A system mathematical model of a cell-cell communication network in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, 6670 Bertner Avenue, Houston, USA. .
Molecular BioSystems (Impact Factor: 3.21). 01/2013; 9(3). DOI: 10.1039/c2mb25370d
Source: PubMed


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating and chronic neurodegenerative disease without any known cure. In the brain and spinal cord of both patients and animal models with ALS, neuroinflammation is a prominent pathological hallmark which is characterized by infiltrating T cells at sites of motor neuron injury. Their presence in mutant Cu(2+)/Zn(2+) superoxide dismutase (mSOD1) induced ALS plays an important role in shifting the response of microglia from neuroprotective to neurotoxic. In order to better understand how these cells and their communication network collectively modulate the disease progression, we have established a mathematical model integrating diverse cells and cytokines. According to the experimental data sets, we first refined this model by identifying a link between TGFβ and M1 microglia which can produce an optimized model to fit data sets better. Then based on this model, parameters were estimated using genetic algorithm. Sensitivity analysis of these parameters identified several factors such as the release rate of IFNγ by T helper 1 (Th1) cells, which may be related to the heterogeneity between the patients with different survival times. Furthermore, the tests on T cell based therapeutic strategies indicated that elimination of Th1 cells is the most effective approach extending survival time. This confirmed the dominant role of Th1 cells in leading the rapid disorder in the later stage of ALS. For the therapies targeting cytokines, injection of IL6 can essentially augment the neuroprotective response and extend the life effectively by elevating the level of IL4, a neuroprotective cytokine, while directly injected IL4 will decay rapidly in the ALS microenvironment and cannot provide a persistent protective effect. On the other hand, in spite of the attractive effect of direct elimination of mSOD1 or self-antigen, it is difficult to implement in CNS. As an alternative, elimination of IFNγ can be chosen as another effective therapy. In the future, if we combine the side effects of different therapies, this model can be used to optimize the therapeutic strategies so that they can effectively improve survival rates and quality of life for patients with ALS.

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    • "In the CNS, CD8 + T cells can induce apoptosis of target cells through the Fas/FasL, perforin/granzyme system, and IFNí µí»¾ [53]. IFNí µí»¾ that can be released by CD4 + T helper 1 (Th1) has been recently proposed as a pertinent therapeutic candidate using a system mathematical model [54]. Although several studies have pointed out the implication of astrocytes and microglia cells in the process of neuroinflammation in ALS, future studies are needed to clarify the role of immune cells in triggering the Fas/NO or IFNí µí»¾ death pathway implicated in motoneuron degeneration. "
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    ABSTRACT: While studies on death receptors have long been restricted to immune cells, the last decade has provided a strong body of evidence for their implication in neuronal death and hence neurodegenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a fatal paralytic disorder that primarily affects motoneurons in the brain and spinal cord. A neuroinflammatory process, associated with astrocyte and microglial activation as well as infiltration of immune cells, accompanies motoneuron degeneration and supports the contribution of non-cell-autonomous mechanisms in the disease. Hallmarks of Fas, TNFR, LT-βR, and p7 signaling have been observed in both animal models and ALS patients. This review summarizes to date knowledge of the role of death receptors in ALS and the link existing between the selective loss of motoneurons and neuroinflammation. It further suggests how this recent evidence could be included in an ultimate multiapproach to treat patients.
    Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases 07/2013; 2013(6). DOI:10.1155/2013/746845
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective and gradual loss of motoneurons in the brain and spinal cord. A persistent inflammation, typified by the activation of astrocytes and microglia, accompanies the progressive degeneration of motoneurons. Interferon gamma (IFNγ), a potent proinflammatory cytokine that is aberrantly present in the spinal cord of ALS mice and patients, has been proposed to contribute to motoneuron death by eliciting the activation of the lymphotoxin-β receptor (LT-βR) through its ligand LIGHT. However, the implication of IFNγ in the pathogenic process remains elusive. Here, we show that an antagonistic anti-IFNγ antibody efficiently rescues motoneurons from IFNγ-induced death. When transiently delivered in the cerebrospinal fluid through a subcutaneously implanted osmotic minipump, the neutralizing anti-IFNγ antibody significantly retarded motor function decline in a mouse model of ALS. However, this transient infusion of anti-IFNγ antibody did not increase the life expectancy of ALS mice. Our results suggest that IFNγ contributes to ALS pathogenesis and represents a potential therapeutic target for ALS.
    Neuroreport 10/2013; 25(1). DOI:10.1097/WNR.0000000000000043 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance and abdominal obesity are present in the majority of people with the metabolic syndrome. Antioxidant therapy might be a useful strategy for type 2 diabetes and other insulin-resistant states. The combination of vitamin C (Vc) and vitamin E has synthetic scavenging effect on free radicals and inhibition effect on lipid peroxidation. However, there are few studies about how to define the best combination of more than three anti-oxidants as it is difficult or impossible to test the anti-oxidant effect of the combination of every concentration of each ingredient experimentally. Here we present a math model, which is based on the classical Hill equation to determine the best combination, called Fixed Dose Combination (FDC), of several natural anti-oxidants, including Vc, green tea polyphenols (GTP) and grape seed extract proanthocyanidin (GSEP). Then we investigated the effects of FDC on oxidative stress, blood glucose and serum lipid levels in cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes, high fat diet (HFD)-fed rats which serve as obesity model, and KK-ay mice as diabetic model. The level of serum malondialdehyde (MDA) in the treated rats was studied and Hematoxylin-Eosin (HE) staining or Oil red slices of liver and adipose tissue in the rats were examined as well. FDC shows excellent antioxidant and anti-glycation activity by attenuating lipid peroxidation. FDC determined in this investigation can become a potential solution to reduce obesity, to improve insulin sensitivity and be beneficial for the treatment of fat and diabetic patients. It is the first time to use the math model to determine the best ratio of three anti-oxidants, which can save much more time and chemical materials than traditional experimental method. This quantitative method represents a potentially new and useful strategy to screen all possible combinations of many natural anti-oxidants, therefore may help develop novel therapeutics with the potential to ameliorate the worldwide metabolic abnormalities. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    06/2015; 6. DOI:10.1016/j.redox.2015.06.013