Paul Polak

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Publications (4)16.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: While it is accepted that noradrenaline (NA) reduction in brain contributes to the progression of certain neurodegenerative diseases, the mechanisms through which NA exerts its protective actions are not well known. We previously reported that NA induced production of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1/CCL2) in cultured astrocytes mediated some of the neuroprotective actions of NA. We have now examined the regulation of MCP-1 production in vivo. Treatment of mice with the NA precursor l-threo-3,4-dihydroxyphenylserine induced the production of MCP-1 in astrocytes. In contrast, exposure to stress (a process known to elevate brain NA levels) produced only a moderate increase of MCP-1 because of the inhibitory activity of glucocorticoids released during the stress response. Similarly, corticosterone treatment of astrocytes caused a reduction of constitutive as well as the NA-induced MCP-1 production. When stressed rats had the production of glucocorticoids blocked by the selective inhibitor metyrapone, a large increase of MCP-1 concentration was observed in cortex, whereas propranolol (a beta adrenergic receptor blocker) avoided modifications of MCP-1 after stress. Desipramine (an inhibitor of NA reuptake) also caused an increase of MCP-1 in cortex. These data suggest that some phenomena caused by the alteration of NA or glucocorticoids could be mediated by MCP-1.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 04/2010; 113(2):543-51. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of an immune competent mouse model for the study of immunosuppressive mechanisms is important for improving the efficacy of brain tumor immunotherapy. In the present study we investigated regulatory T cells (Tregs), TGF-beta1 and other putative immunosuppressive cytokines using GL261 mouse glioma in C57BL mice. We explored whether tumor growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) is expressed and secreted by glioma cells constitutively or in response to a T-cell mediated immunity (simulated by conditioned media from T cells (TCM) activated by anti-CD3 antibody). We also investigated TGF-beta1's role in Treg mediated immunosuppression by quantifying TGF-beta1secretion from T regulatory cells (Tregs) co-incubated with GL261 cells as compared to Tregs alone. Finally, we studied other newly identified cytokines that were secreted preferentially by glioma cells in response to CD3 activated TCM versus cytokines secreted by glioma cells in absence of T-cell activation (naïve TCM). TGF-beta1expression was studied using RT-PCR and secretion was quantified using ELISA. A 308 protein cytokine array was used to identify and quantify cytokine expression. TGF-beta1expression and secretion from glioma cells was found to be up-regulated by conditioned media from CD3-activated T cells, suggesting that this immunosuppressive cytokine is not secreted constitutively but in response to immunity. TGF-beta1 was not found to be differentially secreted by Tregs co-incubated with glioma cells as compared to Tregs alone. This data suggest that TGF-beta1immunosupppression may not be a Treg dependent mechanism in this glioma model. Finally, the cytokine array elucidated several other cytokines which were up-regulated or down-regulated by CD3-activated TCM. These results have several implications for enhancing immunotherapy treatment, including the potential benefit of TGF-beta1inhibition in conjunction with immunotherapy, as well as the illumination of several other potential cytokine targets to be explored as shown by the cytokine array.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 06/2009; 93(1):107-14. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The neurotransmitter noradrenaline (NA) can provide neuroprotection against insults including inflammatory stimuli and excitotoxicity, which may involve paracrine effects of neighboring glial cells. Astrocytes express and secrete a variety of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecules; however, the effects of NA on astrocyte chemokine expression have not been well characterized. In primary astrocytes, NA increased expression of chemokine CCL2 (MCP-1) at the mRNA and protein levels. NA increased activation of an MCP-1 promoter driving luciferase expression, which was replicated by beta-adrenergic receptor agonists and a cAMP analog, and blocked by a specific beta2-adrenergic receptor antagonist. In primary neurons, addition of MCP-1 reduced NMDA-dependent glutamate release as well as glutamate-dependent Ca(2+) entry. Similarly, conditioned media from NA-treated astrocytes reduced glutamate release, an effect that was blocked by neutralizing antibody to MCP-1, whereas MCP-1 dose-dependently reduced neuronal damage attributable to NMDA or to glutamate. MCP-1 significantly reduced lactate dehydrogenase release from neurons after oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and prevented the loss of ATP levels that occurred after OGD or treatment with glutamate. Incubation of neurons with astrocytes separated by a membrane to prevent physical contact showed that NA induced astrocyte release of sufficient MCP-1 to reduce neuronal damage attributable to OGD. These findings indicate that the neuroprotective effects of NA are mediated, at least in part, by induction and release of astrocyte MCP-1.
    Journal of Neuroscience 02/2009; 29(1):263-7. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myelin is a multilayered glial cell membrane that forms segmented sheaths around large-caliber axons of both the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Myelin covering insures rapid and efficient transmission of nerve impulses. Direct visual assessment of local changes of myelin content in vivo could greatly facilitate diagnosis and therapeutic treatments of myelin-related diseases. Current histologic probes for the visualization of myelin are based on antibodies or charged histochemical reagents that do not enter the brain. We have developed a series of chemical compounds including (E,E)-1,4-bis(4'-aminostyryl)-2-dimethoxy-benzene termed BDB and the subject of this report, which readily penetrates the blood-brain barrier and selectively binds to the myelin sheath in brain. BDB selectively stains intact myelinated regions in wild-type mouse brain, which allows for delineation of cuprizone-induced demyelinating lesions in mouse brain. BDB can be injected IV into the brain and selectively detect demyelinating lesions in cuprizone-treated mice in situ. These studies justified further investigation of BDB as a potential myelin-imaging probe to monitor myelin pathology in vivo.
    Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 10/2006; 54(9):997-1004. · 2.26 Impact Factor