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Progress in Neurobiology

Yogita K Adlakha, Pankaj Seth
Research over the last few years in cellular reprogramming has enlightened the magical potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) in changing the cell fate from somatic to pluripotent. Recent investigations on exploring the role(s) of miRNAs in somatic cell reprogramming revealed that they target a wide range of molecules and refine their protein output. This leads to fine tuning of distinct cellular processes including cell cycle, signalling pathways, transcriptional activation/silencing and epigenetic modelling. The concerted actions of miRNA on different pathways simultaneously strengthen the transition from a differentiated to de-differentiated state...
December 12, 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Daniela Giuliani, Alessandra Ottani, Laura Neri, Davide Zaffe, Paolo Grieco, Jerzy Jochem, Gian Maria Cavallini, Anna Catania, Salvatore Guarini
Melanocortin peptides induce neuroprotection in acute and chronic experimental neurodegenerative conditions. Melanocortins likewise counteract systemic responses to brain injuries. Furthermore, they promote neurogenesis by activating critical signaling pathways. Melanocortin-induced long-lasting improvement in synaptic activity and neurological performance, including learning and memory, sensory-motor orientation and coordinated limb use, has been consistently observed in experimental models of acute and chronic neurodegeneration...
December 1, 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Branislava Ćurčić-Blake, Judith M Ford, Daniela Hubl, Natasza D Orlov, Iris E Sommer, Flavie Waters, Paul Allen, Renaud Jardri, Peter W Woodruff, Olivier David, Christoph Mulert, Todd S Woodward, André Aleman
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) occur in psychotic disorders, but also as a symptom of other conditions and even in healthy people. Several current theories on the origin of AVH converge, with neuroimaging studies suggesting that the language, auditory and memory/limbic networks are of particular relevance. However, reconciliation of these theories with experimental evidence is missing. We review 50 studies investigating functional (EEG and fMRI) and anatomic (diffusion tensor imaging) connectivity in these networks, and explore the evidence supporting abnormal connectivity in these networks associated with AVH...
November 24, 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Stefano Gustincich, Silvia Zucchelli, Antonello Mallamaci
The post-genomic era has unveiled the existence of a large repertory of non-coding RNAs and repetitive elements that play a fundamental role in cellular homeostasis and dysfunction. These may represent unprecedented opportunities to modify gene expression at the right time in the correct space in vivo, providing an almost unlimited reservoir of new potential pharmacological agents. Hijacking their mode of actions, the druggable genome can be extended to regulatory RNAs and DNA elements in a scalable fashion...
November 22, 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Tianfang Jiang, Qian Sun, Shengdi Chen
Oxidative stress reflects an imbalance between the overproduction and incorporation of free radicals and the dynamic ability of a biosystem to detoxify reactive intermediates. Free radicals produced by oxidative stress are one of the common features in several experimental models of diseases. Free radicals affect both the structure and function of neural cells, and contribute to a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Although the precise mechanisms that result in the degeneration of neurons and the relevant pathological changes remain unclear, the crucial role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases is associated with several proteins (such as α-synuclein, DJ-1, Amyloid β and tau protein) and some signaling pathways (such as extracellular regulated protein kinases, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Protein Kinase B pathway and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2) that are tightly associated with the neural damage...
December 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Michele Curcio, Ivan L Salazar, Miranda Mele, Lorella M T Canzoniero, Carlos B Duarte
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Jessica M Kelly, Allison Bradbury, Douglas R Martin, Mark E Byrne
Approximately 1 in 5000-8000 children are born annually with a lysosomal storage disease (LSD), which affects their cells' ability to break down naturally occurring substrates. Accumulation, or "storage," of undegraded substrates leads to a wide variety of clinical symptoms, and early mortality. Currently, for LSDs with central nervous system (CNS) involvement, there is no available treatment. Four methods of treatment are being explored in clinical trials and preclinical settings: enzyme replacement therapy, ex vivo gene therapy, in vivo gene therapy, and nanoparticle-based therapy...
October 7, 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
D Athauda, T Foltynie
There is growing evidence that patients with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease and share similar dysregulated pathways suggesting common underlying pathological mechanisms. Historically insulin was thought solely to be a peripherally acting hormone responsible for glucose homeostasis and energy metabolism. However accumulating evidence indicates insulin can cross the blood-brain-barrier and influence a multitude of processes in the brain including regulating neuronal survival and growth, dopaminergic transmission, maintenance of synapses and pathways involved in cognition...
October 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Erika N Guerrero, Haibo Wang, Joy Mitra, Pavana M Hegde, Sara E Stowell, Nicole F Liachko, Brian C Kraemer, Ralph M Garruto, K S Rao, Muralidhar L Hegde
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a common motor neuron disease affecting two per 100,000 people worldwide, encompasses at least five distinct pathological subtypes, including, ALS-SOD1, ALS-C9orf72, ALS-TDP-43, ALS-FUS and Guam-ALS. The etiology of a major subset of ALS involves toxicity of the TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43). A second RNA/DNA binding protein, fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) has been subsequently associated with about 1% of ALS patients. While mutations in TDP-43 and FUS have been linked to ALS, the key contributing molecular mechanism(s) leading to cell death are still unclear...
October 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Myron D Ginsberg
This review surveys the efforts taken to achieve clinically efficacious protection of the ischemic brain and underscores the necessity of expanding our purview to include the essential role of cerebral perfusion and the collateral circulation. We consider the development of quantitative strategies to measure cerebral perfusion at the regional and local levels and the application of these methods to elucidate flow-related thresholds of ischemic viability and to characterize the ischemic penumbra. We stress that the modern concept of neuroprotection must consider perfusion, the necessary substrate upon which ischemic brain survival depends...
October 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Magor L Lőrincz, Antoine R Adamantidis
Monoamines are key neuromodulators involved in a variety of physiological and pathological brain functions. Classical studies using physiological and pharmacological tools have revealed several essential aspects of monoaminergic involvement in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and influencing sensory responses but many features have remained elusive due to technical limitations. The application of optogenetic tools led to the ability of monitoring and controlling neuronal populations with unprecedented temporal precision and neurochemical specificity...
September 12, 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
George E Barreto
In the brain, the astrocentric view has increasingly changed in the past few years. The classical and old view of astrocytes as "just supporting cells" has assigned these cells some functions to help neurons maintain their homeostasis. This neuronal supportive function of astrocytes includes maintenance of ion and extracellular pH equilibrium, neuroendocrine signaling, metabolic support, clearance of glutamate and other neurotransmitters, and antioxidant protection. However, recent findings have shed some light on the new roles, some controversial though, performed by astrocytes that might change our view about the central nervous system functioning...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Kyoungho Suk
Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) is a member of the secreted lipocalin protein family. LCN2 is also a representative gliocalin that is primarily released by glial cells, as well as acts upon them. Astrocytes are one of the major cellular sources of LCN2 under brain injury conditions. Astrocytes secrete LCN2 to promote neuroinflammation. Studies using Lcn2 knockout animals and cultured neural cells suggest an important role of LCN2 in regulating the development of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke as well as other brain injuries...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Estefanía Acaz-Fonseca, Marco Avila-Rodriguez, Luis Miguel Garcia-Segura, George E Barreto
In the last years there has been a considerable advance in the knowledge on the regulation of astrocytes by sex steroids under physiological and pathological conditions. By the activation of a variety of nuclear and membrane receptors, sex steroid hormones regulate the functions of astrocytes and their communication with other cell types in the central nervous system. Under physiological conditions astrocytes participate in the neuroendocrine and behavioral actions of gonadal steroids, as well as in the hormonal control of brain tissue homeostasis...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Stéphanie Hostenbach, Miguel D'haeseleer, Ron Kooijman, Jacques De Keyser
In the normal central nervous system, endothelin-1 (ET-1) is found in some types of neurons, epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, and endothelial cells of microvessels, but it is usually not detectable in glial cells. However, in different pathological conditions, astrocytes adapting a reactive phenotype express high levels of ET-1 and its receptors, mainly the ETB receptor. ET-1 released by reactive astrocytes appears mainly to have neurodeleterious effects by mechanisms that include constriction of cerebral arterioles leading to impairment of the cerebral microcirculation, increase of blood brain barrier permeability, inflammation, excitotoxicity, impairment of fast axonal transport, and astrogliosis...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Bruno Dutra Arbo, Fernando Bennetti, Maria Flavia Ribeiro
Stroke and traumatic injuries of the brain and spinal cord are major public health issues. In the last few decades, hundreds of clinical trials with patients suffering from these conditions have been done, however, most of them had not succeeded and there is still the need to develop more effective treatments for these conditions. Astrocytes play critical roles in the development, function and survival of neurons in the central nervous system. These cells are implicated in the pathophysiology and in the response to several neuropathological conditions and may represent potential cell targets for neuroprotective strategies...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Angela R Filous, Jerry Silver
Astrocytes are a major constituent of the central nervous system. These glia play a major role in regulating blood-brain barrier function, the formation and maintenance of synapses, glutamate uptake, and trophic support for surrounding neurons and glia. Therefore, maintaining the proper functioning of these cells is crucial to survival. Astrocyte defects are associated with a wide variety of neuropathological insults, ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to gliomas. Additionally, injury to the CNS causes drastic changes to astrocytes, often leading to a phenomenon known as reactive astrogliosis...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Julie A Chowen, Pilar Argente-Arizón, Alejandra Freire-Regatillo, Laura M Frago, Tamas L Horvath, Jesús Argente
The hypothalamus is crucial in the regulation of homeostatic functions in mammals, with the disruption of hypothalamic circuits contributing to chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and infertility. Metabolic signals and hormonal inputs drive functional and morphological changes in the hypothalamus in attempt to maintain metabolic homeostasis. However, the dramatic increase in the incidence of obesity and its secondary complications, such as type 2 diabetes, have evidenced the need to better understand how this system functions and how it can go awry...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Glenn Dallérac, Nathalie Rouach
Astrocytes are now viewed as key elements of brain wiring as well as neuronal communication. Indeed, they not only bridge the gap between metabolic supplies by blood vessels and neurons, but also allow fine control of neurotransmission by providing appropriate signaling molecules and insulation through a tight enwrapping of synapses. Recognition that astroglia is essential to neuronal communication is nevertheless fairly recent and the large body of evidence dissecting such role has focused on the synaptic level by identifying neuro- and gliotransmitters uptaken and released at synaptic or extrasynaptic sites...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
Valentina Echeverria, Alex Yarkov, Gjumrakch Aliev
Evidence so far indicates that therapies targeting a single aspect of Alzheimer's disease (AD) have no sufficient efficacy in diminishing long-term the progression of AD. Neuroinflammation is an early event during the development of the disease and it is thought to exacerbate the abnormal aggregation of the amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) and the microtubule associated protein Tau. Inhibition of gliosis is considered fundamental to reduce neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, apoptosis and synaptic dysfunction driving the progression of AD...
September 2016: Progress in Neurobiology
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