Carla Arellano

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (4)19.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cranial irradiation can lead to long-lasting cognitive impairments in patients receiving radiotherapy for the treatment of malignant brain tumors. Recent studies have suggested inflammation as a major contributor to these deficits; we determined if the chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) was a mediator of cognitive impairments induced by irradiation. Two-month-old male Ccr2 knockout (-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice received 10 Gy cranial irradiation or sham-treatment. One month after irradiation, bromodeoxyuridine was injected intraperitoneally for seven consecutive days to label newly generated cells. At two months post-irradiation, cognitive function was assessed by novel object recognition and Morris water maze. Our results demonstrate that CCR2 deficiency prevented hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory impairments induced by cranial irradiation. Hippocampal gene expression analysis showed that irradiation induced CCR2 ligands such as CCL8, and CCR2 deficiency reduced this induction. Irradiation reduced the number of adult-born neurons in both WT and Ccr2-/- mice, but the distribution pattern of the adult-born neurons through the granule cell layer was only altered in WT mice. Importantly, CCR2 deficiency normalized the fraction of pyramidal neurons expressing the plasticity-related immediate early gene Arc. These data offer new insight into the mechanism(s) of radiation-injury and suggest that CCR2 is a critical mediator hippocampal neuronal dysfunction and hippocampal cognitive impairments after irradiation. Targeting CCR2 signaling could conceivably provide an effective approach to reduce or prevent the incidence and severity of this serious side effect of ionizing irradiation.
    Cancer Research 12/2012; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic neuroinflammation is a hallmark of several neurological disorders associated with cognitive loss. Activated microglia and secreted factors such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α are key mediators of neuroinflammation and may contribute to neuronal dysfunction. Our study was aimed to evaluate the therapeutic potential of a novel analog of thalidomide, 3,6'-dithiothalidomide (DT), an agent with anti-TNF-α activity, in a model of chronic neuroinflammation. Lipopolysaccharide or artificial cerebrospinal fluid was infused into the fourth ventricle of three-month-old rats for 28 days. Starting on day 29, animals received daily intraperitoneal injections of DT (56 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 14 days. Thereafter, cognitive function was assessed by novel object recognition, novel place recognition and Morris water maze, and animals were euthanized 25 min following water maze probe test evaluation. Chronic LPS-infusion was characterized by increased gene expression of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β in the hippocampus. Treatment with DT normalized TNF-α levels back to control levels but not IL-1β. Treatment with DT attenuated the expression of TLR2, TLR4, IRAK1 and Hmgb1, all genes involved in the TLR-mediated signaling pathway associated with classical microglia activation. However DT did not impact the numbers of MHC Class II immunoreactive cells. Chronic neuroinflammation impaired novel place recognition, spatial learning and memory function; but it did not impact novel object recognition. Importantly, treatment with DT restored cognitive function in LPS-infused animals and normalized the fraction of hippocampal neurons expressing the plasticity-related immediate-early gene Arc. Our data demonstrate that the TNF-α synthesis inhibitor DT can significantly reverse hippocampus-dependent cognitive deficits induced by chronic neuroinflammation. These results suggest that TNF-α is a critical mediator of chronic neuroinflammation-induced neuronal dysfunction and cognitive impairment and targeting its synthesis could provide an effective therapeutic approach to several human neurodegenerative diseases.
    Journal of Neuroinflammation 01/2012; 9:23. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Growing evidence suggests that adult-born granule cells integrate into hippocampal networks and are required for proper cognitive function. Although neuroinflammation is involved in many disorders associated with cognitive impairment, it remains unknown whether it impacts the recruitment of adult-born neurons into behaviorally relevant hippocampal networks. Under similar behavioral conditions, exploration-induced expression of the immediate-early gene Arc in hippocampal cells has been linked to cellular activity observed by electrophysiological recording. By detecting exploration-induced Arc protein expression, we investigated whether neuroinflammation alters the recruitment of adult-born neurons into behaviorally relevant hippocampal networks. Neuroinflammation was induced in rats by intra-cerebroventricular infusion of lipopolysaccharide for 28 days. Animals received bromodeoxyuridine injections starting on day 29 (5 days) and were euthanized two months later. Persistent lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation was reliably detected by microglial activation in the hippocampus. Neuroinflammation did not impact the number of adult-born neurons but did alter their migration pattern through the granule cell layer. There was a positive correlation between the density of activated microglia and alterations in the fraction of existing granule neurons expressing Arc, suggesting that neuroinflammation induced a long-term disruption of hippocampal network activity. The proportion of adult-born neurons expressing behaviorally induced Arc was significantly lower in lipopolysaccharide-treated rats than in controls. This observation supports the fact that neuroinflammation significantly impacts adult-born neurons recruitment into hippocampal networks encoding spatial information.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 07/2011; 26(1):18-23. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2011; 7(4).