Article

Effects of the SARM ACP-105 on rotorod performance and cued fear conditioning in sham-irradiated and irradiated female mice

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Abstract

Female mice are more susceptible to radiation-induced cognitive changes than male mice. Previously, we showed that, in female mice, androgens antagonize age-related cognitive decline in aged wild-type mice and androgens and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) antagonize cognitive changes induced by human apolipoprotein E4, a risk factor for developing age-related cognitive decline. In this study, the potential effects of the SARM ACP-105 were assessed in female mice that were either sham-irradiated or irradiated with ¹³⁷Cesium at a dose of 10Gy. Behavioral testing started 2 weeks following irradiation. Irradiation impaired sensorimotor function in vehicle-treated mice but not in ACP-105-treated mice. Irradiation impaired cued fear conditioning and ACP-105 enhanced fear conditioning in sham-irradiated and irradiated mice. When immunoreactivity for microtubule-associated protein 2 was assessed in the cortex of sham-irradiated mice, there was a brain area × ACP-105 interaction. While ACP-105 reduced MAP-2 immunoreactivity in the sensorimotor cortex, there was a trend towards increased MAP-2 immunoreactivity in the enthorhinal cortex. No effect on MAP-2 immunoreactivity was seen in the irradiated cortex or sham-irradiated or irradiated hippocampus. Thus, there are relatively early radiation-induced behavioral changes in female mice and reduced MAP-2 levels in the sensorimotor cortex following ACP-105 treatment might contribute to enhanced rotorod performance.

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... Most radiation studies have examined males while a limited number of radiation studies have involved only female animals (Acevedo et al., 2008;Dayger et al., 2011;Rabin et al., 2013) or both male and female animals (Villasana et al., 2008(Villasana et al., , 2010bRabin et al., 2010;Haley et al., 2012;Liu et al., 2017Liu et al., , 2019Kronenberg et al., 2018;Krukowski et al., 2018;Hinkle et al., 2019). In comparing the direction of sex-differences in relative susceptibility to develop radiation-induced cognitive injury, the pattern might depend on the radiation exposure. ...
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... Similarly, differences in the sensitivity of the CNS to such exposures have been reported between males and females (4,24,25). Conversely, even relatively higher whole-body or head-only exposures to X rays or gamma rays have been inconsistent in eliciting CNS responses (26)(27)(28). To determine whether 2 Gy whole-body gamma-ray irradiation might also trigger long-term anxiety-and depression-like behavior, male and female mice were administered the elevated plus maze, light-dark box and forced swim tests at 6-7 months postirradiation (EPM, LDB and FST, respectively; Fig. 1). ...
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... The data presented here are among the first highlighting the potential efficacy of SARMs for neural endpoints. Our finding that RAD140 can exert androgenic actions in brain at a dose that retains peripheral tissue selectivity is consistent with prior observations in rodents that the SARM ACP-105 can ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with apolipoprotein E (56) and irradiation (57). Androgens exert numerous beneficial actions in brain by several distinct mechanisms (18). ...
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Clinical irradiation of the brain induces hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments in some but not all individuals, suggesting the involvement of genetic risk factors. Deficiency of apolipoprotein E (APOE), which is important for the metabolism and redistribution of lipoproteins and cholesterol, increases behavioral impairments after irradiation, supporting a protective role for APOE against radiation-induced cognitive injury. Compared to APOE3, APOE4 increases while APOE2 decreases the risk of developing age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, particularly in women. To determine the potential effects of APOE isoform and sex on radiation-induced cognitive impairments, we irradiated 2-month-old male and female APOE2, APOE3 and APOE4 mice and assessed their cognitive performance 3 months later. When hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory were assessed in the water maze, sham-irradiated female APOE2, APOE3 and APOE4 and irradiated female APOE2 mice showed spatial memory retention, but irradiated female APOE3 and APOE4 mice did not. Compared to sham-irradiated female APOE4 mice, irradiated female APOE4 mice also required more trials to reach criterion in the hippocampus-dependent passive avoidance test. Radiation had no effects on water maze or passive avoidance learning and memory of male APOE2, APOE3 or APOE4 mice, indicating that the effects of radiation on cognitive performance are dependent on sex- and APOE isoform.
Article
In laboratory breeding procedures, mice are usually housed in single-sex unfamiliar groups since weaning, while individual housing is widely employed in many experimental settings. While there is a considerable amount of evidence on the behavioural and physiological effects of various social contexts in male mice and rats, few data are available on female mice. We examined short-term modulation of social context in the housing environment on exploratory and emotional behaviours in response to novelty (i.e., free-exploratory open field) and on physiology (i.e. organs and body weight, and basal corticosterone level) of female CD1 mice, taking into account the estrous phase as an additional variable. Living alone or grouped with siblings or with unfamiliar females for a short period (7 days) did not affect any physiological indexes of stress in female house mice and had marginal effects on emotional behaviour. When challenged with a free choice between a novel environment and their home cage, female mice housed with siblings did not differ on any behavioural parameter from females housed with same-aged unfamiliar mice, while individually housed females showed higher propensity to enter the novel arena but no differences in activity or in anxiety as compared to grouped mice. Information about sex specifics under standard housing conditions as well as in response to common laboratory procedures could be important for the understanding of sex differences in vulnerability to psychiatric disorders and response to drug treatment.
Article
Previously we found apoE isoform-dependent effects of (137)Cs irradiation on cognitive function of female mice 3 months following irradiation. Alterations in the number of immature neurons and in the levels of the dendritic marker microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) might contribute to the cognitive changes following irradiation. Therefore, in the present study we determined if, following (137)Cs irradiation, there are apoE isoform-dependent effects on loss of doublecortin-positive neuroprogenitor cells or MAP-2 immumonoreactivity. In the dentate gyrus, CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus, enthorhinal and sensorimotor cortex, and central and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala of apoE3 female mice, MAP-2 immunoreactivity increased 3 months following (137)Cs irradiation. In addition, at 8 h following irradiation, the number of doublecortin-positive cells was higher in apoE3 than apoE2 or apoE4 mice. Together, these data indicate that brains of apoE3 mice respond differently to (137)Cs irradiation than those of apoE2 or apoE4 mice.
Article
The effects of ionizing irradiation on the brain are associated with oxidative stress. While oxidative stress following irradiation is generally viewed as detrimental for hippocampal function, it might have beneficial effects as part of an adaptive or preconditioning response to a subsequent challenge. Here we show that in contrast to what is seen in wild-type mice, irradiation enhances hippocampus- dependent cognitive measures in mice lacking extracellular superoxide dismutase. These outcomes were associated with genotype-dependent effects on measures of oxidative stress. When cortices and hippocampi were analyzed for nitrotyrosine formation as an index of oxidative stress, the levels were chronically elevated in mice lacking extracellular superoxide dismutase. However, irradiation caused a greater increase in nitrotyrosine levels in wild-type mice than mice lacking extracellular superoxide dismutase. These paradoxical genotype-dependent effects of irradiation on measures of oxidative stress and cognitive function underscore potential beneficial effects associated with chronic oxidative stress if it exists prior to a secondary insult such as irradiation.
Article
Herein we describe the discovery of ACP-105 (1), a novel and potent nonsteroidal selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) with partial agonist activity relative to the natural androgen testosterone. Compound 1 was developed from a series of compounds found in a HTS screen using the receptor selection and amplification technology (R-SAT). In vivo, 1 improved anabolic parameters in a 2-week chronic study in castrated male rats. In addition to compound 1, a number of potent antiandrogens were discovered from the same series of compounds whereof one compound, 13, had antagonist activity at the AR T877A mutant involved in prostate cancer.
Article
Effects of irradiation on hippocampal function have been mostly studied in male rodents and relatively little is known about potential effects of irradiation on hippocampal function in female rodents. Moreover, although the long-term effects of clinical radiation on cognitive function have been well established, the effects of other forms of irradiation, such as high charged, high energy radiation (HZE particles) that astronauts encounter during space missions have not been well characterized. In this study we compared the effects of (56)Fe irradiation on fear conditioning in C57BL/6J female and male mice. Hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning was impaired in female mice but improved in male mice following (56)Fe irradiation. Such impairment was not seen for hippocampus-independent cued fear conditioning. Thus, the effects of (56)Fe irradiation on hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning are critically modulated by sex.
Article
Mice deficient in apoE (Apoe-/-) can be used to assess the potential role of apoE in the effects of cranial irradiation on hippocampal function. Radiation-induced impairments in hippocampal function may be more pronounced in female Apoe-/- mice and more pronounced in mice irradiated and tested cognitively later in life. To assess this possibility, female wild-type and Apoe-/- mice were irradiated at 6 months of age with 10 Gy 137Cs gamma rays and tested cognitively 3 months later. Sham-irradiated wild-type female mice showed enhanced hippocampal-dependent novel location recognition compared to sham-irradiated Apoe-/- female mice. However, cranial irradiation impaired novel location recognition similarly in both genotypes. Cranial irradiation also impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial memory retention similarly in wild-type and Apoe-/- female mice in the water maze. Because novel location recognition was not affected after 137Cs gamma irradiation in younger mice, these data support the possibility that older mice are more susceptible to the effects of gamma radiation on novel location recognition. Together with the impairments in spatial memory retention in the water maze after irradiation, these data support the existence of detrimental effects of cranial irradiation on hippocampal function. In addition, compared to wild-type female mice, Apoe-/- female mice showed enhanced levels of anxiety, and in Apoe-/-, but not in wild-type, female mice, radiation decreased levels of anxiety. Because levels of anxiety during the hidden session of the water maze were associated with ability to locate the hidden platform, assessments of anxiety need to be considered in evaluating the effects of cranial irradiation on cognitive performance after cranial irradiation.
Article
Using a water maze, it has been shown that both wild-type and apoE4-expressing female mice are at greater risk of developing age-related hippocampal-dependent impairments in spatial learning and memory than age-matched male mice of the same genotype. In addition, apoE4-expressing female mice were more sensitive to 137Cs gamma-radiation-induced impairment in spatial learning and memory than age-matched male mice of the same genotype. These findings imply that androgen receptors (ARs) contribute to spatial learning and memory, posing the question as to whether transgenic expression of AR in female mice might modulate hippocampal-dependent learning and memory under baseline conditions and after local brain irradiation. Hippocampal-dependent novel location recognition was comparable in wild-type and AR-Tg female mice. This function was impaired after irradiation in AR-Tg but not wild-type mice. In contrast, sham-irradiated wild-type and AR-Tg female mice showed hippocampal-independent novel location recognition, and this was not affected by radiation. After the second day of hidden platform training, in a water maze probe trial, sham-irradiated and irradiated AR-Tg female mice showed spatial memory retention but irradiated wild-type mice did not. After the third day of hidden platform training, only irradiated wild-type female mice did not show spatial memory retention in the water maze probe trial. Both sham-irradiated and irradiated wild-type and AR-Tg female mice showed passive avoidance learning and memory. These data support an important role for AR in spatial memory retention in water maze probe trials in female mice under baseline conditions and after cranial irradiation.
Article
Cranial irradiation is associated with long-term cognitive impairments, including deficits in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Not all people exposed to cranial radiation develop cognitive injury, suggesting the involvement of genetic risk factors. There may also be sex differences in susceptibility to develop radiation-induced cognitive injury. The three major human apolipoprotein E (apoE) isoforms are encoded by distinct alleles (epsilon2, epsilon3, and epsilon4). Compared with epsilon3, epsilon4 increases the risk of cognitive impairments following various challenges while epsilon2 provides relative protection. Women are at higher risk to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) than men, particularly those carrying epsilon4. In previous experiments using male and female mice expressing human apoE-isoforms E2, E3 or E4 under the mouse apoE promoter, we showed that cranial irradiation with 137Cs (10 Gy) results in hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments that are sex- and apoE-isoform dependent. 137Cs is a form of irradiation often used in the clinical setting. To investigate whether 56Fe irradiation also has sex- and apoE-isoform dependent effects on hippocampus-dependent cognitive function in human apoE mice, we sham-irradiated and irradiated 2-month old male and female human apoE mice at 3 Gy and assessed their performance in a passive avoidance learning and memory test three to five months later.
Article
Pregnant CD1 mice were exposed on various gestational or postnatal days to 1 Gy of 250 kV X-rays. Ten adult, male offspring from each exposure condition were tested in a radial arm maze. Compared to sham-exposed control mice, acquisition of spatial information was unimpaired in animals exposed on gestational days 13 or 15, or on postnatal day 10, but animals exposed on gestational day 18 or postnatal day 1 showed sustained deficits in acquisition. These results appear consistent with the known time-course for the proliferation and migration of the dentate granule cells of the hippocampus in the mouse, and are discussed in relation to the dependence on hippocampal integrity of the acquisition and use of spatial information. The results suggest that comparable deficits in mental function might be expected in humans similarly exposed to ionizing radiation during periods of proliferation and migration of the dentate granule cells.
Article
Radiation is an invaluable therapeutic tool in the treatment of cancer, with well-established palliative and curative efficacy. As patient survival has improved, attention has focused on long-range treatment side effects. One such adverse effect, neuropsychological impairment, is incompletely understood. Much of the extant research has been directed at childhood leukemia survivors treated with low-dose whole-brain radiation. Less is known about the effects of high-dose focal or whole-brain radiation used in the treatment of brain lesions. This article reviews the scientific literature in this area, with greatest emphasis on methodologically rigorous studies. Research design considerations are discussed. Review findings suggest that low-dose whole-brain radiation (18 to 24 Gy) in children is associated with mild delayed IQ decline, with more substantial deficits occurring in children treated at a young age. A high incidence of learning disabilities and academic failure is observed in this population and may be caused by poor attention and memory rather than low intellectual level. Children who receive higher dose radiation for treatment of brain tumors experience more pronounced cognitive decline. At higher doses, whole-brain radiation, in particular, is linked to deleterious cognitive outcomes. Remarkably little is known about cognitive outcomes in irradiated adults. Preliminary findings indicate that certain cognitive functions, including memory, may be more vulnerable to decline than others. Suggestions for future research are proposed.
Article
Neocortical decreases in synaptic density correlate significantly with the cognitive impairment seen in Alzheimer disease. Recently available monoclonal antibodies (MAb) have made possible the highly specific and sensitive detection of synapse-associated proteins in immunocytochemical and immunochemical techniques. We describe a simple yet highly sensitive dot-immunobinding assay for relative quantification of the synapse marker protein synaptophysin in human brain homogenate fractions with the mouse MAb SY38. Fractions prepared from control and Alzheimer specimens were blotted to nitrocellulose membranes and reacted with SY38, rabbit secondary antibody, and iodinated protein A. A relative standard curve was constructed to normalize results from multiple assay runs. We correlated the results with the more complex immunocytochemical synaptic density measurement technique of immunolabeling coupled with laser confocal imaging, showing good correlation at r = 0.821. Results from Alzheimer cases showed a 40% decrease in synaptophysin immunoreactivity in midfrontal cortex compared with normal controls.
Article
Overexpression of mutated human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP717V-->F) under control of platelet-derived growth factor promoter (PDAPP minigene) in transgenic (tg) mice results in neurodegenerative changes similar to Alzheimer's disease (AD). To clarify the pathology of these mice, we studied images derived from laser scanning confocal and electron microscopy and performed comparisons between PDAPP tg mice and AD. Similar to AD, neuritic plaques in PDAPP tg mouse contained a dense amyloid core surrounded by anti-hAPP- and antineurofilament-immunoreactive dystrophic neurites and astroglial cells. Neurons were found in close proximity to plaques in PDAPP tg mice and, to a lesser extent, in AD. In PDAPP tg mice, and occasionally in AD, neuronal processes contained fine intracellular amyloid fibrils in close proximity to the rough endoplasmic reticulum, coated vesicles, and electron-dense material. Extracellular amyloid fibrils (9-11 nm in diameter) were abundant in PDAPP tg and were strikingly similar to those observed in AD. Dystrophic neurites in plaques of PDAPP tg mouse and AD formed synapses and contained many dense multilaminar bodies and neurofilaments (10 nm). Apoptotic-like figures were present in the tg mice. No paired helical filaments have yet been observed in the heterozygote PDAPP tg mice. In summary, this study shows that PDAPP tg mice develop massive neuritic plaque formation and neuronal degeneration similar to AD. These findings show that overproduction of hAPP717V-->F in tg mice is sufficient to cause not only amyloid deposition, but also many of the complex subcellular degenerative changes associated with AD.
Article
This report describes neurogenesis in the adult human olfactory epithelium in vitro. Olfactory epithelium was collected at autopsy and by biopsy, and grown in serum-free medium. Basic fibroblast growth factor induced the differentiation of bipolar cells which were immunopositive for several neuronal proteins but not glial proteins. [3H]thymidine autoradiography confirmed that these neurones were born in vitro. The results demonstrate that the adult human olfactory epithelium retains the capacity for neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation, at least until the age of 72 years. It is now possible to examine neurones and neurogenesis in biopsies from patients with disorders that may involve a neurodevelopmental or neurodegenerative aetiology such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer's disease.
Article
The beta-amyloid protein precursor (APP) is well conserved across different species and may fulfill important physiological functions within the CNS. While high-level neuronal expression of amyloidogenic forms of human APP results in beta-amyloid production and neurodegeneration, lower levels of neuronal human APP expression in neurons of transgenic mice may primarily accentuate physiological functions of this molecule. To assess the neuroprotective potential of human APP in vivo, mice from seven distinct transgenic lines expressing different human APP isoforms from the neuron-specific enolase promoter were challenged with systemic kainate injections (n=30) or transgene-mediated glial expression of gp120 (n=32), an HIV-1 protein capable of inducing excitotoxic neuronal damage. To quantitate human APP-mediated neuroprotection. the area of neuropil occupied by presynaptic terminals and neuronal dendrites in the neocortex and hippocampus of each mouse was determined using laser scanning confocal microscopy of double-immunolabelled brain sections and computer-aided image analysis. Compared with gp120 singly transgenic controls, mice from three of three human APP751gp120 bigenic lines expressing the 751 amino acid form of human APP at low levels showed significant protection against degeneration of presynaptic terminals; two of these lines also showed significantly less damage to neuronal dendrites. Two of three human APP695/gp120 bigenic lines expressing human APP695 at low levels were protected against presynaptic and dendritic damage, whereas one low expressor line and a human APP695/gp120 bigenic line expressing human APP695 at higher levels showed no significant protection. In the corresponding human APP singly transgenic lines, overexpressing only specific human APP isoforms, significant protection against kainate-induced degeneration of presynaptic terminals and neuronal dendrites was found in two of three human APP751 lines and not in any of the four human APP695 lines tested. These results indicate that human APP can protect neurons against chronic and acute excitotoxic insults in vivo and that human APP isoforms differ in their neuroprotective potential, at least with respect to specific forms of neural injury. It is therefore possible that impairments of neuroprotective human APP functions or aberrant shifts in human APP isoform ratios could contribute to neurodegeneration.
Article
Thousands of hippocampal neurons are born in adulthood, suggesting that new cells could be important for hippocampal function. To determine whether hippocampus-dependent learning affects adult-generated neurons, we examined the fate of new cells labeled with the thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine following specific behavioral tasks. Here we report that the number of adult-generated neurons doubles in the rat dentate gyrus in response to training on associative learning tasks that require the hippocampus. In contrast, training on associative learning tasks that do not require the hippocampus did not alter the number of new cells. These findings indicate that adult-generated hippocampal neurons are specifically affected by, and potentially involved in, associative memory formation.
Article
The objective of the current study was to determine whether therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) results in long-lasting neurologic signs or electrophysiologic injuries within the motor tracts. Twenty-seven children who were treated for ALL were studied clinically 5 years after the cessation of therapy by means of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by magnetic stimulation transcranially and peripherally. An equal number of healthy children matched with regard to age, gender, and height served as the control group. The MEP latencies to the hands and legs elicited by stimulation at the cortex were prolonged significantly in the children treated for ALL compared with the control group, with the differences being 2.2 milliseconds [ms] (P < 0.001) from the cortex to the thenar on the right side and 2.0 ms (P < 0.001) on the left, and 1.4 ms (P = 0.004) from the cortex to the leg on the right side and 1.3 ms (P = 0.004) on the left. Correspondingly, the MEP latency from the fifth lumbar vertebrae (LV) level to the leg also was prolonged, by 1.0 ms (P = 0.005) on the right side and 0.8 ms (P = 0.005) on the left side. The calculated latency between the cortex and the LV level was not found to be significantly longer in those patients treated for ALL compared with the healthy controls. Neurologic signs, in the form of depressed deep tendon reflexes, were observed in 8% of the patients, whereas approximately 33% of the patients were found to have fine or gross motor difficulties and dysdiadochokinesia. Neurologic signs still persisted 5 years after therapy for ALL. Approximately 33% of the patients had fine or gross motor difficulties and dysdiadochokinesia, and demyelinative injuries to the peripheral nerve tracts were found proximally but not within the central nervous system.
Article
In both pediatric and adult patients, cranial radiation therapy causes a debilitating cognitive decline that is poorly understood and currently untreatable. This decline is characterized by hippocampal dysfunction, and seems to involve a radiation-induced decrease in postnatal hippocampal neurogenesis. Here we show that the deficit in neurogenesis reflects alterations in the microenvironment that regulates progenitor-cell fate, as well as a defect in the proliferative capacity of the neural progenitor-cell population. Not only is hippocampal neurogenesis ablated, but the remaining neural precursors adopt glial fates and transplants of non-irradiated neural precursor cells fail to differentiate into neurons in the irradiated hippocampus. The inhibition of neurogenesis is accompanied by marked alterations in the neurogenic microenvironment, including disruption of the microvascular angiogenesis associated with adult neurogenesis and a marked increase in the number and activation status of microglia within the neurogenic zone. These findings provide clear targets for future therapeutic interventions.
Article
The generation of new neurons in the adult mammalian brain has been documented in numerous recent reports. Studies undertaken so far indicate that adult hippocampal neurogenesis is related in a number of ways to hippocampal function.Here, we report that subjecting adult rats to fractionated brain irradiation blocked the formation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. At different time points after the termination of the irradiation procedure, the animals were tested in two tests of short-term memory that differ with respect to their dependence on hippocampal function. Eight and 21 days after irradiation, the animals with blocked neurogenesis performed poorer than controls in a hippocampus-dependent place-recognition task, indicating that the presence of newly generated neurons may be necessary for the normal function of this brain area. The animals were never impaired in a hippocampus-independent object-recognition task. These results are in line with other reports documenting the functional significance of newly generated neurons in this region. As our irradiation procedure models prophylactic cranial irradiation used in the treatment of different cancers, we suggest that blocked neurogenesis contributes to the reported deleterious side effects of this treatment, consisting of memory impairment, dysphoria and lethargy.
Article
Recent high quality papers have renewed interest in the phenomenon of neurogenesis within the adult mammalian brain. Many studies now show that neurogenesis can be modulated by environmental factors including physical activity, stress, and learning. These findings have considerable implications for neuroscience in general, including the study of learning and memory, neural network plasticity, aging, neurodegeneration, and the recovery from brain injury. Although new light has been shed on this field, many contradictory findings have been reported. Here we propose two principle issues which underlie these inconsistencies, with particular focus on the interaction between learning and neurogenesis. The first issue relates to the basic methodology of measuring the generation of new brain cells, i.e., proliferation, as compared to survival of the newly made cells. Mostly, measures of neurogenesis reported are a combination of proliferation and survival, making it impossible to distinguish between these separate processes. The second aspect is in regards to the role of environmental factors which can affect both proliferation and survival independently. Especially the interaction between stress and learning is of importance since these might counteract each other in some circumstances. Reviewing the literature while taking these issues into account indicates that, in contrast to some findings, cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a result of learning cannot be ruled out yet. On the other hand, increased survival of granule cells in the dentate gyrus as a result of hippocampal-dependent learning has been clearly demonstrated. Moreover, this learning-induced survival of granule cells, which were born before the actual learning experience, might provide a molecular mechanism for the 'use it or lose it' principle.
Article
Advances in the management of pediatric brain tumors have increased survival rates in children, but their quality of life is impaired due to cognitive deficits that arise from irradiation. The pathogenesis of these deficits remains unknown, but may involve reduced neurogenesis within the hippocampus. To determine the acute radiosensitivity of the dentate subgranular zone (SGZ), 21-day-old C57BL/J6 male mice received whole brain irradiation (2-10 Gy), and 48 h later, tissue was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Proliferating SGZ cells and their progeny, immature neurons, were decreased in a dose-dependent fashion. To determine if acute changes translated into long-term alterations in neurogenesis, mice were given a single dose of 5 Gy, and 1 or 3 months later, proliferating cells were labeled with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Confocal microscopy was used to determine the percentage of BrdU-labeled cells that showed mature cell phenotypes. X-rays significantly reduced the production of new neurons at both time points, while glial components showed no change or small increases. Measures of activated microglia and infiltrating, peripheral monocytes indicated that reduced neurogenesis was associated with a chronic inflammatory response. Three months after irradiation, changes in neurogenesis were associated with spatial memory retention deficits determined using the Morris water maze. Behavioral training and testing increased the numbers of immature neurons, most prominently in irradiated animals. These data provide evidence that irradiation of young animals induces a long-term impairment of SGZ neurogenesis that is associated with hippocampal-dependent memory deficits.
Article
It is well recognized that many cures for childhood leukemia and brain tumors entail some relatively permanent neurocognitive and psychological costs to the patient and family. As cure rates have improved over the past three decades, increasing efforts have been directed toward reducing treatment-related late effects. The particular focus of this review will be on interventions for the neuropsychological late effects associated with the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and malignant brain tumors. We will first briefly review current approaches to the medical treatment of ALL and brain tumors to provide an appreciation of potential sources of brain injury. We will then summarize the existing literature on types of neuropsychological deficits found among survivors, with special attention to variables that place some children at greater risk. Then, there will be a discussion of approaches to intervention for these deficits-specifically, cognitive remediation, pharmacology, and ecological alterations in the classroom. Finally, we will present directions for future research in the field.
Direct block of I(Kr) by non-antiarrhythmic drugs (NARDs) is a major cause of QT prolongation and torsades de pointes (TdP), and has made the hERG potassium channel a major target of drug safety programs in cardiotoxicity. Block of hERG currents is not the only way that drugs can adversely impact the repolarizing current I(Kr), however. We have shown recently that two drugs in clinical use do not block hERG but produce long QT syndrome (LQTS) and TdP by inhibiting trafficking of hERG to the cell surface. To address the need for an inexpensive, rapid, and comprehensive assay to predict both types of hERG risk early in the drug development process, we have developed a novel antibody-based chemiluminescent assay called HERG-Lite. HERG-Lite monitors the expression of hERG at the cell surface in two different stable mammalian cell lines. One cell line acts as a biosensor for drugs that inhibit hERG trafficking, while the other predicts hERG blockers based on their ability to act as pharmacological chaperones. In this study, we have validated the HERG-Lite assay using a panel of 100 drugs: 50 hERG blockers and 50 nonblockers. HERG-Lite correctly predicted hERG risk for all 100 test compounds with no false positives or negatives. All 50 hERG blockers were detected as drugs with hERG risk in the HERG-Lite assay, and fell into two classes: B (for blocker) and C (for complex; block and trafficking inhibition). HERG-Lite is the most comprehensive assay available for predicting drug-induced hERG risk. It accurately predicts both channel blockers and trafficking inhibitors in a rapid, cost-effective manner and is a valuable non-clinical assay for drug safety testing.
Article
Understanding cognitive aging is becoming more important as the elderly population grows. Here, the effects of age and sex on learning and memory performance were compared in female and male young (3-4 months old) middle-aged (10-12 months old) and old (18-20 months old) wild-type C57BL/6J mice. Old males and females performed worse than young or middle-aged mice in novel location, but not novel object recognition tasks. Old mice, of both sexes, also showed impaired spatial water maze performance during training compared with young or middle-aged mice, however only old females failed to show robust spatial bias during probe trials. While there was no age-difference in passive avoidance performance for males, females showed an age-related decline. There was no difference in cognitive performance between young and middle-age mice of either sex on any task. Cognitive performance was associated with alterations in immunoreactivity of microtubule-associated protein 2-positive dendrites and synaptophysin-positive pre-synaptic terminals in hippocampal CA1, CA3, and dentate, entorhinal cortex, and central nucleus of amygdala. Overall, microtubule-associated protein 2 immunoreactivity was increased in old females compared with both young and middle-age females with no significant difference in males. In contrast, synaptophysin immunoreactivity increased from young to middle-age in females, and from middle-age to old in males; females had higher levels of synaptophysin immunoreactivity than males in middle-age only. Elevated levels of microtubule-associated protein 2 and synaptophysin may constitute a compensatory response to age-related functional decline in mice.
Article
The pharmacological activity of JNJ-26146900 is described. JNJ-26146900 is a nonsteroidal androgen receptor (AR) ligand with tissue-selective activity in rats. The compound was evaluated in in vitro and in vivo models of AR activity. It binds to the rat AR with a K(i) of 400nM and acts as a pure androgen antagonist in an in vitro cell-based assay. Its in vitro profile is similar to the androgen antagonist bicalutamide (Casodex). In intact rats, JNJ-26146900 reduces ventral prostate weight with an oral potency (ED(50)) of 20-30mg/kg, again comparable to that of bicalutamide. JNJ-26146900 prevented prostate tumor growth in the Dunning rat model, maximally inhibiting growth at a dose of 10mg/kg. It slowed tumor growth significantly in a CWR22-LD1 mouse xenograft model of human prostate cancer. It was tested in aged male rats for its ability to prevent bone loss and loss of lean body mass following orchidectomy. After 6 weeks of dosing, bone volume decreased by 33% in orchidectomized versus intact vehicle-treated rats with a probability (P) of less than 0.05, as measured by micro-computerized tomography analysis. At a dose of 30mg/kg, JNJ-26146900 significantly reduced castration-induced tibial bone loss as indicated by the following parameters: bone volume, trabecular connectivity, trabecular number and spacing between trabeculae. Bone mineral density decreased from 229+/-34mg/cm(3) of hydroxyapatite to 166+/-26mg/cm(3) following orchidectomy, and was maintained at 194+/-20mg/cm(3) with JNJ-26146900 treatment (P<0.05 relative to orchidectomy alone). Using magnetic resonance imaging, the compound was found to partially prevent orchidectomy-induced loss of lean body mass. Our data show that selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) have the potential for anabolic effects on bone and muscle while maintaining therapeutic efficacy in prostate cancer.
Article
To prospectively assess the impact of conformal radiation therapy (CRT) and demographic and clinical variables on four measures of attention in pediatric and young adult patients with localized primary brain tumors. We prospectively evaluated 120 patients with primary brain tumors, ages 2 to 24.4 years (median, 9.2 years). Evaluations were done using the computerized Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT). We analyzed errors of omission (inattentiveness), errors of commission (impulsivity), reaction time, and an overall index of performance before CRT, weekly during CRT, and serially up to 60 months after the start of CRT. Before CRT, patients exhibited mild inattentiveness. During CRT, impulsivity decreased significantly (P = .002). After CRT, inattentiveness increased significantly (P = .03), and global attention disorders were associated with craniopharyngioma (P < .0001), supratentorial tumors (P = .008), optic pathway and diencephalic tumors (P = .012), and subtotal resection of the tumor (P = .010). Brain tumors and their treatment impair sustained attention and reaction time. A decline in impulsivity and relative stability of the other CCPT scores over the course of CRT demonstrated the absence of early radiation-related cognitive sequelae. Local tumor effects, initial surgical intervention, and focal irradiation of central structures contribute to long-lasting attentional problems in pediatric and young adult patients.
Article
Whole-brain irradiation is used for the treatment of brain tumors, but can it also induce neural changes, with progressive dementia occurring in 20-50% of long-term survivors. The present study investigated whether 45 Gy of whole-brain irradiation delivered to 12-month-old Fischer 344 x Brown Norway rats as nine fractions over 4.5 weeks leads to impaired Morris water maze (MWM) performance 12 months later. Compared to sham-irradiated rats, the irradiated rats demonstrated impaired MWM performance. The relative levels of the NR1 and NR2A but not the NR2B subunits of the NMDA receptor were significantly higher in hippocampal CA1 of irradiated rats compared to control rats. No significant differences were detected for these NMDA subunits in CA3 or dentate gyrus. Further analysis of CA1 revealed that the relative levels of the GluR1 and GluR2 subunits of the AMPA receptor and synaptophysin were not altered by whole-brain irradiation. In summary, a clinically relevant regimen of fractionated whole-brain irradiation led to significant impairments in spatial learning and reference memory and alterations in the relative levels of subunits of the NMDA, but not the AMPA, receptors in hippocampal CA1. These findings suggest for the first time that radiation-induced cognitive impairments may be associated with alterations in glutamate receptor composition.
Article
A novel, N-aryl-bicyclohydantoin selective androgen receptor modulator scaffold was discovered through structure-guided modifications of androgen receptor antagonists. A prototype compound (7R,7aS)-10b from this series is a potent and highly tissue-selective agonist of the androgen receptor. After oral dosing in a rat atrophied levator ani muscle model, (7R,7aS)-10b demonstrated efficacy at restoring levator ani muscle mass to that of intact controls and exhibited >50-fold selectivity for muscle over prostate.