[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is the end stage metabolite of tryptophan produced mainly by astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). It has neuroprotective activities but can be elevated in the neuropsychiatric disorders. Toxic effects of KYNA in the CNS are unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the subdural KYNA infusion on the spinal cord in adult rats.
A total of 42 healthy adult rats were randomly assigned into six groups and were infused for 7 days with PBS (control) or 0.0002 pmol/min, 0.01 nmol/min, 0.1 nmol/min, 1 nmol/min, and 10 nmol/min of KYNA per 7 days. The effect of KYNA on spinal cord was determined using histological and electron microscopy examination. Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) was measured in the blood serum to assess a degree of myelin damage.
In all rats continuous long-lasting subdural KYNA infusion was associated with myelin damage and myelin loss that was increasingly widespread in a dose-depended fashion in peripheral, sub-pial areas. Damage to myelin sheaths was uniquely related to the separation of lamellae at the intraperiod line. The damaged myelin sheaths and areas with complete loss of myelin were associated with limited loss of scattered axons while vast majority of axons in affected areas were morphologically intact. The myelin loss-causing effect of KYNA occurred with no necrosis of oligodendrocytes, with locally severe astrogliosis and no cellular inflammatory response. Additionally, subdural KYNA infusion increased blood MOG concentration. Moreover, the rats infused with the highest doses of KYNA (1 and 10 nmol/min) demonstrated adverse neurological signs including weakness and quadriplegia.
We suggest, that subdural infusion of high dose of KYNA can be used as an experimental tool for the study of mechanisms of myelin damage and regeneration. On the other hand, the administration of low, physiologically relevant doses of KYNA may help to discover the role of KYNA in control of physiological myelination process.
PLoS ONE 11/2015; 10(11):e0142598. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0142598 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ligands for the NKG2D receptor are overexpressed on tumors, making them interesting immunotherapy targets. To assess the tumoricidal properties of T cells directed to attack NKG2D ligands, we engineered murine T cells with 2 distinct NKG2D-based chimeric antigen receptors (CARs): 1) a fusion between the NKG2D receptor and the CD3ζ chain and 2) a conventional second-generation CAR, where the extracellular domain of NKG2D was fused to CD28 and CD3ζ. To enhance the CAR surface expression, we also engineered T cells to co-express DAP10. In vitro functionality and surface expression levels of all three CARs was greater in BALB/c T cells than C57BL/6 T cells, indicating strain-specific differences. Upon adoptive transfer of NKG2D-CAR-T cells into syngeneic animals, we observed significant clinical toxicity resulting in morbidity and mortality. The severity of these toxicities varied between the CAR configurations and paralleled their in vitro NKG2D surface expression. BALB/c mice were more sensitive to these toxicities than C57BL/6 mice, consistent with the higher in vitro functionality of BALB/c T cells. Treatment with cyclophosphamide prior to adoptive transfer exacerbated the toxicity. We conclude that while NKG2D ligands may be useful targets for immunotherapy, the pursuit of NKG2D-based CAR-T cell therapies should be undertaken with caution.Molecular Therapy (2015); doi:10.1038/mt.2015.119.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trauma in spinal cord injury often results in massive damage to the white matter and in damage to myelin that results in a severe phagocyte-rich infiltration apparently directed at removing immunologically toxic myelin debris. In the epidural balloon crush injury to the rat cranial thoracic spinal cord, the dorsal column was crushed, which at one week post-op resulted in its obliteration by a severe infiltration by a virtually pure population of macrophages that internalized all damaged myelin. A week-long subdural infusion of dexamethasone, a stable synthetic corticosteroid, resulted in remarkable inhibition of the macrophage infiltration of the crush cavity and in the lack of removal of myelin debris by phagocytosis. In this study we demonstrated that spinal cord injury results in a severe inflammatory response directed at massively damaged myelin, and we inhibited this response with a subdural infusion of a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The most commonly used animal models of spinal cord injury (SCI) involve surgical exposure of the dorsal spinal cord followed by transection, contusion or compression. This high level of invasiveness often requires significant post-operative care and can limit post-operative imaging, as the surgical incision site can interfere with coil placement for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during the acute phase of SCI. While these models are considered to be similar to human SCI, they do not occur in a closed vertebral system as do the majority of human injuries.
Here we describe a novel, non-surgical model of SCI in the rat using MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (FUS) in combination with intravenous injection of microbubbles, applied to the cervical spinal cord.
The injury was well-tolerated and resulted in cervical spinal cord damage in 60% of the animals. The area of Gd-enhancement immediately post-FUS, and area of signal abnormality at 24 hours, were correlated with the degree of injury. The extent of injury was easily visualized with T2-weighted MRI and was confirmed using histology.
Comparison with Existing Method(s)
Pathology was similar to that seen in other rat models of direct spinal cord contusion and compression. Unlike these methods, FUS is non-surgical, and has lower mortality than seen in other models of cervical SCI.
We developed a novel model of SCI which was non-surgical, well-tolerated, localized, and replicated the pathology seen in other models of SCI.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cellular mechanisms of regeneration after the white matter injury are difficult to study because of severe, inflammatory response to massively damaged myelin. Myelin-lacking CNS of the adult Long Evans Shaker (LES) rat supplies a model where neuroregeneration can be studied conveniently. The crush site in the dorsal spinal column in LES rats implanted with the normal rat choroid plexus was studied under the light and electron microscopy at 5 time points 3-56 days post-op. While the crush injury in normal rats resulted in severe inflammation active beyond 8 weeks, the same injury in LES rats resulted in a brief inflammation that resolved before day 7 post-op. In a clear fluid-filled crush cavity, ependymal cells from the implanted choroid plexus encased multiple regenerating axons, apparently guided them across the crush cavity and participated in establishing of a zone of neuroregeneration, morphologically similar to the white matter, at the interface of the crush cavity and the surrounding tissue of the spinal cord. Axons that were not encased by implanted cells failed to cross the crush cavity and persisted as markedly swollen end bulbs filled with organelles. At 8 weeks post-op, a large proportion of axons in the zone of neuroregeneration became myelinated by Schwann cells, likely originating from dorsal nerve roots or by oligodendrocytes that formed thin sheaths with a major dense line and likely originated from the implanted choroid plexus. The LES rat can serve as a convenient model to study mechanisms of neuroregeneration including axonal regeneration in the adult CNS injury.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by a breakdown in cognition and emotion. Over the years, drug treatment for this disorder has mainly been compromised of orthosteric ligands that antagonize the active site of the dopamine D2 receptor. However, these drugs are limited in their use and often lead to the development of adverse movement and metabolic side effects. Allosteric modulators are an emerging class of therapeutics with significant advantages over orthosteric ligands, including an improved therapeutic and safety profile. This study investigates our newly developed allosteric modulator, PAOPA, which is a specific modulator of the dopamine D2 receptor. Previous studies have shown PAOPA to attenuate schizophrenia-like behavioral abnormalities in preclinical models. To advance this newly developed allosteric drug from the preclinical to clinical stage, this study examines the pharmacokinetic behavior and toxicological profile of PAOPA. Results from this study prove the effectiveness of PAOPA in reaching the implicated regions of the brain for therapeutic action, particularly the striatum. Pharmacokinetic parameters of PAOPA were found to be comparable to current market antipsychotic drugs. Necropsy and histopathological analyses showed no abnormalities in all examined organs. Acute and chronic treatment of PAOPA indicated no movement abnormalities commonly found with the use of current typical antipsychotic drugs. Moreover, acute and chronic PAOPA treatment revealed no hematological or metabolic abnormalities classically found with the use of atypical antipsychotic drugs. Findings from this study demonstrate a better safety profile of PAOPA, and necessitates the progression of this newly developed therapeutic for the treatment of schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thirty minutes has been considered as the threshold for tolerable warm ischemic time (WIT). Recent reports demonstrate recovery of renal function after longer WIT. We assessed renal histology according to different WIT in a 2-kidney porcine model.
Twelve female pigs were randomized to an open or laparoscopic group. Each pig was further randomized within each group to clamping the left renal artery for 5, 15, 30, 45, 60 or 180 minutes. Preclamping left renal biopsies were performed on each pig. The contralateral kidney in each animal was used as an individual control. On postoperative day 14, all animals underwent bilateral nephrectomies. Preclamping left renal biopsies and all renal specimens were evaluated by a blinded veterinary pathologist.
One pig died in the open group after 180 minutes of clamping. Histopathology did not show any significant changes between the two groups and across clamp times from 5 to 60 minutes. After 180 minutes of laparoscopic clamping, there was evidence of diffuse necrosis.
Sixty minutes of ischemia did not show any permanent renal damage in both groups. Further studies are needed to verify these findings in humans. A prolonged ischemic time without permanent renal damage would be helpful in partial nephrectomy. Warm ischemic time of 180 minutes exceeded the renal ischemic burden based on histological features.
Canadian Urological Association journal = Journal de l'Association des urologues du Canada 02/2011; 5(1):40-3. DOI:10.5489/cuaj.10010 · 1.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health problems in some animal models remain unexplained, rendering in vivo studies ethically challenging, especially when experimental animals are prone to sudden death. Over the last 3 decades, the myelin-deficient (md) rat, a strain with severe dysmyelination due to mutant proteolipid protein, has been key to important discoveries in mechanisms of myelination and glial cell biology. The usefulness of this mutant rat, however, has been limited by sudden death during the fourth week of life. Timely euthanasia has been difficult because the cause of these mortalities remains unexplained and the endpoint not determined. In this clinicopathologic study, we determined that sudden onset of hindlimb paralysis inevitably leads to paralysis of the urinary bladder and then breathing difficulties because of severe injury to the spinal cord in the midthoracic region with concurrent narrowing of the vertebral canal due to fracture of a vertebral body. Sudden onset of hindlimb paralysis likely is related to seizures and severe muscle spasms that begin to occur at the end of the third week of life. Once seizure activity begins, we recommend frequent monitoring of md rats for hindlimb paralysis and distention of the urinary bladder as indication of endpoints mandating prompt euthanasia.
Comparative medicine 10/2010; 60(5):343-7. · 0.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss or absolute lack of myelin in the CNS results in remarkable compensation at the cellular level. In this study on the natural progression of neuropathology in the CNS in 2 related but distinct long-lived dysmyelinated rats, total lack of myelin was associated with remarkable glial cell proliferation and ineffective myelinating activity throughout life in Long Evans Bouncer (LE-bo) rats; conversely, in Long Evans Shaker (LES) rats, futile myelinating activity ceased when rats were advanced in age. Progressively severe astrogliosis separates individual axons from each other and coincides with widespread, abundant axonal sprouting throughout the life in both rat strains. Severely dysmyelinated Long Evans rats can serve as excellent models to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuroglial compensation to lack or loss of myelin in vivo and to study axonal plasticity in the adult demyelinated CNS.
Comparative medicine 06/2010; 60(3):205-17. · 0.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of regeneration of transected adult central nervous system (CNS) axons are difficult due to lack of appropriate in vivo models. In adult rats, we described filum terminale (FT), a caudal slender extension of the sacral spinal cord and an integral part of the central nervous system (CNS), to use it as a model of spinal cord injury. FT is more than 3 cm long, encompasses a central canal lined with ependymal cells surrounded by a narrow band of axons interspersed with oligodendrocytes and astrocytes but not neurons. Two weeks after the crush of FT, histological, ultrastructural, and axonal tracing studies revealed long distance descending axonal regeneration uniquely in close proximity of the ependymal cells of the central canal. Ependymal cells extended basal processes to form channels encompassing axons apparently regenerating at a rate of more than 2 mm a day. Remarkable increase of axonal sprouting was observed in the sacral spinal cord of Long Evans Shaker (LES) rats with crushed FT. FT offers an excellent model to study mechanisms of axonal regeneration regulated by ependymal cells in the adult CNS.
Journal of Neurotrauma 04/2008; 25(3):196-204. DOI:10.1089/neu.2007.0454 · 3.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regeneration within or into the CNS is thwarted by glial inhibition at the site of a spinal cord injury and at the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ), respectively. At the DREZ, injured axons and their distal targets are separated by degenerating myelin and an astrocytic glia limitans. The different glial barriers to regeneration following dorsal rhizotomy are temporally and spatially distinct. The more peripheral astrocytic barrier develops first, and is surmountable by neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) treatment; the more central myelin-derived barrier, which prevents dorsal horn re-innervation by NT-3-treated axons, becomes significant only after the onset of myelin degeneration. Here we test the hypothesis that in the presence of NT-3, axonal regeneration is hindered by myelin degeneration products. To do so, we used the Long Evans Shaker (LES) rat, in which oligodendrocytes do not make CNS myelin, but do produce myelin-derived inhibitory proteins. We show that delaying NT-3 treatment for 1 week in normal (LE) rats, while allowing axonal penetration of the glia limitans and growth within degenerating myelin, results in misdirected regeneration with axons curling around presumptive degenerating myelin ovoids within the CNS compartment of the dorsal root. In contrast, delaying NT-3 treatment in LES rats resulted in straighter, centrally-directed regenerating axons. These results indicate that regeneration may be best optimized through a combination of neurotrophin treatment plus complete clearance of myelin debris.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional re-innervation of target neurons following neurological damage such as spinal cord injury is an essential requirement of potential therapies. There are at least two avenues by which this can be achieved: (a) through the regeneration of injured axons and (b) through promoting plasticity of those spared by the initial insult. There are several reasons why the latter approach may be more feasible, not the least of which are the inhibitory character of the glial scar, the often long distances over which injured axons must regrow, and the fact that spared axons are often already in the vicinity of denervated targets. The challenge is to unveil the well-recognized intrinsic plasticity of spared axons in a way that avoids complications, such as pain or autonomic dysfunction. One approach that we as well as others have taken is to target growth-suppressing signaling pathways initiated in spared axons by myelin-derived proteins. This article reviews models used for the study of spinal axon plasticity and describes the anatomical and behavioral effects of interfering with myelinderived proteins, their receptors, and components of their intracellular signaling cascades.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diets rich in marine organisms or their oils are known to suppress solid tumor development in humans and rodents, but the potential for marine foods to affect hematopoietic system cancers is not well understood. As part of a toxicology study, we fed groups of mice three different diets for 10 weeks: marine fish, 58% homogenized Atlantic smelt and herring; freshwater fish, 58% smelt and alewife from the North American Great Lakes, and commercial dry rodent chow. Between 1 and 15 weeks following dietary treatment, 20 of 103 (19.4%) mice unexpectedly developed spontaneous lymphoma. Disease incidence peaked when the mice were 7-8 months old, and was not distributed equally across treatment groups. Mice in the control (30%) and fresh water fish (27.5%) groups had significantly higher incidences of lymphoma than those fed Atlantic fish species (5%). Although our experiment was not originally designed for this purpose, our results indicate that consumption of fat-rich Atlantic smelt and herring protected mice against hematopoietic tumor development.
Leukemia and Lymphoma 01/2006; 46(12):1797-800. DOI:10.1080/10428190500236866 · 2.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal formation or loss of myelin is a distinguishing feature of many neurological disorders and contributes to the pathobiology of neurotrauma. In this study we characterize the functional and molecular changes in CNS white matter in Long Evans Shaker (LES) rats. These rats have a spontaneous mutation of the gene encoding myelin basic protein which results in severe dysmyelination of the central nervous system (CNS), providing a unique model for demyelinating/dysmyelinating disorders. To date, the functional and molecular changes in CNS white matter in this model are not well understood. We have used in vivo somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP), in vitro compound action potential (CAP) recording in isolated dorsal columns, confocal immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and real-time PCR to examine the electrophysiological, molecular and cellular changes in spinal cord white matter in LES rats. We observed that dysmyelination is associated with dispersed labeling of Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 K+ channel subunits, as well as Caspr, a protein normally confined to paranodes, along the LES rat spinal cord axons. Abnormal electrophysiological properties including attenuation of CAP amplitude and conduction velocity, high frequency conduction failure and enhanced sensitivity to K+ channel blockers 4-aminopyridine and dendrotoxin-I were observed in spinal cord axons from LES rats. Our results in LES rats clarify some of the key molecular, cellular and functional consequences of dysmyelination and myelin-axon interactions. Further understanding of these issues in this model could provide critical insights for neurological disorders characterized by demyelination.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to determine the contribution of the distal nerve sheath to sensory protection. Following tibial nerve transection, rats were assigned to one of the following groups: (1) saphenous-to-tibial nerve neurorrhaphy; (2) saphenous-to-gastrocnemius neurotization; (3) unprotected controls (tibial nerve transection); or (4) immediate common peroneal-to-tibial nerve neurorrhaphy. After a 6-month denervation period and motor reinnervation, ultrastructural, histologic, and morphometric analyses were performed on the distal tibial nerve and gastrocnemius muscle cross-sections. Sensory axons neurotized to muscle maintain existing muscle integrity, as demonstrated by less fibrosis, collagenization, and fat deposition, more than unprotected muscle, and preserve the distribution pattern of fast twitch fibers. However, neurorrhaphy of the sensory nerve to the distal tibial nerve (involving the distal nerve sheath) improves existing endoneurial sheath structure, demonstrated by reduced collagen, and enhances regeneration, shown by improved axon-to-Schwann cell coupling and increased axon area. The authors conclude that sensory protection of muscle does not require the distal nerve sheath, but that preservation of the distal sheath may contribute to enhanced nerve regeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelin-derived molecules inhibit axonal regeneration in the CNS. The Long-Evans Shaker rat is a naturally occurring dysmyelinated mutant, which although able to express the components of myelin lacks functional myelin in adulthood. Given that myelin breakdown exposes axons to molecules that are inhibitory to regeneration, we sought to determine whether injured dorsal column axons in a Shaker rat would exhibit a regenerative response absent in normally myelinated Long-Evans (control) rats. Although Shaker rat axons did not regenerate beyond the lesion, they remained at the caudal end of the crush site. Control rat axons, in contrast, retracted and died back from the edge of the crush. The absence of retraction/dieback in Shaker rats was associated with a reduced phagocytic reaction to dorsal column crush around the caudal edge of the lesion. Systemic injection of minocycline, a tetracycline derivative, in control rats reduced both the macrophage response and axonal retraction/dieback following dorsal column injury. In contrast, increasing macrophage activation by spinal injection of the yeast particulate zymosan had no effect on axonal retraction/dieback in Shaker rats. Schwann cell invasion was reduced in minocycline-treated control rats compared with untreated control rats, and was almost undetectable in Shaker rats, suggesting that like axonal retraction/dieback, spinal Schwann cell infiltration is dependent upon macrophage-mediated myelin degeneration. These results indicate that following spinal cord injury the phagocyte-mediated degeneration of myelin and subsequent exposure of inhibitory molecules to the injured axons contributes to their retraction/dieback.
European Journal of Neuroscience 11/2004; 20(8):1984-94. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03662.x · 3.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An alternative approach to somatic gene therapy is to deliver a therapeutic protein by implanting "universal" recombinant cells that are immunologically protected from graft rejection with alginate microcapsules. This strategy has proved successful in reversing pathologic conditions in several rodent models of human disease (dwarfism, lysosomal storage disease, hemophilia, cancer). In particular, neurologic disease and behavioral deficit in the mouse model of a neurodegenerative disease (mucopolysaccharidosis [MPS] VII) were significantly improved through the intraventricular implantation of the recombinant encapsulated cells. Here we report the feasibility of delivering recombinant gene products to the central nervous systems (CNSs) of dogs, first using human growth hormone as a marker for delivery in normal dogs and then using alpha-iduronidase as a therapeutic product for delivery in the MPS I dog that is genetically deficient in this lysosomal enzyme. Madin-Darby canine kidney cells were genetically modified to express either human growth hormone or canine alpha-iduronidase, then enclosed in alginate-poly-l-lysine-alginate microcapsules of about 500 microm in diameter. The encapsulated cells were implanted into the brain under steoreotaxic guidance. The brains were monitored with computed tomographic scans before and after surgery and examined biochemically and histologically. Delivery of gene products, as measured in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid sampled periodically through 21 days or in various regions of the brain after death showed that the delivery of both gene products was extremely low but detectable. However, we noted extensive inflammatory reactions, both at the sites of implantation and in the immediate vicinity of the implanted microcapsules. Hence for this technology to be applicable to the CNSs of larger animals and human beings, a more accurate and less invasive neurosurgical procedure, more biocompatible microcapsule-recombinant cell combinations, and higher output of recombinant products must be developed.
Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 01/2004; 142(6):399-413. DOI:10.1016/j.lab.2003.07.002 · 2.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelin in the central nervous system (CNS) is hypothesized to help guide the growth of developing axons by inhibiting sprouting of aberrant neurites. Previous studies using animal models lacking CNS myelin have reported that increasing capacity for sprouting axons is negatively correlated with the degree of myelination. In the present study, we investigated the optic nerves of the recently identified Long Evans Shaker (LES) rat with prolonged dysmyelination of adult axons to determine whether the lack of myelin basic protein (MBP) in adult LES rats could manifest as increases in the population of CNS axons. We observed numerous small, unmyelinated axon profiles (<0.3 microm in diameter) clustered in bundles alongside normal caliber axons in dysmyelinated LES rats but not in normal myelinated Long Evans (LE) rats. These putative axon profiles resembled sprouting axons previously described in the CNS. Moreover, the high number of small putative axon profiles could not be accounted for by any significant increases in the number of ganglion cells and displaced amacrine cells in the ganglion cell layer when compared with normal rats as evaluated by using a variety of techniques. This finding suggests that the observed clusters of putative axon profiles were not due to developmental abnormalities in the retina but to the lack of myelin in the optic nerves of LES rats. The adult LES rat, therefore, may serve as a useful model to study the role of myelin in regulating axon development or axon regeneration after CNS injury in the adult mammalian system.
The Journal of Comparative Neurology 09/2002; 451(3):213-24. DOI:10.1002/cne.10330 · 3.23 Impact Factor