[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been reported for more than 100 years, there is still a lack of effective cures for this devastating disorder. Among the various obstacles that hold back drug development, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is one of them. Here, we constructed a novel fusion peptide by linking the active domain of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) with an HIV-encoded transactivator of transcription (TAT) that has a strong membrane-penetrating property. After intraperitoneal injection, the eGFP-TAT could be robustly detected in different brain regions. By using scopolamine-induced rats and APPswe mice representing AD-like cholinergic deficits and amyloidosis, respectively, we found that intraperitoneal administration of the peptide significantly improved spatial memory with activation of the TrkB/ERK1/2/Akt pathway and restoration of several memory-associated proteins in both models. Administration of the peptide also modulated β-amyloid and tau pathologies in APPswe mice, and it increased the amount of M receptor with modulation of acetylcholinesterase in scopolamine-induced rats. We conclude that intraperitoneal administration of our TAT-BDNF peptide could efficiently target multiple molecular pathways in the brain and improve the cognitive functions in AD-like rodent models.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endothelin1 (ET1) is a potent vasoconstrictor that is also known to be a neuropeptide that is involved in neural circuits. We examined the role of ET1 that has been implicated in the anxiogenic process. We found that infusing ET1 into the IL cortex increased anxiety-like behaviors. The ETA receptor (ETAR) antagonist (BQ123) but not the ETB receptor (ETBR) antagonist (BQ788) alleviated ET1-induced anxiety. ET1 had no effect on GABAergic neurotransmission or NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated neurotransmission, but increased AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated excitatory synaptic transmission. The changes in AMPAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents were due to presynaptic mechanisms. Finally, we found that the AMPAR antagonists (CNQX) and BQ123 reversed ET1's anxiogenic effect, with parallel and corresponding electrophysiological changes. Moreover, infusing CNQX + BQ123 into the IL had no additional anxiolytic effect compared to CNQX treatment alone. Altogether, our findings establish a previously unknown anxiogenic action of ET1 in the IL cortex. AMPAR-mediated glutamatergic neurotransmission may underlie the mechanism of ET1-ETAR signaling pathway in the regulation of anxiety.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been indicated in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in which tau hyperphosphorylation is one major pathological alteration. The elevation of binding immunoglobulin protein (Bip), an important ER chaperon, was reported in AD brain. It is important to study the roles of ER-related chaperons in tau hyperphosphorylation. In this research, increased Bip was found in the brains of the AD model mice (Tg2576) compared to the age-matched control mice. Meanwhile, deficiency of SIL1, an important co-chaperon of Bip, was observed in brains of Tg2576 mice and in ER stress both in vivo and in vitro. Then, we transfected Bip-EGFP plasmid into HEK293 cells stably expressing the longest human tau (HEK293/tau) or N2a cells and found that increased Bip induced tau hyperphosphorylation via activating glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), an important tau kinase, and increased the association with tau and GSK-3β. When we overexpressed SIL1 in Bip-transfected HEK293/tau cells and thapsigargin-treated HEK293/tau cells, significantly reduced tau hyperphosphorylation and GSK-3β activation were observed. These results suggested the important roles of ER-related chaperons, Bip and SIL1, in AD-like tau hyperphosphorylation.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Molecular Neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogen deprivation is a high risk of cognitive dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases, and the early used estrogen replacement has been proved effective in many studies. Because of the adverse actions, selective estrogen receptor modulating has been raised to substitute for estrogen replacement. In this study, we observed in hippocampus of bilaterally ovariectomized rats that the level of estrogen receptor α (ERα) was decreased in nuclei with activated glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) in cytoplasm at 8 weeks after operation. The level of nuclear ERα is important for its transcriptional property, and the inhibition of GSK-3β benefits to ERα nuclear translocation. Then, we used 4,4k,4a-(4-propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1, 3, 5-triyl) trisphenol (PPT) (1 mg/kg/day), an agonist of ERα, combined with LiCl (40 mg/kg/day), an inhibitor of GSK-3β, to treat the ovariectomized rats. After the combination treatment of these two drugs (PPT + LiCl), the improved learning and memory abilities of ovariectomized rats in Morris water maze, increased dendritic spines in CA1 region, and decreased tau phosphorylation at Ser-396 in hippocampus were observed. Furthermore, PPT + LiCl treatment significantly increased ERα level in the nuclear fraction of hippocampus, and in the cytoplasmic fraction, the total level of GSK-3β was declined after treatment with its increased phosphorylation at Ser-9 (inactivation form). This study suggested that PPT + LiCl treatment could inhibit the activation of cytoplasmic GSK-3β and promote the nuclear translocation of ERα, and ERα together with GSK-3β maybe the targets to preserve hippocampus-dependent cognitive ability after long-term ovariectomy.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Molecular Neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cognition in all mammals including human beings declines during aging. The cellular events responsible for this decay involve a reduction of neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Here, we show that treatment with a nature product from a traditional Chinese medicine, namely salidroside restores the capacity of the dentate gyrus to generate new neurons and intercepts learning and memory decays in mice during aging. We uncover that new neurons in aging mice have functional features of an adult granule neuron by forming excitatory synapses with their putative targeting neurons. Genetic inhibition of synaptic transmission from new neurons abolishes the therapeutic effects of salidroside in behavioral tests. We also identify that salidroside targets CREB transcription for the survival of new neurons in the dentate gyrus of old mice. Thus, salidroside is therapeutically effective against learning and memory decays via stimulation of CREB-dependent functional neurogenesis in aging.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Molecular Neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
Death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) interacts with the tumor suppressor gene p53 via a direct binding of a death domain of DAPK1 to a DNA-binding motif (DM) of p53 (p53DM) and converges multiple cell death pathways in stroke. The goals of this study are to determine whether disruption of DAPK1-p53 interaction is therapeutically effective against stroke.
We synthesized a membrane-permeable p53DM peptide (Tat-p53DM) and tested the therapeutic effects of Tat-p53DM in a mouse model with stroke.
We showed that Tat-p53DM blocked DAPK1-p53 interaction in brain cells in vivo. When administered 6 hours after stroke onset in adult male mice, Tat-p53DM was still therapeutically effective against brain damages and improved neurological functions.
DAPK1-p53 interaction is a preferred target for therapeutic intervention of stroke.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common form of dementia. Early and differential diagnosis of AD has always been an arduous task for the medical expert due to the unapparent early symptoms and the currently imperfect imaging examination methods. Therefore, obtaining reliable markers with clinical diagnostic value in easily assembled samples is worthy and significant. Our previous work with laser Raman spectroscopy (LRS), in which we detected platelet samples of different ages of AD transgenic mice and non-transgenic controls, showed great effect in the diagnosis of AD. In addition, a multilayer perception network (MLP) classification method was adopted to discriminate the spectral data. However, there were disturbances, which were induced by noise from the machines and so on, in the data set; thus the MLP method had to be trained with large-scale data. In this paper, we aim to re-establish the classification models of early and advanced AD and the control group with fewer features, and apply some mechanism of noise reduction to improve the accuracy of models. An adaptive classification method based on the Gaussian process (GP) featured, with predictive probabilities, is proposed, which could tell when a data set is related to some kind of disease. Compared with MLP on the same feature set, GP showed much better performance in the experimental results. What is more, since the spectra of platelets are isolated from AD, GP has good expansibility and can be applied in diagnosis of many other similar diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Spectral data of 4 month and 12 month AD platelets, as well as control data, were collected. With predictive probabilities, the proposed GP classification method improved the diagnostic sensitivity to nearly 100%. Samples were also collected from PD platelets as classification and comparison to the 12 month AD. The presented approach and our experiments indicate that utilization of GP with predictive probabilities in platelet LRS detection analysis turns out to be more accurate for early and differential diagnosis of AD and has a wide application prospect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) has multiple etiopathogenic factors, yet the definitive cause remains unclear and the therapeutic strategies have been elusive. Combination therapy, as one of the promising treatments, has been studied for years and may exert synergistic beneficial effects on AD through polytherapeutic targets. In this study, we tested the effects of a synthesized juxtaposition (named SCR1693) composed of an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) and a calcium channel blocker (CCB) on the hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy)-induced AD rat model, and found that SCR1693 remarkably improved the HHcy-induced memory deficits and preserved dendrite morphologies as well as spine density by upregulating synapse-associated proteins PSD95 and synapsin-1. In addition, SCR1693 attenuated HHcy-induced tau hyperphosphorylation at multiple AD-associated sites by regulating the activity of protein phosphatase-2A and glycogen synthase kinase-3β. Furthermore, SCR1693 was more effective than individual administration of both donepezil and nilvadipine which were used as AChEI and CCB, respectively, in the clinical practice. In conclusion, our data suggest that the polytherapeutic targeting juxtaposition SCR1693 (AChEI-CCB) is a promising therapeutic candidate for AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Region-specific neurodegeneration was reported in brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we studied the expression of some AD-associated proteins in temporal cortex, frontal cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus of 4-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats. Levels of the phosphorylated tau at Thr231, Ser396, and Ser202/Thr205, phosphorylated amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) and amyloid-β, synapse-associated proteins glutamate receptors 2, N-methyl-D-aspartic receptors 1 (NR1), NR2A, NR2B, and postsynaptic density protein 95 were much lower in cerebellum, while the levels of total tau, phosphorylated tau at Thr205, Ser214, Ser262, and Ser198/199/202 epitopes, and total AβPP were similar in the four brain regions. As endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was reported in the early stage of AD, we injected tunicamycin, an ER stress inducer, into the lateral ventricular of rats and 48 hours later found in the other three brain regions but not cerebellum, increasing of binding immunoglobulin protein with the increased phosphorylation of pancreatic ER kinase, inositol-requiring enzyme 1, and activating transcription factor 6. Simultaneously, levels of phosphorylated tau at all of the above sites were significantly increased with the activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β in temporal cortex, frontal cortex, and/or hippocampus, but not cerebellum. The synapse-associated proteins, GluR2, PSD95, and synapsin1, were found decreased in the hippocampus after tunicamycin exposure. These data together may partially explain why the AD-like neuropathology, such as formation of neurofibrillary tangles, was rarely detected in cerebellum.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repeated electroconvulsive therapy (rECT) is widely applied in the treatment of refractory depression, one of whose side effects, memory impairment, is noticed and needs effective protection. In this reseach, by employing a recognized repeated electroconvulsive shock (rECS) rat model, we found that rECS induced significant spatial memory retention deficits with simultaneous decreases in long-term potential (LTP), enhanced excitable postsynaptic potentials (EPSP), population spike (PS) and input/output curve in perforant pathway-dentate gyrus (PP-DG), but no obvious neuron loss or dentritic spine loss in the brain by Nissle or Golgi stainings. Furthermore, the increased synaptic proteins of NR2A/B, PSD93, PSD95, the immediate early gene c-Fos and CREB protein were detected in hippocampus of rECS rats. rECS was also found to cause enhanced axon reorganization in DG region of hippocampus by Timm staining. Intraperitoneal injection of phenylbutyric acid (PBA), an aromatic short chain fatty acid, acting as a molecule chaperon, could prevent against rats from the rECS-induced memory deficits and synaptic potential enhancement by decreasing the levels of the abnormal increased memory-associated proteins and enhanced axon reorganization in hippocampus. Our data suggested that PBA may be potentially used for attenuating the rECS-induced memory impairment.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Current neurovascular research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNA-17-92 (miR-17-92) cluster has been demonstrated to play a crucial role in various human cancers. However, its effects in osteosarcoma have not yet been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of miR-17-92 cluster in osteosarcoma. MiR-17-92 cluster expression in osteosarcoma clinical samples and cell lines was detected by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. Then, the association of miR-17-92 cluster level with survival of osteosarcoma patients was performed by the Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional regression analyses. Furthermore, the effects of miR-17-92 cluster on tumorigenicity of osteosarcoma cell lines were evaluated by in vitro assays. The relative expression of miR-17-92 cluster in osteosarcoma tissues was significantly higher than those in adjacent normal tissues (P=0.001). And there was a relationship between miR-17-92 cluster upregulation and advanced TNM stage of osteosarcoma patients (P=0.037). Moreover, higher miR-17-92 cluster expression clearly predicted poorer Recurrence-free survival (P<0.001) and Overall survival (P=0.002). In the multivariate analysis, high miR-17-92 cluster expression was an independent prognostic factor for Recurrence-free survival (P<0.001) and Overall survival (P=0.002). Furthermore, the cellular proliferation, invasion, and migration of osteosarcoma cell lines were significantly accelerated by miR-17-92 cluster plasmid in vitro assays.Our findings showed that miR-17-92 cluster could serve as a promising marker for tumor recurrence and survival of osteosarcoma patients. Moreover, miR-17-92 cluster has been identified as a promoter for tumorigenicity of osteosarcoma cells, thus it might be a critical targeted therapy strategy for osteosarcoma. Keywords: MiR-17-92 cluster, osteosarcoma, recurrence-free survival, overall survival, tumor progression, prognosis.