Intravitreal injection of α-crystallin can promote axons from optic nerve regeneration after crushing in rats. We have previously demonstrated that α-crystallin can counteract the effect of myelin inhibitory factors and stimulate neurite growth. And a common crucial signaling event for myelin inhibitory factors is the activation of RhoA. To investigate whether α-crystallin counteracts the inhibitory effect of myelin inhibitory factors through regulation of RhoA/Rock signaling pathway, α-crystallin (10(-4) g/L) was injected into rat vitreous at the time the optic nerve crushed. The RhoA protein activity and the expression of RhoA and Rock were evaluated after 3 days of optic nerve axotomy. Rock downstream effectors, phosphorylated cofilin, and phosphorylated myosin light chain were detected when retinal neurons were cultured for 3 days. Axonal regeneration and neurites growth of cultured cells were observed also. Our results showed that α-crystallin decreased the RhoA protein activity and the phosphorylation of both cofilin and myosin light chain, and promoted the axonal growth. However, the expression of RhoA and Rock was not affected by α-crystallin. These findings indicated that α-crystallin could counteract the effect of myelin inhibitory factors through the regulation of RhoA/Rock signaling pathway.
"Interestingly, application of α-crystallin to the vitreous resulted in a decreased RhoA and ROCK activity, and a reduction of p-cofilin and p-MLC, which was associated with increased axonal regeneration in vivo. Thus, pro-regenerative effects of crystallins may, at least partially, be attributed to the regulation of the RhoA/ROCK/cofilin pathway (Wang et al., 2011). Because α-crystallin interacts with α6-integrin membrane receptor complexes and alters their cellular signaling (Menko and Andley, 2010) a speculative link to RhoA consists in the prevention of the GDP to GTP exchange of RhoA through integrin membrane complex binding of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (Wettschureck and Offermanns, 2002). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regenerative failure in the CNS largely depends on pronounced growth inhibitory signaling and reduced cellular survival after a lesion stimulus. One key mediator of growth inhibitory signaling is Rho-associated kinase (ROCK), which has been shown to modulate growth cone stability by regulation of actin dynamics. Recently, there is accumulating evidence the ROCK also plays a deleterious role for cellular survival. In this manuscript we illustrate that ROCK is involved in a variety of intracellular signaling pathways that comprise far more than those involved in neurite growth inhibition alone. Although ROCK function is currently studied in many different disease contexts, our review focuses on neurorestorative approaches in the CNS, especially in models of neurotrauma. Promising strategies to target ROCK by pharmacological small molecule inhibitors and RNAi approaches are evaluated for their outcome on regenerative growth and cellular protection both in preclinical and in clinical studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transplantation of cultured olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) into lesions can promote axonal regeneration. However, the acutely injured CNS environment affects the survival and proliferation of OECs which might impair its therapy effects. To investigate whether α-crystallin can promote the survival and proliferation of OECs, OECs were cultured with α-crystallin. The survival of OECs was assessed by counting the numbers of p75-labeled OECs. Cellular proliferative activity was estimated by flow cytometry and quantification of BrdU-labeled cells. Phosphorylated p85, Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) were detected when OECs were culture for 7 days. Our results showed that the numbers of p75-labeled or Brdu-labeled OECs in α-crystallin group were much more than that in control group. And α-crystallin increased the phosphorylation of both p85, Akt and mTOR. LY294002 abrogated the ability of α-crystallin to phosphorylate Akt and mTOR, and decreased the percentage of cells in S and G2/M stage which were treated with α-crystallin. These findings indicated that α-crystallin positively regulated the activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and promote the proliferation and survival of cultured OECs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of retinal microglial cells (RMCs) is known to contribute to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death after optic nerve injury. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of intravenous injection of α-crystallin on RGC survival and RMC activation in a rat model of optic nerve crush.
RGCs were retrogradely labeled with fluorogold. Rats were intravenously injected with normal saline or α-crystallin (0.05g/kg, 0.5g/kg, and 5g/kg) at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12days after the optic nerve crush. Activated RMCs were characterized using immunofluorescence labeling with CD11b, and TNF-α and iNOS expression was detected using immunoblot analyses. We analyzed the morphology and numbers of RGC and RMC 2 and 4weeks after injury using fluorescence and confocal microscopy.
The number of RGCs decreased after optic nerve injury, accompanied by significantly increased numbers of activated RMCs. Intravenous injection of α-crystallin decreased the number of RMCs, and enhanced the number of RGCs compared to saline injection. α-crystallin administration inhibited TNF-α and iNOS protein expression induced by optic nerve injury.
Our results suggest that α-crystallin promotes RGC survival and inhibits RMC activation. Intravenous injection of α-crystallin could be a possible strategy for the treatment of optic nerve injury.
Life sciences 11/2013; 94(1). DOI:10.1016/j.lfs.2013.10.034 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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