Beth M McMahon

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Рочестер, Michigan, United States

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Publications (10)23.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: NT69L, a neurotensin analog that crosses the blood-brain barrier, reduces body temperature, reverses apomorphine-induced climbing, haloperidol-induced catalepsy, and D-amphetamine- and cocaine-induced locomotor activity in rats. In this study we tested the development of tolerance to these effects of NT69L in rats. The blockade of apomorphine-induced climbing behavior and D-amphetamine- and cocaine-induced hyperactivity seen after a single acute injection did not show significant change with repeated daily injections of NT69L. Thus, for example, NT69L after five daily injections at a fixed dosage was as effective at reversing cocaine-induced hyperactivity as after the first injection. On the other hand, repeated daily injections of NT69L resulted in a diminished hypothermic response and a diminished anticataleptic effect against haloperidol. The effect of NT69L on blood glucose, cortisol, and thyroxine (T(4)) were all back to control levels after five daily injections. Thus, tolerance developed to NT69L after the first injection, when it was tested for causing hypothermia, blockade of haloperidol-induced catalepsy, and change in blood glucose, cortisol and T(4) levels. Since tolerance did not develop to the effects of drugs acting as direct (apomorphine) or indirect (D-amphetamine and cocaine) agonists at dopamine receptors over the course of 5 days, these findings suggest a selective role of neurotensin in the modulation of dopamine neurotransmission. Furthermore, due to the lack of development of tolerance, NT69L or similar analogs might be useful in modulating certain behavioral effects of psychostimulants or have potential use as an antipsychotic drug in humans.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2003 · Brain Research
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    ABSTRACT: The potential use of hypothermia as a therapeutic treatment for stroke and other pathological insults has prompted the search for drugs that can lower core temperature. Ideally, a drug is needed that reduces the set-point for control of core temperature (T(c)) and thereby induces a regulated reduction in T(c). To this end, a neurotensin analog (NT77) that crosses the blood brain barrier and induces hypothermia was assessed for its effects on the set-point for temperature regulation in the Sprague-Dawley rat by measuring behavioral and autonomic thermoregulatory responses. Following surgical implanation of radiotransmitters to monitor T(c), rats were placed in a temperature gradient and allowed to select from a range of ambient temperatures (T(a)) while T(c) was monitored by radiotelemetry. There was an abrupt decrease in selected T(a) from 29 to 16 degrees C and a concomitant reduction in T(c) from 37.4 to 34.0 degrees C 1 hr after IP injection of 5.0 mg/kg NT77. Selected T(a) and T(c) then recovered to control levels by 1.5 hr and 4 hr, respectively. Oxygen consumption (M) and heat loss (H) were measured in telemetered rats housed in a direct calorimeter maintained at a T(a) of 23.5 degrees C. Injection of NT77 initially led to a reduction in M, little change in H, and marked decrease in T(c). H initially rose but decreased around the time of the maximal decrease in T(c). Overall, NT77 appears to induce a regulated hypothermic response because the decrease in T(c) was preceded by a reduction in heat production, no change in heat loss, and preference for cold T(a)'s. Inducing a regulated hypothermic response with drugs such as NT77 may be an important therapy for ischemic disease and other insults.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2003 · Life Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The depositing in brain of amyloid beta peptide (Abeta), which is formed by the cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP), is likely an etiologic factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Of the different forms of Abeta, Abeta(1-42) causes fibril formation and increases aggregation at elevated levels, which can lead to neuronal death. It is hypothesized that if the levels of Abeta, particularly Abeta(1-42), were reduced, then the onset of AD would be slowed or possibly prevented. Therefore, we are using peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) targeted to APP, as well as other key proteins, to try to decrease plasma and brain levels of Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42). This research project was designed to utilize the expertise of our laboratory in the use of PNAs, a third-generation antisense or antigene molecule, to knock down proteins in brain. Antisense compounds specifically knock down the expression of a particular protein by inhibiting translation at the level of mRNA. On the other hand, antigene compounds knock down expression at the level of transcription. For experiments involving antisense strategies, there are several advantages to using PNAs as opposed to the traditional oligonucleotide molecules. We report here the ongoing studies with mice and rats with PNAs targeting APP, as well as BACE.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2003 · Journal of Molecular Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: The deposition of amyloid beta peptide (A beta) is an early and critical aspect of Alzheimer's disease. A beta is formed by the cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Studies of familial forms of Alzheimer's disease indicate that elevated secretion of A beta, particularly A beta(1-42), is likely to be an etiologic agent in the disease. A beta(1-42) is known to cause fibril formation and at elevated levels increases aggregation, which can lead to neuronal death. It has, therefore, been hypothesized that if the levels of A betaB, particularly A beta(1-42), could be reduced that onset of Alzheimer's disease could be slowed or possibly prevented. We, therefore, propose using PNAs targeted to APP to decrease plasma and brain levels of A beta(1-40) and A beta(1-42). This research project is designed to expand upon the discovery in our laboratory that systemic administration of antisense or antigene treatments utilizing peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) can be used to target and shut down proteins. Antisense strategies are methods of specifically targeting a particular protein by inhibiting translation by complementary binding to mRNA, while antigene methods inhibit transcription by complementary binding to DNA. For experiments involving antisense strategies, there are several advantages to using PNAs as opposed to the traditional oligonucleotide approaches. We initially preformed our studies in rats and identified a PNA sequence that was able to significantly reduce the levels of A beta(1-41) in rat brain compared to vehicle control rats. We have switched to mice so that we can prepare to perform our experiments in a transgenic animal model of Alzheimer's disease. We have, however, run into several technical difficulties with using mice compared to rats. In spite of this, we have identified one PNA sequence that specifically lowers mouse brain A beta(1-40) A beta(1-42) by 37% and 47%, respectively.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2002 · Journal of Molecular Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) are uncharged DNA analogs that hybridize to complementary sequences with high affinity and stability. We previously showed that PNAs, after intraperitoneal injection into rats, are effective antisense compounds in vivo. The present study was designed to test whether PNAs also have antigene effects in vivo. The renin-angiotensin system is critical in the control of blood pressure. We designed and synthesized sense (antigene) PNAs to angiotensinogen, which is the precursor protein that leads to angiotensin I and II. Spontaneously hypertensive rats received intraperitoneal injections of either 20 mg/kg sense-angiotensinogen-PNA, mismatch-angiotensinogen PNA, or saline. Only the sense-angiotensinogen PNA treatment resulted in a significant decrease in plasma angiotensin I, systolic blood pressure, and liver and brain angiotensinogen mRNA levels. Thus, these results demonstrate on the molecular, protein, and physiological levels that antigene PNAs are effective in vivo upon systemic administration.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2002 · Life Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) are DNA analogs that hybridize to complementary nucleic sequences with high affinity and stability. In our previous work, we showed that a PNA complementary to a 12-base pair (bp) sequence of the coding region of the rat neurotensin receptor (rNTR1) mRNA is effective in significantly blocking a rat's central responses to neurotensin (NT), even when the PNA is injected intraperitoneally (i.p.). Using a novel gel shift detection assay to detect PNA, we have now used this same PNA sequence to derive its pharmacokinetic variables and its tissue distribution in the rat. The PNA has a distribution half-life of 3 +/- 3 minutes and an elimination half-life of 17 +/- 3 minutes. The total plasma clearance and volume of distribution of this PNA were 3.4 +/- 0.9 ml/min x kg and 60 +/- 30 ml/kg. Two hours after dosing, the PNA was found at detectable but low levels in all organs examined-in order of decreasing concentration: kidney, liver, heart, brain, and spleen. Approximately 90% of the PNA dose was recovered as unchanged parent compound in the urine 24 hours after administration.
    No preview · Article · May 2002 · Antisense and Nucleic Acid Drug Development
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    ABSTRACT: This review will be an update, focusing on the central nervous system (CNS) roles of the neurotransmitter, neurotensin. We will provide a summary of current knowledge about neurotensin, why it is an important peptide to study, and where the field is heading. Special emphasis is placed on the development of neurotensin analogs, which has been a major effort of our group, the potential role of neurotensin in Parkinson's disease, and the interaction of neurotensin with other neurotransmitters as evidenced by microdialysis studies.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2002 · Life Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Neurotensin (NT) is a tridecapeptide neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It has been implicated in the therapeutic effects of neuroleptics. Central activity of NT can only be demonstrated by direct injection into the brain, since it is readily degraded by peptidases in the periphery. We have developed many NT(8–13) analogs that are resistant to peptidase degradation and can cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB). In this study, we report on one of these analogs, NT77L. NT77L induced hypothermia (ED50=6.5 mg/kg, i.p.) but induced analgesia only at the highest dose examined (20 mg/kg, i.p.). Like the atypical neuroleptic clozapine, NT77L blocked the climbing behavior in rats induced by the dopamine agonist apomorphine (600 μg/kg) with an ED50 of 5.6 mg/kg (i.p.), without affecting the licking and the sniffing behaviors. By itself NT77L did not cause catalepsy, but it moderately reversed haloperidol-induced catalepsy with an ED50 of 6.0 mg/kg (i.p.). Haloperidol alone did not lower body temperature, but it potentiated the body temperature lowering effect of NT77L. In studies using in vivo microdialysis NT77L showed similar effects on dopamine turnover to those of clozapine, and significantly different from those of haloperidol in the striatum. In the prefrontal cortex, NT77L significantly increased serotonergic transmission as evidenced by increased 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid:5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HIAA:5-HT) ratio. Thus, NT77L selectively caused hypothermia, over antinociception, while exhibiting atypical neuroleptic-like effects.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2001 · Brain Research
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether the neurotensin analog NT69L, administered systemically, could induce mild brain hypothermia after asphyxial cardiac arrest (ACA) in rats. The study design was experimental, blinded, randomized, and approved by the animal use committee. All rats had continuous monitoring of brain temperature and sustained 8 minutes of ACA, resuscitation, and either saline or NT69L intravenously after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Rats surviving 14 days after ACA had a neurological deficit score (NDS) and a Morris Water Maze (MWM) test. Seven of eight rats in each group survived 14 days. Brain temperature was less than 35 degrees C 13.1 +/- 3 minutes (mean +/- standard deviation) after NT69L vs controls that remained 37.5 degrees C at the same ambient temperature (p < 0.05 ANOVA). The NT69L group remained below 35 degrees C for 300 +/- 100 minutes while the controls remained at 37.5 +/- 0.5 degrees C. The NDS in the NT69L rats was 3 +/- 3% vs controls 26 +/- 8% (p < 0.05, Kruskal-Wallis, 0% = normal, 100% = brain dead). The NT69L rats performed better on the MWM vs the controls (22 +/- 8 sec vs 45 +/- 26 sec, respectively, p < 0.05 ANOVA). NT69L induced rapid and prolonged mild brain hypothermia after ACA in this rat model and reduced neurological deficits.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2001 · Academic Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the effectiveness of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) in vivo, we designed and synthesized PNAs antisense to the mu receptor, the molecular target of morphine for inducing antinociception. Responsiveness of rats to morphine and the levels of mu receptor expression after treatment was measured. We delivered intraperitoneal injections of antisense PNAs targeted to the mu receptor (AS-MOR), mismatch PNAs (AS-MOR MM), antisense PNAs targeted to the neurotensin receptor subtype 1 (AS-NTR1), or saline and then challenged the rats with 5 mg/kg morphine (intraperitonally) or neurotensin directly into the periaqueductal gray region of the brain. To avoid tolerance, separate groups of animals were tested at 24, 48, and 72 h post-PNA treatment. Only animals treated with the AS-MOR showed a reduction in their antinociceptive response to morphine. The lack of effect of morphine on the AS-MOR rats was profound at 24 and 48 h, but animals tested at 72 h were similar to control groups. At 24 h the AS-MOR rats had a significant 55% decrease in the levels of mu receptor in their periaqueductal gray region, while AS-MOR MM rats showed no significant change. Lastly, the AS-MOR rats continued to show a normal antinociceptive response to neurotensin. This study, therefore, provides additional support for the use of PNAs to target proteins within brain by systemically administered PNAs.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2001 · Brain Research