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Progress in Neurobiology

Hyman M Schipper, Wei Song, Ayda Tavitian, Marisa Cressatti
Under stressful conditions, cellular heme catabolism to carbon monoxide, iron and biliverdin is mediated by the 32 kDa enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). A wide range of pro-oxidant and inflammatory stimuli act on diverse consensus sequences within the Hmox1 promoter to rapidly induce the gene. There is ample evidence attesting to the beneficial effects of HO-1 upregulation in brain. By converting pro-oxidant heme to the antioxidants, biliverdin and bilirubin, HO-1/biliverdin reductase may help restore a more favorable tissue redox microenvironment...
July 13, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Oliver D Mrowczynski, Brad E Zacharia, James R Connor
Exosomes are 20-100 nm cellular derived vesicles that upon discovery, were thought to be a form of cellular recycling of intracellular contents. More recently, these vesicles are under investigation for their purported significant roles in intercellular communication in both healthy and diseased states. Herein, we focus on the secretion of exosomes associated with glioblastoma, as most exosome studies on brain tumors have been performed in this tumor type. However, we included exosomes secreted from other forms of brain tumors for comparison as available...
July 9, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Benjamin Drukarch, Hanna A Holland, Martin Velichkov, Jeroen J G Geurts, Pieter Voorn, Gerrit Glas, Henk W de Regt
Nerve impulse generation and propagation are often thought of as solely electrical events. The prevalence of this view is the result of long and intense study of nerve impulses in electrophysiology culminating in the introduction of the Hodgkin-Huxley model of the action potential in the 1950s. To this day, this model forms the physiological foundation for a broad area of neuroscientific research. However, the Hodgkin-Huxley model cannot account for non-electrical phenomena that accompany nerve impulse propagation, for which there is nevertheless ample evidence...
July 4, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Adalberto Merighi
The substantia gelatinosa Rolandi (SGR) was first described about two centuries ago. In the following decades an enormous amount of information has permitted us to understand - at least in part - its role in the initial processing of pain and itch. Here, I will first provide a comprehensive picture of the histology, physiology, and neurochemistry the normal SGR. Then, I will analytically discuss the SGR circuits that have been directly demonstrated or deductively envisaged in the course of the intensive research on this area of the spinal cord, with particular emphasis on the pathways connecting the primary afferent fibers and the intrinsic neurons...
July 4, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Teodorico C Ramalho, Alexandre A de Castro, Tássia S Tavares, Maria C Silva, Daniela R Silva, Pedro H Cesar, Lucas A Santos, Elaine F F da Cunha, Eugenie Nepovimova, Kamil Kuca
Several rare or orphan diseases have been characterized that singly affect low numbers of people, but cumulatively reach ∼6% - 10% of the population in Europe and in the United States. Human genetics has shown to be broadly effective when evaluating subjacent genetic defects such as orphan genetic diseases, but on the other hand, a modest progress has been achieved toward comprehending the molecular pathologies and designing new therapies. Chemical genetics, placed at the interface of chemistry and genetics, could be employed to understand the molecular mechanisms of subjacent illnesses and for the discovery of new remediation processes...
July 4, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Silvia Giatti, Luis M Garcia-Segura, George E Barreto, Roberto C Melcangi
The nervous system is a target and a source of steroids. Neuroactive steroids are steroids that target neurons and glial cells. They include hormonal steroids originated in the peripheral glands, steroids locally synthesized by the neurons and glial cells (neurosteroids) and synthetic steroids, some of them used in clinical practice. Here we review the mechanisms of synthesis, metabolism and action of neuroactive steroids, including the role of epigenetic modifications and the mitochondria in their sex specific actions...
July 4, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Benjamin W Lindsey, Zachary J Hall, Aurélie Heuzé, Jean-Stéphane Joly, Vincent Tropepe, Jan Kaslin
Neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) are the primary source of new neurons in the brain and serve critical roles in tissue homeostasis and plasticity throughout life. Within the vertebrate brain, NSPCs are located within distinct neurogenic niches differing in their location, cellular composition, and proliferative behaviour. Heterogeneity in the NSPC population is hypothesized to reflect varying capacities for neurogenesis, plasticity and repair between different neurogenic zones. Since the discovery of adult neurogenesis, studies have predominantly focused on the behaviour and biological significance of adult NSPCs (aNSPCs) in rodents...
June 11, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
K V Adams, C M Morshead
The brain was long considered an organ that underwent very little change after development. It is now well established that the mammalian central nervous system contains neural stem cells that generate progeny that are capable of making new neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes throughout life. The field has advanced rapidly as it strives to understand the basic biology of these precursor cells, and explore their potential to promote brain repair. The purpose of this review is to present current knowledge about the diversity of neural stem cells in vitro and in vivo, and highlight distinctions between neural stem cell populations, throughout development, and within the niche...
June 11, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
David C Geary
Sex-specific brain and cognitive deficits emerge with malnutrition, some infectious and neurodegenerative diseases, and often with prenatal or postnatal toxin exposure. These deficits are described in disparate literatures and are generally not linked to one another. Sexual selection may provide a unifying framework that integrates our understanding of these deficits and provides direction for future studies of sex-specific vulnerabilities. Sexually selected traits are those that have evolved to facilitate competition for reproductive resources or that influence mate choices, and are often larger and more complex than other traits...
June 8, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Mehdi Ghasemi, Joshua Claunch, Kathy Niu
Mood disorders are chronic, recurrent mental diseases that affect millions of individuals worldwide. Although over the past 40 years the biogenic amine models have provided meaningful links with the clinical phenomena of, and the pharmacological treatments currently employed in, mood disorders, there is still a need to examine the contribution of other systems to the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders. This article reviews the current literature describing the potential role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in the pathophysiology and thereby the treatment of mood disorders...
June 8, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Bernd Lenz, Mareike Röther, Polyxeni Bouna-Pyrrou, Christiane Mühle, Ozan Tektas, Johannes Kornhuber
Suicide is a devastating public health issue that imposes severe psychological, social, and economic burdens not only for the individuals but also for their relatives, friends, clinicians, and the general public. Among the different suicidal behaviors, suicide completion is the worst and the most relevant outcome. The knowledge of biological etiopathological mechanisms involved in suicide completion is limited. Hitherto, no objective markers, either alone or in combination, can reliably predict who will complete a suicide...
June 7, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Swip Draijer, Inês Chaves, Marco F M Hoekman
Neural stem cells persist in the adult central nervous system as a continuing source of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and neurons. Various signalling pathways and transcription factors actively maintain this population by regulating cell cycle entry and exit. Similarly, the circadian clock is interconnected with the cell cycle and actively maintains stem cell populations in various tissues. Here, we discuss emerging evidence for an important role of the circadian clock in neural stem cell maintenance. We propose that the NAD+ -dependent deacetylase SIRT1 exerts control over the circadian clock in adult neural stem cell function to limit exhaustion of their population...
June 7, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Gurugirijha Rathnasamy, Wallace S Fould, Eng-Ang Ling, Charanjit Kaur
Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain and retina, are constantly engaged in the surveillance of their surrounding neural tissue. During embryonic development they infiltrate the retinal tissues and participate in the phagocytosis of redundant neurons. The contribution of microglia in maintaining the purposeful and functional histo-architecture of the adult retina is indispensable. Within the retinal microenvironment, robust microglial activation is elicited by subtle changes caused by extrinsic and intrinsic factors...
June 1, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Lei Huang, Lubo Zhang
Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the adult as well as in the neonate. Extensive pre-clinical studies have shown promising therapeutic effects of neural stem cell-based treatments for hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. There are two major strategies of neural stem cell-based therapies: transplanting exogenous neural stem cells and boosting self-repair of endogenous neural stem cells. Neural stem cell transplantation has been proved to improve functional recovery after brain injury through multiple by-stander mechanisms (e...
May 21, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, Jiaxi Wang, Mara Mather
Across three different domains, there are similar sex differences in how men and women process information. There tends to be a male advantage in attending to and remembering the gist (essential central information of a scene or situation), but a female advantage in attending to and remembering the details (non-essential peripheral information of a scene or situation). This is seen in emotional memory, where emotion enhances gist memory more for males than for females, but enhances detail memory more for females than for males...
May 19, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Maja Jazvinšćak Jembrek, Neda Slade, Patrick R Hof, Goran Šimić
Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by severe cognitive decline and personality changes as a result of synaptic and neuronal loss. The defining clinicopathological hallmarks of the disease are deposits of amyloid precursor protein (APP)-derived amyloid-β peptides (Aβ) in the brain parenchyma, and intracellular aggregates of truncated and hyperphosphorylated tau protein in neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). At the cellular and molecular levels, many intertwined pathological mechanisms that relate Aβ and tau pathology with a transcription factor p53 have been revealed...
May 4, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Ana Isabel Nascimento, Fernando Milhazes Mar, Mónica Mendes Sousa
Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are the first neurons of the sensory pathway. They are activated by a variety of sensory stimuli that are then transmitted to the central nervous system. An important feature of DRG neurons is their unique morphology where a single process -the stem axon- bifurcates into a peripheral and a central axonal branch, with different functions and cellular properties. Distinctive structural aspects of the two DRG neuron branches may have important implications for their function in health and disease...
May 2, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Andrzej W Cwetsch, Bruno Pinto, Annalisa Savardi, Laura Cancedda
Accurate and timely expression of specific genes guarantees the healthy development and function of the brain. Indeed, variations in the correct amount or timing of gene expression lead to improper development and/or pathological conditions. Almost forty years after the first successful gene transfection in in vitro cell cultures, it is currently possible to regulate gene expression in an area-specific manner at any step of central nervous system development and in adulthood in experimental animals in vivo, even overcoming the very poor accessibility of the brain...
April 22, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Thiruma V Arumugam, Sang-Ha Baik, Priyanka Balaganapathy, Christopher G Sobey, Mark P Mattson, Dong-Gyu Jo
Ischemic stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and death, with the outcome largely determined by the amount of hypoxia-related neuronal death in the affected brain regions. Cerebral ischemia and hypoxia activate the Notch1 signaling pathway and four prominent interacting pathways (NF-κB, p53, HIF-1α and Pin1) that converge on a conserved DNA-associated nuclear multi-protein complex, which controls the expression of genes that can determine the fate of neurons. When neurons experience a moderate level of ischemic insult, the nuclear multi-protein complex up-regulates adaptive stress response genes encoding proteins that promote neuronal survival, but when ischemia is more severe the nuclear multi-protein complex induces genes encoding proteins that trigger and execute a neuronal death program...
June 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
Alberto Joven, András Simon
Large-scale regeneration in the adult central nervous system is a unique capacity of salamanders among tetrapods. Salamanders can replace neuronal populations, repair damaged nerve fibers and restore tissue architecture in retina, brain and spinal cord, leading to functional recovery. The underlying mechanisms have long been difficult to study due to the paucity of available genomic tools. Recent technological progress, such as genome sequencing, transgenesis and genome editing provide new momentum for systematic interrogation of regenerative processes in the salamander central nervous system...
April 11, 2018: Progress in Neurobiology
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