P L McGeer

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (665)2956.8 Total impact

  • Moonhee Lee · Edith G. McGeer · Patrick L. McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: Sodium thiosulfate (STS) is an industrial chemical which has also been approved for the treatment of certain rare medical conditions. These include cyanide poisoning and calciphylaxis in hemodialysis patients with end-stage kidney disease. Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of STS in our glial-mediated neuroinflammatory model. Firstly, we measured glutathione (GSH) and hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S, SH − ) levels in glial cells after treatment with sodium hydrosulfide (NaSH) or STS. We also measured released levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) from them. We used two cell viability assays, MTT and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assays, to investigate glial-mediated neurotoxicity and anti-inflammatory effects of NaSH or STS. We also employed Western blot to examine activation of intracellular inflammatory pathways. We found that STS increases H 2 S and GSH expression in human microglia and astrocytes. When human microglia and astrocytes are activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/interferon-γ (IFNγ) or IFNγ, they release materials that are toxic to differentiated SH-SY5Y cells. When the glial cells were treated with NaSH or STS, there was a significant enhancement of neuroprotection. The effect was concentration-dependent and incubation time-dependent. Such treatment reduced the release of TNFα and IL-6 and also attenuated activation of P38 MAPK and NFκB proteins. The compounds tested were not harmful when applied directly to all the cell types. Although NaSH was somewhat more powerful than STS in these in vitro assays, STS has already been approved as an orally available treatment. STS may therefore be a candidate for treating neurodegenerative disorders that have a prominent neuroinflammatory component.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2016 · Journal of Neuroinflammation

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Schizophrenia Research
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The membrane attack complex (MAC) is a key player in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and is a putative activator of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Amyloid beta (Aβ), a component of drusen deposits, has also been implicated in inflammasome activation by our work and those of others. However, the interactions of MAC and Aβ are still poorly understood, especially their roles in aging and retinal degenerative pathologies. Since inflammasome activation may represent a key cellular pathway underlying age-related chronic inflammation in the eye, the purpose of this study is to identify the effects associated with MAC and inflammasome activation in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid and to evaluate the therapeutic merits of MAC suppression. METHODS: Adult Long-Evans rats were divided into treatment and control groups. Treatment groups received oral aurin tricarboxylic acid complex (ATAC), a MAC inhibitor, in drinking-water, and control groups received drinking-water alone (No ATAC). Groups were sacrificed at 7.5 or 11.5 months, after approximately 40 days of ATAC treatment. To study age-related changes of Aβ and MAC in RPE/choroid, naive animals were sacrificed at 2.5, 7.5, and 11.5 months. Eye tissues underwent immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis for MAC, Aβ, NF-κB activation, as well as cleaved caspase-1 and IL-18. Vitreal samples were collected and assessed by multiplex assays for secreted levels of IL-18 and IL-1β. Statistical analyses were performed, and significance level was set at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: In vivo studies demonstrated an age-dependent increase in MAC, Aβ, and NF-κB activation in the RPE/choroid. Systemic ATAC resulted in a prominent reduction in MAC formation and a concomitant reduction in inflammasome activation measured by cleaved caspase-1 and secreted levels of IL-18 and IL-1β, but not in NF-κB activation. In vitro studies demonstrated Aβ-induced MAC formation on RPE cells. CONCLUSIONS: Age-dependent increases in Aβ and MAC are present in the rodent outer retina. Our results suggest that suppressing MAC formation and subsequent inflammasome activation in the RPE/choroid may reduce chronic low-grade inflammation associated with IL-18 and IL-1β in the outer retina.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Neuroinflammation
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    ABSTRACT: We here report synthesis for the first time of the acetyl salicylic acid dimer 5,5'-methylenebis(2-acetoxybenzoic acid) (DAS). DAS inhibits aberrant complement activation by selectively blocking factor D of the alternative complement pathway and C9 of the membrane attack complex. We have previously identified aurin tricarboxylic and its oligomers as promising agents in this regard. DAS is much more potent, inhibiting erythrocyte hemolysis by complement-activated serum with an IC50 in the 100-170 nanomolar range. There are numerous conditions where self-damage from the complement system has been implicated in the pathology, including such chronic degenerative diseases of aging as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and age-related macular degeneration. Consequently, there is a high priority for the discovery and development of agents that can successfully treat such conditions. DAS holds considerable promise for being such an agent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Neurobiology of aging
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    Aiqin Zhu · Zhou Wu · Jie Meng · Patrick L. McGeer · Yi Zhu · Hiroshi Nakanishi · Shizheng Wu
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    ABSTRACT: We previously found that Ratanasampil (RNSP), a traditional Tibetan medicine, improves the cognitive function of mild-to-moderate AD patients living at high altitude, as well as learning and memory in an AD mouse model (Tg2576); however, mechanism underlying the effects of RNSP is unknown. In the present study, we investigated the effects and molecular mechanisms of RNSP on oxidative stress-induced neuronal toxicity using human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Pretreatment with RNSP significantly ameliorated the hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2-) induced cytotoxicity of SH-SY5Y cells in a dose-dependent manner (up to 60 μg/mL). Furthermore, RNSP significantly reduced the H2O2-induced upregulation of 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG, the oxidative DNA damage marker) but significantly reversed the expression of repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) from H2O2 associated (100 μM) downregulation. Moreover, RNSP significantly attenuated the H2O2-induced phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2) in SH-SY5Y cells. These observations strongly suggest that RNSP may protect the oxidative stress-induced neuronal damage that occurs through the properties of various antioxidants and inhibit the activation of MAPKs. We thus provide the principle molecular mechanisms of the effects of RNSP and indicate its role in the prevention and clinical management of AD.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity
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    ABSTRACT: Bexarotene has been reported to reduce brain amyloid-β (Aβ) levels and to improve cognitive function in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Four groups failed to fully replicate the primary results but the original authors claimed overall support for the general conclusions. Because of its potential clinical importance, the current work studied the effects of bexarotene using two animal species and highly relevant paradigms. Rats were tested for the ability of bexarotene to prevent changes induced by an Aβ challenge in the form intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) administration of 7PA2 conditioned medium (7PA2 CM) which contains high levels of Aβ species. Bexarotene had no effect on the long-term potentiation of evoked extracellular field excitatory postsynaptic potentials induced by i.c.v. 7PA2 CM. It also had no effect following subcutaneous administration of 2, 5, 10 and 15 mg/kg on behavioral/cognitive impairment using an alternating-lever cyclic-ratio schedule of operant responding in the rat. The effects of bexarotene were further tested using the APPSwFILon,PSEN1*M146L*L286V transgenic mouse model of AD, starting at the time Aβ deposits first begin to develop. Mice were sacrificed after 48 days of exposure to 100 mg bexarotene per day. No significant difference between test and control mice was found using a water-maze test, and no significant difference in the number of Aβ deposits in cerebral cortex, using two different antibodies, was apparent. These results question the potential efficacy of bexarotene for AD treatment, even if instigated in the preclinical period prior to the onset of cognitive deficits reported for human AD. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Neuropharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Activated astrocytes, which can also be referred to as reactive astrocytes or astrogliosis, have been identified in affected regions of common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. Activated astrocytes may be beneficial, promoting neuronal survival due to their production of growth factors and neurotrophins. Activated astrocytes can also be detrimental to neighboring neurons in neuroinflammatory processes. Astrocytes exposed to certain inflammatory stimulants in vitro have been shown to release potentially neurotoxic molecules, including inflammatory cytokines, glutamate, nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species. It has recently been shown that adult human astrocytes stimulated with interferon-γ, a common inflammatory cytokine evidently present in neuropathological brains, exert potent neurotoxicity in vitro. This interferon- γ-induced astrocytic neurotoxicity is mediated by the activation of the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 pathway in the astrocytes, and involves intracellular phosphorylation of STAT3 at tyrosine-705 residue. Therefore, control of STAT3 activation in human astrocytes may be a promising new therapeutic strategy for a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders where activated astrocytes may contribute to the pathologies.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders)
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    Moonhee Lee · Xiaolei Shi · Annelise E Barron · Edith McGeer · Patrick L McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: LL-37 is the sole cathelicidin-derived antimicrobial peptide found in humans. It becomes active upon C-terminal cleavage of its inactive precursor hCAP18. In addition to antimicrobial action, it also functions as an innate immune system stimulant in many tissues of the body. Here we report that hCAP18 and LL-37 are expressed in all organs of the human body that were studied with the highest basic levels being expressed in the GI tract and the brain. It's expression and functional role in the central nerve system (CNS) has not previously been reported. We found increased expression of LL-37 in IFNγ-stimulated human astrocytes and their surrogate U373 cells, as well as in LPS/IFNγ-stimulated human microglia and their surrogate monocyte-derived THP-1 cells. We found that treatment of microglia, astrocytes, THP-1 cells and U373 cells with LL-37 induced secretion of the inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6; the chemokines IL-8 and CCL-2, and other materials toxic to human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. The mechanism of LL-37 stimulation involves activation of intracellular proinflammatory pathways involving phospho-P38 MAP kinase and phospho-NFκB proteins. We blocked the inflammatory stimulant action of LL-37 by removing it with an anti-LL-37 antibody. The inflammatory effect was also prevented by treatment with inhibitors of PKC, PI3K and MEK-1/2 as well as with the intracellular Ca(2+)-chelator, BAPTA-AM. This indicates involvement of these intracellular pathways. Our data suggest that LL-37, in addition to its established roles, may play a role in the chronic neuroinflammation which is observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Biochemical Pharmacology
  • Patrick L McGeer · Edith G McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Activated microglia are associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), as well as many other neurodegenerative diseases of aging. Microglia are therefore key targets for therapeutic intervention. Areas covered: β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits activate the complement system, which, in turn, stimulates microglia to release neurotoxic materials. Research has focused primarily on anti-inflammatory agents to temper this toxic effect. More recently there has been a focus on converting microglia from this M1 state to an M2 state in which the toxic effects are reduced and their phagocytic activity toward Aβ enhanced. Studies in transgenic mice have suggested a number of possible anti-inflammatory approaches but they may not always be a good model. An example is vaccination with antibodies to Aβ, which is effective in mouse models, but has repeatedly failed in clinical trials. Biomarker studies indicate that AD commences many years prior to clinical onset. Expert opinion: A hopeful approach to a disease-modifying treatment of AD is to administer agents that inhibit the inflammatory stimulation of microglia or successfully convert them to an M2 state. However, any such treatment must be started early in the disease.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
  • Moonhee Lee · Edith McGeer · Patrick L McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroinflammation is hypothesized to be a major driving force behind Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. This hypothesis predicts that activated microglial cells can stimulate neurons to produce excessive amounts of β-amyloid protein (Aβ1-42) and tau. The excess Aβ1-42 forms extracellular deposits which stimulate further microglial activation. The excess tau is partially released but also becomes phosphorylated forming intracellular neurofibrillary deposits. The end result is a positive feedback mechanism which drives the disease development. To test the viability of this hypothesis, we exposed differentiated SH-SY5Y and N-tera2/D1 (N-tera2) cells to conditioned medium (CM) from LPS/IFNγ-stimulated human microglia. We found that the CM caused a large increase in the production and release of Aβ and tau. The CM also caused SH-SY5Y cells to increase their expression of amyloid precursor protein and release of its β-secretase cleaved products (sAPPβs) as well as Aβ oligomers, but the CM reduced release of its α-secretase cleaved products (sAPPαs). Direct treatment of SH-SY5Y and N-tera2 cells with the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1β as well as with Aβ1-42, resulted in an increase in tau messenger RNA and protein expression. Pretreatment of LPS/IFNγ-stimulated human microglia cells with the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and aspirin, the antioxidant GSH, the H2S donor NaSH, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, resulted in a CM with diminished ability to stimulate tau expression. There was no effect on the morphology of SH-SY5Y cells, or on their viability, following exposure to micromolar levels of Aβ1-42. Our data indicate that reactive microglia play an important role in governing the expression of Aβ and tau, and therefore the progression of AD. They provide further evidence that appropriate anti-inflammatory treatment should be beneficial in AD.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Neurobiology of Aging
  • Patrick L McGeer

    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · BMJ (online)
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    Moonhee Lee · Sujaatha Narayanan · Edith G McGeer · Patrick L McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinemia (PNH) is a rare but serious condition characterized by complement-mediated red blood cell (RBC) hemolysis and episodic thrombotic attack. It results from decay accelerating factor (CD55), and protectin (CD59), becoming attached to RBC and other cell surfaces. Absence of these protective proteins leaves such cells vulnerable to self attack at the C3 convertase and membrane attack complex (MAC) stages of complement activation. We have previously reported that aurin tricarboxylic acid (ATA) is an orally effective agent that selectively blocks complement activation at the C3 convertase stage as well as MAC formation at the C9 insertion stage. We used a CH50 assay method and western blot analysis to investigate the vulnerability to complement attack of PNH RBCs compared with normal RBCs. Zymosan was used as the activator of normal serum and PNH serum. ATA was added to the sera to determine the concentration necessary to protect the RBCs from lysis by the zymosan-activated sera. We found that erythrocytes from PNH patients on long term treatment with eculizumab were twice as vulnerable as normal erythrocytes to lysis induced by complement activated serum. Western blot data showed the presence of both C3 and C5 convertases on the PNH patient erythrocyte membranes. These data indicate persistent vulnerability of PNH erythrocytes to complement attack due to deficiencies in CD55 and CD59. ATA, when added to serum in vitro, protected PNH erythrocytes from complement attack, restoring their resistance to that of normal erythrocytes. We conclude that ATA, by protecting PNH erythrocytes from their decay accelerating factor (CD55) and protectin (CD59) deficiencies, may be an effective oral treatment in this disorder.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The properties of Ca2+ signaling mediated by purinergic receptors are intrinsically linked with functional activity of astrocytes. At present little is known concerning Ca2+-dependent purinergic responses in adult human astrocytes. This work has examined effects of purinergic stimulation to alter levels of intracellular Ca2+ in adult human astrocytes. Ca2+-sensitive spectrofluorometry was carried out to determine mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ following adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or 3[prime]-O-(4-benzoyl)benzoyl-ATP (Bz-ATP) stimulation of adult human astrocytes. In some experiments pharmacological modulation of Ca2+ pathways was applied to help elucidate mechanisms of Ca2+ signaling. RT-PCR was also performed to confirm human astrocyte expression of specific purinoceptors which were indicated from imaging studies. The endogenous P2 receptor agonist ATP (at 100 muM or 1 mM) applied in physiological saline solution (PSS) evoked a rapid increase of [Ca2+]i to a peak amplitude with the decay phase of response exhibiting two components. The two phases of decay consisted of an initial rapid component which was followed by a secondary slower component. In the presence of Ca2+-free solution, the secondary phase of decay was absent indicating this prolonged component was due to influx of Ca2+. This prolonged phase of decay was also attenuated with the store-operated channel (SOC) inhibitor gadolinium (at 2 muM) added to standard PSS, suggesting this component was mediated by SOC activation. These results are consistent with ATP activation of P2Y receptor (P2YR) in adult human astrocytes leading to respective rapid [Ca2+]i mobilization from intracellular stores followed by Ca2+ entry through SOC. An agonist for P2X7 receptor (P2X7R), BzATP induced a very different response compared with ATP whereby BzATP (at 300 muM) elicited a slowly rising increase in [Ca2+]i to a plateau level which was sustained in duration. The BzATP-induced increase in [Ca2+]i was not enhanced with lipopolysaccharide pre-treatment of cells as previously found for P2X7R mediated response in human microglia. RT-PCR analysis showed that adult human astrocytes in vitro constitutively express mRNA for P2Y1R, P2Y2R and P2X7R. These results suggest that activation of metabotropic P2YR (P2Y1R and/or P2Y2R) and ionotropic P2X7R could mediate purinergic responses in adult human astrocytes.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · BMC Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) and nitric oxide (NO) have been described as gasotransmitters. Anti-inflammatory activity in the central and peripheral nervous systems may be one of their functions. Previously we demonstrated that several SH(-) donors including H2 S-releasing aspirin (S-ASA) exhibited anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activity in vitro against toxins released by activated microglia and astrocytes. Here we report that NOSH-ASA, an NO- and H2 S-releasing hybrid of aspirin, has a significantly greater anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effect than S-ASA or NO-ASA. When activated by LPS/IFNγ, human microglia and THP-1 cells release materials that are toxic to differentiated SH-SY5Y cells. These phenomena also occur with IFNγ-stimulated human astroglia and U373 cells. When the cells were treated with the S-ASA or NO-ASA, there was a significant enhancement of neuroprotection. However, NOSH-ASA had significantly more potent protection properties than NO-ASA or S-ASA. The effect was concentration-dependent, as well as incubation time-dependent. Such treatment not only reduced the release of the TNFα and IL-6, but also attenuated activation of P38 MAPK and NFκB proteins. All the compounds tested were not harmful when applied directly to SH-SY5Y cells. These data suggest that NOSH-ASA has significant anti-inflammatory properties and may be a new candidate for treating neurodegenerative disorders that have a prominent neuroinflammatory component such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. GLIA 2013.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Glia
  • Patrick L McGeer · Edith G McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: The amyloid cascade hypothesis is widely accepted as the centerpiece of Alzheimer disease (AD) pathogenesis. It proposes that abnormal production of beta amyloid protein (Abeta) is the cause of AD and that the neurotoxicity is due to Abeta itself or its oligomeric forms. We suggest that this, in itself, cannot be the cause of AD because demonstrating such toxicity requires micromolar concentrations of these Abeta forms, while their levels in brain are a million times lower in the picomolar range. AD probably results from the inflammatory response induced by extracellular Abeta deposits, which later become enhanced by aggregates of tau. The inflammatory response, which is driven by activated microglia, increases over time as the disease progresses. Disease-modifying therapeutic attempts to date have failed and may continue to do so as long as the central role of inflammation is not taken into account. Multiple epidemiological and animal model studies show that NSAIDs, the most widely used antiinflammatory agents, have a substantial sparing effect on AD. These studies provide a proof of concept regarding the anti-inflammatory approach to disease modification. Biomarker studies have indicated that early intervention may be necessary. They have established that disease onset occurs more than a decade before it becomes clinically evident. By combining biomarker and pathological data, it is possible to define six phases of disease development, each separated by about 5 years. Phase one can be identified by decreases in Abeta in the CSF, phase 2 by increases of tau in the CSF plus clear evidence of Abeta brain deposits by PET scanning, phase 3 by slight decreases in brain metabolic rate by PET-FDG scanning, phase 4 by slight decreases in brain volume by MRI scanning plus minimal cognitive impairment, phase 5 by increased scanning abnormalities plus clinical diagnosis of AD, and phase 6 by advanced AD requiring institutional care. Utilization of antiinflammatory agents early in the disease process remains an overlooked therapeutic opportunity. Such agents, while not preventative, have the advantage of being able to inhibit the consequences of both Abeta and tau aggregation. Since there is more than a decade between disease onset and cognitive decline, a window of opportunity exists to introduce truly effective disease-modifying regimens. Taking advantage of this opportunity is the challenge for the future.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Acta Neuropathologica
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    ABSTRACT: Immunohistochemical staining has been used to determine expression patterns of the angiogenic transcription factor, Ets-1, in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) individuals. Brain tissue from non-demented controls showed little expression of Ets-1 whereas in AD brain tissue, Ets-1 was ubiquitously expressed in cortex and hippocampus. Double immunostaining with von Willerbrand factor demonstrated prominent Ets-1 intravascular immunoreactivity (ir) in AD cortical microvessels. In addition, Ets-1 also exhibited extravascular expression characterized by a diffuse pattern of Ets-1 ir in AD brain. Double staining also showed Ets-1 colocalization in microvasculature with the potent angiogenic agent, vascular endothelial growth factor. Cell-associated tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a pro-inflammatory cytokine with pro-angiogenic activity, was primarily associated with diffuse extravascular Ets-1 ir. Clusters of HLA-DR positive microglia, resident immune cells of brain which release TNF-α, were also localized with diffuse Ets-1. Intravascular Ets-1 ir was maximally co-localized with soluble amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), Aβ1-40, in microvasculature whereas diffuse extravascular Ets-1 ir appeared in proximity to Aβ plaques in brain parenchyma. Similar overall results were obtained for patterns of Ets-1 staining in AD hippocampal tissue. This work provides novel findings on expression of the angiogenic transcription factor, Ets-1, in vascular remodeling and its association with pro-angiogenic factors, reactive microglia, and Aβ deposition in AD brain.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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    ABSTRACT: Although chromogranin A (CGA) is frequently present in Alzheimer's disease (AD), senile plaques associated with microglial activation, little is known about basic difference between CGA and fibrillar amyloid-β (fAβ) as neuroinflammatory factors. Here we have compared the interleukin-1β (IL-1β) production pathways by CGA and fAβ in microglia. In cultured microglia, production of IL-1β was induced by CGA, but not by fAβ. CGA activated both nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and pro-caspase-1, whereas fAβ activated pro-caspase-1 only. For the activation of pro-caspase-1, both CGA and fAβ needed the enzymatic activity of cathepsin B (CatB), but only fAβ required cytosolic leakage of CatB and the NLRP3 inflammasome activation. In contrast, fAβ induced the IL-1β secretion from microglia isolated from the aged mouse brain. In AD brain, highly activated microglia, which showed intense immunoreactivity for CatB and IL-1β, surrounded CGA-positive plaques more frequently than Aβ-positive plaques. These observations indicate differential pathways for the microglial IL-1β production by CGA and fAβ, which may aid in better understanding of the pathological significance of neuroinflammation in AD.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Neurobiology of aging
  • Moonhee Lee · Jian-Ping Guo · Edith G McGeer · Patrick L McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant complement activation is known to exacerbate the pathology in a spectrum of degenerative diseases of aging. We previously reported that aurin tricarboxylic acid (ATA) is an orally effective agent which prevents formation of the membrane attack complex of complement. It inhibits C9 attachment to tissue bound C5b678 and thus prevents bystander lysis of host cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of ATA on the alternative complement pathway. We found that ATA prevented cleavage of the tissue bound properdin-C3b-Factor B complex into the active C3 convertase enzyme properdin-C3b-Factor Bb. This inhibition was reversed by adding Factor D to the serum. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent type assays, we established that ATA binds directly to Factor D and C9 but not to properdin or other complement proteins. We conclude that ATA, by inhibiting at two stages of the alternative pathway, might be a particularly effective therapeutic agent in conditions such as macular degeneration, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinemia, and rheumatoid arthritis, in which activation of the alternative complement pathway initiates self damage.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Neurobiology of aging
  • Claudia Schwab · Sheng Yu · Winnie Wong · Edith G McGeer · Patrick L McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: The GABAergic system is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter system in the vertebrate brain. Although it is well established that the GABAergic system is affected in neuropsychiatric disorders, in Alzheimer's disease (AD) it has been considered to be relatively spared. In this study we describe the immunohistochemical localization of the main enzymes of the GABAergic system; glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), GAD67, and GABA transferase (GABAT) in human brain. In neocortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, and cerebellum, GAD65 and GAD67 immunoreactivity were found in neuropil granules, possibly axonal boutons or terminals, and in a subset of small to midsized neurons. GAD65 preferentially stained neuropil granules, while GAD67 preferentially stained neuronal cell bodies. GABAT intensely labeled many types of neurons and glia cells. While GAD65 and GAD67 stained the cytoplasm of cells homogeneously, GABAT labeling appeared irregular and granular. GAD65 immunoreactivity of neurons and neuropil was severely reduced in AD middle temporal gyrus, hippocampus, and putamen as determined by fluorescence and light microscopic immunohistochemistry. Western blotting revealed a similar reduction of GAD65, but not GAD67, protein levels in the middle temporal gyrus of AD. Our results suggest that the GABAergic system is more severely affected in AD than previously reported. This deficit may contribute to AD pathogenesis by loss of GABAergic inhibitory activity.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
  • M. Lee · E. McGeer · P. L. McGeer
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    ABSTRACT: Astrocytes become activated in degenerative neurological diseases. In order to gain a greater understanding of the inflammatory factors released upon activation, we stimulated adult human astrocytes with interferon-gamma and examined the resultant conditioned medium (CM) for toxicity against differentiated human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Cell death was measured by lactate dehydrogenase release assay. We then used various treatments of the media to determine the distribution and nature of the toxic components.Removal of interleukin-6 by a specific antibody reduced the toxicity by 22%. Blockade of proteases with an inhibitor cocktail reduced it by a further 22%. When oxygen-free radical production was blocked with NADPH oxidase inhibitors, the toxicity was reduced by 15.4%. When prostaglandin production was blocked by cyclooxygenase inhibitors, the toxicity of the CM was reduced by 14.5%. When glutamate was removed by treatment with glutamate decarboxylase, the toxicity was reduced by 10.3%. When the inhibitors were added together to the astrocyte culture, the total toxicity of the CM was reduced by 91%. This was in reasonable agreement with the 85.37% total obtained by adding the individual components. The data show that activated astrocytes release a specific combination of neurotoxic compounds. They suggest that effective anti-inflammatory treatment of such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis could be improved by using an appropriate combination of anti-inflammatory agents instead of relying on any single agent.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Neuroscience

Publication Stats

42k Citations
2,956.80 Total Impact Points


  • 1962-2015
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      • • Division of Neurology
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2012
    • University of Rostock
      Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
  • 2010
    • University of Kentucky
      Lexington, Kentucky, United States
    • University of Portsmouth
      • Biophysics Laboratories
      Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • National Taiwan University
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2006
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2004
    • University of Lausanne
      • Institute of Pathology
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 2002
    • University of Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2000
    • Banner Sun Health Research Institute
      Sun City, Arizona, United States
  • 1991
    • Kyoto University
      Kioto, Kyōto, Japan
  • 1990
    • Simon Fraser University
      Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1989
    • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Springfield, Illinois, United States
  • 1987
    • Shiga University of Medical Science
      • Department of Anatomy
      Ōtu, Shiga, Japan