[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dementias are progressive and neurodegenerative neuropsychiatry disorders, with a high worldwide prevalence. These disorders affect memory and behavior, causing impairment in the performance of daily activities and general disability in the elders. Cognitive impairment in these patients is related to anatomical and structural alterations at cellular and sub-cellular levels in the Central Nervous System. In particular, amyloid plaques and neurofibrillar tangles have been defined as histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Likewise, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are implicated in the etiology and progression of the disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Olfactory neuroepithelial cells in culture have been proposed as a model to study the physiopathology of psychiatric disorders and biomarker characterization for diagnosis. In patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) diminished microtubule-associated proteins expression occurs, which might lead to aberrant microtubular organization and which in turn may affect Ca(2+) voltage-activated currents. The aim of this work was to characterize of microtubule organization as well as of the L-type Ca(2+) current in neuronal precursors obtained from nasal exfoliates of patients with SZ and BD. Microtubule organization was studied by immunofluorescence with a specific anti-III β-tubulin antibody and by quantification of globular and assembled tubulin by Western blot. L-type current recording was performed by whole-cell patch-clamp technique and nifedipine superfusion. The results showed differential altered microtubular organization in neuronal precursors of SZ and BD. Short microtubules were observed in BD neurons, while extensive, unstained subcellular areas and disorganized microtubules were evident in SZ neuronal precursors. Patients with BD showed a decrease in amounts of tubulin in total homogenates and 40% decrease in the globular fraction. However, L-type current in BD was similar to that in healthy subjects (HS). In contrast, this current in SZ was 50% lower. These reduction in L-type current in SZ together with differential microtubule alterations are potential biomarkers that may differentiates SZ and BD.
Schizophrenia Research 01/2013; · 4.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the 5 mg. melatonin
effects on the sleep macro-architecture in eight patients with middle
to moderate Alzheimer´s disease (DTA). Using the polysomnographic
technique (PSG), we made a simple-blind, non-randomized, controlled
with placebo study. The PSG was carried out according to the following
order: night 1: placebo administration; night 2 and 3: continues
melatonin administration. In the first night with melatonin treatment, the
sleep latency to the first episode of Stage 2, Delta and REM sleep, was
significantly diminished as compared with placebo (≤.05). No significant
difference in total time of each sleep stage and sleep efficiency
was observed. Nevertheless, a tendency to diminish the total time of
nocturnal wake and increase of the total sleep time in the second night
with melatonin treatment was observed. We conclude that melatonin
can improve sleep in patients with middle to moderate DTA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melatonin modulates adult hippocampal neurogenesis in adult mice. Also, plasma melatonin levels and new neuron formation decline during aging probably causing cognitive alterations. In this study, we analyzed the impact of exogenous supplementation with melatonin in three key events of hippocampal neurogenesis during normal aging of mice. The analysis was performed in rodents treated with melatonin during 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. We found an increase in cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus after 3, 6 and 9 months of treatment (>90%). Additionally, exogenous melatonin promoted survival of new cells in the dentate gyrus (>50%). Moreover, melatonin increased the number of doublecortin-labeled cells after 6 and 9 months of treatment (>150%). In contrast, melatonin administered during 12 months did not induce changes in hippocampal neurogenesis. Our results indicate that melatonin also modulates the neurogenic process in the hippocampus during normal aging of mice. Together, the data support melatonin as one of the positive endogenous regulators of neurogenesis during aging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: La esquizofrenia (EZ) es un trastorno psiquiátrico que se caracteriza por la presencia de delirios, alucinaciones, pensamiento desorganizado, lenguaje desestructurado, alteraciones del comportamiento social y aplanamiento afectivo, entre otros síntomas. Los pacientes con EZ también presentan un déficit en la capacidad olfatoria desde la fase prodrómica del trastorno.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melatonin concentration in plasma reaches high levels during the night and synchronizes body rhythms with the photoperiod. Previous evidence obtained in cultured cells suggests that melatonin synchronizes cytoskeletal re-arrangements at nocturnal plasma concentration. In this study, we determined the amount of microtubules and microfilaments in the rat hippocampus as an index of cytoskeletal organization in rats submitted to a photoperiodic regime. Additionally, these parameters were determined in control rats, sham rats, pinealectomized rats, and rats that were pinealectomized and treated with melatonin for 1 week. The results showed an increase in both the amount of microfilaments in the hippocampus of rats sacrificed in the dark phase, and in melatonin levels. In addition, a decrease in both microfilament and microtubule amounts occurred in pinealectomized rats. In contrast, melatonin treatment partially reestablished actin and tubulin proportions organized in microfilaments and microtubules, respectively. The results indicate that actin organization in microfilaments was associated with both the photoperiod and with melatonin levels. Together, the data support that cytoskeletal organization is regulated rhythmically by melatonin in synchrony with the photoperiod.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropsychiatric disorders are characterized by hippocampus decreased volume and loss of dendrite arborizations in the subiculum and prefrontal cortex. These structural changes are associated with diminished memory performance. Hilar neurons of the hippocampus integrate spatial memory and are lost in dementia. They receive information from dentate gyrus neurons through dendrites, while they send axonal tracts to the CA3 region. Dendrites are complex structures of neurons that receive chemical information from presynaptic and postsynaptic terminals. Melatonin, the main product of the pineal gland, has neuroprotective actions through its free radical-scavenging properties and decreases neuronal apoptosis. Recently, we found that melatonin increases dendrite maturation and complexity in new neurons formed in the dentate gyrus of mice. In addition, in N1E-115 cultured cells, the indole stimulates early stages of neurite formation, a process that is known to antecede dendrite formation and maturation. Thus, in this study, we explored whether melatonin stimulates dendrite formation and complexity in the adult rat hippocampus in organotypic slice cultures, which is a model that preserves the hippocampal circuitry and their tridimensional organizations of connectivity. The effects of melatonin were studied in nonpathological conditions and in the absence of harmful agents. The results showed that the indole at nocturnal concentrations reached in the cerebrospinal fluid stimulates dendritogenesis at formation, growth, and maturation stages. Also, data showed that dendrites formed became competent to form presynaptic specializations. Evidence strongly suggests that melatonin may be useful in the treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases to repair the loss of dendrites and re-establish lost synaptic connections.
Journal of Pineal Research 12/2011; 52(4):427-36. · 7.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica, a protozoan parasite of humans, relays on its striking motility to survive and invade host tissues. Characterization of the molecular components involved in motile processes is crucial to understand its pathogenicity. Although protein components of myosin II hexamers have been predicted from E. histolytica genome data, only a heavy chain of myosin, EhmhcA, has been characterized so far. We have cloned an E. histolytica cDNA sequence that best matched Dictyostelium discoideum myosin essential light chain and found that the cloned sequence is transcribed as an mRNA of 0.445 kb which could encode a protein of 16.88 kDa, within the predicted range for a myosin light chain. In silico analyses revealed that the protein sequence, named EhMLCI, shows two consensus domains for binding MHC, but lacks the N-terminal sequence for actin binding, as in A2 type myosin essential light chains. A single EF-hand calcium-binding domain was identified in the C-terminus and several high score predictability sites for serine and tyrosine phosphorylation. Antibodies to recombinant EhMLCI identified two proteins of approximately 17 and 15 kDa in trophozoite extracts, the latter phophorylated in tyrosines. Serine phosphorylation was not detected. Immunomicroscopy revealed EhMLCI cortical and cytoplasmic distribution in trophozoites and true colocalization with EhmhcA determined by PCC. Co-immunoprecipitation corroborated EhMLCI interaction with EhmhcA. EhMLCI was also localized in actomyosin-containing complexes. Differential partition of phospho-tyrosinated EhMLCI into cell fractions containing the soluble form of EhmhcA and its lack of serine phosphorylation suggest its possible participation in a novel down regulatory mechanism of myosin II activity in E. histolytica.
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 09/2011; 181(1):17-28. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain imaging and histopathological studies suggest that neurodevelopmental anomalies play a key role in the etiology of schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). New neuron formation and maturation occur in human olfactory epithelium throughout life. Therefore, the olfactory epithelium has been proposed as a model to study alterations in neurodevelopment, particularly in some psychiatric diseases. However, former studies were done with olfactory epithelium biopsies taken post mortem or under anesthesia from patients with SZ and BD. In this work we have developed a new method to obtain viable neural precursors by exfoliation of the anterior region of the medial lateral turbinate of the nasal cavity from healthy controls, and ambulatory patients. Cells were propagated to establish neural precursor banks. Thawed cells showed cytoskeletal phenotypes typical of developing neurons. They also conserved the ability to differentiate in presence of 2mM dibutyril-cyclic adenosine monophosphate, and maintained voltage-operated Ca(2+) currents in culture. Moreover, proportions of neuronal maturation stages were maintained in cultured exfoliates obtained from SZ and BD patients. Data support that neural precursors obtained from a nasal exfoliate are an excellent experimental model to later approach studies on biomarkers, neural development and cellular alterations in the pathophysiology of SZ and BD.
Journal of neuroscience methods 07/2011; 201(1):35-45. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circadian rhythms are oscillations of physiological functions. The period of their oscillation is about 24 h, and can be synchronized by environmental periodic signals as nightday cycle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haloperidol a typical antipsychotic commonly used in the treatment of schizophrenia causes neuronal damage and extrapiramidal symptoms after several years of treatment. These symptoms have been associated with increased levels of oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species produce cytoskeletal collapse and an excessive phosphorylation of tau, a microtubule-associated protein that plays a key role in microtubule stabilization, and in growth cone and neurite formation, which are cytoskeletal phenotypes that participate in neurodevelopment. Thus, we hypothesized that haloperidol produces neurocytoskeletal disorganization by increasing free radicals and tau hyperphosphorylation, and consequently, the loss of neurodevelopmental cytoskeletal phenotypes, neurites and growth cones. The purpose of this work was the characterization of neuronal cytoskeletal changes caused by haloperidol in neuroblastoma N1E-115 cells. We also studied the mechanisms by which haloperidol causes cytoskeletal changes. The results showed that haloperidol at 100microM caused a complete cytoskeleton collapse in the majority of the cells. Melatonin, a free radical scavenger, blocks tau hyperphosphorylation, and microtubule disorganization caused by haloperidol in a dose-response mode. Additionally, the indole blocks lipoperoxide formation in haloperidol treated cells. The results indicate that free radicals and tau hyperphosphorylation produced by haloperidol caused a cytoskeletal collapse and the lost of growth cones and neurites. These effects were blocked by melatonin. Data suggest that extrapiramidal symptoms in schizophrenic patients can be produced by cytoskeletal disorganization during adult brain neurodevelopment after prolonged haloperidol treatment that can be prevented by melatonin.
European journal of pharmacology 10/2010; 644(1-3):24-31. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the course of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, the postmitotic maturation and survival phase is associated with dendrite maturation. Melatonin modulates the survival of new neurons with relative specificity. During this phase, the new neurons express microtubule-associated protein doublecortin (DCX). Here, we show that the entire population of cells expressing DCX is increased after 14 days of treatment with melatonin. As melatonin also affects microtubule polymerization which is important for neuritogenesis and dendritogenesis, we studied the consequences of chronic melatonin administration on dendrite maturation of DCX-positive cells. Treatment with melatonin increased the number of DCX-positive immature neurons with more complex dendrites. Sholl analysis revealed that melatonin treatment lead to greater complexity of the dendritic tree. In addition, melatonin increased the total volume of the granular cell layer. Besides its survival-promoting effect, melatonin thus also increases dendritic maturation in adult neurogenesis. This might open the opportunity of using melatonin as an adjuvant in attempts to extrinsically stimulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis in neuropsychiatric disease, dementia or cognitive ageing.
Journal of Pineal Research 09/2010; 50(1):29-37. · 7.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinular photoreceptors are structures involved in the expression and synchronization of the circadian rhythm of sensitivity to light in crayfish. To determine whether melatonin possesses a differential effect upon the receptor potential (RP) amplitude of retinular photoreceptors circadian time (CT)-dependent, we conducted experiments by means of applying melatonin every 2h during a 24-hour cycle. Melatonin with 100 nM increased RP amplitude during subjective day to a greater degree than during subjective night. To determine whether MT(2) melatonin receptors regulate the melatonin-produced effect, we carried out two experiments, circadian times (CTs) 6 and 18, which included the following: (1) application of the MT(2) receptor selective agonist 8-M-PDOT and antagonist DH97, and (2) the specific binding of [(125)I]-melatonin in eyestalk membranes. The amount of 10 nM of 8-M-PDOT increased RP amplitude in a similar manner to melatonin, and 1 nM DH97 abolished the increase produced by melatonin and 8-M-PDOT. Binding of [(125)I]-melatonin was saturable and specific. Scatchard analysis revealed an affinity constant (K(d)) of 1.1 nM and a total number of binding sites (B(max)) of 6 fmol/mg protein at CT 6, and a K(d) of 1.46 nM and B(max) of 7 fmol/mg protein at CT 18. Our results indicate that melatonin increased RP amplitude of crayfish retinular photoreceptors through MT(2)-like melatonin receptors. These data support the idea that melatonin is a signal of darkness for the circadian system in crayfish retinular cells.
Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology 09/2009; 154(4):486-92. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell migration and adhesion are cytoskeleton- dependent functions that play a key role in epithelial physiology. Specialized epithelial cells in water transport have specific microfilament rearrangements that make these cells adopt a polyhedral shape, forming a sealed monolayer which functions as permeability barrier. Also, specific polarized microfilament phenotypes are formed at the front and the rear of migratory epithelial cells. In pathological processes such as cancer, increased migration occurs in invasive cells driven by the formation of polarized and differential microfilament phenotypes. Melatonin, the main product secreted by the pineal gland during dark phase of the photoperiod, acts as a cytoskeletal modulator in normal and cancer cells. In this paper we will summarize evidence supporting that melatonin acts as a microfilament modulator in epithelial MDCK cells, and we will describe its effects on cytoskeleton organization involved in the mechanism by which melatonin synchronizes water transport. In addition, we will review recent data that indicate that melatonin is able to switch microfilament phenotypes in MCF-7 human mammary cancer cells, from invasive migratory cells to dormant microfilament phenotypes that occur in non- migratory cells. Moreover, we will discuss the implications of the cytoskeleton as therapeutic target for cancer cells.
Histology and histopathology 07/2009; 24(6):789-99. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis is influenced by circadian rhythm, affected by the manipulation of sleep, and is disturbed in animal models of affective disorders. These observations and the link between dysregulation of the circadian production of melatonin and neuropsychiatric disorders prompted us to investigate the potential role of melatonin in controlling adult hippocampal neurogenesis. In vitro, melatonin increased the number of new neurons derived from adult hippocampal neural precursor cells in vitro by promoting cell survival. This effect was partially dependent on the activation of melatonin receptors as it could be blocked by the application of receptor antagonist luzindole. There was no effect of melatonin on cell proliferation. Similarly, in the dentate gyrus of adult C57BL/6 mice in vivo, exogenous melatonin (8 mg/kg) also increased the survival of neuronal progenitor cells and post-mitotic immature neurons. Melatonin did not affect precursor cell proliferation in vivo and also did not influence neuronal and glial cell maturation. Moreover, melatonin showed antidepressant-like effects in the Porsolt forced swim test. These results indicate that melatonin through its receptor can modulate the survival of newborn neurons in the adult hippocampus, making it the first known exogenously applicable substance with such specificity.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 06/2009; 34(9):2180-91. · 8.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular oxygen is toxic for anaerobic organisms but it is also obvious that oxygen is poisonous to aerobic organisms as well, since oxygen plays an essential role for inducing molecular damage. Molecular oxygen is a triplet radical in its ground-stage (.O-O.) and has two unpaired electrons that can undergoes consecutive reductions of one electron and generates other more reactive forms of oxygen known as free radicals and reactive oxygen species. These reactants (including superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals) possess variable degrees of toxicity. Nitric oxide (NO*) contains one unpaired electron and is, therefore, a radical. NO* is generated in biological tissues by specific nitric oxide synthases and acts as an important biological signal. Excessive nitric oxide production, under pathological conditions, leads to detrimental effects of this molecule on tissues, which can be attributed to its diffusion-limited reaction with superoxide to form the powerful and toxic oxidant, peroxynitrite.Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are molecular "renegades"; these highly unstable products tend to react rapidly with adjacent molecules, donating, abstracting, or even sharing their outer orbital electron(s). This reaction not only changes the target molecule, but often passes the unpaired electron along to the target, generating a second free radical, which can then go on to react with a new target amplifying their effects.This review describes the mechanisms of oxidative damage and its relationship with the most highly studied neurodegenerative diseases and the roles of melatonin as free radical scavenger and neurocytoskeletal protector.
Current Neuropharmacology 10/2008; 6(3):203-14. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell movement is generated by a driving force provided by dynamic cytoskeletal organization. Two main cytoskeletal-dependent features, essential for migration, are the highly cell polarized structure and focal adhesion complexes. Cell migration and substrate anchorage are finely regulated by external signaling exerted by growth factors and hormones. In particular, the serine threonine kinase activated by the small GTPase Rho, the Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK), participate in both processes through regulation of actin rearrangements in lamellipodia, filopodia, ruffles, and stress fibers. Melatonin, the main product secreted by the pineal gland has oncostatic properties. In MCF-7 cells, 1 nm melatonin reduces migration and invasiveness through increased expression of two cell surface adhesion proteins, E-cadherin and beta(1)-integrin. In this work, we studied the microfilament and microtubule rearrangements elicited by melatonin in migrating leader MCF-7 cells by a wound-healing assay. Additionally, cell anchorage was estimated by quantification of focal adhesions in MCF-7 cells cultured with melatonin. ROCK participation in the indole effects on anchorage and migration was explored by inhibition of the kinase activity with the specific inhibitor of ROCK, the Y-27632 compound. The results indicate that ROCK participates in the melatonin inhibitory effects on cell migration by changing cytoskeletal organization of leader MCF-7 cells. Also, they indicated that indole increased the number of focal contacts through ROCK. These results support the notion that melatonin inhibits cancer cell invasion and metastasis formation via ROCK-regulated microfilament and microtubule organization that converge in a migration/anchorage switch.
Journal of Pineal Research 06/2008; 46(1):15-21. · 7.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a progressive neuronal death and a lost of memory and cognition that unable the patient to perform daily tasks. Cytoskeleton alterations, identified as a major histopathologic hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, occur in dementia. In this disease, neurons have pathologic inclusions containing fibrillar aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau protein in absence of amyloid deposits. Abundant senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles constitute the two major neuropathologic lesions present in hippocampal, neocortical, and forebrain cholinergic brain regions of Alzheimer's patients. Hyperphosphorylated tau and the subsequent formation of paired helical filaments loses the capabilities for maintaining highly asymmetrical neuronal polarity. Thus, in brains with a high content of hyperphosphorylated tau, microtubules are disassembled, the highly asymmetrical neural shape is lost and an impairment of axonal transport is produced together with a lost of dendrite arborizations. In addition, brain damage caused by free radicals occurs in Alzheimer's disease. This illness involves a reduction of the endogenous antioxidant enzyme system, increased senileplaque formation, cytoskeletal collapse, and neuronal apoptosis induced by oxidative stress.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melatonin increases neurite formation in N1E-115 cells through microtubule enlargement elicited by calmodulin antagonism and vimentin intermediate filament reorganization caused by protein kinase C (PKC) activation. Microfilament rearrangement is also a necessary process in growth cone formation during neurite outgrowth. In this work, we studied the effect of melatonin on microfilament rearrangements present at early stages of neurite formation and the possible participation of PKC and the Rho-associated kinase (ROCK), which is a downstream kinase in the PKC signaling pathway. The results showed that 1 nm melatonin increased both the number of cells with filopodia and with long neurites. Similar results were obtained with the PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Both melatonin and PMA increased the quantity of filamentous actin. In contrast, the PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide abolished microfilament organization elicited by either melatonin or PMA, while the Rho inhibitor C3, or the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, abolished the bipolar neurite morphology of N1E-115 cells. Instead, these inhibitors prompted neurite ramification. ROCK activity measured in whole cell extracts and in N1E-115 cells was increased in the presence of melatonin and PMA. The results indicate that melatonin increases the number of cells with immature neurites and suggest that these neurites can be susceptible to differentiation by incoming extracellular signals. Data also indicate that PKC and ROCK are involved at initial stages of neurite formation in the mechanism by which melatonin recruits cells for later differentiation.
Journal of Pineal Research 05/2007; 42(3):214-21. · 7.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melatonin cyclically modifies water transport measured as dome formation in MDCK cells. An optimal increase in water transport, concomitant with elevated stress fiber (SF) formation, occurs at nocturnal plasma melatonin concentrations (1 nm) after 6 hr of incubation. Blockage in melatonin-elicited dome formation was observed with protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors. Despite, this information on the precise mechanism by which melatonin increases SF formation involved in water transport is not known. Focal adhesion contacts (FAC) are cytoskeletal structures, which participate in MDCK membrane polarization. SF organization and vinculin phosphorylation are involved in FAC assembly and both processes are mediated by PKC, an enzyme stimulated by melatonin; in these processes also involved is Rho-associated kinase (ROCK). Thus, we studied FAC formation and the ROCK/PKC pathway as the mechanism by which melatonin increases SF formation and water transport. The results showed that 1 nM melatonin and the PKC agonist phorbol-12-miristate-13-acetate increased FAC. The PKC inhibitor GF109203x, and the ROCK inhibitor Y27632, blocked increased FAC caused by melatonin. ROCK and PKC activities, vinculin phosphorylation and FAC formation were increased with melatonin. The PKC inhibitor, GF109203x, abolished both melatonin stimulated FAC in whole cells and ROCK activity, indicating that ROCK is a downstream kinase in the melatonin-stimulated PKC pathway in MDCK cultured cells that causes an increase in SF and FAC formation. Data also document that melatonin modulates water transport through modifications of the cytoskeletal structure.
Journal of Pineal Research 04/2007; 42(2):180-90. · 7.30 Impact Factor