[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology is characterized by the formation of intra-neuronal inclusions called Lewy bodies, which are comprised of alpha-synuclein (α-syn). Duplication, triplication or genetic mutations in α-syn (A53T, A30P and E46K) are linked to autosomal dominant PD; thus implicating its role in the pathogenesis of PD. In both PD patients and mouse models, there is increasing evidence that neuronal dysfunction occurs before the accumulation of protein aggregates (i.e., α-syn) and neurodegeneration. Characterization of the timing and nature of symptomatic dysfunction is important for understanding the impact of α-syn on disease progression. Furthermore, this knowledge is essential for identifying pathways and molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. To this end, we examined various functional and morphological endpoints in the transgenic mouse model expressing the human A53T α-syn variant directed by the mouse prion promoter at specific ages relating to disease progression (2, 6 and 12 months of age). Our findings indicate A53T mice develop fine, sensorimotor, and synaptic deficits before the onset of age-related gross motor and cognitive dysfunction. Results from open field and rotarod tests show A53T mice develop age-dependent changes in locomotor activity and reduced anxiety-like behavior. Additionally, digigait analysis shows these mice develop an abnormal gait by 12 months of age. A53T mice also exhibit spatial memory deficits at 6 and 12 months, as demonstrated by Y-maze performance. In contrast to gross motor and cognitive changes, A53T mice display significant impairments in fine- and sensorimotor tasks such as grooming, nest building and acoustic startle as early as 1-2 months of age. These mice also show significant abnormalities in basal synaptic transmission, paired-pulse facilitation and long-term depression (LTD). Combined, these data indicate the A53T model exhibits early- and late-onset behavioral and synaptic impairments similar to PD patients and may provide useful endpoints for assessing novel therapeutic interventions for PD.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e70274. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway potentially links together the three major pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD): development of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and brain atrophy. As activation of the JNK pathway has been observed in amyloid models of AD in association with peri-plaque regions and neuritic dystrophy, as we confirm here for Tg2576/PS(M146L) transgenic mice, we directly tested whether JNK inhibition could provide neuroprotection in a novel brain slice model for amyloid precursor protein (APP)-induced neurodegeneration. We found that APP/amyloid beta (Abeta)-induced neurodegeneration is blocked by both small molecule and peptide inhibitors of JNK, and provide evidence that this neuroprotection occurs downstream of APP/Abeta production and processing. Our findings demonstrate that Abeta can induce neurodegeneration, at least in part, through the JNK pathway and suggest that inhibition of JNK may be of therapeutic utility in the treatment of AD.
Neurobiology of Disease 05/2010; 39(3):311-7. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized by an increasing loss of dopaminergic neurons resulting in motor dysfunction. However, cognitive impairments in PD patients are a common clinical feature that has gained increased attention.
The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of an MPTP-induced dopaminergic lesion in mice on social odor recognition (SOR) memory.
Mice were acutely treated with MPTP and evaluated for memory impairments in the SOR assay and characterized using biochemical and immunohistochemical methods approximately 2 weeks later.
Here we demonstrate that SOR memory is sensitive to MPTP treatment and that it correlates with multiple measures of nigrostriatal integrity. MPTP treatment of C57BL/6N mice produced a profound decrease in dopamine levels, dopamine transporter binding and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the striatum. These impairments in stratial dopaminergic function were blocked by pretreatment with the MAO-B inhibitor deprenyl. Changes in the dopaminergic system parallel those observed in SOR with MPTP treatment impairing recognition memory in the absence of a deficit in odor discrimination during learning. Deprenyl pretreatment blocked the MPTP-induced impairment of SOR memory.
The use of the SOR memory model may provide a preclinical method for evaluating cognitive therapies for PD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The systemic administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to mice produces a reliable and selective degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway, a hallmark feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). Determining the brain concentrations of 1-methyl-4-phenyl pyridium (MPP+), the neurotoxic metabolite of MPTP, is critical for evaluating drugs designed to potentially treat PD. We have developed sensitive and specific quantitative methods for the determination of MPP+ in mouse striatal tissue by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. The separations were carried out based on reversed phase chromatography or cation exchange chromatography with volatile elution buffer. Neutralizing the brain sample with 0.2M phosphate buffer successfully solved a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) peak tailing of MPP+ in brain extracts with 0.4M perchloric acid (HClO4) under the reversed phase HPLC conditions, which significantly improved the sensitivity of the method. The HPLC peak shape of MPP+ using cation exchange chromatography was not affected by the pH of the samples. Optimization of electrospray ionization (ESI) conditions for the quaternary ammonium compound MPP+ established the limits of detection (LOD) (S/N=3) at 0.34pg/mg tissue and 0.007pg/mg tissue (5microl of injection) using the reversed phase liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and the cation exchange LC/MS/MS, respectively. Both methods were selective, precise (%R.S.D.<6%), and sensitive over a range of 0.001-1ng/mg tissue. The cation exchange method showed greater sensitivity and tolerance to low pH samples than the reversed phase method. The developed methods were applied to monitoring changes in MPP+ concentrations in vivo. Two reference agents, R-(-) Deprenyl and MK-801, known to alter the concentration of MPP+ in MPTP treated mice were evaluated.
Journal of Chromatography B 10/2008; 874(1-2):51-6. · 2.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kv1.1 channels are expressed in many regions of the brain and spinal cord [Monaghan, M. M.; Trimmer, J. S.; Rhodes, K. J. J. Neurosci.2001, 21, 5973; Rasband, M. N.; Trimmer, J. S. J. Comp. Neurol.2001, 429, 166; Trimmer, J. S.; Rhodes, K. J. Ann. Rev. Physiol.2004, 66, 477]. When expressed alone, they produce a delayed rectifier slowly inactivating type current that contributes to hyperpolarizing the neuron following depolarization. In the hippocampus Kv1.1 is co-expressed with Kvbeta1 (and other beta subunits), which converts Kv1.1 into a transient, fast inactivating current, reducing its ability to hyperpolarize the cell and thus increasing neuronal excitability. To reduce neuronal excitability, screening for compounds that prevent inactivation of Kv1.1 channels by Kvbeta1 was performed using a yeast two-hybrid screen. A variety of compounds were discovered in this assay and subsequently determined to disrupt inactivation of the ionic currents, and hence were termed 'disinactivators'. Several of these disinactivators also inhibited pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures (PTZ) in mice. Compounds were found to act by several mechanisms to prevent Kvbeta1 inactivation of Kv1.1 channels, including enhancement of Ca(2+) release/influx and by direct mechanisms. Two structural classes were identified that act on a Kvbeta1N70-Kv1.1 chimera where the N-terminal 70 amino acids of Kvbeta1 were attached to the N-terminus of Kv1.1. It is likely that these disinactivators act directly on the Kvbeta1 N-terminus or its receptor site on Kv1.1, thus preventing it from blocking Kv1.1 channels. Compounds acting by this mechanism may be useful for reducing neuronal hyperexcitability in diseases such as epilepsy and neuropathic pain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diuretic amiloride has recently proven neuroprotective in models of cerebral ischemia, a property attributable to the drug's inhibition of central acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). Given that Parkinson's disease (PD), like ischemia, is associated with cerebral lactic acidosis, we tested amiloride in the MPTP-treated mouse, a model of PD also manifesting lactic acidosis. Amiloride was found to protect substantia nigra (SNc) neurons from MPTP-induced degeneration, as determined by attenuated reductions in striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT) immunohistochemistry, as well as smaller declines in striatal DAT radioligand binding and dopamine levels. More significantly, amiloride also preserved dopaminergic cell bodies in the SNc. Administration of psalmotoxin venom (PcTX), an ASIC1a blocker, resulted in a much more modest effect, attenuating only the deficits in striatal DAT binding and dopamine. These findings represent the first experimental evidence of a potential role for ASICs in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease.
Neurobiology of Disease 01/2008; · 5.62 Impact Factor