Article

Oxiracetam can improve cognitive impairment after chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) induces cognitive deficits. Although CCH can be improved, cognitive impairment is not improved accordingly. To date, many studies have focused on investigating the pathophysiological mechanisms of CCH; however, the treatment of the induced cognitive impairment remains ineffective. Thus, the mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment after CCH and potential agents for treating this impairment need to be explored further. Oxiracetam is a nootropic drug that improves clinical outcomes for some central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Whether it can improve cognitive impairment after CCH is unknown. In this study, we used behavioural methods, electrophysiology, biochemistry, histopathological staining and transmission electron microscope to investigate rat's cognitive impairment by CCH, and found that Oxiracetam could improve CCH-induced cognitive impairment and prevent deficits of neural plasticity, white matter lesions, and synaptic ultrastructure. These results suggest that Oxiracetam may be effective as a potential agent against CCH-induced cognitive impairment.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Another study clearly indicated Oxiracetam inhibited cells apoptosis in brain tissues and facilitated neurological function recovery . Besides, recent reports demonstrated Oxiracetam improved learning and memory abilities in rats with vascular dementia (Chen, Zhou, Zhang, Feng, & Wang, 2015) and promoted cognitive impairment recovery in cerebral hypoperfusion rats (Yao, Yao, Li, Nie, & Zhang, 2016). There have been other studies suggesting that the formation of a long term memory was observed (Mondadori, Hengerer, Ducret, & Borkowski, 1994;Mondadori, Mobius, & Borkowski, 1996). ...
... compared with the stimulus group Oxiracetam, a new ring gamma amino acid butyric acid derivative, is one kind of piracetam-like nootropic drugs, which has been applied in neurological patients. A wide range of studies revealed that piracetam-like drugs could protect brain against physical and chemical damages including cerebral hypoxia and improve cognitive performance (Fang et al., 2014;Uebelhack et al., 2003;Yao et al., 2016) and ...
... It has also been found that Oxiracetam forestalled memory deficits elicited by scopolamine but not the diazepam (Hlinak & Krejci, 2002). A recent study suggested Oxiracetam could improve long term potentiation (LTP) caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (Yao et al., 2016). It is common that LTP is associated strongly with learning and memory abilities and mainly depends on binding of excitatory receptors, such as NMDA receptor, and their neurotransmitter (Lynch, 2004;Zarnowska et al., 2015). ...
Full-text available
Article
Background Cognitive impairment is common in people travelling to high altitude. Oxiracetam and electrical stimulation of cerebellar fastigial nucleus may have beneficial impacts. This study was to investigate the effects of preconditioning with Oxiracetam or fastigial nucleus stimulation (FNS) on cognitive decline following the ascension to high altitude. Methods The study was conducted on 60 male military voluntary members who were divided into control group, Oxiracetam group, and fastigial nucleus stimulation group. Transcranial doppler sonography, auditory evoked potential, electroencephalogram (EEG), and cognitive assessments were performed. Results People could still suffer cognitive dysfunction at 4,000 m high altitude despite that they have lived at 1,800 m altitude for several years. The 4,000 m altitude environment also prolonged P300 and N200 latencies. Both Oxiracetam and FNS improved cognitive function, reduced the prolonged latencies of Event Related Potentials (P300 and N200), decreased the average velocity of brain arteries, and enhanced EEG power spectral entropy at 4,000 m altitude. Conclusions Neurophysiological evidences suggest the underlying mechanism of cognitive impairments. Both Oxiracetam and FNS can reduce cognitive decline post arrival at high altitude. They could be a potential pretreatment method for cognitive dysfunction resulted from high altitude.
... Oxiracetam is one of the racetam used as a nootropic agent for the learning, memory and preventing cognitive decline. It facilitates the various processes like long-term memory formation by modulating AMPA receptors and suppressing glutamate level (Yao et al. 2016;Li et al. 2017). Zinc is an essential element required for the functioning of brain and also plays important role in neuronal development by enhancing the level of nerve growth factor (NGF). ...
... Similarly, oxiracetam is reported to act as a positive allosteric modulator of the AMPA receptor and help to facilitate long-term memory formation by modulating AMPA receptors and suppressing glutamate level. It also protects the brain by reducing excessive glutamatedependent excitotoxicity and improves neuronal plasticity (Yao et al. 2016). ...
Full-text available
Article
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by restrictive behaviour, deficit in social skills and interaction. The multifactorial etiology, complex pathophysiology and different combination of symptoms (unusual speech patterns, frequent repetition of phrases) make it difficult to treat. Thus, present study aimed to find the protective effects of oxiracetam alone and in combination with zinc on brain behavioral, biochemical, pro-inflammatory cytokines and neurotransmitters level. Rats were administered with propionic acid (250 mg/kg p.o.) for 3 days and immediately on next day treatment were given with oxiracetam (25, 50 mg/kg i.p), zinc (4 mg/kg) as well as oxiracetam (25 mg/kg i.p) in combination with zinc (4 mg/kg p.o). Behavioral parameters were performed from 22th to 28th day. On 29th day, all the animals were sacrificed by cervical dislocation and the brain was preserved for biochemical (LPO, GSH, nitrite, mitochondrial complex I, IV and cAMP), neuroinflammatory (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6) and neurotransmitters (5-HT, GABA, glutamate and acetylcholine) analysis. The propionic acid administration showed memory impairment, restrictive behavior, increased proinflammatory cytokines level, biochemical and neurotransmitters alteration. However, treatment with oxiracetam alone and in combination with zinc significantly attenuated behavioral, biochemical, inflammatory cytokines and restored neurotransmitters level. The finding of present study demonstrated that oxiracetam alone and in combination with zinc afforded superior anti-autistic effect through antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-excitotoxic mechanisms and could serve as attractive strategy in managing autism.
... Oxiracetam (ORC), with a chemical name 4-hydroxy-2one-1-pyrrolidine acetamide, is a nootropic drug of the racetam family that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and reach the hippocampus and cerebral cortex with a high concentration. It exhibits no CNS excitability and no direct vascular activity, which indicates that ORC is relatively safe and with less side effects [20][21][22]. In recent years, ORC has been discovered as a neuroprotective drug to improve the clinical outcomes of several CNS disorders, such as cognitive impairment, epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, and anxiety [23]. ...
Full-text available
Article
In neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (HIBD), in addition to damage caused by hypoxia and ischemia, over-activation of inflammation leads to further deterioration of the condition, thus greatly shortening the optimal treatment time window. Ischemic penumbra, the edematous area encompassing the infarct core, is characterized by typical activation of microglia and overt inflammation, and prone to incorporate into the infarct core gradually after ischemia onset. If treated in time, the cells located in the penumbra can survive, thereby impeding the expansion of the infarction. We demonstrated for the first time that in the acute phase of HIBD in neonatal mice, treatment of Oxiracetam (ORC) significantly curtailed the size of ischemic penumbra together with drastic reduction of infarction. By staining various cellular markers, we found that the penumbra was defined and concentrated with activated microglia. We also analyzed transmission electron microscopy and Luminex assay results to elucidate the mechanisms involved. We further confirmed that ORC switched polarization of microglia from the inflammatory towards the alternatively activated phenotype, thus promoting microglia from being neurotoxic into neuroprotective. Meanwhile, ORC decreased proliferation of microglia; however, their functions of phagocytosis and autophagy were otherwise enhanced. Last, we clarified that ORC promoted autophagy through the AMPK/mTOR pathway, which further induced the transition of the inflammatory to the alternatively activated phenotype in microglia. The pro-inflammatory factors secretion was inhibited as well, thereby reducing the progression of the infarction. Taken together, it is concluded that Oxiracetam reduced the expansion of ischemic infarction in part via regulating the interplay between microglia activation and autophagy, which would delay the progression of HIBD and effectively prolong the time window for the clinical treatment of HIBD.
... Oxiracetam (ORT), whose chemical name is 4-hydroxy-2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide, is the β-hydroxy derivative of Piracetam. It has been clinically used to treat various cognitive dysfunctions, improve learning ability, as well as promote and enhance memory [1][2][3][4][5][6] . Through the interaction with glutamate receptors, ORT can selectively act on the cerebral cortex and hippocampus to protect, activate or promote the recovery of nerve cell functions. ...
... indicating that oxiracetam combined with ginkgo biloba extract was able to effectively regulate the levels of inflammatory factors, AQP-4, and MMP-9 in serum. According to studies supported by Yao, Yao, Li, Nie, and Zhang (2016), oxiracetam can promote cerebral perfusion and improve the cognitive function of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage. Some studies (Herrschaft et al., 2012) have confirmed that ginkgo biloba extract can improve the ac- ...
Full-text available
Article
Purpose The present clinical study was conducted to investigate the effect of oxiracetam combined with ginkgo biloba extract in treating patients with acute intracerebral hemorrhage. Methods Ninety‐eight patients with acute cerebral hemorrhage admitted to our hospital were divided into three groups. The differences of brain edema and cerebral hemorrhage were compared between the three groups after 1 and 2 weeks of treatment, and the recovery of neurological function, serum inflammatory factors, AQP‐4, MMP‐9, cognitive function, activities of daily living, and adverse reactions were compared between the three groups after 2 weeks of treatment. Results There was no significant difference among the three groups before treatment (p > .05). After treatment, the recovery of neurological function, serum inflammatory factors, AQP‐4, MMP‐9 levels, cognitive function, and activities of daily living were improved. Among them, the neurological function recovery, serum inflammatory factors, AQP‐4, MMP‐9 levels, cognitive function, and activities of daily living in the combined treatment group and the control group elicited greater results than those in the routine group. The results of the combined treatment group showed the most significant difference (p < .05). The concentration of IL‐6 decreased from 135.98 ± 12.54 to 91.83 ± 7.69 pg/ml, AQP‐4 from 227.55 μg/L ± 21.06 to 114.31 ± 9.22 μg/L, and MMP‐9 from 172.39 ± 9.81 to 94.98 ± 5.01 ng/ml. In addition, the neurological function recovery, the levels of serum inflammatory factors, cognitive function, and activities of daily living in the combined treatment group were better than those in the control group (p < .05). The mean score of MRS in the combined treatment group decreased from 3.36 ± 0.98 at admission to 1.91 ± 0.38. Conclusion Oxiracetam combined with Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of acute cerebral hemorrhage has a significant improvement effect.
... Therefore, in order to better replicate the pathophysiology of human diseases, CCH should be studied alongside other vascular risk factors, for example hypertension. In addition, accumulating evidence suggests that cerebral hypoperfusion and hypertension have an interdependent relationship and promote the development of memory impairment [10][11][12][13]. CCH [14,15] and hypertension [16] are risk factors for anxiety, but the effect of their comorbidity on anxiety is unclear. ...
Full-text available
Article
Electroacupuncture (EA) can effectively alleviate anxiety disorders and memory impairments caused by various neurodegenerative diseases; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying its neuroprotective effects are unclear. Previous studies have shown that the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) comprises of two axes with mutual antagonism: the classical angiotensin converting enzyme/angiotensin II/angiotensin II type 1 receptor (ACE/Ang II/AT1R) axis and the protective angiotensin converting enzyme 2/angiotensin-(1-7)/Mas receptor (ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/MasR) axis. In this study, we observed that chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) mediated anxiety-like behavior and memory impairments in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) via upregulation of the hippocampal classical axis (ACE/Ang II/AT1R) and the partial hippocampal protective axis (ACE2/Ang-(1-7)). However, Ang II levels were much higher than those of Ang-(1–7), indicating that the ACE/Ang II/AT1R axis plays a dominant role in the comorbidity of CCH and hypertension. Moreover, candesartan cilexetil (Canc) and perindopril (Peril) were used as positive control drugs. We found that EA, Canc, and Peril attenuated CCH-induced anxiety-like behavior and memory impairments in SHR, potentially via downregulation of the hippocampal classical axis (ACE/Ang II/AT1R) and upregulation of the whole hippocampal protective axis (ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/MasR). These results suggest that EA therapy for CCH with hypertension may be mediated by two hippocampal RAS axes.
... ORC is one of the most common nootropic drugs used for the management of cerebrovascular impairments, including VaD, and has shown beneficial effects (25,30,31). Yao et al. (32) showed that ORC has beneficial effects in rats with cognitive impairment due to chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. Previous studies demonstrated that the beneficial role of ORC in brain disorders is mainly attributable to its abilities to promote the synthesis of lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids as well as increase the levels of high-energy phosphates and membrane-bound protein kinase C in neurons, which leads to an enhancement of metabolism in the brain (33,34). ...
Full-text available
Article
Oxiracetam (ORC) is a commonly used nootropic drug for improving cognition and memory impairments. The therapeutic effect and underlying mechanism of ORC in vascular dementia (VaD) treatment remain unknown. In this study, 3-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats with permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion-induced VaD were treated orally with low (100 mg/kg) or high (200 mg/kg) dose ORC once a day for 4 weeks. The results of the Morris water maze test and Nissl staining showed that ORC treatment significantly alleviated learning and memory deficits and neuronal damage in rats with VaD. Mechanistically, the protein levels of a panel of genes associated with neuronal apoptosis (Bcl-2, Bax) and autophagy (microtubule-associated protein 1 chain 3, Beclin1, p62) were significantly altered by ORC treatment compared with VaD, suggesting a protective role of ORC against VaD-induced neuronal apoptosis and autophagy. Moreover, the Akt/mTOR pathway, which is known to be the upstream signaling governing apoptosis and autophagy, was found to be activated in ORC-treated rats, suggesting an involvement of Akt/mTOR activation in ORC-rendered protection in VaD rats. Taken together, this study demonstrated that ORC may alleviate learning and memory impairments and neuronal damage in VaD rats by altering the expression of apoptosis/autophagy-related genes and activation of the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in neurons.
... After 30 days of cerebral hypoperfusion, all rats completed spatial memory training in the Morris water maze. The experiment was conducted as previously described [29]. The rats were trained in the water maze to find a hidden platform. ...
Full-text available
Article
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is a common pathophysiological mechanism that underlies cognitive decline and degenerative processes in dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. Low cerebral blood flow (CBF) during CCH leads to disturbances in the homeostasis of hemodynamics and energy metabolism, which in turn results in oxidative stress, astroglia overactivation, and synaptic protein downregulation. These events contribute to synaptic plasticity and cognitive dysfunction after CCH. Tripchlorolide (TRC) is an herbal compound with potent neuroprotective effects. The potential of TRC to improve CCH-induced cognitive impairment has not yet been determined. In the current study, we employed behavioral techniques, electrophysiology, Western blotting, immunofluorescence, and Golgi staining to investigate the effect of TRC on spatial learning and memory impairment and on synaptic plasticity changes in rats after CCH. Our findings showed that TRC could rescue CCH-induced spatial learning and memory dysfunction and improve long-term potentiation (LTP) disorders. We also found that TRC could prevent CCH-induced reductions in N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 2B, synapsin I, and postsynaptic density protein 95 levels. Moreover, TRC upregulated cAMP-response element binding protein, which is an important transcription factor for synaptic proteins. TRC also prevented the reduction in dendritic spine density that is caused by CCH. However, sham rats treated with TRC did not show any improvement in cognition. Because CCH causes disturbances in brain energy homeostasis, TRC therapy may resolve this instability by correcting a variety of cognitive-related signaling pathways. However, for the normal brain, TRC treatment led to neither disturbance nor improvement in neural plasticity. Additionally, this treatment neither impaired nor further improved cognition. In conclusion, we found that TRC can improve spatial learning and memory, enhance synaptic plasticity, upregulate the expression of some synaptic proteins, and increase the density of dendritic spines. Our findings suggest that TRC may be beneficial in the treatment of cognitive impairment induced by CCH.
Article
Vascular dementia (VaD), one of the major consequences after stroke, is the second reason for the cognitive decline in aged people. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) is considered as the main cause for cognitive impairment in VaD patients. In our previous study, a synthetic compound, 4-trifluoromethyl-(E)-cinnamoyl]-L-4-F-phenylalanine acid (AE-18), has been proven to decrease infarct volume and to recover the insufficient blood supply after ischemia-reperfusion in rats, which was reminded that AE-18 may possess the ameliorative effect in CCH. In this study, the bilateral common carotid artery occlusion was performed to establish the CCH model in rats to evaluate the effect and mechanisms of AE-18 in CCH. Results showed that AE-18 (5 and 10 mg/kg, i.g.) could recover the learning and memory and increase the number of neurons in the hippocampus, which may be attributed to its neurogenesis effects and its recovery of cerebral blood flow in CCH rats. In addition, the in vitro studies showed that AE-18 promoted neuronal proliferation, induced differentiation of Neuro-2a cells into a neuron-like morphology, and accelerated the establishment of axon-dendrite polarization of primary hippocampal neurons through upregulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor via the PI3K/Akt/CREB pathway. In conclusion, AE-18 is a promising candidate for the treatment of cognitive decline after CCH injury by restoring blood supply to the brain and promoting neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
Article
Background and Objectives As a chiral drug, oxiracetam (ORT) can exist in two different isomeric forms: S-oxiracetam (S-ORT) and R-oxiracetam (R-ORT). S-ORT has emerged as a promising nootropic drug with the potential to treat brain injury and the resulting loss of neural function, memory and mental impairment as assessed by studies in various animal models. However, limited data are available on the pharmacokinetics of S-ORT in humans, so the present study was designed to evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetic profile of S-ORT in healthy volunteers.Methods In part 1, subjects were intravenously administered single ascending dose (2.0, 4.0 and 8.0 g) S-ORT. In part 2, subjects were treated at a single intravenous infusion dose of 3.0 g S-ORT or 6.0 g racemic ORT using a two-sequence, two-period crossover design. In part 3, subjects were intravenously injected with 4.0 g S-ORT once a day for 7 days. Blood and urine samples were collected to evaluate the pharmacokinetic parameters and urine excretion rate. The safety profile of the drug was also evaluated throughout the study.ResultsFifty-two subjects (30 in part 1, 12 in part 2, 10 in part 3) completed the study; only one subject displayed a mild adverse event, which possibly was treatment related, and no serious adverse event occurred. In part 1 for a single dose of 2.0, 4.0 and 8.0 g, the maximum concentration (Cmax) values were 111.28 ± 18.99, 230.76 ± 29.16 and 352.67 ± 42.94 μg/ml, respectively; the values of area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) from time zero to the time of last quantifiable concentration (AUC0–t) were 267.09 ± 59.66, 524.50 ± 72.87 and 822.68 ± 95.21 μg·h/ml, respectively; the AUC from 0 h to infinity (AUC0–∞) values were 274.72 ± 61.65, 536.06 ± 78.13 and 832.07 ± 96.91 μg·h/ml, respectively. The urine excretion rate of the unchanged drug was approximately 60%. After consecutive administration of S-ORT for 7 days, the accumulation index was 1.05 ± 0.08. The plasma drug concentration-time curves for both S-ORT and R-oxiracetam (R-ORT) were almost identical.ConclusionsS-ORT was well tolerated, and no serious adverse events occurred in 2.0, 4.0 and 8.0 g in single- and 4.0 g in multiple-dose studies. S-ORT showed dose linearity with increasing doses and no drug accumulation after 7 days of continuous administration was observed.
Chapter
Military personnel are the most susceptible to concussive head injury (CHI) caused by explosion, blast or missile or blunt head trauma. Mild to moderate CHI could induce lifetime functional and cognitive disturbances causing significant decrease in quality of life. Severe CHI leads to instant death and lifetime paralysis. Thus, further exploration of novel therapeutic agents or new features of known pharmacological agents are needed to enhance quality of life of CHI victims. Previous reports from our laboratory showed that mild CHI induced by weight drop technique causing an impact of 0.224 N results in profound progressive functional deficit, memory impairment and brain pathology from 5 h after trauma that continued over several weeks of injury. In this investigation we report that TiO2 nanowired delivery of oxiracetam (50 mg/kg, i.p.) daily for 5 days after CHI resulted in significant improvement of functional deficit on the 8th day. This was observed using Rota Rod treadmill, memory improvement assessed by the time spent in finding hidden platform under water. The motor function improvement is seen in oxiracetam treated CHI group by placing forepaw on an inclined mesh walking and foot print analysis for stride length and distance between hind feet. TiO2-nanowired oxiracetam also induced marked improvements in the cerebral blood flow, reduction in the BBB breakdown and edema formation as well as neuroprotection of neuronal, glial and myelin damages caused by CHI at light and electron microscopy on the 7th day after 5 days TiO2 oxiracetam treatment. Adverse biochemical events such as upregulation of CSF nitrite and nitrate, IL-6, TNF-a and p-Tau are also reduced significantly in oxiracetam treated CHI group. On the other hand post treatment of 100 mg/kg dose of normal oxiracetam in identical conditions after CHI is needed to show slight but significant neuroprotection together with mild recovery of memory function and functional deficits on the 8th day. These observations are the first to point out that nanowired delivery of oxiracetam has superior neuroprotective ability in CHI. These results indicate a promising clinical future of TiO2 oxiracetam in treating CHI patients for better quality of life and neurorehabilitation, not reported earlier.
Article
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) affects the aging population and especially patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. CCH is closely related to the cognitive dysfunction in these diseases. Glucagon-like peptide-2 receptor (GLP2R) mRNA and protein are highly expressed in the gut and in hippocampal neurons. This receptor is involved in the regulation of food intake and the control of energy balance and glucose homeostasis. The present study employed behavioral techniques, electrophysiology, western blotting, immunohistochemistry, quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and Golgi staining to investigate whether the expression of GLP2R changes after CCH and whether GLP2R is involved in cognitive impairment caused by CCH. Our findings show that CCH significantly decreased hippocampal GLP2R mRNA and protein levels. GLP2R upregulation could prevent CCH-induced cognitive impairment. It also improved the CCH-induced impairment of long-term potentiation and long-term depression. Additionally, GLP2R modulated after CCH the AKT-mTOR-p70S6K pathway in the hippocampus. Moreover, an upregulation of the GLP2R increased the neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, neuronal activity, and density of dendritic spines and mushroom spines in hippocampal neurons. Our findings reveal the involvement of GLP2R via a modulation of the AKT-mTOR-p70S6K pathway in the mechanisms underlying CCH-induced impairments of spatial learning and memory. We suggest that the GLP2R and the AKT-mTOR-p70S6K pathway in the hippocampus are promising targets to treat cognition deficits in CCH.
Article
The blood brain barrier (BBB) maintains the basic stability of the brain tissue under physiological conditions, while destroys and exaggerates brain edema and inflammatory response after ischemic stroke. In this study, we researched S-oxiracetam (S-ORC), a nootropic drug, alleviate BBB dysfunction and protect against ischemic stroke in rats. Middle cerebral artery occlusion(MCAO)/reperfusion in rats is applied to mimic ischemic stroke. One hour after reperfusion, rats are administered intravenously with different dose (0.12, 0.24, or 0.48 g/kg) of S-ORC for continuative three days. Seventy-two hours after MCAO, TTC staining, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, brain water content, immunohistochemical staining, EB extravasation, western blot are provided to evaluate the protective effect and possible mechanism of S-ORC on BBB dysfunction. Furthermore, brain concentration of verapamil (P-glycoprotein substrate) and atenolol (paracellular transport marker) were assayed by UPLC-MS/MS co administration with or without S-ORC. The results show that post-treatment of S-ORC decreases cerebral infarct size, lessens brain edema, inhibits neutrophil infiltration and cytokines releasing. Furthermore, S-ORC treatment decreases EB leakage, downregulates MMP-9, upregulates occludin and claudin-5, and decreases brain concentration of verapamil and atenolol after MCAO surgery. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that post-treatment of S-ORC alleviates BBB dysfunction by regulating tight junction proteins (TJPs), upregulating P-glycoprotein function, and protects against ischemic stroke as results.
Full-text available
Article
Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are the major striatal neuron and receive synaptic input from both glutamatergic and dopaminergic afferents. These synapses are made on MSN dendritic spines, which undergo density and morphology changes in association with numerous disease and experience-dependent states. Despite wide interest in the structure and function of mature MSNs, relatively little is known about MSN development. Furthermore, most in vitro studies of MSN development have been done in simple striatal cultures that lack any type of non-autologous synaptic input, leaving open the question of how MSN development is affected by a complex environment that includes other types of neurons, glia, and accompanying secreted and cell-associated cues. Here we characterize the development of MSNs in striatal-cortical co-culture, including quantitative morphological analysis of dendritic arborization and spine development, describing progressive changes in density and morphology of developing spines. Overall, MSN growth is much more robust in the striatal-cortical co-culture compared to striatal mono-culture. Inclusion of dopamine (DA) in the co-culture further enhances MSN dendritic arborization and spine density, but the effects of DA on dendritic branching are only significant at later times in development. In contrast, exogenous Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has only a minimal effect on MSN development in the co-culture, but significantly enhances MSN dendritic arborization in striatal mono-culture. Importantly, inhibition of NMDA receptors in the co-culture significantly enhances the effect of exogenous BDNF, suggesting that the efficacy of BDNF depends on the cellular environment. Combined, these studies identify specific periods of MSN development that may be particularly sensitive to perturbation by external factors and demonstrate the importance of studying MSN development in a complex signaling environment.
Full-text available
Article
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether changes in brain microstructure, detected by magnetization transfer imaging, are associated with cognition in older subjects at increased risk for vascular disease. One hundred ninety three nondemented subjects (105 men, mean age 77 ± 3 years) from the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk were included. To assess cross-sectional associations between magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) peak height and cognitive test scores, general linear model multivariate analysis was performed. Models were adjusted for age, sex, education level, vascular risk factors, individual white matter lesion volume, and brain atrophy. A repeated measures general linear model was used to investigate whether MTR peak height relates to cognitive test performance at baseline and 3.3-year follow-up. Cross-sectionally, MTR peak height was associated with performance on the STROOP test (unstandardized β = -0.27, p = 0.045), delayed Picture Word Learning (PWL) test (β = 0.48, p = 0.007), and the Letter Digit Coding test (β = 1.1, p = 0.006). Repeated measures general linear model analysis showed that individuals with low MTR peak height at baseline performed worse on the STROOP test compared to subjects with intermediate MTR peak height (mean time to complete the test at baseline and follow-up, lower versus middle tertile of MTR peak height: 61.6 versus 52.7 s, p = 0.019) or compared to subjects with high MTR peak height (p = 0.046). Similarly, low MTR peak height was associated with worse performance on the immediate (lower versus middle tertile, p = 0.023; lower versus higher tertile, p = 0.032) and delayed PWL test (lower versus middle, p = 0.004; lower versus higher, p = 0.012) at baseline and follow-up testing. MTR peak height is associated with cognitive function in older subjects at increased risk for vascular disease.
Full-text available
Article
Although memories appear to be elusive phenomena, they are stored in the network of physical connections between neurons. Dendritic spines, which are actin-rich dendritic pro-trusions, serve as the contact points between networked neurons. The spines' shape contributes to the strength of signal transmission. To acquire and store information, dendritic spines must remain plastic, i.e., able to respond to signals, by changing their shape. We asked whether glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3α and GSK3β, which are implicated in diseases with neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disease and schizophrenia, play a role in a spine structural plasticity. We used Latrunculin B, an actin polymerization inhibitor, and chemically induced Long-Term Depression to trigger fast spine shape remodeling in cultured hippocampal neurons. Spine shrinkage induced by either stimulus required GSK3α activity. GSK3β activity was only important for spine structural changes after treatment with Latrunculin B. Our results indicate that GSK3α is an essential component for short-term spine structural plasticity. This specific function should be considered in future studies of neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric conditions that originate from suboptimal levels of GSK3α/β activity.
Full-text available
Article
Hypertension is the most significant modifiable risk factor for vascular cognitive impairment. However, influence of hypertension on the development of ischemic white matter injury and cognitive dysfunction is not fully understood. We compared cognitive functions and neuropathological outcomes of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) between normotensive rats (NRs) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). SHRs developed earlier and more severe deficits in spatial memory performance than NRs following BCCAO. Although no significant changes in the gross structure of myelinated white matter or oligodendrocyte number were noted, BCCAO resulted in subtle myelin degeneration and paranodal structural alterations at the nodes of Ranvier, regardless of hypertension. Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was predominantly observed in the white matter of SHRs following BCCAO, implying a role of hypertension in BBB dysfunction in chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. In chronic cerebral ischemia, long-standing hypertension may aggravate impairment of BBB integrity, and the leaky BBB may in turn exacerbate dysfunction in the white matter leading to worsening of spatial cognitive performance. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full-text available
Article
The exact pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is incompletely understood. Although auto-immune responses have an important role in the development of hallmark focal demyelinating lesions, the underlying mechanism of axonal degeneration, the other key player in MS pathology and main determinant of long-term disability, remains unclear and corresponds poorly with inflammatory disease activity. Perfusion-weighted imaging studies have demonstrated that there is a widespread cerebral hypoperfusion in patients with MS, which is present from the early beginning to more advanced disease stages. This reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF) does not seems to be secondary to loss of axonal integrity with decreased metabolic demands but appears to be mediated by elevated levels of the potent vasospastic peptide endothelin-1 in the cerebral circulation. Evidence is evolving that cerebral hypoperfusion in MS is associated with chronic hypoxia, focal lesion formation, diffuse axonal degeneration, cognitive dysfunction, and fatigue. Restoring CBF may therefore emerge as a new therapeutic target in MS.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 24 June 2015; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2015.131.
Full-text available
Article
Although high-fat diet intake is known to cause obesity and diabetes, the effect of high-fat diet itself on cognitive function remains to be clarified. We have previously shown that apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is responsible for cognitive impairment caused by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. The present work, by using ASK1 deficient mice, was undertaken to explore the influence of chronic high-fat diet intake on cognitive function and the role of ASK1. Cognitive function in wild-type mice fed high-fat diet from 2 to 24 months of age was significantly impaired compared to those fed control diet, which was associated with the significant white matter lesions, reduction of hippocampal capillary density, and decrement of hippocampal neuronal cell. However, ASK1 deficiency abolished the development of cognitive impairment and cerebral injury caused by high-fat diet. Our results provided the evidence that high-fat diet itself causes cognitive impairment and ASK1 participates in such cognitive impairment.
Full-text available
Article
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key regulator of energy balance; however, its underlying mechanism remains unknown. By analyzing BDNF-expressing neurons in paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH), we have uncovered neural circuits that control energy balance. The Bdnf gene in the PVH was mostly expressed in previously undefined neurons, and its deletion caused hyperphagia, reduced locomotor activity, impaired thermogenesis, and severe obesity. Hyperphagia and reduced locomotor activity were associated with Bdnf deletion in anterior PVH, whereas BDNF neurons in medial and posterior PVH drive thermogenesis by projecting to spinal cord and forming polysynaptic connections to brown adipose tissues. Furthermore, BDNF expression in the PVH was increased in response to cold exposure, and its ablation caused atrophy of sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Thus, BDNF neurons in anterior PVH control energy intake and locomotor activity, whereas those in medial and posterior PVH promote thermogenesis by releasing BDNF into spinal cord to boost sympathetic outflow. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full-text available
Article
Dendrite development of newborn granule cells (GCs) in the dentate gyrus of adult hippocampus is critical for their incorporation into existing hippocampal circuits, but the cellular mechanisms regulating their dendrite development remains largely unclear. In this study, we examined the function of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is expressed in adult-born GCs, in regulating their dendrite morphogenesis. Using retrovirus-mediated gene transfection, we found that deletion and overexpression of BDNF in adult-born GCs resulted in the reduction and elevation of dendrite growth, respectively. This effect was mainly due to the autocrine rather than paracrine action of BDNF, because deletion of BDNF only in the newborn GCs resulted in dendrite abnormality of these neurons to a similar extent as that observed in conditional knockout (cKO) mice with BDNF deleted in the entire forebrain. Furthermore, selective expression of BDNF in adult-born GCs in BDNF cKO mice fully restored normal dendrite development. The BDNF autocrine action was also required for the development of normal density of spines and normal percentage of spines containing the postsynaptic marker PSD-95, suggesting autocrine BDNF regulation of synaptogenesis. Furthermore, increased dendrite growth of adult-born GCs caused by voluntary exercise was abolished by BDNF deletion specifically in these neurons and elevated dendrite growth due to BDNF overexpression in these neurons was prevented by reducing neuronal activity with coexpression of inward rectifier potassium channels, consistent with activity-dependent autocrine BDNF secretion. Therefore, BDNF expressed in adult-born GCs plays a critical role in dendrite development by acting as an autocrine factor. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358384-10$15.00/0.
Full-text available
Article
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) is an essential component of the nervous system, and maternal n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are an important source for brain development. Here, the impact of DHA on developing central neurons was examined using an accessible in vivo model. Xenopus laevis embryos from adult female frogs fed n-3 PUFA-adequate or deficient diets were analyzed every 10 weeks for up to 60 weeks, when frogs were then switched to a fish oil-supplemented diet. Lipid analysis showed that DHA was significantly reduced both in oocytes and tadpoles 40 weeks after deprivation, and brain DHA was reduced by 57% at 60 weeks. In vivo imaging of single optic tectal neurons coexpressing tdTomato and PSD-95-GFP revealed that neurons were morphologically simpler in tadpoles from frogs fed the deficient diet compared with the adequate diet. Tectal neurons had significantly fewer dendrite branches and shorter dendritic arbor over a 48 h imaging period. Postsynaptic cluster number and density were lower in neurons deprived of n-3 PUFA. Moreover, changes in neuronal morphology correlated with a 40% decrease in the levels of BDNF mRNA and mature protein in the brain, but not in TrkB. Importantly, switching to a fish oil-supplemented diet induced a recovery in DHA content in the frog embryos within 20 weeks and diminished the deprivation effects observed on tectal neurons of Stage 45 tadpoles. Consequently, our results indicate that DHA impacts dendrite maturation and synaptic connectivity in the developing brain, and it may be involved in neurotrophic support by BDNF. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356079-14$15.00/0.
Full-text available
Article
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) induces cognitive impairment, but the compensative mechanism of cerebral blood flow (CBF) is not fully understood. The present study mainly investigated dynamic changes in CBF, angiogenesis, and cellular pathology in the cortex, the striatum, and the cerebellum, and also studied cognitive impairment of rats induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, immunochemistry, and Morris water maze were employed to the study. The CBF of the cortex, striatum, and cerebellum dramatically decreased after right common carotid artery occlusion (RCCAO), and remained lower level at 2 weeks after BCCAO. It returned to the sham level from 3 to 6 weeks companied by the dilation of vertebral arteries after BCCAO. The number of microvessels declined at 2, 3, and 4 weeks but increased at 6 weeks after BCCAO. Neuronal degeneration occurred in the cortex and striatum from 2 to 6 weeks, but the number of glial cells dramatically increased at 4 weeks after BCCAO. Cognitive impairment of ischemic rats was directly related to ischemic duration. Our results suggest that CCH induces a compensative mechanism attempting to maintain optimal CBF to the brain. However, this limited compensation cannot prevent neuronal loss and cognitive impairment after permanent ischemia.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 8 April 2015; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2015.55.
Full-text available
Article
Infants are well known to seek eye contact, and they prefer to fixate on developmentally meaningful objects, such as the human face. It is also known, that visual abilities are important for the developmental cascades of cognition from later infancy to childhood. It is less understood, however, whether newborn visual abilities relate to later cognitive development, and whether newborn ability for visual fixation can be assigned to early microstructural maturation. Here, we investigate relationship between newborn visual fixation (VF) and gaze behavior (GB) to performance in visuomotor and visual reasoning tasks in two cohorts with cognitive follow-up at 2 (n = 57) and 5 (n = 1410) years of age. We also analyzed brain microstructural correlates to VF (n = 45) by voxel-based analysis of fractional anisotropy (FA) in newborn diffusion tensor imaging. Our results show that newborn VF is significantly related to visual-motor performance at both 2 and 5 years, as well as to visual reasoning at 5 years of age. Moreover, good newborn VF relates to widely increased FA levels across the white matter. Comparison to motor performance indicated that early VF is preferentially related to visuocognitive development, and that early motor performance relates neither to white matter integrity nor to visuocognitive development. The present findings suggest that newborn VF is supported by brainwide subcortical networks and it represents an early building block for the developmental cascades of cognition. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/354824-06$15.00/0.
Full-text available
Article
Significance Aging is often accompanied by cognitive decline. It is of critical importance to understand the synaptic susceptibilities of the glutamatergic neural circuits to age-related cognitive decline and to intervene in this process. Maintenance of synaptic health in the face of aging is a crucially important therapeutic goal. We show that the glutamate modulator, riluzole, prevents age-related memory loss and induces clustering of dendritic spines. Clustering is a critical element of synaptic plasticity that has been previously demonstrated to increase synaptic strength. This study further elucidates neuroplastic changes in the neurocircuits vulnerable to aging and advances therapeutic development to prevent and treat age-related cognitive decline.
Full-text available
Article
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a potent regulator of neuronal development, and the Bdnf gene produces two populations of transcripts with either a short or long 3' untranslated region (3' UTR). Deficiencies in BDNF signaling have been shown to cause severe obesity in humans; however, it remains unknown how BDNF signaling impacts the organization of neuronal circuits that control energy balance. We examined the role of BDNF on survival, axonal projections, and synaptic inputs of neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARH), a structure critical for the control of energy balance, using Bdnf (klox/klox) mice, which lack long 3' UTR Bdnf mRNA and develop severe hyperphagic obesity. We found that a small fraction of neurons that express the receptor for BDNF, TrkB, also expressed proopiomelanocortin (POMC) or neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related protein (AgRP) in the ARH. Bdnf(klox/klox) mice had normal numbers of POMC, NPY, and TrkB neurons in the ARH; however, retrograde labeling revealed a drastic reduction in the number of ARH axons that project to the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) in these mice. In addition, fewer POMC and AgRP axons were found in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) and the lateral part of PVH, respectively, in Bdnf (klox/klox) mice. Using immunohistochemistry, we examined the impact of BDNF deficiency on inputs to ARH neurons. We found that excitatory inputs onto POMC and NPY neurons were increased and decreased, respectively, in Bdnf (klox/klox) mice, likely due to a compensatory response to marked hyperphagia displayed by the mutant mice. This study shows that the majority of TrkB neurons in the ARH are distinct from known neuronal populations and that BDNF plays a critical role in directing projections from these neurons to the DMH and PVH. We propose that hyperphagic obesity due to BDNF deficiency is in part attributable to impaired axonal growth of TrkB-expressing ARH neurons.
Full-text available
Article
The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mediates activity-dependent long-term changes of synaptic strength in the CNS. The effects of BDNF are partly mediated by stimulation of local translation, with consequent alterations in the synaptic proteome. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) also plays an important role in protein homeostasis at the synapse by regulating synaptic activity. However, whether BDNF acts on the UPS to mediate the effects on long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) has not been investigated. In the present study, we show similar and nonadditive effects of BDNF and proteasome inhibition on the early phase of synaptic potentiation (E-LTP) induced by theta-burst stimulation of rat hippocampal CA1 synapses. The effects of BDNF were blocked by the proteasome activator IU1, suggesting that the neurotrophin acts by decreasing proteasome activity. Accordingly, BDNF downregulated the proteasome activity in cultured hippocampal neurons and in hippocampal synaptoneurosomes. Furthermore, BDNF increased the activity of the deubiquitinating enzyme UchL1 in synaptoneurosomes and upregulated free ubiquitin. In contrast to the effects on posttetanic potentiation, proteasome activity was required for BDNF-mediated LTP. These results show a novel role for BDNF in UPS regulation at the synapse, which is likely to act together with the increased translation activity in the regulation of the synaptic proteome during E-LTP. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353319-11$15.00/0.
Full-text available
Article
Memory is fixed solidly by repetition. However, the cellular mechanism underlying this repetition-dependent memory consolidation/reconsolidation remains unclear. In our previous study using stable slice cultures of the rodent hippocampus, we found long-lasting synaptic enhancement/suppression coupled with synapse formation/elimination after repeated inductions of chemical LTP/LTD, respectively. We proposed these phenomena as useful model systems for analyzing repetition-dependent memory consolidation. Recently, we analyzed the dynamics of dendritic spines during development of the enhancement, and found that the spines increased in number following characteristic stochastic processes. The current study investigates spine dynamics during the development of the suppression. We found that the rate of spine retraction increased immediately leaving that of spine generation unaltered. Spine elimination occurred independent of the pre-existing spine density on the dendritic segment. In terms of elimination, mushroom-type spines were not necessarily more stable than stubby-type and thin-type spines.
Full-text available
Article
In Noonan syndrome (NS) 30-50% of subjects show cognitive deficits of unknown etiology and with no known treatment. Here, we report that knock-in mice expressing either of two NS-associated mutations in Ptpn11, which encodes the nonreceptor protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp2, show hippocampal-dependent impairments in spatial learning and deficits in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). In addition, viral overexpression of an NS-associated allele PTPN11(D61G) in adult mouse hippocampus results in increased baseline excitatory synaptic function and deficits in LTP and spatial learning, which can be reversed by a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Furthermore, brief treatment with lovastatin reduces activation of the GTPase Ras-extracellular signal-related kinase (Erk) pathway in the brain and normalizes deficits in LTP and learning in adult Ptpn11(D61G/+) mice. Our results demonstrate that increased basal Erk activity and corresponding baseline increases in excitatory synaptic function are responsible for the LTP impairments and, consequently, the learning deficits in mouse models of NS. These data also suggest that lovastatin or MEK inhibitors may be useful for treating the cognitive deficits in NS.
Full-text available
Article
Cerebral Hypoperfusion Ischemia (CHI) has important role in neuronal damage and behavioral deficits, including memory and Long-term Potentiation (LTP) impairment. Protective effects of Gallic Acid (GA) on memory, hippocampus LTP and cell viability were examined in permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion in rats. Animals were divided into 9 groups: Control (Cont); sham operated (Sho); Cerebral Hypoperfusion Ischemia (CHI); CHI received normal saline (CHI +Veh); CHI treated with different doses gallic acid (50, 100, 200 mg kg(-1) for 5 days before and 5 days after CHI induction, orally); CHI treated with phenytoin (50 mg kg(-1), ip) (CHI+Phe); and sham operated received 100 mg kg(-1), orally (Sho+GA100). CHI was induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (2VO). Behavioral, electrophysiological and histological evaluations were performed. Data were analyzed by one-way and repeated measures ANOVA followed by tukey's post-hoc test. GA improved passive avoidance memory, hippocampal LTP and cell. viability in hippocampus and cortex of ischemic rats significantly (p < 0.01). The results suggest that gallic acid via its antioxidative and free radicals scavenging properties attenuates CHI induced behavioral and electrophysiological deficits and has significant protective effect on brain cell viability. Dose of 100 mg kg(-1) GA has affected the ischemic but not intact rats and its effect was more potent significantly than phenytoin, a routine drug for ischemic subjects.
Full-text available
Article
Severe brain injuries can trigger epileptogenesis, a latent period that eventually leads to epilepsy. Previous studies have demonstrated that changes in local connectivity between cortical neurons are a part of the epileptogenic processes. In the present study we aimed to investigate whether changes in long-range connectivity are also involved in epileptogenesis. We performed a large unilateral transection (undercut) of the white matter below the suprasylvian gyrus in cats. After about 2 months, we either injected retrograde tracer (choleratoxin, sub-unit B, CTB) or performed Golgi staining. We analyzed distribution of retrogradely labeled neurons, counted dendritic spines in the neocortex (Golgi staining), and analyzed dendritic orientation in control conditions and after the injury. We found a significant increase in the number of detected cells at the frontal parts of the injured hemisphere, which suggests that the process of axonal sprouting occurs in the deafferented area. The increase in the number of retrogradely stained neurons was accompanied with a significant decrease in neocortical spine density in the undercut area, a reduction in vertical and an increase in horizontal orientation of neuronal processes. The present study shows global morphological changes underlying epileptogenesis. An increased connectivity in the injured cortical regions accompanied with a decrease in spine density suggests that excitatory synapses might be formed on dendritic shafts, which probably contributes to the altered neuronal excitability that was described in previous studies on epileptogenesis.
Full-text available
Article
Experience-dependent plasticity of synaptic transmission, which represents the cellular basis of learning, is accompanied by morphological changes in dendritic spines. Astrocytic processes are intimately associated with synapses, structurally enwrapping and functionally interacting with dendritic spines and synaptic terminals by responding to neurotransmitters and by releasing gliotransmitters that regulate synaptic function. While studies on structural synaptic plasticity have focused on neuronal elements, the structural-functional plasticity of astrocyte-neuron relationships remains poorly known. Here we show that stimuli inducing hippocampal synaptic LTP enhance the motility of synapse-associated astrocytic processes. This motility increase is relatively rapid, starting <5 min after the stimulus, and reaching a maximum in 20-30 min (t(1/2) = 10.7 min). It depends on presynaptic activity and requires G-protein-mediated Ca(2+) elevations in astrocytes. The structural remodeling is accompanied by changes in the ability of astrocytes to regulate synaptic transmission. Sensory stimuli that increase astrocyte Ca(2+) also induce similar plasticity in mouse somatosensory cortex in vivo. Therefore, structural relationships between astrocytic processes and dendritic spines undergo activity-dependent changes with metaplasticity consequences on synaptic regulation. These results reveal novel forms of synaptic plasticity based on structural-functional changes of astrocyte-neuron interactions.
Full-text available
Article
Synapses store information by long-lasting modifications of their structure and molecular composition, but the precise chronology of these changes has not been studied at single-synapse resolution in real time. Here we describe the spatiotemporal reorganization of postsynaptic substructures during long-term potentiation (LTP) at individual dendritic spines. Proteins translocated to the spine in four distinct patterns through three sequential phases. In the initial phase, the actin cytoskeleton was rapidly remodeled while active cofilin was massively transported to the spine. In the stabilization phase, cofilin formed a stable complex with F-actin, was persistently retained at the spine, and consolidated spine expansion. In contrast, the postsynaptic density (PSD) was independently remodeled, as PSD scaffolding proteins did not change their amount and localization until a late protein synthesis-dependent third phase. Our findings show how and when spine substructures are remodeled during LTP and explain why synaptic plasticity rules change over time.
Full-text available
Article
The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on memory and cognition in experimental animals is well known, but its efficacy in clinical dementia is unproven. So, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of DHEA on learning and memory activities in a rat model of vascular dementia (VD). Forty-eight male rats that positively passed the holeboard memory test were chosen for the study before bilateral permanent occlusion of the common carotid artery. They were divided into four groups (n=12, each) as follows (i) untreated control, (ii) rats exposed to surgical permanent bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries (BCCAO) leading to chronic cerebral hypoperfusion, (iii) rats exposed to BCCAO then received DHEA (BCCAO + DHEA) and (i.v.) rats exposed to BCCAO then received donepezil (BCCAO + DON). Holeboard memory test was used to assess the time, latency, working memory and reference memory. Central level of acetylcholine, norepinephrine and dopamine in the hippocampus were measured. Furthermore, the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus was determined. Histopathological studies of the cerebral cortex and transmission electron microscope of the hippocampus were performed. BCCAO decreased the learning and memory activities in the holeboard memory. Also, it decreased the expression of BDNF as well as the central level of acetylcholine, noradrenaline and dopamine as compared to control rats. Treatment with DHEA and donepezil increased the working and reference memories, BDNF expression as well as the central acetylcholine in the hippocampus as compared to BCCAO rats. DHEA produced neuroprotective effects through increasing the expression of BDNF as well as increasing the central level of acetylcholine and catecholamines which are non-comparable to donepezil effects.
Full-text available
Article
Reelin is an extracellular matrix protein that is crucial for neural development and adult brain plasticity. While the Reelin signalling cascade has been reported to be associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the role of Reelin in this pathology is not understood. Here we use an in vitro approach to show that Reelin interacts with amyloid-β (Aβ42) soluble species, delays Aβ42 fibril formation and is recruited into amyloid fibrils. Furthermore, Reelin protects against both the neuronal death and dendritic spine loss induced by Aβ42 oligomers. In mice carrying the APPSwe/Ind mutation (J20 mice), Reelin overexpression delays amyloid plaque formation and rescues the recognition memory deficits. Our results indicate that by interacting with Aβ42 soluble species, delaying Aβ plaque formation, protecting against neuronal death and dendritic spine loss and preventing AD cognitive deficits, the Reelin pathway deserves consideration as a therapeutic target for the treatment of AD pathogenesis.
Full-text available
Article
Long-term potentiation (LTP) is accompanied by increased spine density and dimensions triggered by signaling cascades involving activation of the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and cytoskeleton remodelling. Chemically-induced long-term potentiation (c-LTP) is a widely used cellular model of plasticity whose effects on spines have been poorly investigated. We induced c-LTP by bath-application of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) co-agonist glycine or by the K(+) channel blocker tetraethylammonium (TEA) chloride in cultured hippocampal neurons and compared the changes in dendritic spines induced by the two models of c-LTP and determined if they depend on BDNF/TrkB signaling. We found that both TEA and glycine induced a significant increase in stubby spine density in primary and secondary apical dendrites, whereas a specific increase in mushroom spine density was observed upon TEA application only in primary dendrites. Both TEA and glycine increased BDNF levels and the blockade of tropomyosin-receptor-kinase receptors (TrkRs) by the non selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor K-252a or the selective allosteric TrkB receptor (TrkBR) inhibitor ANA-12, abolished the c-LTP-induced increase in spine density. Surprisingly, a blockade of TrkBRs did not change basal spontaneous glutamatergic transmission but completely changed the synaptic plasticity induced by c-LTP, provoking a shift from a long-term increase to a long-term depression (LTD) in miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency. In conclusion, these results suggest that BDNF/TrkB signaling is necessary for c-LTP-induced plasticity in hippocampal neurons and its blockade leads to a switch of c-LTP into chemical-LTD (c-LTD). © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full-text available
Article
cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), a transcription factor, has been shown to play a central role in memory formation, and its involvement in this process has been investigated using a wide range of animal models, from nematodes to higher animals. Various CREB mutant mice have been developed and investigated. Several types of mutant mice with loss of CREB function have impaired memory formation and long-term potentiation (LTP), suggesting that CREB plays essential roles in these processes. To characterize the roles of CREB in memory formation and LTP further, mutant mice displaying gain of CREB function have been generated and analyzed. Importantly, CREB-DIEDML mice and CREB-Y134F mice showed enhanced memory formation, whereas CREB-VP16 mice displayed a lowered threshold of long-lasting LTP (L-LTP) induction, strongly suggesting that CREB functions as a positive regulator of memory formation and LTP. In this review, I focus on the effects of the genetic activation of CREB in LTP and memory formation and summarize previous findings.
Article
Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) has been considered as a critical cause for the development of cognitive decline and dementia of vascular origin. Melatonin receptors have been reported beneficial in improving memory deterioration. Phosphodiesterase-1 (PDE1) enzyme offers protection against cognitive impairments and cerebrovascular disorders. Aim of this study is to explore the role of agomelatine (a dual MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptor agonist) and vinpocetine (selective PDE1 inhibitor) in CCH induced vascular dementia (VaD). Two vessel occlusion (2VO) or bilateral common carotid arteries ligation method was performed to initiate a phase of chronic hypoperfusion in mice. 2VO animals shown significant cognitive deficits (Morris water maze), cholinergic dysfunction (increased acetyl cholinesterase -AChE) activity alongwith increased brain oxidative stress (decreased brain catalase, glutathione, as well as superoxide dismutase with an increase in malondialdehyde levels), significant increase in brain infarct size (2,3,5-triphenylterazolium chloride-TTC staining). Treatment of agomelatine and vinpocetine reduced CCH learning and memory deficits and limited cholinergic dysfunction, oxidative stress, and tissue damage, suggesting that agomelatine and vinpocetine may provide benefits in CCH induced VaD. PMID: 26036976 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Article
This cross-sectional, observational study examined the role of white matter involvement in the cognitive impairment of individuals with the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) premutation. Eight asymptomatic premutation carriers, 5 participants with fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), and 7 noncarrier controls were studied. The mean age of the asymptomatic premutation carriers, participants with FXTAS, and noncarrier controls was 60, 71, and 67 years, respectively. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) were used to examine the middle cerebellar peduncles (MCP) and the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum in relation to executive function and processing speed. MRS measures were N-acetyl aspartate/creatine (NAA/Cr) and choline/creatine, and fractional anisotropy (FA) was used for DTI. Executive function was assessed with the Behavioral Dyscontrol Scale and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), and processing speed with the Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Among all 13 FMR1 premutation carriers, significant correlations were found between N-acetyl aspartate/creatine and choline/creatine in the MCP and COWAT scores, and between FA in the genu and performance on the Behavioral Dyscontrol Scale, COWAT, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test; a correlation was also found between FA in the splenium and COWAT performance. In all regions studied, participants with FXTAS had the lowest mean FA. Microstructural white matter disease as determined by MRS and DTI correlated with executive dysfunction and slowed processing speed in these FMR1 premutation carriers. Neuroimaging abnormalities in the genu and MCP suggest that disruption of white matter within frontocerebellar networks has an important role in the cognitive impairment associated with the FMR1 premutation. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
Article
Our previous study demonstrated that persistent pain can epigenetically suppress the transcription of Gad2 (encoding glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65)) and consequently impair the inhibitory function of GABAergic synapses in central pain-modulating neurons. This contributes to the development of persistent pain sensitization. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors increased GAD65 activity considerably, restored GABA synaptic function, and rendered sensitized pain behavior less pronounced. However, the molecular mechanisms by which HDAC regulates GABAergic transmission through GAD65 under pain conditions are unknown. The current work showed that HDAC-inhibitor-induced increases in co-localization of GAD65 and synaptic protein synapsin I on the presynaptic axon terminals of the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM) were blocked by a TrkB receptor antagonist K252a, indicating that BDNF-TrkB signaling may be required in GAD65 modulation of GABA synaptic function. At the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promoter, HDAC inhibitors induced significant increases in H3 hyperacetylation, consistent with the increase in BDNF mRNA and total proteins. Although exogenous BDNF facilitated GABA miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) and GAD65 accumulation in NRM neuronal synapses in normal rats, it failed to do so in animals subjected to persistent inflammation. In addition, blockade of TrkB receptor with K252a has no effect on mIPSCs and synaptic GAD65 accumulation under normal conditions. In addition, the analgesic effects of HDAC inhibitors on behavior were blocked by NRM infusion of K252a. These findings suggest BDNF-TrkB signaling is required for drugs that reverse the epigenetic effects of chronic pain at the gene level, such as HDAC inhibitors. The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Article
OBJECTIVES The clinical implications of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) in non-demented Parkinson's disease (PD) have not been thoroughly examined. To address this, we investigated the spatial distribution of WMH and their regional predilection in non-demented patients with mild PD.METHODS Cognitive assessments classified the sample into patients with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI, n = 25) and patients with no cognitive impairment (PD-NCI, n = 65) based on the recent formal Movement Disorder Task Force diagnostic criteria. The mean age was 65.1 ± 7.7 years, disease duration was 5.3 ± 3.9 years, and Hoehn and Yahr stage was 1.9 ± .4. WMHs were outlined on T2-weighted imaging using a semi-automated technique. The spatial distribution of WMHs were compared between PD-MCI and PD-NCI using voxel-wise lesion probability maps (LPM). General linear models examined the associations between spatially specific WMHs and cognitive domains.RESULTSLPM analyses showed significant differences in the spatial distribution of WMH in PD-MCI compared to PD-NCI in widespread regions of the brain (P < .05). PD-MCI demonstrated significantly greater total and periventricular WMHs compared to PD-NCI (P ≤ .02). Spatial distribution of WMHs was also significantly associated with global cognition, performance on the Frontal Assessment Battery and Fruit Fluency (P < .05).CONCLUSIONS Voxel-wise LPM analysis revealed differences in the spatial distribution of WMH between PD-MCI and PD-NCI patients, particularly in the periventricular regions. A more widespread extent of WMH might be indicative of cognitive deterioration. Our findings warrant further longitudinal investigation into the importance of WMH spatial distribution as a predictor for conversion from PD to PD with dementia.
Article
Post-cardiac arrest syndrome yields poor neurological outcomes, but the mechanisms underlying this condition remain poorly understood. This study investigated whether endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated apoptosis is induced in injured brain after resuscitation. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to 6 min of cardiac arrest (CA) and then resuscitated successfully. In the first experiment, animals were sacrificed 1, 3, 6, 12 or 24 h (n = 3 per group) after successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Brain tissues were analyzed by RT-PCR and western blotting. In the second experiment, either DMSO or Salubrinal (Sal, 1 mg/kg), an ER stress inhibitor, was injected 30 min before the induction of CA (n = 10 per group). Neurological deficits were evaluated 24 h after CA. Brain specimens were analyzed using electron microscopy, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assays and immunohistochemistry. We found that the mRNA and protein levels of glucose-regulated protein 78, X-box binding protein 1, C/EBP homologous protein and caspase 12 were significantly elevated after resuscitation. We also observed that rats treated with Sal exhibited an improved neurological deficit score (NDS, 32.3±15.5 in the Sal group vs 49.8±20.9 in controls, P <0.05). In addition, morphological improvements in the hippocampal ER were observed in the Sal group compared with the DMSO group 24 h after reperfusion. Furthermore, in situ immunostaining revealed that markers of ER stress were significantly inhibited by Sal pretreatment. Our findings suggested that ER stress and the associated apoptotic pathways were activated in the hippocampus after resuscitation. Administration of Sal 30 min prior to CPR ameliorated neurological dysfunction 24 h after CA, possibly through the inhibition of ER stress following post-resuscitation brain injury.
Article
Enhancement of tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic α5-subunit containing GABAA receptors (GABAARs) has been proposed as the mechanism by which a variety of anesthetics, including the general anesthetic etomidate, impair learning and memory. Since α5 subunits preferentially partner with β3 subunits, we tested the hypothesis that etomidate acts through β3-subunit containing GABAARs to enhance tonic inhibition, block LTP, and impair memory. We measured the effects of etomidate in wild type mice and in mice carrying a point mutation in the GABAAR β3-subunit (β3-N265M) that renders these receptors insensitive to etomidate. Etomidate enhanced tonic inhibition in CA1 pyramidal cells of the hippocampus in wild type but not in mutant mice, demonstrating that tonic inhibition is mediated by β3-subunit containing GABAARs. However, despite its inability to enhance tonic inhibition, etomidate did block LTP in brain slices from mutant mice as well as in those from wild type mice. Etomidate also impaired fear conditioning to context, with no differences between genotypes. In studies of recombinant receptors expressed in HEK293 cells, α5β1γ2L GABAARs were insensitive to amnestic concentrations of etomidate (1 μM and below), whereas α5β2γ2L and α5β3γ2L GABAARs were enhanced. We conclude that etomidate enhances tonic inhibition in pyramidal cells through its action on α5β3-containing GABAA receptors, but blocks LTP and impairs learning by other means - most likely by modulating α5β2-containing GABAA receptors. The critical anesthetic targets underlying amnesia might include other forms of inhibition imposed on pyramidal neurons (e.g. slow phasic inhibition), or inhibitory processes on non-pyramidal cells (e.g. interneurons).
Article
We previously reported that the phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor sildenafil prevented neurodegeneration but not learning deficits in middle-aged rats that were subjected to the permanent, three-stage, four-vessel occlusion/internal carotid artery (4-VO/ICA) model of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH). In the present study, we examined whether the PDE3 inhibitor cilostazol alleviates the loss of long-term memory (i.e., retrograde amnesia) caused by CCH. The effect of sildenafil was then compared to cilostazol. Naive rats (12-15 months old) were trained in a non-food-rewarded eight-arm radial maze and subjected to CCH. One week later, retrograde memory was assessed for 5 weeks. Cilostazol (50mg/kg, p.o.) was administered for 42 days or 15 days, beginning approximately 45min after the first occlusion stage. Sildenafil (3mg/kg, p.o.) was similarly administered for 15 days only. Histological examination was performed after behavioral testing. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion caused persistent retrograde amnesia, which was reversed by cilostazol after both short-term and long-term treatment. This antiamnesic effect of cilostazol was sustained throughout the experiment, even after discontinuing treatment (15-day treatment group). This effect occurred in the absence of neuronal rescue. Sildenafil failed to prevent CCH-induced retrograde amnesia, but it reduced hippocampal cell death. Extending previous findings from this laboratory, we conclude that sildenafil does not afford memory recovery after CCH, despite its neuroprotective effect. In contrast, cilostazol abolished CCH-induced retrograde amnesia, an effect that may not depend on histological neuroprotection. The present data suggest that cilostazol but not sildenafil represents a potential strategy for the treatment of cognitive sequelae associated with CCH. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Article
Background: BACE1 (beta site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1) is the rate limiting protease in amyloid β production, hence a promising drug target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Inhibition of BACE1, as the major β-secretase in vivo with multiple substrates, however is likely to have mechanism-based adverse effects. We explored the impact of long-term pharmacological inhibition of BACE1 on dendritic spine dynamics, synaptic functions, and cognitive performance of adult mice. Methods: Sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to assess Aβ40 levels in brain and plasma after oral administration of BACE1 inhibitors SCH1682496 or LY2811376. In vivo two-photon microscopy of the somatosensory cortex was performed to monitor structural dynamics of dendritic spines while synaptic functions and plasticity were measured via electrophysiological recordings of excitatory postsynaptic currents and hippocampal long-term potentiation in brain slices. Finally, behavioral tests were performed to analyze the impact of pharmacological inhibition of BACE1 on cognitive performance. Results: Dose-dependent decrease of Aβ40 levels in vivo confirmed suppression of BACE1 activity by both inhibitors. Prolonged treatment caused a reduction in spine formation of layer V pyramidal neurons, which recovered after withdrawal of inhibitors. Congruently, the rate of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in pyramidal neurons and hippocampal long-term potentiation were reduced in animals treated with BACE1 inhibitors. These effects were not detected in Bace1(-/-) mice treated with SCH1682496, confirming BACE1 as the pharmacological target. Described structural and functional changes were associated with cognitive deficits as revealed in behavioral tests. Conclusions: Our findings indicate important functions to BACE1 in structural and functional synaptic plasticity in the mature brain, with implications for cognition.
Article
Sound pollution is known as an annoying phenomenon in modern life. Especially, development of organisms during fetal life is more sensitive to environmental tensions. To address a link between the behavioral and electrophysiological aspects of brain function with action of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in stressed animals this study was carried out on the male Wistar rats prenatally exposed to sound stress. Groups of pregnant rats were exposed to noise stress for 1, 2 and 4 hours. The degree of anxiety and the spatial memory were evaluated by elevated plus maze and Morris water maze, respectively. Basic synaptic activity and long-term potentiation (LTP) induction were assessed in the CA3-CA1 pathway of hippocampus. The serum level of corticosterone was measured in the pregnant mothers and the offspring. The behavioral experiments appeared that the stressed animals performed considerably weaker than the control rats. The prenatal stress negatively affected the basic synaptic responses and led to a lower level of LTP. The pregnant animals showed an increased serum corticosterone in comparison to the non-pregnant females. Also the offspring exposed to the noise stress had a more elevated level of corticosterone than the control rats. Our findings indicate that the corticosterone concentration changes markedly coincides the results of behavioral and electrophysiological experiments. We conclude that, similar to other environmental stresses, the sound stress during fetal life efficiently disturbs both cognitive abilities and synaptic activities. The changes in action of HPA axis may contribute to problems of the brain function in the prenatally stress exposed animals. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
In mice, the elevated plus-maze paradigm was used to investigate the effect of scopolamine hydrobromide and diazepam and their interaction with oxiracetam on the retrieval of spatial memory trace. This paradigm measures (using the transfer latency) an animal's capacity to escape from the open arm to the enclosed one. The retention session followed 24 h after the acquisition one. Experiment 1: Scopolamine (0.25 and 0.5 mg/kg) and diazepam (0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg) given 30 min before the retention session significantly prolonged the transfer latency as compared with the saline treated mice and those given the lowest dose of scopolamine (0.125 mg/kg) and diazepam (0.25 mg/kg). Experiment 2: Oxiracetam administered at doses of 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg immediately after the acquisition session prevented the scopolamine induced prolongation of the transfer latency. Thus, oxiracetam forestalled the impairment of retrieval of memory trace: the animals were able to remember the spatial configuration of the plus-maze. On the contrary, oxiracetam was not effective in the diazepam treated mice. We suggest that beneficial effect of oxiracetam might be confounded or blocked by the anxiolytic effect of diazepam.
Article
We investigated the effect of the nootropic substance oxiracetam on the impairment of memory induced in mice by the non-competitive NMDA antagonist MK-801. Memory capacities of animals having different experience were evaluated using the elevated plus-maze test. Oxiracetam was injected immediately after the acquisition session(s), MK-801 was given 30 min before the retention session which followed 24 h after the acquisition session(s). In slightly experienced animals (Section 3.1), oxiracetam (3 and 30 mg/kg, s.c.) prevented MK-801 (0.15 mg/kg, i.p.) induced memory deficits characterized by a prolongation of the transfer latency. In well-trained animals (Section 3.2), oxiracetam (30 mg/kg, s.c.) attenuated MK-801 (0.15, 0.25 and 0.4 mg/kg, i.p.) induced amnesia for a spatial orientation in the elevated plus-maze. These results show that oxiracetam interacted with the glutamatergic NMDA receptor system and forestalled the impairment of retrieval of long-term memory. The results also justify the usage of the elevated plus-maze method in the evaluation of potential anti-amnesic or nootropic drugs.
Article
Delaying the onset of dementia by just a few years could have a major impact on the prevalence of the disease at the population level. Vascular risk factors are modifiable and may offer an important opportunity for preventive approaches. Several studies have shown that diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and smoking are associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, but other groups have not observed such a relation. Positive associations were observed mainly in studies where risk factors were assessed in midlife, suggesting that age is an important modulator in the relation between vascular risk factors and cognition. The population attributable risk of dementia is particularly high for hypertension. Associations of vascular risk factors with cognitive decline and dementia are probably mediated largely by cerebrovascular disease, including both stroke and covert vascular brain injury, which can have additive or synergistic effects with coexisting neurodegenerative lesions. To date, randomized trials have not convincingly demonstrated that treating vascular risk factors is associated with a reduction in cognitive decline or dementia risk. Of eight randomized trials testing the effect of antihypertensive agents on dementia risk, only one was positive, and another in a subgroup of individuals with recurrent stroke. In most trials, cognition and dementia were secondary outcomes, follow-up was short and treatment was initiated at an older age. No effect on cognitive decline or dementia could be demonstrated for statins and intensive glycemic control. Future areas of investigation could include differential class effects of antihypertensive drugs on cognitive outcomes and identification of high risk individuals as target population for clinical trials initiated in midlife.
Article
Vascular dementia ranks as the second leading cause of dementia in the United States. However, its underlying pathophysiological mechanism is not fully understood and no effective treatment is available. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate long-term cognitive deficits induced by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in rats and to investigate the underlying mechanism. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to tMCAO or sham surgery. Behavior tests for locomotor activity and cognitive function were conducted at 7 or 30 days after stroke. Hippocampal long term potentiation (LTP) and involvement of GABAergic neurotransmission were evaluated at 30 days after sham surgery or stroke. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot analyses were conducted to determine the effect of tMCAO on cell signaling in the hippocampus. Transient MCAO induced a progressive deficiency in spatial performance. At 30 days after stroke, no neuron loss or synaptic marker change in the hippocampus were observed. LTP in both sides of the hippocampus was reduced at 30 days after stroke. This LTP impairment was prevented by blocking GABAA receptors. In addition, ERK activity was significantly reduced in both sides of the hippocampus. In summary, we identified a progressive decline in spatial learning and memory after ischemic stroke that correlates with suppression of hippocampal LTP, elevation of GABAergic neurotransmission, and inhibition of ERK activation. Our results indicate that the attenuation of GABAergic activity or enhancement of ERK/MAPK activation in the hippocampus might be potential therapeutic approaches to prevent or attenuate cognitive impairment after ischemic stroke.
Article
The effects of oxiracetam on the reduction of brain metabolism induced by focal cerebral ischemia were investigated by measuring local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU) in rats 24 hr after left middle cerebral artery occlusion. Focal cerebral ischemia reduced LCGU in the entire ipsilateral cortex, the greatest reduction being in the lateral parts of the frontoparietal cortex. LCGU was slightly reduced in the contralateral cortex; this reduction was considered to be caused by diaschisis. Oxiracetam was administered intraperitoneally for 3 days prior to middle cerebral artery occlusion. In the ipsilateral cortex, LCGU reduction was minimized in the ischemic center areas by oxiracetam at a dose of 400 mg/kg and in more extensive areas, by a dose of 800 mg/kg. Moreover, oxiracetam at a dose of 800 mg/kg enhanced metabolism impaired by diaschisis in the caudal areas of the contralateral cortex. These findings suggest that oxiracetam minimizes the reduction of brain function induced by ischemia and may therefore be useful in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease.
Article
Several lines of evidence have converged to indicate that memory formation involves plasticity of dendritic spines in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the hippocampus. Memory varies with estrogen levels throughout the lifespan of the female. Generally, increased levels of estrogen are related to greater dendritic spine density on pyramidal cells in the PFC and hippocampus and to improved memory function. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor which increases dendritic spines and enhances memory function. Estrogens increase BDNF levels in the PFC and hippocampus. In the present review we provide evidence that estradiol and BDNF may work in concert to enhance cognition. In adult females, fluctuations in recognition memory following ovariectomy and estradiol replacement, during the estrous cycle, in pregnancy and with aging are accompanied by similar changes in circulating estradiol, BDNF levels and spine density alterations in the PFC and hippocampus. In addition, both estradiol and BDNF induce spine plasticity via rapid membrane effects and slower transcriptional regulation via the CREB pathway. Moreover, estradiol increases BDNF levels through action on nuclear receptors. While the exact mechanism(s) for the influence of estrogens and BDNF on memory remain unclear, this combination may provide the basis for new and more effective strategies for treating age-related and neurodegenerative memory loss.
Article
Long lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission can be triggered by brief bursts of afferent stimulation, underlying long-term potentiation (LTP), and also by brief ischemia in a process known as i-LTP. The extent to which LTP and i-LTP rely on comparable cellular mechanisms remains unclear. Under physiological conditions, LTP induction drives transient expression of calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) at synapses, whose ability to undergo plasticity is primed by endogenous activation of adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A)Rs). The present work thus addressed the contribution of CP-AMPARs and A(2A)Rs to i-LTP, which was induced in rat hippocampal slices by brief (10 min) oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD). The amplitude of afferent-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons was decreased during OGD but gradually recovered toward values significantly above (157 ± 17%) the baseline (100%) 40-50 min after re-oxygenation. This i-LTP was precluded by CP-AMPAR blockade (internal spermine (500 μM) or extracellular NASPM (20 μM) application) as well as by A(2A)R blockade with a selective antagonist (SCH 58261, 100 nM). OGD prompted sustained (>70 min) facilitation of mEPSC amplitude and frequency, and decreased mEPSC decay time, all of which were prevented by SCH 58261 (100 nM). The ability of NASPM (20 μM) to acutely inhibit EPSCs 1 h after OGD, but not in control conditions nor in OGD-challenged slices when in the presence of SCH 58261 (100 nM), further supports sustained CP-AMPAR recruitment by i-LTP in an A(2A)R-dependent way. We propose that although i-LTP may initially mimic LTP, failure of auto-regulated CP-AMPAR removal from synapses could constitute an early divergent event between these forms of plasticity.
Article
Understanding the contribution of cerebrovascular factors in the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a key step for the development of preventive therapies. Among these factors, chronic cerebral hypoperfusion is an early component of AD pathogenesis that can predict the progression from mild cognitive impairment to AD. Here, we investigated the effects of a protocol of mild chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in the APPswe/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD. We observed that the permanent occlusion of the right common carotid artery induced spatial learning impairments in young APPswe/PS1 mice, but not in their wild type littermates. Furthermore, the extent of learning deficits strongly correlated with the number of cortical β-amyloid plaques, with the mobilization of monocytes into the blood and with the number of bone marrow-derived microglia in the brain. These results indicate that a mild reduction of cerebral blood flow can selectively induce cognitive deficits at an early stage of amyloid pathology, eliciting a cellular innate immune response, even without causing neuronal death.
Article
The memory-enhancing effects of a single treatment with the GABAB antagonist CGP 36 742 (10 mg/kg) or the nootropic agent oxiracetam (100 mg/kg) given immediately after a learning experience (‘post-trial’) remain detectable for at least 4 months thereafter. This indicates that in all probability these substances facilitate the formation of the long-term memory trace.
Article
The role of the renin-angiotensin system in cognitive impairment is unclear. This work was undertaken to test our hypothesis that renin-angiotensin system may contribute to cognitive decline and brain damage caused by chronic cerebral ischemia. C57BL/6J mice were subjected to bilateral common carotid artery stenosis with microcoil to prepare mice with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion, a model of subcortical vascular dementia. The effects of aliskiren, a direct renin inhibitor, or Tempol, a superoxide scavenger, on brain damage and working memory in these mice were examined. Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion significantly increased brain renin activity and angiotensinogen expression in C57BL/6J mice, which was attributed to the increased renin in activated astrocytes and microvessels and the increased angiotensinogen in activated astrocytes in white matter. Aliskiren pretreatment significantly inhibited brain renin activity and ameliorated brain p67(phox)-related NADPH oxidase activity, oxidative stress, glial activation, white matter lesion, and spatial working memory deficits in C57BL/6J mice with bilateral common carotid artery stenosis. To elucidate the role of oxidative stress in brain protective effects of aliskiren, we also examined the effect of Tempol in the same mice with bilateral common carotid artery stenosis. Tempol pretreatment mimicked the brain protective effects of aliskiren in this mouse model. Posttreatment of mice with aliskiren or Tempol after bilateral common carotid artery stenosis also prevented cognitive decline. In conclusion, chronic cerebral hypoperfusion induced the activation of the brain renin-angiotensin system. Aliskiren ameliorated brain damage and working memory deficits in the model of chronic cerebral ischemia through the attenuation of oxidative stress. Thus, direct renin inhibition seems to be a promising therapeutic strategy for subcortical vascular dementia.
Article
This scientific statement provides an overview of the evidence on vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia. Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia of later life are common. Definitions of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI), neuropathology, basic science and pathophysiological aspects, role of neuroimaging and vascular and other associated risk factors, and potential opportunities for prevention and treatment are reviewed. This statement serves as an overall guide for practitioners to gain a better understanding of VCI and dementia, prevention, and treatment. Writing group members were nominated by the writing group co-chairs on the basis of their previous work in relevant topic areas and were approved by the American Heart Association Stroke Council Scientific Statement Oversight Committee, the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and the Manuscript Oversight Committee. The writing group used systematic literature reviews (primarily covering publications from 1990 to May 1, 2010), previously published guidelines, personal files, and expert opinion to summarize existing evidence, indicate gaps in current knowledge, and, when appropriate, formulate recommendations using standard American Heart Association criteria. All members of the writing group had the opportunity to comment on the recommendations and approved the final version of this document. After peer review by the American Heart Association, as well as review by the Stroke Council leadership, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Council, and Scientific Statements Oversight Committee, the statement was approved by the American Heart Association Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee. The construct of VCI has been introduced to capture the entire spectrum of cognitive disorders associated with all forms of cerebral vascular brain injury-not solely stroke-ranging from mild cognitive impairment through fully developed dementia. Dysfunction of the neurovascular unit and mechanisms regulating cerebral blood flow are likely to be important components of the pathophysiological processes underlying VCI. Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is emerging as an important marker of risk for Alzheimer disease, microinfarction, microhemorrhage and macrohemorrhage of the brain, and VCI. The neuropathology of cognitive impairment in later life is often a mixture of Alzheimer disease and microvascular brain damage, which may overlap and synergize to heighten the risk of cognitive impairment. In this regard, magnetic resonance imaging and other neuroimaging techniques play an important role in the definition and detection of VCI and provide evidence that subcortical forms of VCI with white matter hyperintensities and small deep infarcts are common. In many cases, risk markers for VCI are the same as traditional risk factors for stroke. These risks may include but are not limited to atrial fibrillation, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hypercholesterolemia. Furthermore, these same vascular risk factors may be risk markers for Alzheimer disease. Carotid intimal-medial thickness and arterial stiffness are emerging as markers of arterial aging and may serve as risk markers for VCI. Currently, no specific treatments for VCI have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, detection and control of the traditional risk factors for stroke and cardiovascular disease may be effective in the prevention of VCI, even in older people. Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia are important. Understanding of VCI has evolved substantially in recent years, based on preclinical, neuropathologic, neuroimaging, physiological, and epidemiological studies. Transdisciplinary, translational, and transactional approaches are recommended to further our understanding of this entity and to better characterize its neuropsychological profile. There is a need for prospective, quantitative, clinical-pathological-neuroimaging studies to improve knowledge of the pathological basis of neuroimaging change and the complex interplay between vascular and Alzheimer disease pathologies in the evolution of clinical VCI and Alzheimer disease. Long-term vascular risk marker interventional studies beginning as early as midlife may be required to prevent or postpone the onset of VCI and Alzheimer disease. Studies of intensive reduction of vascular risk factors in high-risk groups are another important avenue of research.
Article
A new rat model associated with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) was developed to study the effect of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion on cognitive function and neuronal plasticity in rats. Aged-matched animals comprised a control group. Three months after surgery, Morris water waze test was performed to evaluate the cognitive function in rats. Neuronal plasticity was assessed by measuring the protein expression of MAP-2, GAP-43 and synaptophysin in the hippocampal regions of rats with immunohistochemistry and western blotting. The average time of escape latency was significantly longer in the model rats than that in the control rats, and both the time spent in the platform quadrant and the frequency of original platform crossing during space probe trials were less than those in the control animals. The expression levels of MAP-2 and synaptophysin protein in hippocampal areas in the model rats were less than those in the control rats. However there was no difference on the GAP-43 expression between the two groups. These data suggest that chronic cerebral hypoperfusion associated with AVMs could lead to cognitive impairment in rats, which may be partially explained by reduced expression of MAP-2 and synaptophysin at the protein level in the hippocampal area.
Article
Clioquinol (CQ) was associated with cases of transient global amnesia and with the neurodegenerative syndrome subacute myelo-optico-neuropathy (SMON) in humans. However, CQ forms lipophilic chelates with cations and has the potential as a scientific and clinical tool used for selective modulation of histochemically reactive zinc pools. The relationship among transient lack of synaptic zinc release, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) induction and cognitive memory is poorly understood. To evaluate the role of synaptic zinc release, in the present study, hippocampal LTP induction and cognitive behavior were examined in young rats after i.p. injection of CQ (30 mg/kg). Intracellular zinc detected by Timm's stain and extracellular (synaptic cleft) zinc detected by ZnAF-2 were significantly decreased in the hippocampus 6 h after CQ injection. The molecular layer of the dentate gyrus, in which perforant path-granule cell synapses exist, was most responsive to CQ injection. Dentate gyrus LTP was induced similarly to the control 2 h after CQ injection, while significantly attenuated 6-24 h after CQ injection. In the training trial of the object recognition memory 2 h after CQ injection, there was no significant difference in learning behavior between the control and CQ-treated rats. In the test trial, CQ-treated rats showed normal recognition memory 1 h after the training, whereas recognition memory deficit 24 h after the training unlike the control rats. These results indicate that acute exposure to CQ impairs long-term (24 h) memory in the hippocampus of young rats. The CQ-mediated attenuation of dentate gyrus LTP, which may be associated with the transient lack of zinc release from zincergic neurons, seems to be involved in the impairment of the long-term memory.
Article
There is an increasing interest in nootropic drugs for the treatment of CNS disorders. Since the last meta-analysis of the clinical efficacy of piracetam, more information has accumulated. The primary objective of this systematic survey is to evaluate the clinical outcomes as well as the scientific literature relating to the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, mechanism of action, dosing, toxicology and adverse effects of marketed and investigational drugs. The major focus of the literature search was on articles demonstrating evidence-based clinical investigations during the past 10 years for the following therapeutic categories of CNS disorders: (i) cognition/memory; (ii) epilepsy and seizure; (iii) neurodegenerative diseases; (iv) stroke/ischaemia; and (v) stress and anxiety. In this article, piracetam-like compounds are divided into three subgroups based on their chemical structures, known efficacy and intended clinical uses. Subgroup 1 drugs include piracetam, oxiracetam, aniracetam, pramiracetam and phenylpiracetam, which have been used in humans and some of which are available as dietary supplements. Of these, oxiracetam and aniracetam are no longer in clinical use. Pramiracetam reportedly improved cognitive deficits associated with traumatic brain injuries. Although piracetam exhibited no long-term benefits for the treatment of mild cognitive impairments, recent studies demonstrated its neuroprotective effect when used during coronary bypass surgery. It was also effective in the treatment of cognitive disorders of cerebrovascular and traumatic origins; however, its overall effect on lowering depression and anxiety was higher than improving memory. As add-on therapy, it appears to benefit individuals with myoclonus epilepsy and tardive dyskinesia. Phenylpiracetam is more potent than piracetam and is used for a wider range of indications. In combination with a vasodilator drug, piracetam appeared to have an additive beneficial effect on various cognitive disabilities. Subgroup 2 drugs include levetiracetam, seletracetam and brivaracetam, which demonstrate antiepileptic activity, although their cognitive effects are unclear. Subgroup 3 includes piracetam derivatives with unknown clinical efficacies, and of these nefiracetam failed to improve cognition in post-stroke patients and rolipram is currently in clinical trials as an antidepressant. The remaining compounds of this subgroup are at various preclinical stages of research. The modes of action of piracetam and most of its derivatives remain an enigma. Differential effects on subtypes of glutamate receptors, but not the GABAergic actions, have been implicated. Piracetam seems to activate calcium influx into neuronal cells; however, this function is questionable in the light of findings that a persistent calcium inflow may have deleterious impact on neuronal cells. Although subgroup 2 compounds act via binding to another neuronal receptor (synaptic vesicle 2A), some of the subgroup 3 compounds, such as nefiracetam, are similar to those of subgroup 1. Based on calculations of the efficacy rates, our assessments indicate notable improvements in clinical outcomes with some of these agents.
Article
Twenty-four carefully assessed patients with probable Alzheimer's disease were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment study of oxiracetam, a nootropic agent reported to improve memory performance in patients with dementia. A broad battery of neuropsychological tests failed to reveal any improvement in the treated group or in any treated patient when individual test scores were analyzed. These findings indicate that oxiracetam is ineffective in reducing cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.