Tumor-necrosis-factor-related apoptosis-inducing-ligand (TRAIL)-mediated death of neurons in living human brain tissue is inhibited by flupirtine-maleate.
ABSTRACT Neuronal damage mediated by the TRAIL-system might be involved in the pathogenesis of neuroinflammatory diseases of the central nervous system. Here we used an investigator-independent approach to quantify TRAIL-mediated death of total CNS cells and neurons in a living human brain slice culture system, a model which is much closer to the in vivo situation than dissociated cell culture. We observed dose-dependent TRAIL-mediated death of both total human CNS cells and neurons, which was prevented by flupirtine-maleate, a centrally acting analgesic drug with proposed neuroprotective properties. Our data suggest flupirtine-maleate as an orally available neuroprotective approach in the course of neuroinflammation.
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ABSTRACT: Activation of the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) responsive subclass of glutamate receptors is an important mechanism of excitatory synaptic transmission. Moreover, NMDA receptors are widely involved in many forms of synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), which are thought to underlie complex tasks, including learning and memory. Dysfunction of these ligand-gated cation channels has been identified as an underlying molecular mechanism in neurological disorders ranging from acute stroke to chronic neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Excessive glutamate levels have been detected following brain trauma and cerebral ischemia, resulting in an unregulated stimulation of NMDA receptors. These conditions are thought to elicit a cascade of excitation-mediated neuronal damage where massive increases in intracellular calcium concentrations finally trigger neuronal damage and apoptosis. Consistent with the hypothesis of NMDA receptors as essential mediators of excitotoxicity, the different functional domains of these ion channels have been identified as potential targets for neuroprotective agents. Following an initial hype on potential NMDA receptor therapeutics, the authors currently see a period of skepticism that, in reverse, appears to neglect the therapeutic potential of this receptor class. This review attempts a reappraisal of this important class of neurotransmitter receptors, with a focus on NMDA receptor heterogeneity, ligand binding domains, and candidate diseases for a potential neuroprotective therapy.The Neuroscientist 01/2008; 13(6):594-615. DOI:10.1177/1073858406296259 · 7.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human astrocytes express Fas yet are resistant to Fas-induced apoptosis. Here, we report that calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is constitutively activated in human astrocytes and protects the cells from apoptotic stimulation by Fas agonist. Once stimulated, Fas recruits Fas-associated death domain and caspase-8 for the assembly of the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC); however, caspase-8 cleavage is inhibited in the DISC. Inhibition of CaMKII kinase activity inhibits the expression of phosphoprotein enriched astrocytes-15 kDa/phosphoprotein enriched in diabetes (PEA-15/PED) and cellular Fas-associated death domain-like interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), thus releasing their inhibition of caspase-8 cleavage. Inhibition of PEA-15/PED or c-FLIP by small interfering RNA sensitizes human astrocytes to Fas-induced apoptosis. In contrast, inhibition of CaMKII, PEA-15, or c-FLIP does not affect the sensitivity of human astrocytes to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). TRAIL death receptors (DR4, DR5) are weakly expressed at mRNA, protein, and cell surface levels and thus fail to mediate the assembly of the DISC in human astrocytes. Overexpression of DR5 restores TRAIL signaling pathways and sensitizes the human astrocytes to TRAIL-induced apoptosis if CaMKII kinase activity or expression of PEA-15 and c-FLIP is inhibited; the results suggest that CaMKII-mediated pathways prevent TRAIL-induced apoptosis in human astrocytes under conditions in which TRAIL death receptors are upregulated. This study has therefore identified the molecular mechanisms that protect normal human astrocytes from apoptosis induced by Fas ligand and TRAIL.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 04/2006; 26(12):3299-308. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5572-05.2006 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the primary cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown, the widely accepted view is that aberrant (auto)immune responses possibly arising following infection(s) are responsible for the destructive inflammatory demyelination and neurodegeneration in the central nervous system (CNS). This notion, and the limited access of human brain tissue early in the course of MS, has led to the development of autoimmune, viral and toxin-induced demyelination animal models as well as the development of human CNS cell and organotypic brain slice cultures in an attempt to understand events in MS. The autoimmune models, collectively known as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), and viral models have shaped ideas of how environmental factors may trigger inflammation, demyelination and neurodegeneration in the CNS. Understandably, these models have also heavily influenced the development of therapies targeting the inflammatory aspect of MS. Demyelination and remyelination in the absence of overt inflammation are better studied in toxin-induced demyelination models using cuprizone and lysolecithin. The paradigm shift of MS as an autoimmune disease of myelin to a neurodegenerative disease has required more appropriate models reflecting the axonal and neuronal damage. Thus, secondary progressive EAE and spastic models have been crucial to develop neuroprotective approaches. In this review the current in vivo and in vitro experimental models to examine pathological mechanisms involved in inflammation, demyelination and neuronal degeneration, as well as remyelination and repair in MS are discussed. Since this knowledge is the basis for the development of new therapeutic approaches for MS, we particularly address whether the currently available models truly reflect the human disease, and discuss perspectives to further optimise and develop more suitable experimental models to study MS. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.01/2012; 1(1):15–28. DOI:10.1016/j.msard.2011.09.002