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Publications (4)16.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway potentially links together the three major pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD): development of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and brain atrophy. As activation of the JNK pathway has been observed in amyloid models of AD in association with peri-plaque regions and neuritic dystrophy, as we confirm here for Tg2576/PS(M146L) transgenic mice, we directly tested whether JNK inhibition could provide neuroprotection in a novel brain slice model for amyloid precursor protein (APP)-induced neurodegeneration. We found that APP/amyloid beta (Abeta)-induced neurodegeneration is blocked by both small molecule and peptide inhibitors of JNK, and provide evidence that this neuroprotection occurs downstream of APP/Abeta production and processing. Our findings demonstrate that Abeta can induce neurodegeneration, at least in part, through the JNK pathway and suggest that inhibition of JNK may be of therapeutic utility in the treatment of AD.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · Neurobiology of Disease
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized by an increasing loss of dopaminergic neurons resulting in motor dysfunction. However, cognitive impairments in PD patients are a common clinical feature that has gained increased attention. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of an MPTP-induced dopaminergic lesion in mice on social odor recognition (SOR) memory. Mice were acutely treated with MPTP and evaluated for memory impairments in the SOR assay and characterized using biochemical and immunohistochemical methods approximately 2 weeks later. Here we demonstrate that SOR memory is sensitive to MPTP treatment and that it correlates with multiple measures of nigrostriatal integrity. MPTP treatment of C57BL/6N mice produced a profound decrease in dopamine levels, dopamine transporter binding and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the striatum. These impairments in stratial dopaminergic function were blocked by pretreatment with the MAO-B inhibitor deprenyl. Changes in the dopaminergic system parallel those observed in SOR with MPTP treatment impairing recognition memory in the absence of a deficit in odor discrimination during learning. Deprenyl pretreatment blocked the MPTP-induced impairment of SOR memory. The use of the SOR memory model may provide a preclinical method for evaluating cognitive therapies for PD.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Neurodegenerative Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: The systemic administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to mice produces a reliable and selective degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway, a hallmark feature of Parkinson's disease (PD). Determining the brain concentrations of 1-methyl-4-phenyl pyridium (MPP+), the neurotoxic metabolite of MPTP, is critical for evaluating drugs designed to potentially treat PD. We have developed sensitive and specific quantitative methods for the determination of MPP+ in mouse striatal tissue by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. The separations were carried out based on reversed phase chromatography or cation exchange chromatography with volatile elution buffer. Neutralizing the brain sample with 0.2M phosphate buffer successfully solved a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) peak tailing of MPP+ in brain extracts with 0.4M perchloric acid (HClO4) under the reversed phase HPLC conditions, which significantly improved the sensitivity of the method. The HPLC peak shape of MPP+ using cation exchange chromatography was not affected by the pH of the samples. Optimization of electrospray ionization (ESI) conditions for the quaternary ammonium compound MPP+ established the limits of detection (LOD) (S/N=3) at 0.34pg/mg tissue and 0.007pg/mg tissue (5microl of injection) using the reversed phase liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and the cation exchange LC/MS/MS, respectively. Both methods were selective, precise (%R.S.D.<6%), and sensitive over a range of 0.001-1ng/mg tissue. The cation exchange method showed greater sensitivity and tolerance to low pH samples than the reversed phase method. The developed methods were applied to monitoring changes in MPP+ concentrations in vivo. Two reference agents, R-(-) Deprenyl and MK-801, known to alter the concentration of MPP+ in MPTP treated mice were evaluated.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Journal of Chromatography B
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    ABSTRACT: The diuretic amiloride has recently proven neuroprotective in models of cerebral ischemia, a property attributable to the drug's inhibition of central acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). Given that Parkinson's disease (PD), like ischemia, is associated with cerebral lactic acidosis, we tested amiloride in the MPTP-treated mouse, a model of PD also manifesting lactic acidosis. Amiloride was found to protect substantia nigra (SNc) neurons from MPTP-induced degeneration, as determined by attenuated reductions in striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter (DAT) immunohistochemistry, as well as smaller declines in striatal DAT radioligand binding and dopamine levels. More significantly, amiloride also preserved dopaminergic cell bodies in the SNc. Administration of psalmotoxin venom (PcTX), an ASIC1a blocker, resulted in a much more modest effect, attenuating only the deficits in striatal DAT binding and dopamine. These findings represent the first experimental evidence of a potential role for ASICs in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Neurobiology of Disease