[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anatomic distribution and age are variables linked to functions of astrocytes under physiologic and pathologic conditions. We measured the relative expression of a panel of microRNAs (miRNAs) in astrocytes captured by laser micro-dissection from normal human adult white and grey matter, human fetal white matter and germinal matrix samples. Although expression of most miRNAs was comparable between adult and fetal samples, regional differences were observed. In the adult cerebral cortex, expression of miRNAs in morphologically distinct inter-laminar astrocytes underlying the glial limitans differed from those in deeper cortical layers, suggesting functional specialization possibly related to structural stability and defense from potentially harmful factors in the cerebrospinal fluid. Differences between adult white and grey matter miRNA expression included higher expression of pro-inflammatory miRNAs in the former, potentially contributing to differences in inflammation between grey and white matter plaques in multiple sclerosis. Lower expression of miRNAs in fetal versus adult white matter astrocytes likely reflects the immaturity of these migrating cells. Highly expressed miRNAs in the fetal germinal matrix are probably relevant in development and also recapitulate some responses to injury. Future studies can address regional alterations of miRNA expression in pathological conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inactivating mutations of the NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO), a key component of NF-κB signaling, cause the genetic disease incontinentia pigmenti (IP). This leads to severe neurological symptoms, but the mechanisms underlying brain involvement were unclear. Here, we show that selectively deleting Nemo or the upstream kinase Tak1 in brain endothelial cells resulted in death of endothelial cells, a rarefaction of brain microvessels, cerebral hypoperfusion, a disrupted blood-brain barrier (BBB), and epileptic seizures. TAK1 and NEMO protected the BBB by activating the transcription factor NF-κB and stabilizing the tight junction protein occludin. They also prevented brain endothelial cell death in a NF-κB-independent manner by reducing oxidative damage. Our data identify crucial functions of inflammatory TAK1-NEMO signaling in protecting the brain endothelium and maintaining normal brain function, thus explaining the neurological symptoms associated with IP.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We provide a detailed morphometric analysis of eight transmission electron micrographs (TEMs) obtained from the corpus callosum of one cynomolgus macaque. The raw TEM images are included in the article, along with the distributions of the axon caliber and the myelin g-ratio in each image. The distributions are analyzed to determine the relationship between axon caliber and g-ratio, and compared against the aggregate metrics (myelin volume fraction, fiber volume fraction, and the aggregate g-ratio), as defined in the accompanying research article entitled ‘In vivo histology of the myelin g-ratio with magnetic resonance imaging’ .
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventional brain connectivity analysis is typically based on the assessment of interregional correlations. Given that correlation coefficients are derived from both covariance and variance, group differences in covariance may be obscured by differences in the variance terms. To facilitate a comprehensive assessment of connectivity, we propose a unified statistical framework that interrogates the individual terms of the correlation coefficient. We have evaluated the utility of this method for metabolic connectivity analysis using [18F]2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study. As an illustrative example of the utility of this approach, we examined metabolic connectivity in angular gyrus and precuneus seed regions of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects with low and high β-amyloid burdens. This new multivariate method allowed us to identify alterations in the metabolic connectome, which would not have been detected using classic seed-based correlation analysis. Ultimately, this novel approach should be extensible to brain network analysis and broadly applicable to other imaging modalities, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 8 October 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.165.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal neuronal accumulation and modification of TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) have recently been discovered to be defining histopathological features of particular subtypes of frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and are also common in aging, particularly coexisting with hippocampal sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease pathology. This case report describes a 72 year old Hispanic male with no family history of neurological disease, who presented at age 59 with obsessive behavior, anxiety, agitation, and dysphasia. Positron emission tomography imaging using the amyloid ligand 18F florbetapir (Amyvid) was positive. Postmortem examination revealed frequent diffuse and neuritic amyloid plaques throughout the cerebral cortex, thalamus, and striatum, Braak stage II neurofibrillary degeneration, and frequent frontal and temporal cortex TDP-43-positive neurites with rare nuclear inclusions. The case is unusual and instructive because of the co-existence of frequent cortical and diencephalic amyloid plaques with extensive TDP-43-positive histopathology in the setting of early-onset dementia and because it demonstrates that a positive cortical amyloid imaging signal in a subject with dementia does not necessarily establish that Alzheimer's disease is the sole cause.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyperhomocysteinemia can contribute to cognitive impairment and brain atrophy. Methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) activates methionine synthase, which catalyzes homocysteine remethylation to methionine. Severe MTRR deficiency results in homocystinuria with cognitive and motor impairments. An MTRR polymorphism may influence homocysteine levels and reproductive outcomes. The goal of this study was to determine whether mild hyperhomocysteinemia impacts neurologic function in a mouse model with Mtrr deficiency. Three-month-old Mtrr+/+, Mtrr+/gt and Mtrrgt/gt mice were assessed for short-term memory, brain volumes and hippocampal morphology. We also measured DNA methylation, apoptosis, neurogenesis, choline metabolites and expression of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in hippocampus. Mtrrgt/gt mice exhibited short-term memory impairment on 2 tasks. They had global DNA hypomethylation and decreased choline, betaine and acetylcholine levels. Expression of ChAT and AChE was increased and decreased, respectively. At 3 weeks of age, they showed increased neurogenesis. In cerebellum, mutant mice had DNA hypomethylation, decreased choline and increased expression of ChAT. Our work demonstrates that mild hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with memory impairment. We propose a mechanism whereby a deficiency in methionine synthesis leads to hypomethylation and compensatory disturbances in choline metabolism in hippocampus. This disturbance affects the levels of acetylcholine, a critical neurotransmitter in learning and memory.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Biochemical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Positron emission tomography (PET) studies using [18F]2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) have identified a well-defined pattern of glucose hypometabolism in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The assessment of the metabolic relationship among brain regions has the potential to provide unique information regarding the disease process. Previous studies of metabolic correlation patterns have demonstrated alterations in AD subjects relative to age-matched, healthy control subjects. The objective of this study was to examine the associations between β-amyloid, apolipoprotein E ɛ4 (APOE ɛ4) genotype, and metabolic correlations patterns in subjects diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Mild cognitive impairment subjects from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study were categorized into β-amyloid-low and β-amyloid-high groups, based on quantitative analysis of [18F]florbetapir PET scans, and APOE ɛ4 non-carriers and carriers based on genotyping. We generated voxel-wise metabolic correlation strength maps across the entire cerebral cortex for each group, and, subsequently, performed a seed-based analysis. We found that the APOE ɛ4 genotype was closely related to regional glucose hypometabolism, while elevated, fibrillar β-amyloid burden was associated with specific derangements of the metabolic correlation patterns.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 16 April 2014; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2014.66.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Persistent pain is a central characteristic of neuropathic pain conditions in humans. Knowing whether rodent models of neuropathic pain produce persistent pain is therefore crucial to their translational applicability. We investigated the spared nerve injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain and the formalin pain model in rats using positron emission tomography (PET) with the metabolic tracer [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to determine if there is ongoing brain activity suggestive of persistent pain. For the formalin model, under brief anesthesia we injected one hindpaw with 5% formalin and the FDG tracer into a tail vein. We then allowed the animals to awaken and observed pain behavior for 30min during the FDG uptake period. The rat was then anesthetized and placed in the scanner for static image acquisition, which took place between minutes 45 and 75 post-tracer injection. A single reference rat brain magnetic resonance image (MRI) was used to align the PET images with the Paxinos and Watson rat brain atlas. Increased glucose metabolism was observed in the somatosensory region associated with the injection site (S1 hindlimb contralateral), S1 jaw/upper lip and cingulate cortex. Decreases were observed in the prelimbic cortex and hippocampus. Second, SNI rats were scanned 3weeks post-surgery using the same scanning paradigm, and region-of-interest analyses revealed increased metabolic activity in the contralateral S1 hindlimb. Finally, a second cohort of SNI rats was scanned while anesthetized during the tracer uptake period, and the S1 hindlimb increase was not observed. Increased brain activity in the somatosensory cortex of SNI rats resembled the activity produced with the injection of formalin, suggesting that the SNI model may produce persistent pain. The lack of increased activity in S1 hindlimb with general anesthetic demonstrates that this effect can be blocked, as well as highlights the importance of investigating brain activity in awake and behaving rodents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuropathologic heterogeneity is often present among Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. We sought to determine whether amyloid imaging measures of AD are affected by concurrent pathologies. Thirty-eight clinically and pathologically defined AD and 17 nondemented patients with quantitative florbetapir F-18 (F-AV-45) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging during life and postmortem histological β-amyloid quantification and neuropathologic examination were assessed. AD patients were divided on the basis of concurrent pathologies, including those with Lewy bodies (LBs) (n = 21), white matter rarefaction (n = 27), severe cerebral amyloid angiopathy (n = 11), argyrophilic grains (n = 5), and TAR DNA binding protein-43 inclusions (n = 18). Many patients exhibited more than 1 type of concurrent pathology. The ratio of cortical to cerebellar amyloid imaging signal (SUVr) and immunohistochemical β-amyloid load were analyzed in 6 cortical regions of interest. All AD subgroups had strong and significant correlations between SUVr and histological β-amyloid measures (p < 0.001). All AD subgroups had significantly greater amyloid measures versus nondemented patients, and mean amyloid measures did not significantly differ between AD subgroups. When comparing AD cases with and without each pathology, AD cases with LBs had significantly lower SUVr measures versus AD cases without LBs (p = 0.002); there were no other paired comparison differences. These findings indicate that florbetapir-PET imaging is not confounded by neuropathological heterogeneity within AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To define the functional significance of increased miR-155 expression in myeloid cells in multiple sclerosis (MS).
miR-155 expression levels were measured in CD14+ monocytes from untreated relapsing-remitting MS patients and compared to healthy controls. Similar microRNA (miRNA) analyses were performed in laser-captured CD68+ cells from perivascular (blood-derived macrophages) and parenchymal (microglia) brain regions in both active MS lesions and noninflammatory cases. Using human adult blood-derived macrophages and brain-derived microglia, in vitro experiments were performed to demonstrate how miR-155 influences the polarization state, phenotype, and functional properties of myeloid cells, in addition to their ability to subsequently impact adaptive T-cell responses.
In MS, miR-155 expression was significantly increased in both peripheral circulating CD14+ monocytes and active lesions (CD68+ cells) compared to control donor monocytes and parenchymal microglia, respectively. In vitro, miR-155 was significantly increased in both M1-polarized primary human macrophages and microglia. Transfection of an miR-155 mimic increased proinflammatory cytokine secretion and costimulatory surface marker expression in both cell types; an miR-155 inhibitor decreased proinflammatory cytokine expression. Coculture experiments demonstrated that allogeneic T-cell responses were significantly enhanced in the presence of miR-155-transfected myeloid cells compared to controls.
Our results demonstrate that miR-155 regulates proinflammatory responses in both blood-derived and central nervous system (CNS)-resident myeloid cells, in addition to impacting subsequent adaptive immune responses. Differential miRNA expression may therefore provide insight into mechanisms responsible for distinct phenotypic and functional properties of myeloid cells, thus impacting their ability to influence CNS injury and repair.
No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Annals of Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and invasive adult brain cancer. The rapid invasion of cancer cells into the normal brain is a major cause of treatment failure, yet the mechanisms that regulate this process are poorly understood. We have identified a novel mechanism of brain cancer invasion. We show that downregulated in renal cell carcinoma (DRR), which is newly expressed in invasive gliomas, recruits AKT to focal adhesions. This DRR- induced pathological relocalization of AKT bypasses commonly altered upstream signaling events and leads to AKT activation and invasion. We also developed an oligonucleotide therapeutic that reduces DRR expression and prevents glioma invasion in an in vivo preclinical model of the disease. Our findings identify DRR as a novel GBM target and show that oligonucleotides targeting DRR is a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of DRR-positive GBMs.Oncogene advance online publication, 21 October 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.436.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have identified aberrant cortical structure in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The association between MRI-derived cortical morphometry measures and β-amyloid, however, remains poorly understood. In this study, we explored the potential relationship between early alterations in cortical thickness and later stage β-amyloid deposition, using a novel approach, in a transgenic AD mouse model. We acquired longitudinal anatomical MRI scans from mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice and age-matched wild-type mice at 1 and 3.5 months-of-age, and employed fully-automated image processing methods to derive objective, quantitative measures of cortical thickness on a region-of-interest basis. We also generated 3D quantitative immunohistochemistry (qIHC) volumes of deposited β-amyloid burden from 18 month-old transgenic mice using an automated, production-level process. These studies revealed thinner cortex in most regions in the 1 month-old transgenic mice relative to age-matched wild-types, with the exception of the frontal, perirhinal/entorhinal, posterior cingulate, and retrosplenial cortical regions. Betweeen 1 and 3.5 months-of-age, the transgenic mice demonstrated stable or increasing cortical thickness, while the wild-type mice showed cortical thinning. Based on data from co-registered 3D MRI and qIHC volumes, we identified an association between abnormal, early, regional cortical thickness change over 2.5 months and later β-amyloid deposition. These observations suggest that the spatio-temporal pattern of early (pre-plaque) alterations in cerebral cortical structure is indicative of regional predisposition to later β-amyloid pathology in a transgenic AD mouse model.
No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Neurobiology of Disease