Oral Administration of a Small Molecule Targeted to Block proNGF Binding to p75 Promotes Myelin Sparing and Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury.
ABSTRACT The lack of effective therapies for spinal cord injury points to the need for identifying novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Here we report that a small molecule, LM11A-31, developed to block proNGF-p75 interaction and p75-mediated cell death crosses the blood-brain barrier efficiently when delivered orally. Administered starting 4 h postinjury, LM11A-31 promotes functional recovery without causing any toxicity or increased pain in a mouse model of spinal contusion injury. In both weight-bearing open-field tests and nonweight-bearing swim tests, LM11A-31 was effective in improving motor function and coordination. Such functional improvement correlated with a >50% increase in the number of surviving oligodendrocytes and myelinated axons. We also demonstrate that LM11A-31 indeed inhibits proNGF-p75 interaction in vivo, thereby curtailing the JNK3-mediated apoptotic cascade. These results thus highlight p75 as a novel therapeutic target for an orally delivered treatment for spinal cord injury.
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ABSTRACT: Neurotrophins, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), are initially expressed in a precursor form (e.g., pro-BDNF) and cleaved to form mature BDNF (mBDNF). After pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE), increases in neurotrophins regulate a wide variety of cell-signaling pathways, including prosurvival and cell-death machinery in a receptor-specific manner. Pro-BDNF preferentially binds to the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), whereas mBDNF is the major ligand of the tropomyosin-related kinase receptor. To elucidate a potential role for p75NTR in acute stages of epileptogenesis, rats were injected prior to and at onset of SE with LM11A-31, a small-molecule ligand that binds to p75NTR to promote survival signaling and inhibit neuronal cell death. Modulation of early p75NTR signaling and its effects on electrographic SE, SE-induced neurodegeneration, and subsequent spontaneous seizures were examined after LM11A-31 administration. Despite an established neuroprotective effect of LM11A-31 in several animal models of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury), high-dose LM11A-31 administration prior to and at onset of SE did not reduce the intensity of electrographic SE, prevent SE-induced neuronal cell injury, or inhibit the progression of epileptogenesis. Further studies are required to understand the role of p75NTR activation during epileptogenesis and in seizure-induced cell injury in the hippocampus, among other potential cellular pathologies contributing to the onset of spontaneous seizures. Additional studies utilizing more prolonged treatment with LM11A-31 are required to reach a definite conclusion on its potential neuroprotective role in epilepsy. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Journal of Neuroscience Research 05/2014; · 2.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Identification of mechanisms for pain/hyperalgesia following spinal cord injury requires long-term evaluation of individual subjects because of the variability in effect over time for humans.Methods Rats were trained on an operant escape task that determined their preference for occupancy of a brightly lit compartment versus a dark compartment with a floor preheated to 10, 32 or 44.5 °C. Following determination of baseline preferences, the animals received extradural implantation of a small piece of polymer in the thoracic spinal canal. The polymer narrowed the spinal canal and compressed the spinal cord. Post-operative tests of escape preference were conducted over 23 weeks (experiments 1 and 2) and 62 weeks (experiment 3), permitting statistical evaluation of individual effects.ResultsSpinal stenosis/compression produced hyperalgesia for cold and/or heat stimulation (17 animals; 77%), no post-operative change in sensitivity (4 animals) or hypoalgesia for cold or heat (2 animals). When hyperalgesia occurred, it developed gradually over 4 months. Following removal of the polymer in experiment 3, heat sensitivity returned to baseline levels for four of four animals that had been hyperalgesic when the polymer was in place, but cold hyperalgesia was retained for four of five animals. Overall, post-operative changes in cold and heat sensitivity were not strongly related, indicating that different mechanisms were responsible for enhanced sensitivity to 10 and 44.5 °C.Conclusions Histology revealed that hyperalgesia occurred when there was: (1) damage to spinal white matter; or (2) cystic cavitation; or (3) compression and distortion of the spinal cord without an obvious loss of grey or white matter.European journal of pain (London, England) 02/2015; · 3.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons contributes significantly to the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and has been attributed to aberrant signaling through the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR). Thus, modulating p75NTR signaling is considered a promising therapeutic strategy for AD. Accordingly, our laboratory has developed small molecule p75NTR ligands that increase survival signaling and inhibit amyloid-β-induced degenerative signaling in in vitro studies. Previous work found that a lead p75NTR ligand, LM11A-31, prevents degeneration of cholinergic neurites when given to an AD mouse model in the early stages of disease pathology. To extend its potential clinical applications, we sought to determine whether LM11A-31 could reverse cholinergic neurite atrophy when treatment begins in AD mouse models having mid- to late stages of pathology. Reversing pathology may have particular clinical relevance as most AD studies involve patients that are at an advanced pathological stage. In this study, LM11A-31 (50 or 75 mg/kg) was administered orally to two AD mouse models, Thy-1 hAPPLond/Swe (APPL/S) and Tg2576, at age ranges during which marked AD-like pathology manifests. In mid-stage male APPL/S mice, LM11A-31 administered for 3 months starting at 6-8 months of age prevented and/or reversed atrophy of basal forebrain cholinergic neurites and cortical dystrophic neurites. Importantly, a 1 month LM11A-31 treatment given to male APPL/S mice (12-13 months old) with late-stage pathology reversed the degeneration of cholinergic neurites in basal forebrain, ameliorated cortical dystrophic neurites, and normalized increased basal forebrain levels of p75NTR. Similar results were seen in female Tg2576 mice. These findings suggest that LM11A-31 can reduce and/or reverse fundamental AD pathologies in late-stage AD mice. Thus, targeting p75NTR is a promising approach to reducing AD-related degenerative processes that have progressed beyond early stages.PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e102136. · 3.53 Impact Factor