[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stronger Neo-Minophagen C (SNMC) is a glycyrrhizin-containing preparation that is approved in Japan for the treatment of chronic hepatic diseases and is marketed in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and India. Glycyrrhizin, a triterpene present in the roots and rhizomes of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-viral effects. In the present study, we demonstrated the marked neuroprotective effects of SNMC in the postischemic rat brain after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). We used 1 ml/kg of SNMC, which is within the dose range used for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatic disease. The administration of SNMC intravenously at 30 minutes before or 30 minutes and 3 hours after MCAO (60 minutes) reduces mean infarct volumes to 27.0±4.2%, 37.1±12.4%, and 67.8±5.8% of that of untreated controls, respectively. This neuroprotective effect is accompanied by improvements in motor impairment and neurological deficits. The administration of SNMC is shown to suppress microglia activation and neutrophil infiltration in the postischemic brain. In addition, SNMC suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced nitrite production and proinflammatory cytokine induction in a microglia cell line, BV2. This indicates that the neuroprotective effect of SNMC might be due, at least in part, to an anti-inflammatiory effect. Interestingly, SNMC shows significantly higher neuroprotective potency compared to an equivalent dose of pure glycyrrhizin, in terms of reducing infarct volume and improving neurological deficits. Together these results indicate that SNMC, a glycyrrhizin-containing preparation developed for chronic liver disease, has a marked neuroprotective function in the postischemic brain via its anti-inflammatory effects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was originally identified as ubiquitously expressed nonhistone DNA-binding protein, but recently, it was found to act as an endogenous danger molecule, which signals danger and traumatic cell death. Previously, the authors showed that HMGB1 is massively released immediately after an ischemic insult and that it subsequently activates microglia and induces inflammation in the postischemic brain. Here, we showed the endogenous danger molecule-like function of HMGB1 in primary cortical cultures. HMGB1 was found to be accumulated in NMDA-treated primary cortical culture media, and media collected from these cultures were able to induce neuronal cell death when added to fresh primary cortical cultures. However, HMGB1-depleted NMDA-conditioned media produced by HMGB1 siRNA transfection or by preincubation with anti-HMGB1 antibody or with HMGB1 A box failed to induce neuronal cell death. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated HMGB1 knockdown substantially suppressed NMDA- or Zn(2+)-induced cell death. It was interesting to find that extracellular HMGB1-induced neuronal apoptosis, as evidenced by TUNEL staining and caspase 3 assay in combination with double immunofluorescence staining. A series of RAGE and HMGB1 co-immunoprecipitation experiments in the presence of SB203580 and PD98059 (p38 MAPK and ERK inhibitors, respectively) demonstrated that RAGE-p38 MAPK and RAGE-ERK pathway might underlie extracellular HMGB1-mediated neuronal apoptosis. These results together with our previous reports regarding microglial activation by extracellular HMGB1 indicate that HMGB1 functions as a novel danger signal, which aggravates brain damage via autocrine and paracrine manners.
Neurotoxicity Research 11/2010; 20(2):159-69. · 2.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing provides a powerful strategy for modulating specific gene functions, difficulties associated with siRNA delivery have impeded the development of efficient therapeutic applications. In particular, the efficacy of siRNA delivery into neurons has been limited by extremely low transfection efficiencies. e-PAM-R is a biodegradable arginine ester of PAMAM dendrimer, which is readily degradable under physiological conditions (pH 7.4, 37 degrees C). In the present study, we investigated the efficiency of siRNA delivery by e-PAM-R in primary cortical cultures and in rat brain. e-PAM-R/siRNA complexes showed high transfection efficiencies and low cytotoxicities in primary cortical cultures. Localization of fluorescence-tagged siRNA revealed that siRNA was delivered not only into the nucleus and cytoplasm, but also along the processes of the neuron. e-PAM-R/siRNA complex-mediated target gene reduction was observed in over 40% of cells and it was persistent for over 48 h. The potential use of e-PAM-R was demonstrated by gene knockdown after transfecting High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1, a novel cytokine-like molecule) siRNA into H(2)O(2)- or NMDA-treated primary cortical cultures. In these cells, HMGB1 siRNA delivery successfully reduced both basal and H(2)O(2)- or NMDA-induced HMGB1 levels, and as a result of that, neuronal cell death was significantly suppressed in both cases. Furthermore, we showed that e-PAM-R successfully delivered HMGB1 siRNA into the rat brain, wherein HMGB1 expression was depleted in over 40% of neurons and astrocytes of the normal brain. Moreover, e-PAM-R-mediated HMGB1 siRNA delivery notably reduced infarct volume in the postischemic rat brain, which is generated by occluding the middle cerebral artery for 60 min. These results indicate that e-PAM-R, a novel biodegradable nonviral gene carrier, offers an efficient means of transfecting siRNA into primary neuronal cells and in the brain and of performing siRNA-mediated gene knockdown.
Journal of Controlled Release 11/2009; 142(3):422-30. · 7.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and one of the commonly prescribed antidepressants. Numerous clinical observations and animal studies indicate that fluoxetine enhances the anticonvulsant potencies of several antiepileptic drugs. In the previous report, we showed that fluoxetine strongly protects against delayed cerebral ischemic injury. In the present study, the authors investigated whether fluoxetine has a beneficial effect on KA-induced neuronal cell death. An intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of 0.94 nmol (0.2 microg) of KA produced typical neuronal cell death both in CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus. Although, there was no significant difference in the time course or severity of epileptic behavior, the systemic administration of fluoxetine 30 min before KA administration significantly attenuated this neuronal cell death. Fluoxetine was found to suppress neuronal cell loss when injected at 10 mg/kg and the effect was enhanced at 50 mg/kg. Furthermore, this fluoxetine-induced neuroprotection was accompanied by marked improvements in memory impairment, as determined by passive avoidance tests. KA-induced gliosis and proinflammatory marker (COX-2, IL-1beta, and TNF-alpha) inductions were also suppressed by fluoxetine administration. It is interesting to note here that fluoxetine treatment suppressed NF-kappaB activity dose-dependently in KA-treated mouse brains, suggesting that this explains in part its anti-inflammatory effect. Together, these results suggest that fluoxetine has therapeutic potential in terms of suppressing KA-induced pathogenesis in the brain, and that these neuroprotective effects are associated with its anti-inflammatory effects.
Brain research 06/2009; 1281:108-16. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: alphaB-crystallin is a member of the small heat shock proteins, which is abundantly expressed in various vertebrate tissues including the central nervous system. In our previous report, we showed alphaB-crystallin induction in activated astrocytes in the postischemic brain and in H2O2-treated primary astrocyte cultures. To investigate the functional significance of alphaB-crystallin induction in astrocytes, we generated a stable C6 astroglioma cell line overexpressing alphaB-crystallin. In these cells, hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis was reduced by 60% compared to parent cells. Furthermore, the repression of alphaB-crystallin expression by alphaB-crystallin siRNA transfection suppressed this protective effect, indicating that alphaB-crystallin is responsible for the protection against H2O2-induced apoptosis in C6 astroglioma cells. Similar level of aggravation in H2O2-induced apoptosis was observed in primary astrocyte cultures when alphaB-crystallin expression was suppressed by alphaB-crystallin siRNA transfection, confirming the importance of alphaB-crystallin. In addition, the induction of caspase-3 activity after H2O2 treatment was markedly suppressed in alphaB-crystallin-overexpressing cells, and immunoprecipitation proved binding between alphaB-crystallin and partially processed caspase-3 (a p24 intermediate). These results indicate that alphaB-crystallin confers protection against hydrogen peroxide-induced astrocytes apoptosis in part by inhibiting caspase-3 activation.
Neuroscience Research 05/2009; 64(4):355-61. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that is widely used in the treatment of major depression including after stroke. In this study, we tested whether fluoxetine protects neuronal death in a rat cerebral ischemia model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). The administration of fluoxetine intravenously (10 mg/kg) at 30 min, 3 hr, or 6 hr after MCAO reduced infarct volumes to 21.2+/-6.7%, 14.5+/-3.0%, and 22.8+/-2.9%, respectively, of that of the untreated control. Moreover, the neuroprotective effect of fluoxetine was evident when it was administered as late as 9 hr after MCAO/reperfusion. These neuroprotective effects were accompanied by improvement of motor impairment and neurological deficits. The fluoxetine-treated brain was found to show marked repressions of microglia activation, neutrophil infiltration, and proinflammatory marker expressions. Moreover, fluoxetine suppressed NF-kappaB activity dose-dependently in the postischemic brain and also in lipopolysaccharide-treated primary microglia and neutrophil cultures, suggesting that NF-kappaB activity inhibition explains in part its anti-inflammatory effect. These results demonstrate that curative treatment of fluoxetine affords strong protection against delayed cerebral ischemic injury, and that these neuroprotective effects might be associated with its anti-inflammatory effects.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 11/2008; 87(4):1037-45. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 5 adenylyl cyclase (AC5) is highly concentrated in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens (NAc), two brain areas which have been implicated in motor function, reward, and emotion. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking AC5 (AC5-/-) display strong reductions in anxiety-like behavior in several paradigms. This anxiolytic behavior in AC5-/- mice was reduced by the D(1) receptor antagonist SCH23390 and enhanced by the D(1) dopamine receptor agonist, dihydrexidine (DHX). DHX-stimulated c-fos induction in AC5-/- mice was blunted in the dorso-lateral striatum, but it was overactivated in the dorso-medial striatum and NAc. The siRNA-mediated inhibition of AC5 levels within the NAc was sufficient to produce an anxiolytic-like response. Microarray and RT-PCR analyses revealed an up-regulation of prodynorphin and down-regulation of cholecystokinin (CCK) in the NAc of AC5-/- mice. Administration of nor-binaltorphimine (a kappa opioid receptor antagonist) or CCK-8s (a CCK receptor agonist) reversed the anxiolytic-like behavior exhibited by AC5-/- mutants. Taken together, these results suggest an essential role of AC5 in the NAc for maintaining normal levels of anxiety.
Journal of Neurochemistry 09/2008; 107(1):105-15. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) was originally identified as a ubiquitously expressed, abundant nonhistone DNA-binding protein. Recently, it was found to act as a cytokine-like mediator of delayed endotoxin lethality and of acute lung injury. Previously, we reported that HMGB1 is massively released extracellularly and plays a cytokine-like function in the postischemic brain. In the present study, we examined the expression profile and cellular distribution of HMGB1 in rat brain after transient focal cerebral ischemia. The expression of HMGB1 in infarction areas in the ipsilateral sides gradually declined over 2 days after 1 hr of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) to below the basal level. However, after 3 days of reperfusion, HMGB1 level increased to above the basal level, especially in infarction cores, and this delayed induction was then maintained for several days. Immunohistochemistry using a polyclonal antibody against HMGB1 revealed its detailed expression pattern and subcellular localization in the postischemic brain. HMGB1 was found to be widely expressed throughout the normal brain and to be localized to the nuclei of almost all neurons and oligodendrocyte-like cells. After 1 hr of MCAO, HMGB1 immediately translocated from the neuron nuclei to the cytoplasm and subsequently was depleted from neurons during the excitotoxicity-induced acute damaging process. Moreover, beginning 2 days after reperfusion, HMGB1 was notably induced in activated microglia, astrocytes, and in microvascular structures, and these delayed gradual inductions were sustained for several days. These findings suggest that HMGB1 functions as a cytokine-like mediator in a paracrine and autocrine manner in the postischemic brain.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 05/2008; 86(5):1125-31. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AlphaB-crystallin, known as a vertebrate lens protein, is a member of the small heat shock proteins (sHSP). AlphaB-crystallin is abundantly expressed in the vertebrate lens and striated muscles and it is also expressed constitutively in other tissues including the central nervous system (CNS). In our previous report, we showed alphaB-crystallin induction in activated astrocytes, which are enriched in the penumbra after transient focal cerebral ischemia. We also reported that alphaB-crystallin is significantly induced in astrocytes in the CA3 region of the hippocampus following KA-induced seizure. Here, we report that the expression of alphaB-crystallin is upregulated in H2O2-treated primary astrocyte cultures, which was prepared from newborn male Sprague-Dawley rats and that the proximal 408 bp of the alphaB-crystallin promoter harboring stress response element (STRE) is responsible for this induction. This effect of H2O2 was found to be virtually abolished by introducing mutations into STRE, and these mutations also impaired increased lens epithelial derived growth factor (LEDGF) binding to STRE after H2O2 treatment. Moreover, LEDGF was induced in primary astrocyte cultures after H2O2 treatment and alphaB-crystallin induction was significantly suppressed by transfecting small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting LEDGF. Together these results indicate that the H2O2-induced upregulations of alphaB-crystallin in astrocytes are mediated by the LEDGF-STRE interaction on alphaB-crystallin promoter.