human neurodegenerative diseases. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Midbrain SERT in degenerative parkinsonisms: A 123I-FP-CIT SPECT study,

Francesco Roselli MD
Abstract SPECT imaging is widely used for the differential diagnosis of degenerative parkinsonisms by exploiting the high affinitiy of the radiotracer 123I-FP-CIT for the dopamine transporter. Reduced levels of DAT are found in Parkinson Disease (PD), Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) compared to in Essential Tremor (ET) and Healthy Controls (HC). However, the extent of the neurodegenerative process may extend beyond nigrostriatal system. We have exploited the affinity of the same radiotracer 123I-FP-CIT for the serotonin transporter to investigate SERT levels in the midbrain of patients with PD, DLB, PSP, and ET compared to HC. Using MRI images as anatomical templates for midbrain uptake quantification, we found a mild decrease in SERT levels in PD compared to ET and HC, with marked inter-individual variability; on the other side, PSP and DLB patients displayed markedly reduced to undetectable levels of SERT, respectively. These findings show that the neurodegenerative process affects serotoninergic neurons in parkinsonisms, with much more severe involvement in DLB than in PD patients, despite the comparable loss of striatal DAT. SERT-dependent 123I-FP-CIT uptake may allow a more comprehensive assessment of neurochemical disturbances in degenerative parkinsonisms and may have a value for differential diagnosis. 2010 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Nondopaminergic mechanisms in levodopa-induced dyskinesia

Jonathan M. Brotchie PhD
Abstract It has become increasingly apparent that Parkinson's disease involves many transmitter systems other than dopamine. This nondopaminergic involvement impacts on the generation of symptoms, on the neurodegenerative process, but, most tellingly, in the generation of side effects of current treatments, in particular, levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). Such mechanisms contribute not only to the expression of LID once it has been established but also to the mechanisms responsible for the development, or priming, of the dyskinetic state and the subsequent maintenance of the brain in that primed state. Within the basal ganglia, abnormalities in different nondopaminergic components of the circuitry have been defined in LID. In particular, a role for enhanced inhibition of basal ganglia outputs by the GABAergic direct pathway has been suggested as a basic mechanism generating LID. We speculate that the external globus pallidus and subthalamic nucleus may play distinct roles in different forms of dyskinesia, e.g., chorea/dystonia; peak/diphasic/off. At the cellular level, an appreciation of abnormal signaling by, among others, glutamatergic (NMDA and AMPA receptors in particular), ,2 adrenergic, serotonergic (5HT), cannabinoid and opioid mechanisms in both priming and expression of LID has begun to emerge over the last decade. This is being consolidated, though in many cases questions remain regarding the specific sites of such abnormality within the circuitry. Very recently, at the molecular level, mechanisms controlling neurotransmitter release and impacting on the ability of neurons to maintain particular forms of firing patterning and synchronization, e.g., SV2A, have been identified. This increased understanding has already delivered and will continue to define novel approaches to treatment that target both pre- and postsynaptic signaling molecules throughout the basal ganglia circuitry. 2005 Movement Disorder Society [source]

Neurofibrillary tangles and deposition of oxidative products in the brain in cases of myotonic dystrophy

Reiko Oyamada
Myotonic dystrophy (MyD) is a neuromuscular degenerative disorder that is neuropathologically characterized by minor changes, such as the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), thalamic inclusions and functional brainstem lesions. In the current study, we conducted an immunohistochemical analysis to examine the distribution of NFT and formation of oxidative products in the brain specimens of 12 patients with MyD. Neurofibrillary tangles were found in the limbic system and/or the brainstem of all the cases examined but there were no senile plaques. The density of distribution of the NFT was not significantly correlated with clinicopathological findings, although cases with fewer NFT in the brain frequently showed sleep disturbances and lack of spontaneity. Nuclear and cytoplasmic immunoreactivities for 8-hydroxy-2,-deoxyguanosine and advanced glycation end products were observed in the glial cells and/or neurons in the brainstem, but not in the cerebral cortex. On the other hand, 10 out of the 12 cases showed cytoplasmic immunoreactivity for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified protein (4-HNE) in neurons of the temporal cortex and raphe nucleus. Deposition of 4-HNE was also recognized in the hippocampus and mesencephalic central gray matter, but not in the subiculum. The distribution pattern of the immunoreactivity for 4-HNE showed no clear correlation with either the psychological disturbances or the distribution of the NFT. Altered expression of monoaminergic neurons in the brainstem of MyD patients has already been reported, and it is worth noting that most of our cases showed NFT in the brainstem. The selective deposition of 4-HNE in the limbic system and brainstem suggests that lipid peroxidation may be involved in the neurodegenerative process in MyD. Using immunohistochemical analysis to determine the distribution of neurotransmitters in the mesencephalic central gray matter and/or pontine raphe nucleus may help elucidate the relationship between the clinical abnormalities, distribuion of NFT, and 4-HNE deposition in the brain in patients with MyD. [source]

The human premotor oculomotor brainstem system , can it help to understand oculomotor symptoms in Huntington's disease?

U. Rb
Recent progress in oculomotor research has enabled new insights into the functional neuroanatomy of the human premotor oculomotor brainstem network. In the present review, we provide an overview of its functional neuroanatomy and summarize the broad range of oculomotor dysfunctions that may occur in Huntington's disease (HD) patients. Although some of these oculomotor symptoms point to an involvement of the premotor oculomotor brainstem network in HD, no systematic analysis of this functional system has yet been performed in brains of HD patients. Therefore, its exact contribution to oculomotor symptoms in HD remains unclear. A possible strategy to clarify this issue is the use of unconventional 100-m-thick serial tissue sections stained for Nissl substance and lipofuscin pigment (Nissl-pigment stain according to Braak). This technique makes it possible to identify the known nuclei of the premotor oculomotor brainstem network and to study their possible involvement in the neurodegenerative process. Studies applying this morphological approach and using the current knowledge regarding the functional neuroanatomy of this human premotor oculomotor brainstem network will help to elucidate the anatomical basis of the large spectrum of oculomotor dysfunctions that are observed in HD patients. This knowledge may aid clinicians in the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease. [source]

The neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with respect to the cytological and biochemical characteristics of tau protein

S. Taniguchi
Pathological examinations, using a panel of tau and other antibodies, were performed on the brains from 55 consecutively acquired cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Clinically, these comprised 31 cases of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), 10 cases of motor neurone disease inclusion dementia (MNDID), seven cases of progressive aphasia (PA), four cases of semantic dementia (SD) and three cases of progressive apraxia (PAX). Tau pathology, in the form of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and glial cell tangles, was present in six cases of FTD with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, five of these cases resulting from +16 splice-site mutation and one from +13 mutation in the tau gene. The insoluble tau proteins were comprised mostly of four-repeat (4-R) isoforms. Eight other cases of FTD, one of PA and all three cases of PAX showed tau-positive inclusions (Pick bodies) and swollen cells (Pick cells), characteristic of Pick's disease. In these cases, the insoluble tau proteins were present in most instances as three-repeat (3-R) tau isoforms, although two cases with a mixture of 3-R and 4-R isoforms were seen. One other case of FTD showed an unusual pathology characterized by massive extracellular deposition of tau protein, composed of 4-R tau isoforms, within white matter without neuronal or glial cell inclusions. However, 33 (60%) of 55 FTLD cases showed no tau pathology in the brain, except for the rare NFTs, composed of a mix of 3-R and 4-R isoforms, in some of the more elderly cases. Of these 33 cases, 13 had FTD, 10 had MNDID, six had PA and four had SD. The pathological changes present were those of a superficial cortical laminar microvacuolation with mild subpial and subcortical gliosis; the 10 MNDID cases had ubiquitin-positive inclusions in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. These 33 nontau FTLD cases, along with five Alzheimer's disease (AD) and six Huntington's disease (HD) cases with severe pathology, showed a variable loss of soluble tau proteins, broadly comparable with the extent of neuronal loss from the cortex and loss of the intracortical perikaryal marker, NeuN, but unrelated to proteins within afferent projection fibres such as neurofilament and ,-synuclein. Levels of tau mRNA were decreased in parallel in the tau-negative FTLD cases and in the severe AD and HD cases. Hence, the loss of tau from these 33 nontau FTLD cases is just one aspect of a neurodegenerative process that destroys many components of the nerve cell machinery and does not represent a specific disordering of the cell's ability to form tau proteins or incorporate these into microtubules. [source]

Redox proteomics identification of 4-hydroxynonenal-modified brain proteins in Alzheimer's disease: Role of lipid peroxidation in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis

Marzia Perluigi
Abstract Numerous studies have shown that neuronal lipids are highly susceptible to oxidative stress including in those brain areas directly involved in the neurodegenerative process of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Lipid peroxidation directly damages membranes and also generates a number of secondary biologically active products (toxic aldehydes)that are capable of easily attacking lipids, proteins, and DNA. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated regionally increased brain lipid peroxidation in patients with AD; however, extensive studies on specific targets of lipid peroxidation-induced damage are still missing. The present study represents a further step in understanding the relationship between oxidative modification of protein and neuronal death associated with AD. We used a proteomics approach to determine specific targets of lipid peroxidation in AD brain, both in hippocampus and inferior parietal lobule, by coupling immunochemical detection of 4-hydroxynonenal-bound proteins with 2-D polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and MS analysis. We identified 4-hydroxynonenal-bound proteins in the hippocampus and inferior parietal lobule brain regions of subjects with AD. The identified proteins play different biological functions including energy metabolism, antioxidant system, and structural proteins, thus impairing multiple molecular pathways. Our results provide further evidence for the role of lipid peroxidation in the pathogenesis of AD. [source]

Searching for Disease Modifiers,PKC Activation and HDAC Inhibition,A Dual Drug Approach to Alzheimer's Disease that Decreases A, Production while Blocking Oxidative Stress

CHEMMEDCHEM, Issue 7 2009

Abstract A series of benzolactam compounds were synthesized, some of which caused a concentration-dependent increase in sAPP, and decrease in A, production in the concentration range of 0.1,10,,M. Moreover, some compounds showed neuroprotective effects in the 10,20,,M range in the HCA cortical neuron model of oxidative stress and no toxicity in measurements of neuron viability by MTT assay, even at the highest concentrations tested (20,,M). Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a well-studied neurodegenerative process characterized by the presence of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. In this study, a series of protein kinase,C (PKC) activators were investigated, some of which also exhibit histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory activity, under the hypothesis that such compounds might provide a new path forward in the discovery of drugs for the treatment of AD. The PKC-activating properties of these drugs were expected to enhance the ,-secretase pathway in the processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP), while their HDAC inhibition was anticipated to confer neuroprotective activity. We found that benzolactams 9 and 11,14 caused a concentration-dependent increase in sAPP, and decrease in ,-amyloid (A,) production in the concentration range of 0.1,10,,M, consistent with a shift of APP metabolism toward the ,-secretase-processing pathway. Moreover, compounds 9,14 showed neuroprotective effects in the 10,20,,M range in the homocysteate (HCA) cortical neuron model of oxidative stress. In parallel, we found that the most neuroprotective compounds caused increased levels of histone acetylation (H4), thus indicating their likely ability to inhibit HDAC activity. As the majority of the compounds studied also show nanomolar binding affinities for PKC, we conclude that it is possible to design, de,novo, agents that combine both PKC-activating properties along with HDAC inhibitory properties. Such agents would be capable of modulating amyloid processing while showing neuroprotection. These findings may offer a new approach to therapies that exhibit disease-modifying effects, as opposed to symptomatic relief, in the treatment of AD. [source]

Is major depressive disorder a metabolic encephalopathy?

Brian H Harvey
Abstract Metabolic encephalopathy is an acute disturbance in cellular metabolism in the brain evoked by conditions of hypoxia, hypoglycaemia, oxidative stress and/or inflammation. It usually develops acutely or subacutely and is reversible if the systemic disorder is treated. If left untreated, however, metabolic encephalopathy may result in secondary structural damage to the brain. Most encephalopathies are present with neuropsychiatric symptoms, one in particular being depression. However, mood disorders are often co-morbid with cardiovascular, liver, kidney and endocrine disorders, while increasing evidence concurs that depression involves inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes. This would suggest that metabolic disturbances resembling encephalopathy may underscore the basic neuropathology of depression at a far deeper level than currently realized. Viewing depression as a form of encephalopathy, and exploiting knowledge gleaned from our understanding of the neurochemistry and treatment of metabolic encephalopathy, may assist in our understanding of the neurobiology of depression, but also in realizing new ideas in the pharmacotherapy of mood disorders. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The G51S purine nucleoside phosphorylase polymorphism is associated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease patients

Emanuela Tumini
Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a polygenic and multifactorial complex disease, whose etiopathology is still unclear, however several genetic factors have shown to increase the risk of developing the disease. Purine nucleotides and nucleosides play an important role in the brain. Besides their role in neurotransmission and neuromodulation, they are involved in trophic factor release, apoptosis, and inflammatory responses. These mediators may also have a pivotal role in the control of neurodegenerative processes associated with AD. In this report the distribution of the exonic G/A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) gene, resulting in the amino acid substitution serine to glycine at position 51 (G51S), was investigated in a large population of AD patients (n,=,321) and non-demented control (n,=,208). The PNP polymorphism distribution was not different between patients and controls. The polymorphism distribution was also analyzed in AD patients stratified according to differential progressive rate of cognitive decline during a 2-year follow-up. An increased representation of the PNP AA genotype was observed in AD patients with fast cognitive deterioration in comparison with that from patients with slow deterioration rate. Our findings suggest that the G51S PNP polymorphism is associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline in AD patients, highlighting the important role of purine metabolism in the progression of this neurodegenerative disorder. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Correlation of neuropsychological evaluation and SPECT imaging in patients with Alzheimer's disease

Yair Lampl
Abstract Background Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a very useful tool for diagnosing changes in cognitive functions by the general practitioner or other medical staff who is not familiar with neuropsychological tests. On the other hand, HMPAO brain SPECT has been shown to have a high sensitivity to detect neurodegenerative processes, which lead to dementia. The correlation between both methods is unknown. We compared both methods in order to find a rational evaluation tool for the practitioner to obtain a higher efficacy and cost effective way of using both methods. Patients and Methods Fifty-one patients diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease (AD) were examined. Each patient underwent MMSE analysis, as well as HMPAO brain SPECT. The severity of SPECT abnormalities was categorized into mild, moderate and severe. Statistical analysis was performed in order to evaluate the correlation between imaging findings and neuropsychological testing. Results Marginal inverse correlation was found between global MMSE SPECT imaging on right and left side (p,=,0.05) and the left temporal region (p,=,0.05). MMSE subgroup component of orientation was highly significantly inversely associated with SPECT imaging of right and left frontal region (p,>,0.0001). The MMSE subgroup of immediate memory was significantly correlated to left and right temporal regions (p,=,0.001 and p,=,0.002 respectively). Age was not significantly correlated to global MMSE or any of its subtest components. Conclusion MMSE score has no linear correlation to SPECT perfusion findings. In cases of abnormal orientation score subgroup SPECT imaging is not recommended. In most instances, a combination of both methods should be employed by the general practitioner for further evaluation of dementia. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Cell death mechanisms in neurodegeneration

K. A. Jellinger
Abstract Progressive cell loss in specific neuronal populations often associated with typical cytoskeletal protein aggregations is a pathological hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders, but the nature, time course and molecular causes of cell death and their relation to cytoskeletal pathologies are still unresolved. Apoptosis or alternative pathways of cell death have been discussed in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Apoptotic DNA fragmentation in human brain as a sign of neuronal injury is found too frequent as to account for continous neuron loss in these slowly progressive processes. Morphological studies revealed extremely rare apoptotic neuronal death in Alzheimer's disease but yielded mixed results for Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Based on recent data in human brain, as well as in animal and cell culture models, a picture is beginning to emerge suggesting that, in addition to apoptosis, other forms of programmed cell death may participate in neurodegeneration. Better understanding of the molecular players will further elucidate the mechanisms of cell death in these disorders and their relations to cytoskeletal abnormalities. Susceptible cell populations in a proapoptotic environment show increased vulnerability towards multiple noxious factors discussed in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. In conclusion, although many in vivo and in vitro data are in favor of apoptosis involvement in neurodegenerative processes, there is considerable evidence that very complex events may contribute to neuronal death with possible repair mechanisms, the elucidation of which may prove useful for future prevention and therapy of neurodegenerative disorders. [source]

Inhibition of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein , expression by chrysin in microglial cells results in anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects

Nria Gresa-Arribas
J. Neurochem. (2010) 115, 526,536. Abstract The control of neuroinflammation is a potential target to be considered in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. It is therefore important to find anti-inflammatory drugs and study new targets that inhibit neuroinflammation. We designed an experimental model of neuroinflammation in vitro to study the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of the flavonoid chrysin and the involvement of nuclear factor-,B p65 and CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs) , and , transcription factors in its mechanism of action. We used primary cultures of mouse embryonic cortical neurons and cultures of BV2 (murine microglial cell line) or mouse primary microglia. We induced neuronal death in neuronal-BV2/microglial co-cultures using lipopolysaccharide of Escherichia coli and interferon-,. Chrysin pre-treatment inhibited nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-, production, as well as inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in lipopolysaccharide E. coli and interferon-,-treated microglial cells, but did not affect cyclooxygenase-2 expression. Chrysin pre-treatment also protected neurons against the neurotoxicity induced by reactive microglial cells. These effects were associated to a decrease in C/EBP, protein level, mRNA expression, and DNA-binding activity, with no effect on C/EBP, and p65 nuclear protein levels or DNA-binding activity, pointing out C/EBP, as a possible mediator of chrysin effects. Consequently, C/EBP, is a possible target to act against neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative processes. [source]

Aging-dependent changes of microglial cells and their relevance for neurodegenerative disorders

Rommy Von Bernhardi
J. Neurochem. (2010) 112, 1099,1114. Abstract Among multiple structural and functional brain changes, aging is accompanied by an increase of inflammatory signaling in the nervous system as well as a dysfunction of the immune system elsewhere. Although the long-held view that aging involves neurocognitive impairment is now dismissed, aging is a major risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer`s disease, Parkinson`s disease and Huntington's disease, among others. There are many age-related changes affecting the brain, contributing both to certain declining in function and increased frailty, which could singly and collectively affect neuronal viability and vulnerability. Among those changes, both inflammatory responses in aged brains and the altered regulation of toll like receptors, which appears to be relevant for understanding susceptibility to neurodegenerative processes, are linked to pathogenic mechanisms of several diseases. Here, we review how aging and pro-inflammatory environment could modulate microglial phenotype and its reactivity and contribute to the genesis of neurodegenerative processes. Data support our idea that age-related microglial cell changes, by inducing cytotoxicity in contrast to neuroprotection, could contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative changes. This view can have important implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches. [source]

Oxidative modulation of nuclear factor-,B in human cells expressing mutant fALS-typical superoxide dismutases

Arianna Casciati
Abstract Previous evidence supports the notion of a redox regulation of protein phosphatase calcineurin that might be relevant for neurodegenerative processes where an imbalance between generation and removal of reactive oxygen species occurs. We have recently observed that calcineurin activity is depressed in human neuroblastoma cells expressing Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) mutant G93A and in brain areas from G93A transgenic mice, and that mutant G93A-SOD1 oxidatively inactivates calcineurin in vitro. We have studied the possibility that, by interfering directly with calcineurin activity, mutant SOD1 can modulate pathways of signal transduction mediated by redox-sensitive transcription factors. In this paper, we report a calcineurin-dependent activation of nuclear factor-,B (NF-,B) induced by the expression of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS)-SOD1s in human neuroblastoma cell lines. Alteration of the phosphorylation state of I,B, (the inhibitor of NF-,B translocation into the nucleus) and induction of cyclooxygenase 2 are consistent with the up-regulation of this transcription factor in this system. All of these modifications might be relevant to signaling pathways involved in the pathogenesis of fALS. [source]

Medicinal chemistry approaches for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease

S.O. Bachurin
Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, which is characterised by progressive deterioration of memory and higher cortical functions that ultimately result in total degradation of intellectual and mental activities. Modern strategies in the search of new therapeutic approaches are based on the morphological and biochemical characteristics of AD, and focused on following directions: agents that compensate the hypofunction of cholinergic system, agents that interfere with the metabolism of beta-amyloid peptide, agents that protect nerve cells from toxic metabolites formed in neurodegenerative processes, agents that activate other neurotransmitter systems that indirectly compensate for the deficit of cholinergic functions, agents that affect the process of the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, anti-inflammatory agents that prevent the negative response of nerve cells to the pathological process. The goal of the present review is the validation and an analysis from the point of view of medicinal chemistry of the principles of the directed search of drugs for the treatment and prevention of AD and related neurodegenerative disorders. It is based on systematization of the data on biochemical and structural similarities in the interaction between physiologically active compounds and their biological targets related to the development of such pathologies. The main emphasis is on cholinomimetic, anti-amyloid and anti-metabolic agents, using the data that were published during the last 3 to 4 years, as well as the results of clinical trials presented on corresponding websites. 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Med Res Rev, 23, No. 1, 48,88, 2003; Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI 10.1002/med.10026 [source]

Cellular pathology in multiple system atrophy

Koichi Wakabayashi
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a sporadic, adult-onset neurodegenerative disease, which is characterized by striatonigral degeneration, olivopontocerebellar atrophy, and preganglionic autonomic lesions in any combination. The histological hallmark is the presence of argyrophilic fibrillary inclusions in the oligodendrocytes, referred to as glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs). Fibrillary inclusions are also found in the neuronal somata, axons, and nucleus. Neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions are frequently found in the pontine and inferior olivary nuclei. Since the discovery of ,-synuclein as a major component of glial and neuronal inclusions in MSA, two neurodegenerative processes have been considered in this disease: one is due to the widespread occurrence of GCIs associated with oligodendroglia,myelin degeneration (oligodendrogliopathy) in the central nervous system, and the other is due to the filamentous aggregation of ,-synuclein in the neurons in several brain regions. These two degenerative processes might synergistically cause neuronal depletion in MSA. [source]

Can we use diffusion MRI as a bio-marker of neurodegenerative processes?

BIOESSAYS, Issue 11-12 2008
Yaniv Assaf
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique with a rapidly expanding application range. This methodology, which relies on quantum physics and substance magnetic properties, is now being routinely used in the clinics and medical research. With the advent of measuring functional brain activity with MRI (functional MRI), this methodology has reached a larger section of the neuroscience community (e.g. psychologists, neurobiologists). In the past, the use of MRI as a biomarker or as an assay to probe tissue pathophysiological condition was limited. However, with the new applications of MRI: molecular imaging, contrast-enhanced imaging and diffusion imaging, MRI is turning into a powerful tool for in vivo characterization of tissue pathophysiology. This review focuses on the diffusion MRI. Although it only measures the averaged Brownian translational motion of water molecules, using different analysis schemes, one can extract a wide range of quantitative indices that represent tissue morphology and compartmentalization. Statistical and visualization routines help to relate these indices to biologically relevant measures such as cell density, water content and size distribution. The aim of this review is to shed light on the potential of this methodology to be used in biological research. To that end, this review is intended for the non-MRI specialists who wish to pursue biological research with this methodology. We will overview the current applications of diffusion MRI and its relation to cellular biology of brain tissue. BioEssays 30:1235,1245, 2008. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Iron in neuronal function and dysfunction

BIOFACTORS, Issue 2 2010
Gabriela A. Salvador
Abstract Iron (Fe) is an essential element for many metabolic processes, serving as a cofactor for heme and nonheme proteins. Cellular iron deficiency arrests cell growth and leads to cell death; however, like most transition metals, an excess of intracellular iron is toxic. The ability of Fe to accept and donate electrons can lead to the formation of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species, and oxidative damage to tissue components; contributing to disease and, perhaps, aging itself. It has also been suggested that iron-induced oxidative stress can play a key role in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Iron progressively accumulates in the brain both during normal aging and neurodegenerative processes. However, iron accumulation occurs without the concomitant increase in tissue ferritin, which could increase the risk of oxidative stress. Moreover, high iron concentrations in the brain have been consistently observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). In this regard, metalloneurobiology has become extremely important in understanding the role of iron in the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurons have developed several protective mechanisms against oxidative stress, among them the activation of cellular signaling pathways. The final response will depend on the identity, intensity, and persistence of the oxidative insult. The characterization of the mechanisms involved in high iron induced in neuronal dysfunction and death is central to understanding the pathology of a number of neurodegenerative disorders. [source]

Intraneuronal APP/A, Trafficking and Plaque Formation in ,-Amyloid Precursor Protein and Presenilin-1 Transgenic Mice

Oliver Wirths
Neuropil deposition of ,-amyloid peptides A,40 and A,42 is believed to be the key event in the neurodegenerative processes of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since A, seems to carry a transport signal that is required for axonal sorting of its precursor ,-amyloid precursor protein (APP), we studied the intraneuronal staining profile of A, peptides in a transgenic mouse model expressing human mutant APP751 (KM670/671NL and V717I) and human mutant presenilin-1 (PS-1 M146L) in neurons. Using surface plasmon resonance we analyzed the A, antibodies and defined their binding profile to APP, A,40 and A,42. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that intraneuronal A,40 and A,42 staining preceded plaque deposition, which started at 3 months of age. A, was observed in the somatodendritic and axonal compartments of many neurons. Interestingly, the striatum, which lacks transgenic APP expression harbored many plaques at 10 months of age. This is most likely due to an APP/A, transport problem and may be a model region to study APP/A, trafficking as an early pathological event. [source]

Cannabinoid control of neuroinflammation related to multiple sclerosis

D Baker
The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa) has been known by many names but the question remains ,Can we call it medicine?' There has been renewed interest in the value of cannabis for the control of neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis, where it has been shown to have some effect on spasticity and pain both experimentally and in clinical trials in humans. However, in addition to symptom control potential, the question remains whether cannabinoids can modify the neuroinflammatory element which drives relapsing neurological attacks and the accumulation of progressive disability. In experimental studies it has been recently shown that synthetic cannabinoids can affect the immune response both indirectly via CB1 receptor-mediated signalling nerve centres controlling the systemic release of immunosuppressive molecules and directly by CB2 receptor-mediated inhibition of lymphocyte and macrophage/microglial cell function. However, these immunosuppressive possibilities that would limit the frequency of relapsing attacks will probably not be realized clinically, following use of medical cannabis, due to dose constraints. However, cannabinoids may still affect the glial response within the damaged central nervous system, which facilitate the slow, neurodegenerative processes that account for progressive neurodegeneration, and therefore may have utility in addition to value of cannabis-related drugs for symptom control. British Journal of Pharmacology (2007) 152, 649,654; doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707458; published online 24 September 2007 [source]