[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lead intoxication in humans is characterized by cognitive impairments, particularly in the domain of memory, where evidence indicates that glutamatergic neurotransmission may be impacted. Animal and cell culture studies have shown that lead decreases the expression and activity of glutamine synthetase (GS) in astrocytes, yet the basis of this effect is uncertain. To investigate the mechanism responsible, the present study exposed primary astrocyte cultures to a range of concentrations of lead acetate (0–330 μM) for up to 24 h. GS activity was significantly reduced in cells following 24 h incubation with 100 or 330 μM lead acetate. However, no reduction in GS activity was detected when astrocytic lysates were co-incubated with lead acetate, suggesting that the mechanism is not due to a direct interaction and involves intact cells. Since GS is highly sensitive to oxidative stress, the capacity of lead to inhibit the clearance of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was investigated. It was found that exposure to lead significantly diminished the capacity of astrocytes to degrade H2O2, and that this was due to a reduction in the effectiveness of the glutathione system, rather than to catalase. These results suggest that the inhibition of GS activity in lead poisoning is a consequence of slowed H2O2 clearance, and supports the glutathione pathway as a primary therapeutic target.
Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we demonstrate how functional groups on the surface of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs) can influence the encapsulation and release of the anticancer drug doxorubicin, as well as cancer cell response in the absence or presence of serum proteins. To this end, we synthesized four differently functionalized MSNPs with amine, sulfonate, polyethylene glycol or polyethylene imine functional surface groups, as well as one type of antibody-conjugated MSNP for specific cellular targeting and characterized these MSNPs regarding their physicochemical properties, colloidal stability in physiological media and uptake and release of doxorubicin in vitro. Then, the MSNPs were investigated for their cytotoxic potential on cancer cells. Cationic MSNPs could not be loaded with doxorubicin and did therefore not show any cytotoxic and antiproliferative potential on osteosarcoma cells, although they were efficiently taken up into the cells in the presence or absence of serum. In contrast, substantial amounts of doxorubicin were loaded into negatively charged and unfunctionalized MSNPs. Especially sulfonate functionalized doxorubicin-loaded MSNPs were efficiently taken up into the cells in the presence of serum and showed an accelerated toxic and antiproliferative potential compared to unfunctionalized MSNPs, antibody-conjugated MSNPs and even free doxorubicin. These findings stress the high importance of the surface charge as well as of the protein corona for designing and applying nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metformin is the most frequently used drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in humans. However, only little is known about effects of metformin on brain metabolism. To investigate potential metabolic consequences of an exposure of brain cells to metformin, we incubated rat astrocyte-rich primary cultures with this compound. Metformin in concentrations of up to 30 mM did not acutely compromise the viability of astrocytes, but caused a time- and concentration-dependent increase in cellular glucose consumption and lactate production. For acute incubations in the hour range, the presence of 10 mM metformin doubled the glycolytic flux, while already 1 mM metformin doubled glycolytic flux during incubation for 24 h. In addition to metformin, also other guanidino compounds increased astrocytic lactate production. After 4 h of incubation, half-maximal stimulation of glycolysis was observed for metformin, guanidine and phenformin at concentrations of around 3 mM, 3 mM and 30 µM, respectively. The acute stimulation of glycolytic lactate production by metformin was persistent after removal of extracellular metformin and was also observed, if glucose was absent from the incubation medium or replaced by other hexoses. The metformin-induced stimulation of glycolytic flux was not prevented by compound C, an inhibitor of AMP-dependent protein kinase, nor was it additive to the stimulation of glycolytic flux caused by respiratory chain inhibitors. These data demonstrate that the antidiabetic drug metformin has the potential to strongly activate glycolytic lactate production in brain astrocytes.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Neurochemical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A protein corona forms spontaneously around silica nanoparticles (SNPs) in serum-containing media. To test whether this protein corona can be utilized for the loading and release of anticancer drugs we incorporated the hydrophilic doxorubicin, the hydrophobic meloxicam as well as their combination in the corona around SNPs. The application of corona-covered SNPs to osteosarcoma cells revealed that drug-free particles did not affect the cell viability. In contrast, SNPs carrying a protein corona with doxorubicin or meloxicam lowered the cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, these particles had an even greater antiproliferative potential than the respective concentrations of free drugs. The best antiproliferative effects were observed for SNPs containing both doxorubicin and meloxicam in their corona. Co-localization studies revealed the presence of doxorubicin fluorescence in the nucleus and lysosomes of cells exposed to doxorubicin-containing coated SNPs, suggesting that endocytotic uptake of the SNPs facilitates the cellular accumulation of the drug. Our data demonstrate that the protein corona, which spontaneously forms around nanoparticles, can be efficiently exploited for loading the particles with multiple drugs for therapeutic purposes. As drugs are efficiently released from such particles they may have a great potential for nanomedical applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) are used for various biomedical and neurobiological applications. Thus, detailed knowledge on the accumulation and toxic potential of IONPs for the different types of brain cells is highly warranted. Literature data suggest that microglial cells are more vulnerable towards IONP exposure than other types of brain cells. To investigate the mechanisms involved in IONP-induced microglial toxicity, we applied fluorescent dimercaptosuccinate-coated IONPs to primary cultures of microglial cells. Exposure to IONPs for 6 h caused a strong concentration-dependent increase in the microglial iron content which was accompanied by a substantial generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and by cell toxicity. In contrast, hardly any ROS staining and no loss in cell viability were observed for cultured primary astrocytes and neurons although these cultures accumulated similar specific amounts of IONPs than microglia. Co-localization studies with lysotracker revealed that after 6 h of incubation in microglial cells, but not in astrocytes and neurons, most IONP fluorescence was localized in lysosomes. ROS formation and toxicity in IONP-treated microglial cultures were prevented by neutralizing lysosomal pH by the application of NH4Cl or Bafilomycin A1 and by the presence of the iron chelator 2,2′-bipyridyl. These data demonstrate that rapid iron liberation from IONPs at acidic pH and iron-catalyzed ROS generation are involved in the IONP-induced toxicity of microglia and suggest that the relative resistance of astrocytes and neurons against acute IONP toxicity is a consequence of a slow mobilization of iron from IONPs in the lysosomal degradation pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Copper is an essential trace element for many important cellular functions. However, excess of copper can impair cellular functions by copper-induced oxidative stress. In brain, astrocytes are considered to play a prominent role in the copper homeostasis. In this short review we summarise the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms which are involved in the handling of copper by astrocytes. Cultured astrocytes efficiently take up copper ions predominantly by the copper transporter Ctr1 and the divalent metal transporter DMT1. In addition, copper oxide nanoparticles are rapidly accumulated by astrocytes via endocytosis. Cultured astrocytes tolerate moderate increases in intracellular copper contents very well. However, if a given threshold of cellular copper content is exceeded after exposure to copper, accelerated production of reactive oxygen species and compromised cell viability are observed. Upon exposure to sub-toxic concentrations of copper ions or copper oxide nanoparticles, astrocytes increase their copper storage capacity by upregulating the cellular contents of glutathione and metallothioneins. In addition, cultured astrocytes have the capacity to export copper ions which is likely to involve the copper ATPase 7A. The ability of astrocytes to efficiently accumulate, store and export copper ions suggests that astrocytes have a key role in the distribution of copper in brain. Impairment of this astrocytic function may be involved in diseases which are connected with disturbances in brain copper metabolism.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Neurochemical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the importance of the surface charge for cellular uptake of silica nanoparticles (NPs) we synthesised five different single- or multi-functionalised fluorescent silica NPs (FFSNPs) by introducing various ratios of amino and sulfonate groups into their surface. These FFSNPs were tailored in their zeta potential values from highly positive to highly negative, while other physicochemical properties remained almost constant. Irrespective of the original surface charge, serum proteins adsorbed onto the surface, neutralised the zeta potential values and prevented the aggregation of the tailor-made FFSNPs. Depending on the surface charge and on the absence or presence of serum, two opposite trends were found concerning the cellular uptake of FFSNPs. In the absence of serum, positively charged NPs were stronger accumulated by human osteoblast (HOB) cells than negatively charged NPs. In contrast, in serum-containing medium anionic FFSNPs were internalised by HOB cells more strongly, despite the similar size and surface charge of all types of protein-covered FFSNPs. Thus, at physiological condition, when the presence of proteins is inevitable sulfonate-functionalised silica NPs are the favourite choice to achieve a desired high rate of NP internalisation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inorganic arsenic species arsenate and arsenite are common environmental toxins which contaminate the drinking water in many countries. Chronic intoxication with arsenicals has been connected with various diseases, but causes also neurological complications and impairs cognitive development, learning and memory. In brain, astrocytes have a pivotal role as partners of neurons in homeostatic and metabolic processes. In addition, astrocytes are the first parenchymal brain cell type which encounters substances which cross the blood-brain barrier and are considered as first line of defence against the toxic potential of xenobiotics. Therefore, astrocytes are likely to play a prominent role in the metabolism and potential detoxification of arsenicals in brain. This article summarizes the current knowledge on the uptake and toxicity of arsenate and arsenite in astrocytes and discusses the modulation of the astrocytic glucose and glutathione metabolism by arsenicals.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Neurochemical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immobilization of enzymes on solid materials is a promising strategy in biotechnological applications and proteomics. It can improve the enzymes’ stability, and enables a more convenient handling, easy separation from the reaction solution, and cyclic reuse of the enzymes. In order to investigate the proteolytic properties of a particle-bound protease, chymotrypsin was covalently immobilized on silica and alumina colloidal particles. The enzymatic activity of the bound chymotrypsin at different times, in consecutive proteolytic cycles, and after storage up to several weeks was investigated by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF MS). Using this approach, the proteolysis products were identified without using artificial protease substrates or intermediate chemicals. Lysozyme was used as a model protein to perform enzymatic digestion using immobilized chymotrypsin and the peptides generated from the proteolytic digestion were determined. Compared to the activity of chymotrypsin applied for the immobilization reactions, more active chymotrypsin was bound to alumina (between 1 and 10% of the initial concentration) than to silica (below 1%) colloidal particles. Compared to an excess of unbound chymotrypsin, the digestion of lysozyme was slower with chymotrypsin immobilized on colloidal particles and only 60% of the maximal amounts of lysozyme peptides were detected. The proteolytic activity of chymotrypsin immobilized on colloidal particles was maintained during storage at room temperature for up to at least seven weeks, while it was lowered during consecutive digestions.
No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Analytical Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on the chemical structure and the known chemical synthesis of the marine sponge alkaloid ageladine A, we synthesized the ageladine A-derivative 4-(naphthalene-2-yl)-1H-imidazo[4,5-c]pyridine trifluoroacetate (LysoGlow84). The two-step synthesis started with the Pictet-Spengler reaction of histamine and naphthalene-2-carbaldehyde to a tetrahydropyridine intermediate, which was dehydrogenated with activated manganese (IV) oxide to LysoGlow84. Structure and purity of the synthesized LysoGlow84 were confirmed by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The fluorescence intensity emitted by LysoGlow84 depended strongly on the pH of the solvent with highest fluorescence intensity recorded at pH 4. The fluorescence maximum (at 315 nm excitation) was 921 observed at 440 nm. Biocompatibility of LysoGlow84 was investigated using cultured rat brain astrocytes and the marine flatworm Macrostomum lignano. Exposure of the astrocytes for up to 6 h to micromolar concentrations of LysoGlow84 did not compromise cell viability, as demonstrated by several viability assays, but revealed a promising property of this compound for staining of cellular vesicles. Conventional fluorescence microscopy as well as confocal scanning microscopy of LysoGlow84-treated astrocytes revealed co-localization of LysoGlow84 fluorescence with that of LysoTracker ® Red DND-99. LysoGlow84 stained unclear structures in Macrostomum lignano, which were identified as lysosomes by co-staining with LysoTracker. Strong fluorescence staining by LysoGlow84 was further observed around the worms' anterior gut and the female genital pore which were not counterstained by LysoTracker Red. Thus, LysoGlow84 is a new promising dye that stains lysosomes and other acidic compartments in cultured cells and in worms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colloidosomes are microcapsules consisting of nanoparticle shells. These microcarriers can be self-assembled from a wide range of colloidal particles with selective chemical, physical, and morphological properties and show promise for application in the field of theranostic nanomedicine. Previous studies have mainly focused on fairly large colloidosomes (>1 μm) based on a single kind of particle; however, the intrinsic building-block nature of this microcarrier has not been exploited so far for the introduction of tailored functionality at the nanoscale. We report a synthetic route based on interfacial shear rheology studies that allows the simultaneous incorporation of different nanoparticles with distinct physical properties, that is, superparamagnetic iron oxide and fluorescent silica nanoparticles, in a single submicron colloidosome. These tailor-made microcapsules can potentially be used in various biomedical applications, including magnetic hyperthermia, magnetic particle imaging, drug targeting, and bioimaging.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arsenate is an environmental pollutant which contaminates the drinking water of millions of people worldwide. Numerous in vitro studies have investigated the toxicity of arsenate for a large number of different cell types. However, despite the known neurotoxic potential of arsenicals, little is known so far about the consequences of an exposure of neurons to arsenate. To investigate acute effects of arsenate on the viability and the glutathione (GSH) metabolism of neurons, we have exposed primary rat cerebellar granule neuron cultures to arsenate. Incubation of neurons for up to 6 h with arsenate in concentrations of up to 10 mM did not acutely compromise the cell viability, although the cells accumulated substantial amounts of arsenate. However, exposure to arsenate caused a time- and concentration-dependent increase in the export of GSH from viable neurons with significant effects observed for arsenate in concentrations above 0.3 mM. The arsenate-induced stimulation of GSH export was abolished upon removal of arsenate and completely prevented by MK571, an inhibitor of the multidrug resistance protein 1. These results demonstrate that arsenate is not acutely toxic to neurons but can affect the neuronal GSH metabolism by stimulating GSH export.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Neurochemical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrocytes have a pivotal role in brain as partners of neurons in homeostatic and metabolic processes. Astrocytes also protect other types of brain cells against the toxicity of reactive oxygen species and are considered as first line of defence against the toxic potential of xenobiotics. A key component in many of the astrocytic detoxification processes is the tripeptide glutathione (GSH) which serves as electron donor in the GSH peroxidase-catalyzed reduction of peroxides. In addition, GSH is substrate in the detoxification of xenobiotics and endogenous compounds by GSH-S-transferases which generate GSH conjugates that are efficiently exported from the cells by multidrug resistance proteins. Moreover, GSH reacts with the reactive endogenous carbonyls methylglyoxal and formaldehyde to intermediates which are substrates of detoxifying enzymes. In this article we will review the current knowledge on the GSH metabolism of astrocytes with a special emphasis on GSH-dependent detoxification processes.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Neurochemical Research