Donald P Pizzo

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States

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Publications (20)76.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies indicated that intracerebroventricular administration of nerve growth factor (NGF) leads to massive Schwann cell hyperplasia surrounding the medulla oblongata and spinal cord. This study was designed to characterize the proliferation of peripheral glial cells, that is, Schwann and satellite cells, in the trigeminal ganglia and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of adult rats during two weeks of NGF infusion using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) to label dividing cells. The trigeminal ganglia as well as the cervical and lumbar DRG were analyzed. Along the entire neuraxis a small number of dividing cells were observed within these regions under physiological condition. NGF infusion has dramatically increased the generation of new cells in the neuronal soma and axonal compartments of sensory ganglia and along the dorsal root and the dorsal root entry zone. Quantification of BrdU positive cells within sensory ganglia revealed a 2.3- to 3-fold increase in glial cells compared to controls with a similar response to NGF for the different peripheral ganglia examined. Immunofluorescent labeling with S100 β revealed that Schwann and satellite cells underwent mitosis after NGF administration. These data indicate that intracerebroventricular NGF infusion significantly induces gliogenesis in trigeminal ganglia and the spinal sensory ganglia and along the dorsal root entry zone as well as the dorsal root.
    BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:704259.
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    ABSTRACT: Agmatine, an endogenous metabolite of arginine, selectively suppresses growth in cells with high proliferative kinetics, such as transformed cells, through depletion of intracellular polyamine levels. In the present study, we depleted intracellular polyamine content with agmatine to determine if attrition by cell death contributes to the growth-suppressive effects. We did not observe an increase in necrosis, DNA fragmentation, or chromatin condensation in Ha-Ras-transformed NIH-3T3 cells administered agmatine. In response to Ca(2+)-induced oxidative stress in kidney mitochondrial preparations, agmatine demonstrated attributes of a free radical scavenger by protecting against the oxidation of sulfhydryl groups and decreasing hydrogen peroxide content. The functional outcome was a protective effect against Ca(2+)-induced mitochondrial swelling and mitochondrial membrane potential collapse. We also observed decreased expression of proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members and of execution caspase-3, implying antiapoptotic potential. Indeed, we found that apoptosis induced by camptothecin or 5-fluorourocil was attenuated in cells administered agmatine. Agmatine may offer an alternative to the ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor difluoromethyl ornithine for depletion of intracellular polyamine content while avoiding the complications of increasing polyamine import and reducing the intracellular free radical scavenger capacity of polyamines. Depletion of intracellular polyamine content with agmatine suppressed cell growth, yet its antioxidant capacity afforded protection from mitochondrial insult and resistance to cellular apoptosis. These results could explain the beneficial outcomes observed with agmatine in models of injury and disease.
    AJP Cell Physiology 04/2009; 296(6):C1411-9. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exogenously provided NGF enhances cognitive performance in impaired rodents and humans and is currently a promising compound for the treatment of dementia. To investigate whether NGF-dependent cognitive improvement may be due in part to increased hippocampal neurogenesis, adult and aged male rats were treated with NGF or vehicle intracerebroventricularly for 6 or 20 days followed by evaluation of cholinergic parameters and hippocampal neurogenesis. We show that NGF increases hippocampal cholinergic activity as rapidly as 3 days after initiation of treatment. NGF treatment for 6 days did not affect proliferation of progenitor cells in the dentate gyrus granule cell layer (GCL). However, continuous NGF infusion enhanced survival of new neurons in the GCL of young adult, but not aged rats. Taken together, these findings suggest that NGF, likely mediated through increased cholinergic tone, promotes neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, which may relate to the nootropic action of NGF.
    Neurobiology of Disease 05/2007; 26(1):47-55. · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High fat diets and obesity pose serious health problems, such as type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Impaired cognitive function is also associated with high fat intake. In this study, we show that just 4 weeks of feeding a diet rich in fat ad libitum decreased hippocampal neurogenesis in male, but not female, rats. There was no obesity, but male rats fed a diet rich in fat exhibited elevated serum corticosterone levels compared with those fed standard rat chow. These data indicate that high dietary fat intake can disrupt hippocampal neurogenesis, probably through an increase in serum corticosterone levels, and that males are more susceptible than females.
    European Journal of Neurology 01/2007; 13(12):1385-8. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to determine whether a systematic optimization of Morris water maze (mwm) testing parameters could reveal a significant role of the septohippocampal cholinergic system in spatial working memory. Young adult rats were lesioned using 192 IgG-saporin infused bilaterally into the medial septum. Lesions were near complete as measured by choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity and immunohistochemistry. Behavioral testing was performed in three phases. In the first, lesioned and unlesioned rats were trained in the mwm focusing on working memory, which was tested using novel platform locations daily. In the second phase, the optimal locations were retested with increasing intertrial intervals (ITI). In the third phase, intracerebroventricular infusions of nerve growth factor (NGF) were employed to enhance cholinergic activity of the unlesioned rats and potentially further separate group performance. Neither the standard or increased ITI resulted in a consistent significant difference in spatial working memory between groups. In addition, NGF treatment also failed to induce a significant difference in behavioral performance. In conclusion, impairments in working memory as assessed by the mwm could not be revealed despite a greater than 90% loss of hippocampal ChAT and the use of optimal testing parameters and NGF treatment.
    Behavioural Brain Research 04/2006; 168(1):37-46. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulatable gene therapy systems provide a method to alter neurotransmitter levels in vivo. We developed a rodent fibroblast cell line expressing the choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) cDNA that is silenced by doxycycline (DOX) administration. The ability of the cell line to improve cognition was tested by grafting after cholinergic lesions. Ibotenic acid was injected bilaterally into the nucleus basalis of rats, which were distributed into three groups. One group received no treatment, while the second group received cortical transplants (Graft). The third group received identical grafts but was treated with DOX to turn off ChAT expression (Graft/DOX). An unlesioned group served as control. Water maze acquisition was significantly better in the Graft group compared to the Graft/DOX group, an effect also seen in the retention and spatial probe trials. However, cognitive enhancement was restricted to spatial tasks, as inhibitory avoidance or open-field activity measures were unchanged. Molecular and biochemical analyses confirmed that DOX regulated transgene transcription and ACh levels. This study demonstrates that regulatable gene therapy has therapeutic value for single-gene disorders and also provides a mechanism to deliver small molecules in a spatiotemporal pattern to delineate the role of these compounds in discrete behavioral tasks.
    Molecular Therapy 02/2006; 13(1):175-82. · 7.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A relatively early and substantial loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons is a constant feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanisms that contribute to the selective vulnerability of these neurons are not fully delineated. In the present series of experiments, we determined the possible contribution of apoptotic processes and other pathologic cascades to the degeneration of the cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) in AD. In contrast to neurons in the frontal cortex which showed prominent DNA fragmentation as detected by the TUNEL method, no DNA fragmentation was observed within the NBM in any of the AD or normal brains. Similarly, immunoreactivity for the apoptotic signals Fas, Fas-ligand, Bax, Bcl-x, caspase-8, caspase-9 and caspase-3 was absent from the NBM of AD and control brains. In contrast, a substantial subpopulation of cholinergic neurons within the NBM in AD displayed prominent immunoreactivity for the apoptotic signal Fas-associated death domain (FADD) in the form of tangles. FADD immunoreactivity was also present in dystrophic neurites. FADD-positive tangle-like structures were localized in neurons which contained immunoreactivity for the cholinergic marker choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and the low affinity neurotrophin receptor p75NTR. While many of the NBM cholinergic neurons in control brains contained immunoreactivity for the calcium binding protein calbindin-D28K (CB), the NBM neurons in AD displayed a substantial loss of CB immunoreactivity. Importantly, most of FADD-immunoreactive cholinergic neurons were devoid of CB immunoreactivity, and, conversely, most CB-positive cholinergic neurons had no FADD immunoreactivity. FADD immunoreactivity within the basal forebrain was colocalized with phosphorylated tau immunoreactive tangles and dystrophic neurites. In contrast, FADD immunoreactivity did not appear to be related to the primarily diffuse amyloid-beta deposits intermingled between cholinergic neurons in AD NBM. Finally, many CD68-positive microglia were observed surrounding the NBM cholinergic neurons in AD. In conclusion, the findings of the present study indicate that, while the FADD apoptotic signaling pathway may be triggered within the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in AD, the apoptotic cascade is most likely aborted as no DNA fragmentation was detected and the executioner caspase-3 was not up-regulated within these neurons. The findings also suggest possible relationships between loss of CB, FADD expression and phosphorylation of tau within the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in AD.
    Experimental Neurology 11/2005; 195(2):484-96. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is used experimentally to elicit the innate physiological responses observed in human sepsis. We have previously shown that LPS causes depletion of plasma arginine before inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity, indicating that changes in arginine uptake and/or production rather than enhanced consumption are responsible. Because the kidney is the primary source of circulating arginine and renal failure is a hallmark of septicemia, we determined the time course of changes in arginine metabolism and kidney function relative to iNOS expression. LPS given intravenously to anesthetized rats caused a decrease in mean arterial blood pressure after 120 min that coincided with increased plasma nitric oxide end products (NOx) and iNOS expression in lung and liver. Interestingly, impairment of renal function preceded iNOS activity by 30-60 min and occurred in tandem with decreased renal arginine production. The baseline rate of renal arginine production was approximately 60 micromol.h(-1).kg(-1), corresponding to an apparent plasma half-life of approximately 20 min, and decreased by one-half within 60 min of LPS. Calculations based on the systemic production and clearance show that normally only 5% of kidney arginine output is destined to become nitric oxide and that <25% of LPS-impaired renal production was converted to NOx in the first 4 h. In addition, we provide novel observations indicating that the kidney appears refractory to iNOS induction by LPS because no discernible enhancement of renal NOx production occurred within 4 h, and iNOS expression in the kidney was muted compared with that in liver or lung. These studies demonstrate that the major factor responsible for the rapid decrease in extracellular arginine content following LPS is impaired production by the kidney, a phenomenon that appears linked to reduced renal perfusion.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 12/2004; 287(6):R1434-40. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A rat fibroblast cell line was modified to contain the Drosophila choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) cDNA under the control of a tetracycline-regulated system. Several clonal lines were assessed in vitro and in vivo to establish the optimal clone for gene therapy experiments. The influence of in vitro cell density on ChAT expression was compared to biological activity detected after grafting to the rat brain. While each clone had different ChAT activity patterns, all clones had low activity immediately post-grafting which increased over time, reaching a plateau between 1 and 2 months which was maintained for at least 1 year. The clones expressed a high basal ChAT activity level in vitro that was repressed in a dose- and time-dependent manner with doxycycline (DOX) treatment. In the absence of DOX, high levels of ChAT activity were maintained for at least 2 months in vitro. DOX induced a rapid and strong (200-fold) suppression of ChAT activity within 48 h. A dose-response curve indicated that the fibroblasts were very sensitive to low concentrations of DOX (ED50 12 pg/ml). Removal of DOX led to a derepression of ChAT activity within 2 days. These cells will be useful for ex vivo gene therapy of the cholinergic system.
    Molecular Brain Research 08/2004; 126(1):1-13. · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the enzyme that synthesizes the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh), is thought to be present in kinetic excess in cholinergic neurons. The rate-limiting factor in ACh production is the provision of choline to ChAT. Cholinergic neurons are relatively unique in their expression of the choline transporter 1 (CHT1), which exhibits high-affinity for choline and catalyzes its uptake from the extracellular space to the neuron. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the activity of CHT1 is a key determinant of choline supply for ACh synthesis. We examined the interaction of ChAT and ChT activity using mice heterozygous for a null mutation in the Chat gene (Chat+/-). In these mice, brain ChAT activity was reduced by 40-50% relative to the wild type, but brain ACh levels as well as ACh content and depolarization-evoked ACh release in hippocampal slices were normal. However, the amount of choline taken up by CHT1 and ACh synthesized de novo from choline transported by CHT1 in hippocampal slices, as well as levels of CHT1 mRNA in the septum and CHT1 protein in several regions of the CNS, were 50-100% higher in Chat+/- than in Chat+/+ mice. Thus, haploinsufficiency of ChAT leads to an increased expression of CHT1. Increased ChT activity may compensate for the reduced ChAT activity in Chat+/- mice, contributing to the maintenance of apparently normal cholinergic function as reflected by normal performance of these mice in several behavioral assays.
    Journal of Neuroscience 07/2004; 24(24):5459-66. · 6.91 Impact Factor
  • D P Pizzo, L J Thal
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    ABSTRACT: Nerve growth factor (NGF) delivered via intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion restores behavioral and biochemical deficits in animal models of cholinergic hypofunction. However, ICV infusion of NGF induces an array of adverse events including weight loss, thermal hyperalgesia, and Schwann cell hyperplasia. We compared ICV administration with three different doses of intraparenchymally delivered NGF with cytochrome C infusion serving as a control. The goal of the study was to determine whether direct infusion of NGF would result in a more restricted topographical distribution of NGF leading to a reduction or elimination of the adverse events while still augmenting cholinergic functioning sufficiently to restore spatial mnemonic processing. Subsequent to bilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM), NGF was delivered into the lateral ventricle or adjacent to the NBM for 11 weeks. Ibotenic acid lesions resulted in reductions in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in the cortex. The highest and medium dose of NGF led to significant restoration in ChAT activity on par with ICV infusion. The lowest dose was ineffective in altering ChAT activity in any region assayed. Similarly, the two highest doses did not alter weight gain, but ICV-NGF led to a significant weight loss. Intraparenchymal infusion resulted in a dose-dependent attenuation of the development of thermal hyperalgesia. However, the highest dose of intraparenchymal NGF induced Schwann cell hyperplasia at the level of the medulla and upper cervical spinal cord. ICV-NGF was able to completely restore spatial learning and memory as predicted while only the highest intraparenchymal dose was able to able to restore the mnemonic deficits. These data suggest that intraparenchymal infusion of growth factors may provide a viable delivery method in clinical trials using this mode of drug delivery once an optimal dose has been established.
    Neuroscience 02/2004; 124(4):743-55. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we examined the developmental roles of acetylcholine (ACh) by establishing and analyzing mice lacking choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for ACh. As predicted, ChAT-deficient embryos lack both spontaneous and nerve-evoked postsynaptic potentials in muscle and die at birth. In mutant embryos, abnormally increased nerve branching occurs on contact with muscle, and hyperinnervation continues throughout subsequent prenatal development. Postsynaptically, ACh receptor clusters are markedly increased in number and occupy a broader muscle territory in the mutants. Concomitantly, the mutants have significantly more motor neurons than normal. At an ultrastructural level, nerve terminals are smaller in mutant neuromuscular junctions, and they make fewer synaptic contacts to the postsynaptic muscle membrane, although all of the typical synaptic components are present in the mutant. These results indicate that ChAT is uniquely essential for the patterning and formation of mammalian neuromuscular synapses.
    Journal of Neuroscience 02/2003; 23(2):539-49. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nerve growth factor (NGF) ameliorates deficits in models of cholinergic hypofunction. However, notable adverse effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of NGF include weight loss, Schwann cell hyperplasia (SCH), and aberrant sensory and sympathetic sprouting. In order to maintain efficacy on the cholinergic basal forebrain (CBF) and minimize these detrimental effects, intraparenchymal NGF infusion was compared with ICV administration to assess morphological and functional measures. NGF was delivered intraparenchymally (Intra-NGF) or intracerebroventricularly (ICV-NGF) for 3 and 6 months. Hypertrophy of cholinergic nucleus basalis neurons at 3 and 6 months was not different between both routes of administration, indicating similar efficacy for the CBF. SCH surrounding the medulla was observed in both Intra- and ICV-NGF animals due to the widespread distribution of NGF from the infusion site. The thickness of SCH reached a plateau at 3 months in ICV-NGF animals, while further proliferation occurred in Intra-NGF animals. More importantly, ectopic Schwann cells and aberrant sensory and sympathetic sprouting within the medulla oblongata were found solely in ICV-NGF animals. Differential changes in sensory processing were evident by an exaggerated response to acoustic stimuli in Intra-NGF animals and a decrease in thermal pain threshold in ICV-NGF-treated animals. Intra-NGF treatment did not produce the reduction in body weight exhibited by ICV-NGF-treated rats. These results indicate that different routes of NGF administration are identically efficacious for CBF neurons, but differentially modulate behaviors and structures leading to distinct profiles of adverse effects. Thus, current trophic factor delivery methods require further refinement to abolish detrimental effects.
    Experimental Neurology 12/2002; 178(1):91-103. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Donald P Pizzo, Leon J Thal, Jürgen Winkler
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    ABSTRACT: The role of cholinergic basal forebrain (CBF) neurons in mnemonic behaviors was investigated using the immunotoxin 192IgG-saporin. We assessed two routes of immunotoxin administration: intracerebroventricular (ICV) and intraparenchymal (INTRA). INTRA lesions of the medial septum (MS) and/or the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) were compared with ICV-lesions, INTRA-phosphate-buffered saline injected, and naive controls. The INTRA-NBM/MS and ICV NBM/MS lesions produced a similar depletion of choline acetyltransferase activity of 80% across all CBF projections. Water maze performance was similarly impaired for ICV- and INTRA-NBM/MS animals during various phases of testing, whereas animals with individual lesions of the NBM or MS performed at the level of controls. In contrast to the allocentric demands of water maze performance, the egocentric-based T-maze task revealed a vast group difference between the ICV- and the INTRA-NBM/MS animals. INTRA-NBM/MS animals showed a severe deficit in the non-match- and match-to-position version, whereas again, animals with single lesions were unimpaired. In addition, a dichotomy between animals with complete cholinergic deafferentation was observed in the inhibitory avoidance task. ICV-NBM/MS showed a diminished retention for the aversive stimulus while the INTRA-NBM/MS animals remembered well. During plus maze testing, only the INTRA-NBM/MS animals had a reduced level of anxiety. Although non-CBF regions may have been differently affected by the two routes of immunotoxin administration, global measures of arousal, motivation, and motor initiation did not reveal a different behavioral pattern. Our findings suggest that a dynamic interplay exists between the degree of cholinergic deficit and task demands revealing different types of mnemonic impairments.
    Experimental Neurology 10/2002; 177(1):292-305. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin has a high degree of selectivity for cholinergic neurons within the basal forebrain (CBF). Intracerebroventricular delivery of 192 IgG-saporin results in a diffuse and massive depletion of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in projections of the CBF, and non-selective loss of Purkinje cells. To dissociate the basal-cortical and septo-hippocampal cholinergic systems and to minimize non-specific effects, we developed intraparenchymal parameters to deliver 192 IgG-saporin discretely to either the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) or the medial septum (MS). Intraparenchymal administration of the immunotoxin into the NBM or MS resulted in a dose-dependent depletion of ChAT activity in the corresponding projection areas and a concomitant loss of ChAT immunoreactive neurons in both nuclei. Both lesions were regionally restricted, having a minimal diffusion into adjacent CBF nuclei. Control infusions did not result in non-specific parenchymal damage. In addition, immunotoxic infusions had no effect on monoamine neurotransmitter systems. By optimizing the dosages for both CBF nuclei, we maximized ChAT depletion while minimizing diffusion into the adjacent CBF nuclei. This study delineated injection parameters enabling a selective dissociation of two cholinergic subpopulations in the basal forebrain for further functional characterization.
    Journal of Neuroscience Methods 10/1999; 91(1-2):9-19. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of nerve growth factor on brain cholinergic function after a partial immunolesion to the rat cholinergic basal forebrain neurons (CBFNs) by 192 IgG-saporin. Two weeks after intraventricular injections of 1.3 micrograms of 192 IgG-saporin, about 50% of CBFNs were lost which was associated with 40-60% reductions of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) activities throughout the basal forebrain cholinergic system. Two groups of lesioned animals received intraventricular transplantations of mouse 3T3 fibroblasts retrovirally transfected with either the rat NGF gene (3T3NGF+) or the retrovirus alone (3T3NGF-) and were sacrificed eight weeks later. In vivo production of NGF by 3T3NGF+ cells was confirmed by NGF immunohistochemistry on the grafts and NGF immunoassay on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. Both ChAT and HACU activities returned to normal control levels in the basal forebrain and cortex after 3T3NGF+ transplants, whereas no recovery was observed in 3T3NGF- transplanted animals. There was a 25% increase in the size of remaining CBFNs and an increased staining intensity for NGF immunoreactivity in these cells after NGF treatments. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) histochemistry revealed that the optical density of AChE-positive fibers in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus were reduced by about 60% in immunolesioned rats which were completely restored by 3T3NGF+ grafts. In addition, decreases in growth-associated protein (GAP)-43 immunoreactivity after immunolesion and increases in synaptophysin immunoreactivity after 3T3NGF+ grafts were observed in the hippocampus. Our results further confirm the notion that transfected NGF-secreting cells are useful in long-term in vivo NGF treatment and NGF can upregulate CBFN function. They also highly suggest that NGF induces terminal sprouting from remaining CBFNs.
    Journal of Neuroscience Research 08/1996; 45(1):40-56. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) are members of the family of neurotrophins that are highly expressed in the adult hippocampus, and to a lesser extent, in the cerebral cortex and olfactory bulb. Since neuronal expression of neutrophins is controlled by some neurotransmitters and there is a topographical correlation between neurotrophin expression and cholinergic terminal distribution from the cholinergic basal forebrain (CBF) neurons in these areas, the question arises as to whether the cholinergic system can also regulate neurotrophin gene expression in the CNS. When CBF neurons were selectively and completely destroyed by intraventricular injection of 192 IgG-saporin, resulting in a cholinergic deafferentation of the hippocampus, cortex, and olfactory bulb, there were no significant changes in NGF, BDNF and/or NT-3 mRNA levels in these areas from 1 week to 5 months after the lesion. These results suggest that afferents from CBF neurons may not play a significant role in maintaining basal levels of neurotrophin gene expression in the adult rat brain under physiological conditions. However, potential cholinergic regulation of brain neurontrophin expression may occur under other circumstances.
    Brain Research 01/1996; 705(1-2):247-52. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rodent fibroblast clonal cell line, 3T3, was retrovirally transfected with the rat nerve growth factor (NGF) gene and selected for NGF synthesis. This study tested the hypothesis that transplanted 3T3 cells, transfected to secrete nerve growth factor (3T3NGF+), change motor behavioral indices created by striatal denervation in a dose-dependent fashion. 3T3NGF+ cells were transplanted into the lateral ventricle of rats following ipsilateral lesions of the substantia nigra pars compacta by stereotaxic injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (10 micrograms), an established lesion model. Control groups included vehicle injections and transplanted untransfected cells. The extent of the lesions was measured by determining rotational behavior before and two weeks after transplantation. Immediately prior to transplantation, cells were incubated with the fluorescent dye marker, Dil. To assess cell viability, whole brains were cryosectioned and examined for Dil-labeled 3T3 cells using fluorescent microscopy. The number of Dil-labeled profiles in five animals per group were counted in at least five noncontiguous sections per animal. From these data a statistically derived estimate of viable, transplanted 3T3 cells was obtained. The number of surviving transplanted cells correlated with the behavioral changes measured. The 3T3NGF+ transplants reduced rotational behavior, while control 3T3 transplants exacerbated rotational behavior. Thus, while NGF delivery was found to be beneficial, it was apparent that naive 3T3 had detrimental effects. These results underscore the importance of making dose-response measurements when attempting transplant-based modifications of CNS behavior.
    Journal of Neuroscience Research 07/1995; 41(3):367-73. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that transplanted neuronal or neuronal-like cell lines, grown in vitro, might survive and differentiate in the mammalian spinal grey matter, adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (N = 5) were injected with a suspension of between 3 x 10(5) and 1.0 x 10(6) DiI labeled, undifferentiated rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells in sterile phosphate buffered saline. The PC12 cell line was chosen since, in certain in vitro conditions, this cell line serves as a model of neuronal differentiation, which includes the ability to conduct action potentials and form functional synapses. After a survival time of 7 or 8 days, the spinal cords were removed, cryosectioned longitudinally and examined for detection of DiI labeled PC12 cells using fluorescent microscopy. The number of DiI labeled profiles and the proportions of the DiI cells which were differentiated were counted per section in at least five non-contiguous sections per animal. Differentiation was defined as cells with neurite-like extension which exceeded twice the soma diameter. Results demonstrated the following: (1) from 2 to 15% of the transplanted PC12 cells survived; (2) migration within the spinal grey matter occurred since PC12 cells were found as much as 510 microns away from the injection site; (3) of the surviving PC12 cell population, a proportion of between 60 and 80% were differentiated, many with two or more neurite-like processes, in all of the rats; (4) no mitotic profiles were observed in DiI labelled cells; (5) undifferentiated PC12 cells were juxtaposed to the lumens of small blood vessels or within the lesion cavity. Although the specific factors remain to be elucidated, the observed PC12 migration and differentiation within the host spinal grey matter appears to be controlled by factors in the microenvironment. These data support the use of a homogeneous in vitro population of neuronal or neuronal-like cells, which are readily accessible to transfection with the appropriate genes, as transplant sources for the injured spinal cord.
    International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 11/1993; 11(5):535-44. · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The HCN-1A clonal cell line, derived from the cortical tissue of a patient with unilateral megencephaly, was shown to differentiate into a mature neuronal-like state in the presence of the nerve growth factor, dibutyryl cyclic adenosine, 3',5'-monophosphate and either 1-isobutyl-3-methylxanthine or forskolin. Differentiation was assessed by measuring the percentage of cells that displayed branched, varicose processes that stained for synaptophysin. Treatment of cultures with a cocktail containing forskolin increased immunocytochemical staining for gamma aminobutyric (GABA), neurofilament protein and the nerve growth factor receptor species p75NGFR. Treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine alone had some effects on the cell morphology while acetyl-L-carnitine arginyl amide and nerve growth factor together increased the GABA content. Positive staining levels for the neurotransmitters gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, somatostatin, cholecystokinin and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide were measured quantitatively for HCN-1A under basal conditions.
    International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 11/1992; 10(5):361-73. · 2.69 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

589 Citations
76.34 Total Impact Points


  • 1999–2007
    • University of California, San Diego
      • • Department of Neurosciences
      • • Department of Medicine
      San Diego, CA, United States
  • 1996
    • University of Leipzig
      • Medizinische Fakultät
      Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
  • 1992–1996
    • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
      • Division of Neurosurgery
      Galveston, Texas, United States