E Y Chen

Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States

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Publications (14)98.77 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bradykinin has long been known to exist in the central nervous system and has been hypothesized to mediate specific functions. Despite an increasing understanding of the functions of bradykinin, little is known about the cell types expressing the bradykinin receptor within the brain. The present investigation employed a monoclonal antibody directed against the 15-amino-acid portion of the C-terminal of the human bradykinin B2 receptor to establish the cellular distribution of bradykinin B2 receptor immunoreactivity in the rat brain. Bradykinin B2 receptor immunoreactivity was ubiquitously and selectively observed in neurons, including those within the olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, basal forebrain, basal ganglia, thalamus, hypothalamus, cerebellum, and brainstem nuclei. Bradykinin B2 receptor immunoreactivity was also present in the circumventricular organs including choroid plexus, subfornical organ, median eminence, and area postrema. Double-labeling experiments colocalizing the bradykinin B2 receptor with the neuronal marker NeuN or the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein revealed that virtually 100% of the bradykinin B2 receptor-immunoreactive positive cells were neurons. The widespread distribution of bradykinin B2 receptor immunoreactivity in neuronal compartments suggests a greater than previously appreciated role for this peptide in neuronal function.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 12/2000; 427(1):1-18. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase I (GTPCHI) is a critical enzyme in catecholamine function and is rate limiting for the synthesis of the catecholamine co-factor tetrahydrobiopterin. The present study assessed the distribution of GTPCHI immunoreactivity (-ir) within the monkey and human ventral midbrain and determined whether its expression is altered as a function of age. Light and confocal microscopic analyses revealed that young monkeys and humans displayed GTPCHI-ir within melanin-containing and tyrosine-hydroxylase-ir neurons in primate substantia nigra. Stereological counts revealed that there was a 67.4% reduction in GTPCHI-ir neuronal number, a 63.5% reduction in GTPCHI-ir neuronal density, and a 37.6% reduction in neuronal volume in aged monkeys relative to young cohorts. Similar age-related changes were seen in humans, in whom there were significant reductions in the number of GTPCHI-ir nigral neurons in middle age (58.4%) and aged (81.5%) cases relative to young cohorts. The density of GTPCHI-ir neurons within the nigra was similarly reduced in middle-aged (63.0%) and aged (81.8%) cases. In contrast to monkeys, aged humans did not display shrinkage in the volume of GTPCHI-ir nigral neurons. The presence of numerous melanin-positive, but GTPCHI-ir immunonegative, neurons in the aged monkey and human nigra indicates that these decreases represent an age-related phenotypic downregulation of this enzyme and not a loss of neurons per se. These data indicate that there is a dramatic decrease in GTPCHI-ir in nonhuman primates and humans as a function of age and that loss of this enzyme may be partly responsible for the age-related decrease in dopaminergic tone within nigrostriatal systems.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 11/2000; 426(4):534-48. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The D3 preferring dopamine agonist pramipexole has been shown to attenuate the cell loss induced by levodopa in vitro. Pramipexole was herein evaluated in the 6-hydroxydopamine lesion model to determine its in vivo effect. Rats were treated with pramipexole or saline before and after an intracerebroventricular 6-hydroxydopamine injection. In the preliminary study, 6-hydroxydopamine produced a 68% reduction in striatal dopamine and a 62% loss in tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (THir) cell counts in the substantia nigra. Pramipexole treated animals exhibited a 29% and a 27% reduction in striatal dopamine and THir cell counts, respectively. THir cell counts and striatal dopamine were significantly correlated. In the stereological study, 6-hydroxydopamine reduced THir cell counts by 47% in saline treated animals and 26% in pramipexole treated animals. These data demonstrate that pramipexole attenuates the biochemical and THir cell changes normally produced by 6-hydroxydopamine consistent with its neuroprotective actions in vitro.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 02/2000; 107(2):159-76. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As part of a safety and tolerability study, a 65-year-old man with Parkinson's disease (PD) received monthly intracerebroventricular injections of glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). His parkinsonism continued to worsen following intracerebroventricular GDNF treatment. Side effects included nausea, loss of appetite, tingling, L'hermitte's sign, intermittent hallucinations, depression, and inappropriate sexual conduct. There was no evidence of significant regeneration of nigrostriatal neurons or intraparenchymal diffusion of the intracerebroventricular GDNF to relevant brain regions. Alternative GDNF delivery systems should be explored.
    Annals of Neurology 10/1999; 46(3):419-24. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The deposition of beta-amyloid within the entorhinal cortex (EC) may play a key role in the development of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in the elderly. To examine the relationship of beta-amyloid deposition to MCI, EC tissue immunostained for this protein was quantitated from a cohort of aged Catholic religious clergy with a clinical diagnosis of MCI and compared to those with no cognitive impairment (NCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). beta-amyloid staining was seen in 12 of the 20 NCI, in 10 of 12 MCI, and in all 12 AD cases within the EC. beta-amyloid immunoreactivity displayed two patterns within the EC: (1) a crescent-shaped band within layers 3-4 or (2) bilaminar staining mainly within layers 2-3 and 5-6. Ten cases failed to display any detectable beta-amyloid imunoreactivity. Despite the heterogeneity of beta-amyloid loads within the clinical groups, decomposing an analysis of variance revealed a significant difference across groups in mean beta-amyloid load within the EC based upon a linear trend analysis. Multiple comparisons testing revealed that NCI individuals had a significantly lower mean beta-amyloid load (1.32) than AD individuals (4.55). The MCI individuals had a mean intermediate (2.60) load between NCI and AD, but not statistically distinguishable from the mean for either NCI or AD. Spearman rank correlation showed a trend for decreasing MMSE with increasing amyloid load that failed to reach statistical significance. Since many NCI cases displayed beta-amyloid loads equal to or greater than that seen in some MCI and some AD cases, it is mostly likely that deposition of this protein is not the sole pathogenic event underlying cognitive impairment in the elderly.
    Experimental Neurology 09/1999; 158(2):469-90. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many forms of acute brain injury are associated with a secondary, glutamate- and calcium-dependent cascade which greatly exacerbates the final damage. The calcium-dependent protease, calpain, has been implicated as an important variable in this pathogenic process. The present studies tested (i) if similar secondary degeneration occurs following surgical ablation of a discrete area within rat visual cortex, (ii) if activation of calpain contributes to the secondary degeneration by spreading into areas adjacent to the ablation, and (iii) if blocking calpain's proteolytic effects reduces the secondary degeneration attendant to the lesion. Antibodies selective for a protein fragment specifically generated by calpain were used to map areas in which the protease had been activated. Labeling was present 5 min after surgery in a narrow zone surrounding the ablated region. The volume of the immunopositive staining increased twofold within 24 h and fivefold by 48 h, at which time it was equivalent in size to the original lesion. This staining pattern significantly decreased in size at 5 days postsurgery. Application of calpain inhibitors to the ablation site immediately after surgery reduced the spread of calpain activation by approximately 80%. Following cortical ablation, the volume of the lateral geniculate nucleus ipsilateral to the cortical ablation shrank by 46 +/- 3% in control rats but only by 31 +/- 5% in animals given the calpain inhibitors. These results establish that (i) a secondary degenerative cascade is unleashed following discrete cortical surgery which expands into brain areas clearly outside the initial perturbation site, (ii) the gradual expansion of calpain activation contributes to the underlying secondary pathology, and (iii) blocking calpain activity substantially reduces atrophy in areas anatomically connected, but physically distal to the damaged zone. The possible utility of topical applications of calpain inhibitors, or analogously acting drugs, in minimizing the secondary effects of brain surgery is discussed.
    Experimental Neurology 03/1999; 155(2):315-26. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: EGF-responsive neural stem cells isolated from murine striatum have the capacity to differentiate into both neurons and glia in vitro. Genetic modification of these cells is hindered by a number of problems such as gene stability and transfection efficiency. To circumvent these problems we generated transgenic mice in which the human GFAP promoter directs the expression of human NGF. Neural stem cells isolated from the forebrain of these transgenic animals proliferate and form clusters, which appear identical to stem cells generated from control animals. Upon differentiation in vitro, the transgenic stem cell-derived astrocytes express and secrete bioactive hNGF. Undifferentiated GFAP-hNGF or control stem cells were transplanted into the striatum of adult rats. One and 3 weeks after transplantation, hNGF was detected immunocytochemically in an halo around the transplant sites. In GFAP-hNGF-grafted animals, intrinsic striatal neurons proximal to the graft appear to have taken up hNGF secreted by the grafted cells. Ipsilateral to implants of GFAP-hNGF-secreting cells, choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive neurons within the striatum were hypertrophied relative to the contralateral side or control-grafted animals. Further, GFAP-hNGF-grafted rats displayed a robust sprouting of p75 neurotrophin receptor-positive fibers emanating from the underlying basal forebrain. These studies indicate that EGF-responsive stem cells which secrete hNGF under the direction of the GFAP promoter display in vitro and in vivo properties similar to that seen following other methods of NGF delivery and this source of cells may provide an excellent avenue for delivery of neurotrophins such as NGF to the central nervous system.
    Experimental Neurology 12/1997; 148(1):187-204. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined whether implants of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-responsive stems cells derived from transgenic mice in which the glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) promoter directs the expression of human nerve growth factor (hNGF) could prevent the degeneration of striatal neurons in a rodent model of Huntington's disease (HD). Rats received intrastriatal transplants of GFAP-hNGF stem cells or control stem cells followed 9 days later by an intrastriatal injection of quinolinic acid (QA). Nissl stains revealed large striatal lesions in rats receiving control grafts, which, on average, encompassed 12.78 mm3. The size of the lesion was significantly reduced (1.92 mm3) in rats receiving lesions and GFAP-hNGF transplants. Rats receiving QA lesions and GFAP-hNGF-secreting grafts stem cell grafts displayed a sparing of striatal neurons immunoreactive (ir) for glutamic acid decarboxylase, choline acetyltransferase, and neurons histochemically positive for nicotinamide adenosine diphosphate. Intrastriatal GFAP-hNGF-secreting implants also induced a robust sprouting of cholinergic fibers from subjacent basal forebrain neurons. The lesioned striatum in control-grafted animals displayed numerous p75 neurotrophin-ir (p75NTR) astrocytes, which enveloped host vasculature. In rats receiving GFAP-hNGF-secreting stem cell grafts, the astroglial staining pattern was absent. By using a mouse-specific probe, stem cells were identified in all animals. These data indicate that cellular delivery of hNGF by genetic modification of stem cells can prevent the degeneration of vulnerable striatal neural populations, including those destined to die in a rodent model of HD, and supports the emerging concept that this technology may be a valuable therapeutic strategy for patients suffering from this disease.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 11/1997; 387(1):96-113. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder that results from degeneration of striatal neurons, particularly those containing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). There is no effective treatment for preventing or slowing this neuronal degeneration. Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is a trophic factor for striatal neurons and therefore a potential therapeutic agent for Huntington's disease. Here we evaluate CNTF as a neuroprotective agent in a nonhuman primate model of Huntington's disease. We gave cynomolgus monkeys intrastriatal implants of polymer-encapsulated baby hamster kidney fibroblasts that had been genetically modified to secrete human CNTF. One week later, monkeys received unilateral injections of quinolinic acid into the previously implanted striatum to reproduce the neuropathology seen in Huntington's disease. Human CNTF was found to exert a neuroprotective effect on several populations of striatal cells, including GABAergic, cholinergic and diaphorase-positive neurons which were all destined to die following administration of quinolinic acid. Human CNTF also prevented the retrograde atrophy of layer V neurons in motor cortex and exerted a significant protective effect on the GABAergic innervation of the two important target fields of the striatal output neurons (the globus pallidus and pars reticulata of the substantia nigra). Our results show that human CNTF has a trophic influence on degenerating striatal neurons as well as on critical non-striatal regions such as the cerebral cortex, supporting the idea that human CNTF may help to prevent the degeneration of vulnerable striatal populations and cortical-striatal basal ganglia circuits in Huntington's disease.
    Nature 04/1997; 386(6623):395-9. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Delivery of neurotrophic molecules to the CNS has gained considerable attention as a potential treatment strategy for neurological disorders. In the present study, a DHFR-based expression vector containing the human ciliary neurotrophic factor (hCNTF) was transfected into a baby hamster kidney fibroblast cell line (BHK). Using a polymeric device, encapsulated BHK-control cells and those secreting hCNTF (BHK-hCNTF) were transplanted unilaterally into the rat lateral ventricle. Twelve days later, the same animals received unilateral injections of quinolinic acid (QA; 225 nmol) into the ipsilateral striatum. After surgery, animals were behaviorally tested for apomorphine-induced rotation behavior and for skilled forelimb function using the staircase test. Rats receiving BHK-hCNTF cells rotated significantly less than animals receiving BHK-control cells. No behavioral effects of hCNTF were observed on the staircase test. Nissl-stained sections demonstrated that BHK-hCNTF cells significantly reduced the extent of striatal damage produced by QA. Quantitative analysis of striatal neurons further demonstrated that both choline acetyltransferase- and GAD-immunoreactive neurons were protected by BHK-hCNTF implants. In contrast, a similar loss of NADPH-diaphorase-positive cells was observed in the striatum of both implant groups. Analysis of retrieved capsules revealed numerous viable and mitotically active BHK cells that continued to secrete hCNTF. These results support the concepts that implants of polymer-encapsulated hCNTF-releasing cells can be used to protect striatal neurons from excitotoxic damage and that this strategy may ultimately prove relevant for the treatment of Huntington's disease.
    Journal of Neuroscience 09/1996; 16(16):5168-81. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A patient with Parkinson's disease received bilateral fetal human nigral implants from six donors aged 6.5 to 9 weeks post-conception. Eighteen months following a post-operative clinical course characterized by marked improvement in clinical function, this patient died from events unrelated to the grafting procedure. Post-mortem histological analyses revealed the presence of viable grafts in all 12 implant sites, each containing a heterogeneous population of neurons and glia. Approximately 210,146 implanted tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-ir) neurons were found. A greater number of TH-ir grafted neurons were observed in the right (128,162) than the left (81,905) putamen. Grafted TH-ir neurons were organized in an organotypic fashion. These cells provided extensive TH-ir and dopamine transporter-ir innervation to the host striatum which occurred in a patch-matrix fashion. Quantitative evaluations revealed that fetal nigral grafts reinnervated 53% and 28% of the post-commissural putamen on the right and left side, respectively. Grafts on the left side innervated a lesser area of the striatum, but optical density measurements were similar on both sides. There was no evidence that the implants induced sprouting of host TH-ir systems. Electron microscopic analyses revealed axo-dendritic and occasional axo-axonic synapses between graft and host. In contrast, axo-somatic synapses were not observed. In situ hybridization for TH mRNA revealed intensely hybridized grafted neurons which far exceeded TH mRNA expression within residual host nigral cells. In addition, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)-ergic neurons were observed within the graft that formed a dense local neuropil which was confined to the implant site. Serotonergic neurons were not observed within the graft. Cytochrome oxidase activity was increased bilaterally within the grafted post-commissural putamen, suggesting increased metabolic activity. In this regard, a doubling of cytochrome oxidase activity was observed within the grafted post-commissural putamen bilaterally relative to the non-grafted anterior putamen. The grafts were hypovascular relative to the surrounding striatum and host substantia nigra. Blood vessels within the graft stained intensely for GLUT-1, suggesting that this marker of blood--brain barrier function is present within human nigral allografts. Taken together, these data indicate that fetal nigral neurons can survive transplantation, functionally reinnervate the host putamen, establish synaptic contacts with host neurons, and sustain many of the morphological and functional characteristics of normal nigral neurons following grafting into a patient with PD.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 07/1996; 370(2):203-30. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prenatal development of the neurons immunoreactive for high-affinity tropomycin-related kinase (trk) receptor (pan trk which recognizes trkA, trkB, and trkC) and low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) was examined in the human brain from embryonic weeks 10 to 34 of gestation. In the embryonic week 10 specimen in which only brainstem regions were available for evaluation, trk immunoreactivity (trk-ir) was observed in the ventral cochlear, solitary, raphe, spinal trigeminal, and hypoglossal nuclei, as well as the vestibular complex and medullary reticular formation. At this time point of gestation, p75ntr-immunoreactive (p75NTR-ir) staining was observed within these same regions plus the inferior olivary and ambiguus nuclei. At embryonic week 14, trk-ir neurons were seen within the subplate zone of the entorhinal cortex, basal forebrain, caudate nucleus, putamen, external segment of the globus pallidus, specific thalamic nuclei, lateral mammillary nucleus, habenula nucleus, select brainstem nuclei, and the dentate nucleus of cerebellum. At this gestational time point, p75NTR-ir neurons were observed in each of these structures, with the exception of the caudate nucleus, specific thalamic nuclei, lateral mammillary nucleus, and habenula nucleus. Additionally, p75NTR-ir neurons were observed within the corpus callosum. The staining pattern for both trk and p75NTR remained unchanged at embryonic weeks 15 to 16 except for the addition of trk-ir and p75NTR-ir within the cortical subplate zone, hippocampus, and subthalamic nucleus. By embryonic week 18, trk-ir neurons were widely expressed within mostly all thalamic nuclei. In contrast, trk-ir was no longer seen within the hypoglossal, cuneate, and gracile nuclei at this time point. This staining pattern for trk and p75NTR remained virtually unchanged from embryonic weeks 19 to 20 and embryonic weeks 16 to 20, respectively. From embryonic weeks 22 to 34, the distribution of both trk-ir and p75NTR-ir neurons changed gradually. During this period, neurons in most thalamic and some brainstem nuclei became progressively immunonegative for trk, whereas neurons in the neocortical subplate zone, corpus callosum, and hilar region of dentate gyrus gradually lost immunoreactivity for p75NTR. These data demonstrate an important and complex role for both the high-(trk) and low- (p75) affinity neurotrophin receptors during the development of multiple neuronal systems in the human brain.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 07/1996; 369(4):591-618. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nerve growth factor selectively prevents the degeneration of cholinergic neurons following intrastriatal infusion but rescues both cholinergic and noncholinergic striatal neurons if the nerve growth factor is secreted from grafts of genetically modified fibroblasts. The present study evaluated whether grafted fibroblasts genetically modified to secrete human nerve growth factor could provide trophic influences upon intact cholinergic and noncholinergic striatal neurons. Unilateral striatal grafts of polymer-encapsulated cells genetically modified to secrete human nerve growth factor induced hypertrophy and significantly increased the optical density of choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive striatal neurons one, two, and four weeks post-transplantation relative to rats receiving identical grafts missing only the human nerve growth factor construct. Nerve growth factor secreting grafts also induced a hypertrophy of noncholinergic neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive striatal neurons one, two, and four weeks post-transplantation. Glutamic acid decarboxylase-immunoreactive neurons were unaffected by the human nerve growth factors secreting grafts. The effects upon choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive and neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive striatal neurons dissipated following retrieval of the implants. Immunocytochemistry for nerve growth factor revealed intense graft-derived immunoreactivity for up to 1000 microns from the capsule extending along the dorsoventral axis of the striatum. Nerve growth factor-immunoreactivity was also observed within a subpopulation of striatal neurons and may represent nerve growth factor consumer neurons which retrogradely transported graft-derived nerve growth factor. When explanted, grafts produced 2-4 ng human nerve growth factor/24 h over the time course of this study indicating that this level of continuous human nerve growth factor secretion was sufficient to mediate the effects presently observed.
    Neuroscience 06/1996; 72(1):63-77. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor (NGF) mediate their effects through interactions with high-affinity tropomycin-related kinase (trk) receptors. The present study employed a polyclonal antibody to characterize the distribution of trk-immunoreactive neurons within the nonhuman primate brain. Both young adult and aged cebus and rhesus monkeys displayed trk-immunoreactive neurons within all subdivisions of the basal forebrain. Colocalization studies revealed that between 66% and 76% of trk-immunoreactive basal forebrain neurons also expressed immunoreactivity for the low-affinity p75 NGF receptor, an excellent marker for cholinergic basal forebrain cells. In this experiment, most single-labeled basal forebrain neurons contained only trk immunoreactivity, whereas 4% of basal forebrain neurons expressed only the low-affinity p75 NGF receptor. Scattered trk-immunoreactive neurons also were observed within the caudate nucleus and putamen. Although dual-localization studies with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) were not performed, striatal neurons codistributed with ChAT-immunoreactive cells, and both types of cells were similar in size and morphology. This suggests that trk immunoreactivity is expressed within cholinergic interneurons within the primate striatum. Finally, lightly stained trk-immunoreactive neurons were observed within the stratum oriens of the hippocampal formation and within the hypothalamus. These data indicate that both cholinergic and, possibly, noncholinergic forebrain neurons express the protein for the high-affinity trk receptor, which transduces the signal mediating the trophic effects of neurotrophins. In addition, the pattern of trk immunoreactivity was preserved in two aged (26 and 29 years old) rhesus monkeys, suggesting that the expression of trk, for the most part, is sustained throughout the lifetime of the organism.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 12/1994; 349(1):20-35. · 3.66 Impact Factor