[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Paraplegia following spinal cord ischemia represents a devastating complication of both aortic surgery and endovascular aortic repair. Shock wave treatment was shown to induce angiogenesis and regeneration in ischemic tissue by modulation of early inflammatory response via Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 signaling. In preclinical and clinical studies, shock wave treatment had a favorable effect on ischemic myocardium. We hypothesized that shock wave treatment also may have a beneficial effect on spinal cord ischemia. METHODS AND RESULTS: A spinal cord ischemia model in mice and spinal slice cultures ex vivo were performed. Treatment groups received immediate shock wave therapy, which resulted in decreased neuronal degeneration and improved motor function. In spinal slice cultures, the activation of TLR3 could be observed. Shock wave effects were abolished in spinal slice cultures from TLR3(-/-) mice, whereas the effect was still present in TLR4(-/-) mice. TLR4 protein was found to be downregulated parallel to TLR3 signaling. Shock wave-treated animals showed significantly better functional outcome and survival. The protective effect on neurons could be reproduced in human spinal slices. CONCLUSIONS: Shock wave treatment protects from neuronal degeneration via TLR3 signaling and subsequent TLR4 downregulation. Consequently, it represents a promising treatment option for the devastating complication of spinal cord ischemia after aortic repair.
Journal of the American Heart Association 10/2015; 4(10-10). DOI:10.1161/JAHA.115.002440 · 4.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Results:
To this end, heat/cold as well as mechanical sensitivity tests were performed. Furthermore, in vivo and ex vivo nerve conduction and the G-ratios of the sciatic nerve were analyzed, and thermosensitive ion channel mRNA expression in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) was assessed. The presence of human α-syn in Schwann cells was associated with subtle behavioral impairments. The G-ratio of the sciatic nerve, the conduction velocity of myelinated and unmyelinated primary afferents and the expression of thermosensitive ion channels in the sensory neurons, however, were similar to wildtype mice.
Our results suggest that the PNS appears to be affected by Schwann cell α-syn deposits in the PLP-α-syn MSA mouse model. However, there was no consistent evidence for functional PNS perturbations resulting from such α-syn aggregates suggesting a more central cause of the observed behavioral abnormalities. Nonetheless, our results do not exclude a causal role of α-syn in the pathogenesis of MSA associated peripheral neuropathy.
PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0136575. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136575 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To investigate the expression of α-synuclein in colonic biopsies of patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) and address if α-synuclein immunostaining of tissue obtained via colonic biopsies holds promise as a diagnostic biomarker for prodromal Parkinson disease (PD).
Patients with iRBD, patients with PD, and healthy controls were prospectively recruited to undergo colonic biopsies for comparison of α-synuclein immunoreactivity patterns between the groups by using 2 different antibodies.
There was no difference in colonic mucosal and submucosal immunostaining between groups using the 15G7 α-synuclein antibody, which was found in almost all participants enrolled in this study. By contrast, immunostaining for serine 129-phosphorylated α-synuclein (pSyn) in submucosal nerve fibers or ganglia was found in none of 14 controls but was observed in 4 of 17 participants with iRBD and 1 out of 19 patients with PD.
The present findings of pSyn immunostaining of colonic biopsies in a substantial proportion of iRBD participants raise the possibility that this tissue marker may be a suitable candidate to study further as a prodromal PD marker in at-risk cohorts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease. Post-mortem hallmarks of MSA neuropathology include oligodendroglial α-synuclein (αSYN) inclusions, striatonigral degeneration, olivopontocerebellar atrophy, and increased microglial activation that accompanies the wide spread neurodegeneration. Recently, we demonstrated upregulation of myeloperoxidase (MPO) in activated microglia and provided evidence for the role of microglial MPO in the mediation of MSA-like neurodegeneration (Stefanova et al. Neurotox Res 21:393-404, 2015). The aim of the current study was to assess the therapeutic potency of MPO inhibition (MPOi) in a model of advanced MSA. We replicated the advanced pathology of MSA by intoxicating transgenic PLP-α-synuclein transgenic mice with 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP). After onset of the full-blown pathology, MSA mice received either MPOi or vehicle over 3 weeks. Motor phenotype and neuropathology were analyzed to assess the therapeutic efficacy of MPOi compared to vehicle treatment in MSA mice. MPOi therapy initiated after the onset of severe MSA-like neuropathology in mice failed to attenuate motor impairments and neuronal loss within the striatum, substantia nigra pars compacta, inferior olives, pontine nuclei, and cerebellar cortex. However, we observed a significant reduction of microglial activation in degenerating brain areas. Further, nitrated αSYN accumulation was reduced in the striatonigral region. In summary, delayed-start MPOi treatment reduced microglial activation and levels of nitrated αSYN in a mouse model of advanced MSA. These effects failed to impact on motor impairments and neuronal loss in contrast to previously reported disease modifying efficacy of early-start therapy with MPOi in MSA.
Neurotoxicity Research 07/2015; 28(3). DOI:10.1007/s12640-015-9547-7 · 3.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple-system atrophy (MSA) is a rapidly progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by glial α-synuclein inclusion pathology. The clinical presentation includes autonomic failure, levodopa-unresponsive parkinsonism and cerebellar symptoms in variable combinations. Thus far, there are no established disease-modifying therapies available, and key molecular events underlying disease pathogenesis and spread remain largely elusive. However, in recent years, several animal models mimicking MSA-related pathological and clinical features have been developed that exploit both toxic and transgenic approaches. Nevertheless, additional experimental studies are urgently required to unravel the etiopathogenesis of MSA and to identify targets for interventional therapies. In this chapter we provide a comprehensive overview of the clinical presentation, pathological and pathophysiological underpinnings, as well as currently available animal models.
Movement Disorders, 01/2015: pages 887-904; , ISBN: 9780124051959
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare, late-onset and fatal neurodegenerative disease including multisystem neurodegeneration and the formation of α-synuclein containing oligodendroglial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs), which present the hallmark of the disease. MSA is considered to be a sporadic disease; however certain genetic aspects have been studied during the last years in order to shed light on the largely unknown etiology and pathogenesis of the disease. Epidemiological studies focused on the possible impact of environmental factors on MSA disease development. This article gives an overview on the findings from genetic and epigenetic studies on MSA and discusses the role of genetic or epigenetic factors in disease pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is evidence that the α-synucleinopathies Parkinson`s disease (PD) and the Parkinson variant of multiple system atrophy (MSA-P) overlap at multiple levels. Both disorders are characterized by deposition of abnormally phosphorylated fibrillar α-synuclein within the central nervous system suggesting shared pathophysiological mechanisms. Despite the considerable clinical overlap in the early disease stages, MSA-P, in contrast to PD, is fatal and rapidly progressive. Moreover recent clinical studies have shown that surrogate markers of disease progression can be quantified easily and may reliably predict its rapid course. We therefore posit that, MSA-P may be exploited as a filter barrier for PD associated α-synucleinopathies, to test disease-modifying therapeutic strategies targeting common pathophysiological mechanisms. This approach might reduce the number of PD negative phase III clinical trials, and, in turn, shift the available resources to earlier development stages, thereby increasing the number of candidate compounds validated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a fatal adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder of uncertain etiopathogenesis manifesting with autonomic failure, parkinsonism, and ataxia in any combination. The underlying neuropathology affects central autonomic, striatonigral and olivopontocerebellar pathways and it is associated with distinctive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs, Papp-Lantos bodies) that contain aggregates of α-Synuclein. Current treatment options are very limited and mainly focused on symptomatic relief, whereas disease modifying options are lacking. Despite extensive testing, no neuroprotective drug treatment has been identified up to now; however, a neurorestorative approach utilizing autologous mesenchymal stem cells has shown remarkable beneficial effects in the cerebellar variant of MSA. Here, we review the progress made over the last decade in defining pathogenic targets in MSA and summarize insights gained from candidate disease-modifying interventions that have utilized a variety of well-established preclinical MSA models. We also discuss the current limitations that our field faces and suggest solutions for possible approaches in cause-directed therapies of MSA.
Progress in Neurobiology 07/2014; 118(100). DOI:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2014.02.007 · 9.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased activity of L-type Ca2+ channels has been implicated in the pathogenesis of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previously we detected CaV1.2 α1-subunit-positive expression in reactive astrocytes surrounding the plaques of 12 month-old transgenic mice overexpressing hAβPP751 with the London (V717I) and Swedish (K670M/N671L) mutations. Here we examined whether increased CaV1.2 α1-subunit expression precedes plaque formation or is specifically associated with the increased amyloid-β (Aβ) load in the plaques. Quantitative RT-PCR expression profiling of all high voltage-gated Ca2+ channel subunits (α1, β, and α2δ) revealed no difference in the hippocampi of 2, 4, and 11 month-old wild type (wt) and transgenic (tg) mice. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that expression of CaV1.2 α1-subunit, but not of the auxiliary β4 Ca2+ channel subunit, specifically associated with Aβ-positive plaques in brains of 11 month tg mice. No difference in CaV1.2 α1-subunit labeling was found in 2 and 4 month-old wt and tg mice prior to plaque formation. The CaV1.2 α1-subunit-positive cells in 11 month-old tg mice also labeled with GFAP, but not with the microglia marker Iba1. In contrast, GFAP-positive cells induced by injection of quinolinic acid did not reveal any CaV1.2 α1-subunit immunoreactivity. Together these results indicate that the expression of CaV1.2 α1-subunits in reactive astrocytes in the tg AD mouse model is related to the increased amyloid-β load in the plaques rather than caused by effects on gene regulation or mechanisms preceding the manifestation of AD as seen by plaque formation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence suggests that olfaction is largely preserved in multiple system atrophy while most patients with Parkinson's disease are hyposmic. Consistent with these observations, recent experimental studies demonstrated olfactory deficits in transgenic Parkinson's disease mouse models, but corresponding data are lacking for MSA models.
Olfactory function and underlying neuropathological changes were investigated in a transgenic multiple system atrophy mouse model based on targeted oligodendroglial overexpression of α-synuclein as well as wild-type controls. The study was divided into (1) a pilot study investigating olfactory preference testing and (2) a long-term study characterizing changes in the olfactory bulb of aging transgenic multiple system atrophy mice.
In our pilot behavioral study, we observed no significant differences in investigation time in the olfactory preference test comparing transgenic with wild-type animals. These findings were accompanied by unaffected tyrosine hydroxylase-positive cell numbers in the olfactory bulb. Similarly, although a significant age-related increase in the amount of α-synuclein within the olfactory bulb was detected in the long-term study, progressive degeneration of the olfactory bulb could not be verified.
Our experimental data show preserved olfaction in a transgenic multiple system atrophy mouse model despite α-synucleinopathy in the olfactory bulb. These findings are in line with the human disorder supporting the concept of a primary oligodendrogliopathy with variable neuronal involvement.
PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e64625. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0064625 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a fatal, rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease with limited symptomatic treatment options. Discrimination of MSA from other degenerative disorders crucially depends on the presence of early and severe cardiovascular autonomic failure (CAF). We have previously shown that neuropathologic lesions in the central autonomic nuclei similar to the human disease are present in transgenic MSA mice generated by targeted oligodendroglial overexpression of α-syn using the PLP promoter. We here explore whether such lesions result in abnormalities of heart rate variability (HRV) and circadian rhythmicity which are typically impaired in MSA patients.
HRV analysis was performed in five month old transgenic PLP-α-syn (tg) MSA mice and age-matched wild type controls. Decreased HRV and alterations in the circadian rhythmicity were detected in the tg MSA group. The number of choline-acetyltransferase-immunoreactive neurons in the nucleus ambiguus was significantly decreased in the tg group, whereas the levels of arginine-vasopressin neurons in the suprachiasmatic and paraventricular nucleus were not affected. Our finding of impaired HRV and circadian rhythmicity in tg MSA mice associated with degeneration of the nucleus ambiguus suggests that a cardinal non-motor feature of human MSA can be reproduced in the mouse model strengthening its role as a valuable testbed for studying selective vulnerability and assessing translational therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since their introduction in 1996, animal models of multiple system atrophy (MSA) have generated important insights into pathogenesis and interventional therapies. Toxin and genetic approaches have been used alone or in combination to replicate progressive motor and non-motor symptoms reflecting human neuropathology. Here, we review these developments and discuss the advantages and limitations of the MSA animal models, as well as their application in preclinical target validation.
Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 01/2013: chapter Models of Multiple System Atrophy; Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence from carefully conducted open label clinical trials suggested that therapeutic benefit can be achieved by grafting fetal dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons derived from ventral mesencephalon (VM) into the denervated striatum of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. However, two double-blind trials generated negative results reporting deleterious side effects such as prominent dyskinesias. Heterogeneous composition of VM grafts is likely to account for suboptimal clinical efficacy.
We consider that gene expression patterns of the VM tissue needs to be better understood by comparing the genetic signature of the surviving and functioning grafts with the cell suspensions used for transplantation. In addition, it is crucial to assess whether the grafted cells exhibit the DAergic phenotype of adult substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). To investigate this further, we used a GFP reporter mouse as source of VM tissue that enabled the detection and dissection of the grafts 6 weeks post implantation. A comparative gene expression analysis of the VM cell suspension and grafts revealed that VM grafts continue to differentiate post-implantation. In addition, implanted grafts showed a mature SNpc-like molecular DAergic phenotype with similar expression levels of TH, Vmat2 and Dat. However, by comparing gene expression of the adult SNpc with dissected grafts we detected a higher expression of progenitor markers in the grafts. Finally, when compared to the VM cell suspension, post-grafting there was a higher expression of markers inherent to glia and other neuronal populations.
In summary, our data highlight the dynamic development of distinctive DAergic and non-DAergic gene expression markers associated with the maturation of VM grafts in vivo. The molecular signature of VM grafts and its functional relevance should be further explored in future studies aimed at the optimization of DAergic cell therapy approaches in PD.
PLoS ONE 11/2012; 7(11):e50178. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0050178 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: α-Synuclein (AS)-positive inclusions are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and multiple system atrophy (MSA), all belonging to the category of α-synucleinopathies. α-Synucleinopathies represent progressive neurodegenerative disorders characterised by increasing incidences in the population over the age of 65. The relevance of glial reactivity and dysfunction in α-synucleinopathies is highlighted by numerous experimental evidences. Glial AS inclusion pathology is prominent in oligodendroglia of MSA (glial cytoplasmic inclusions) and is a common finding in astroglial cells of PD and DLB, resulting in specific dysfunctional responses. Involvement of AS-dependent astroglial and microglial activation in neurodegenerative mechanisms, and therefore in disease initiation and progression, has been suggested. The aim of this review is to summarise and discuss the multifaceted responses of glial cells in α-synucleinopathies. The beneficial, as well as detrimental, effects of glial cells on neuronal viability are taken into consideration to draw an integrated picture of glial roles in α-synucleinopathies. Furthermore, an overview on therapeutic approaches outlines the difficulties of translating promising experimental studies into successful clinical trials targeting candidate glial pathomechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive late onset neurodegenerative α-synucleinopathy with unclear pathogenesis. Recent genetic and pathological studies support a central role of α-synuclein (αSYN) in MSA pathogenesis. Oligodendroglial cytoplasmic inclusions of fibrillar αSYN and dysfunction of the ubiquitin–proteasome system are suggestive of proteolytic stress in this disorder. To address the possible pathogenic role of oligodendroglial αSYN accumulation and proteolytic failure in MSA we applied systemic proteasome inhibition (PSI) in transgenic mice with oligodendroglial human αSYN expression and determined the presence of MSA-like neurodegeneration in this model as compared to wild-type mice. PSI induced open field motor disability in transgenic αSYN mice but not in wild-type mice. The motor phenotype corresponded to progressive and selective neuronal loss in the striatonigral and olivopontocerebellar systems of PSI-treated transgenic αSYN mice. In contrast no neurodegeneration was detected in PSI-treated wild-type controls. PSI treatment of transgenic αSYN mice was associated with significant ultrastructural alterations including accumulation of fibrillar human αSYN in the cytoplasm of oligodendroglia, which resulted in myelin disruption and demyelination characterized by increased g-ratio. The oligodendroglial and myelin pathology was accompanied by axonal degeneration evidenced by signs of mitochondrial stress and dysfunctional axonal transport in the affected neurites. In summary, we provide new evidence supporting a primary role of proteolytic failure and suggesting a neurodegenerative pathomechanism related to disturbed oligodendroglial/myelin trophic support in the pathogenesis of MSA.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-012-0977-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.