[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN2 disease) is a uniformly fatal lysosomal storage disease resulting from mutations in the CLN2 gene. Our hypothesis was that regional analysis of cortical brain degeneration may identify brain regions that are affected earliest and most severely by the disease.
Materials and methods:
Fifty-two high-resolution 3T MR imaging datasets were prospectively acquired on 38 subjects with CLN2. A retrospective cohort of 52 disease-free children served as a control population. The FreeSurfer software suite was used for calculation of cortical thickness.
An increased rate of global cortical thinning in CLN2 versus control subjects was the primary finding in this study. Three distinct patterns were observed across brain regions. In the first, subjects with CLN2 exhibited differing rates of cortical thinning versus age. This was true in 22 and 26 of 34 regions in the left and right hemispheres, respectively, and was also clearly discernable when considering brain lobes as a whole and Brodmann regions. The second pattern exhibited a difference in thickness from healthy controls but with no discernable change with age (9 left hemispheres, 5 right hemispheres). In the third pattern, there was no difference in either the rate of cortical thinning or the mean cortical thickness between groups (3 left hemispheres, 3 right hemispheres).
This study demonstrates that CLN2 causes differential rates of degeneration across the brain. Anatomic and functional regions that degenerate sooner and more severely than others compared with those in healthy controls may offer targets for directed therapies. The information gained may also provide neurobiologic insights regarding the mechanisms underlying disease progression.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · American Journal of Neuroradiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathologic evaluation of breast specimens requires a fixation and staining procedure of at least 12 hours duration, delaying diagnosis and post-operative planning. Here we introduce an MRI technique with a custom-designed radiofrequency resonator for imaging breast and lymph tissue with sufficient spatial resolution and speed to guide pathologic interpretation and offer value in clinical decision making. In this study, we demonstrate the ability to image breast and lymphatic tissue using 7.0 Tesla MRI, achieving a spatial resolution of 59 x 59 x 94 mu m(3) with a signal-to-noise ratio of 15-20, in an imaging time of 56 to 70 minutes. These are the first MR images to reveal characteristic pathologic features of both benign and malignant breast and lymph tissue, some of which were discernible by blinded pathologists who had no prior training in high resolution MRI interpretation.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The median survival of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) approximately 1 yr. Following surgical removal, systemic therapies are limited by the blood-brain barrier. To circumvent this, we developed a method to modify neurons with the genetic sequence for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies using adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene transfer vectors, directing persistent, local expression in the tumor milieu. The human U87MG GBM cell line or patient-derived early passage GBM cells were administered to the striatum of NOD/SCID immunodeficient mice.
AAVrh.10BevMab, an AAVrh.10-based vector coding for bevacizumab (Avastin®), an anti-human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) monoclonal antibody, was delivered to the area of the GBM xenograft. Localized expression of bevacizumab was demonstrated by quantitative PCR, ELISA and Western. Immunohistochemistry showed the bevacizumab was expressed in neurons. Concurrent administration of AAVrh.10BevMab with the U87MG tumor reduced tumor blood vessel density, and tumor volume and increased survival. Administration of AAVrh.10BevMab 1 wk after U87MG xenograft reduced growth and increased survival. Studies with patient-derived early passage GBM primary cells showed a reduction in primary tumor burden with an increased survival. This data supports the strategy of AAV-mediated CNS gene therapy to treat GBM, overcoming the blood-brain barrier through local, persistent delivery of an anti-angiogenesis monoclonal antibody.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Cancer Gene Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The delivery of therapeutics to neural tissue is greatly hindered by the blood brain barrier (BBB). Direct local delivery via diffusive release from degradable implants or direct intra-cerebral injection can bypass the BBB and obtain high concentrations of the therapeutic in the targeted tissue, however the total volume of tissue that can be treated using these techniques is limited. One treatment modality that can potentially access large volumes of neural tissue in a single treatment is intra-arterial (IA) injection after osmotic blood brain barrier disruption. In this technique, the therapeutic of interest is injected directly into the arteries that feed the target tissue after the blood brain barrier has been disrupted by exposure to a hyperosmolar mannitol solution, permitting the transluminal transport of the therapy. In this work we used contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of IA injections in mice to establish parameters that allow for extensive and reproducible BBB disruption. We found that the volume but not the flow rate of the mannitol injection has a significant effect on the degree of disruption. To determine whether the degree of disruption we observed with this method was sufficient for delivery of nanoscale therapeutics, we performed IA injections of an adeno-associated viral vector containing the CLN2 gene (AAVrh.10CLN2), which is mutated in the lysosomal storage disorder Late Infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (LINCL). We demonstrated that IA injection of AAVrh.10CLN2 after BBB disruption can achieve widespread transgene production in the mouse brain after a single administration. Further, we showed that there exists a minimum threshold of BBB disruption necessary to permit the AAV.rh10 vector to pass into the brain parenchyma from the vascular system. These results suggest that IA administration may be used to obtain widespread delivery of nanoscale therapeutics throughout the murine brain after a single administration.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Controlled Release
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF, which binds p75(NTR). In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knockin mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75(NTR). Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP, and enhanced long-term depression (LTD) in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, effects that are distinct from those of mature BDNF.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Object:
Tissue-engineered intervertebral discs (TE-IVDs) represent a new experimental approach for the treatment of degenerative disc disease. Compared with mechanical implants, TE-IVDs may better mimic the properties of native discs. The authors conducted a study to evaluate the outcome of TE-IVDs implanted into the rat-tail spine using radiological parameters and histology.
Tissue-engineered intervertebral discs consist of a distinct nucleus pulposus (NP) and anulus fibrosus (AF) that are engineered in vitro from sheep IVD chondrocytes. In 10 athymic rats a discectomy in the caudal spine was performed. The discs were replaced with TE-IVDs. Animals were kept alive for 8 months and were killed for histological evaluation. At 1, 5, and 8 months, MR images were obtained; T1-weighted sequences were used for disc height measurements, and T2-weighted sequences were used for morphological analysis. Quantitative T2 relaxation time analysis was used to assess the water content and T1ρ-relaxation time to assess the proteoglycan content of TE-IVDs.
Disc height of the transplanted segments remained constant between 68% and 74% of healthy discs. Examination of TE-IVDs on MR images revealed morphology similar to that of native discs. T2-relaxation time did not differ between implanted and healthy discs, indicating similar water content of the NP tissue. The size of the NP decreased in TE-IVDs. Proteoglycan content in the NP was lower than it was in control discs. Ossification of the implanted segment was not observed. Histological examination revealed an AF consisting of an organized parallel-aligned fiber structure. The NP matrix appeared amorphous and contained cells that resembled chondrocytes.
The TE-IVDs remained viable over 8 months in vivo and maintained a structure similar to that of native discs. Tissue-engineered intervertebral discs should be explored further as an option for the potential treatment of degenerative disc disease.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of neurosurgery. Spine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Study Design. Animal experimental studyObjective. To evaluate a novel quantitative imaging technique for assessing disc degeneration.Summary of Background Data. T2-relaxation time (T2-RT) measurements have been used to quantitatively assess disc degeneration. T2 values correlate with the water content of inter vertebral disc tissue and thereby allow for the indirect measurement of nucleus pulposus (NP) hydration.Methods. We developed an algorithm to subtract out MRI voxels not representing NP tissue based on T2-RT values. Filtered NP voxels were used to measure nuclear size by their amount and nuclear hydration by their mean T2-RT. This technique was applied to 24 rat-tail intervertebral discs' (IVDs), which had been punctured with an 18-gauge needle according to different techniques to induce varying degrees of degeneration. NP voxel count and average T2-RT were used as parameters to assess the degeneration process at 1 and 3 months post puncture.NP voxel counts were evaluated against X-ray disc height measurements and qualitative MRI studies based on the Pfirrmann grading system.Tails were collected for histology to correlate NP voxel counts to histological disc degeneration grades and to NP cross-sectional area measurements.Results. NP voxel count measurements showed strong correlations to qualitative MRI analyses (R = 0.79, p<0.0001), histological degeneration grades (R = 0.902, p<0.0001) and histological NP cross-sectional area measurements (R = 0.887, p<0.0001).In contrast to NP voxel counts, the mean T2-RT for each punctured group remained constant between months 1 and 3. The mean T2-RTs for the punctured groups did not show a statistically significant difference from those of healthy IVDs (63.55ms ±5.88ms month 1 and 62.61ms ±5.02ms) at either time point.Conclusion. The NP voxel count proved to be a valid parameter to quantitatively assess disc degeneration in a needle puncture model. The mean NP T2-RT does not change significantly in needle-puncture induced degenerated IVDs. IVDs can be segmented into different tissue components according to their innate T2-RT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have developed a novel minimally invasive technique for the intra-arterial delivery of therapeutics to the mouse brain. CD-1 mice were anesthetized and placed in a lateral decubitus position. A 10mm midline longitudinal incision was made over the thyroid bone. The omohyoid and sternomastoid muscles were retracted to expose the common carotid artery and external carotid artery (ECA). To maximize delivery of administered agents, the superior thyroid artery was ligated or coagulated, and the occipital artery and the pterygopalatine artery (PPA) were temporarily occluded with 6-0 prolene suture. The ECA was carefully dissected and a permanent ligature was placed on its distal segment while a temporary 6-0 prolene ligature was placed on the proximal segment in order to obtain a flow-free segment of vessel. A sterilized 169μm outer diameter polyimide microcatheter was introduced into the ECA and advanced in retrograde fashion towards the carotid bifurcation. The catheter was then secured and manually rotated so that the microcatheter tip was oriented cephalad in the internal carotid artery (ICA). We were able to achieve reproducible results for selective ipsilateral hemispheric carotid injections of mannitol mediated therapeutics and/or gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent. Survival rates were dependent on the administered agent and ranged from 78-90%. This technique allows for reproducible delivery of agents to the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere by utilizing anterograde catheter placement and temporary ligation of the PPA. This method is cost-effective and associated with a low rate of morbimortality.
No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Neuroscience Methods
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cocaine addiction is a major problem for which there is no approved pharmacotherapy. We have developed a vaccine to cocaine (dAd5GNE), based on the cocaine analog GNE linked to the capsid proteins of a serotype 5 adenovirus, designed to evoke anti-cocaine antibodies which sequester cocaine in the blood, preventing access to the CNS. To assess the efficacy of dAd5GNE in a large animal model, positron emission tomography (PET) and the radiotracer [(11)C]PE2I were used to measure cocaine occupancy of the dopamine transporter (DAT) in nonhuman primates. Repeat administration of dAd5GNE induced high anti-cocaine titers. Before vaccination, cocaine displaced PE2I from DAT in the caudate and putamen, resulting in 62±4% cocaine occupancy. In contrast, dAd5GNE vaccinated animals showed reduced cocaine occupancy such that when anti-cocaine titers were >4 × 10(5), the cocaine occupancy was reduced to levels of less than 20%, significantly below the 47% threshold required to evoke the subjective "high" reported in humans.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 10 May 2013; doi:10.1038/npp.2013.114.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL), a fatal, lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the CLN2 gene, results in a deficiency of tripeptidyl-peptidase I (TPP-I) activity in neurons. Our prior studies showed that delivery of the human CLN2 cDNA directly to the CNS, using an adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) vector, is safe in children with LINCL. As a second-generation strategy, we have demonstrated that AAVrh.10hCLN2, a rhesus-derived AAV vector, mediates wide distribution of TPP-I through the CNS in a murine model. This study tests the hypothesis that direct administration of AAVrh.10hCLN2 to the CNS of rats and nonhuman primates at doses scalable to humans has an acceptable safety profile and mediates significant CLN2 expression in the CNS. A dose of 10(11) genome copies (GC) was administered bilaterally to the striatum of Sprague Dawley rats with sacrifice at 7 and 90 days with no significant impact except for mild vector-related histopathological changes at the site of vector administration. A dose of 1.8×10(12) GC of AAVrh.10hCLN2 was administered to the CNS of 8 African green monkeys. The vector-treated monkeys did not differ from controls in any safety parameter except for mild to moderate white matter edema and inflammation localized to the administration sites of the vector. There were no clinical sequelae to these localized findings. TPP-I activity was >2 SD over background in 31.7±8.1% of brain at 90 days. These findings establish the dose and safety profile for human clinical studies for the treatment of LINCL with AAVrh.10hCLN2.
No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Human Gene Therapy Methods
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
LINCL is a uniformly fatal lysosomal storage disease resulting from mutations in the CLN2 gene that encodes for tripeptidyl peptidase 1, a lysosomal enzyme necessary for the degradation of products of cellular metabolism. With the goal of developing quantitative noninvasive imaging biomarkers sensitive to disease progression, we evaluated a 5-component MR imaging metric and tested its correlation with a clinically derived disease-severity score.
Materials and methods:
MR imaging parameters were measured across the brain, including quantitative measures of the ADC, FA, nuclear spin-spin relaxation times (T2), volume percentage of CSF (%CSF), and NAA/Cr ratios. Thirty MR imaging datasets were prospectively acquired from 23 subjects with LINCL (2.5-8.4 years of age; 8 male/15 female). Whole-brain histograms were created, and the mode and mean values of the histograms were used to characterize disease severity.
Correlation of single MR imaging parameters against the clinical disease-severity scale yielded linear regressions with R2 ranging from 0.25 to 0.70. Combinations of the 5 biomarkers were evaluated by using PCA. The best combination included ADC, %CSF, and NAA/Cr (R2=0.76, P<.001).
The multiparametric disease-severity score obtained from the combination of ADC, %CSF, and NAA/Cr whole-brain MR imaging techniques provided a robust measure of disease severity, which may be useful in clinical therapeutic trials of LINCL in which an objective assessment of therapeutic response is desired.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · American Journal of Neuroradiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bevacizumab (BV), a humanized monocolonal antibody directed against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is a standard intravenous (IV) treatment for recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), that has been introduced recently as an intra-arterial (IA) treatment modality in humans. Since preclinical models have not been reported, we sought to develop a tumor stem cell (TSC) xenograft model to investigate IA BV delivery in vivo. Firefly luciferase transduced patient TSC were injected into the cortex of 35 nude mice. Tumor growth was monitored weekly using bioluminescence imaging. Mice were treated with either intraperitoneal (IP) or IA BV, with or without blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD), or with IP saline injection (controls). Tumor tissue was analyzed using immunohistochemistry and western blot techniques. Tumor formation occurred in 31 of 35 (89%) mice with a significant signal increase over time (p=0.018). Post mortem histology revealed an infiltrative growth of TSC xenografts in a similar pattern compared to the primary human GBM. Tumor tissue analyzed at 24hours after treatment revealed that IA BV treatment with BBBD led to a significantly higher intratumoral BV concentration compared to IA BV alone, IP BV or controls (p<0.05). Thus, we have developed a TSC-based xenograft mouse model that allows us to study IA chemotherapy. However, further studies are needed to analyze the treatment effects after IA BV to assess tumor progression and overall animal survival.
No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study we investigated the treatment response and survival of intra-arterial (IA) compared to intra-peritoneal (IP) delivery of bevacizumab (BV) in a glioblastoma (GBM) xenograft mouse model.
3x10(5) U87-Luc cells were stereotactically implanted into the cortex of 35 nude mice and grouped for treatment (n = 7 in each group): IP saline (group 1), single IP BV (group 2), biweekly IP BV for 3 weeks (group 3), single intra-arterial (IA) BV alone (group 4) and single IA BV with blood brain barrier disruption (BBBD) (group 5). Tumor growth was monitored every 3 to 4 days using bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and survival was analyzed by the Kaplan Meier method. Tumor tissue was analyzed using H&E staining and immunohistochemistry.
Based on BLI, BV treated mice showed a delayed tumor growth over time compared to control. Kaplan Meier analysis demonstrated a median survival time of 28 days for group 1,31 days for group 2, 34 days for group 3, 36 days for group 4 and 36 days for group 5 (p < 0.0001). Mice treated with repeated IP BV (p = 0.003) or single IA BV with (p = 0.015) or without (p = 0.005) BBBD showed a significant survival benefit compared to single IP BV treated mice. Post mortem analysis revealed a histological pattern with a more discontinuous border between tumor and mouse brain in the repeated IP BV and single IA BV with or without BBBD treated mice compared to the sharply defined edges of single IP BV treated and control mice.
In this study we showed a significant survival benefit of repeated IP BV and single IA BV with or without BBBD treated mice compared to single IP BV treated and control mice in a U87 xenograft model.
No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology