[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Periodic treatments with estrogen receptor subtype-β (ER-β) agonist reduce post-ischemic hippocampal injury in ovariectomized rats. However, the underlying mechanism of how ER-β agonists protect the brain remains unknown. Global cerebral ischemia activates the innate immune response, and a key component of the innate immune response is the inflammasome. This study tests the hypothesis that ER-β regulates inflammasome activation in the hippocampus, thus reducing ischemic hippocampal damage in reproductively senescent female rats that received periodic ER-β agonist treatments. First, we determined the effect of hippocampal ER-β silencing on the expression of the inflammasome proteins caspase-1, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) and interleukin (IL)-1β. Silencing of ER-β attenuated 17β-estradiol mediated decrease in caspase-1, ASC and IL-1β. Next, we tested the hypothesis that periodic ER-β agonist treatment reduces inflammasome activation and ischemic damage in reproductively senescent female rats. Periodic ER-β agonist treatments significantly decreased inflammasome activation and increased post-ischemic live neuronal counts by 32% (p<0.05) as compared to the vehicle-treated, reproductively senescent rats. Current findings demonstrated that ER-β activation regulates inflammasome activation and protects the brain from global ischemic damage in reproductively senescent female rats. Further investigation on the role of a periodic ER-β agonist regimen to reduce the innate immune response in the brain could help reduce the incidence and the impact of global cerebral ischemia in post-menopausal women. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Journal of Neurochemistry 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/jnc.13404 · 4.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiopulmonary arrest is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States that usually occurs in the aged population. Cardiac arrest (CA) induces global ischemia, disrupting global cerebral circulation that results in ischemic brain injury and leads to cognitive impairments in survivors. Ischemia-induced neuronal damage in the hippocampus following CA can result in the impairment of cognitive function including spatial memory. In the present study, we used a model of asphyxial CA (ACA) in nine month old male Fischer 344 rats to investigate cognitive and synaptic deficits following mild global cerebral ischemia. These experiments were performed with the goals of 1) establishing a model of CA in nine month old middle-aged rats; and 2) to test the hypothesis that learning and memory deficits develop following mild global cerebral ischemia in middle-aged rats. To test this hypothesis, spatial memory assays (Barnes circular platform maze and contextual fear conditioning) and field recordings (long-term potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation) were performed. We show that following ACA in nine month old middle-aged rats, there is significant impairment in spatial memory formation, paired-pulse facilitation n dysfunction, and a reduction in the number of non-compromised hippocampal Cornu Ammonis 1 and subiculum neurons. In conclusion, nine month old animals undergoing cardiac arrest have impaired survival, deficits in spatial memory formation, and synaptic dysfunction.
PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0124918. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124918 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell therapy is emerging as a promising treatment for stroke. We recently we demonstrated the efficacy of intra-arterial delivery of MSCs (IA MSCs) at 24h after a reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Our study also identified a maximum tolerated dose of MSCs that could be delivered IA without compromising middle cerebral artery flow. The IA approach avoids first-pass trapping of MSCs in the lungs and liver as seen with intravenous delivery. Intra-arterial treatment is also minimally invasive and widely available in clinical practice and thus appealing for clinical translation. Since majority of ischemic strokes in women occur after onset of menopause it is crucial that we test the efficacy of IA MSCs in reproductively senescent females consistent with STAIR recommendations. We aimed to validate the efficacy of IA MSCs in reproductively senescent female rats. Methods: Retired breeder female (9-11 months; 280-350 g) Sprague-Dawley rats showing estrous acyclicity were exposed to MCAo (90 min). A day later, rats were treated with IA MSCs (1x10^5 cells) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). MSCs or PBS treated rats were sacrificed at 28-30 days for infarct volume measurement using histology. To test motor function, the rotarod test was performed. Rats were trained for 3 consecutive days for the rotarod test before undergoing the MCAo procedure. The mean duration (in seconds) on the device was recorded from 3 rotarod measurements 1 day before surgery. The rats were tested at 1, 7, 15 and 28-30 days after MCAo. Results: We observed significantly lower mean infarct volume in the MSC-treated group (12 ± 3 mm3; n=6) compared to the PBS-treated group (29 ± 7 mm3; Mean ± SEM; n=4, p<0.05). Treatment at 1 day after MCAO with MSCs significantly improved functional recovery, as evidenced by improved rotarod test results and neurological scores at 7, 15 and 30 days (P<0.05) compared with the PBS-treated group. Conclusions: Intra-arterial stem cell treatment reduces ischemic brain injury and improves functional outcomes in reproductively senescent female rats. Validating the efficacy of IA MSC treatment using a reproductively senescent animal stroke model suggests high potential for future clinical translation in a population at high risk for stroke.
American Heart Association-International Stroke Conference, Nashville, TN,USA; 02/2015
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) via protein kinase C epsilon (PKCɛ) activation induces neuroprotection against lethal ischemia. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a pro-survival signaling molecule that modulates synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. Interestingly, BDNF mRNA expression increases after IPC. In this study, we investigated whether IPC or pharmacological preconditioning (PKCɛ activation) promoted BDNF-induced neuroprotection, if neuroprotection by IPC or PKCɛ activation altered neuronal excitability, and whether these changes were BDNF-mediated. We used both in vitro (hippocampal organotypic cultures and cortical neuronal-glial cocultures) and in vivo (acute hippocampal slices 48 hours after preconditioning) models of IPC or PKCɛ activation. BDNF protein expression increased 24 to 48 hours after preconditioning, where inhibition of the BDNF Trk receptors abolished neuroprotection against oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in vitro. In addition, there was a significant decrease in neuronal firing frequency and increase in threshold potential 48 hours after preconditioning in vivo, where this threshold modulation was dependent on BDNF activation of Trk receptors in excitatory cortical neurons. In addition, 48 hours after PKCɛ activation in vivo, the onset of anoxic depolarization during OGD was significantly delayed in hippocampal slices. Overall, these results suggest that after IPC or PKCɛ activation, there are BDNF-dependent electrophysiologic modifications that lead to neuroprotection.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 5 November 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.185.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is extensive evidence that ischemic/reperfusion mediated mitochondrial dysfunction is a major contributor to ischemic damage. However data also indicates that mild ischemic stress induces mitochondrial dependent activation of ischemic preconditioning. Ischemic preconditioning is a neuroprotective mechanism which is activated upon a brief sub-injurious ischemic exposure and is sufficient to provide protection against a subsequent lethal ischemic insult. Current research demonstrates that mitochondria are not only the inducers of but are also an important target of ischemic preconditioning mediated protection. Numerous proteins and signaling pathways are activated by ischemic preconditioning which protect the mitochondria against ischemic damage. In this review we examine some of the proteins activated by ischemic precondition which counteracts the deleterious effects of ischemia/reperfusion thereby maintaining normal mitochondrial activity and lead to ischemic tolerance.
Journal of Bioenergetics 09/2014; 47(1-2). DOI:10.1007/s10863-014-9574-8 · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intra-arterial (IA) delivery of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for acute ischemic stroke is attractive for clinical translation. However, studies using rat model of stroke have demonstrated that IA MSCs delivery can decrease middle cerebral artery (MCA) flow, which may limit its clinical translation. The goal of this study is to identify a dose of IA MSCs (maximum tolerated dose; MTD) that does not compromise MCA flow and evaluate its efficacy and optimal timing in a rat model of reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion (rMCAo). We sought to determine if there is a difference in efficacy of acute (1 h) versus sub-acute (24 h) IA MSCs treatment after rMCAo. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats underwent rMCAo (90 min) and an hour later a single dose of MSCs (at de-escalating doses 1×106, 5×105, 2×105, 1×105 and 5×104) was given using IA route. MSCs were suspended in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and PBS alone was used for control experiments. We measured the percent change in mean laser Doppler flow signal over the ipsilateral MCA in de-escalating doses groups to determine MTD. The results demonstrated that the lowering of IA MSC dose to 1×105 and below did not compromise MCA flow and hence an IA MSC dose of 1×105 considered as MTD. Subsequently, 1 h and 24 h after rMCAo, rats were treated with IA MSCs or PBS. The 24 h delivery of IA MSCs significantly improved neurodeficit score and reduced the mean infarct volume at one month as compared to control, but not the 1 h delivery. Overall, this study suggests that the IA delivery of MSCs can be performed safely and efficaciously at the MTD of 1×105 delivered at 24 hours in rodent model of stroke.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e93735. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0093735 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enhancement of ischemic brain damage is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Studies from various in vivo and in vitro models of cerebral ischemia have led to an understanding of the role of mitochondria and complex interrelated mitochondrial biochemical pathways leading to the aggravation of ischemic neuronal damage. Advancements in the elucidation of the mechanisms of ischemic brain damage in diabetic subjects have revealed a number of key mitochondrial targets that have been hypothesized to participate in enhancement of brain damage. The present review initially discusses the neurobiology of ischemic neuronal injury, with special emphasis on the central role of mitochondria in mediating its pathogenesis and therapeutic targets. Later it further details the potential role of various biochemical mediators and second messengers causing widespread ischemic brain damage among diabetics via mitochondrial pathways. The present review discusses preclinical data which validates the significance of mitochondrial mechanisms in mediating the aggravation of ischemic cerebral injury in diabetes. Exploitation of these targets may provide effective therapeutic agents for the management of diabetes-related aggravation of ischemic neuronal damage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preserving mitochondrial pools of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) or nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt), an enzyme involved in NAD production, maintains mitochondrial function and confers neuroprotection after ischemic stress. However, the mechanisms involved in regulating mitochondrial-localized Nampt or NAD have not been defined. In this study, we investigated the roles of protein kinase C epsilon (PKCɛ) and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in regulating mitochondrial pools of Nampt and NAD after resveratrol or ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in the cortex and in primary neuronal-glial cortical cultures. Using the specific PKCɛ agonist ψɛRACK, we found that PKCɛ induced robust activation of AMPK in vitro and in vivo and that AMPK was required for PKCɛ-mediated ischemic neuroprotection. In purified mitochondrial fractions, PKCɛ enhanced Nampt levels in an AMPK-dependent manner and was required for increased mitochondrial Nampt after IPC or resveratrol treatment. Analysis of intrinsic NAD autofluorescence using two-photon microscopy revealed that PKCɛ modulated NAD in the mitochondrial fraction. Further assessments of mitochondrial NAD concentrations showed that PKCɛ has a key role in regulating the mitochondrial NAD(+)/nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide reduced (NADH) ratio after IPC and resveratrol treatment in an AMPK- and Nampt-dependent manner. These findings indicate that PKCɛ is critical to increase or maintain mitochondrial Nampt and NAD after pathways of ischemic neuroprotection in the brain.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 26 March 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.51.
Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 03/2014; 34(6). DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.51 · 5.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemic preconditioning is emerging as an innovative and novel cytoprotective strategy to counter ischemic vascular disease. At the root of the preconditioning response is the upregulation of endogenous defense systems to achieve ischemic tolerance. Identifying suitable biomarkers to show that a preconditioning response has been induced remains a translational research priority. Preconditioning leads to a widespread genomic and proteonomic response with important effects on hemostatic, endothelial, and inflammatory systems. The present article summarizes the relevant preclinical studies defining the mechanisms of preconditioning, reviews how the human preconditioning response has been investigated, and which of these bioresponses could serve as a suitable biomarker. Human preconditioning studies have investigated the effects of preconditioning on coagulation, endothelial factors, and inflammatory mediators as well as on genetic expression and tissue blood flow imaging. A biomarker for preconditioning would significantly contribute to define the optimal preconditioning stimulus and the extent to which such a response can be elicited in humans and greatly aid in dose selection in the design of phase II trials. Given the manifold biologic effects of preconditioning a panel of multiple serum biomarkers or genomic assessments of upstream regulators may most accurately reflect the full spectrum of a preconditioning response.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 19 March 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.42.
Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 03/2014; 34(6). DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.42 · 5.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously showed that inhibition of protein kinase C delta (PKCδ) improves brain perfusion 24 hours after asphyxial cardiac arrest (ACA) and confers neuroprotection in the cortex and CA1 region of the hippocampus 7 days after arrest. Therefore, in this study, we investigate the mechanism of action of PKCδ-mediated hypoperfusion after ACA in the rat by using the two-photon laser scanning microscopy (TPLSM) to observe cortical cerebral blood flow (CBF) and laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) detecting regional CBF in the presence/absence of δV1-1 (specific PKCδ inhibitor), nitric oxide synthase (NOS) substrate (L-arginine, L-arg) and inhibitor (N(ω)-Nitro-L-arginine, NLA), and nitric oxide (NO) donor (sodium nitroprusside, SNP). There was an increase in regional LDF and local (TPLSM) CBF in the presence of δV1-1+L-arg, but only an increase in regional CBF under δV1-1+SNP treatments. Systemic blood nitrite levels were measured 15 minutes and 24 hours after ACA. Nitrite levels were enhanced by pretreatment with δV1-1 30 minutes before ACA possibly attributable to enhanced endothelial NOS protein levels. Our results suggest that PKCδ can modulate NO machinery in cerebral vasculature. Protein kinase C delta can depress endothelial NOS blunting CBF resulting in hypoperfusion, but can be reversed with δV1-1 improving brain perfusion, thus providing subsequent neuroprotection after ACA.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 22 January 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.232.
Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 01/2014; 34(4). DOI:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.232 · 5.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although outcome after stroke treatment has significantly improved over the last 30 years, there has been no revolutionary breakthrough. Among different combined approaches, systemic thrombolysis in combination with neuroprotection became a favorite research target. Recent studies suggest that transient ischemic attacks may represent a clinical model of such ischemic tolerance; thus, a new focus on this research has emerged. In this review, we show the parallels between ischemia and neuroprotection and discuss the potential therapeutic options that may be opened by this new molecular knowledge.
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 01/2014; 7(10). DOI:10.1586/erc.09.90
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most frequent neurodegenerative disorder afflicting 2% of the population older than 65 years worldwide. Recently, brain organotypic slices have been used to model neurodegenerative disorders, including PD. They conserve brain three-dimensional architecture, synaptic connectivity and its microenvironment. This model has allowed researchers a simple and rapid method to observe cellular interactions and mechanisms. In the present study, we developed an organotypic PD model from rat brains that includes all the areas involved in the nigrostriatal pathway in a single slice preparation, without using neurotoxins to induce the dopaminergic lesion. The mechanical transection of the nigrostriatal pathway obtained during slice preparation induced PD-like histopathology. Progressive nigrostriatal degeneration was monitored combining innovative approaches, such as diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-RMI) to follow fiber degeneration and mass spectrometry to quantify striatal dopamine content, together with bright field and fluorescence microscopy imaging. A substantia nigra dopaminergic cell number decrease was observed by immunohistochemistry against rat tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH) reaching 80% after two days in culture associated with a 30% decrease of striatal TH-positive fiber density, a 15% loss of striatal dopamine content quantified by mass spectrometry and a 70% reduction of nigrostriatal fiber fractional anisotropy quantified by DT-RMI. In addition, a significant decline of medium spiny neuron density was observed from day 7 to 16. These sagittal organotypic slices could be used to study the early stage of PD, namely dopaminergic degeneration, and the late stage of the pathology with dopaminergic and GABAergic neuron loss. This novel model might improve the understanding of PD and may represent a promising tool to refine the evaluation of new therapeutic approaches.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiopulmonary arrest remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in Western countries. Although ventricular fibrillation (VF) models in rodents mimic the "square wave" type of insult (rapid loss of pulse and pressure) commonly observed in adult humans at the onset of cardiac arrest (CA), they are not popular because of the complicated animal procedure, poor animal survival and thermal injury. Here we present a modified, simple, reliable, ventricular fibrillation-induced rat model of CA that will be useful in studying mechanisms of CA-induced delayed neuronal death as well as the efficacy of neuroprotective drugs. CA was induced in male Sprague Dawley rats using a modified method of von Planta et al. In brief, VF was induced in anesthetized, paralyzed, mechanically ventilated rats by an alternating current delivered to the entrance of the superior vena cava into the heart. Resuscitation was initiated by administering a bolus injection of epinephrine and sodium bicarbonate followed by mechanical ventilation and manual chest compressions and countershock with a 10-J DC current. Neurologic deficit score was higher in the CA group compared to the sham group during early reperfusion periods, suggesting brain damage. Significant damage in CA1 hippocampus (21% normal neurons compared to control animals) was observed following histopathological assessment at seven days of reperfusion. We propose that this method of VF-induced CA in rat provides a tool to study the mechanism of CA-induced neuronal death without compromising heart functions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemic preconditioning is a neuroprotective mechanism whereby a sublethal ischemic exposure is protective against a subsequent lethal ischemic attack. We previously demonstrated that SIRT1, a nuclear localized stress-activated deacetylase, is vital for ischemic preconditioning neuroprotection. However, a recent study demonstrated that SIRT1 can also localize to the mitochondria. Mitochondrial localized SIRT1 may allow for a direct protection of mitochondria following ischemic preconditioning. The objective of this study was to determine whether ischemic preconditioning increases brain mitochondrial SIRT1 protein levels and to determine the role of PKCɛ and HSP90 in targeting SIRT1 to the mitochondria. Here we report that preconditioning rats, with 2 min of global cerebral ischemia, induces a delayed increase in non-synaptic mitochondrial SIRT1 protein levels which was not observed in synaptic mitochondria. This increase in mitochondrial SIRT1 protein was found to occur only in neuronal cells and was mediated by PKCε activation. Inhibition of HSP90, a protein chaperone involved in mitochondrial protein import, prevented preconditioning induced increases in mitochondrial SIRT1 and PKCε protein. Our work provides new insights into a possible direct role of SIRT1 in modulating mitochondrial function under both normal and stress conditions, and to a possible role of mitochondrial SIRT1 in activating preconditioning induced ischemic tolerance.
PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e75753. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0075753 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously showed that palmitic acid methyl ester (PAME) and stearic acid methyl ester (SAME) are simultaneously released from the sympathetic ganglion and PAME possesses potent vasodilatory properties which may be important in cerebral ischemia. Since PAME is a potent vasodilator simultaneously released with SAME, our hypothesis was that PAME/SAME confers neuroprotection in rat models of focal/global cerebral ischemia. We also examined the neuroprotective properties of Solutol HS15, a clinically approved excipient because it possesses similar fatty acid compositions as PAME/SAME. Asphyxial cardiac arrest (ACA, 6 min) was performed 30 min after PAME/SAME treatment (0.02 mg/kg, IV). Solutol HS15 (2 ml/kg, IP) was injected chronically for 14 days (once daily). Histopathology of hippocampal CA1 neurons was assessed 7 days after ACA. For focal ischemia experiments, PAME, SAME, or Solutol HS15 was administered following reperfusion after 2 h of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). 2,3,5-Triphenyltetrazolium staining of the brain was performed 24 h after MCAO and the infarct volume was quantified. Following ACA, the number of surviving hippocampal neurons was enhanced by PAME-treated (68 %), SAME-treated (69 %), and Solutol-treated HS15 (68 %) rats as compared to ACA only-treated groups. Infarct volume was decreased by PAME (83 %), SAME (68 %), and Solutol HS15 (78 %) as compared to saline (vehicle) in MCAO-treated animals. PAME, SAME, and Solutol HS15 provide robust neuroprotection in both paradigms of ischemia. This may prove therapeutically beneficial since Solutol HS15 is already administered as a solublizing agent to patients. With proper timing and dosage, administration of Solutol HS15 and PAME/SAME can be an effective therapy against cerebral ischemia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for neurological disorders such as cerebral ischemia, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. In recent years, many clinical trials with various cell types have been performed often showing mixed results. Major problems with cell therapies are the limited cell availability and engraftment and the reduced integration of grafted cells into the host tissue. Stem cell-based therapies can provide a limitless source of cells but survival and differentiation remain a drawback. An improved understanding of the behaviour of stem cells and their interaction with the host tissue, upon implantation, is needed to maximize the therapeutic potential of stem cells in neurological disorders. Organotypic cultures made from brain slices from specific brain regions that can be kept in culture for several weeks after injecting molecules or cells represent a remarkable tool to address these issues. This model allows the researcher to monitor/assess the behaviour and responses of both the endogenous as well as the implanted cells and their interaction with the microenvironment leading to cell engraftment. Moreover, organotypic cultures could be useful to partially model the pathological state of a disease in the brain and to study graft-host interactions prior to testing such grafts for pre-clinical applications. Finally, they can be used to test the therapeutic potential of stem cells when combined with scaffolds, or other therapeutic enhancers, among other aspects, needed to develop novel successful therapeutic strategies or improve on existing ones.