Erich Buerger

Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Research Center Gmbh & Co. Kg, Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany

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Publications (9)20.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Short-acting dopamine (DA) agonists are usually administered several times a day resulting in fluctuating plasma and brain levels. DA agonists providing continuous dopaminergic stimulation may achieve higher therapeutic benefit for example by alleviating nocturnal disturbances as well as early morning akinesia. In the present study continuous release (CR) of pramipexole (PPX) was maintained by subcutaneous implantation of Alzet minipumps, whereas subcutaneous PPX injections were used to mimic PPX immediate release (IR) in male Wistar rats. In the catalepsy bar test, PPX-CR (1 mg/kg/day) reversed the haloperidol-induced motor impairment in the morning and over the whole observation period of 12h. In contrast, PPX-IR (tid 1 mg/kg, pre-treatment the day before) was not effective in the morning but catalepsy was reduced for 6 h after PPX-IR (1 mg/kg) injection. In the reserpine model, early morning akinesia indicated by the first motor activity measurement in the morning was significantly reversed by PPX-CR (2 mg/kg/day). Again, PPX-IR (tid 0.3 mg/kg, pre-treatment the day before) was not able to antagonise early morning akinesia. These results are in agreement with in vivo microdialysis measurements showing a continuous decrease of extracellular DA levels and a continuous PPX exposure in the PPX-CR (1 mg/kg/day) group. In contrast, PPX-IR (0.3 mg/kg) produced a transient decrease of extracellular DA levels over 6 h and showed maximum PPX levels 2 h after dosing which decreased over the following 6-8 h. The present study demonstrates that PPX-CR may offer a higher therapeutic benefit than PPX-IR on early morning akinesia and confirms earlier reports that PPX-IR reverses motor impairment for several hours.
    Synapse 07/2010; 64(7):533-41. DOI:10.1002/syn.20759 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pramipexole exists as two isomers. The S(-) enantiomer is a potent D3/D2 receptor agonist and is extensively used in the management of PD. In contrast, the R(+) enantiomer is virtually devoid of any of the DA agonist effects. Very limited studies are available to characterize the pharmacological spectrum of the R(+) enantiomer of pramipexole. Using differentiated SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells as an experimental model, here we show that S(-) and R(+) pramipexole are endowed with equipotent efficacy in preventing cell death induced by H2O2 and inhibiting mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation. Both pramipexole enantiomers prevented mitochondrial ROS generation with a potency about ten times higher then that elicited for neuroprotection. These results support the concept of both S(-) and R(+) pramipexole enantiomers as mitochondria-targeted antioxidants and suggest that the antioxidant, neuroprotective activity of these drugs is independent of both the chiral 6-propylamino group in the pramipexole molecule and the DA receptor stimulation.
    BMC Pharmacology 02/2010; 10:2. DOI:10.1186/1471-2210-10-2
  • Stefan Albrecht · Erich Buerger
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    ABSTRACT: The death of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD) appears to have various causes, including oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction (and associated apoptosis), ubiquitin/proteasomal dysfunction, and inflammation, any of which could in principle be the therapeutic target of a neuroprotective drug. The biology of dopaminergic neurons offers further potential targets, involving neurotrophic factors, dopamine-neuron genes, and even neurogenesis. To outline each hypothetical neuroprotective mechanism, the evidence suggesting its relevance to PD, and the research on pharmacologic intervention. A PubMed search was conducted to identify relevant preclinical and clinical literature published between 1989 and 2009. Additional articles were identified by reviewing the reference lists of papers selected in the original search. To circumscribe the survey and facilitate consideration of the conditions required for a neuroprotective effect, emphasis was placed on a single drug class, dopamine agonists, and in particular pramipexole. REVIEW OF THE FIELD: In a variety of in vitro and in vivo PD models, pramipexole exhibited preclinical evidence of neuroprotective actions of all hypothesized types, and in human neuroimaging studies it slowed the rate of loss of markers of dopaminergic function, consistent with drug-conferred neuroprotection in PD itself. Interpretation of the preclinical data was hampered by differences among models and by uncertainties concerning each model's mimicry of PD. Overall, the identified neuroprotection almost always required pretreatment (i.e., before insult) and high drug concentration. Interpretation of the clinical data was hampered by absence of placebo control and of a direct measure of neuroprotection. Although the evidence is promising, neuroprotection in PD remains an elusive goal. In whatever form it emerges, neuroprotective therapy would be a strong argument against deferring PD treatment until symptoms are a significant life impediment, and thus would add urgency to early PD identification.
    Current Medical Research and Opinion 10/2009; 25(12):2977-87. DOI:10.1185/03007990903364954 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell proliferation of neural progenitors in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of Parkinson disease (PD) patients and animal models is decreased. It was previously demonstrated that the neurotransmitter dopamine modulates cell proliferation in the embryonic brain. The aim of the present study was to analyze whether oral treatment with the dopamine receptor agonist pramipexole (PPX) modulates adult neurogenesis in the SVZ/olfactory bulb system in a dopaminergic lesion model. 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesioned adult rats received either PPX (1.0 mg/kg) or PBS orally twice daily and bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU, a cell proliferation marker) for 10 days and were perfused immediately after treatment or 4 weeks after PPX withdrawal. Stereological analysis revealed a significant augmentation in SVZ proliferation by PPX. Consecutively, enhanced neuronal differentiation and more new neurons were present in the olfactory bulb 4 weeks after PPX withdrawal. In addition, dopaminergic neurogenesis was increased in the olfactory bulb after PPX treatment. Motor activity as assessed by using an open field paradigm was permanently increased even after long term PPX withdrawal. In addition, we demonstrate that D2 and D3 receptors are present on adult rat SVZ-derived neural progenitors in vitro, and PPX specifically increased mRNA levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) and paired box gene 6 (Pax6). Oral PPX treatment selectively increases adult neurogenesis in the SVZ-olfactory bulb system by increasing proliferation and cell survival of newly generated neurons. Analyzing the neurogenic fate decisions mediated by D2/D3 signaling pathways may lead to new avenues to induce neural repair in the adult brain.
    Experimental Neurology 08/2009; 219(2):543-52. DOI:10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.07.013 · 4.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment with pramipexole, a dopamine D(3)/D(2) receptor agonist, reduces depressive symptoms in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. To test the putative antidepressant quality of pramipexole, its effects were assessed in one of the most attractive animal models of depression, the olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) rat. Two experiments studied the effects of pramipexole on bulbectomy-induced hyperactivity. In experiment I, pramipexole was tested at 0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg together with the reference dopamine D(3) receptor agonist 7-OH-DPAT (0.1 mg/kg) and the tri-cyclic antidepressant imipramine (10 mg/kg). In experiment II, pramipexole was tested at lower doses: 0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg, with the same reference compounds. All animals were tested in the open field on days one (acute), seven (sub-chronic) and fourteen (chronic) of administration, as well as one week after cessation of treatment. Pramipexole, in a U-shaped dose response, reduced bulbectomy-induced hyperactivity after (sub) chronic but not acute administration (like imipramine and 7-OH-DPAT). The highest dose of pramipexole (1.0 mg/kg) did not reduce OBX hyperactivity during treatment. However, one week after cessation of treatment, all pramipexole (including the 1.0 mg/kg dose), 7-OH-DPAT and imipramine groups showed a reduction in OBX-induced hyperactivity. Pramipexole and 7-OH-DPAT exert an antidepressant profile in the OBX-rat model in normalizing bulbectomy-induced hyperactivity during (sub) chronic treatment. Moreover, treatment with both these compounds induced long-lasting changes in the bulbectomized brain similar to established antidepressants, strongly predicting antidepressant activity in major depression.
    European journal of pharmacology 07/2009; 616(1-3):134-40. DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2009.06.029 · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • C Hagl · J Lämke · U Bogdahn · E Buerger · B Winner · J Winkler
    Aktuelle Neurologie 01/2007; 34. DOI:10.1055/s-2007-987563 · 0.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pramipexole has been shown to possess neuroprotective properties in vitro that are partly independent of its dopaminergic agonism. The site of neuroprotective action is still unknown. Using [(3)H]pramipexole, we show that the drug enters and accumulates in cells and mitochondria. Detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by pramipexole is shown in vitro and in vivo by evaluating mitochondrial ROS release and aconitase-2 activity, respectively. Pramipexole and its (+)-enantiomer SND919CL2X [low-affinity dopamine agonist; (+)2-amino-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-6-l-propylamino-benzathiazole dihydrochloride] possess equipotent efficacy toward hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide generated in vitro and inhibit cell death in glutathione-depleted neuroblastoma cells. IC(50) values ranged from 15 to 1000 microM, consistent with the reactivity of the respective radical and the compartmentalization of ROS generation and ROS detoxification. Finally, both compounds were tested in superoxide dismutase 1-G93A mice, a model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. SND919CL2X (100 mg/kg) prolongs survival time and preserves motor function in contrast to pramipexole (3 mg/kg), which shows an increase in running wheel activity before disease onset, presumably caused by the dopaminergic agonism. We conclude that both enantiomers, in addition to their dopaminergic activity, are able to confer neuroprotective effects by their ability to accumulate in brain, cells, and mitochondria where they detoxify ROS. However, a clinical use of pramipexole as a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant is unlikely, because the high doses needed for antioxidative action in vitro are not accessible in vivo due to dopaminergic side effects. In contrast, SND919CL2X may represent the prototype of a mitochondria-targeted neuroprotectant because it has the same antioxidative properties without causing adverse effects.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 02/2006; 316(1):189-99. DOI:10.1124/jpet.105.092312 · 3.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis deregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) causes hyperphosphorylation of tau and neurofilament proteins, respectively, leading to neuronal cell death. We have demonstrated recently that pharmacological inhibition of CDK5 protects neurons under various stressful conditions (Weishaupt J. H., et al., Molec. Cell. Neurosci. 2003, 24, 489-502). To get an overview on the cellular mechanisms of action we analyzed global changes in protein phosphorylation in cultured cerebellar granule neurons by [(32)P]orthophosphate labeling after administration of a CDK5 inhibitor. Since CDK5 has recently been shown to phosphorylate and inactivate transcription factor MEF2, we included gene expression profiling using cDNA microarrays. By two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight (MALDI-TOF)-mass spectrometry we identified several phosphoproteins that were modulated by compound administration. Among them syndapin I which is involved in vesicle recycling, and dynein light intermediate chain 2 which represents a regulatory subunit of the dynein protein complex. These findings are consistent with the known physiological function of CDK5 in synaptic signaling and axonal transport. Moreover, we detected phosphoproteins acting in neuronal surival and/or neurite outgrowth, such as cofilin and collapsin response mediator protein. Subsequent testing in cell cultures revealed that the CDK5 inhibitor blocked mitochondrial translocation of pro-apoptotic cofilin in cerebellar granule neurons and enhanced neurite outgrowth in dorsal root ganglia. Numerous genes exhibiting MEF2 consensus binding sequences were modulated by CDK5 inhibitor treatment. Among them some that may contribute to neurite elongation or neuronal survival, but also several genes functioning in synaptic transmission. Taken together, phosphoproteome and transcriptome analysis indicate that the compound promotes both neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth, but also may affect synaptic function in cultured neurons.
    PROTEOMICS 05/2005; 5(5):1299-307. DOI:10.1002/pmic.200400992 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment with pramipexole, a dopamine D(3)/D(2) receptor agonist, reduces depressive symptoms in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. To test the putative antidepressant quality of pramipexole, its effects were assessed in one of the most attractive animal models of depression, the olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) rat. Two experiments studied the effects of pramipexole on bulbectomy-induced hyperactivity. In experiment I, pramipexole was tested at 0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg together with the reference dopamine D(3) receptor agonist 7-OH-DPAT (0.1 mg/kg) and the tri-cyclic antidepressant imipramine (10 mg/kg). In experiment II, pramipexole was tested at lower doses: 0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg, with the same reference compounds. All animals were tested in the open field on days one (acute), seven (sub-chronic) and fourteen (chronic) of administration, as well as one week after cessation of treatment. Pramipexole, in a U-shaped dose response, reduced bulbectomy-induced hyperactivity after (sub) chronic but not acute administration (like imipramine and 7-OH-DPAT). The highest dose of pramipexole (1.0 mg/kg) did not reduce OBX hyperactivity during treatment. However, one week after cessation of treatment, all pramipexole (including the 1.0 mg/kg dose), 7-OH-DPAT and imipramine groups showed a reduction in OBX-induced hyperactivity. Pramipexole and 7-OH-DPAT exert an antidepressant profile in the OBX-rat model in normalizing bulbectomy-induced hyperactivity during (sub) chronic treatment. Moreover, treatment with both these compounds induced long-lasting changes in the bulbectomized brain similar to established antidepressants, strongly predicting antidepressant activity in major depression.