[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We determined total Purkinje cell (PC) numbers in cerebella of wild-type (+/+) and heterozygous (rl/+) reeler mice of either sex during early postnatal development; in parallel, we quantified levels of neuroactive steroids in the cerebellum with mass spectrometry. We also quantified reelin mRNA and protein expression with RT-PCR and Western blotting. PC numbers are selectively reduced at postnatal day 15 (P15) in rl/+ males in comparison to +/+ males, +/+ females, and rl/+ females. Administration of 17beta-estradiol (17beta-E) into the cisterna magna at P5 increases PC numbers in rl/+ males, but not in the other groups; conversely, estrogen antagonists 4-OH-tamoxifen or ICI 182,780 reduce PC numbers in +/+ and rl/+ females, but have no effect in males. Testosterone (T) levels at P5 are much higher in males than in females, reflecting the perinatal testosterone surge in males. In addition, rl/+ male cerebella at P5 show a peculiar hormonal profile in comparison with the other groups, consisting of increased levels of T and 17beta-E, and decreased levels of dihydrotestosterone. RT-PCR analysis indicated that heterozygosity leads to a 50% reduction of reelin mRNA in the cerebellum in both sexes, as expected, and that 17beta-E upregulates reelin mRNA, particularly in rl/+ males; reelin mRNA upregulation is associated with an increase of all major reelin isoforms. These effects may represent a novel model of how reelin deficiency interacts with variable perinatal levels of neuroactive steroids, leading to gender-dependent differences in genetic vulnerability.
Neurobiology of Disease 10/2009; 36(1):103-115. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2009.07.001 · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Both F(2)-isoprostanes (8-iso-PGF(2alpha)), a well-known marker of oxidative stress, and thromboxanes A(2) (TXA(2)) are involved in atherosclerosis through LDL oxidation and platelet activation. Different aspects of the pathology can be described by 8-iso-PGF(2alpha) and TXA(2) so it is important to determine both their concentrations to monitor the disease progression and/or therapy effects. We developed a simple and sensitive method based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, using electrospray ionization in negative-ion mode, for the simultaneous measurement of the concentration of 8-iso-PGF(2alpha) and 11-dehydro thromboxane B(2) (11-DH-TXB(2)), a TXA(2) metabolite. This method was applied to analyze urine samples collected overnight from 15 atherosclerotic patients, with documented carotid artery sclerosis (CAS), and from 20 controls. The detection limit was 0.097pg/microL for 8-iso-PGF(2alpha) and 0.375pg/microL for 11-DH-TXB(2), with a linear range of 0.78-25pg/microL; the inter- and intraday imprecision was <5% for both metabolites. These analytes were higher in CAS (P<0.005 vs controls) and were positively correlated in patients but not in controls, even after adjustment for age and gender (r=0.60; P=0.032). This highly sensitive, precise, and rapid method allows for the simultaneous determination of 8-iso-PGF(2alpha) and 11-DH-TXB(2) in human urine samples in order to evaluate oxidative stress and platelet aggregation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1A (CMT1A) represents 80% of all the demyelinating hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies. As recently suggested, neuroactive steroids may have a role in a therapeutic strategy for peripheral neuropathies, including CMT1A. To this aim, an accurate qualitative and quantitative analysis of neuroactive steroid levels in this disease could be extremely important to define effective pharmacological strategies. We here analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry the levels of neuroactive steroids present in the sciatic nerve of male and female peripheral myelin protein 22 transgenic rats (PMP22(tg) rats; i.e., an experimental model of CMT1A) and of the corresponding wild-type littermates. We observed that, both in PMP22(tg) rats and in the wild types, the levels of neuroactive steroids, such as progesterone, tetrahydroprogesterone (THP), isopregnanolone (3beta,5alpha-THP), testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and 5alpha-androstane-3alpha, 17beta-diol (3alpha-diol) are sexually dimorphic. It is interesting to note that the levels of 3beta,5alpha-THP and of 3alpha-diol, which are exclusively detectable in sciatic nerve of female and male rats, respectively, are strongly decreased in PMP22(tg) rats. 3beta,5alpha-THP and 3alpha-diol are modulators of gamma-amino butyric acid A receptor. Thus, the present findings may be considered an interesting background for experiments aimed to evaluate the possible therapeutic effects of modulators of this neurotransmitter receptor in male and female PMP22(tg) rats.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nervous system is a target for physiological and protective effects of neuroactive steroids. Consequently, the assessment of their levels in nervous structures under physiological and pathological conditions is a top priority. To this aim, identification and quantification of pregnenolone (PREG), progesterone (PROG), dihydroprogesterone (DHP), tetrahydroprogesterone (THP), testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), 5alpha-androstan-3alpha, 17beta-diol (3alpha-diol), 17alpha- and 17beta-estradiol (17alpha-E and 17beta-E) by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has been set up. After validation, this method was applied to determine the levels of neuroactive steroids in central (i.e., cerebral cortex, cerebellum and spinal cord) and peripheral (i.e., brachial nerve) nervous system of control and diabetic rats. In controls only the brachial nerve had detectable levels of all these neuroactive steroids. In contrast, 17alpha-E in cerebellum, 17alpha-E, 17beta-E, DHP and THP in cerebral cortex, and 17alpha-E, 17beta-E and DHP in spinal cord were under the detection limit. Diabetes, induced by injection with streptozotocin, strongly affected the levels of some neuroactive steroids. In particular, the levels of PREG, PROG and T in cerebellum, of PROG, T and 3alpha-diol in cerebral cortex, of PROG, DHT and 3alpha-diol in spinal cord and of PREG, DHP, THP, T, DHT and 3alpha-diol in brachial nerve were significantly decreased. In conclusion, the data here reported demonstrate that the LC-MS/MS method allows the assessment of neuroactive steroids in the nervous system with high sensitivity and specificity and that diabetes strongly affects their levels, providing a further basis for new therapeutic tools based on neuroactive steroids aimed at counteracting diabetic neuropathy.
Neurochemistry International 03/2008; 52(4-5):560-8. DOI:10.1016/j.neuint.2007.06.004 · 2.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are transcriptional regulators of glucose and lipid metabolism. They
are activated by natural ligands, such as fatty acids, and are also targets of synthetic antidiabetic and hypolipidemic drugs.
By using cell-based reporter assays, we studied the transactivation activity of two enantiomeric ureidofibrate-like derivatives.
In particular, we show that the R-enantiomer, (R)-1, is a full agonist of PPARγ, whereas the S-enantiomer, (S)-1, is a less potent partial agonist. Most importantly, we report the x-ray crystal structures of the PPARγ ligand binding
domain complexed with the R- and the S-enantiomer, respectively. The analysis of the two crystal structures shows that the different degree of stabilization of
the helix 12 induced by the ligand determines its behavior as full or partial agonist. Another crystal structure of the PPARγ·(S)-1 complex, only differing in the soaking time of the ligand, is also presented. The comparison of the two structures of
the complexes with the partial agonist reveals significant differences and is suggestive of the possible coexistence in solution
of transcriptionally active and inactive forms of helix 12 in the presence of a partial agonist. Mutation analysis confirms
the importance of Leu465, Leu469, and Ile472 in the activation by (R)-1 and underscores the key role of Gln286 in the PPARγ activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of coronary artery disease as a consequence of its high content of antioxidants, namely, hydroxytyrosol (HT) and oleuropein aglycone (OleA), typical of virgin olive oil. Because intercellular and vascular cell adhesion molecules (ICAM-1 and VCAM-1) and E-selectin are crucial for endothelial activation, the role of the phenolic extract from extra virgin olive oil (OPE), OleA, HT, and homovanillyl alcohol (HVA) on cell surface and mRNA expression in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) was evaluated. OPE strongly reduced cell surface expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 at concentrations physiologically relevant (IC50 < 1 microM), linked to a reduction in mRNA levels. OleA and HT were the main components responsible for these effects. HVA inhibited cell surface expression of all the adhesion molecules, whereas the effect on mRNA expression was weaker. These results supply new insights on the protective role of olive oil against vascular risk through the down-regulation of adhesion molecules involved in early atherogenesis.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 05/2006; 54(9):3259-64. DOI:10.1021/jf0529161 · 3.11 Impact Factor