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Neurobiology of Disease

Jodi R Paul, Hira A Munir, Thomas van Groen, Karen L Gamble
Disruption of circadian rhythms is commonly reported in individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neurons in the primary circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), exhibit daily rhythms in spontaneous neuronal activity which are important for maintaining circadian behavioral rhythms. Disruption of SCN neuronal activity has been reported in animal models of other neurodegenerative disorders; however, the effect of AD on SCN neurophysiology remains unknown. In this study we examined circadian behavioral and electrophysiological changes in a mouse model of AD, using male mice from the Tg-SwDI line which expresses human amyloid precursor protein with the familial Swedish (K670N/M671L), Dutch (E693Q), Iowa (D694N) mutations...
March 11, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Dong-Dong Shi, Celia M Dong, Leon C Ho, C T W Lam, Xi-Dan Zhou, Ed X Wu, Zhong-Jun Zhou, Xiao-Min Wang, Zhang-Jin Zhang
Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment, also known as "chemobrain," is a common side effect. The purpose of this study was to examine whether resveratrol, a natural polyphenol that has nootropic effects, could prevent chemobrain and its underlying mechanisms. Mice received three injections of docetaxel, adriamycin, and cyclophosphamide (DAC) in combination, a common chemotherapy regimen, at two-day intervals within one week. Resveratrol (50 and 100 mg/kg per day) was orally administered for three weeks, beginning one week before the DAC treatment...
March 10, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
F Vitale, A Capozzo, P Mazzone, E Scarnati
The interest in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg), a structure located in the brainstem at the level of the pontomesencephalic junction, has greatly increased in recent years because it is involved in the regulation of physiological functions that fail in Parkinson's disease and because it is a promising target for deep brain stimulation in movement disorders. The PPTg is highly interconnected with the main basal ganglia nuclei and relays basal ganglia activity to thalamic and brainstem nuclei and to spinal effectors...
March 7, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Alex Yen-Yu Chen, Tim Tully
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive motor neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by a selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The complexity of disease etiology includes both genetic and environmental factors. No effective drug that can modify disease progression and protect dopamine neurons from degeneration is presently available. Human α-Synuclein A30P (A30P) is a mutant gene identified in early onset PD and showed to result selective dopamine neuron loss in transgenic A30P flies and mice...
March 7, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Morten Gersel Stokholm, Alex Iranzo, Karen Østergaard, Mónica Serradell, Marit Otto, Kristina Bacher Svendsen, Alicia Garrido, Dolores Vilas, Peter Parbo, Per Borghammer, Joan Santamaria, Arne Møller, Carles Gaig, David J Brooks, Eduardo Tolosa, Nicola Pavese
BACKGROUND: The majority of patients diagnosed with idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (iRBD) progress over time to a Lewy-type α-synucleinopathy such as Parkinson's disease or dementia with Lewy bodies. This in vivo molecular imaging study aimed to investigate if extrastriatal monoaminergic systems are affected in iRBD patients and if this coincides with neuroinflammation. METHODS: We studied twenty-one polysomnography-confirmed iRBD patients with18 F-DOPA and11 C-PK11195 positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate extrastriatal monoaminergic function and microglial activation...
March 6, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Karen K Ling, Michaela Jackson, Duah Alkam, Dawei Liu, Norm Allaire, Chao Sun, Mahmoud Kiaei, Alexander McCampbell, Frank Rigo
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal adult onset motor neuron disease characterized by progressive denervation and subsequent motor impairment. EphA4, a negative regulator of axonal growth, was recently identified as a genetic modifier in fish and rodent models of ALS. To evaluate the therapeutic potential of EphA4 for ALS, we examined the effect of CNS-directed EphA4 reduction in preclinical mouse models of ALS, and assessed if the levels of EPHA4 mRNA in blood correlate with disease onset and progression in human ALS patients...
March 6, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Gina Puska, Mirjam I Lutz, Kinga Molnar, Günther Regelsberger, Gerda Ricken, Walter Pirker, Lajos Laszlo, Gabor G Kovacs
Intracellular deposition of pathologically altered α-synuclein mostly in neurons characterises Parkinson's disease (PD), while its accumulation predominantly in oligodendrocytes is a feature of multiple system atrophy (MSA). Recently a prion-like spreading of pathologic α-synuclein has been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of PD and MSA. This implicates a role of protein processing systems, including lysosomes, supported also by genetic studies in PD. However, particularly for MSA, the mechanism of cell-to-cell propagation of α-synuclein is yet not fully understood...
March 2, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Lasse Reimer, Louise Buur Vesterager, Cristine Betzer, Jin Zheng, Lærke Dalsgaard Nielsen, Rikke Hahn Kofoed, Louise Berkhoudt Lassen, Ulrik Bølcho, Søren Riis Paludan, Karina Fog, Poul Henning Jensen
Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple system atrophy comprise a group of neurodegenerative diseases termed synucleinopathies. Synucleinopathie are, characterized by presence of inclusion bodies in degenerating brain cells which contain aggregated α-synuclein phosphorylated on Ser129. Although the inflammation-associated serine-threonine kinase, PKR (EIF2AK2), promotes cellular protection against infection, we demonstrate a pro-degenerative role of activated PKR in an α-synuclein-dependent cell model of multiple system atrophy, where inhibition and silencing of PKR decrease cellular degeneration...
March 1, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Qiu-Lan Ma, Edmond Teng, Xiaohong Zuo, Mychica Jones, Bruce Teter, Evan Y Zhao, Cansheng Zhu, Tina Bilousova, Karen H Gylys, Liana G Apostolova, Mary Jo LaDu, Mir Ahamed Hossain, Sally A Frautschy, Gregory M Cole
Synaptic neurodegeneration is thought to be an early event initiated by soluble β-amyloid (Aβ) aggregates that closely correlates with cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease (AD). Apolipoprotein ε4 (APOE4) is the most common genetic risk factor for both familial AD (FAD) and sporadic AD; it accelerates Aβ aggregation and selectively impairs glutamate receptor function and synaptic plasticity. However, its molecular mechanisms remain elusive and these synaptic deficits are difficult to monitor. AD- and APOE4-dependent plasma biomarkers have been proposed, but synapse-related plasma biomarkers are lacking...
February 28, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Alfredo Ramos-Miguel, Andrea A Jones, Ken Sawada, Alasdair M Barr, Thomas A Bayer, Peter Falkai, Sue E Leurgans, Julie A Schneider, David A Bennett, William G Honer
The molecular underpinnings associated with cognitive reserve remain poorly understood. Because animal models fail to fully recapitulate the complexity of human brain aging, postmortem studies from well-designed cohorts are crucial to unmask mechanisms conferring cognitive resistance against cumulative neuropathologies. We tested the hypothesis that functionality of the SNARE protein interactome might be an important resilience factor preserving cognitive abilities in old age. Cognition was assessed annually in participants from the Rush "Memory and Aging Project" (MAP), a community-dwelling cohort representative of the overall aging population...
February 26, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Daniela Strobbe, Leonardo Caporali, Luisa Iommarini, Alessandra Maresca, Monica Montopoli, Andrea Martinuzzi, Alessandro Achilli, Anna Olivieri, Antonio Torroni, Valerio Carelli, Anna Ghelli
There is growing evidence that the sequence variation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which clusters in population- and/or geographic-specific haplogroups, may result in functional effects that, in turn, become relevant in disease predisposition or protection, interaction with environmental factors and ultimately in modulating longevity. To unravel functional differences between mtDNA haplogroups we here employed transmitochondrial cytoplasmic hybrid cells (cybrids) grown in galactose medium, culture condition that force oxidative phosphorylation, and in the presence of rotenone, the classic inhibitor of respiratory Complex I...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Yi Yang, Shihoko Kimura-Ohba, Jeffrey F Thompson, Victor M Salayandia, Melissa Cosse, Limor Raz, Fakhreya Y Jalal, Gary A Rosenberg
Vascular cognitive impairment is a major cause of dementia caused by chronic hypoxia, producing progressive damage to white matter (WM) secondary to blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening and vascular dysfunction. Tight junction proteins (TJPs), which maintain BBB integrity, are lost in acute ischemia. Although angiogenesis is critical for neurovascular remodeling, less is known about its role in chronic hypoxia. To study the impact of TJP degradation and angiogenesis during pathological progression of WM damage, we used the spontaneously hypertensive/stroke prone rats with unilateral carotid artery occlusion and Japanese permissive diet to model WM damage...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Soheila Samiee, Maxime Lévesque, Massimo Avoli, Sylvain Baillet
Polyrhythmic coupling of oscillatory components in electrophysiological signals results from the interactions between neuronal sub-populations within and between cell assemblies. Since the mechanisms underlying epileptic disorders should affect such interactions, abnormal level of cross-frequency coupling is expected to provide a signal marker of epileptogenesis. We measured phase-amplitude coupling (PAC), a form of cross-frequency coupling between neural oscillations, in a rodent model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Nicoletta Rizzi, Electra Brunialti, Silvia Cerri, Greta Cermisoni, Giovanna Levandis, Nicoletta Cesari, Adriana Maggi, Fabio Blandini, Paolo Ciana
The Parkinson's disease (PD) evolves over an extended period of time with the onset occurring long before clinical signs begin to manifest. Characterization of the molecular events underlying the PD onset is instrumental for the development of diagnostic markers and preventive treatments, progress in this field is hindered by technical limitations. We applied an imaging approach to demonstrate the activation of Nrf2 transcription factor as a hallmark of neurodegeneration in neurotoxin-driven models of PD. In dopaminergic SK-N-BE neuroblastoma cells, Nrf2 activation was detected in cells committed to die as proven by time lapse microscopy; in the substantia nigra pars compacta area of the mouse brain, the Nrf2 activation preceded dopaminergic neurodegeneration as demonstrated by in vivo and ex vivo optical imaging, a finding confirmed by co-localization experiments carried out by immunohistochemistry...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Ying Si, Xianqin Cui, David K Crossman, Jiaying Hao, Mohamed Kazamel, Yuri Kwon, Peter H King
ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons leading to progressive atrophy and weakness of muscles. Some of the earliest pathophysiological changes occur at the level of skeletal muscle and the neuromuscular junction. We previously identified distinct mRNA patterns, including members of the Smad and TGF-β family, that emerge in muscle tissue at the earliest (pre-clinical) stages. These patterns track disease progression in the mutant SOD1 mouse and are present in human ALS muscle. Because miRNAs play a direct regulatory role in mRNA expression, we hypothesized in this study that there would be distinct miRNA patterns in ALS muscle appearing in early stages that could track disease progression...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Tara Arbab, Francesco P Battaglia, Cyriel M A Pennartz, Conrado A Bosman
Neuronal networks can synchronize their activity through excitatory and inhibitory connections, which is conducive to synaptic plasticity. This synchronization is reflected in rhythmic fluctuations of the extracellular field. In the hippocampus, theta and gamma band LFP oscillations are a hallmark of the processing of spatial information and memory. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an intellectual disability and the most common genetic cause of autism spectrum disorder (Belmonte and Bourgeron, 2006). Here, we investigated how neuronal network synchronization in the mouse hippocampus is compromised by the Fmr1 mutation that causes FXS (Santos et al...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Steven E Pierce, Trevor Tyson, Alix Booms, Jordan Prahl, Gerhard A Coetzee
In genome-wide association studies of complex diseases, many risk polymorphisms are found to lie in non-coding DNA and likely confer risk through allele-dependent differences in gene regulatory elements. However, because distal regulatory elements can alter gene expression at various distances on linear DNA, the identity of relevant genes is unknown for most risk loci. In Parkinson's disease, at least some genetic risk is likely intrinsic to a neuronal subpopulation of cells in the brain regions affected. In order to compare neuron-relevant methods of pairing risk polymorphisms to target genes as well as to further characterize a single-cell model of a neurodegenerative disease, we used the portionally-dopaminergic, neuronal, mesencephalic-derived cell line LUHMES to dissect differentiation-specific mechanisms of gene expression...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Hong-Mei Wu, Ting Li, Zhen-Feng Wang, Shi-Shi Huang, Zi-Qiang Shao, Ke Wang, Hai-Qing Zhong, Song-Fang Chen, Xiong Zhang, Jian-Hong Zhu
It is well recognized that mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). The mtDNA displacement loop (D-loop) region is known to accumulate structural alterations and mutations. To understand how mtDNA variants contribute to the susceptibility to sporadic PD in Chinese, a total of 500 PD patients and 505 controls were recruited from East China, and their D-loop regions were sequenced. A total of 389 variants were detected out of the 1005 subjects. There were 91 variants with frequencies >1%, which included 88 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 2 deletions and 1 insertion...
February 24, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Philip H Iffland, Marianna Baybis, Allan E Barnes, Richard J Leventer, Paul J Lockhart, Peter B Crino
Mutations in DEPDC5 and NPRL3 subunits of GATOR1, a modulator of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), are linked to malformations of cortical development (MCD). Brain specimens from these individuals reveal abnormal cortical lamination, altered cell morphology, and hyperphosphorylation of ribosomal S6 protein (PS6), a marker for mTOR activation. While numerous studies have examined GATOR1 subunit function in non-neuronal cell lines, few have directly assessed loss of GATOR 1 subunit function in neuronal cell types...
February 23, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
Yingjie Qi, Igor Klyubin, A Claudio Cuello, Michael J Rowan
Pro-inflammatory mechanisms have recently emerged as an important component of early Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. A particularly attractive therapeutic strategy is to selectively prevent the disruptive effects of activation of the innate immune system in the brain at an early transitional stage by reducing the production or directly neutralizing pro-inflammatory cytokines, in particular IL-1β and TNF-α. Here we tested their in vivo effects on synaptic plasticity deficits, which provide sensitive and robust measures of synaptic failure, in a rat model of AD amyloidosis...
February 22, 2018: Neurobiology of Disease
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