[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following the onset of an ischemic brain injury, the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate is released. The excitotoxic effects of glutamate are a major contributor to the pathogenesis of a stroke. The aim of this study was to examine if overexpression of a glutamate transporter (GLT-1) reduces ischemic brain injury in a rat model of stroke. We generated an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector expressing the rat GLT-1 cDNA (AAV-GLT1). Functional expression of AAV-GLT1 was confirmed by increased glutamate clearance rate in non-stroke rat brain as measured by in vivo amperometry. AAV-GLT1 was injected into future cortical region of infarction 3 weeks prior to 60 min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Tissue damage was assessed at one and two days after MCAo using TUNEL and TTC staining, respectively. Behavioral testing was performed at 2, 8 and 14 days post-stroke. Animals receiving AAV-GLT1, compared to AAV-GFP, showed significant decreases in the duration and magnitude of extracellular glutamate, measured by microdialysis, during the 60 minute MCAo. A significant reduction in brain infarction and DNA fragmentation was observed in the region of AAV-GLT1 injection. Animals that received AAV-GLT1 showed significant improvement in behavioral recovery following stroke compared to the AAV-GFP group. We demonstrate that focal overexpression of the glutamate transporter, GLT-1, significantly reduces ischemia-induced glutamate overflow, decreases cell death and improves behavioral recovery. These data further support the role of glutamate in the pathogenesis of ischemic damage in brain and demonstrate that targeted gene delivery to decrease the ischemia-induced glutamate overflow reduces the cellular and behavioral deficits caused by stroke.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e22135. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fine mapping of calcineurin (PPP3CA) gene identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and simple sequence repeat polymorphisms that are associated with addiction vulnerability. A trinucleotide repeat marker, located in the 5'untranslated region (5'UTR) of the PPP3CA mRNA, exhibited significantly different genotype and allele frequencies between abusers and controls in the NIDA African-American sample. The polymorphism showed allelic-specific expression in mRNA extracted from postmortem brain specimens. Novel alternatively spliced isoforms of PPP3CA were identified and their expressions were found altered in brain regions of postmortem Alzheimer's disease patients. These data underscore the importance of calcineurin gene in the molecular mechanism of addiction and Alzheimer's diseases.
Substance Use & Misuse 09/2010; 45(11):1809-26. · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic mutations associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) gene specifically alter the production of the APP processing product, amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide, generated by beta- and gamma-secretases. The accumulation and deposition of Abeta is hypothesized to cause AD pathogenesis, leading to the debilitating neurological deficits observed in AD patients. However, it is unclear how processing of APP to generate Abeta corresponds with the age-dependent pattern of brain-regional neurodegeneration common in AD. We have previously shown that overexpression of BACE1, the primary beta-secretase gene, in mice expressing an AD mutant form of APP leads to significantly elevated regional Abeta levels, which coincide with the regional pattern of Abeta deposition. In the current study, we have used our genomic-based beta-secretase transgenic mice to determine how BACE1 regulates the spatial and temporal pattern of Abeta production throughout post-natal development. Specifically, we observed unique differences in the brain-regional expression pattern between neonatal and adult BACE1 transgenic mice. These alterations in the BACE1 expression profile directly corresponds with age-related differences in regional Abeta production and deposition. These studies indicate that modulation of BACE1 expression leads to dramatic alterations in APP processing and AD-like neuropathology. Furthermore, our studies provide further evidence that BACE1 plays a major role in the regulation of the APP processing pathway, influencing the age-dependent onset of AD pathogenesis.
Neurobiology of aging 02/2007; 28(1):75-84. · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a slowly progressive disorder with no known etiology. Pathologically, there is a loss of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra that project to the striatum. Current available therapies for PD are targeted to the restoration of striatal dopamine. These approaches may alleviate symptoms transiently, but fail to slow the progression of disease. One emergent therapeutic approach is the use of neurotrophic factors to halt or reverse the loss of dopaminergic neurons. There have been intensive research efforts both preclinically and clinically testing the efficacy and safety of neurotrophic factors for the treatment of PD. In this review, we discuss the neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties of various trophic factors, both old and recent, and their status as therapeutic molecules for PD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloid-beta (Abeta) the primary component of the senile plaques found in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is generated by the rate-limiting cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by beta-secretase followed by gamma-secretase cleavage. Identification of the primary beta-secretase gene, BACE1, provides a unique opportunity to examine the role this unique aspartyl protease plays in altering Abeta metabolism and deposition that occurs in AD. The current experiments seek to examine how modulating beta-secretase expression and activity alters APP processing and Abeta metabolism in vivo. Genomic-based BACE1 transgenic mice were generated that overexpress human BACE1 mRNA and protein. The highest expressing BACE1 transgenic line was mated to transgenic mice containing human APP transgenes. Our biochemical and histochemical studies demonstrate that mice overexpressing both BACE1 and APP show specific alterations in APP processing and age-dependent Abeta deposition. We observed elevated levels of Abeta isoforms as well as significant increases of Abeta deposits in these double transgenic animals. In particular, the double transgenics exhibited a unique cortical deposition profile, which is consistent with a significant increase of BACE1 expression in the cortex relative to other brain regions. Elevated BACE1 expression coupled with increased deposition provides functional evidence for beta-secretase as a primary effector in regional amyloid deposition in the AD brain. Our studies demonstrate, for the first time, that modulation of BACE1 activity may play a significant role in AD pathogenesis in vivo.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2005; 279(50):52535-42. · 4.65 Impact Factor