[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical investigations present much evidence that the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist mifepristone leads to a rapid amelioration of depression. The molecular mechanisms of mifepristone involved in the treatment of depression are not fully understood. Depression is associated with hippocampal plasticity, for which increased excitatory amino acid (EAA) release in CA3 induced by chronic stress is responsible, and glucocorticoids have a permissive role and act synergistically with EAAs in producing neuronal damage. Moreover, glucocorticoids increase synapsin I, which has a key role in the release of neurotransmitter, including EAAs. Hereby, we hypothesize that major depression involves synapsin I alteration and that mifepristone blocks this alteration. In the present study, we observed both the expression of hippocampal synapsin I and depression-associated behavior in a rat model of depression induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). The result showed that a region-dependent synapsin I alteration occurs in the rat hippocampus after 21 days of CUMS, that is, it increases in dentate gyrus (DG)/CA3 and decreases in the CA1 region. Correlation analysis indicated that the decrease of synapsin I in CA1 is highly correlated with the increase in the DG/CA3 subfield. Simultaneously, the region-dependent alteration of synapsin I is correlated with depression-associated behaviors. Both the alteration of synapsin I and the depression-associated behavior were rapidly restored after treatment with mifepristone for 1 week. The result suggests that the molecular mechanism underlying the treatment of depression with mifepristone is associated with the rapid repair of the synaptic alteration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have demonstrated that lithium has a neuroprotective effect against brain ischemia. Whether this effect is mediated by hippocampal neurogenesis remains unknown. The ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) pathway plays an essential role in regulating neurogenesis. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether lithium regulates hippocampal neurogenesis by the ERK pathway and improves spatial learning and memory deficits in rats after ischemia. Rats were daily injected with lithium (1 mmol/kg) and 2 weeks later subjected to 15-min ischemia induced by four-vessel occlusion method. 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (Brdu; 50mg/kg) was administrated twice daily at postischemic day 6, or for 3 days from postischemic day 6 to 8. We found that lithium increased the ERK1/2 activation after ischemia by western blotting analysis. There was a significant increase in Brdu-positive cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus after lithium treatment, compared with ischemia group at postischemic days 7 and 21; furthermore, the survival rate of Brdu-positive cells was elevated by lithium. Inhibition of the ERK1/2 activation by U0126 diminished these effects of lithium. The percentages of Brdu-positive cells that expressed a neuronal marker or an astrocytic marker were not significantly influenced by lithium. Moreover, lithium improved the impaired spatial learning and memory ability in Morris water maze, and U0126 attenuated the behavioral improvement by lithium. These results suggest that lithium up-regulates the generation and survival of new-born cells in the hippocampus by the ERK pathway and improves the behavioral disorder in rats after transient global cerebral ischemia.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent cause of dementia in human beings. Its best-known pathologic feature is the presence of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Nogo-66 receptor (NgR) is believed to contribute to the inhibitory activities of axon regeneration after injury. This study investigated the expression of NgR in the hippocampus and its relation to the pathologic changes of AD using immunohistochemistry and double-labeling immunofluorescence methods. The results showed that NgR immunoreactivity was present in more than 50% of the pyramidal layer cells of the CA1 to CA4 subfields of the hippocampus. No significant difference was observed in the number of NgR immunopositive cells in the CA1 to CA4 subfields between patients with AD and control subjects, whereas the ratio of NgR immunopositive cells to the total number of pyramidal layer cells was revealed to be significantly higher in the CA1 and CA2 subfields of the hippocampus of patients with AD than that in the same region of the control subjects. Moreover, high numbers of AT-8 immunopositive cells were found to be double-labeled with NgR in the CA1 subfields of patients with AD, whereas only few NgR deposits were observed in the senile plaques of the hippocampus in these patients. These results suggest that NgR may be related to the formation of tangles in AD.
Human Pathlogy 04/2007; 38(3):426-34. · 2.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous study has indicated that chronic treatment with lithium protects brain against ischemic injury by reducing apoptotic death. To investigate whether lithium improves the behavioral disorder induced by transient global cerebral ischemia, we examined the effects of lithium treatment on the performance of rats in a set of behavioral tests, i.e. beam balance, elevated plus maze (EPM), open field and Morris water maze. Our results showed that lithium attenuated the worse general 'well-being' and the worse performance in beam balance, and hyperactivity in EPM and open field, including increased open arm entries, time spent in the open arms, squares crossed, rearing and grooming over 7 days after 15min ischemia, which were induced by four-vessel occlusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Moreover, lithium improved the injured spatial learning and memory ability in Morris water maze at post-ischemic days 8 and 9. Histological analysis displayed that it decreased obviously cell death in hippocampal CA1 region. Our study further confirmed the protective role of lithium in the ischemia-reperfusion injury and suggested that lithium might be a helpful therapeutic approach to the treatment of stroke combining with other neuroprotective agents.
Behavioural Brain Research 03/2007; 177(2):282-9. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The degradation of aberrantly phosphorylated tau in neurons plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). hHrd1 is a newly identified ubiquitin ligase involved in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated protein degradation. The expression and function of hHrd1 in AD brain remains elusive. In the present study, the expression of hHrd1 in AD hippocampus and the morphological relations between hHrd1 expression and pretangle formation were studied by using immunohistochemical single- and double-labeling methods. The results showed that hHrd1 was expressed in neurons and reactive astrocytes, especially in the CA2-CA4 hippocampal subfields. The ratio of hHrd1-positive neurons/astrocytes to total neurons/astrocytes was increased in the CA1 subfield in AD hippocampus compared with the age-matched controls (P < 0.05). Most Alz-50 labeled pretangles were colocalized with hHrd1, and the expression levels showed an inversed change, implied that hHrd1 might be associated with the degradation of hyperphosphorylated tau.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 01/2007; 84(8):1862-70. · 2.97 Impact Factor