Targeting VIP and PACAP receptor signalling: new therapeutic strategies in multiple sclerosis.

The Semel Institute, Department of Psychiatry, the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 90095, USA.
ASN Neuro (Impact Factor: 4.44). 09/2011; 3(4). DOI: 10.1042/AN20110024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT MS (multiple sclerosis) is a chronic autoimmune and neurodegenerative pathology of the CNS (central nervous system) affecting approx. 2.5 million people worldwide. Current and emerging DMDs (disease-modifying drugs) predominantly target the immune system. These therapeutic agents slow progression and reduce severity at early stages of MS, but show little activity on the neurodegenerative component of the disease. As the latter determines permanent disability, there is a critical need to pursue alternative modalities. VIP (vasoactive intestinal peptide) and PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide) have potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions, and have shown significant activity in animal inflammatory disease models including the EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) MS model. Thus, their receptors have become candidate targets for inflammatory diseases. Here, we will discuss the immunomodulatory and neuroprotective actions of VIP and PACAP and their signalling pathways, and then extensively review the structure-activity relationship data and biophysical interaction studies of these peptides with their cognate receptors.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The nerve growth factor (NGF) and other neurotrophins, and the neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) are largely present in human tissue and can exert modulatory activities on nervous, endocrine and immune system functions. NGF, VIP and PACAP receptors are expressed systemically in organisms, and thus these mediators exhibit pleiotropic natures. The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the causal agent of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), infects immune cells, and its replication is modulated by a number of endogenous factors that interact with HIV-1-infected cells. NGF, VIP and PACAP can also affect HIV-1 virus particle production upon binding to their receptors on the membranes of infected cells, which triggers cell signaling pathways that modify the HIV-1 replicative cycle. These molecules exert opposite effects on HIV-1 replication, as NGF and other neurotrophins enhance and VIP and PACAP reduce viral production in HIV-1-infected human primary macrophages. The understanding of AIDS pathogenesis should consider the mechanisms by which the replication of HIV-1, a pathogen that causes chronic morbidity, is influenced by neurotrophins, VIP and PACAP, i.e. molecules that exert a broad spectrum of physiological activities on the neuroimmunoendocrine axis. In this review, we will present the main effects of these two groups of mediators on the HIV-1 replicative cycle, as well as the mechanisms that underlie their abilities to modulate HIV-1 production in infected immune cells, and discuss the possible repercussion of the cross talk between NGF and both neuropeptides on the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    NeuroImmunoModulation 03/2014; 21(5):268-282. DOI:10.1159/000357434 · 1.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Regeneration of peripheral nerves depends on the abilities of rejuvenating axons to migrate at the injury site through cellular debris and altered extracellular matrix, and then grow along the residual distal nerve sheath conduit and reinnervate synaptic targets. Considerable evi-dence suggest that glial cells participate in this process, although the mechanisms remain to be clarified. In cell culture, regenerating neurites secrete PACAP, a peptide shown to in-duce the expression of the protease tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in neural cell types. In the present studies, we tested the hypothesis that PACAP can stimulate peripheral glial cells to produce tPA. More specifically, we addressed whether or not PACAP promoted the expression and activity of tPA in the Schwann cell line RT4-D6P2T, which shares biochemi-cal and physical properties with Schwann cells. We found that PACAP dose-and time-dependently stimulated tPA expression both at the mRNA and protein level. Such effect was mimicked by maxadilan, a potent PAC1 receptor agonist, but not by the PACAP-related homolog VIP, suggesting a PAC1-mediated function. These actions appeared to be mediat-ed at least in part by the Akt/CREB signaling cascade because wortmannin, a PI3K inhibi-tor, prevented peptide-driven CREB phosphorylation and tPA increase. Interestingly, treatment with BDNF mimicked PACAP actions on tPA, but acted through both the Akt and MAPK signaling pathways, while causing a robust increase in PACAP and PAC1 expres-sion. PACAP6-38 totally blocked PACAP-driven tPA expression and in part hampered BDNF-mediated effects. We conclude that PACAP, acting through PAC1 receptors, stimu-lates tPA expression and activity in a Akt/CREB-dependent manner to promote proteolytic activity in Schwann-cell like cultures.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0117799. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117799 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuroinflammation is a major risk factor in Parkinson disease (PD). Alternative approaches are needed to treat inflammation, as anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs that inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) can produce devastating side effects, including heart attack and stroke. New therapeutic strategies that target factors downstream of COX-2, such as prostaglandin J2 (PGJ2), hold tremendous promise because they will not alter the homeostatic balance offered by COX-2 derived prostanoids. In the current studies, we report that repeated microinfusion of PGJ2 into the substantia nigra of non-transgenic mice, induces three stages of pathology that mimic the slow-onset cellular and behavioral pathology of PD: mild (one injection) when only motor deficits are detectable, intermediate (two injections) when neuronal and motor deficits as well as microglia activation are detectable, and severe (four injections) when dopaminergic neuronal loss is massive accompanied by microglia activation and motor deficits. Microglia activation was evaluated in vivo by positron emission tomography (PET) with [(11)C](R)PK11195 to provide a regional estimation of brain inflammation. PACAP27 reduced dopaminergic neuronal loss and motor deficits induced by PGJ2, without preventing microglia activation. The latter could be problematic in that persistent microglia activation can exert long-term deleterious effects on neurons and behavior. In conclusion, this PGJ2-induced mouse model that mimics in part chronic inflammation, exhibits slow-onset PD-like pathology and is optimal for testing diagnostic tools such as PET, as well as therapies designed to target the integrated signaling across neurons and microglia, to fully benefit patients with PD.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.06.020 · 5.09 Impact Factor


Available from