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Publications (5)23.52 Total impact

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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of a drug that stimulates endogenous myelination and spares axon degeneration during multiple sclerosis (MS) could potentially reduce the rate of disease progression. Using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of MS, we have previously shown that prophylactic administration of the estrogen receptor (ER) β ligand 2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile (DPN) decreases clinical disease, is neuroprotective, stimulates endogenous myelination, and improves axon conduction without altering peripheral cytokine production or reducing central nervous system (CNS) inflammation. Here, we assessed the effects of therapeutic DPN treatment during peak EAE disease, which represents a more clinically relevant treatment paradigm. In addition, we investigated the mechanism of action of DPN treatment-induced recovery during EAE. Given that prophylactic and therapeutic treatment with DPN during EAE improved remyelination-induced axon conduction, and that ER (α and β) and membrane (m)ERs are present on oligodendrocyte lineage cells, a direct effect of treatment on oligodendrocytes is likely. DPN treatment of EAE animals resulted in phosphorylated ERβ and activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/ serine-threonine-specific protein kinase (Akt)/ mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, a pathway required for oligodendrocyte survival and axon myelination. These results, along with our previous studies of prophylactic DPN treatment, make DPN and similar ERβ ligands immediate and favorable therapeutic candidates for demyelinating disease.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Neurobiology of Disease
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, are characterized by inflammatory demyelination and neurodegeneration of the central nervous system. Therapeutic strategies that induce effective neuroprotection and enhance intrinsic repair mechanisms are central goals for future therapy of multiple sclerosis. Oestrogens and oestrogen receptor ligands are promising treatments to prevent multiple sclerosis-induced neurodegeneration. In the present study we investigated the capacity of oestrogen receptor β ligand treatment to affect callosal axon demyelination and stimulate endogenous myelination in chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis using electrophysiology, electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry and tract-tracing methods. Oestrogen receptor β ligand treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice prevented both histopathological and functional abnormalities of callosal axons despite the presence of inflammation. Specifically, there were fewer demyelinated, damaged axons and more myelinated axons with intact nodes of Ranvier in oestrogen receptor β ligand-treated mice. In addition, oestrogen receptor β ligand treatment caused an increase in mature oligodendrocyte numbers, a significant increase in myelin sheath thickness and axon transport. Functional analysis of callosal axon conduction showed a significant improvement in compound action potential amplitudes, latency and in axon refractoriness. These findings show a direct neuroprotective effect of oestrogen receptor β ligand treatment on oligodendrocyte differentiation, myelination and axon conduction during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Brain
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pathological and radiological hallmarks of multiple sclerosis (MS) include multiple demyelinated lesions disseminated throughout the white matter of the central nervous system (CNS). More recently, the cerebral cortex has been shown to be affected in MS, but the elucidation of events causing cortical demyelination has been hampered by the lack of animal models reflecting such human cortical pathology. In this report, we have described the presence of cortical gray matter and callosal white matter demyelinating lesions in the chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of MS. Similar to the pathological lesions of MS patients, EAE lesions have been classified as type I-leukocortical, type II-intracortical and type III-subpial. All of these lesions had varying degrees of demyelination, inflammatory cells and reactive astrocytes. Similar to MS, cortical layers during EAE showed demyelination, microglia activation, synaptic protein alterations and apoptotic cells. In addition, the callosal white matter during EAE had many inflammatory demyelinating lesions and axon degeneration. Functional electrophysiological conduction analysis showed deficits in both myelinated and unmyelinated callosal axons during early and late EAE. The chronic EAE mouse model has features that mimic cortical and callosal pathology of MS, and can be potentially used to screen agents to prevent these features of disease.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Brain Pathology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Axonal dysfunction as a result of persistent demyelination has been increasingly appreciated as a cause of functional deficit in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the ultimate causes of ongoing axonal dysfunction and find effective measures to prevent axon loss. Our findings related to functional deficit and functional recovery of axons from a demyelinating insult are important preliminary steps towards understanding this issue. Cuprizone diet for 3-6 wks triggered extensive corpus callosum (CC) demyelination, reduced axon conduction, and resulted in loss of axon structural integrity including nodes of Ranvier. Replacing cuprizone diet with normal diet led to regeneration of myelin, but did not fully reverse the conduction and structural deficits. A shorter 1.5 wk cuprizone diet also caused demyelination of the CC, with minimal loss of axon structure and nodal organization. Switching to normal diet led to remyelination and restored callosal axon conduction to normal levels. Our findings suggest the existence of a critical window of time for remyelination, beyond which demyelinated axons become damaged beyond the point of repair and permanent functional loss follows. Moreover, initiating remyelination early within the critical period, before prolonged demyelination-induced axon damage ensues, will improve functional axon recovery and inhibit disease progression.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · Neuroscience
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The occurrence and histopathological characteristics of demyelination and neurodegeneration have been well described in different demyelinating mouse models. However, histopathological analysis is limiting in that it is unable to describe the functional consequences of demyelination and recovery after remyelination. Establishing the functional correlates of axon demyelination and remyelination is an important goal and can be used to measure axon function and develop neuroprotective therapies. This report describes a previously established, simple, easily applied method of electrophysiological measurement that can characterize white matter axonal dysfunction following demyelination and potential recovery after remyelination. It is designed to study in vitro stimulated compound action potentials in the corpus callosum of superfused brain slices at various time points and can be similarly used on white matter tracts in the optic nerve, spinal cord and cerebellum. Since behavioral testing can be performed prior to the brain slice electrophysiology, and the recorded slices can be post-fixed and subjected to histological analysis, correlates between behavior, axon function, and pathology can be determined. A temporal pattern of white matter functional deterioration and recovery can also be established to study mechanisms of demyelination-induced white matter injury and repair.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · Journal of Neuroscience Methods