Abel Santamaría

Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Tlalpam, Mexico City, Mexico

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Publications (109)291.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a pattern-recognition receptor involved in neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders. RAGE induces cellular signaling upon binding to a variety of ligands. Evidence suggests that RAGE up-regulation is involved in quinolinate (QUIN)-induced toxicity. We investigated the QUIN-induced toxic events associated with early noxious responses, which might be linked to signaling cascades leading to cell death. The extent of early cellular damage caused by this receptor in the rat striatum was characterized by image processing methods. To document the direct interaction between QUIN and RAGE, we determined the binding constant (Kb) of RAGE (VC1 domain) with QUIN through a fluorescence assay. We modeled possible binding sites of QUIN to the VC1 domain for both rat and human RAGE. QUIN was found to bind at multiple sites to the VC1 dimer, each leading to particular mechanistic scenarios for the signaling evoked by QUIN binding, some of which directly alter RAGE oligomerization. This work contributes to the understanding of the phenomenon of RAGE-QUIN recognition, leading to the modulation of RAGE function.
    PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0120221. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0120221 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in a considerable number of physiological processes in the Central Nervous System. Recently, a modulatory role of cannabinoid receptors (CBr) and CBr agonists on the reduction of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) activation has been demonstrated. Quinolinic acid (QUIN), an endogenous analog of glutamate and excitotoxic metabolite produced in the kynurenine pathway (KP), selectively activates NMDAr and has been shown to participate in different neurodegenerative disorders. Since the early pattern of toxicity exerted by this metabolite is relevant to explain the extent of damage that it can produce in the brain, in this work we investigated the effects of the synthetic CBr agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) and other agonists (anandamide or AEA, and CP 55,940 or CP) on early markers of QUIN-induced toxicity in rat striatal cultured cells and rat brain synaptosomes. WIN, AEA and CP exerted protective effects on the QUIN-induced loss of cell viability. WIN also preserved the immunofluorescent signals for neurons and CBr labeling that were decreased by QUIN. The QUIN-induced early mitochondrial dysfunction, lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation were also partially or completely prevented by WIN pretreatment, but not when this CBr agonist was added simultaneously with QUIN to brain synaptosomes. These findings support a neuroprotective and modulatory role of cannabinoids in the early toxic events elicited by agents inducing excitotoxic processes. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuroscience 11/2014; 285. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.11.016 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fetal intrauterine growth restriction generates chronic hypoxia due to placental insufficiency. Despite the hemodynamic process of blood flow, redistributions are taking place in key organs such as the fetal brain during intrauterine growth restriction, in order to maintain oxygen and nutrients supply. The risk of short- and long-term neurological effects are still present in hypoxic offspring. Most studies previously reported the effect of hypoxia on the levels of a single neurotransmitter, making it difficult to have a better understanding of the relationship among neurotransmitter levels and the defects reported in products that suffer intrauterine growth restriction, such as motor development, coordination and execution of movement, and the learning-memory process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, dopamine and serotonin in three structures of the brain related to the above-mentioned function such as the cerebral cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus in the chronic hypoxic newborn rabbit model. Our results showed a significant increase in glutamate and dopamine levels in all studied brain structures and a significant decrease in gamma-aminobutyric acid levels but only in the striatum, suggesting that the imbalance on the levels of several neurotransmitters could be involved in new born brain damage due to perinatal hypoxia.
    Neuroscience Letters 10/2014; 584. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2014.09.051 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 3-Hydroxykynurenine (3-HK), an intermediate metabolite of the kynurenine pathway, has been largely hypothesized as a neurotoxic molecule contributing to neurodegeneration in several experimental and clinical conditions. Interestingly, the balance in literature points to a dual role of this molecule in the CNS: in vitro studies describe neurotoxic and/or antioxidant properties, whereas in vivo studies suggest a role of this metabolite as a weak neurotoxin. This work was designed to investigate, under different experimental conditions, whether or not 3-HK is toxic to cells, and if the redox activity exerted by this molecule modulates its actions in the rat striatum. In order to evaluate these effects, 3-HK was administered in vitro to isolated striatal slices, and in vivo to the striatum of rats. In striatal slices, 3-HK exerted a concentration- and time-dependent effect on lipid peroxidation, inducing both pro-oxidant actions at low (5-20) micromolar concentrations, and antioxidant activity at a higher concentration (100µM). Interestingly, while 3-HK was unable to induce mitochondrial dysfunction in slices, at the same range of concentrations it prevented the deleterious effects exerted by the neurotoxin and related metabolite quinolinic acid (QUIN), the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid, and the pro-oxidant compound iron sulfate. These protective actions were related to the stimulation of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities. In addition, 3-HK stimulated the protein content of the transcription factor and antioxidant regulator Nrf2, and some of its related proteins. Accordingly, 3-HK, but not QUIN, exhibited reducing properties at high concentrations. The striatal tissue of animals infused with 3-HK exhibited moderate levels of lipid and protein oxidation at short times post-lesion (hours), but these endpoints were substantially decreased at longer times (days). These effects were correlated with an early increase in glutathione reductase (GR) and GST activities. However, these changes were likely to be merely compensatory as 3-HK-infused animals did not display behavioral (rotation) alterations or morphological changes in their injected striata. Altogether, these findings suggest that, despite 3-HK might exert pro-oxidant actions under certain conditions, these changes serve to evoke a redox modulatory activity that, in turn, could decrease the risk of cell damage. In light of this evidence, 3-HK seems to be more a redox modulatory molecule than a neurotoxic metabolite.
    Brain Research 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.09.034 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, it has been proposed that the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) plays a crucial role in damaging cellular processes, such as neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. RAGE is a multiligand receptor belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell surface molecules acting as a counter-receptor for diverse molecules. Engagement of RAGE converts a brief pulse of cellular activation into sustained cellular dysfunction and tissue damage. Indeed, the involvement of RAGE in physiopathological processes has been demonstrated for several neurodegenerative diseases. It is the full-length form of RAGE the one constituting the cellular receptor which is able to activate intracellular signals. After the binding of ligands to RAGE, oxidative stress is increased; then, over-expression of RAGE produces vicious cycles that perpetuate oxidative stress and contribute to neuroinflammation by nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) up-regulation. The NF-kB activation promotes the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including RAGE expression, to induce a prolonged activation and promotion of signaling mechanisms for cell damage. Because inflammatory and oxidative events have been demonstrated to concertedly interact during neurodegenerative events, this review is aimed to discuss the role of RAGE as mediator of an interaction between inflammation and oxidative stress through NF-kB signaling pathway.
    CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders) 08/2014; 13(9). DOI:10.2174/1871527313666140806144831 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melatonin is produced and released by the pineal gland in a circadian rhythm. This neurohormone has proven to be an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule able to reduce or mitigate cell damage associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, and this phenomenon underlies neurodegenerative disorders. These facts have drawn attention to this indole,triggering interest in evaluating its changes and in its relationship to the processes indicated, and analyzing its role in the mechanisms involved at the onset and development of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as its therapeutic potential. Multiple sclerosis, the most common cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults, is a chronic neuroinflammatory disease, characterized by demyelination, inflammation, and neuronal and oxidative damage. In its early diagnosis, it often requires a differential screening with other neurodegenerative diseases with similar symptoms, such as Huntington's disease, an autosomal dominant disorder. The onset of both diseases occurs in the second or third decade of life. On the other hand, cerebral ischemia is a major cause of human disability all over the world. Although a cerebral stroke can occur as the result of different damaging insults, severe ischemia produces the death of neuronal cells within minutes. Changes in melatonin levels have been observed in these processes (Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral ischemia) as part of their pathogenic features. This review aims to update and discuss the role played by melatonin during neurodegenerative processes, specifically in multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, and cerebral ischemia, and its possible therapeutic use. We also provide readers with an update on the many neuroprotective mechanisms exerted by this neurohormone in the Central Nervous System.
    CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders) 08/2014; DOI:10.2174/1871527313666140806160400 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity involves a state of acute oxidative stress, which is a crucial event during neuronal degeneration and is part of the physiopathology of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, we evaluated the ability of sulforaphane (SULF), a natural dietary isothiocyanate, to induce the activation of transcription factor Nrf2 (a master regulator of redox state in the cell) in a model of striatal degeneration in rats infused with quinolinic acid (QUIN). Male Wistar rats received SULF (5 mg/kg, i.p.) 24 h and 5 min before the intrastriatal infusion of QUIN. SULF increased the reduced glutathione (GSH) levels 4 h after QUIN infusion, which was associated with its ability to increase the activity of glutathione reductase (GR), an antioxidant enzyme capable to regenerate GSH levels at 24 h. Moreover, SULF treatment increased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, while no changes were observed in γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase (GCL) activity. SULF treatment also prevented QUIN-induced oxidative stress (measured by oxidized proteins levels), the histological damage and the circling behavior. These results suggest that the protective effect of SULF could be related to its ability to preserve GSH levels and increase GPx and GR activities.
    Neuroscience 07/2014; 272:188–198. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.04.043 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Astrocytes are key players for brain physiology, protecting neurons by releasing antioxidant enzymes; however, they are also susceptible to damage by neurotoxins. Nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) is a central regulator of the antioxidant response, and therefore, pharmacologic inducers are often used to activate this transcription factor to induce cellular protection. To date, it still remains unknown if cells from aged animals are capable of developing this response. Therefore, the purpose of this work was to determine if cortical astrocytes derived from old rats are able to respond to tertbuthyl-hydroquinene (tBHQ) pretreatment and stimulate the Nrf2-antioxidant response pathway to induce an antioxidant strategy against MPP+ toxicity, one of the most used molecules to model Parkinson's disease. Our results show that, although astrocytes from adult and old rats were more susceptible to MPP+ toxicity than astrocytes from newborn rats, when pretreated with tertbuthyl-hydroquinene, they were able to transactivate Nrf2, increasing antioxidant enzymes and developing cellular protection. These results are discussed in terms of the doses used to create protective responses.
    Neurobiology of aging 02/2014; 35(8). DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.01.143 · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress has been recognized as a potential mediator of cell death. Astrocytes play an active role in brain physiology responding to harmful stimuli by activating astrogliosis, which in turn has been associated either with survival or degenerative events. The characterization of the mechanistic actions exerted by different toxins in astrocytes is essential to understand the brain function and pathology. As age plays a critical role in degenerative processes, the aim of this study was to determine whether the administration of equimolar concentrations of two neurotoxins evoking different toxic patterns can induce differential effects on primary astrocytes obtained either from newborn or adult rats, with particular emphasis on those events linked to oxidative stress as a potential source of damage. Primary cortical astrocyte cultures derived from rat brains were exposed to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) or beta-amyloid peptide (β-amyloid). Mitochondrial functionality and cell viability were determined as physiological parameters, whereas lipid and protein oxidation were used as markers of oxidative damage. The results of these experiments pointed towards a higher vulnerability to MPP + over β-amyloid, on most of the tested markers. Hence, in order to allow a comprehensive evaluation of astrocytic responses against MPP + intoxication, a third astrocyte group was included for dose-response experiments: astrocytes derived from aged rats. The present data indicate that the differences associated with age were mainly found in astrocytes exposed to MPP + (25 and 50 μM) at 1-h treatment. Results are discussed in terms of the differential mechanisms involved in each model. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 02/2014; 34(2). DOI:10.1002/jat.2841 · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nrf2 is a transcription factor involved in the orchestration of antioxidant responses. Although its pharmacological activation has been largely hypothesized as a promising tool to ameliorate the progression of neurodegenerative events, the actual knowledge about its modulation in neurotoxic paradigms remains scarce. In this study, we investigated the early profile of Nrf2 modulation in striatal slices of rodents incubated in the presence of the toxic kynurenine pathway metabolite, quinolinic acid (QUIN). Tissue slices from rats and mice were obtained and used throughout the experiments in order to compare inter-species responses. Nuclear Nrf2 protein levels and oxidative damage to lipids were compared. Time and concentration response curves of all markers were explored. Nrf2 nuclear activation was corroborated through phase 2 antioxidant proteins expression. The effects of QUIN on Nrf2 modulation and oxidative stress were also compared between slices of wild-type (Nrf2(+/+)) and Nrf2 knock-out (Nrf2(-/-)) mice. The possible involvement of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) in the Nrf2 modulation and lipid peroxidation was further explored in mice striatal slices. In rat striatal slices, QUIN stimulated the Nrf2 nuclear translocation. This effect was accompanied by augmented lipid peroxidation. In the mouse striatum, QUIN per se exerted an induction of Nrf2 factor only at 1 h of incubation, and a concentration-response effect on lipid peroxidation after 3 h of incubation. QUIN stimulated the striatal content of phase 2 enzymes. Nrf2(-/-) mice were slightly more responsive than Nrf2(+/+) mice to the QUIN-induced oxidative damage, and completely unresponsive to the NMDAr antagonist MK-801 when tested against QUIN. Findings of this study indicate that: 1) Nrf2 is modulated in rodent striatal tissue in response to QUIN; 2) Nrf2(-/-) striatal tissue was moderately more vulnerable to oxidative damage than the Wt condition; and 3) early Nrf2 up-regulation reflects a compensatory response to the QUIN-induced oxidative stress in course as part of a general defense system, whereas Nrf2 down-regulation might contribute to more intense oxidative cell damage.
    Neuroscience 12/2013; 260. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.12.025 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Craniopharyngiomas (CPs) are benign epithelial cystic tumors of the sellar and suprasellar region with a high survival rate and high recurrence in children. CPs contain dense oily fluid, but little is known yet about this content and its contribution to tissue damage and tumoral growth. In this study, we developed a simple experimental model produced by intracortical injection to rats of the cyst fluid content collected from human CPs to explore its possible contribution to brain tissue damage. The cyst fluid of the CPs ("oil machinery fluid") was collected during surgical removal, briefly preserved and further tested in rats through intracortical infusion. The group receiving "oil machinery fluid" presented increased reactive oxygen species formation, oxidative damage to lipids and reactive gliosis accompanied by augmented immunoreactivity to peroxiredoxin and thioredoxin reductase 1 at 15, 30 and 45 days post-injection. Other markers of inflammation and cell damage were stimulated at all post-lesion days tested. There was also a body weight gain. The persistence of tissue damage and oxidative stress suggests that "oil machinery fluid" exerts progressive alterations similar to those observed in patients with CPs, supporting the concept that some components of cyst fluid may contribute to brain tissue damage in these patients.
    Acta histochemica 11/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.acthis.2013.10.002 · 1.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The neuroprotective properties of S-allyl cysteine (SAC) have been demonstrated in different neurotoxic paradigms, and it may be partially attributable to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile. Recently, SAC has also been shown to induce neuroprotection in the rat striatum in a toxic model induced by 6-hydroxydopamine in rats through a concerted antioxidant response involving Nrf2 transcription factor nuclear transactivation and phase 2 enzymes upregulation. In this work, we investigated whether the SAC-induced in vivo striatal and nigral neuroprotection against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropiridinium (MPTP) toxicity recruits Nrf2 transactivation in C57BL/6J mice. SAC (120 mg/kg, i.p. × 5 days) partially ameliorated the MPTP (30 mg/kg, i.p. ×5 days)-induced striatal and nigral dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase depletion, attenuated the loss of Mn-SOD and HO-1 activities, and preserved the protein content of these enzymes. While no significant changes were detected for the striatal Nrf2 nuclear protein levels, the nigral Nrf2 nuclear content was decreased by MPTP and stimulated by SAC. Our findings suggest that SAC can exert neuroprotection since the origin of the dopaminergic lesion -at the substantia nigra (SN)- not only by means of direct antioxidant actions, but also through Nrf2 nuclear transactivation and phase 2 enzymes upregulation.
    Free Radical Research 10/2013; DOI:10.3109/10715762.2013.857019 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the current study is to investigate the role of the nicotinic receptor β4 subunit in the antidepressant activity of bupropion. Wild-type (β4+/+) and knockout (β4-/-) mice were intraperitoneally administered with normal saline (control) or bupropion (40mg/kg) daily for the first two weeks. Forced swim tests were performed on Day 1 to determine the acute effect of bupropion at 0, 15, 30, 45, or 60min after the injection, and after two weeks of daily treatment to determine the chronic effects. To examine the remnant effects of bupropion after withdrawal, forced swim tests were performed one and two weeks after the last day of treatment with bupropion. Our results indicate that: (1) the acute treatment with bupropion increases the swimming time (i.e., antidepressant effect) in β4+/+ and β4-/- mice from both genders, (2) the antidepressant effect after the chronic treatment is seen only in female β4+/+ mice, and (3) the residual antidepressant effect of bupropion persists only in male β4+/+ mice after one week withdrawal. We conclude that the β4 subunit plays a modulatory role in the chronic antidepressant effect mediated by bupropion, and that its effect is gender-specific.
    Neuroscience Letters 08/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2013.08.009 · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • A L Colin-Gonzalez, A Santamaria
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    ABSTRACT: Probenecid (PROB) has been widely used for long time for different clinical purposes, from gout treatment to designs as a coadjutant for antibiotic agents. Among its many properties, the ability of PROB to preserve high concentrations of several metabolites and other agents in the CNS, together with its relative lack of side-effects, have made this drug a valuable pharmacological tool for clinical and basic research. Nowadays, biomedical research offers evidence about new targets for PROB that may help to explain its many beneficial actions. In this regard, despite most of its protective actions in the brain have been largely related to its capacity to accumulate the inhibitory metabolite kynurenic acid to further inhibit the glutamate-related excitotoxicity in different animal models of neurological disorders, in this review we describe the basic aspects of PROB's pharmacokinetics and mechanisms of action and discuss other alternative targets recently described for this drug that may complement its pattern of activity in the CNS, including its role as anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive agent when targeting different key proteins.
    CNS & neurological disorders drug targets 07/2013; DOI:10.2174/18715273113129990090 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is evidence to support that an impaired energy metabolism and the excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to brain injury in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), whereas diets enriched in foods with an antioxidant action may modulate its progression. Several studies have proved that the antioxidant components produced by Spirulina, a microscopic blue-green alga, might prevent cell death by decreasing free radicals, inhibiting lipoperoxidation and upregulating the antioxidant enzyme systems. In our study, we investigated the protective effect of the Spirulina maxima (S. maxima) against the 6-OHDA-caused toxicity in the rat striatum. The S. maxima (700 mg/kg/day, vo) was administered for 40 days before and 20 days after a single injection of 6-OHDA (16 μg/2 μL) into the dorsal striatum. At 20-day postsurgery, the brain was removed and the striatum was obtained to evaluate the indicators of toxicity, such as nitric oxide levels, ROS formation, lipoperoxidation, and mitochondrial activity. These variables were found significantly stimulated in 6-OHDA-treated rats and were accompanied by declines in dopamine levels and motor activity. In contrast, the animals that received the chronic treatment with S. maxima had a restored locomotor activity, which is associated with the decreased levels of nitric oxide, ROS, and lipoperoxidation in the striatum, although mitochondrial functions and dopamine levels remained preserved. These findings suggest that supplementation with antioxidant phytochemicals (such as contained in S. maxima) represents an effective neuroprotective strategy against 6-OHDA-caused neurotoxicity vía free radical production to preserve striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission in vivo.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 02/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00702-013-0976-2 · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that the malfunctioning disposal system of cell protein called ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) plays an important role in the development of disorders, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Accumulating evidence suggests that the abnormal regulation of the E3 ubiquitin ligases, essential components of the UPS, contributes to uncontrolled proliferation, genomic instability and cancer, since these ligases and their substrates are involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression, gene transcription, signal transduction, DNA replication and others. Through selective degradation of specific substrates, E3 ligases regulate different biological processes. Cullins are a family of proteins that confer substrate specificity to multimeric complex of E3 ligases acting as scaffold proteins. So far, seven members of the cullin family of proteins have been identified. Interestingly, the data generated by several groups indicate that cullin 3 (Cul3) has begun to emerge as a protein involved in the etiopathology of multiple diseases. In this paper we examine the latest advances in basic research on the biology of Cul3 and how it could help to direct drug discovery efforts on this target.
    01/2013; 1(1):366-372. DOI:10.1016/j.redox.2013.07.003
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    ABSTRACT: 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is a neurotoxin that generates an experimental model of Parkinson's disease in rodents and is commonly employed to induce a lesion in dopaminergic pathways. The characterization of those molecular mechanisms linked to 6-OHDA-induced early toxicity is needed to better understand the cellular events further leading to neurodegeneration. The present work explored how 6-OHDA triggers early downstream signaling pathways that activate neurotoxicity in the rat striatum. Mitochondrial function, caspases-dependent apoptosis, kinases signaling (Akt, ERK 1/2, SAP/JNK and p38) and crosstalk between nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) were evaluated at early times post-lesion. We found that 6-OHDA initiates cell damage via mitochondrial complex I inhibition, cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) release, as well as activation of caspases 9 and 3 to induce apoptosis, kinase signaling modulation and NF-κB-mediated inflammatory responses, accompanied by inhibition of antioxidant systems regulated by the Nrf2 pathway. Our results suggest that kinases SAP/JNK and p38 up-regulation may play a role in the early stages of 6-OHDA toxicity to trigger intrinsic pathways for apoptosis and enhanced NF-κB activation. In turn, these cellular events inhibit the activation of cytoprotective mechanisms, thereby leading to a condition of general damage.
    Toxicology 12/2012; 304. DOI:10.1016/j.tox.2012.12.011 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kynurenine pathway is gaining attention because of the many metabolic processes in which it has been involved. The tryptophan conversion into several other metabolites through this pathway provides neuronal and redox modulators useful for maintenance of major functions in the brain. However, when physiopathological conditions prevail -i.e. oxidative stress, excitotoxicity and inflammation-, preferential formation and accumulation of toxic metabolites could trigger factors for degeneration in neurological disorders. 3-Hydroxykynurenine has been largely described as one of these toxic metabolites capable of inducing oxidative damage and cell death; consequently, this metabolite has been hypothesized to play a pivotal role in different neurological and psychiatric disorders. Supporting evidence has shown altered 3-hydroxykynurenine levels in samples of patients from several disorders. In contrast, some experimental studies have provided evidence on antioxidant and scavenging properties inherent to this molecule. In this review, we explored most of literature favoring one or the other concept, in order to provide an accurate vision on the real participation of this tryptophan metabolite in both experimental paradigms and human brain pathologies. Through this collected evidence, we provide an integrative hypothesis on how 3-hydroxykynurenine is exerting its dual actions in the Central Nervous System and what will be the course of investigations in this field for the next years.
    NeuroToxicology 12/2012; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.neuro.2012.11.007 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Quinolinic acid (QA)-induced overactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors yields excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, which altogether contribute to trigger a wide variety of toxic pathways with biochemical, behavioral and neuropathological alterations similar to those observed in Huntington's disease. Noteworthy, in the brains of these patients, increased expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) levels can be found. It has been proposed that this enzyme can exert a dual role, as it can be either protective or deleterious to the CNS. While some evidence indicates that its overexpression affords cellular antioxidant protection due to decreased concentrations of its pro-oxidative substrate heme group, and increased bilirubin levels, other reports established that high HO-1 expression and activity may result in a pro-oxidizing atmosphere due to a release of Fe(2+). In this work, we examined the temporal evolution of oxidative damage to proteins, HO-1 expression, immunoreactivity, total activity, and cell death after 1, 3, 5 and 7 days of an intrastriatal QA infusion (240 nmol/μl). QA was found to induce cellular degeneration, increasing carbonylated proteins and generating a transitory response in HO-1 mRNA, protein content, immunoreactivity in neuronal cells, and activity. In order to study the role of HO-1 in the QA-induced cellular death, the tin protoporphyrin IX (SnPP), a well-known HO inhibitor, was administered to rats (30 μmol/kg, i.p.). The administration of SnPP to animals treated with QA inhibited the HO activation, and exacerbated the striatal cell damage induced by QA. Our findings reveal a potential modulatory role of HO-1 in the toxic paradigm evoked by QA in rats. This evidence provides a valuable tool for further approaches on HO-1 regulation in neurotoxic paradigms.
    Neuroscience 11/2012; 231. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2012.11.031 · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • Free Radical Biology and Medicine 11/2012; 53:S124-S125. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.10.308 · 5.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
291.42 Total Impact Points


  • 1991–2015
    • Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía
      • Clinical Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases
      Tlalpam, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2001–2010
    • Seismological Society of America
      Missouri, United States
  • 1998–2007
    • The National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery
      Tlalpam, The Federal District, Mexico
  • 2004
    • Charles University in Prague
      Praha, Praha, Czech Republic
  • 1994
    • Metropolitan Autonomous University
      • Departamento de Química
      Mexico City, The Federal District, Mexico