Delayed cell cycle pathway modulation facilitates recovery after spinal cord injury

Department of Anesthesiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) (Impact Factor: 5.01). 05/2012; 11(9):1782-95. DOI: 10.4161/cc.20153
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) causes tissue loss and associated neurological dysfunction through mechanical damage and secondary biochemical and physiological responses. We have previously described the pathobiological role of cell cycle pathways following rat contusion SCI by examining the effects of early intrathecal cell cycle inhibitor treatment initiation or gene knockout on secondary injury. Here, we delineate changes in cell cycle pathway activation following SCI and examine the effects of delayed (24 h) systemic administration of flavopiridol, an inhibitor of major cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), on functional recovery and histopathology in a rat SCI contusion model. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated a marked upregulation of cell cycle-related proteins, including pRb, cyclin D1, CDK4, E2F1 and PCNA, at various time points following SCI, along with downregulation of the endogenous CDK inhibitor p27. Treatment with flavopiridol reduced induction of cell cycle proteins and increased p27 expression in the injured spinal cord. Functional recovery was significantly improved after SCI from day 7 through day 28. Treatment significantly reduced lesion volume and the number of Iba-1(+) microglia in the preserved tissue and increased the myelinated area of spared white matter as well as the number of CC1(+) oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, flavopiridol attenuated expression of Iba-1 and glactin-3, associated with microglial activation and astrocytic reactivity by reduction of GFAP, NG2, and CHL1 expression. Our current study supports the role of cell cycle activation in the pathophysiology of SCI and by using a clinically relevant treatment model, provides further support for the therapeutic potential of cell cycle inhibitors in the treatment of human SCI.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) induces secondary tissue damage that is associated with astrogliosis and inflammation. We previously reported that acute upregulation of a cluster of cell-cycle-related genes contributes to post-mitotic cell death and secondary damage after SCI. However, it remains unclear whether cell cycle activation continues more chronically and contributes to more delayed glial change. Here we examined expression of cell cycle-related proteins up to 4 months following SCI, as well as the effects of the selective cyclin-dependent kinase (CDKs) inhibitor CR8, on astrogliosis and microglial activation in a rat SCI contusion model. Adult male rats were subjected to moderate spinal cord contusion injury at T8 using a well-characterized weight-drop model. Tissue from the lesion epicenter was obtained 4 weeks or 4 months post-injury, and processed for protein expression and lesion volume. Functional recovery was assessed over the 4 months after injury. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated a marked continued upregulation of cell cycle-related proteins - including cyclin D1 and E, CDK4, E2F5 and PCNA - for 4 months post-injury that were highly expressed by GFAP+ astrocytes and microglia, and co-localized with inflammatory-related proteins. CR8 administrated systemically 3 h post-injury and continued for 7 days limited the sustained elevation of cell cycle proteins and immunoreactivity of GFAP, Iba-1 and p22PHOX - a key component of NADPH oxidase - up to 4 months after SCI. CR8 treatment significantly reduced lesion volume, which typically progressed in untreated animals between 1 and 4 months after trauma. Functional recovery was also significantly improved by CR8 treatment after SCI from week 2 through week 16. These data demonstrate that cell cycle-related proteins are chronically upregulated after SCI and may contribute to astroglial scar formation, chronic inflammation and further tissue loss.
    Journal of Neuroinflammation 07/2012; 9(1):169. DOI:10.1186/1742-2094-9-169 · 4.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a catabolic mechanism facilitating degradation of cytoplasmic proteins and organelles in a lysosome-dependent manner. Autophagy flux is necessary for normal neuronal homeostasis and its dysfunction contributes to neuronal cell death in several neurodegenerative diseases. Elevated autophagy has been reported after spinal cord injury (SCI); however, its mechanism, cell type specificity and relationship to cell death are unknown. Using a rat model of contusive SCI, we observed accumulation of LC3-II-positive autophagosomes starting at posttrauma day 1. This was accompanied by a pronounced accumulation of autophagy substrate protein p62, indicating that early elevation of autophagy markers reflected disrupted autophagosome degradation. Levels of lysosomal protease cathepsin D and numbers of cathepsin-D-positive lysosomes were also decreased at this time, suggesting that lysosomal damage may contribute to the observed defect in autophagy flux. Normalization of p62 levels started by day 7 after SCI, and was associated with increased cathepsin D levels. At day 1 after SCI, accumulation of autophagosomes was pronounced in ventral horn motor neurons and dorsal column oligodendrocytes and microglia. In motor neurons, disruption of autophagy strongly correlated with evidence of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. As autophagy is thought to protect against ER stress, its disruption after SCI could contribute to ER-stress-induced neuronal apoptosis. Consistently, motor neurons showing disrupted autophagy co-expressed ER-stress-associated initiator caspase 12 and cleaved executioner caspase 3. Together, these findings indicate that SCI causes lysosomal dysfunction that contributes to autophagy disruption and associated ER-stress-induced neuronal apoptosis.
    Cell Death & Disease 01/2015; 6(1):e1582. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2014.527 · 5.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cell-cycle inhibitor flavopiridol has been shown to improve recovery from spinal cord injury in animal models. However, the systemic dose of flavopiridol has side-effects and the mechanism of action is not clear. This study aimed to develop a strategy for the local delivery of flavopiridol and investigate its mechanisms of action. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) were used for the sustained delivery of flavopiridol. The spinal cord was right-hemisectioned and NPs were delivered into the injury site. Transparent spinal cord technology was used for the three-dimensional observation of anterograde tracing. The results showed that flavopiridol NPs had a sustained release of up to 3 days in vitro. Flavopiridol NPs significantly decreased inflammatory factor synthesis by astrocytes, including TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, while the IL-10 expression was elevated. In vivo study demonstrated that flavopiridol NPs decreased cell-cycle activation, inflammatory expression and glial scarring, and facilitated neuronal survival and regeneration. The cavitation volume was decreased by ∼90%. Administration of flavopiridol NPs also improved the motor recovery of injured animals. These findings demonstrated that local delivery of flavopiridol in PLGA NPs improves recovery from spinal cord injury by inhibiting astrocyte growth and inflammatory factor synthesis.
    Biomaterials 08/2014; 35(24):6585–6594. DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.042 · 8.31 Impact Factor