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Sample records for adult astrocytic brain

  1. Molecular and Functional Properties of Regional Astrocytes in the Adult Brain.

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    Morel, Lydie; Chiang, Ming Sum R; Higashimori, Haruki; Shoneye, Temitope; Iyer, Lakshmanan K; Yelick, Julia; Tai, Albert; Yang, Yongjie

    2017-09-06

    The molecular signature and functional properties of astroglial subtypes in the adult CNS remain largely undefined. By using translational ribosome affinity purification followed by RNA-Seq, we profiled astroglial ribosome-associated (presumably translating) mRNAs in major cortical and subcortical brain regions (cortex, hippocampus, caudate-putamen, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, and hypothalamus) of BAC aldh1l1 -translational ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) mice (both sexes). We found that the expression of astroglial translating mRNAs closely follows the dorsoventral axis, especially from cortex/hippocampus to thalamus/hypothalamus posteriorly. This region-specific expression pattern of genes, such as synaptogenic modulator sparc and transcriptional factors ( emx2 , lhx2 , and hopx ), was validated by qRT-PCR and immunostaining in brain sections. Interestingly, cortical or subcortical astrocytes selectively promote neurite growth and synaptic activity of neurons only from the same region in mismatched cocultures, exhibiting region-matched astrocyte to neuron communication. Overall, these results generated new molecular signature of astrocyte types in the adult CNS, providing insights into their origin and functional diversity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We investigated the in vivo molecular and functional heterogeneity of astrocytes inter-regionally from adult brain. Our results showed that the expression pattern of ribosome-associated mRNA profiles in astrocytes closely follows the dorsoventral axis, especially posteriorly from cortex/hippocampus to thalamus/hypothalamus. In line with this, our functional results further demonstrated region-selective roles of cortical and subcortical astrocytes in regulating cortical or subcortical neuronal synaptogenesis and maturation. These in vivo studies provide a previously uncharacterized and important molecular atlas for exploring region-specific astroglial functions. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378706-12$15.00/0.

  2. Hippocampal Astrocyte Cultures from Adult and Aged Rats Reproduce Changes in Glial Functionality Observed in the Aging Brain.

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    Bellaver, Bruna; Souza, Débora Guerini; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André

    2017-05-01

    Astrocytes are dynamic cells that maintain brain homeostasis, regulate neurotransmitter systems, and process synaptic information, energy metabolism, antioxidant defenses, and inflammatory response. Aging is a biological process that is closely associated with hippocampal astrocyte dysfunction. In this sense, we demonstrated that hippocampal astrocytes from adult and aged Wistar rats reproduce the glial functionality alterations observed in aging by evaluating several senescence, glutamatergic, oxidative and inflammatory parameters commonly associated with the aging process. Here, we show that the p21 senescence-associated gene and classical astrocyte markers, such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin, and actin, changed their expressions in adult and aged astrocytes. Age-dependent changes were also observed in glutamate transporters (glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) and glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1)) and glutamine synthetase immunolabeling and activity. Additionally, according to in vivo aging, astrocytes from adult and aged rats showed an increase in oxidative/nitrosative stress with mitochondrial dysfunction, an increase in RNA oxidation, NADPH oxidase (NOX) activity, superoxide levels, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression levels. Changes in antioxidant defenses were also observed. Hippocampal astrocytes also displayed age-dependent inflammatory response with augmentation of proinflammatory cytokine levels, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-18, and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2). Furthermore, these cells secrete neurotrophic factors, including glia-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B) protein, and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), which changed in an age-dependent manner. Classical signaling pathways associated with aging, such as nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2), nuclear factor kappa B (NFκ

  3. Astrocyte oxidative metabolism and metabolite trafficking after fluid percussion brain injury in adult rats.

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    Bartnik-Olson, Brenda L; Oyoyo, Udochukwu; Hovda, David A; Sutton, Richard L

    2010-12-01

    Despite various lines of evidence pointing to the compartmentation of metabolism within the brain, few studies have reported the effect of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on neuronal and astrocyte compartments and/or metabolic trafficking between these cells. In this study we used ex vivo ¹³C NMR spectroscopy following an infusion of [1-¹³C] glucose and [1,2-¹³C₂] acetate to study oxidative metabolism in neurons and astrocytes of sham-operated and fluid percussion brain injured (FPI) rats at 1, 5, and 14 days post-surgery. FPI resulted in a decrease in the ¹³C glucose enrichment of glutamate in neurons in the injured hemisphere at day 1. In contrast, enrichment of glutamine in astrocytes from acetate was not significantly decreased at day 1. At day 5 the ¹³C enrichment of glutamate and glutamine from glucose in the injured hemisphere of FPI rats did not differ from sham levels, but glutamine derived from acetate metabolism in astrocytes was significantly increased. The ¹³C glucose enrichment of the C3 position of glutamate (C3) in neurons was significantly decreased ipsilateral to FPI at day 14, whereas the enrichment of glutamine in astrocytes had returned to sham levels at this time point. These findings indicate that the oxidative metabolism of glucose is reduced to a greater extent in neurons compared to astrocytes following a FPI. The increased utilization of acetate to synthesize glutamine, and the acetate enrichment of glutamate via the glutamate-glutamine cycle, suggests an integral protective role for astrocytes in maintaining metabolic function following TBI-induced impairments in glucose metabolism.

  4. Is There Evidence for Myelin Modeling by Astrocytes in the Normal Adult Brain?

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    Alfredo Varela-Echevarría

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A set of astrocytic process associated with altered myelinated axons is described in the forebrain of normal adult rodents with confocal, electron microscopy, and 3D reconstructions. Each process consists of a protuberance that contains secretory organelles including numerous lysosomes which polarize and open next to disrupted myelinated axons. Because of the distinctive asymmetric organelle distribution and ubiquity throughout the forebrain neuropil, this enlargement is named paraxial process (PAP. The myelin envelope contiguous to the PAP displays focal disruption or disintegration. In routine electron microscopy clusters of large, confluent, lysosomes proved to be an effective landmark for PAP identification. In 3D assemblies lysosomes organize a series of interconnected saccules that open up to the plasmalemma next to the disrupted myelin envelope(s. Activity for acid hydrolases was visualized in lysosomes, and extracellularly at the PAP-myelin interface and/or between the glial and neuronal outer aspects. Organelles in astrocytic processes involved in digesting pyknotic cells and debris resemble those encountered in PAPs supporting a likewise lytic function of the later. Conversely, processes entangling tripartite synapses and glomeruli were devoid of lysosomes. Both oligodendrocytic and microglial processes were not associated with altered myelin envelopes. The possible roles of the PAP in myelin remodeling in the context of the oligodendrocyte-astrocyte interactions and in the astrocyte's secretory pathways are discussed.

  5. SOX2 Reprograms Resident Astrocytes into Neural Progenitors in the Adult Brain

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    Wenze Niu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Glial cells can be in vivo reprogrammed into functional neurons in the adult CNS; however, the process by which this reprogramming occurs is unclear. Here, we show that a distinct cellular sequence is involved in SOX2-driven in situ conversion of adult astrocytes to neurons. This includes ASCL1+ neural progenitors and DCX+ adult neuroblasts (iANBs as intermediates. Importantly, ASCL1 is required, but not sufficient, for the robust generation of iANBs in the adult striatum. These progenitor-derived iANBs predominantly give rise to calretinin+ interneurons when supplied with neurotrophic factors or the small-molecule valproic acid. Patch-clamp recordings from the induced neurons reveal subtype heterogeneity, though all are functionally mature, fire repetitive action potentials, and receive synaptic inputs. Together, these results show that SOX2-mediated in vivo reprogramming of astrocytes to neurons passes through proliferative intermediate progenitors, which may be exploited for regenerative medicine.

  6. Astrocyte glycogen and brain energy metabolism.

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    Brown, Angus M; Ransom, Bruce R

    2007-09-01

    The brain contains glycogen but at low concentration compared with liver and muscle. In the adult brain, glycogen is found predominantly in astrocytes. Astrocyte glycogen content is modulated by a number of factors including some neurotransmitters and ambient glucose concentration. Compelling evidence indicates that astrocyte glycogen breaks down during hypoglycemia to lactate that is transferred to adjacent neurons or axons where it is used aerobically as fuel. In the case of CNS white matter, this source of energy can extend axon function for 20 min or longer. Likewise, during periods of intense neural activity when energy demand exceeds glucose supply, astrocyte glycogen is degraded to lactate, a portion of which is transferred to axons for fuel. Astrocyte glycogen, therefore, offers some protection against hypoglycemic neural injury and ensures that neurons and axons can maintain their function during very intense periods of activation. These emerging principles about the roles of astrocyte glycogen contradict the long held belief that this metabolic pool has little or no functional significance.

  7. Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) pathway in the adult brain: key signaling for astrocyte reactivation and brain repair

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    Bermúdez-Muñoz, Olga M

    2016-01-01

    While neurons play a key role in neurotransmission in the nervous central system (CNS) of animals, glial cells are crucial for neuron support and brain maintenance. Recent studies reveal that glial cells regulate the release and reuptake of neurotransmitters, pyruvate and glutathione metabolism, ion buffering, the organization of blood brain barrier and ensures the production of myelin and cerebrospinal fluid. The activity of glial cells is coordinated by the communication between neurons and...

  8. Reactive Astrocytes in Brain Metastasis

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    David Wasilewski

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Brain metastasis, the secondary growth of malignant cells within the central nervous system (CNS, exceeds the incidence of primary brain tumors (i.e., gliomas by tenfold and are seemingly on the rise owing to the emergence of novel targeted therapies that are more effective in controlling extracranial disease relatively to intracranial lesions. Despite the fact that metastasis to the brain poses a unmet clinical problem, with afflicted patients carrying significant morbidity and a fatal prognosis, our knowledge as to how metastatic cells manage to adapt to the tissue environment of the CNS remains limited. Answering this question could pave the way for novel and more specific therapeutic modalities in brain metastasis by targeting the specific makeup of the brain metastatic niche. In regard to this, astrocytes have emerged as the major host cell type that cancer cells encounter and interact with during brain metastasis formation. Similarly to other CNS disorders, astrocytes become reactive and respond to the presence of cancer cells by changing their phenotype and significantly influencing the outcome of disseminated cancer cells within the CNS. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the contribution of reactive astrocytes in brain metastasis by focusing on the signaling pathways and types of interactions that play a crucial part in the communication with cancer cells and how these could be translated into innovative therapies.

  9. Neuron-astrocyte signaling is preserved in the aging brain.

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    Gómez-Gonzalo, Marta; Martin-Fernandez, Mario; Martínez-Murillo, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Jamison, Stephanie; Fernandez, Ana P; Serrano, Julia; Calero, Pilar; Futch, Hunter S; Corpas, Rubén; Sanfeliu, Coral; Perea, Gertrudis; Araque, Alfonso

    2017-04-01

    Astrocytes play crucial roles in brain homeostasis and are emerging as regulatory elements of neuronal and synaptic physiology by responding to neurotransmitters with Ca 2+ elevations and releasing gliotransmitters that activate neuronal receptors. Aging involves neuronal and astrocytic alterations, being considered risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. Most evidence of the astrocyte-neuron signaling is derived from studies with young animals; however, the features of astrocyte-neuron signaling in adult and aging brain remain largely unknown. We have investigated the existence and properties of astrocyte-neuron signaling in physiologically and pathologically aging mouse hippocampal and cortical slices at different lifetime points (0.5 to 20 month-old animals). We found that astrocytes preserved their ability to express spontaneous and neurotransmitter-dependent intracellular Ca 2+ signals from juvenile to aging brains. Likewise, resting levels of gliotransmission, assessed by neuronal NMDAR activation by glutamate released from astrocytes, were largely preserved with similar properties in all tested age groups, but DHPG-induced gliotransmission was reduced in aged mice. In contrast, gliotransmission was enhanced in the APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, indicating a dysregulation of astrocyte-neuron signaling in pathological conditions. Disruption of the astrocytic IP 3 R2 mediated-signaling, which is required for neurotransmitter-induced astrocyte Ca 2+ signals and gliotransmission, boosted the progression of amyloid plaque deposits and synaptic plasticity impairments in APP/PS1 mice at early stages of the disease. Therefore, astrocyte-neuron interaction is a fundamental signaling, largely conserved in the adult and aging brain of healthy animals, but it is altered in Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that dysfunctions of astrocyte Ca 2+ physiology may contribute to this neurodegenerative disease. GLIA 2017 GLIA 2017;65:569-580. © 2017 Wiley

  10. The Indispensable Roles of Microglia and Astrocytes during Brain Development

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    Reemst, K.; Noctor, S.C.; Lucassen, P.J.; Hol, E.M.

    2016-01-01

    Glia are essential for brain functioning during development and in the adult brain. Here, we discuss the various roles of both microglia and astrocytes, and their interactions during brain development. Although both cells are fundamentally different in origin and function, they often affect the same

  11. The indispensable roles of microglia and astrocytes during brain development

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    Reemst, Kitty; Noctor, Stephen C.; Lucassen, Paul J.; Hol, Elly M.

    2016-01-01

    Glia are essential for brain functioning during development and in the adult brain. Here, we discuss the various roles of both microglia and astrocytes, and their interactions during brain development. Although both cells are fundamentally different in origin and function, they often affect the same

  12. Direct Signaling from Astrocytes to Neurons in Cultures of Mammalian Brain Cells

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    Nedergaard, Maiken

    1994-03-01

    Although astrocytes have been considered to be supportive, rather than transmissive, in the adult nervous system, recent studies have challenged this assumption by demonstrating that astrocytes possess functional neurotransmitter receptors. Astrocytes are now shown to directly modulate the free cytosolic calcium, and hence transmission characteristics, of neighboring neurons. When a focal electric field potential was applied to single astrocytes in mixed cultures of rat forebrain astrocytes and neurons, a prompt elevation of calcium occurred in the target cell. This in turn triggered a wave of calcium increase, which propagated from astrocyte to astrocyte. Neurons resting on these astrocytes responded with large increases in their concentration of cytosolic calcium. The gap junction blocker octanol attenuated the neuronal response, which suggests that the astrocytic-neuronal signaling is mediated through intercellular connections rather than synaptically. This neuronal response to local astrocytic stimulation may mediate local intercellular communication within the brain.

  13. Hypothyroidism in the adult rat causes incremental changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuronal and astrocyte apoptosis, gliosis, and deterioration of postsynaptic density.

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    Cortés, Claudia; Eugenin, Eliseo; Aliaga, Esteban; Carreño, Leandro J; Bueno, Susan M; Gonzalez, Pablo A; Gayol, Silvina; Naranjo, David; Noches, Verónica; Marassi, Michelle P; Rosenthal, Doris; Jadue, Cindy; Ibarra, Paula; Keitel, Cecilia; Wohllk, Nelson; Court, Felipe; Kalergis, Alexis M; Riedel, Claudia A

    2012-09-01

    Adult hypothyroidism is a highly prevalent condition that impairs processes, such as learning and memory. Even though tetra-iodothyronine (T(4)) treatment can overcome the hypothyroidism in the majority of cases, it cannot fully recover the patient's learning capacity and memory. In this work, we analyzed the cellular and molecular changes in the adult brain occurring with the development of experimental hypothyroidism. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with 6-propyl-2-thiouracil (PTU) for 20 days to induce hypothyroidism. Neuronal and astrocyte apoptosis were analyzed in the hippocampus of control and hypothyroid adult rats by confocal microscopy. The content of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and in situ hybridization. The glutamatergic synapse and the postsynaptic density (PSD) were analyzed by electron microscopy. The content of PSD proteins like tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB), p75, and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) were analyzed by immunoblot. We observed that the hippocampus of hypothyroid adult rats displayed increased apoptosis levels in neurons and astrocyte and reactive gliosis compared with controls. Moreover, we found that the amount of BDNF mRNA was higher in the hippocampus of hypothyroid rats and the content of TrkB, the receptor for BDNF, was reduced at the PSD of the CA3 region of hypothyroid rats, compared with controls. We also observed that the glutamatergic synapses from the stratum radiatum of CA3 from hypothyroid rats, contained thinner PSDs than control rats. This observation was in agreement with a reduced content of NMDAr subunits at the PSD in hypothyroid animals. Our data suggest that adult hypothyroidism affects the hippocampus by a mechanism that alters the composition of PSD, reduces neuronal and astrocyte survival, and alters the content of the signaling neurotrophic factors, such as BDNF.

  14. Astrocyte calcium signal and gliotransmission in human brain tissue.

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    Navarrete, Marta; Perea, Gertrudis; Maglio, Laura; Pastor, Jesús; García de Sola, Rafael; Araque, Alfonso

    2013-05-01

    Brain function is recognized to rely on neuronal activity and signaling processes between neurons, whereas astrocytes are generally considered to play supportive roles for proper neuronal function. However, accumulating evidence indicates that astrocytes sense and control neuronal and synaptic activity, indicating that neuron and astrocytes reciprocally communicate. While this evidence has been obtained in experimental animal models, whether this bidirectional signaling between astrocytes and neurons occurs in human brain remains unknown. We have investigated the existence of astrocyte-neuron communication in human brain tissue, using electrophysiological and Ca(2+) imaging techniques in slices of the cortex and hippocampus obtained from biopsies from epileptic patients. Cortical and hippocampal human astrocytes displayed spontaneous Ca(2+) elevations that were independent of neuronal activity. Local application of transmitter receptor agonists or nerve electrical stimulation transiently elevated Ca(2+) in astrocytes, indicating that human astrocytes detect synaptic activity and respond to synaptically released neurotransmitters, suggesting the existence of neuron-to-astrocyte communication in human brain tissue. Electrophysiological recordings in neurons revealed the presence of slow inward currents (SICs) mediated by NMDA receptor activation. The frequency of SICs increased after local application of ATP that elevated astrocyte Ca(2+). Therefore, human astrocytes are able to release the gliotransmitter glutamate, which affect neuronal excitability through activation of NMDA receptors in neurons. These results reveal the existence of reciprocal signaling between neurons and astrocytes in human brain tissue, indicating that astrocytes are relevant in human neurophysiology and are involved in human brain function.

  15. Sex Differences and Laterality in Astrocyte Number and Complexity in the Adult Rat Medial Amygdala

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    JOHNSON, RYAN T.; BREEDLOVE, S. MARC; JORDAN, CYNTHIA L.

    2008-01-01

    The posterodorsal portion of the medial amygdala (MePD) is sexually dimorphic in several rodent species. In several other brain nuclei, astrocytes change morphology in response to steroid hormones. We visualized MePD astrocytes using glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunocytochemistry. We compared the number and process complexity of MePD astrocytes in adult wildtype male and female rats and testicular feminized mutant (TFM) male rats that lack functional androgen receptors (ARs) to determine whether MePD astrocytes are sexually differentiated and whether ARs have a role. Unbiased stereological methods revealed laterality and sex differences in MePD astrocyte number and complexity. The right MePD contained more astrocytes than the left in all three genotypes, and the number of astrocytes was also sexually differentiated in the right MePD, with males having more astrocytes than females. In contrast, the left MePD contained more complex astrocytes than did the right MePD in all three genotypes, and males had more complex astrocytes than females in this hemisphere. TFM males were comparable to wildtype females, having fewer astrocytes on the right and simpler astrocytes on the left than do wildtype males. Taken together, these results demonstrate that astrocytes are sexually dimorphic in the adult MePD and that the nature of the sex difference is hemisphere-dependent: a sex difference in astrocyte number in the right MePD and a sex difference in astrocyte complexity in the left MePD. Moreover, functional ARs appear to be critical in establishing these sex differences in MePD astrocyte morphology. PMID:18853427

  16. SOX9 is an astrocyte-specific nuclear marker in the adult brain outside the neurogenic regions

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    Sun, Wei; Cornwell, Adam; Li, Jiashu

    2017-01-01

    transporter 1 (GLT1), aquaporin-4, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member L1, and other proteins. However, these proteins may all be regulated both developmentally and functionally, restricting their utility. To identify a nuclear marker pathognomonic of astrocytic phenotype, we assessed differential RNA...

  17. Human astrocytes: structure and functions in the healthy brain.

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    Vasile, Flora; Dossi, Elena; Rouach, Nathalie

    2017-07-01

    Data collected on astrocytes' physiology in the rodent have placed them as key regulators of synaptic, neuronal, network, and cognitive functions. While these findings proved highly valuable for our awareness and appreciation of non-neuronal cell significance in brain physiology, early structural and phylogenic investigations of human astrocytes hinted at potentially different astrocytic properties. This idea sparked interest to replicate rodent-based studies on human samples, which have revealed an analogous but enhanced involvement of astrocytes in neuronal function of the human brain. Such evidence pointed to a central role of human astrocytes in sustaining more complex information processing. Here, we review the current state of our knowledge of human astrocytes regarding their structure, gene profile, and functions, highlighting the differences with rodent astrocytes. This recent insight is essential for assessment of the relevance of findings using animal models and for comprehending the functional significance of species-specific properties of astrocytes. Moreover, since dysfunctional astrocytes have been described in many brain disorders, a more thorough understanding of human-specific astrocytic properties is crucial for better-adapted translational applications.

  18. Glucose metabolism and astrocyte-neuron interactions in the neonatal brain.

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    Brekke, Eva; Morken, Tora Sund; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2015-03-01

    Glucose is essentially the sole fuel for the adult brain and the mapping of its metabolism has been extensive in the adult but not in the neonatal brain, which is believed to rely mainly on ketone bodies for energy supply. However, glucose is absolutely indispensable for normal development and recent studies have shed light on glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway and metabolic interactions between astrocytes and neurons in the 7-day-old rat brain. Appropriately (13)C labeled glucose was used to distinguish between glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway during development. Experiments using (13)C labeled acetate provided insight into the GABA-glutamate-glutamine cycle between astrocytes and neurons. It could be shown that in the neonatal brain the part of this cycle that transfers glutamine from astrocytes to neurons is operating efficiently while, in contrast, little glutamate is shuttled from neurons to astrocytes. This lack of glutamate for glutamine synthesis is compensated for by anaplerosis via increased pyruvate carboxylation relative to that in the adult brain. Furthermore, compared to adults, relatively more glucose is prioritized to the pentose phosphate pathway than glycolysis and pyruvate dehydrogenase activity. The reported developmental differences in glucose metabolism and neurotransmitter synthesis may determine the ability of the brain at various ages to resist excitotoxic insults such as hypoxia-ischemia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Astrocytes from adult Wistar rats aged in vitro show changes in glial functions.

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    Souza, Débora Guerini; Bellaver, Bruna; Raupp, Gustavo Santos; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André

    2015-11-01

    Astrocytes, the most versatile cells of the central nervous system, play an important role in the regulation of neurotransmitter homeostasis, energy metabolism, antioxidant defenses and the anti-inflammatory response. Recently, our group characterized cortical astrocyte cultures from adult Wistar rats. In line with that work, we studied glial function using an experimental in vitro model of aging astrocytes (30 days in vitro after reaching confluence) from newborn (NB), adult (AD) and aged (AG) Wistar rats. We evaluated metabolic parameters, such as the glucose uptake, glutamine synthetase (GS) activity, and glutathione (GSH) content, as well as the GFAP, GLUT-1 and xCT expression. AD and AG astrocytes take up less glucose than NB astrocytes and had decreased GLUT1 expression levels. Furthermore, AD and AG astrocytes exhibited decreased GS activity compared to NB cells. Simultaneously, AD and AG astrocytes showed an increase in GSH levels, along with an increase in xCT expression. NB, AD and AG astrocytes presented similar morphology; however, differences in GFAP levels were observed. Taken together, these results improve the knowledge of cerebral senescence and represent an innovative tool for brain studies of aging. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A critical role for astrocytes in hypercapnic vasodilation in brain

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    Howarth, C; Sutherland, B A; Choi, H B

    2017-01-01

    increases in astrocyte calcium signaling which in turn stimulates COX-1 activity and generates downstream PgE2 production. We demonstrate that astrocyte calcium-evoked production of the vasodilator, PgE2, is critically dependent on brain levels of the antioxidant, glutathione. These data suggest a novel......Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is controlled by arterial blood pressure, arterial CO2, arterial O2, and brain activity and is largely constant in the awake state. Although small changes in arterial CO2 are particularly potent to change CBF (1 mmHg variation in arterial CO2 changes CBF by 3...... in brain slices with in vivo work in rats and C57Bl/6J mice to examine the hemodynamic responses to CO2 and somatosensory stimulation before and after inhibition of astrocytic glutathione and PgE2 synthesis. We demonstrate that hypercapnia (increased CO2) evokes an increase in astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i...

  1. Characterization of Amino Acid Profile and Enzymatic Activity in Adult Rat Astrocyte Cultures.

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    Souza, Débora Guerini; Bellaver, Bruna; Hansel, Gisele; Arús, Bernardo Assein; Bellaver, Gabriela; Longoni, Aline; Kolling, Janaina; Wyse, Angela T S; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André

    2016-07-01

    Astrocytes are multitasking players in brain complexity, possessing several receptors and mechanisms to detect, participate and modulate neuronal communication. The functionality of astrocytes has been mainly unraveled through the study of primary astrocyte cultures, and recently our research group characterized a model of astrocyte cultures derived from adult Wistar rats. We, herein, aim to characterize other basal functions of these cells to explore the potential of this model for studying the adult brain. To characterize the astrocytic phenotype, we determined the presence of GFAP, GLAST and GLT 1 proteins in cells by immunofluorescence. Next, we determined the concentrations of thirteen amino acids, ATP, ADP, adenosine and calcium in astrocyte cultures, as well as the activities of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and acetylcholine esterase. Furthermore, we assessed the presence of the GABA transporter 1 (GAT 1) and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB 1) in the astrocytes. Cells demonstrated the presence of glutamine, consistent with their role in the glutamate-glutamine cycle, as well as glutamate and D-serine, amino acids classically known to act as gliotransmitters. ATP was produced and released by the cells and ADP was consumed. Calcium levels were in agreement with those reported in the literature, as were the enzymatic activities measured. The presence of GAT 1 was detected, but the presence of CB 1 was not, suggesting a decreased neuroprotective capacity in adult astrocytes under in vitro conditions. Taken together, our results show cellular functionality regarding the astrocytic role in gliotransmission and neurotransmitter management since they are able to produce and release gliotransmitters and to modulate the cholinergic and GABAergic systems.

  2. Neuron-astrocyte interactions, pyruvate carboxylation and the pentose phosphate pathway in the neonatal rat brain.

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    Morken, Tora Sund; Brekke, Eva; Håberg, Asta; Widerøe, Marius; Brubakk, Ann-Mari; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2014-01-01

    Glucose and acetate metabolism and the synthesis of amino acid neurotransmitters, anaplerosis, glutamate-glutamine cycling and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) have been extensively investigated in the adult, but not the neonatal rat brain. To do this, 7 day postnatal (P7) rats were injected with [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate and sacrificed 5, 10, 15, 30 and 45 min later. Adult rats were injected and sacrificed after 15 min. To analyse pyruvate carboxylation and PPP activity during development, P7 rats received [1,2-(13)C]glucose and were sacrificed 30 min later. Brain extracts were analysed using (1)H- and (13)C-NMR spectroscopy. Numerous differences in metabolism were found between the neonatal and adult brain. The neonatal brain contained lower levels of glutamate, aspartate and N-acetylaspartate but similar levels of GABA and glutamine per mg tissue. Metabolism of [1-(13)C]glucose at the acetyl CoA stage was reduced much more than that of [1,2-(13)C]acetate. The transfer of glutamate from neurons to astrocytes was much lower while transfer of glutamine from astrocytes to glutamatergic neurons was relatively higher. However, transport of glutamine from astrocytes to GABAergic neurons was lower. Using [1,2-(13)C]glucose it could be shown that despite much lower pyruvate carboxylation, relatively more pyruvate from glycolysis was directed towards anaplerosis than pyruvate dehydrogenation in astrocytes. Moreover, the ratio of PPP/glucose-metabolism was higher. These findings indicate that only the part of the glutamate-glutamine cycle that transfers glutamine from astrocytes to neurons is operating in the neonatal brain and that compared to adults, relatively more glucose is prioritised to PPP and pyruvate carboxylation. Our results may have implications for the capacity to protect the neonatal brain against excitotoxicity and oxidative stress.

  3. Astrocytes

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    Rasmussen, Rune; Samson, Andrew J.

    2017-01-01

    Anatomy, physiology, proteomics, and genomics reveal the prospect of distinct highly specialized astrocyte subtypes within neural circuits.......Anatomy, physiology, proteomics, and genomics reveal the prospect of distinct highly specialized astrocyte subtypes within neural circuits....

  4. Accumulation of silver nanoparticles by cultured primary brain astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luther, Eva M; Koehler, Yvonne; Dringen, Ralf [Center for Biomolecular Interactions Bremen, University of Bremen, PO Box 330440, D-28334 Bremen (Germany); Diendorf, Joerg; Epple, Matthias, E-mail: ralf.dringen@uni-bremen.de [Inorganic Chemistry and Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstrasse 5-7, D-45117 Essen (Germany)

    2011-09-16

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are components of various food industry products and are frequently used for medical equipment and materials. Although such particles enter the vertebrate brain, little is known on their biocompatibility for brain cells. To study the consequences of an AgNP exposure of brain cells we have treated astrocyte-rich primary cultures with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated AgNP. The incubation of cultured astrocytes with micromolar concentrations of AgNP for up to 24 h resulted in a time- and concentration-dependent accumulation of silver, but did not compromise the cell viability nor lower the cellular glutathione content. In contrast, the incubation of astrocytes for 4 h with identical amounts of silver as AgNO{sub 3} already severely compromised the cell viability and completely deprived the cells of glutathione. The accumulation of AgNP by astrocytes was proportional to the concentration of AgNP applied and significantly lowered by about 30% in the presence of the endocytosis inhibitors chloroquine or amiloride. Incubation at 4 {sup 0}C reduced the accumulation of AgNP by 80% compared to the values obtained for cells that had been exposed to AgNP at 37 {sup 0}C. These data demonstrate that viable cultured brain astrocytes efficiently accumulate PVP-coated AgNP in a temperature-dependent process that most likely involves endocytotic pathways.

  5. ASTROCYTES IN THE NEUROPROTECTION AFTER BRAIN STROKE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria Patricia Cardona Gomez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are specialized glial cells of the nervous system, which have multiple homeostatic functions for the survival and maintenance of the neurovascular unit. It has been shown that astrocytes have critical role in the dynamics pro survival conferring neuroprotective, angiogenic, immunomodulatory, neurogenic, antioxidants and regulatory synapse functions (Shen et al 2012; Gimsa et al 2013; Proschel et al 2014; making them excellent candidates as the source of neuroprotection and neurorestauration of tissue affected by events ischemia and / or reperfusion. However, these cells also may be involved in negative responses such as reactive astrocytes and glial scar under chronic excitotoxic responses generated by these events. To know what are the key points in the pro and anti-survival responses of astrocytes, would allow use them as targets in cellular therapies. This review has aim to study the mechanisms for neuroprotection in these cells (Posada-Duque et al submitted, which would make them targets of cell therapy, through of inducing regeneration, such as vehicle for corrective molecular systems and trigger endogenous cellular events that can recover the tissue homeostasis, which is lost after progressive damage.

  6. Contributions of Glycogen to Astrocytic Energetics during Brain Activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A.; Cruz, Nancy F.

    2014-01-01

    Glycogen is the major store of glucose in brain and is mainly in astrocytes. Brain glycogen levels in unstimulated, carefully-handled rats are 10-12 mol/g, and assuming that astrocytes account for half the brain mass, astrocytic glycogen content is twice as high. Glycogen turnover is slow under basal conditions, but it is mobilized during activation. There is no net increase in incorporation of label from glucose during activation, whereas label release from pre-labeled glycogen exceeds net glycogen consumption, which increases during stronger stimuli. Because glycogen level is restored by non-oxidative metabolism, astrocytes can influence the global ratio of oxygen to glucose utilization. Compensatory increases in utilization of blood glucose during inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase are large and approximate glycogenolysis rates during sensory stimulation. In contrast, glycogenolysis rates during hypoglycemia are low due to continued glucose delivery and oxidation of endogenous substrates; rates that preserve neuronal function in the absence of glucose are also low, probably due to metabolite oxidation. Modeling studies predict that glycogenolysis maintains a high level of glucose-6-phosphate in astrocytes to maintain feedback inhibition of hexokinase, thereby diverting glucose for use by neurons. The fate of glycogen carbon in vivo is not known, but lactate efflux from brain best accounts for the major metabolic characteristics during activation of living brain. Substantial shuttling coupled with oxidation of glycogen-derived lactate is inconsistent with available evidence. Glycogen has important roles in astrocytic energetics, including glucose sparing, control of extracellular K+ level, oxidative stress management, and memory consolidation; it is a multi-functional compound. PMID:24515302

  7. Contributions of glycogen to astrocytic energetics during brain activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A; Cruz, Nancy F

    2015-02-01

    Glycogen is the major store of glucose in brain and is mainly in astrocytes. Brain glycogen levels in unstimulated, carefully-handled rats are 10-12 μmol/g, and assuming that astrocytes account for half the brain mass, astrocytic glycogen content is twice as high. Glycogen turnover is slow under basal conditions, but it is mobilized during activation. There is no net increase in incorporation of label from glucose during activation, whereas label release from pre-labeled glycogen exceeds net glycogen consumption, which increases during stronger stimuli. Because glycogen level is restored by non-oxidative metabolism, astrocytes can influence the global ratio of oxygen to glucose utilization. Compensatory increases in utilization of blood glucose during inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase are large and approximate glycogenolysis rates during sensory stimulation. In contrast, glycogenolysis rates during hypoglycemia are low due to continued glucose delivery and oxidation of endogenous substrates; rates that preserve neuronal function in the absence of glucose are also low, probably due to metabolite oxidation. Modeling studies predict that glycogenolysis maintains a high level of glucose-6-phosphate in astrocytes to maintain feedback inhibition of hexokinase, thereby diverting glucose for use by neurons. The fate of glycogen carbon in vivo is not known, but lactate efflux from brain best accounts for the major metabolic characteristics during activation of living brain. Substantial shuttling coupled with oxidation of glycogen-derived lactate is inconsistent with available evidence. Glycogen has important roles in astrocytic energetics, including glucose sparing, control of extracellular K(+) level, oxidative stress management, and memory consolidation; it is a multi-functional compound.

  8. Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Cáceres, Cristina; Quarta, Carmelo; Varela, Luis; Gao, Yuanqing; Gruber, Tim; Legutko, Beata; Jastroch, Martin; Johansson, Pia; Ninkovic, Jovica; Yi, Chun-Xia; Le Thuc, Ophelia; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Cai, Weikang; Meyer, Carola W; Pfluger, Paul T; Fernandez, Ana M; Luquet, Serge; Woods, Stephen C; Torres-Alemán, Ignacio; Kahn, C Ronald; Götz, Magdalena; Horvath, Tamas L; Tschöp, Matthias H

    2016-08-11

    We report that astrocytic insulin signaling co-regulates hypothalamic glucose sensing and systemic glucose metabolism. Postnatal ablation of insulin receptors (IRs) in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing cells affects hypothalamic astrocyte morphology, mitochondrial function, and circuit connectivity. Accordingly, astrocytic IR ablation reduces glucose-induced activation of hypothalamic pro-opio-melanocortin (POMC) neurons and impairs physiological responses to changes in glucose availability. Hypothalamus-specific knockout of astrocytic IRs, as well as postnatal ablation by targeting glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST)-expressing cells, replicates such alterations. A normal response to altering directly CNS glucose levels in mice lacking astrocytic IRs indicates a role in glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This was confirmed in vivo in GFAP-IR KO mice by using positron emission tomography and glucose monitoring in cerebral spinal fluid. We conclude that insulin signaling in hypothalamic astrocytes co-controls CNS glucose sensing and systemic glucose metabolism via regulation of glucose uptake across the BBB. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Glutamate metabolism in the brain focusing on astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Arne; Scafidi, Susanna; Bak, Lasse Kristoffer

    2014-01-01

    , as well as in nitrogen trafficking and ammonia homeostasis in brain. The anatomical specialization of astrocytic endfeet enables these cells to rapidly and efficiently remove neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft to maintain homeostasis, and to provide glutamine to replenish neurotransmitter pools...

  10. Detection of mouse endogenous type B astrocytes migrating towards brain lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gema Elvira

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroblasts represent the predominant migrating cell type in the adult mouse brain. There are, however, increasing evidences of migration of other neural precursors. This work aims at identifying in vivo endogenous early neural precursors, different from neuroblasts, able to migrate in response to brain injuries. The monoclonal antibody Nilo1, which unequivocally identifies type B astrocytes and embryonic radial glia, was coupled to magnetic glyconanoparticles (mGNPs. Here we show that Nilo1–mGNPs in combination with magnetic resonance imaging in living mice allowed the in vivo identification of endogenous type B astrocytes at their niche, as well as their migration to the lesion site in response to glioblastoma, demyelination, cryolesion or mechanical injuries. In addition, Nilo1+ adult radial glia-like structures were identified at the lesion site a few hours after damage. For all damage models used, type B astrocyte migration was fast and orderly. Identification of Nilo1+ cells surrounding an induced glioblastoma was also possible after intraperitoneal injection of the antibody. This opens up the possibility of an early identification of the initial damage site(s after brain insults, by the migration of type B astrocytes.

  11. Acetazolamide Mitigates Astrocyte Cellular Edema Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturdivant, Nasya M.; Smith, Sean G.; Ali, Syed F.; Wolchok, Jeffrey C.; Balachandran, Kartik

    2016-09-01

    Non-penetrating or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is commonly experienced in accidents, the battlefield and in full-contact sports. Astrocyte cellular edema is one of the major factors that leads to high morbidity post-mTBI. Various studies have reported an upregulation of aquaporin-4 (AQP4), a water channel protein, following brain injury. AZA is an antiepileptic drug that has been shown to inhibit AQP4 expression and in this study we investigate the drug as a therapeutic to mitigate the extent of mTBI induced cellular edema. We hypothesized that mTBI-mediated astrocyte dysfunction, initiated by increased intracellular volume, could be reduced when treated with AZA. We tested our hypothesis in a three-dimensional in vitro astrocyte model of mTBI. Samples were subject to no stretch (control) or one high-speed stretch (mTBI) injury. AQP4 expression was significantly increased 24 hours after mTBI. mTBI resulted in a significant increase in the cell swelling within 30 min of mTBI, which was significantly reduced in the presence of AZA. Cell death and expression of S100B was significantly reduced when AZA was added shortly before mTBI stretch. Overall, our data point to occurrence of astrocyte swelling immediately following mTBI, and AZA as a promising treatment to mitigate downstream cellular mortality.

  12. Phenotypic and gene expression modification with normal brain aging in GFAP-positive astrocytes and neural stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Giovanna M; Peterson, Daniel A

    2011-06-01

    Astrocytes secrete growth factors that are both neuroprotective and supportive for the local environment. Identified by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, astrocytes exhibit heterogeneity in morphology and in the expression of phenotypic markers and growth factors throughout different adult brain regions. In adult neurogenic niches, astrocytes secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) within the neurogenic niche and are also a source of special GFAP-positive multipotent neural stem cells (NSCs). Normal aging is accompanied by a decline in CNS function and reduced neurogenesis. We asked whether a decreased availability of astrocyte-derived factors may contribute to the age-related decline in neurogenesis. Determining alterations of astrocytic activity in the aging brain is crucial for understanding CNS homeostasis in aging and for assessing appropriate therapeutic targets for an aging population. We found region-specific alterations in the gene expression of GFAP, VEGF, and FGF-2 and their receptors in the aged brain corresponding to changes in astrocytic reactivity, supporting astrocytic heterogeneity and demonstrating a differential aging effect. We found that GFAP-positive NSCs uniquely coexpress both VEGF and its key mitotic receptor Flk-1 in both young and aged hippocampus, indicating a possible autocrine/paracrine signaling mechanism. VEGF expression is lost once NSCs commit to a neuronal fate, but Flk-1-mediated sensitivity to VEGF signaling is maintained. We propose that age-related astrocytic changes result in reduced VEGF and FGF-2 signaling, which in turn limits NSC and progenitor cell maintenance and contributes to decreased neurogenesis. © 2011 The Authors. Aging Cell © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

  13. Brain tumor - primary - adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) - adults; Meningioma - adults; Cancer - brain tumor (adults) ... Primary brain tumors include any tumor that starts in the brain. Primary brain tumors can start from brain cells, ...

  14. Synergistic induction of astrocytic differentiation by factors secreted from meninges in the mouse developing brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, Yoichiro; Katada, Sayako; Noguchi, Hirofumi; Yamamoto, Hiroyuki; Sanosaka, Tsukasa; Iihara, Koji; Nakashima, Kinichi

    2017-11-01

    Astrocytes, which support diverse neuronal functions, are generated from multipotent neural stem/precursor cells (NS/PCs) during brain development. Although many astrocyte-inducing factors have been identified and studied in vitro, the regions and/or cells that produce these factors in the developing brain remain elusive. Here, we show that meninges-produced factors induce astrocytic differentiation of NS/PCs. Consistent with the timing when astrocytic differentiation of NS/PCs increases, expression of astrocyte-inducing factors is upregulated. Meningeal secretion-mimicking combinatorial treatment of NS/PCs with bone morphogenetic protein 4, retinoic acid and leukemia inhibitory factor synergistically activate the promoter of a typical astrocytic marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein. Taken together, our data suggest that meninges play an important role in astrocytic differentiation of NS/PCs in the developing brain. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  15. Stretch induced endothelin-1 secretion by adult rat astrocytes involves calcium influx via stretch-activated ion channels (SACs)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ostrow, Lyle W.; Suchyna, Thomas M.; Sachs, Frederick

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Endothelin-1 expression by adult rat astrocytes correlates with cell proliferation. → Stretch-induced ET-1 is inhibited by GsMtx-4, a specific inhibitor of Ca 2+ permeant SACs. → The less specific SAC inhibitor streptomycin also inhibits ET-1 secretion. → Stretch-induced ET-1 production depends on a calcium influx. → SAC pharmacology may provide a new class of therapeutic agents for CNS pathology. -- Abstract: The expression of endothelins (ETs) and ET-receptors is often upregulated in brain pathology. ET-1, a potent vasoconstrictor, also inhibits the expression of astrocyte glutamate transporters and is mitogenic for astrocytes, glioma cells, neurons, and brain capillary endothelia. We have previously shown that mechanical stress stimulates ET-1 production by adult rat astrocytes. We now show in adult astrocytes that ET-1 production is driven by calcium influx through stretch-activated ion channels (SACs) and the ET-1 production correlates with cell proliferation. Mechanical stimulation using biaxial stretch ( 2+ threshold. This coupling of mechanical stress to the astrocyte endothelin system through SACs has treatment implications, since all pathology deforms the surrounding parenchyma.

  16. Does menaquinone participate in brain astrocyte electron transport?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovern, Douglas; Marbois, Beth

    2013-10-01

    Quinone compounds act as membrane resident carriers of electrons between components of the electron transport chain in the periplasmic space of prokaryotes and in the mitochondria of eukaryotes. Vitamin K is a quinone compound in the human body in a storage form as menaquinone (MK); distribution includes regulated amounts in mitochondrial membranes. The human brain, which has low amounts of typical vitamin K dependent function (e.g., gamma carboxylase) has relatively high levels of MK, and different regions of brain have different amounts. Coenzyme Q (Q), is a quinone synthesized de novo, and the levels of synthesis decline with age. The levels of MK are dependent on dietary intake and generally increase with age. MK has a characterized role in the transfer of electrons to fumarate in prokaryotes. A newly recognized fumarate cycle has been identified in brain astrocytes. The MK precursor menadione has been shown to donate electrons directly to mitochondrial complex III. Vitamin K compounds function in the electron transport chain of human brain astrocytes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Role of Astrocytes in the Generation, Migration, and Integration of New Neurons in the Adult Olfactory Bulb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gengatharan, Archana; Bammann, Rodrigo R.; Saghatelyan, Armen

    2016-01-01

    In mammals, new neurons in the adult olfactory bulb originate from a pool of neural stem cells in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. Adult-born cells play an important role in odor information processing by adjusting the neuronal network to changing environmental conditions. Olfactory bulb neurogenesis is supported by several non-neuronal cells. In this review, we focus on the role of astroglial cells in the generation, migration, integration, and survival of new neurons in the adult forebrain. In the subventricular zone, neural stem cells with astrocytic properties display regional and temporal specificity when generating different neuronal subtypes. Non-neurogenic astrocytes contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the neurogenic niche. Neuroblast chains migrate through the rostral migratory stream ensheathed by astrocytic processes. Astrocytes play an important regulatory role in neuroblast migration and also assist in the development of a vasculature scaffold in the migratory stream that is essential for neuroblast migration in the postnatal brain. In the olfactory bulb, astrocytes help to modulate the network through a complex release of cytokines, regulate blood flow, and provide metabolic support, which may promote the integration and survival of new neurons. Astrocytes thus play a pivotal role in various processes of adult olfactory bulb neurogenesis, and it is likely that many other functions of these glial cells will emerge in the near future. PMID:27092050

  18. Impairments of astrocytes are involved in the D-galactose-induced brain aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lei Ming; Hua Xiangdong; Xiao Ming; Ding Jiong; Han Qunying; Hu Gang

    2008-01-01

    Astrocyte dysfunction is implicated in course of various age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic injection of D-galactose can cause a progressive deterioration in learning and memory capacity and serve as an animal model of aging. To investigate the involvement of astrocytes in this model, oxidative stress biomarkers, biochemical and pathological changes of astrocytes were examined in the hippocampus of the rats with six weeks of D-galactose injection. D-galactose-injected rats displayed impaired antioxidant systems, an increase in nitric oxide levels, and a decrease in reduced glutathione levels. Consistently, western blotting and immunostaining of glial fibrillary acidic protein showed extensive activation of astrocytes. Double-immunofluorescent staining further showed activated astrocytes highly expressed inducible nitric oxide synthase. Electron microscopy demonstrated the degeneration of astrocytes, especially in the aggregated area of synapse and brain microvessels. These findings indicate that impairments of astrocytes are involved in oxidative stress-induced brain aging by chronic injection of D-galactose

  19. Immunocytochemical detection of the microsomal glucose-6-phosphatase in human brain astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J E; Hume, R; Busuttil, A; Burchell, A

    1993-10-01

    Using an antibody raised against the catalytic subunit of glucose-6-phosphatase, this enzyme was immunolocalized in many astrocytes in 20 normal human brains. Double immunofluorescence studies showed co-localization of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) with glucose-6-phosphatase in astrocytes. However, not all GFAP-positive cells were also glucose-6-phosphatase positive, indicating that some astrocytes do not contain demonstrable expression of this enzyme. Reactive astrocytes in a variety of abnormal brains were strongly glucose-6-phosphatase positive, but neoplastic astrocytes were often only weakly positive. Expression of the enzyme could not be demonstrated in radial glia, neurons or oligodendroglia. Astrocytes normally contain glycogen and the demonstration that some astrocytes also contain glucose-6-phosphatase indicates that they are competent for both glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, which may be critical for neuronal welfare.

  20. Does Global Astrocytic Calcium Signaling Participate in Awake Brain State Transitions and Neuronal Circuit Function?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaerby, Celia; Rasmussen, Rune; Andersen, Mie

    2017-01-01

    of the neuromodulators, noradrenaline and acetylcholine. Astrocytes have emerged as a new player participating in the regulation of brain activity, and have recently been implicated in brain state shifts. Astrocytes display global Ca(2+) signaling in response to activation of the noradrenergic system, but whether...... astrocytic Ca(2+) signaling is causative or correlative for shifts in brain state and neural activity patterns is not known. Here we review the current available literature on astrocytic Ca(2+) signaling in awake animals in order to explore the role of astrocytic signaling in brain state shifts. Furthermore......We continuously need to adapt to changing conditions within our surrounding environment, and our brain needs to quickly shift between resting and working activity states in order to allow appropriate behaviors. These global state shifts are intimately linked to the brain-wide release...

  1. Glycogen distribution in the microwave-fixed mouse brain reveals heterogeneous astrocytic patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oe, Yuki; Baba, Otto; Ashida, Hitoshi; Nakamura, Kouichi C; Hirase, Hajime

    2016-09-01

    In the brain, glycogen metabolism has been implied in synaptic plasticity and learning, yet the distribution of this molecule has not been fully described. We investigated cerebral glycogen of the mouse by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using two monoclonal antibodies that have different affinities depending on the glycogen size. The use of focused microwave irradiation yielded well-defined glycogen immunoreactive signals compared with the conventional periodic acid-Schiff method. The IHC signals displayed a punctate distribution localized predominantly in astrocytic processes. Glycogen immunoreactivity (IR) was high in the hippocampus, striatum, cortex, and cerebellar molecular layer, whereas it was low in the white matter and most of the subcortical structures. Additionally, glycogen distribution in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 and striatum had a 'patchy' appearance with glycogen-rich and glycogen-poor astrocytes appearing in alternation. The glycogen patches were more evident with large-molecule glycogen in young adult mice but they were hardly observable in aged mice (1-2 years old). Our results reveal brain region-dependent glycogen accumulation and possibly metabolic heterogeneity of astrocytes. GLIA 2016;64:1532-1545. © 2016 The Authors. Glia Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Glycogen distribution in the microwave‐fixed mouse brain reveals heterogeneous astrocytic patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baba, Otto; Ashida, Hitoshi; Nakamura, Kouichi C.

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, glycogen metabolism has been implied in synaptic plasticity and learning, yet the distribution of this molecule has not been fully described. We investigated cerebral glycogen of the mouse by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using two monoclonal antibodies that have different affinities depending on the glycogen size. The use of focused microwave irradiation yielded well‐defined glycogen immunoreactive signals compared with the conventional periodic acid‐Schiff method. The IHC signals displayed a punctate distribution localized predominantly in astrocytic processes. Glycogen immunoreactivity (IR) was high in the hippocampus, striatum, cortex, and cerebellar molecular layer, whereas it was low in the white matter and most of the subcortical structures. Additionally, glycogen distribution in the hippocampal CA3‐CA1 and striatum had a ‘patchy’ appearance with glycogen‐rich and glycogen‐poor astrocytes appearing in alternation. The glycogen patches were more evident with large‐molecule glycogen in young adult mice but they were hardly observable in aged mice (1–2 years old). Our results reveal brain region‐dependent glycogen accumulation and possibly metabolic heterogeneity of astrocytes. GLIA 2016;64:1532–1545 PMID:27353480

  3. Acute and chronic glucocorticoid treatments regulate astrocyte-enriched mRNAs in multiple brain regions in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley S. Carter

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have primarily interpreted gene expression regulation by glucocorticoids in the brain in terms of impact on neurons; however, less is known about the corresponding impact of glucocorticoids on glia and specifically astrocytes in vivo. Recent microarray experiments have identified glucocorticoid-sensitive mRNAs in primary astrocyte cell culture, including a number of mRNAs that have reported astrocyte-enriched expression patterns relative to other brain cell types. Here, we have tested whether elevations of glucocorticoids regulate a subset of these mRNAs in vivo following acute and chronic corticosterone exposure in adult mice. Acute corticosterone exposure was achieved by a single injection of 10 mg/kg corticosterone, and tissue samples were harvested two hours post-injection. Chronic corticosterone exposure was achieved by administering 10 mg/mL corticosterone via drinking water for two weeks. Gene expression was then assessed in two brain regions associated with glucocorticoid action (prefrontal cortex and hippocampus by qPCR and by in situ hybridization. The majority of measured mRNAs regulated by glucocorticoids in astrocytes in vitro were similarly regulated by acute and/or chronic glucocorticoid exposure in vivo. In addition, the expression levels for mRNAs regulated in at least one corticosterone exposure condition (acute/chronic demonstrated moderate positive correlation between the two conditions by brain region. In situ hybridization analyses suggest that select mRNAs are regulated by chronic corticosterone exposure specifically in astroctyes based on (1 similar general expression patterns between corticosterone-treated and vehicle-treated animals and (2 similar expression patterns to the pan-astrocyte marker Aldh1l1. Our findings demonstrate that glucocorticoids regulate astrocyte-enriched mRNAs in vivo and suggest that glucocorticoids regulate gene expression in the brain in a cell type-dependent fashion.

  4. Analysis of p53- immunoreactivity in astrocytic brain tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinkarenko T.V.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available P53 is an antioncogene with the frequently occured mutations in human tumor cells, leading to corresponding protein overexpression which can be detected by immunohistochemistry. Researches dedicated to the investigation of possibilities of using this technique gave controversial results. The authors investigated features of p53 protein expression in astrocytic brain tumors with different degrees of malignancy. Analyzed the relationship of the expression level of p53 by tumor cells with clinical parameters and Ki-67 proliferation index (PI as well. Tissues were collected from 52 cases with diagnosed astrocytic brain tumors. The sections were immunohistochemically stained with p53 and Ki-67. For each marker, 1000 tumor cells were counted and the ratio of positive tumor cells was calculated using software package ImageJ 1,47v. In normal brain tissue p53- expression was not identified. p53-immunoreactive tumor cells were detected in 25% (1/4 pilocytic astrocytomas, 33.3% (2/6 of diffuse astrocytomas, 53.8% (7/13 anaplastic astrocytomas, 58.6% (17/29 glioblastomas. A high proportion of p53-immunoreactive cells (> 30% was observed only in glioblastomas. The level of p53-imunoreactivity was not related to the age, gender and Grade WHO (p> 0,05. Spearman correlation coefficient between the relative quantity of ki-67- and p53-immunoreactive nuclei showed weak direct correlation (0.023, but the one was not statistically significant (p> 0,05. The level of p53-imunoreactivity is not dependent from age and sex of patients, Grade (WHO and proliferative activity (p>0,05 but the high level of p53-immunoreactive cells (>30% is found in glioblastoma specimens only, that may be due to the accumulation of mutations in DNA of tumor cells. There is insignificant weak relationship between relative quantities of ki-67- and p53-immunoreactive tumor cells (p>0,05.

  5. Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    García-Cáceres, Cristina; Quarta, Carmelo; Varela, Luis; Gao, Yuanqing; Gruber, Tim; Legutko, Beata; Jastroch, Martin; Johansson, Pia; Ninkovic, Jovica; Yi, Chun-Xia; Le Thuc, Ophelia; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Cai, Weikang; Meyer, Carola W.; Pfluger, Paul T.; Fernandez, Ana M.; Luquet, Serge; Woods, Stephen C.; Torres-Alemán, Ignacio; Kahn, C. Ronald; Götz, Magdalena; Horvath, Tamas L.; Tschöp, Matthias H.

    2016-01-01

    We report that astrocytic insulin signaling co-regulates hypothalamic glucose sensing and systemic glucose metabolism. Postnatal ablation of insulin receptors (IRs) in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing cells affects hypothalamic astrocyte morphology, mitochondrial function, and

  6. Lack of appropriate stoichiometry: Strong evidence against an energetically important astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle in brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A

    2017-11-01

    Glutamate-stimulated aerobic glycolysis in astrocytes coupled with lactate shuttling to neurons where it can be oxidized was proposed as a mechanism to couple excitatory neuronal activity with glucose utilization (CMR glc ) during brain activation. From the outset, this model was not viable because it did not fulfill critical stoichiometric requirements: (i) Calculated glycolytic rates and measured lactate release rates were discordant in cultured astrocytes. (ii) Lactate oxidation requires oxygen consumption, but the oxygen-glucose index (OGI, calculated as CMR O2 /CMR glc ) fell during activation in human brain, and the small rise in CMR O2 could not fully support oxidation of lactate produced by disproportionate increases in CMR glc . (iii) Labeled products of glucose metabolism are not retained in activated rat brain, indicating rapid release of a highly labeled, diffusible metabolite identified as lactate, thereby explaining the CMR glc -CMR O2 mismatch. Additional independent lines of evidence against lactate shuttling include the following: astrocytic oxidation of glutamate after its uptake can help "pay" for its uptake without stimulating glycolysis; blockade of glutamate receptors during activation in vivo prevents upregulation of metabolism and lactate release without impairing glutamate uptake; blockade of β-adrenergic receptors prevents the fall in OGI in activated human and rat brain while allowing glutamate uptake; and neurons upregulate glucose utilization in vivo and in vitro under many stimulatory conditions. Studies in immature cultured cells are not appropriate models for lactate shuttling in adult brain because of their incomplete development of metabolic capability and astrocyte-neuron interactions. Astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttling does not make large, metabolically significant contributions to energetics of brain activation. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Tumor grading of adult astrocytic glioma on MR imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Kee Hyun; Choi, Choong Gon; Han, Moon Hee; Lee, Seon Kyu [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Suh, Jung Ho [Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Ho Kyu; Suh, Dae Chul [Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Kyu Ho [Catholic University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Byun, Hong Sik [Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Woo Suk [Kyung Hee University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1994-09-15

    The purpose of this study is to determine predictive MR features for grading of astrocytic gliomas and to evaluate the accuracy of MR grading in these tumors. We retrospectively reviewed 135 cases of supratentorial astrocytic gliomas in adult (age > 15 years), all of which were proved by open biopsy. Two observers analysed MR images independently with criteria of margin, edema, mass effect, signal heterogeneity, necrosis, cyst formation, hemorrhage, tumor vascularity, enhancement degree, and enhancement size. The patterns of enhancement were categorized into no, homogeneous, heterogeneous, thin smooth rim, thin irregular rim, and thick irregular rim enhancement patterns. Observers finally diagnosed each case as one of low-grade astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma multiforme. Statistically significant MR features for grading of these tumors were revealed as necrosis (p < 0.001), edema (0.008), and signal heterogeneity (p < 0.025). When compared with histopathologic grading, MR graded correctly 76%- 77% of cases in two tired system(low-grade astrocytoma versus high-grade astrocytoma), but only 67%-69% of cases in three tiered system(low-grade astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme). No contrast enhancement was seen in 45% and 23% of low-grade astrocytoma and anaplastic astrocytoma respectively. Glioblastoma multiforme frequently showed thick irregular rim enhancement (57%), but no enhancement at all in 8%. We have concluded that necrosis and edema are significant predictive MR features for grading of supratentorial astrocytic gliomas in adult, and MR was correct in 76%-77% of cases for predicting pathologic grading astrocytomas in two tiered system.

  8. Tumor grading of adult astrocytic glioma on MR imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Kee Hyun; Choi, Choong Gon; Han, Moon Hee; Lee, Seon Kyu; Suh, Jung Ho; Lee, Ho Kyu; Suh, Dae Chul; Choi, Kyu Ho; Byun, Hong Sik; Choi, Woo Suk

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine predictive MR features for grading of astrocytic gliomas and to evaluate the accuracy of MR grading in these tumors. We retrospectively reviewed 135 cases of supratentorial astrocytic gliomas in adult (age > 15 years), all of which were proved by open biopsy. Two observers analysed MR images independently with criteria of margin, edema, mass effect, signal heterogeneity, necrosis, cyst formation, hemorrhage, tumor vascularity, enhancement degree, and enhancement size. The patterns of enhancement were categorized into no, homogeneous, heterogeneous, thin smooth rim, thin irregular rim, and thick irregular rim enhancement patterns. Observers finally diagnosed each case as one of low-grade astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma multiforme. Statistically significant MR features for grading of these tumors were revealed as necrosis (p < 0.001), edema (0.008), and signal heterogeneity (p < 0.025). When compared with histopathologic grading, MR graded correctly 76%- 77% of cases in two tired system(low-grade astrocytoma versus high-grade astrocytoma), but only 67%-69% of cases in three tiered system(low-grade astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme). No contrast enhancement was seen in 45% and 23% of low-grade astrocytoma and anaplastic astrocytoma respectively. Glioblastoma multiforme frequently showed thick irregular rim enhancement (57%), but no enhancement at all in 8%. We have concluded that necrosis and edema are significant predictive MR features for grading of supratentorial astrocytic gliomas in adult, and MR was correct in 76%-77% of cases for predicting pathologic grading astrocytomas in two tiered system

  9. Long-term neuroglobin expression of human astrocytes following brain trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiameng; Liu, Yuan; Zhang, Lin; Zhu, Peng; Zhu, Haibiao; Yang, Yu; Guan, Peng

    2015-10-08

    Neuroglobin (Ngb), a 17 kDa monomeric protein, was initially described as a vertebrate oxygen-binding heme protein in 2000 and detected in metabolically active organs or cells, like the brain, peripheral nervous system as well as certain endocrine cells. A large array of initial experimental work reported that Ngb displayed a neuron restricted expression pattern in mammalian brains. However, growing evidence indicated astrocytes may also express Ngb under pathological conditions. To address the question whether human astrocytes express Ngb under traumatic insults, we investigated Ngb immuno-reactivity in post-mortem human brain tissues that died of acute, sub-acute and chronic brain trauma, respectively. We observed astrocytic Ngb expression in sub-acute and chronic traumatic brains rather than acute traumatic brains. Strikingly, the Ngb immuno-reactive astrocytes were still strongly detectable in groups that died 12 months after brain trauma. Our findings may imply an unexplored role of Ngb in astrocytes and the involved mechanisms were suggested to be further characterized. Also, therapeutic application of Ngb or Ngb-inducible chemical compounds in neuro-genesis or astrocytic scar forming can be expected. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. GABAergic interneuron to astrocyte signalling: a neglected form of cell communication in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losi, Gabriele; Mariotti, Letizia; Carmignoto, Giorgio

    2014-10-19

    GABAergic interneurons represent a minority of all cortical neurons and yet they efficiently control neural network activities in all brain areas. In parallel, glial cell astrocytes exert a broad control of brain tissue homeostasis and metabolism, modulate synaptic transmission and contribute to brain information processing in a dynamic interaction with neurons that is finely regulated in time and space. As most studies have focused on glutamatergic neurons and excitatory transmission, our knowledge of functional interactions between GABAergic interneurons and astrocytes is largely defective. Here, we critically discuss the currently available literature that hints at a potential relevance of this specific signalling in brain function. Astrocytes can respond to GABA through different mechanisms that include GABA receptors and transporters. GABA-activated astrocytes can, in turn, modulate local neuronal activity by releasing gliotransmitters including glutamate and ATP. In addition, astrocyte activation by different signals can modulate GABAergic neurotransmission. Full clarification of the reciprocal signalling between different GABAergic interneurons and astrocytes will improve our understanding of brain network complexity and has the potential to unveil novel therapeutic strategies for brain disorders. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Generation of primary cultures of bovine brain endothelial cells and setup of cocultures with rat astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helms, Hans C; Brodin, Birger

    2014-01-01

    -brain barrier. The present protocol describes the setup of an in vitro coculture model based on primary cultures of endothelial cells from bovine brain microvessels and primary cultures of rat astrocytes. The model displays a high electrical tightness and expresses blood-brain barrier marker proteins....

  12. Astrocyte Sodium Signalling and Panglial Spread of Sodium Signals in Brain White Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moshrefi-Ravasdjani, Behrouz; Hammel, Evelyn L; Kafitz, Karl W; Rose, Christine R

    2017-09-01

    In brain grey matter, excitatory synaptic transmission activates glutamate uptake into astrocytes, inducing sodium signals which propagate into neighboring astrocytes through gap junctions. These sodium signals have been suggested to serve an important role in neuro-metabolic coupling. So far, it is unknown if astrocytes in white matter-that is in brain regions devoid of synapses-are also able to undergo such intra- and intercellular sodium signalling. In the present study, we have addressed this question by performing quantitative sodium imaging in acute tissue slices of mouse corpus callosum. Focal application of glutamate induced sodium transients in SR101-positive astrocytes. These were largely unaltered in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptors blockers, but strongly dampened upon pharmacological inhibition of glutamate uptake. Sodium signals induced in individual astrocytes readily spread into neighboring SR101-positive cells with peak amplitudes decaying monoexponentially with distance from the stimulated cell. In addition, spread of sodium was largely unaltered during pharmacological inhibition of purinergic and glutamate receptors, indicating gap junction-mediated, passive diffusion of sodium between astrocytes. Using cell-type-specific, transgenic reporter mice, we found that sodium signals also propagated, albeit less effectively, from astrocytes to neighboring oligodendrocytes and NG2 cells. Again, panglial spread was unaltered with purinergic and glutamate receptors blocked. Taken together, our results demonstrate that activation of sodium-dependent glutamate transporters induces sodium signals in white matter astrocytes, which spread within the astrocyte syncytium. In addition, we found a panglial passage of sodium signals from astrocytes to NG2 cells and oligodendrocytes, indicating functional coupling between these macroglial cells in white matter.

  13. STAT3 labels a subpopulation of reactive astrocytes required for brain metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priego, Neibla; Zhu, Lucía; Monteiro, Cátia; Mulders, Manon; Wasilewski, David; Bindeman, Wendy; Doglio, Laura; Martínez, Liliana; Martínez-Saez, Elena; Cajal, Santiago Ramón Y; Megías, Diego; Hernández-Encinas, Elena; Blanco-Aparicio, Carmen; Martínez, Lola; Zarzuela, Eduardo; Muñoz, Javier; Fustero-Torres, Coral; Pineiro, Elena; Hernández-Laín, Aurelio; Bertero, Luca; Poli, Valeria; Sánchez-Martínez, Melchor; Menendez, Javier A; Soffietti, Riccardo; Bosch-Barrera, Joaquim; Valiente, Manuel

    2018-06-11

    The brain microenvironment imposes a particularly intense selective pressure on metastasis-initiating cells, but successful metastases bypass this control through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Reactive astrocytes are key components of this microenvironment that confine brain metastasis without infiltrating the lesion. Here, we describe that brain metastatic cells induce and maintain the co-option of a pro-metastatic program driven by signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in a subpopulation of reactive astrocytes surrounding metastatic lesions. These reactive astrocytes benefit metastatic cells by their modulatory effect on the innate and acquired immune system. In patients, active STAT3 in reactive astrocytes correlates with reduced survival from diagnosis of intracranial metastases. Blocking STAT3 signaling in reactive astrocytes reduces experimental brain metastasis from different primary tumor sources, even at advanced stages of colonization. We also show that a safe and orally bioavailable treatment that inhibits STAT3 exhibits significant antitumor effects in patients with advanced systemic disease that included brain metastasis. Responses to this therapy were notable in the central nervous system, where several complete responses were achieved. Given that brain metastasis causes substantial morbidity and mortality, our results identify a novel treatment for increasing survival in patients with secondary brain tumors.

  14. The metabolism of malate by cultured rat brain astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKenna, M.C.; Tildon, J.T.; Couto, R.; Stevenson, J.H.; Caprio, F.J. (Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (USA))

    1990-12-01

    Since malate is known to play an important role in a variety of functions in the brain including energy metabolism, the transfer of reducing equivalents and possibly metabolic trafficking between different cell types; a series of biochemical determinations were initiated to evaluate the rate of 14CO2 production from L-(U-14C)malate in rat brain astrocytes. The 14CO2 production from labeled malate was almost totally suppressed by the metabolic inhibitors rotenone and antimycin A suggesting that most of malate metabolism was coupled to the electron transport system. A double reciprocal plot of the 14CO2 production from the metabolism of labeled malate revealed biphasic kinetics with two apparent Km and Vmax values suggesting the presence of more than one mechanism of malate metabolism in these cells. Subsequent experiments were carried out using 0.01 mM and 0.5 mM malate to determine whether the addition of effectors would differentially alter the metabolism of high and low concentrations of malate. Effectors studied included compounds which could be endogenous regulators of malate metabolism and metabolic inhibitors which would provide information regarding the mechanisms regulating malate metabolism. Both lactate and aspartate decreased 14CO2 production from malate equally. However, a number of effectors were identified which selectively altered the metabolism of 0.01 mM malate including aminooxyacetate, furosemide, N-acetylaspartate, oxaloacetate, pyruvate and glucose, but had little or no effect on the metabolism of 0.5 mM malate. In addition, alpha-ketoglutarate and succinate decreased 14CO2 production from 0.01 mM malate much more than from 0.5 mM malate. In contrast, a number of effectors altered the metabolism of 0.5 mM malate more than 0.01 mM. These included methionine sulfoximine, glutamate, malonate, alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate and ouabain.

  15. Astrocyte cultures derived from human brain tissue express angiotensinogen mRNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milsted, A.; Barna, B.P.; Ransohoff, R.M.; Brosnihan, K.B.; Ferrario, C.M.

    1990-01-01

    The authors have identified human cultured cell lines that are useful for studying angiotensinogen gene expression and its regulation in the central nervous system. A model cell system of human central nervous system origin expressing angiotensinogen has not previously been available. Expression of angiotensinogen mRNA appears to be a basal property of noninduced human astrocytes, since astrocytic cell lines derived from human glioblastomas or nonneoplastic human brain tissue invariably produced angiotensinogen mRNA. In situ hybridization histochemistry revealed that angiotensinogen mRNA production was not limited to a subpopulation of astrocytes because >99% of cells in these cultures contained angiotensinogen mRNA. These cell lines will be useful in studies of the molecular mechanisms controlling angiotensin synthesis and the role of biologically active angiotensin in the human brain by allowing the authors to examine regulation of expression of the renin-angiotensin system in human astrocyte cultures

  16. Cholesterol efflux is differentially regulated in neurons and astrocytes: implications for brain cholesterol homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jing; Zhang, Xiaolu; Kusumo, Handojo; Costa, Lucio G.; Guizzetti, Marina

    2012-01-01

    Disruption of cholesterol homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS) has been associated with neurological, neurodegenerative, and neurodevelopmental disorders. The CNS is a closed system with regard to cholesterol homeostasis, as cholesterol-delivering lipoproteins from the periphery cannot pass the blood-brain-barrier and enter the brain. Different cell types in the brain have different functions in the regulation of cholesterol homeostasis, with astrocytes producing and releasing apolipoprotein E and lipoproteins, and neurons metabolizing cholesterol to 24(S)-hydroxycholesterol. We present evidence that astrocytes and neurons adopt different mechanisms also in regulating cholesterol efflux. We found that in astrocytes cholesterol efflux is induced by both lipid-free apolipoproteins and lipoproteins, while cholesterol removal from neurons is triggered only by lipoproteins. The main pathway by which apolipoproteins induce cholesterol efflux is through ABCA1. By upregulating ABCA1 levels and by inhibiting its activity and silencing its expression, we show that ABCA1 is involved in cholesterol efflux from astrocytes but not from neurons. Furthermore, our results suggest that ABCG1 is involved in cholesterol efflux to apolipoproteins and lipoproteins from astrocytes but not from neurons, while ABCG4, whose expression is much higher in neurons than astrocytes, is involved in cholesterol efflux from neurons but not astrocytes. These results indicate that different mechanisms regulate cholesterol efflux from neurons and astrocytes, reflecting the different roles that these cell types play in brain cholesterol homeostasis. These results are important in understanding cellular targets of therapeutic drugs under development for the treatments of conditions associated with altered cholesterol homeostasis in the CNS. PMID:23010475

  17. Astrocytic modulation of Blood Brain Barrier: Perspectives on Parkinson´s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo eCabezas

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available TThe blood–brain barrier (BBB is a tightly regulated interface in the Central Nervous System that regulates the exchange of molecules in and out from the brain thus maintaining the CNS homeostasis. It is mainly composed of endothelial cells, pericytes and astrocytes that create a neurovascular unit with the adjacent neurons. Astrocytes are essential for the formation and maintenance of the BBB by providing secreted factors that lead to the adequate association between the cells of the BBB and the formation of strong tight junctions. Under neurological disorders, such as chronic cerebral ischemia, brain trauma, Epilepsy, Alzheimer and Parkinson´s Diseases, a disruption of the BBB takes place, involving a lost in the permeability of the barrier and phenotypical changes in both the endothelial cells and astrocytes. In this aspect, it has been established that the process of reactive gliosis is a common feature of astrocytes during BBB disruption, which has a detrimental effect on the barrier function and a subsequent damage in neuronal survival. In this review we discuss the implications of astrocyte functions in the protection of the BBB, and in the development of Parkinson´s disease and related disorders. Additionally, we highlight the current and future strategies in astrocyte protection aimed at the development of restorative therapies for the BBB in pathological conditions.

  18. Different Astrocytic Activation between Adult Gekko japonicus and Rats during Wound Healing In Vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Gu

    Full Text Available Glial scar formation is a major obstacle to regeneration after spinal cord injury. Moreover, it has been shown that the astrocytic response to injury differs between species. Gekko japonicas is a type of reptile and it shows differential glial activation compared to that of rats. The purpose of the present study was to compare the proliferation and migration of astrocytes in the spinal cords of geckos and rats after injury in vitro. Spinal cord homogenate stimulation and scratch wound models were used to induce astrocytic activation in adult and embryonic rats, as well as in adult geckos. Our results indicated that astrocytes from the adult rat were likely activated by mechanical stimulation, even though they showed lower proliferation abilities than the astrocytes from the gecko under normal conditions. Furthermore, a transcriptome analysis revealed that the differentially expressed genes in astrocytes from adult rats and those from geckos were enriched in pathways involved in proliferation and the response to stimuli. This implies that intrinsic discrepancies in gene expression patterns might contribute to the differential activation of astrocytes between species.

  19. Transferrin receptor-1 and ferritin heavy and light chains in astrocytic brain tumors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosager, Ann Mari; Sørensen, Mia D; Dahlrot, Rikke H

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytic brain tumors are the most frequent primary brain tumors. Treatment with radio- and chemotherapy has increased survival making prognostic biomarkers increasingly important. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression and prognostic value of transferrin receptor-1 (TfR...

  20. T cells' immunological synapses induce polarization of brain astrocytes in vivo and in vitro: a novel astrocyte response mechanism to cellular injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcia, Carlos; Sanderson, Nicholas S R; Barrett, Robert J; Wawrowsky, Kolja; Kroeger, Kurt M; Puntel, Mariana; Liu, Chunyan; Castro, Maria G; Lowenstein, Pedro R

    2008-08-20

    Astrocytes usually respond to trauma, stroke, or neurodegeneration by undergoing cellular hypertrophy, yet, their response to a specific immune attack by T cells is poorly understood. Effector T cells establish specific contacts with target cells, known as immunological synapses, during clearance of virally infected cells from the brain. Immunological synapses mediate intercellular communication between T cells and target cells, both in vitro and in vivo. How target virally infected astrocytes respond to the formation of immunological synapses established by effector T cells is unknown. Herein we demonstrate that, as a consequence of T cell attack, infected astrocytes undergo dramatic morphological changes. From normally multipolar cells, they become unipolar, extending a major protrusion towards the immunological synapse formed by the effector T cells, and withdrawing most of their finer processes. Thus, target astrocytes become polarized towards the contacting T cells. The MTOC, the organizer of cell polarity, is localized to the base of the protrusion, and Golgi stacks are distributed throughout the protrusion, reaching distally towards the immunological synapse. Thus, rather than causing astrocyte hypertrophy, antiviral T cells cause a major structural reorganization of target virally infected astrocytes. Astrocyte polarization, as opposed to hypertrophy, in response to T cell attack may be due to T cells providing a very focused attack, and thus, astrocytes responding in a polarized manner. A similar polarization of Golgi stacks towards contacting T cells was also detected using an in vitro allogeneic model. Thus, different T cells are able to induce polarization of target astrocytes. Polarization of target astrocytes in response to immunological synapses may play an important role in regulating the outcome of the response of astrocytes to attacking effector T cells, whether during antiviral (e.g. infected during HIV, HTLV-1, HSV-1 or LCMV infection), anti

  1. T cells' immunological synapses induce polarization of brain astrocytes in vivo and in vitro: a novel astrocyte response mechanism to cellular injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Barcia

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes usually respond to trauma, stroke, or neurodegeneration by undergoing cellular hypertrophy, yet, their response to a specific immune attack by T cells is poorly understood. Effector T cells establish specific contacts with target cells, known as immunological synapses, during clearance of virally infected cells from the brain. Immunological synapses mediate intercellular communication between T cells and target cells, both in vitro and in vivo. How target virally infected astrocytes respond to the formation of immunological synapses established by effector T cells is unknown.Herein we demonstrate that, as a consequence of T cell attack, infected astrocytes undergo dramatic morphological changes. From normally multipolar cells, they become unipolar, extending a major protrusion towards the immunological synapse formed by the effector T cells, and withdrawing most of their finer processes. Thus, target astrocytes become polarized towards the contacting T cells. The MTOC, the organizer of cell polarity, is localized to the base of the protrusion, and Golgi stacks are distributed throughout the protrusion, reaching distally towards the immunological synapse. Thus, rather than causing astrocyte hypertrophy, antiviral T cells cause a major structural reorganization of target virally infected astrocytes.Astrocyte polarization, as opposed to hypertrophy, in response to T cell attack may be due to T cells providing a very focused attack, and thus, astrocytes responding in a polarized manner. A similar polarization of Golgi stacks towards contacting T cells was also detected using an in vitro allogeneic model. Thus, different T cells are able to induce polarization of target astrocytes. Polarization of target astrocytes in response to immunological synapses may play an important role in regulating the outcome of the response of astrocytes to attacking effector T cells, whether during antiviral (e.g. infected during HIV, HTLV-1, HSV-1 or LCMV

  2. Electrical coupling between hippocampal astrocytes in rat brain slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meme, William; Vandecasteele, Marie; Giaume, Christian; Venance, Laurent

    2009-04-01

    Gap junctions in astrocytes play a crucial role in intercellular communication by supporting both biochemical and electrical coupling between adjacent cells. Despite the critical role of electrical coupling in the network organization of these glial cells, the electrophysiological properties of gap junctions have been characterized in cultures while no direct evidence has been sought in situ. In the present study, gap-junctional currents were investigated using simultaneous dual whole-cell patch-clamp recordings between astrocytes from rat hippocampal slices. Bidirectional electrotonic coupling was observed in 82% of the cell pairs with an average coupling coefficient of 5.1%. Double patch-clamp analysis indicated that junctional currents were independent of the transjunctional voltage over a range from -100 to +110 mV. Interestingly, astrocytic electrical coupling displayed weak low-pass filtering properties compared to neuronal electrical synapses. Finally, during uncoupling processes triggered by either the gap-junction inhibitor carbenoxolone or endothelin-1, an increase in the input resistance in the injected cell paralleled the decrease in the coupling coefficient. Altogether, these results demonstrate that hippocampal astrocytes are electrically coupled through gap-junction channels characterized by properties that are distinct from those of electrical synapses between neurons. In addition, gap-junctional communication is efficiently regulated by endogenous compounds. This is taken to represent a mode of communication that may have important implications for the functional role of astrocyte networks in situ.

  3. Reduced astrocyte density underlying brain volume reduction in activity-based anorexia rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frintrop, Linda; Liesbrock, Johanna; Paulukat, Lisa; Johann, Sonja; Kas, Martien J; Tolba, Rene; Heussen, Nicole; Neulen, Joseph; Konrad, Kerstin; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Beyer, Cordian; Seitz, Jochen

    2018-04-01

    Severe grey and white matter volume reductions were found in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) that were linked to neuropsychological deficits while their underlying pathophysiology remains unclear. For the first time, we analysed the cellular basis of brain volume changes in an animal model (activity-based anorexia, ABA). Female rats had 24 h/day running wheel access and received reduced food intake until a 25% weight reduction was reached and maintained for 2 weeks. In ABA rats, the volumes of the cerebral cortex and corpus callosum were significantly reduced compared to controls by 6% and 9%, respectively. The number of GFAP-positive astrocytes in these regions decreased by 39% and 23%, total astrocyte-covered area by 83% and 63%. In neurons no changes were observed. The findings were complemented by a 60% and 49% reduction in astrocyte (GFAP) mRNA expression. Volumetric brain changes in ABA animals mirror those in human AN patients. These alterations are associated with a reduction of GFAP-positive astrocytes as well as GFAP expression. Reduced astrocyte functioning could help explain neuronal dysfunctions leading to symptoms of rigidity and impaired learning. Astrocyte loss could constitute a new research target for understanding and treating semi-starvation and AN.

  4. Implications of astrocytes in mediating the protective effects of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators upon brain damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Barreto

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs are steroidal or non-steroidal compounds that are already used in clinical practice for the treatment of breast cancer, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms. While SERMs actions in the breast, bone, and uterus have been well characterized, their actions in the brain are less well understood. Previous works have demonstrated the beneficial effects of SERMs in different chronic neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple sclerosis, as well as acute degeneration as stroke and traumatic brain injury. Moreover, these compounds exhibit similar protective actions as those of estradiol in the Central Nervous System, overt any secondary effect. For these reasons, in the past few years, there has been a growing interest in the neuroprotective effects exerted directly or indirectly by SERMs in the SNC. In this context, astrocytes play an important role in the maintenance of brain metabolism, and antioxidant support to neurons, thus indicating that better protection of astrocytes are an important asset targeting neuronal protection. Moreover, various clinical and experimental studies have reported that astrocytes are essential for the neuroprotective effects of SERMs during neuronal injuries, as these cells express different estrogen receptors in cell membrane, demonstrating that part of SERMs effects upon injury may be mediated by astrocytes. The present work highlights the current evidence on the protective mechanisms of SERMs, such as tamoxifen and raloxifene, in the SNC, and their modulation of astrocytic properties as promising therapeutic targets during brain damage.

  5. Glucose-coated gold nanoparticles transfer across human brain endothelium and enter astrocytes in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radka Gromnicova

    Full Text Available The blood-brain barrier prevents the entry of many therapeutic agents into the brain. Various nanocarriers have been developed to help agents to cross this barrier, but they all have limitations, with regard to tissue-selectivity and their ability to cross the endothelium. This study investigated the potential for 4 nm coated gold nanoparticles to act as selective carriers across human brain endothelium and subsequently to enter astrocytes. The transfer rate of glucose-coated gold nanoparticles across primary human brain endothelium was at least three times faster than across non-brain endothelia. Movement of these nanoparticles occurred across the apical and basal plasma membranes via the cytosol with relatively little vesicular or paracellular migration; antibiotics that interfere with vesicular transport did not block migration. The transfer rate was also dependent on the surface coating of the nanoparticle and incubation temperature. Using a novel 3-dimensional co-culture system, which includes primary human astrocytes and a brain endothelial cell line hCMEC/D3, we demonstrated that the glucose-coated nanoparticles traverse the endothelium, move through the extracellular matrix and localize in astrocytes. The movement of the nanoparticles through the matrix was >10 µm/hour and they appeared in the nuclei of the astrocytes in considerable numbers. These nanoparticles have the correct properties for efficient and selective carriers of therapeutic agents across the blood-brain barrier.

  6. Tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline indirectly increases the proliferation of adult dentate gyrus-derived neural precursors: an involvement of astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuken Boku

    Full Text Available Antidepressants increase the proliferation of neural precursors in adult dentate gyrus (DG, which is considered to be involved in the therapeutic action of antidepressants. However, the mechanism underlying it remains unclear. By using cultured adult rat DG-derived neural precursors (ADP, we have already shown that antidepressants have no direct effects on ADP. Therefore, antidepressants may increase the proliferation of neural precursors in adult DG via unknown indirect mechanism. We have also shown that amitriptyline (AMI, a tricyclic antidepressant, induces the expressions of GDNF, BDNF, FGF2 and VEGF, common neurogenic factors, in primary cultured astrocytes (PCA. These suggest that AMI-induced factors in astrocytes may increase the proliferation of neural precursors in adult DG. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of AMI-induced factors and conditioned medium (CM from PCA treated with AMI on ADP proliferation. The effects of CM and factors on ADP proliferation were examined with BrdU immunocytochemistry. AMI had no effect on ADP proliferation, but AMI-treated CM increased it. The receptors of GDNF, BDNF and FGF2, but not VEGF, were expressed in ADP. FGF2 significantly increased ADP proliferation, but not BDNF and GDNF. In addition, both of a specific inhibitor of FGF receptors and anti-FGF2 antibody significantly counteracted the increasing effect of CM on ADP proliferation. In addition, FGF2 in brain is mainly derived from astrocytes that are key components of the neurogenic niches in adult DG. These suggest that AMI may increase ADP proliferation indirectly via PCA and that FGF2 may a potential candidate to mediate such an indirect effect of AMI on ADP proliferation via astrocytes.

  7. Regional Susceptibility to Domoic Acid in Primary Astrocyte Cells Cultured from the Brain Stem and Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga M. Pulido

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Domoic acid is a marine biotoxin associated with harmful algal blooms and is the causative agent of amnesic shellfish poisoning in marine animals and humans. It is also an excitatory amino acid analog to glutamate and kainic acid which acts through glutamate receptors eliciting a very rapid and potent neurotoxic response. The hippocampus, among other brain regions, has been identified as a specific target site having high sensitivity to DOM toxicity. Histopathology evidence indicates that in addition to neurons, the astrocytes were also injured. Electron microscopy data reported in this study further supports the light microscopy findings. Furthermore, the effect of DOM was confirmed by culturing primary astrocytes from the hippocampus and the brain stem and subsequently exposing them to domoic acid. The RNA was extracted and used for biomarker analysis. The biomarker analysis was done for the early response genes including c-fos, c-jun, c-myc, Hsp-72; specific marker for the astrocytes- GFAP and the glutamate receptors including GluR 2, NMDAR 1, NMDAR 2A and B. Although, the astrocyte-GFAP and c-fos were not affected, c-jun and GluR 2 were down-regulated. The microarray analysis revealed that the chemokines / cytokines, tyrosine kinases (Trk, and apoptotic genes were altered. The chemokines that were up-regulated included - IL1-a, IL-1B, IL-6, the small inducible cytokine, interferon protein IP-10, CXC chemokine LIX, and IGF binding proteins. The Bax, Bcl-2, Trk A and Trk B were all downregulated. Interestingly, only the hippocampal astrocytes were affected. Our findings suggest that astrocytes may present a possible target for pharmacological interventions for the prevention and treatment of amnesic shellfish poisoning and for other brain pathologies involving excitotoxicity

  8. Astrocyte-targeted expression of IL-6 protects the CNS against a focal brain injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, Milena; Giralt, Mercedes; Lago, Natalia

    2003-01-01

    significantly increased up to but not including 20 dpl in the GFAP-IL6 mice. Oxidative stress as well as apoptotic cell death was significantly decreased throughout the time period studied in the GFAP-IL6 mice compared to controls. This could be linked to the altered inflammatory response as well......The effect of CNS-targeted IL-6 gene expression has been thoroughly investigated in the otherwise nonperturbed brain but not following brain injury. Here we examined the impact of astrocyte-targeted IL-6 production in a traumatic brain injury (cryolesion) model using GFAP-IL6 transgenic mice...... as to the transgenic IL-6-induced increase of the antioxidant, neuroprotective proteins metallothionein-I + II. These results indicate that although in the brain the chronic astrocyte-targeted expression of IL-6 spontaneously induces an inflammatory response causing significant damage, during an acute...

  9. [Immunocytochemical demonstration of astrocytes in brain sections combined with Nissl staining].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korzhevskiĭ, D E; Otellin, V A

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to develop an easy and reliable protocol of combined preparation staining, which would unite the advantages of immunocytochemical demonstration of astrocytes with the availability to evaluate functional state of neurons provided by Nissl technique. The presented protocol of paraffin sections processing allows to retain high quality of tissue structure and provides for selective demonstration of astrocytes using the monoclonal antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein and contrast Nissl staining of cells. The protocol can be used without any changes for processing of brain sections obtained from the humans and other mammals with the exception of mice and rabbits.

  10. Immunocytochemical detection of astrocytes in brain slices in combination with Nissl staining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korzhevskii, D E; Otellin, V A

    2005-07-01

    The present study was performed to develop a simple and reliable method for the combined staining of specimens to allow the advantages of immunocytochemical detection of astrocytes and assessment of the functional state of neurons by the Nissl method to be assessed simultaneously. The protocol suggested for processing paraffin sections allows preservation of tissue structure at high quality and allows the selective identification of astrocytes with counterstaining of neurons by the Nissl method. The protocol can be used without modification for processing brain specimens from humans and various mammals--except mice and rabbits.

  11. Astrocytic glycogen-derived lactate fuels the brain during exhaustive exercise to maintain endurance capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Takashi; Omuro, Hideki; Liu, Yu-Fan; Soya, Mariko; Shima, Takeru; McEwen, Bruce S; Soya, Hideaki

    2017-06-13

    Brain glycogen stored in astrocytes provides lactate as an energy source to neurons through monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) to maintain neuronal functions such as hippocampus-regulated memory formation. Although prolonged exhaustive exercise decreases brain glycogen, the role of this decrease and lactate transport in the exercising brain remains less clear. Because muscle glycogen fuels exercising muscles, we hypothesized that astrocytic glycogen plays an energetic role in the prolonged-exercising brain to maintain endurance capacity through lactate transport. To test this hypothesis, we used a rat model of exhaustive exercise and capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics to observe comprehensive energetics of the brain (cortex and hippocampus) and muscle (plantaris). At exhaustion, muscle glycogen was depleted but brain glycogen was only decreased. The levels of MCT2, which takes up lactate in neurons, increased in the brain, as did muscle MCTs. Metabolomics revealed that brain, but not muscle, ATP was maintained with lactate and other glycogenolytic/glycolytic sources. Intracerebroventricular injection of the glycogen phosphorylase inhibitor 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-d-arabinitol did not affect peripheral glycemic conditions but suppressed brain lactate production and decreased hippocampal ATP levels at exhaustion. An MCT2 inhibitor, α-cyano-4-hydroxy-cinnamate, triggered a similar response that resulted in lower endurance capacity. These findings provide direct evidence for the energetic role of astrocytic glycogen-derived lactate in the exhaustive-exercising brain, implicating the significance of brain glycogen level in endurance capacity. Glycogen-maintained ATP in the brain is a possible defense mechanism for neurons in the exhausted brain.

  12. A Triple Culture Model of the Blood-Brain Barrier Using Porcine Brain Endothelial cells, Astrocytes and Pericytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomsen, Louiza Bohn; Burkhart, Annette; Moos, Torben

    2015-01-01

    In vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models based on primary brain endothelial cells (BECs) cultured as monoculture or in co-culture with primary astrocytes and pericytes are useful for studying many properties of the BBB. The BECs retain their expression of tight junction proteins and efflux transporters leading to high trans-endothelial electric resistance (TEER) and low passive paracellular permeability. The BECs, astrocytes and pericytes are often isolated from small rodents. Larger species as cows and pigs however, reveal a higher yield, are readily available and have a closer resemblance to humans, which make them favorable high-throughput sources for cellular isolation. The aim of the present study has been to determine if the preferable combination of purely porcine cells isolated from the 6 months old domestic pigs, i.e. porcine brain endothelial cells (PBECs) in co-culture with porcine astrocytes and pericytes, would compare with PBECs co-cultured with astrocytes and pericytes isolated from newborn rats with respect to TEER value and low passive permeability. The astrocytes and pericytes were grown both as contact and non-contact co-cultures as well as in triple culture to examine their effects on the PBECs for barrier formation as revealed by TEER, passive permeability, and expression patterns of tight junction proteins, efflux transporters and the transferrin receptor. This syngenic porcine in vitro BBB model is comparable to triple cultures using PBECs, rat astrocytes and rat pericytes with respect to TEER formation, low passive permeability, and expression of hallmark proteins signifying the brain endothelium (tight junction proteins claudin 5 and occludin, the efflux transporters P-glycoprotein (PgP) and breast cancer related protein (BCRP), and the transferrin receptor).

  13. A Triple Culture Model of the Blood-Brain Barrier Using Porcine Brain Endothelial cells, Astrocytes and Pericytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louiza Bohn Thomsen

    Full Text Available In vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB models based on primary brain endothelial cells (BECs cultured as monoculture or in co-culture with primary astrocytes and pericytes are useful for studying many properties of the BBB. The BECs retain their expression of tight junction proteins and efflux transporters leading to high trans-endothelial electric resistance (TEER and low passive paracellular permeability. The BECs, astrocytes and pericytes are often isolated from small rodents. Larger species as cows and pigs however, reveal a higher yield, are readily available and have a closer resemblance to humans, which make them favorable high-throughput sources for cellular isolation. The aim of the present study has been to determine if the preferable combination of purely porcine cells isolated from the 6 months old domestic pigs, i.e. porcine brain endothelial cells (PBECs in co-culture with porcine astrocytes and pericytes, would compare with PBECs co-cultured with astrocytes and pericytes isolated from newborn rats with respect to TEER value and low passive permeability. The astrocytes and pericytes were grown both as contact and non-contact co-cultures as well as in triple culture to examine their effects on the PBECs for barrier formation as revealed by TEER, passive permeability, and expression patterns of tight junction proteins, efflux transporters and the transferrin receptor. This syngenic porcine in vitro BBB model is comparable to triple cultures using PBECs, rat astrocytes and rat pericytes with respect to TEER formation, low passive permeability, and expression of hallmark proteins signifying the brain endothelium (tight junction proteins claudin 5 and occludin, the efflux transporters P-glycoprotein (PgP and breast cancer related protein (BCRP, and the transferrin receptor.

  14. Protective and Antioxidant Effects of a Chalconoid from Pulicaria incisa on Brain Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anat Elmann

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the brain, protect neurons from reactive oxygen species (ROS and provide them with trophic support, such as glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF. Thus, any damage to astrocytes will affect neuronal survival. In the present study, by activity-guided fractionation, we have purified from the desert plant Pulicaria incisa two protective compounds and determined their structures by spectroscopic methods. The compounds were found to be new chalcones—pulichalconoid B and pulichalconoid C. This is the first study to characterize the antioxidant and protective effects of these compounds in any biological system. Using primary cultures of astrocytes, we have found that pulichalconoid B attenuated the accumulation of ROS following treatment of these cells with hydrogen peroxide by 89% and prevented 89% of the H2O2-induced death of astrocytes. Pulichalconoid B exhibited an antioxidant effect both in vitro and in the cellular antioxidant assay in astrocytes and microglial cells. Pulichalconoid B also caused a fourfold increase in GDNF transcription in these cells. Thus, this chalcone deserves further studies in order to evaluate if beneficial therapeutic effect exists.

  15. Astrocytic TYMP and VEGFA drive blood-brain barrier opening in inflammatory central nervous system lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapouly, Candice; Tadesse Argaw, Azeb; Horng, Sam; Castro, Kamilah; Zhang, Jingya; Asp, Linnea; Loo, Hannah; Laitman, Benjamin M; Mariani, John N; Straus Farber, Rebecca; Zaslavsky, Elena; Nudelman, German; Raine, Cedric S; John, Gareth R

    2015-06-01

    In inflammatory central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, breakdown of the blood-brain barrier is a key event in lesion pathogenesis, predisposing to oedema, excitotoxicity, and ingress of plasma proteins and inflammatory cells. Recently, we showed that reactive astrocytes drive blood-brain barrier opening, via production of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA). Here, we now identify thymidine phosphorylase (TYMP; previously known as endothelial cell growth factor 1, ECGF1) as a second key astrocyte-derived permeability factor, which interacts with VEGFA to induce blood-brain barrier disruption. The two are co-induced NFκB1-dependently in human astrocytes by the cytokine interleukin 1 beta (IL1B), and inactivation of Vegfa in vivo potentiates TYMP induction. In human central nervous system microvascular endothelial cells, VEGFA and the TYMP product 2-deoxy-d-ribose cooperatively repress tight junction proteins, driving permeability. Notably, this response represents part of a wider pattern of endothelial plasticity: 2-deoxy-d-ribose and VEGFA produce transcriptional programs encompassing angiogenic and permeability genes, and together regulate a third unique cohort. Functionally, each promotes proliferation and viability, and they cooperatively drive motility and angiogenesis. Importantly, introduction of either into mouse cortex promotes blood-brain barrier breakdown, and together they induce severe barrier disruption. In the multiple sclerosis model experimental autoimmune encephalitis, TYMP and VEGFA co-localize to reactive astrocytes, and correlate with blood-brain barrier permeability. Critically, blockade of either reduces neurologic deficit, blood-brain barrier disruption and pathology, and inhibiting both in combination enhances tissue preservation. Suggesting importance in human disease, TYMP and VEGFA both localize to reactive astrocytes in multiple sclerosis lesion samples. Collectively, these data identify TYMP as an

  16. Glycogen distribution in adult and geriatric mice brains

    KAUST Repository

    Alrabeh, Rana

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell type in the brain, undergo a number of roles in brain physiology; among them, the energetic support of neurons is the best characterized. Contained within astrocytes is the brain’s obligate energy store

  17. A subconvulsive dose of kainate selectively compromises astrocytic metabolism in the mouse brain in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Anne B; Eyjolfsson, Elvar M; Schousboe, Arne; Sonnewald, Ursula; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2014-08-01

    Despite the well-established use of kainate as a model for seizure activity and temporal lobe epilepsy, most studies have been performed at doses giving rise to general limbic seizures and have mainly focused on neuronal function. Little is known about the effect of lower doses of kainate on cerebral metabolism and particularly that associated with astrocytes. We investigated astrocytic and neuronal metabolism in the cerebral cortex of adult mice after treatment with saline (controls), a subconvulsive or a mildly convulsive dose of kainate. A combination of [1,2-(13)C]acetate and [1-(13)C]glucose was injected and subsequent nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of cortical extracts was employed to distinctively map astrocytic and neuronal metabolism. The subconvulsive dose of kainate led to an instantaneous increase in the cortical lactate content, a subsequent reduction in the amount of [4,5-(13)C]glutamine and an increase in the calculated astrocytic TCA cycle activity. In contrast, the convulsive dose led to decrements in the cortical content and (13)C labeling of glutamate, glutamine, GABA, and aspartate. Evidence is provided that astrocytic metabolism is affected by a subconvulsive dose of kainate, whereas a higher dose is required to affect neuronal metabolism. The cerebral glycogen content was dose-dependently reduced by kainate supporting a role for glycogen during seizure activity.

  18. A porcine astrocyte/endothelial cell co-culture model of the blood-brain barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeliazkova-Mecheva, Valentina V; Bobilya, Dennis J

    2003-10-01

    A method for the isolation of porcine atrocytes as a simple extension of a previously described procedure for isolation of brain capillary endothelial cells from adolescent pigs [Methods Cell Sci. 17 (1995) 2] is described. The obtained astroglial culture purified through two passages and by the method of the selective detachment was validated by a phase contrast microscopy and through an immunofluorescent assay for the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Porcine astrocytes were co-cultivated with porcine brain capillary endothelial cells (PBCEC) for the development of an in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) model. The model was visualized by an electron microscopy and showed elevated transendothellial electrical resistance and reduced inulin permeability. To our knowledge, this is the first report for the establishment of a porcine astrocyte/endothelial cell co-culture BBB model, which avoids interspecies and age differences between the two cell types, usually encountered in the other reported co-culture BBB models. Considering the availability of the porcine brain tissue and the close physiological and anatomical relation between the human and pig brain, the porcine astrocyte/endothelial cell co-culture system can serve as a reliable and easily reproducible model for different in vitro BBB studies.

  19. CCL2 binding is CCR2 independent in primary adult human astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouillet, A; Mawson, J; Suliman, O; Sharrack, B; Romero, I A; Woodroofe, M N

    2012-02-09

    Chemokines are low relative molecular mass proteins, which have chemoattractant actions on many cell types. The chemokine, CCL2, has been shown to play a major role in the recruitment of monocytes in central nervous system (CNS) lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS). Since resident astrocytes constitute a major source of chemokine synthesis including CCL2, we were interested to assess the regulation of CCL2 by astrocytes. We showed that CCL2 bound to the cell surface of astrocytes and binding was not modulated by inflammatory conditions. However, CCR2 protein was not detected nor was activation of the classical CCR2 downstream signaling pathways. Recent studies have shown that non-signaling decoy chemokine receptors bind and modulate the expression of chemokines at site of inflammation. Here, we show that the D6 chemokine decoy receptor is constitutively expressed by primary human adult astrocytes at both mRNA and protein level. In addition, CCL3, which binds to D6, but not CCL19, which does not bind to D6, displaced CCL2 binding to astrocytes; indicating that CCL2 may bind to this cell type via the D6 receptor. Our results suggest that CCL2 binding to primary adult human astrocytes is CCR2-independent and is likely to be mediated via the D6 decoy chemokine receptor. Therefore we propose that astrocytes are implicated in both the establishment of chemokine gradients for the migration of leukocytes into and within the CNS and in the regulation of CCL2 levels at inflammatory sites in the CNS. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The Endo-Lysosomal System of Brain Endothelial Cells Is Influenced by Astrocytes In Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Andrea E; Siupka, Piotr; P Augustine, Thomas J; Venø, Susanne T; Thomsen, Louiza B; Moos, Torben; Lohi, Hannes T; Madsen, Peder; Lykke-Hartmann, Karin; Nielsen, Morten S

    2018-03-20

    Receptor- and adsorptive-mediated transport through brain endothelial cells (BEC) of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) involves a complex array of subcellular vesicular structures, the endo-lysosomal system. It consists of several types of vesicles, such as early, recycling, and late endosomes, retromer-positive structures, and lysosomes. Since this system is important for receptor-mediated transcytosis of drugs across brain capillaries, our aim was to characterise the endo-lysosomal system in BEC with emphasis on their interactions with astrocytes. We used primary porcine BEC in monoculture and in co-culture with primary rat astrocytes. The presence of astrocytes changed the intraendothelial vesicular network and significantly impacted vesicular number, morphology, and distribution. Additionally, gene set enrichment analysis revealed that 60 genes associated with vesicular trafficking showed altered expression in co-cultured BEC. Cytosolic proteins involved in subcellular trafficking were investigated to mark transport routes, such as RAB25 for transcytosis. Strikingly, the adaptor protein called AP1-μ1B, important for basolateral sorting in epithelial cells, was not expressed in BEC. Altogether, our data pin-point unique features of BEC trafficking network, essentially mapping the endo-lysosomal system of in vitro BBB models. Consequently, our findings constitute a valuable basis for planning the optimal route across the BBB when advancing drug delivery to the brain.

  1. Adrenoceptors in Brain: Cellular Gene Expression and Effects on Astrocytic Metabolism and [Ca2+]i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Lovatt, Ditte; Goldman, Steven A.; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2010-01-01

    Recent in vivo studies have established astrocytes as a major target for locus coeruleus activation (Bekar et al., Cereb. Cortex 18, 2789–2795), renewing interest in cell culture studies on noradrenergic effects on astrocytes in primary cultures and calling for additional information about the expression of adrenoceptor subtypes on different types of brain cells. In the present communication, mRNA expression of α1-, α2- and β-adrenergic receptors and their subtypes was determined in freshly-isolated, cell marker-defined populations of astrocytes, NG2-positive cells, microglia, endothelial cells, and Thy1-positive neurons (mainly glutamatergic projection neurons) in murine cerebral cortex. Immediately after dissection of frontal, parietal and occipital cortex of 10–12-week-old transgenic mice, which combined each cell-type marker with a specific fluorescent signal, the tissue was digested, triturated and centrifuged, yielding a solution of dissociated cells of all types, which were separated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). mRNA expression in each cell fraction was determined by microarray analysis. α1A-Receptors were unequivocally expressed in astrocytes and NG2-positive cells, but absent in other cell types, and α1B-receptors were not expressed in any cell population. Among α2-receptors only α2A-receptors were expressed, unequivocally in astrocytes and NG-positive cells, tentatively in microglia and questionably in Thy1-positive neurons and endothelial cells. β1-Receptors were unequivocally expressed in astrocytes, tentatively in microglia, and questionably in neurons and endothelial cells, whereas β2-adrenergic receptors showed tentative expression in neurons and astrocytes and unequivocal expression in other cell types. This distribution was supported by immunochemical data and its relevance established by previous studies in well-differentiated primary cultures of mouse astrocytes, showing that stimulation of α2-adrenoceptors

  2. Aerobic glycolysis during brain activation: adrenergic regulation and influence of norepinephrine on astrocytic metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A; Cruz, Nancy F

    2016-07-01

    Aerobic glycolysis occurs during brain activation and is characterized by preferential up-regulation of glucose utilization compared with oxygen consumption even though oxygen level and delivery are adequate. Aerobic glycolysis is a widespread phenomenon that underlies energetics of diverse brain activities, such as alerting, sensory processing, cognition, memory, and pathophysiological conditions, but specific cellular functions fulfilled by aerobic glycolysis are poorly understood. Evaluation of evidence derived from different disciplines reveals that aerobic glycolysis is a complex, regulated phenomenon that is prevented by propranolol, a non-specific β-adrenoceptor antagonist. The metabolic pathways that contribute to excess utilization of glucose compared with oxygen include glycolysis, the pentose phosphate shunt pathway, the malate-aspartate shuttle, and astrocytic glycogen turnover. Increased lactate production by unidentified cells, and lactate dispersal from activated cells and lactate release from the brain, both facilitated by astrocytes, are major factors underlying aerobic glycolysis in subjects with low blood lactate levels. Astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttling with local oxidation is minor. Blockade of aerobic glycolysis by propranolol implicates adrenergic regulatory processes including adrenal release of epinephrine, signaling to brain via the vagus nerve, and increased norepinephrine release from the locus coeruleus. Norepinephrine has a powerful influence on astrocytic metabolism and glycogen turnover that can stimulate carbohydrate utilization more than oxygen consumption, whereas β-receptor blockade 're-balances' the stoichiometry of oxygen-glucose or -carbohydrate metabolism by suppressing glucose and glycogen utilization more than oxygen consumption. This conceptual framework may be helpful for design of future studies to elucidate functional roles of preferential non-oxidative glucose utilization and glycogen turnover during brain

  3. Deep brain stimulation results in local glutamate and adenosine release: investigation into the role of astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawfik, Vivianne L; Chang, Su-Youne; Hitti, Frederick L; Roberts, David W; Leiter, James C; Jovanovic, Svetlana; Lee, Kendall H

    2010-08-01

    Several neurological disorders are treated with deep brain stimulation; however, the mechanism underlying its ability to abolish oscillatory phenomena associated with diseases as diverse as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy remain largely unknown. To investigate the role of specific neurotransmitters in deep brain stimulation and determine the role of non-neuronal cells in its mechanism of action. We used the ferret thalamic slice preparation in vitro, which exhibits spontaneous spindle oscillations, to determine the effect of high-frequency stimulation on neurotransmitter release. We then performed experiments using an in vitro astrocyte culture to investigate the role of glial transmitter release in high-frequency stimulation-mediated abolishment of spindle oscillations. In this series of experiments, we demonstrated that glutamate and adenosine release in ferret slices was able to abolish spontaneous spindle oscillations. The glutamate release was still evoked in the presence of the Na channel blocker tetrodotoxin, but was eliminated with the vesicular H-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin and the calcium chelator 2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)-ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid tetrakis acetoxymethyl ester. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of purified primary astrocytic cultures was able to evoke intracellular calcium transients and glutamate release, and bath application of 2-bis (2-aminophenoxy)-ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid tetrakis acetoxymethyl ester inhibited glutamate release in this setting. Vesicular astrocytic neurotransmitter release may be an important mechanism by which deep brain stimulation is able to achieve clinical benefits.

  4. Astrocytes and energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prebil, Mateja; Jensen, Jørgen; Zorec, Robert; Kreft, Marko

    2011-05-01

    Astrocytes are glial cells, which play a significant role in a number of processes, including the brain energy metabolism. Their anatomical position between blood vessels and neurons make them an interface for effective glucose uptake from blood. After entering astrocytes, glucose can be involved in different metabolic pathways, e.g. in glycogen production. Glycogen in the brain is localized mainly in astrocytes and is an important energy source in hypoxic conditions and normal brain functioning. The portion of glucose metabolized into glycogen molecules in astrocytes is as high as 40%. It is thought that the release of gliotransmitters (such as glutamate, neuroactive peptides and ATP) into the extracellular space by regulated exocytosis supports a significant part of communication between astrocytes and neurons. On the other hand, neurotransmitter action on astrocytes has a significant role in brain energy metabolism. Therefore, understanding the astrocytes energy metabolism may help understanding neuron-astrocyte interactions.

  5. Drowning stars: reassessing the role of astrocytes in brain edema.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrane, Alexander S; Rangroo Thrane, Vinita; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2014-11-01

    Edema formation frequently complicates brain infarction, tumors, and trauma. Despite the significant mortality of this condition, current treatment options are often ineffective or incompletely understood. Recent studies have revealed the existence of a brain-wide paravascular pathway for cerebrospinal (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange. The current review critically examines the contribution of this 'glymphatic' system to the main types of brain edema. We propose that in cytotoxic edema, energy depletion enhances glymphatic CSF influx, whilst suppressing ISF efflux. We also argue that paravascular inflammation or 'paravasculitis' plays a critical role in vasogenic edema. Finally, recent advances in diagnostic imaging of glymphatic function may hold the key to defining the edema profile of individual patients, and thus enable more targeted therapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. An improved in vitro blood-brain barrier model: rat brain endothelial cells co-cultured with astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, N Joan; Dolman, Diana E M; Drndarski, Svetlana; Fredriksson, Sarah M

    2012-01-01

    In vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models using primary cultured brain endothelial cells are important for establishing cellular and molecular mechanisms of BBB function. Co-culturing with BBB-associated cells especially astrocytes to mimic more closely the in vivo condition leads to upregulation of the BBB phenotype in the brain endothelial cells. Rat brain endothelial cells (RBECs) are a valuable tool allowing ready comparison with in vivo studies in rodents; however, it has been difficult to obtain pure brain endothelial cells, and few models achieve a transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER, measure of tight junction efficacy) of >200 Ω cm(2), i.e. the models are still relatively leaky. Here, we describe methods for preparing high purity RBECs and neonatal rat astrocytes, and a co-culture method that generates a robust, stable BBB model that can achieve TEER >600 Ω cm(2). The method is based on >20 years experience with RBEC culture, together with recent improvements to kill contaminating cells and encourage BBB differentiation.Astrocytes are isolated by mechanical dissection and cell straining and are frozen for later co-culture. RBECs are isolated from 3-month-old rat cortices. The brains are cleaned of meninges and white matter and enzymatically and mechanically dissociated. Thereafter, the tissue homogenate is centrifuged in bovine serum albumin to separate vessel fragments from other cells that stick to the myelin plug. The vessel fragments undergo a second enzyme digestion to separate pericytes from vessels and break down vessels into shorter segments, after which a Percoll gradient is used to separate capillaries from venules, arterioles, and single cells. To kill remaining contaminating cells such as pericytes, the capillary fragments are plated in puromycin-containing medium and RBECs grown to 50-60% confluence. They are then passaged onto filters for co-culture with astrocytes grown in the bottom of the wells. The whole procedure takes ∼2

  7. Purification and characterization of progenitor and mature human astrocytes reveals transcriptional and functional differences with mouse

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Ye; Sloan, Steven A.; Clarke, Laura E.; Caneda, Christine; Plaza, Colton A.; Blumenthal, Paul D.; Vogel, Hannes; Steinberg, Gary K.; Edwards, Michael S. B.; Li, Gordon; Duncan, John A.; Cheshier, Samuel H.; Shuer, Lawrence M.; Chang, Edward F.; Grant, Gerald A.

    2015-01-01

    The functional and molecular similarities and distinctions between human and murine astrocytes are poorly understood. Here we report the development of an immunopanning method to acutely purify astrocytes from fetal, juvenile, and adult human brains, and to maintain these cells in serum-free cultures. We found that human astrocytes have similar abilities to murine astrocytes in promoting neuronal survival, inducing functional synapse formation, and engulfing synaptosomes. In contrast to exist...

  8. Energy Metabolism of the Brain, Including the Cooperation between Astrocytes and Neurons, Especially in the Context of Glycogen Metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Falkowska, Anna; Gutowska, Izabela; Goschorska, Marta; Nowacki, Przemys?aw; Chlubek, Dariusz; Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena

    2015-01-01

    Glycogen metabolism has important implications for the functioning of the brain, especially the cooperation between astrocytes and neurons. According to various research data, in a glycogen deficiency (for example during hypoglycemia) glycogen supplies are used to generate lactate, which is then transported to neighboring neurons. Likewise, during periods of intense activity of the nervous system, when the energy demand exceeds supply, astrocyte glycogen is immediately converted to lactate, s...

  9. Cerebellar stem cells do not produce neurons and astrocytes in adult mouse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Su, Xin; Guan, Wuqiang; Yu, Yong-Chun; Fu, Yinghui

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • No new neurons and astrocytes are generated in adult mouse cerebellum. • Very few mash1 + or nestin + stem cells exist, and most of them are quiescent. • Cell proliferation rate is diversified among cerebellar regions and decreases over time. - Abstract: Although previous studies implied that cerebellar stem cells exist in some adult mammals, little is known about whether these stem cells can produce new neurons and astrocytes. In this study by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection, we found that there are abundant BrdU + cells in adult mouse cerebellum, and their quantity and density decreases significantly over time. We also found cell proliferation rate is diversified in different cerebellar regions. Among these BrdU + cells, very few are mash1 + or nestin + stem cells, and the vast majority of cerebellar stem cells are quiescent. Data obtained by in vivo retrovirus injection indicate that stem cells do not produce neurons and astrocytes in adult mouse cerebellum. Instead, some cells labeled by retrovirus are Iba1 + microglia. These results indicate that very few stem cells exist in adult mouse cerebellum, and none of these stem cells contribute to neurogenesis and astrogenesis under physiological condition

  10. The endo-lysosomal system of brain endothelial cells is influenced by astrocytes in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toth, Andrea E; Siupka, Piotr; P Augustine, Thomas J

    2018-01-01

    Receptor- and adsorptive-mediated transport through brain endothelial cells (BEC) of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) involves a complex array of subcellular vesicular structures, the endo-lysosomal system. It consists of several types of vesicles, such as early, recycling, and late endosomes......, retromer-positive structures, and lysosomes. Since this system is important for receptor-mediated transcytosis of drugs across brain capillaries, our aim was to characterise the endo-lysosomal system in BEC with emphasis on their interactions with astrocytes. We used primary porcine BEC in monoculture....... Altogether, our data pin-point unique features of BEC trafficking network, essentially mapping the endo-lysosomal system of in vitro BBB models. Consequently, our findings constitute a valuable basis for planning the optimal route across the BBB when advancing drug delivery to the brain....

  11. [Mechanism of potassium channel in hypoxia-ischemic brain edema: experiment with neonatal rat astrocyte].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Xue-mei; Xiang, Long; Liao, Da-qing; Feng, Zhi-chun; Mu, De-zhi

    2008-11-04

    To investigate the mechanism of potassium channel in brain edema caused by hypoxia-ischemia (HI). Astrocytes were obtained from 3-day-old SD rats, cultured, and randomly divided into 2 groups: normoxia group, cultured under normoxic condition, and hypoxic-ischemic group, cultured under hypoxic-ischemic condition. The cell volume was measured by radiologic method. Patch-clamp technique was used to observe the electric physiological properties of the voltage-gated potassium channels (Kv) in a whole cell configuration, and the change of voltage-gated potassium channel current (IKv) was recorded in cultured neonatal rat astrocyte during HI. Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) expression vector was constructed from pSUPER vector and transfected into the astrocytes (AQP4 RNAi) to construct AQP4 knockdown (AQP4-/-) cells. cellular volume was determined using [3H]-3-O-methyl-D-glucose uptake in both AQP4-/- and AQP4+/+ cells under the condition of HI. Real time PCR and Western blotting were used to detect the mRNA and protein expression of AQP4. The percentages of the AQP4+/+ and AQP4-/- astrocyte volumes in the condition of HI for 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 h were 104+/-7, 109+/-6, 126+/-12, and 152+/-9 times, and 97+/-7, 105+/-9, 109+/-7, and 132+/-6 times as those of their corresponding control groups (all Pastrocytes significantly increased during HI and the degrees of edema mediated by AQP4 knockdown at different time points were all significantly milder (all Pastrocytes via aquaporin-4 and then cell swelling.

  12. Energy Metabolism of the Brain, Including the Cooperation between Astrocytes and Neurons, Especially in the Context of Glycogen Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkowska, Anna; Gutowska, Izabela; Goschorska, Marta; Nowacki, Przemysław; Chlubek, Dariusz; Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena

    2015-10-29

    Glycogen metabolism has important implications for the functioning of the brain, especially the cooperation between astrocytes and neurons. According to various research data, in a glycogen deficiency (for example during hypoglycemia) glycogen supplies are used to generate lactate, which is then transported to neighboring neurons. Likewise, during periods of intense activity of the nervous system, when the energy demand exceeds supply, astrocyte glycogen is immediately converted to lactate, some of which is transported to the neurons. Thus, glycogen from astrocytes functions as a kind of protection against hypoglycemia, ensuring preservation of neuronal function. The neuroprotective effect of lactate during hypoglycemia or cerebral ischemia has been reported in literature. This review goes on to emphasize that while neurons and astrocytes differ in metabolic profile, they interact to form a common metabolic cooperation.

  13. The long-term risk of malignant astrocytic tumors after structural brain injury--a nationwide cohort study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munch, Tina Noergaard; Gørtz, Sanne; Wohlfahrt, Jan

    2015-01-01

    % CI: 0.49-0.90) compared with no injury. The specific long-term risks by type of injury were: traumatic brain injury RR = 0.32 (95% CI: 0.10-0.75); cerebral ischemic infarction RR = 0.69 (95% CI: 0.47-0.96); and intracerebral hemorrhage RR = 1.39 (95% CI: 0.64-2.60). CONCLUSION: We found no evidence......BACKGROUND: Neoplastic transformation of damaged astrocytes has been proposed as a possible pathological mechanism behind malignant astrocytic tumors. This study investigated the association between structural brain injuries causing reactive astrogliosis and long-term risk for malignant astrocytic...... tumors. METHODS: The cohort consisted of all individuals living in Denmark between 1978 and 2011. The personal identification number assigned to all individuals allowed retrieval of diagnoses of traumatic brain injury, cerebral ischemic infarction, and intracerebral hemorrhage from the National Patient...

  14. Glycogen metabolism in brain and neurons - astrocytes metabolic cooperation can be altered by pre- and neonatal lead (Pb) exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena; Falkowska, Anna; Gutowska, Izabela; Gąssowska, Magdalena; Kolasa-Wołosiuk, Agnieszka; Tarnowski, Maciej; Chibowska, Karina; Goschorska, Marta; Lubkowska, Anna; Chlubek, Dariusz

    2017-09-01

    Lead (Pb) is an environmental neurotoxin which particularly affects the developing brain but the molecular mechanism of its neurotoxicity still needs clarification. The aim of this paper was to examine whether pre- and neonatal exposure to Pb (concentration of Pb in rat offspring blood below the "threshold level") may affect the brain's energy metabolism in neurons and astrocytes via the amount of available glycogen. We investigated the glycogen concentration in the brain, as well as the expression of the key enzymes involved in glycogen metabolism in brain: glycogen synthase 1 (Gys1), glycogen phosphorylase (PYGM, an isoform active in astrocytes; and PYGB, an isoform active in neurons) and phosphorylase kinase β (PHKB). Moreover, the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) was evaluated to analyze whether Pb poisoning during the early phase of life may affect the neuron-astrocytes' metabolic cooperation. This work shows for the first time that exposure to Pb in early life can impair brain energy metabolism by reducing the amount of glycogen and decreasing the rate of its metabolism. This reduction in brain glycogen level was accompanied by a decrease in Gys1 expression. We noted a reduction in the immunoreactivity and the gene expression of both PYGB and PYGM isoform, as well as an increase in the expression of PHKB in Pb-treated rats. Moreover, exposure to Pb induced decrease in connexin 43 immunoexpression in all the brain structures analyzed, both in astrocytes as well as in neurons. Our data suggests that exposure to Pb in the pre- and neonatal periods results in a decrease in the level of brain glycogen and a reduction in the rate of its metabolism, thereby reducing glucose availability, which as a further consequence may lead to the impairment of brain energy metabolism and the metabolic cooperation between neurons and astrocytes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. On the nature of the Cu-rich aggregates in brain astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sullivan, Brendan; Robison, Gregory; Osborn, Jenna; Kay, Martin; Thompson, Peter; Davis, Katherine; Zakharova, Taisiya; Antipova, Olga; Pushkar, Yulia

    2017-04-01

    Fulfilling a bevy of biological roles, copper is an essential metal for healthy brain function. Cu dyshomeostasis has been demonstrated to be involved in some neurological conditions including Menkes and Alzheimer’s diseases. We have previously reported localized Cu-rich aggregates in astrocytes of the subventricular zone (SVZ) in rodent brains with Cu concentrations in the hundreds of millimolar. Metallothionein, a cysteine-rich protein critical to metal homeostasis and known to participate in a variety of neuroprotective and neuroregenerative processes, was proposed as a binding protein. Here, we present an analysis of metallothionein(1,2) knockout (MTKO) mice and age-matched controls using X-ray fluorescence microscopy. In large structures such as the corpus callosum, cortex, and striatum, there is no significant difference in Cu, Fe, or Zn concentrations in MTKO mice compared to age-matched controls. In the astrocyte-rich subventricular zone where Cu-rich aggregates reside, approximately 1/3 as many Cu-rich aggregates persist in MTKO mice resulting in a decrease in periventricular Cu concentration. Aggregates in both wild-type and MTKO mice show XANES spectra characteristic of CuxSy multimetallic clusters and have similar [S]/[Cu] ratios. Consistent with assignment as a CuxSy multimetallic cluster, the astrocyte-rich SVZ of both MTKO and wild-type mice exhibit autofluorescent bodies, though MTKO mice exhibit fewer. Furthermore, XRF imaging of Au-labeled lysosomes and ubiquitin demonstrates a lack of co-localization with Cu-rich aggregates suggesting they are not involved in a degradation pathway. Overall, these data suggest that Cu in aggregates is bound by either metallothionein-3 or a yet unknown protein similar to metallothionein.

  16. Astrocytes mediated the nootropic and neurotrophic effects of Sarsasapogenin-AA13 via upregulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Dong; Mao, Yu; Huang, Cui; Jiao, Qian; Pan, Hui; Ma, Lei; Wang, Rui

    2017-01-01

    Rhizoma Anemarrhena , a widely used traditional Chinese medicine, has previously been shown to have neuroprotective effect. Sarsasapogenin-AA13 (AA13) is a novel synthetic derivative of Sarsasapogenin, which is extracted from Rhizoma Anemarrhena . The aim of this study is to investigate the nootropic and neurotrophic effects of AA13 and underlying mechanisms. In vitro , cell viability of rat primary astrocytes treated with AA13 and neurons cultured with conditioned medium of AA13-treated rat primary astrocytes was tested by MTT assays. In vivo , a pharmacological model of cognitive impairment induced by scopolamine was employed and spatial memory of the mice was assessed by Morris water maze. This study found that AA13 increased cell viability of primary astrocytes and AA13-treated astrocyte-conditioned medium enhanced the survival rate of primary neurons. Interestingly, AA13 markedly enhanced the level of BDNF in astrocytes. Furthermore, AA13 (6 mg/kg) improved the cognitive deficits in animal models (p<0.05) and BDNF and PSD95 levels were increased in brain. Therefore, we hypothesize that AA13 exerts nootropic and neurotrophic activities through astrocytes mediated upregulation of BDNF secretion. The results suggest that AA13 could be a potential compound for cognitive impairment after further research.

  17. The presence of serum alters the properties of iron oxide nanoparticles and lowers their accumulation by cultured brain astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geppert, Mark; Petters, Charlotte; Thiel, Karsten; Dringen, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) are considered for various diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Such particles are able to cross the blood–brain barrier and are taken up into brain cells. To test whether serum components affect the properties of IONPs and/or their uptake into brain cells, we have incubated dimercaptosuccinate-coated magnetic IONPs without and with fetal calf serum (FCS) and have exposed cultured brain astrocytes with IONPs in the absence or presence of FCS. Incubation with FCS caused a concentration-dependent increase in the average hydrodynamic diameter of the particles and of their zeta-potential. In the presence of 10 % FCS, the diameter of the IONPs increased from 57 ± 2 to 107 ± 6 nm and the zeta-potential of the particles from −22 ± 5 to −9 ± 1 mV. FCS affected also strongly the uptake of IONPs by cultured astrocytes. The efficient time- and temperature-dependent cellular accumulation of IONPs was lowered with increasing concentration of FCS by up to 90 %. In addition, in the absence of serum, endocytosis inhibitors did not alter the IONP accumulation by astrocytes, while chlorpromazine or wortmannin lowered significantly the accumulation of IONPs in the presence of FCS, suggesting that clathrin-mediated endocytosis and macropinocytosis are involved in astrocytic IONP uptake from serum-containing medium. These data demonstrate that the presence of FCS strongly affects the properties of IONPs as well as their accumulation by cultured brain cells.

  18. Three-dimensional culture conditions differentially affect astrocyte modulation of brain endothelial barrier function in response to transforming growth factor β1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Brian T; Grego, Sonia; Sellgren, Katelyn L

    2015-05-22

    Blood-brain barrier (BBB) function is regulated by dynamic interactions among cell types within the neurovascular unit, including astrocytes and endothelial cells. Co-culture models of the BBB typically involve astrocytes seeded on two-dimensional (2D) surfaces, which recent studies indicate cause astrocytes to express a phenotype similar to that of reactive astrocytes in situ. We hypothesized that the culture conditions of astrocytes would differentially affect their ability to modulate BBB function in vitro. Brain endothelial cells were grown alone or in co-culture with astrocytes. Astrocytes were grown either as conventional (2D) monolayers, or in a collagen-based gel which allows them to grow in a three-dimensional (3D) construct. Astrocytes were viable in 3D conditions, and displayed a marked reduction in their expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), suggesting reduced activation. Stimulation of astrocytes with transforming growth factor (TGF)β1 decreased transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and reduced expression of claudin-5 in co-cultures, whereas treatment of endothelial cells in the absence of astrocytes was without effect. The effect of TGFβ1 on TEER was significantly more pronounced in endothelial cells cultured with 3D astrocytes compared to 2D astrocytes. These results demonstrate that astrocyte culture conditions differentially affect their ability to modulate brain endothelial barrier function, and suggest a direct relationship between reactive gliosis and BBB permeability. Moreover, these studies demonstrate the potential importance of physiologically relevant culture conditions to in vitro modeling of disease processes that affect the neurovascular unit. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. The metabolic trinity, glucose-glycogen-lactate, links astrocytes and neurons in brain energetics, signaling, memory, and gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A

    2017-01-10

    Glucose, glycogen, and lactate are traditionally identified with brain energetics, ATP turnover, and pathophysiology. However, recent studies extend their roles to include involvement in astrocytic signaling, memory consolidation, and gene expression. Emerging roles for these brain fuels and a readily-diffusible by-product are linked to differential fluxes in glycolytic and oxidative pathways, astrocytic glycogen dynamics, redox shifts, neuron-astrocyte interactions, and regulation of astrocytic activities by noradrenaline released from the locus coeruleus. Disproportionate utilization of carbohydrate compared with oxygen during brain activation is influenced by catecholamines, but its physiological basis is not understood and its magnitude may be affected by technical aspects of metabolite assays. Memory consolidation and gene expression are impaired by glycogenolysis blockade, and prevention of these deficits by injection of abnormally-high concentrations of lactate was interpreted as a requirement for astrocyte-to-neuron lactate shuttling in memory and gene expression. However, lactate transport was not measured and evidence for presumed shuttling is not compelling. In fact, high levels of lactate used to preserve memory consolidation and induce gene expression are sufficient to shut down neuronal firing via the HCAR1 receptor. In contrast, low lactate levels activate a receptor in locus coeruleus that stimulates noradrenaline release that may activate astrocytes throughout brain. Physiological relevance of exogenous concentrations of lactate used to mimic and evaluate metabolic, molecular, and behavioral effects of lactate requires close correspondence with the normal lactate levels, the biochemical and cellular sources and sinks, and specificity of lactate delivery to target cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Astrocyte morphology, heterogeneity and density in the developing African Giant Rat (Cricetomys gambianus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Olukayode Olopade

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Astrocyte morphologies and heterogeneity were described in male African giant rats (AGR (Cricetomys gambianus, Waterhouse across three age groups (5 neonates, 5 juveniles and 5 adults using Silver impregnation method and immunohistochemistry against glia fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP. Immunopositive cell signaling, cell size and population were least in neonates, followed by adults and juveniles respectively. In neonates, astrocyte processes were mostly detected within the glia limitans of the mid and hind brain; their cell bodies measuring 32±4.8 µm in diameter against 91±5.4µm and 75± 1.9µm in juveniles and adults respectively. Astrocyte heterogeneity in juvenile and adult groups revealed eight subtypes to include fibrous astrocytes chiefly in the corpus callosum and brain stem, protoplasmic astrocytes in the cortex and dentate gyrus (DG; radial glia were found along the olfactory bulb (OB and subventricular zone (SVZ; velate astrocytes were mainly found in the cerebellum and hippocampus; marginal astrocytes close to the pia mater; Bergmann glia in the molecular layer of the cerebellum; perivascular and periventricular astrocytes in the cortex and third ventricle respectively. Cell counts from twelve anatomical regions of the brain were significantly higher in juveniles than in adults (p≤0.01 using unpaired student t-test in the cerebral cortex, pia, corpus callosum, rostral migratory stream (RMS, DG and cerebellum. Highest astrocyte count was found in the DG, while the least count was in the brain stem and sub cortex. Astrocytes along the periventricular layer of the OB are believed to be part of the radial glia system that transport newly formed cells towards the hippocampus and play roles in neurogenesis migration and homeostasis in the AGR. Therefore, astrocyte heterogeneity was examined across age groups in the AGR to determine whether age influences astrocytes population in different regions of the AGR brain and discuss

  1. A transcriptome-based assessment of the astrocytic dystrophin-associated complex in the developing human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Matthew J; Murchison, Charles; Iliff, Jeffrey J

    2018-02-01

    Astrocytes play a critical role in regulating the interface between the cerebral vasculature and the central nervous system. Contributing to this is the astrocytic endfoot domain, a specialized structure that ensheathes the entirety of the vasculature and mediates signaling between endothelial cells, pericytes, and neurons. The astrocytic endfoot has been implicated as a critical element of the glymphatic pathway, and changes in protein expression profiles in this cellular domain are linked to Alzheimer's disease pathology. Despite this, basic physiological properties of this structure remain poorly understood including the developmental timing of its formation, and the protein components that localize there to mediate its functions. Here we use human transcriptome data from male and female subjects across several developmental stages and brain regions to characterize the gene expression profile of the dystrophin-associated complex (DAC), a known structural component of the astrocytic endfoot that supports perivascular localization of the astroglial water channel aquaporin-4. Transcriptomic profiling is also used to define genes exhibiting parallel expression profiles to DAC elements, generating a pool of candidate genes that encode gene products that may contribute to the physiological function of the perivascular astrocytic endfoot domain. We found that several genes encoding transporter proteins are transcriptionally associated with DAC genes. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Silver nanoparticles induce tight junction disruption and astrocyte neurotoxicity in a rat blood–brain barrier primary triple coculture model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu L

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Liming Xu,1,2,* Mo Dan,1,* Anliang Shao,1 Xiang Cheng,1,3 Cuiping Zhang,4 Robert A Yokel,5 Taro Takemura,6 Nobutaka Hanagata,6 Masami Niwa,7,8 Daisuke Watanabe7,81National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, No 2, Temple of Heaven, Beijing, 2School of Information and Engineering, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 3School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, 4Beijing Neurosurgical Institute, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 5College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA; 6Nanotechnology Innovation Station for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 7Department of Pharmacology, Nagasaki University, 8BBB Laboratory, PharmaCo-Cell Company, Ltd., Nagasaki, Japan*These authors contributed equally to this workBackground: Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs can enter the brain and induce neurotoxicity. However, the toxicity of Ag-NPs on the blood–brain barrier (BBB and the underlying mechanism(s of action on the BBB and the brain are not well understood.Method: To investigate Ag-NP suspension (Ag-NPS-induced toxicity, a triple coculture BBB model of rat brain microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes was established. The BBB permeability and tight junction protein expression in response to Ag-NPS, NP-released Ag ions, and polystyrene-NP exposure were investigated. Ultrastructural changes of the microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes were observed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM. Global gene expression of astrocytes was measured using a DNA microarray.Results: A triple coculture BBB model of primary rat brain microvascular endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes was established, with the transendothelial electrical resistance values >200 Ω·cm2. After Ag-NPS exposure for 24 hours, the BBB permeability was significantly increased and expression of the

  3. GDNF facilitates differentiation of the adult dentate gyrus-derived neural precursor cells into astrocytes via STAT3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boku, Shuken, E-mail: shuboku@med.hokudai.ac.jp [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan); Nakagawa, Shin [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan); Takamura, Naoki [Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd., Osaka (Japan); Kato, Akiko [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan); Takebayashi, Minoru [Department of Psychiatry, National Hospital Organization Kure Medical Center, Kure (Japan); Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue [Department of Pharmacology, Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima (Japan); Omiya, Yuki; Inoue, Takeshi; Kusumi, Ichiro [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan)

    2013-05-17

    Highlights: •GDNF has no effect on ADP proliferation and apoptosis. •GDNF increases ADP differentiation into astrocyte. •A specific inhibitor of STAT3 decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •STAT3 knockdown by lentiviral shRNA vector also decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •GDNF increases the phosphorylation of STAT3. -- Abstract: While the pro-neurogenic actions of antidepressants in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) are thought to be one of the mechanisms through which antidepressants exert their therapeutic actions, antidepressants do not increase proliferation of neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Because previous studies showed that antidepressants increase the expression and secretion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in C6 glioma cells derived from rat astrocytes and GDNF increases neurogenesis in adult DG in vivo, we investigated the effects of GDNF on the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of cultured neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Data showed that GDNF facilitated the differentiation of neural precursor cells into astrocytes but had no effect on their proliferation or apoptosis. Moreover, GDNF increased the phosphorylation of STAT3, and both a specific inhibitor of STAT3 and lentiviral shRNA for STAT3 decreased their differentiation into astrocytes. Taken together, our findings suggest that GDNF facilitates astrogliogenesis from neural precursor cells in adult DG through activating STAT3 and that this action might indirectly affect neurogenesis.

  4. GDNF facilitates differentiation of the adult dentate gyrus-derived neural precursor cells into astrocytes via STAT3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boku, Shuken; Nakagawa, Shin; Takamura, Naoki; Kato, Akiko; Takebayashi, Minoru; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Omiya, Yuki; Inoue, Takeshi; Kusumi, Ichiro

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •GDNF has no effect on ADP proliferation and apoptosis. •GDNF increases ADP differentiation into astrocyte. •A specific inhibitor of STAT3 decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •STAT3 knockdown by lentiviral shRNA vector also decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •GDNF increases the phosphorylation of STAT3. -- Abstract: While the pro-neurogenic actions of antidepressants in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) are thought to be one of the mechanisms through which antidepressants exert their therapeutic actions, antidepressants do not increase proliferation of neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Because previous studies showed that antidepressants increase the expression and secretion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in C6 glioma cells derived from rat astrocytes and GDNF increases neurogenesis in adult DG in vivo, we investigated the effects of GDNF on the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of cultured neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Data showed that GDNF facilitated the differentiation of neural precursor cells into astrocytes but had no effect on their proliferation or apoptosis. Moreover, GDNF increased the phosphorylation of STAT3, and both a specific inhibitor of STAT3 and lentiviral shRNA for STAT3 decreased their differentiation into astrocytes. Taken together, our findings suggest that GDNF facilitates astrogliogenesis from neural precursor cells in adult DG through activating STAT3 and that this action might indirectly affect neurogenesis

  5. Characterization of the L-glutamate clearance pathways across the blood-brain barrier and the effect of astrocytes in an in vitro blood-brain barrier model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helms, Hans CC; Aldana, Blanca I; Groth, Simon

    2017-01-01

    The aim was to characterize the clearance pathways for L-glutamate from the brain interstitial fluid across the blood-brain barrier using a primary in vitro bovine endothelial/rat astrocyte co-culture. Transporter profiling was performed using uptake studies of radiolabeled L-glutamate with co...... brain to blood via the concerted action of abluminal and luminal transport proteins, but the total brain clearance is highly dependent on metabolism in astrocytes and endothelial cells followed by transport of metabolites....

  6. Glycogen distribution in adult and geriatric mice brains

    KAUST Repository

    Alrabeh, Rana

    2017-05-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell type in the brain, undergo a number of roles in brain physiology; among them, the energetic support of neurons is the best characterized. Contained within astrocytes is the brain’s obligate energy store, glycogen. Through glycogenolysis, glycogen, a storage form of glucose, is converted to pyruvate that is further reduced to lactate and transferred to neurons as an energy source via MCTs. Glycogen is a multi-branched polysaccharide synthesized from the glucose uptaken in astrocytes. It has been shown that glycogen accumulates with age and contributes to the physiological ageing process in the brain. In this study, we compared glycogen distribution between young adults and geriatric mice to understand the energy consumption of synaptic terminals during ageing using computational tools. We segmented and densely reconstructed neuropil and glycogen granules within six (three 4 month old old and three 24 month old) volumes of Layer 1 somatosensory cortex mice brains from FIB-SEM stacks, using a combination of semi-automated and manual tools, ilastik and TrakEM2. Finally, the 3D visualization software, Blender, was used to analyze the dataset using the DBSCAN and KDTree Nearest neighbor algorithms to study the distribution of glycogen granules compared to synapses, using a plugin that was developed for this purpose. The Nearest Neighbors and clustering results of 6 datasets show that glycogen clusters around excitatory synapses more than inhibitory synapses and that, in general, glycogen is found around axonal boutons more than dendritic spines. There was no significant accumulation of glycogen with ageing within our admittedly small dataset. However, there was a homogenization of glycogen distribution with age and that is consistent with published literature. We conclude that glycogen distribution in the brain is not a random process but follows a function distribution.

  7. Phosphorylation status of pyruvate dehydrogenase distinguishes metabolic phenotypes of cultured rat brain astrocytes and neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halim, Nader D; Mcfate, Thomas; Mohyeldin, Ahmed; Okagaki, Peter; Korotchkina, Lioubov G; Patel, Mulchand S; Jeoung, Nam Ho; Harris, Robert A; Schell, Michael J; Verma, Ajay

    2010-08-01

    Glucose metabolism in nervous tissue has been proposed to occur in a compartmentalized manner with astrocytes contributing largely to glycolysis and neurons being the primary site of glucose oxidation. However, mammalian astrocytes and neurons both contain mitochondria, and it remains unclear why in culture neurons oxidize glucose, lactate, and pyruvate to a much larger extent than astrocytes. The objective of this study was to determine whether pyruvate metabolism is differentially regulated in cultured neurons versus astrocytes. Expression of all components of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC), the rate-limiting step for pyruvate entry into the Krebs cycle, was determined in cultured astrocytes and neurons. In addition, regulation of PDC enzymatic activity in the two cell types via protein phosphorylation was examined. We show that all components of the PDC are expressed in both cell types in culture, but that PDC activity is kept strongly inhibited in astrocytes through phosphorylation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase alpha subunit (PDH alpha). In contrast, neuronal PDC operates close to maximal levels with much lower levels of phosphorylated PDH alpha. Dephosphorylation of astrocytic PDH alpha restores PDC activity and lowers lactate production. Our findings suggest that the glucose metabolism of astrocytes and neurons may be far more flexible than previously believed. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Increased toll-like receptor 4 in cerebral endothelial cells contributes to the astrocyte swelling and brain edema in acute hepatic encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, Arumugam R; Tong, Xiao Y; Curtis, Kevin M; Ruiz-Cordero, Roberto; Abreu, Maria T; Norenberg, Michael D

    2014-03-01

    Astrocyte swelling and the subsequent increase in intracranial pressure and brain herniation are major clinical consequences in patients with acute hepatic encephalopathy. We recently reported that conditioned media from brain endothelial cells (ECs) exposed to ammonia, a mixture of cytokines (CKs) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), when added to astrocytes caused cell swelling. In this study, we investigated the possibility that ammonia and inflammatory agents activate the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in ECs, resulting in the release of factors that ultimately cause astrocyte swelling. We found a significant increase in TLR4 protein expression when ECs were exposed to ammonia, CKs or LPS alone, while exposure of ECs to a combination of these agents potentiate such effects. In addition, astrocytes exposed to conditioned media from TLR4-silenced ECs that were treated with ammonia, CKs or LPS, resulted in a significant reduction in astrocyte swelling. TLR4 protein up-regulation was also detected in rat brain ECs after treatment with the liver toxin thioacetamide, and that thioacetamide-treated TLR4 knock-out mice exhibited a reduction in brain edema. These studies strongly suggest that ECs significantly contribute to the astrocyte swelling/brain edema in acute hepatic encephalopathy, likely as a consequence of increased TLR4 protein expression by blood-borne noxious agents. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  9. Inhibition of Inwardly Rectifying Potassium (Kir 4.1 Channels Facilitates Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF Expression in Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masato Kinboshi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir 4.1 channels in astrocytes regulate neuronal excitability by mediating spatial potassium buffering. Although dysfunction of astrocytic Kir4.1 channels is implicated in the development of epileptic seizures, the functional mechanisms of Kir4.1 channels in modulating epileptogenesis remain unknown. We herein evaluated the effects of Kir4.1 inhibition (blockade and knockdown on expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, a key modulator of epileptogenesis, in the primary cultures of mouse astrocytes. For blockade of Kir4.1 channels, we tested several antidepressant agents which reportedly bound to and blocked Kir4.1 channels in a subunit-specific manner. Treatment of astrocytes with fluoxetine enhanced BDNF mRNA expression in a concentration-dependent manner and increased the BDNF protein level. Other antidepressants (e.g., sertraline and imipramine also increased the expression of BDNF mRNA with relative potencies similar to those for inhibition of Kir4.1 channels. In addition, suppression of Kir4.1 expression by the transfection of small interfering RNA (siRNA targeting Kir4.1 significantly increased the mRNA and protein levels of BDNF. The BDNF induction by Kir4.1 siRNA transfection was suppressed by the MEK1/2 inhibitor U0126, but not by the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB202190 or the JNK inhibitor SP600125. The present results demonstrated that inhibition of Kir4.1 channels facilitates BDNF expression in astrocytes primarily by activating the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway, which may be linked to the development of epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

  10. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Won-Suk; Clarke, Laura E.; Wang, Gordon X.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2013-12-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodelling. Recently, microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic pruning, but the remaining mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing central nervous system synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the MEGF10 and MERTK phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to refine their retinogeniculate connections normally and retain excess functional synapses. Finally, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify MEGF10 and MERTK as critical proteins in the synapse remodelling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes.

  11. Identification of diverse astrocyte populations and their malignant analogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Lin, Chia-Ching; Yu, Kwanha; Hatcher, Asante; Huang, Teng-Wei; Lee, Hyun Kyoung; Carlson, Jeffrey; Weston, Matthew C; Chen, Fengju; Zhang, Yiqun; Zhu, Wenyi; Mohila, Carrie A; Ahmed, Nabil; Patel, Akash J; Arenkiel, Benjamin R; Noebels, Jeffrey L; Creighton, Chad J; Deneen, Benjamin

    2017-03-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the brain, where they perform a wide array of functions, yet the nature of their cellular heterogeneity and how it oversees these diverse roles remains shrouded in mystery. Using an intersectional fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based strategy, we identified five distinct astrocyte subpopulations present across three brain regions that show extensive molecular diversity. Application of this molecular insight toward function revealed that these populations differentially support synaptogenesis between neurons. We identified correlative populations in mouse and human glioma and found that the emergence of specific subpopulations during tumor progression corresponded with the onset of seizures and tumor invasion. In sum, we have identified subpopulations of astrocytes in the adult brain and their correlates in glioma that are endowed with diverse cellular, molecular and functional properties. These populations selectively contribute to synaptogenesis and tumor pathophysiology, providing a blueprint for understanding diverse astrocyte contributions to neurological disease.

  12. The neuroblast and angioblast chemotaxic factor SDF-1 (CXCL12 expression is briefly up regulated by reactive astrocytes in brain following neonatal hypoxic-ischemic injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walker Aisha L

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1 or CXCL12 is chemotaxic for CXCR4 expressing bone marrow-derived cells. It functions in brain embryonic development and in response to ischemic injury in helping guide neuroblast migration and vasculogenesis. In experimental adult stroke models SDF-1 is expressed perivascularly in the injured region up to 30 days after the injury, suggesting it could be a therapeutic target for tissue repair strategies. We hypothesized that SDF-1 would be expressed in similar temporal and spatial patterns following hypoxic-ischemic (HI injury in neonatal brain. Results Twenty-five 7-day-old C57BL/J mice underwent HI injury. SDF-1 expression was up regulated up to 7 days after the injury but not at the later time points. The chief sites of SDF-1 up regulation were astrocytes, their foot processes along blood vessels and endothelial cells. Conclusion The localization of SDF-1 along blood vessels in the HI injury zone suggests that these perivascular areas are where chemotaxic signaling for cellular recruitment originates and that reactive astrocytes are major mediators of this process. The associated endothelium is likely to be the site for vascular attachment and diapedesis of CXCR4 receptor expressing cells to enter the injured tissue. Here we show that, relative to adults, neonates have a significantly smaller window of opportunity for SDF-1 based vascular chemotaxic recruitment of bone marrow-derived cells. Therefore, without modification, following neonatal HI injury there is only a narrow period of time for endogenous SDF-1 mediated chemotaxis and recruitment of reparative cells, including exogenously administered stem/progenitor cells.

  13. In vitro evidence for the brain glutamate efflux hypothesis: brain endothelial cells cocultured with astrocytes display a polarized brain-to-blood transport of glutamate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helms, Hans Christian; Madelung, Rasmus; Waagepetersen, Helle Sønderby; Nielsen, Carsten Uhd; Brodin, Birger

    2012-05-01

    The concentration of the excitotoxic amino acid, L-glutamate, in brain interstitial fluid is tightly regulated by uptake transporters and metabolism in astrocytes and neurons. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible role of the blood-brain barrier endothelium in brain L-glutamate homeostasis. Transendothelial transport- and accumulation studies of (3) H-L-glutamate, (3) H-L-aspartate, and (3) H-D-aspartate in an electrically tight bovine endothelial/rat astrocyte blood-brain barrier coculture model were performed. After 6 days in culture, the endothelium displayed transendothelial resistance values of 1014 ± 70 Ω cm(2) , and (14) C-D-mannitol permeability values of 0.88 ± 0.13 × 10(-6) cm s(-1) . Unidirectional flux studies showed that L-aspartate and L-glutamate, but not D-aspartate, displayed polarized transport in the brain-to-blood direction, however, all three amino acids accumulated in the cocultures when applied from the abluminal side. The transcellular transport kinetics were characterized with a K(m) of 69 ± 15 μM and a J(max) of 44 ± 3.1 pmol min(-1) cm(-2) for L-aspartate and a K(m) of 138 ± 49 μM and J(max) of 28 ± 3.1 pmol min(-1) cm(-2) for L-glutamate. The EAAT inhibitor, DL-threo-ß-Benzyloxyaspartate, inhibited transendothelial brain-to-blood fluxes of L-glutamate and L-aspartate. Expression of EAAT-1 (Slc1a3), -2 (Slc1a2), and -3 (Slc1a1) mRNA in the endothelial cells was confirmed by conventional PCR and localization of EAAT-1 and -3 in endothelial cells was shown with immunofluorescence. Overall, the findings suggest that the blood-brain barrier itself may participate in regulating brain L-glutamate concentrations. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Neuron-astrocyte interactions, pyruvate carboxylation and the pentose phosphate pathway in the neonatal rat brain

    OpenAIRE

    Morken, Tora Sund; Brekke, Eva Mari Førland; Håberg, Asta; Widerøe, Marius; Brubakk, Ann-Mari; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2014-01-01

    Glucose and acetate metabolism and the synthesis of amino acid neurotransmitters, anaplerosis, glutamate-glutamine cycling and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) have been extensively investigated in the adult, but not the neonatal rat brain. To do this, 7 day postnatal (P7) rats were injected with [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate and sacrificed 5, 10, 15, 30 and 45 min later. Adult rats were injected and sacrificed after 15 min. To analyse pyruvate carboxylation and PPP activity duri...

  15. Astrocyte-derived proinflammatory cytokines induce hypomyelination in the periventricular white matter in the hypoxic neonatal brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiyu Deng

    Full Text Available Hypoxic exposure in the perinatal period causes periventricular white matter damage (PWMD, a condition associated with myelination abnormalities. Under hypoxic conditions, glial cells were activated and released a large number of inflammatory mediators in the PWM in neonatal brain, which may result in oligodendrocyte (OL loss and axonal injury. This study aims to determine if astrocytes are activated and generate proinflammatory cytokines that may be coupled with the oligodendroglial loss and hypomyelination observed in hypoxic PWMD. Twenty-four 1-day-old Wistar rats were exposed to hypoxia for 2 h. The rats were then allowed to recover under normoxic conditions for 7 or 28 days before being killed. Another group of 24 rats kept outside the chamber was used as age-matched controls. Upregulated expression of TNF-α and IL-1β was observed in astrocytes in the PWM of P7 hypoxic rats by double immunofluorescence, western blotting and real time RT-PCR. This was linked to apoptosis and enhanced expression of TNF-R1 and IL-1R1 in APC(+ OLs. PLP expression was decreased significantly in the PWM of P28d hypoxic rats. The proportion of myelinated axons was markedly reduced by electron microscopy (EM and the average g-ratios were higher in P28d hypoxic rats. Upregulated expression of TNF-α and IL-1β in primary cultured astrocytes as well as their corresponding receptors in primary culture APC(+ oligodendrocytes were detected under hypoxic conditions. Our results suggest that following a hypoxic insult, astrocytes in the PWM of neonatal rats produce inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β, which induce apoptosis of OLs via their corresponding receptors associated with them. This results in hypomyelination in the PWM of hypoxic rats.

  16. Acute treatment with 17beta-estradiol attenuates astrocyte-astrocyte and astrocyte-neuron communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Shilpa P; Sikdar, Sujit Kumar

    2007-12-01

    Astrocytes are now recognized as dynamic signaling elements in the brain. Bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes involves integration of neuronal inputs by astrocytes and release of gliotransmitters that modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. The ovarian steroid hormone, 17beta-estradiol, in addition to its rapid actions on neuronal electrical activity can rapidly alter astrocyte intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) through a membrane-associated estrogen receptor. Using calcium imaging and electrophysiological techniques, we investigated the functional consequences of acute treatment with estradiol on astrocyte-astrocyte and astrocyte-neuron communication in mixed hippocampal cultures. Mechanical stimulation of an astrocyte evoked a [Ca2+]i rise in the stimulated astrocyte, which propagated to the surrounding astrocytes as a [Ca2+]i wave. Following acute treatment with estradiol, the amplitude of the [Ca2+]i elevation in astrocytes around the stimulated astrocyte was attenuated. Further, estradiol inhibited the [Ca2+]i rise in individual astrocytes in response to the metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist, trans-(+/-)-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid. Mechanical stimulation of astrocytes induced [Ca2+]i elevations and electrophysiological responses in adjacent neurons. Estradiol rapidly attenuated the astrocyte-evoked glutamate-mediated [Ca2+]i rise and slow inward current in neurons. Also, the incidence of astrocyte-induced increase in spontaneous postsynaptic current frequency was reduced in the presence of estradiol. The effects of estradiol were stereo-specific and reversible following washout. These findings may indicate that the regulation of neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission by astrocytes is sensitive to rapid estradiol-mediated hormonal control. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. The HSPB8-BAG3 chaperone complex is upregulated in astrocytes in the human brain affected by protein aggregation diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidel, K; Vinet, J; Dunnen, W F A den; Brunt, E R; Meister, M; Boncoraglio, A; Zijlstra, M P; Boddeke, H W G M; Rüb, U; Kampinga, H H; Carra, S

    2012-02-01

    HSPB8 is a small heat shock protein that forms a complex with the co-chaperone BAG3. Overexpression of the HSPB8-BAG3 complex in cells stimulates autophagy and facilitates the clearance of mutated aggregation-prone proteins, whose accumulation is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative disorders. HSPB8-BAG3 could thus play a protective role in protein aggregation diseases and might be specifically upregulated in response to aggregate-prone protein-mediated toxicity. Here we analysed HSPB8-BAG3 expression levels in post-mortem human brain tissue from patients suffering of the following protein conformation disorders: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3). Western blotting and immunohistochemistry techniques were used to analyse HSPB8 and BAG3 expression levels in fibroblasts from SCA3 patients and post-mortem brain tissues, respectively. In all diseases investigated, we observed a strong upregulation of HSPB8 and a moderate upregulation of BAG3 specifically in astrocytes in the cerebral areas affected by neuronal damage and degeneration. Intriguingly, no significant change in the HSPB8-BAG3 expression levels was observed within neurones, irrespective of their localization or of the presence of proteinaceous aggregates. We propose that the upregulation of HSPB8 and BAG3 may enhance the ability of astrocytes to clear aggregated proteins released from neurones and cellular debris, maintain the local tissue homeostasis and/or participate in the cytoskeletal remodelling that astrocytes undergo during astrogliosis. © 2011 The Authors. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology © 2011 British Neuropathological Society.

  18. Ischemic tolerance in pre-myelinated white matter: the role of astrocyte glycogen in brain pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fern, Robert

    2015-06-01

    In isolated white matter, ischemic tolerance changes dramatically in the period immediately before the onset of myelination. In the absence of an extrinsic energy source, postnatal day 0 to 2 (P0 to P2) white matter axons are here shown to maintain excitability for over twice as long as axons >P2, a differential that was dependent on glycogen metabolism. Prolonged withdrawal of extrinsic energy supply tended to spare axons in zones around astrocytes, which are shown to be the sole repository for glycogen particles in developing white matter. Analysis of mitochondrial volume fraction revealed that neither axons nor astrocytes had a low metabolic rate in neonatal white matter, while oligodendroglia at older ages had an elevated metabolism. The astrocyte population is established early in neural development, and exhibits reduced cell density as maturation progresses and white matter expands. The findings show that this event establishes the necessary conditions for ischemia sensitivity in white matter and indicates that astrocyte proximity may be significant for the survival of neuronal elements in conditions associated with compromised energy supply.

  19. Left Brain/Right Brain Learning for Adult Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, Barbara

    1986-01-01

    Contrasts and compares the theory and practice of adult education as it relates to the issue of right brain/left brain learning. The author stresses the need for a whole-brain approach to teaching and suggests that adult educators, given their philosophical directions, are the perfect potential users of this integrated system. (Editor/CT)

  20. Culturing of PC12 Cells, Neuronal Cells, Astrocytes Cultures and Brain Slices in an Open Microfluidic System

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al Atraktchi, Fatima Al-Zahraa; Bakmand, Tanya; Rømer Sørensen, Ane

    The brain is the center of the nervous system, where serious neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are products of functional loss in the neural cells (1). Typical techniques used to investigate these diseases lack precise control of the cellular surroundings......, in addition to isolating the neural tissue from nutrient delivery and to creating unwanted gradients (2). This means that typical techniques used to investigate neurodegenerative diseases cannot mimic in vivo conditions, as closely as desired. We have developed a novel microfluidic system for culturing PC12...... cells, neuronal cells, astrocytes cultures and brain slices. The microfluidic system provides efficient nutrient delivery, waste removal, access to oxygen, fine control over the neurochemical environment and access to modern microscopy. Additionally, the setup consists of an in vitro culturing...

  1. Astrocytes from the contused spinal cord inhibit oligodendrocyte differentiation of adult oligodendrocyte precursor cells by increasing the expression of bone morphogenetic proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yaping; Cheng, Xiaoxin; He, Qian; Zheng, Yiyan; Kim, Dong H; Whittemore, Scott R; Cao, Qilin L

    2011-04-20

    Promotion of remyelination is an important therapeutic strategy to facilitate functional recovery after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) or oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) has been used to enhance remyelination after SCI. However, the microenvironment in the injured spinal cord is inhibitory for oligodendrocyte (OL) differentiation of NSCs or OPCs. Identifying the signaling pathways that inhibit OL differentiation in the injured spinal cord could lead to new therapeutic strategies to enhance remyelination and functional recovery after SCI. In the present study, we show that reactive astrocytes from the injured rat spinal cord or their conditioned media inhibit OL differentiation of adult OPCs with concurrent promotion of astrocyte differentiation. The expression of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) is dramatically increased in the reactive astrocytes and their conditioned media. Importantly, blocking BMP activity by BMP receptor antagonist, noggin, reverse the effects of active astrocytes on OPC differentiation by increasing the differentiation of OL from OPCs while decreasing the generation of astrocytes. These data indicate that the upregulated bone morphogenetic proteins in the reactive astrocytes are major factors to inhibit OL differentiation of OPCs and to promote its astrocyte differentiation. These data suggest that manipulation of BMP signaling in the endogenous or grafted NSCs or OPCs may be a useful therapeutic strategy to increase their OL differentiation and remyelination and enhance functional recovery after SCI.

  2. Disruption of astrocyte-neuron cholesterol cross talk affects neuronal function in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenza, M; Marullo, M; Di Paolo, E; Cesana, E; Zuccato, C; Biella, G; Cattaneo, E

    2015-04-01

    In the adult brain, neurons require local cholesterol production, which is supplied by astrocytes through apoE-containing lipoproteins. In Huntington's disease (HD), such cholesterol biosynthesis in the brain is severely reduced. Here we show that this defect, occurring in astrocytes, is detrimental for HD neurons. Astrocytes bearing the huntingtin protein containing increasing CAG repeats secreted less apoE-lipoprotein-bound cholesterol in the medium. Conditioned media from HD astrocytes and lipoprotein-depleted conditioned media from wild-type (wt) astrocytes were equally detrimental in a neurite outgrowth assay and did not support synaptic activity in HD neurons, compared with conditions of cholesterol supplementation or conditioned media from wt astrocytes. Molecular perturbation of cholesterol biosynthesis and efflux in astrocytes caused similarly altered astrocyte-neuron cross talk, whereas enhancement of glial SREBP2 and ABCA1 function reversed the aspects of neuronal dysfunction in HD. These findings indicate that astrocyte-mediated cholesterol homeostasis could be a potential therapeutic target to ameliorate neuronal dysfunction in HD.

  3. Protein synthesis in the rat brain: a comparative in vivo and in vitro study in immature and adult animals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shahbazian, F.M.

    1985-01-01

    Rates of protein synthesis of CNS and other organs were compared in immature and adult rats by in vivo and slice techniques with administration of flooding doses of labeled precursor. The relationship between synthesis and brain region, cell type, subcellular fraction, or MW was examined. Incorporation of [ 14 C]valine into protein of CNS regions in vivo was about 1.2% per hour for immature rats and 0.6% for adults. For slices, the rates decreased significantly more in adults. In adult organs, the highest synthesis rate in vivo was found in liver (2.2% per hour) followed by kidney, spleen, lung, heart, brain, and muscle (0.5% per hour). In immature animals synthesis was highest in liver and spleen (2.5% per hour) and lowest in muscle (0.9% per hour). Slices all showed lower rates than in vivo, especially in adults. In vivo, protein synthesis rates of immature neurons and astrocytes and adult neurons exceeded those of whole brain, while that in adult astrocytes was the same. These results demonstrate a developmental difference of protein synthesis (about double in immature animals) in all brain cells, cell fractions and most brain protein. Similarly the decreased synthesis in brain slices - especially in adults, affects most proteins and structural elements

  4. Novel MeCP2 isoform-specific antibody reveals the endogenous MeCP2E1 expression in murine brain, primary neurons and astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robby M Zachariah

    Full Text Available Rett Syndrome (RTT is a severe neurological disorder in young females, and is caused by mutations in the X-linked MECP2 gene. MECP2/Mecp2 gene encodes for two protein isoforms; MeCP2E1 and MeCP2E2 that are identical except for the N-terminus region of the protein. In brain, MECP2E1 transcripts are 10X higher, and MeCP2E1 is suggested to be the relevant isoform for RTT. However, due to the unavailability of MeCP2 isoform-specific antibodies, the endogenous expression pattern of MeCP2E1 is unknown. To gain insight into the expression of MeCP2E1 in brain, we have developed an anti-MeCP2E1 antibody and validated its specificity in cells exogenously expressing individual MeCP2 isoforms. This antibody does not show any cross-reactivity with MeCP2E2 and detects endogenous MeCP2E1 in mice brain, with no signal in Mecp2(tm1.1Bird y/- null mice. Additionally, we show the endogenous MeCP2E1 expression throughout different brain regions in adult mice, and demonstrate its highest expression in the brain cortex. Our results also indicate that MeCP2E1 is highly expressed in primary neurons, as compared to primary astrocytes. This is the first report of the endogenous MeCP2E1 expression at the protein levels, providing novel avenues for understanding different aspects of MeCP2 function.

  5. Neuroinflammation alters voltage-dependent conductance in striatal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpuk, Nikolay; Burkovetskaya, Maria; Kielian, Tammy

    2012-07-01

    Neuroinflammation has the capacity to alter normal central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis and function. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of an inflammatory milieu on the electrophysiological properties of striatal astrocyte subpopulations with a mouse bacterial brain abscess model. Whole cell patch-clamp recordings were performed in striatal glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-green fluorescent protein (GFP)(+) astrocytes neighboring abscesses at postinfection days 3 or 7 in adult mice. Cell input conductance (G(i)) measurements spanning a membrane potential (V(m)) surrounding resting membrane potential (RMP) revealed two prevalent astrocyte subsets. A1 and A2 astrocytes were identified by negative and positive G(i) increments vs. V(m), respectively. A1 and A2 astrocytes displayed significantly different RMP, G(i), and cell membrane capacitance that were influenced by both time after bacterial exposure and astrocyte proximity to the inflammatory site. Specifically, the percentage of A1 astrocytes was decreased immediately surrounding the inflammatory lesion, whereas A2 cells were increased. These changes were particularly evident at postinfection day 7, revealing increased cell numbers with an outward current component. Furthermore, RMP was inversely modified in A1 and A2 astrocytes during neuroinflammation, and resting G(i) was increased from 21 to 30 nS in the latter. In contrast, gap junction communication was significantly decreased in all astrocyte populations associated with inflamed tissues. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the heterogeneity of striatal astrocyte populations, which experience distinct electrophysiological modifications in response to CNS inflammation.

  6. Two classes of astrocytes in the adult human and pig retina in terms of their expression of high affinity NGF receptor (TrkA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Ederra, Javier; Hitchcock, Peter F; Vecino, Elena

    2003-02-13

    Astrocytes have been implicated in axon guidance and synaptic regeneration in the retina and these processes involve activation of the high affinity nerve growth factor receptor, known as the tyrosine kinase A (TrkA) receptor. The purpose of the present study was to characterize the expression of TrkA in astrocytes of the adult pig and human retina. To this end, sections of human and pig retinas were immunolabeled with a combination of antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and TrkA. Our study revealed that most of the GFAP-positive cells express TrkA, whereas a rare, novel subpopulation of astrocytes was found to be devoid of TrkA. Our results support the idea that astrocytes play an important neurotrophic role in the retina.

  7. RNA Localization in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Rune

    2012-01-01

    , regulation of the blood brain barrier and glial scar tissue formation. Despite the involvement in various CNS functions only a limited number of studies have addressed mRNA localization in astrocytes. This PhD project was initially focused on developing and implementing methods that could be used to asses mRNA......Messenger RNA (mRNA) localization is a mechanism by which polarized cells can regulate protein synthesis to specific subcellular compartments in a spatial and temporal manner, and plays a pivotal role in multiple physiological processes from embryonic development to cell differentiation...... localization in astrocyte protrusions, and following look into the subcellular localization pattern of specific mRNA species of both primary astrocytes isolated from cortical hemispheres of newborn mice, and the mouse astrocyte cell line, C8S. The Boyden chamber cell fractionation assay was optimized, in a way...

  8. Endogenous IL-6 of mesenchymal stem cell improves behavioral outcome of hypoxic-ischemic brain damage neonatal rats by supressing apoptosis in astrocyte.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yan; He, Mulan; Zhou, Xiaoqin; Liu, Jinngjing; Hou, Nali; Bin, Tan; Zhang, Yun; Li, Tingyu; Chen, Jie

    2016-01-14

    Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation reduces the neurological impairment caused by hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (HIBD) via immunomodulation. In the current study, we found that MSC transplantation improved learning and memory function and enhanced long-term potentiation in neonatal rats subjected to HIBD and the amount of IL-6 released from MSCs was far greater than that of other cytokines. However, the neuroprotective effect of MSCs infected with siIL-6-transduced recombinant lentivirus (siIL-6 MSCs) was significantly weakened in the behavioural tests and electrophysiological analysis. Meanwhile, the hippocampal IL-6 levels were decreased following siIL-6 MSC transplantation. In vitro, the levels of IL-6 release and the levels of IL-6R and STAT3 expression were increased in both primary neurons and astrocytes subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) following MSCs co-culture. The anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 was upregulated and the pro-apoptotic protein Bax was downregulated in OGD-injured astrocytes co-cultured with MSCs. However, the siIL-6 MSCs suppressed ratio of Bcl-2/Bax in the injured astrocytes and induced apoptosis number of the injured astrocytes. Taken together, these data suggest that the neuroprotective effect of MSC transplantation in neonatal HIBD rats is partly mediated by IL-6 to enhance anti-apoptosis of injured astrocytes via the IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway.

  9. Impact of commercial cigarette smoke condensate on brain tissue co-cultured with astrocytes and blood-brain barrier endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seon-Bong; Kim, Ju-Hyeong; Cho, Myung-Haing; Choe, Eun-Sang; Kim, Kwang-Sik; Shim, Soon-Mi

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of two commercial cigarette smoke condensates (CCSC) on oxidative stress and cell cytotoxicity in human brain (T98G) or astrocytes (U-373 MG) in the presence of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC). Cell viability of mono-culture of T98G or U-373 MG was markedly decreased in a concentration-dependent manner, and T98G was more susceptible than U-373 MG to CCSC exposure. Cytotoxicity was less prominent when T98G was co-cultured with HBMEC than when T98G was co-cultured with U-373 MG. Significant reduction in trans-epithelial electric resistance (TEER), a biomarker of cellular integrity was noted in HBMEC co-cultured with T98G (HBMEC-T98G co-culture) and U-373 MG co-cultured with T98G (U-373 MG-T98G co-culture) after 24 or 48 hr CCSC exposure, respectively. TEER value of U-373 MG co-cultured with T98G (79-84%) was higher than HBMEC co-cultured with T98G (62-63%) within 120-hr incubation with CCSC. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by CCSC in mono-culture of T98G and U-373 MG reached highest levels at 4 and 16 mg/ml, respectively. ROS production by T98G fell when co-cultured with HBMEC or U-373MG. These findings suggest that adverse consequences of CCSC treatment on brain cells may be protected by blood-brain barrier or astrocytes, but with chronic exposure toxicity may be worsened due to destruction of cellular integrity.

  10. Effect of long-term (2 years) exposure of mouse brains to global system for mobile communication (GSM) radiofrequency fields on astrocytic immunoreactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Court-Kowalski, Stefan; Finnie, John W; Manavis, Jim; Blumbergs, Peter C; Helps, Stephen C; Vink, Robert

    2015-04-01

    This study was designed to determine whether long-term (2 years) brain exposure to mobile telephone radiofrequency (RF) fields produces any astrocytic activation as these glia react to a wide range of neural perturbations by astrogliosis. Using a purpose-designed exposure system at 900 MHz, mice were given a single, far-field whole body exposure at a specific absorption rate of 4 W/kg on five successive days per week for 104 weeks. Control mice were sham-exposed or freely mobile in a cage to control any stress caused by immobilization in the exposure module. Brains were perfusion-fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde and three coronal levels immunostained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). These brain slices were then examined by light microscopy and the amount of this immunomarker quantified using a color deconvolution method. There was no change in astrocytic GFAP immunostaining in brains after long-term exposure to mobile telephony microwaves compared to control (sham-exposed or freely moving caged mice). It was concluded that long-term (2 years) exposure of murine brains to mobile telephone RF fields did not produce any astrocytic reaction (astrogliosis) detectable by GFAP immunostaining. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Hyperglycaemia and diabetes impair gap junctional communication among astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Gautam K; Ball, Kelly K; Cruz, Nancy F; Dienel, Gerald A

    2010-03-15

    Sensory and cognitive impairments have been documented in diabetic humans and animals, but the pathophysiology of diabetes in the central nervous system is poorly understood. Because a high glucose level disrupts gap junctional communication in various cell types and astrocytes are extensively coupled by gap junctions to form large syncytia, the influence of experimental diabetes on gap junction channel-mediated dye transfer was assessed in astrocytes in tissue culture and in brain slices from diabetic rats. Astrocytes grown in 15-25 mmol/l glucose had a slow-onset, poorly reversible decrement in gap junctional communication compared with those grown in 5.5 mmol/l glucose. Astrocytes in brain slices from adult STZ (streptozotocin)-treated rats at 20-24 weeks after the onset of diabetes also exhibited reduced dye transfer. In cultured astrocytes grown in high glucose, increased oxidative stress preceded the decrement in dye transfer by several days, and gap junctional impairment was prevented, but not rescued, after its manifestation by compounds that can block or reduce oxidative stress. In sharp contrast with these findings, chaperone molecules known to facilitate protein folding could prevent and rescue gap junctional impairment, even in the presence of elevated glucose level and oxidative stress. Immunostaining of Cx (connexin) 43 and 30, but not Cx26, was altered by growth in high glucose. Disruption of astrocytic trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules may alter interactions among astrocytes, neurons and endothelial cells and contribute to changes in brain function in diabetes. Involvement of the microvasculature may contribute to diabetic complications in the brain, the cardiovascular system and other organs.

  12. Neuron-astrocyte interaction enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes.

    OpenAIRE

    Przemysław eKaczor; Dariusz eRakus; Jerzy Władysław Mozrzymas; Jerzy Władysław Mozrzymas

    2015-01-01

    GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain and mechanisms of GABAergic inhibition have been intensely investigated in the past decades. Recent studies provided evidence for an important role of astrocytes in shaping GABAergic currents. One of the most obvious, but yet poorly understood, mechanisms of the cross-talk between GABAergic currents and astrocytes is metabolism including neurotransmitter homeostasis. In particular, how modulation of GABAergic currents by astrocy...

  13. [Effects of electric stimulation at the cerebellar fastigial nucleus on astrocytes in the hippocampus of neonatal rats with hypoxic-ischemic brain damage].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Li; Jia, Tian-Ming; Luan, Bin; Liu, Tao; Yuan, Yan

    2011-04-01

    To study the effects of electric stimulation at the cerebellar fastigial nucleus on astrocytes in the hippocampus of neonatal rats with hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (HIBD) and the possible mechanism. One hundred and eighty 7-day-old neonatal Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups: sham-operation (control group) and HIBD with and without electric stimulation (n=60 each). The HIBD model of neonatal rats was prepared by the Rice-Vennucci method. Electric stimulation at the cerebellar fastigial nucleus was given 24 hrs after the operation in the electric stimulation group once daily and lasted for 30 minutes each time. The other two groups were not subjected to electric stimulation but captured to fix in corresponding periods. Rats were sacrificed 3, 7, 14 and 21 days after stimulations to observe the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression by immunohistochemisty and the ultrastructural changes of astrocytes in the hippocampus under an electron microscope. Immunohistochemical analysis showed the expression of GFAP in the HIBD groups with and without electric stimulation increased significantly compared with the control group on day 3, reached the peak on day 7, and the increased expression remained till to day 21. The GFAP expression in the electric stimulation group was significantly lower than that in the untreated HIBD group at all time points. Under the electron microscope, the astrocytes in the untreated HIBD group were swollen and the amount of organelles was reduced, while the swelling of astrocytes was alleviated and the organelles remained in integrity in the electric stimulation group. The electric stimulation at the cerebellar fastigial nucleus can inhibit the excessive proliferation of astrocytes and relieve the structural damage of astrocytes in neonatal rats following HIBD.

  14. Brain alanine formation as an ammonia-scavenging pathway during hyperammonemia: effects of glutamine synthetase inhibition in rats and astrocyte-neuron co-cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadsetan, Sherry; Kukolj, Eva; Bak, Lasse K; Sørensen, Michael; Ott, Peter; Vilstrup, Hendrik; Schousboe, Arne; Keiding, Susanne; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2013-08-01

    Hyperammonemia is a major etiological toxic factor in the development of hepatic encephalopathy. Brain ammonia detoxification occurs primarily in astrocytes by glutamine synthetase (GS), and it has been proposed that elevated glutamine levels during hyperammonemia lead to astrocyte swelling and cerebral edema. However, ammonia may also be detoxified by the concerted action of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) leading to trapping of ammonia in alanine, which in vivo likely leaves the brain. Our aim was to investigate whether the GS inhibitor methionine sulfoximine (MSO) enhances incorporation of (15)NH4(+) in alanine during acute hyperammonemia. We observed a fourfold increased amount of (15)NH4 incorporation in brain alanine in rats treated with MSO. Furthermore, co-cultures of neurons and astrocytes exposed to (15)NH4Cl in the absence or presence of MSO demonstrated a dose-dependent incorporation of (15)NH4 into alanine together with increased (15)N incorporation in glutamate. These findings provide evidence that ammonia is detoxified by the concerted action of GDH and ALAT both in vivo and in vitro, a mechanism that is accelerated in the presence of MSO thereby reducing the glutamine level in brain. Thus, GS could be a potential drug target in the treatment of hyperammonemia in patients with hepatic encephalopathy.

  15. Permeability of endothelial and astrocyte cocultures: in vitro blood-brain barrier models for drug delivery studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guanglei; Simon, Melissa J; Cancel, Limary M; Shi, Zhong-Dong; Ji, Xinying; Tarbell, John M; Morrison, Barclay; Fu, Bingmei M

    2010-08-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a major obstacle for drug delivery to the brain. To seek for in vitro BBB models that are more accessible than animals for investigating drug transport across the BBB, we compared four in vitro cultured cell models: endothelial monoculture (bEnd3 cell line), coculture of bEnd3 and primary rat astrocytes (coculture), coculture with collagen type I and IV mixture, and coculture with Matrigel. The expression of the BBB tight junction proteins in these in vitro models was assessed using RT-PCR and immunofluorescence. We also quantified the hydraulic conductivity (L (p)), transendothelial electrical resistance (TER) and diffusive solute permeability (P) of these models to three solutes: TAMRA, Dextran 10K and Dextran 70K. Our results show that L (p) and P of the endothelial monoculture and coculture models are not different from each other. Compared with in vivo permeability data from rat pial microvessels, P of the endothelial monoculture and coculture models are not significantly different from in vivo data for Dextran 70K, but they are 2-4 times higher for TAMRA and Dextran 10K. This suggests that the endothelial monoculture and all of the coculture models are fairly good models for studying the transport of relatively large solutes across the BBB.

  16. Sphingosine 1 Phosphate at the Blood Brain Barrier: Can the Modulation of S1P Receptor 1 Influence the Response of Endothelial Cells and Astrocytes to Inflammatory Stimuli?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona F Spampinato

    Full Text Available The ability of the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB to maintain proper barrier functions, keeping an optimal environment for central nervous system (CNS activity and regulating leukocytes' access, can be affected in CNS diseases. Endothelial cells and astrocytes are the principal BBB cellular constituents and their interaction is essential to maintain its function. Both endothelial cells and astrocytes express the receptors for the bioactive sphingolipid S1P. Fingolimod, an immune modulatory drug whose structure is similar to S1P, has been approved for treatment in multiple sclerosis (MS: fingolimod reduces the rate of MS relapses by preventing leukocyte egress from the lymph nodes. Here, we examined the ability of S1P and fingolimod to act on the BBB, using an in vitro co-culture model that allowed us to investigate the effects of S1P on endothelial cells, astrocytes, and interactions between the two. Acting selectively on endothelial cells, S1P receptor signaling reduced cell death induced by inflammatory cytokines. When acting on astrocytes, fingolimod treatment induced the release of a factor, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF that reduced the effects of cytokines on endothelium. In an in vitro BBB model incorporating shear stress, S1P receptor modulation reduced leukocyte migration across the endothelial barrier, indicating a novel mechanism that might contribute to fingolimod efficacy in MS treatment.

  17. Differences in distribution and regulation of astrocytic aquaporin-4 in human and rat hydrocephalic brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skjolding, Anders Daehli; Holst, Anders Vedel; Broholm, Helle

    2013-01-01

    findings to human pathophysiology. This study compares expression of aquaporin-4 in hydrocephalic human brain with human controls and hydrocephalic rat brain. Methods:  Cortical biopsies from patients with chronic hydrocephalus (n=29) were sampled secondary to planned surgical intervention. Aquaporin-4...

  18. TGFβ signaling in the brain increases with aging and signals to astrocytes and innate immune cells in the weeks after stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buckwalter Marion S

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background TGFβ is both neuroprotective and a key immune system modulator and is likely to be an important target for future stroke therapy. The precise function of increased TGF-β1 after stroke is unknown and its pleiotropic nature means that it may convey a neuroprotective signal, orchestrate glial scarring or function as an important immune system regulator. We therefore investigated the time course and cell-specificity of TGFβ signaling after stroke, and whether its signaling pattern is altered by gender and aging. Methods We performed distal middle cerebral artery occlusion strokes on 5 and 18 month old TGFβ reporter mice to get a readout of TGFβ responses after stroke in real time. To determine which cell type is the source of increased TGFβ production after stroke, brain sections were stained with an anti-TGFβ antibody, colocalized with markers for reactive astrocytes, neurons, and activated microglia. To determine which cells are responding to TGFβ after stroke, brain sections were double-labelled with anti-pSmad2, a marker of TGFβ signaling, and markers of neurons, oligodendrocytes, endothelial cells, astrocytes and microglia. Results TGFβ signaling increased 2 fold after stroke, beginning on day 1 and peaking on day 7. This pattern of increase was preserved in old animals and absolute TGFβ signaling in the brain increased with age. Activated microglia and macrophages were the predominant source of increased TGFβ after stroke and astrocytes and activated microglia and macrophages demonstrated dramatic upregulation of TGFβ signaling after stroke. TGFβ signaling in neurons and oligodendrocytes did not undergo marked changes. Conclusions We found that TGFβ signaling increases with age and that astrocytes and activated microglia and macrophages are the main cell types that undergo increased TGFβ signaling in response to post-stroke increases in TGFβ. Therefore increased TGFβ after stroke likely regulates glial

  19. TGFβ signaling in the brain increases with aging and signals to astrocytes and innate immune cells in the weeks after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doyle, Kristian P; Cekanaviciute, Egle; Mamer, Lauren E; Buckwalter, Marion S

    2010-10-11

    TGFβ is both neuroprotective and a key immune system modulator and is likely to be an important target for future stroke therapy. The precise function of increased TGF-β1 after stroke is unknown and its pleiotropic nature means that it may convey a neuroprotective signal, orchestrate glial scarring or function as an important immune system regulator. We therefore investigated the time course and cell-specificity of TGFβ signaling after stroke, and whether its signaling pattern is altered by gender and aging. We performed distal middle cerebral artery occlusion strokes on 5 and 18 month old TGFβ reporter mice to get a readout of TGFβ responses after stroke in real time. To determine which cell type is the source of increased TGFβ production after stroke, brain sections were stained with an anti-TGFβ antibody, colocalized with markers for reactive astrocytes, neurons, and activated microglia. To determine which cells are responding to TGFβ after stroke, brain sections were double-labelled with anti-pSmad2, a marker of TGFβ signaling, and markers of neurons, oligodendrocytes, endothelial cells, astrocytes and microglia. TGFβ signaling increased 2 fold after stroke, beginning on day 1 and peaking on day 7. This pattern of increase was preserved in old animals and absolute TGFβ signaling in the brain increased with age. Activated microglia and macrophages were the predominant source of increased TGFβ after stroke and astrocytes and activated microglia and macrophages demonstrated dramatic upregulation of TGFβ signaling after stroke. TGFβ signaling in neurons and oligodendrocytes did not undergo marked changes. We found that TGFβ signaling increases with age and that astrocytes and activated microglia and macrophages are the main cell types that undergo increased TGFβ signaling in response to post-stroke increases in TGFβ. Therefore increased TGFβ after stroke likely regulates glial scar formation and the immune response to stroke.

  20. A comparative transcriptomic analysis of astrocytes differentiation from human neural progenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistri, Marco; Khoury, Nathalie; Mazza, Emilia Maria Cristina; Velmeshev, Dmitry; Lee, Jae K; Bicciato, Silvio; Tsoulfas, Pantelis; Faghihi, Mohammad Ali

    2016-11-01

    Astrocytes are a morphologically and functionally heterogeneous population of cells that play critical roles in neurodevelopment and in the regulation of central nervous system homeostasis. Studies of human astrocytes have been hampered by the lack of specific molecular markers and by the difficulties associated with purifying and culturing astrocytes from adult human brains. Human neural progenitor cells (NPCs) with self-renewal and multipotent properties represent an appealing model system to gain insight into the developmental genetics and function of human astrocytes, but a comprehensive molecular characterization that confirms the validity of this cellular system is still missing. Here we used an unbiased transcriptomic analysis to characterize in vitro culture of human NPCs and to define the gene expression programs activated during the differentiation of these cells into astrocytes using FBS or the combination of CNTF and BMP4. Our results demonstrate that in vitro cultures of human NPCs isolated during the gliogenic phase of neurodevelopment mainly consist of radial glial cells (RGCs) and glia-restricted progenitor cells. In these cells the combination of CNTF and BMP4 activates the JAK/STAT and SMAD signaling cascades, leading to the inhibition of oligodendrocytes lineage commitment and activation of astrocytes differentiation. On the other hand, FBS-derived astrocytes have properties of reactive astrocytes. Our work suggests that in vitro culture of human NPCs represents a valuable cellular system to study human disorders characterized by impairment of astrocytes development and function. Our datasets represent an important resource for researchers studying human astrocytes development and might set the basis for the discovery of novel human-specific astrocyte markers. © 2016 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Astrocytes in endocannabinoid signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Díez, Adolfo; Araque, Alfonso

    2014-10-19

    Astrocytes are emerging as integral functional components of synapses, responding to synaptically released neurotransmitters and regulating synaptic transmission and plasticity. Thus, they functionally interact with neurons establishing tripartite synapses: a functional concept that refers to the existence of communication between astrocytes and neurons and its crucial role in synaptic function. Here, we discuss recent evidence showing that astrocytes are involved in the endocannabinoid (ECB) system, responding to exogenous cannabinoids as well as ECBs through activation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors, which increase intracellular calcium and stimulate the release of glutamate that modulates synaptic transmission and plasticity. We also discuss the consequences of ECB signalling in tripartite synapses on the astrocyte-mediated regulation of synaptic function, which reveal novel properties of synaptic regulation by ECBs, such as the spatially controlled dual effect on synaptic strength and the lateral potentiation of synaptic efficacy. Finally, we discuss the potential implications of ECB signalling for astrocytes in brain pathology and animal behaviour. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. Bidirectional coupling between astrocytes and neurons mediates learning and dynamic coordination in the brain: a multiple modeling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J Wade

    Full Text Available In recent years research suggests that astrocyte networks, in addition to nutrient and waste processing functions, regulate both structural and synaptic plasticity. To understand the biological mechanisms that underpin such plasticity requires the development of cell level models that capture the mutual interaction between astrocytes and neurons. This paper presents a detailed model of bidirectional signaling between astrocytes and neurons (the astrocyte-neuron model or AN model which yields new insights into the computational role of astrocyte-neuronal coupling. From a set of modeling studies we demonstrate two significant findings. Firstly, that spatial signaling via astrocytes can relay a "learning signal" to remote synaptic sites. Results show that slow inward currents cause synchronized postsynaptic activity in remote neurons and subsequently allow Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity based learning to occur at the associated synapses. Secondly, that bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes underpins dynamic coordination between neuron clusters. Although our composite AN model is presently applied to simplified neural structures and limited to coordination between localized neurons, the principle (which embodies structural, functional and dynamic complexity, and the modeling strategy may be extended to coordination among remote neuron clusters.

  3. Characterisation of an in vitro blood-brain barrier model based on primary porcine capillary endothelial cells in monoculture or co-culture with primary rat or porcine astrocytes and pericytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Louiza Bohn; Larsen, Annette Burkhart; Moos, Torben

    to in vivo such as efflux transporters, tight junction proteins, and high transendothelial electric resistance (TEER). Primary BCECs are isolated from a variety of mammals such as rats, mice, cattle and pigs. Often bovine and porcine BCECs are cultured in monoculture or in co-culture with rat astrocytes......In vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models based on primary brain capillary endothelial cells (BCECs) in monoculture or in co-culture with primary astrocytes and pericytes are often applied for studying physiology of the BBB. Primary BCECs retain many morphological and biochemical properties similar...... obtained from neonatal rats which have been shown to strengthen the barrier properties of the BCECs. In this study, brain endothelial cells (PBECs), astrocytes and pericytes are isolated from pig brains donated by the local abattoir. The brains are from 6 month old domestic pigs. The availability and high...

  4. Graphene Functionalized Scaffolds Reduce the Inflammatory Response and Supports Endogenous Neuroblast Migration when Implanted in the Adult Brain.

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    Kun Zhou

    Full Text Available Electroactive materials have been investigated as next-generation neuronal tissue engineering scaffolds to enhance neuronal regeneration and functional recovery after brain injury. Graphene, an emerging neuronal scaffold material with charge transfer properties, has shown promising results for neuronal cell survival and differentiation in vitro. In this in vivo work, electrospun microfiber scaffolds coated with self-assembled colloidal graphene, were implanted into the striatum or into the subventricular zone of adult rats. Microglia and astrocyte activation levels were suppressed with graphene functionalization. In addition, self-assembled graphene implants prevented glial scarring in the brain 7 weeks following implantation. Astrocyte guidance within the scaffold and redirection of neuroblasts from the subventricular zone along the implants was also demonstrated. These findings provide new functional evidence for the potential use of graphene scaffolds as a therapeutic platform to support central nervous system regeneration.

  5. Reduced astrocyte density underlying brain volume reduction in activity-based anorexia rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frintrop, Linda; Liesbrock, Johanna; Paulukat, Lisa; Johann, Sonja; Kas, Martien J; Tolba, Rene; Heussen, Nicole; Neulen, Joseph; Konrad, Kerstin; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Beyer, Cordian; Seitz, Jochen

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Severe grey and white matter volume reductions were found in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) that were linked to neuropsychological deficits while their underlying pathophysiology remains unclear. For the first time, we analysed the cellular basis of brain volume changes in an animal

  6. Cell Biology of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Nicola J; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-11-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian brain, are critical regulators of brain development and physiology through dynamic and often bidirectional interactions with neuronal synapses. Despite the clear importance of astrocytes for the establishment and maintenance of proper synaptic connectivity, our understanding of their role in brain function is still in its infancy. We propose that this is at least in part due to large gaps in our knowledge of the cell biology of astrocytes and the mechanisms they use to interact with synapses. In this review, we summarize some of the seminal findings that yield important insight into the cellular and molecular basis of astrocyte-neuron communication, focusing on the role of astrocytes in the development and remodeling of synapses. Furthermore, we pose some pressing questions that need to be addressed to advance our mechanistic understanding of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Glutamate mediated astrocytic filtering of neuronal activity.

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    Gilad Wallach

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity.

  8. Glutamate Mediated Astrocytic Filtering of Neuronal Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzog, Nitzan; De Pittà, Maurizio; Jacob, Eshel Ben; Berry, Hugues; Hanein, Yael

    2014-01-01

    Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity. PMID:25521344

  9. Unravelling and Exploiting Astrocyte Dysfunction in Huntington's Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khakh, Baljit S.; Beaumont, Vahri; Cachope, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are abundant within mature neural circuits and are involved in brain disorders. Here, we summarize our current understanding of astrocytes and Huntington's disease (HD), with a focus on correlative and causative dysfunctions of ion homeostasis, calcium signaling, and neurotransmitter...

  10. Astrocyte-like glial cells physiologically regulate olfactory processing through the modification of ORN-PN synaptic strength in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, He; Zhou, Bangyu; Yan, Wenjun; Lei, Zhengchang; Zhao, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Ke; Guo, Aike

    2014-09-01

    Astrocyte-like glial cells are abundant in the central nervous system of adult Drosophila and exhibit morphology similar to astrocytes of mammals. Previous evidence has shown that astrocyte-like glial cells are strongly associated with synapses in the antennal lobe (AL), the first relay of the olfactory system, where olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) transmit information into projection neurons (PNs). However, the function of astrocyte-like glia in the AL remains obscure. In this study, using in vivo calcium imaging, we found that astrocyte-like glial cells exhibited spontaneous microdomain calcium elevations. Using simultaneous manipulation of glial activity and monitoring of neuronal function, we found that the astrocyte-like glial activation, but not ensheathing glial activation, could inhibit odor-evoked responses of PNs. Ensheathing glial cells are another subtype of glia, and are of functional importance in the AL. Electrophysiological experiments indicated that astrocyte-like glial activation decreased the amplitude and slope of excitatory postsynaptic potentials evoked through electrical stimulation of the antennal nerve. These results suggest that astrocyte-like glial cells may regulate olfactory processing through negative regulation of ORN-PN synaptic strength. Beyond the antennal lobe we observed astrocyte-like glial spontaneous calcium activities in the ventromedial protocerebrum, indicating that astrocyte-like glial spontaneous calcium elevations might be general in the adult fly brain. Overall, our study demonstrates a new function for astrocyte-like glial cells in the physiological modulation of olfactory information transmission, possibly through regulating ORN-PN synapse strength. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Fluoxetine requires the endfeet protein aquaporin-4 to enhance plasticity of astrocyte processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eDi Benedetto

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Morphological alterations in astrocytes are characteristic for post mortem brains of patients affected by major depressive disorder (MDD. Recently, a significant reduction in the coverage of blood vessels (BVs by aquaporin-4 (AQP-4-positive astrocyte endfeet has been shown in the prefrontal cortex (PFC of MDD patients, suggesting that either alterations in the morphology of endfeet or in AQP-4 distribution might be responsible for the disease phenotype or constitute a consequence of its progress. Antidepressant drugs (ADs regulate the expression of several proteins, including astrocyte-specific ones. Thus, they may target AQP-4 to induce morphological changes in astrocytes and restore their proper shape or relocate AQP-4 to endfeet. Using an animal model of depression, rats selectively bred for high anxiety-like behavior (HAB, we confirmed a reduced coverage of BVs in the adult PFC by AQP-4-immunoreactive (AQP-4-IR astrocyte processes with respect to nonselected Wistar rats (NAB, thereby validating it for our study. A further evaluation of the morphology of astrocyte in brain slices (ex vivo and in vitro using an antibody against the astrocyte-specific cytoskeletal protein glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP revealed that HAB astrocytes extended less processes than NAB cells. Furthermore, short-term drug treatment in vitro with the AD fluoxetine (FLX was sufficient to increase the plasticity of astrocyte processes, enhancing their number in NAB-derived cells and recovering their basal number in HAB-derived cells. This enhanced FLX-dependent plasticity occurred, however, only in the presence of intact AQP-4, as demonstrated by the lack of effect after the downregulation of AQP-4 with RNAi in both NAB and HAB cells. Nonetheless, a similar short-term treatment did neither modulate the coverage of BVs with AQP-4-positive astrocyte endfeet in NAB nor in HAB rats, although dosage and time of treatment were sufficient to fully recover GFAP expression

  12. Cortical neurogenesis in adult rats after ischemic brain injury: most new neurons fail to mature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing-quan Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study examines the hypothesis that endogenous neural progenitor cells isolated from the neocortex of ischemic brain can differentiate into neurons or glial cells and contribute to neural regeneration. We performed middle cerebral artery occlusion to establish a model of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in adult rats. Immunohistochemical staining of the cortex 1, 3, 7, 14 or 28 days after injury revealed that neural progenitor cells double-positive for nestin and sox-2 appeared in the injured cortex 1 and 3 days post-injury, and were also positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein. New neurons were labeled using bromodeoxyuridine and different stages of maturity were identified using doublecortin, microtubule-associated protein 2 and neuronal nuclei antigen immunohistochemistry. Immature new neurons coexpressing doublecortin and bromodeoxyuridine were observed in the cortex at 3 and 7 days post-injury, and semi-mature and mature new neurons double-positive for microtubule-associated protein 2 and bromodeoxyuridine were found at 14 days post-injury. A few mature new neurons coexpressing neuronal nuclei antigen and bromodeoxyuridine were observed in the injured cortex 28 days post-injury. Glial fibrillary acidic protein/bromodeoxyuridine double-positive astrocytes were also found in the injured cortex. Our findings suggest that neural progenitor cells are present in the damaged cortex of adult rats with cerebral ischemic brain injury, and that they differentiate into astrocytes and immature neurons, but most neurons fail to reach the mature stage.

  13. GFAP promoter driven transgenic expression of PDGFB in the mouse brain leads to glioblastoma in a Trp53 null background

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hede, Sanna-Maria; Hansson, Inga; Afink, Gijs B.; Eriksson, Anna; Nazarenko, Inga; Andrae, Johanna; Genove, Guillem; Westermark, Bengt; Nistér, Monica

    2009-01-01

    Glioblastomas are the most common and malignant astrocytic brain tumors in human adults. The tumor suppressor gene TP53 is commonly mutated and/or lost in astrocytic brain tumors and the TP53 alterations are often found in combination with excessive growth factor signaling via PDGF/PDGFRalpha. Here,

  14. Time dependent effects of haloperidol on glutamine and GABA homeostasis and astrocyte activity in the rat brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopaske, Glenn T.; Bolo, Nicolas R.; Basu, Alo C.; Renshaw, Perry F.; Coyle, Joseph T.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Schizophrenia is a severe, persistent, and fairly common mental illness. Haloperidol is widely used and is effective against the symptoms of psychosis seen in schizophrenia. Chronic oral haloperidol administration decreased the number of astrocytes in the parietal cortex of macaque monkeys (Konopaske et al. Biol Psych, 2008). Since astrocytes play a key role in glutamate metabolism, chronic haloperidol administration was hypothesized to modulate astrocyte metabolic function and glutamate homeostasis. Objectives This study investigated the effects of chronic haloperidol administration on astrocyte metabolic activity and glutamate, glutamine, and GABA homeostasis. Methods We used ex vivo 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy along with high performance liquid chromatography after [1-13C]glucose and [1,2-13C]acetate administration to analyze forebrain tissue from rats administered oral haloperidol for 1 or 6 months. Results Administration of haloperidol for 1 month produced no changes in 13C labeling of glutamate, glutamine, or GABA, or in their total levels. However, a 6 month haloperidol administration increased 13C labeling of glutamine by [1,2-13C]acetate. Moreover, total GABA levels were also increased. Haloperidol administration also increased the acetate/glucose utilization ratio for glutamine in the 6 month cohort. Conclusions Chronic haloperidol administration in rats appears to increase forebrain GABA production along with astrocyte metabolic activity. Studies exploring these processes in subjects with schizophrenia should take into account the potential confounding effects of antipsychotic medication treatment. PMID:23660600

  15. Analysis of neuron–astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of db/db mice with cognitive decline using 13C NMR spectroscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng, Hong; Zheng, Yongquan; Wang, Dan; Cai, Aimin; Lin, Qiuting; Zhao, Liangcai; Chen, Minjiang; Deng, Mingjie; Ye, Xinjian; Gao, Hongchang

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes has been linked to cognitive impairment, but its potential metabolic mechanism is still unclear. The present study aimed to explore neuron–astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of diabetic (db/db, BKS.Cg-m+/+ Leprdb/J) mice with cognitive decline using 13C NMR technique in combination with intravenous [2-13C]-acetate and [3-13C]-lactate infusions. We found that the 13C-enrichment from [2-13C]-acetate into tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, succinate, was significant...

  16. Thyroid hormone action: Astrocyte-neuron communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz eMorte

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormone action is exerted mainly through regulation of gene expression by binding of T3 to the nuclear receptors. T4 plays an important role as a source of intracellular T3 in the central nervous system via the action of the type 2 deiodinase, expressed in the astrocytes. A model of T3 availability to neural cells has been proposed and validated. The model contemplates that brain T3 has a double origin: a fraction is available directly from the circulation, and another is produced locally from T4 in the astrocytes by type 2 deiodinase. The fetal brain depends almost entirely on the T3 generated locally. The contribution of systemic T3 increases subsequently during development to account for approximately 50% of total brain T3 in the late postnatal and adult stages. In this article we review the experimental data in support of this model, and how the factors affecting T3 availability in the brain, such as deiodinases and transporters, play a decisive role in modulating local thyroid hormone action during development.

  17. Cell-penetrating anti-GFAP VHH and corresponding fluorescent fusion protein VHH-GFP spontaneously cross the blood-brain barrier and specifically recognize astrocytes: application to brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tengfei; Bourgeois, Jean-Pierre; Celli, Susanna; Glacial, Fabienne; Le Sourd, Anne-Marie; Mecheri, Salah; Weksler, Babette; Romero, Ignacio; Couraud, Pierre-Olivier; Rougeon, François; Lafaye, Pierre

    2012-10-01

    Antibodies normally do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and cannot bind an intracellular cerebral antigen. We demonstrate here for the first time that a new class of antibodies can cross the BBB without treatment. Camelids produce native homodimeric heavy-chain antibodies, the paratope being composed of a single-variable domain called VHH. Here, we used recombinant VHH directed against human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a specific marker of astrocytes. Only basic VHHs (e.g., pI=9.4) were able to cross the BBB in vitro (7.8 vs. 0% for VHH with pI=7.7). By intracarotid and intravenous injections into live mice, we showed that these basic VHHs are able to cross the BBB in vivo, diffuse into the brain tissue, penetrate into astrocytes, and specifically label GFAP. To analyze their ability to be used as a specific transporter, we then expressed a recombinant fusion protein VHH-green fluorescent protein (GFP). These "fluobodies" specifically labeled GFAP on murine brain sections, and a basic variant (pI=9.3) of the fusion protein VHH-GFP was able to cross the BBB and to label astrocytes in vivo. The potential of VHHs as diagnostic or therapeutic agents in the central nervous system now deserves attention.

  18. Organotypic brain slice cultures of adult transgenic P301S mice--a model for tauopathy studies.

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    Agneta Mewes

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Organotypic brain slice cultures represent an excellent compromise between single cell cultures and complete animal studies, in this way replacing and reducing the number of animal experiments. Organotypic brain slices are widely applied to model neuronal development and regeneration as well as neuronal pathology concerning stroke, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease (AD. AD is characterized by two protein alterations, namely tau hyperphosphorylation and excessive amyloid β deposition, both causing microglia and astrocyte activation. Deposits of hyperphosphorylated tau, called neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs, surrounded by activated glia are modeled in transgenic mice, e.g. the tauopathy model P301S. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we explore the benefits and limitations of organotypic brain slice cultures made of mature adult transgenic mice as a potential model system for the multifactorial phenotype of AD. First, neonatal (P1 and adult organotypic brain slice cultures from 7- to 10-month-old transgenic P301S mice have been compared with regard to vitality, which was monitored with the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH- and the MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assays over 15 days. Neonatal slices displayed a constant high vitality level, while the vitality of adult slice cultures decreased significantly upon cultivation. Various preparation and cultivation conditions were tested to augment the vitality of adult slices and improvements were achieved with a reduced slice thickness, a mild hypothermic cultivation temperature and a cultivation CO(2 concentration of 5%. Furthermore, we present a substantial immunohistochemical characterization analyzing the morphology of neurons, astrocytes and microglia in comparison to neonatal tissue. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Until now only adolescent animals with a maximum age of two months have been used to prepare organotypic brain slices. The current study

  19. Translation of the prion protein mRNA is robust in astrocytes but does not amplify during reactive astrocytosis in the mouse brain.

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    Walker S Jackson

    Full Text Available Prion diseases induce neurodegeneration in specific brain areas for undetermined reasons. A thorough understanding of the localization of the disease-causing molecule, the prion protein (PrP, could inform on this issue but previous studies have generated conflicting conclusions. One of the more intriguing disagreements is whether PrP is synthesized by astrocytes. We developed a knock-in reporter mouse line in which the coding sequence of the PrP expressing gene (Prnp, was replaced with that for green fluorescent protein (GFP. Native GFP fluorescence intensity varied between and within brain regions. GFP was present in astrocytes but did not increase during reactive gliosis induced by scrapie prion infection. Therefore, reactive gliosis associated with prion diseases does not cause an acceleration of local PrP production. In addition to aiding in Prnp gene activity studies, this reporter mouse line will likely prove useful for analysis of chimeric animals produced by stem cell and tissue transplantation experiments.

  20. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eDavila

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes - with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling - in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions.

  1. Fatigue in adults with traumatic brain injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mollayeva, Tatyana; Kendzerska, Tetyana; Mollayeva, Shirin

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Despite strong indications that fatigue is the most common and debilitating symptom after traumatic brain injury, little is known about its frequency, natural history, or relation to other factors. The current protocol outlines a strategy for a systematic review that will identify......, assess, and critically appraise studies that assessed predictors for fatigue and the consequences of fatigue on at least two separate time points following traumatic brain injury. METHODS/DESIGN: MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CINAHL, and PsycINFO will be systematically...... searched for relevant peer-reviewed studies. Reference lists of eligible papers will also be searched. All English language studies with a longitudinal design that focus on fatigue in adults with primary-impact traumatic brain injury will be included. Studies on fatigue following brain injury due...

  2. Involvement of astrocytes in neurovascular communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuriya, M; Hirase, H

    2016-01-01

    The vascular interface of the brain is distinct from that of the peripheral tissue in that astrocytes, the most numerous glial cell type in the gray matter, cover the vasculature with their endfeet. This morphological feature of the gliovascular junction has prompted neuroscientists to suggest possible functional roles of astrocytes including astrocytic modulation of the vasculature. Additionally, astrocytes develop an intricate morphology that intimately apposes neuronal synapses, making them an ideal cellular mediator of neurovascular coupling. In this article, we first introduce the classical anatomical and physiological findings that led to the proposal of various gliovascular interaction models. Next, we touch on the technological advances in the past few decades that enabled investigations and evaluations of neuro-glio-vascular interactions in situ. We then review recent experimental findings on the roles of astrocytes in neurovascular coupling from the viewpoints of intra- and intercellular signalings in astrocytes. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The adult brain tissue response to hollow fiber membranes of varying surface architecture with or without cotransplanted cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ning

    A variety of biomaterials have been chronically implanted into the central nervous system (CNS) for repair or therapeutic purposes. Regardless of the application, chronic implantation of materials into the CNS induces injury and elicits a wound healing response, eventually leading to the formation of a dense extracellular matrix (ECM)-rich scar tissue that is associated with the segregation of implanted materials from the surrounding normal tissue. Often this reaction results in impaired performance of indwelling CNS devices. In order to enhance the performance of biomaterial-based implantable devices in the CNS, this thesis investigated whether adult brain tissue response to implanted biomaterials could be manipulated by changing biomaterial surface properties or further by utilizing the biology of co-transplanted cells. Specifically, the adult rat brain tissue response to chronically implanted poly(acrylonitrile-vinylchloride) (PAN-PVC) hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) of varying surface architecture were examined temporally at 2, 4, and 12 weeks postimplantation. Significant differences were discovered in the brain tissue response to the PAN-PVC HFMs of varying surface architecture at 4 and 12 weeks. To extend this work, whether the soluble factors derived from a co-transplanted cellular component further affect the brain tissue response to an implanted HFM in a significant way was critically exploited. The cells used were astrocytes, whose ability to influence scar formation process following CNS injury by physical contact with the host tissue had been documented in the literature. Data indicated for the first time that astrocyte-derived soluble factors ameliorate the adult brain tissue reactivity toward HFM implants in an age-dependent manner. While immature astrocytes secreted soluble factors that suppressed the brain tissue reactivity around the implants, mature astrocytes secreted factors that enhanced the gliotic response. These findings prove the feasibility

  4. Astrocyte-Specific Overexpression of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Protects Hippocampal Neurons and Reduces Behavioral Deficits following Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice.

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    Sindhu K Madathil

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI survivors often suffer from long-lasting cognitive impairment that stems from hippocampal injury. Systemic administration of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1, a polypeptide growth factor known to play vital roles in neuronal survival, has been shown to attenuate posttraumatic cognitive and motor dysfunction. However, its neuroprotective effects in TBI have not been examined. To this end, moderate or severe contusion brain injury was induced in mice with conditional (postnatal overexpression of IGF-1 using the controlled cortical impact (CCI injury model. CCI brain injury produces robust reactive astrocytosis in regions of neuronal damage such as the hippocampus. We exploited this regional astrocytosis by linking expression of hIGF-1 to the astrocyte-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP promoter, effectively targeting IGF-1 delivery to vulnerable neurons. Following brain injury, IGF-1Tg mice exhibited a progressive increase in hippocampal IGF-1 levels which was coupled with enhanced hippocampal reactive astrocytosis and significantly greater GFAP levels relative to WT mice. IGF-1 overexpression stimulated Akt phosphorylation and reduced acute (1 and 3d hippocampal neurodegeneration, culminating in greater neuron survival at 10d after CCI injury. Hippocampal neuroprotection achieved by IGF-1 overexpression was accompanied by improved motor and cognitive function in brain-injured mice. These data provide strong support for the therapeutic efficacy of increased brain levels of IGF-1 in the setting of TBI.

  5. Astrocyte-Specific Overexpression of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Protects Hippocampal Neurons and Reduces Behavioral Deficits following Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madathil, Sindhu K.; Carlson, Shaun W.; Brelsfoard, Jennifer M.; Ye, Ping; D’Ercole, A. Joseph; Saatman, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors often suffer from long-lasting cognitive impairment that stems from hippocampal injury. Systemic administration of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a polypeptide growth factor known to play vital roles in neuronal survival, has been shown to attenuate posttraumatic cognitive and motor dysfunction. However, its neuroprotective effects in TBI have not been examined. To this end, moderate or severe contusion brain injury was induced in mice with conditional (postnatal) overexpression of IGF-1 using the controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury model. CCI brain injury produces robust reactive astrocytosis in regions of neuronal damage such as the hippocampus. We exploited this regional astrocytosis by linking expression of hIGF-1 to the astrocyte-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter, effectively targeting IGF-1 delivery to vulnerable neurons. Following brain injury, IGF-1Tg mice exhibited a progressive increase in hippocampal IGF-1 levels which was coupled with enhanced hippocampal reactive astrocytosis and significantly greater GFAP levels relative to WT mice. IGF-1 overexpression stimulated Akt phosphorylation and reduced acute (1 and 3d) hippocampal neurodegeneration, culminating in greater neuron survival at 10d after CCI injury. Hippocampal neuroprotection achieved by IGF-1 overexpression was accompanied by improved motor and cognitive function in brain-injured mice. These data provide strong support for the therapeutic efficacy of increased brain levels of IGF-1 in the setting of TBI. PMID:23826235

  6. Endocannabinoids mediate neuron-astrocyte communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2008-03-27

    Cannabinoid receptors play key roles in brain function, and cannabinoid effects in brain physiology and drug-related behavior are thought to be mediated by receptors present in neurons. Neuron-astrocyte communication relies on the expression by astrocytes of neurotransmitter receptors. Yet, the expression of cannabinoid receptors by astrocytes in situ and their involvement in the neuron-astrocyte communication remain largely unknown. We show that hippocampal astrocytes express CB1 receptors that upon activation lead to phospholipase C-dependent Ca2+ mobilization from internal stores. These receptors are activated by endocannabinoids released by neurons, increasing astrocyte Ca2+ levels, which stimulate glutamate release that activates NMDA receptors in pyramidal neurons. These results demonstrate the existence of endocannabinoid-mediated neuron-astrocyte communication, revealing that astrocytes are targets of cannabinoids and might therefore participate in the physiology of cannabinoid-related addiction. They also reveal the existence of an endocannabinoid-glutamate signaling pathway where astrocytes serve as a bridge for nonsynaptic interneuronal communication.

  7. Peptide gH625 enters into neuron and astrocyte cell lines and crosses the blood–brain barrier in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valiante S

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Salvatore Valiante,1,* Annarita Falanga,2,3,* Luisa Cigliano,1 Giuseppina Iachetta,1 Rosa Anna Busiello,1 Valeria La Marca,1 Massimiliano Galdiero,4 Assunta Lombardi,1 Stefania Galdiero1,2 1Department of Biology, 2Department of Pharmacy, 3DFM Scarl, University of Naples Federico II, 4Department of Experimental Medicine, II University of Naples, Naples, Italy *These authors contributed equally to this paper and are considered joint first authors Abstract: Peptide gH625, derived from glycoprotein H of herpes simplex virus type 1, can enter cells efficiently and deliver a cargo. Nanoparticles armed with gH625 are able to cross an in vitro model of the blood–brain barrier (BBB. In the present study, in vitro experiments were performed to investigate whether gH625 can enter and accumulate in neuron and astrocyte cell lines. The ability of gH625 to cross the BBB in vivo was also evaluated. gH625 was administered in vivo to rats and its presence in the liver and in the brain was detected. Within 3.5 hours of intravenous administration, gH625 can be found beyond the BBB in proximity to cell neurites. gH625 has no toxic effects in vivo, since it does not affect the maximal oxidative capacity of the brain or the mitochondrial respiration rate. Our data suggest that gH625, with its ability to cross the BBB, represents a novel nanocarrier system for drug delivery to the central nervous system. These results open up new possibilities for direct delivery of drugs into patients in the field of theranostics and might address the treatment of several human diseases. Keywords: drug delivery, neurons, astrocytes, blood–brain barrier, peptide

  8. The beta1 subunit of the Na,K-ATPase pump interacts with megalencephalic leucoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts protein 1 (MLC1) in brain astrocytes: new insights into MLC pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brignone, Maria S; Lanciotti, Angela; Macioce, Pompeo; Macchia, Gianfranco; Gaetani, Matteo; Aloisi, Francesca; Petrucci, Tamara C; Ambrosini, Elena

    2011-01-01

    Megalencephalic leucoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLC) is a rare congenital leucodystrophy caused by mutations in MLC1, a membrane protein of unknown function. MLC1 expression in astrocyte end-feet contacting blood vessels and meninges, along with brain swelling, fluid cysts and myelin vacuolation observed in MLC patients, suggests a possible role for MLC1 in the regulation of fluid and ion homeostasis and cellular volume changes. To identify MLC1 direct interactors and dissect the molecular pathways in which MLC1 is involved, we used NH2-MLC1 domain as a bait to screen a human brain library in a yeast two-hybrid assay. We identified the β1 subunit of the Na,K-ATPase pump as one of the interacting clones and confirmed it by pull-downs, co-fractionation assays and immunofluorescence stainings in human and rat astrocytes in vitro and in brain tissue. By performing ouabain-affinity chromatography on astrocyte and brain extracts, we isolated MLC1 and the whole Na,K-ATPase enzyme in a multiprotein complex that included Kir4.1, syntrophin and dystrobrevin. Because Na,K-ATPase is involved in intracellular osmotic control and volume regulation, we investigated the effect of hypo-osmotic stress on MLC1/Na,K-ATPase relationship in astrocytes. We found that hypo-osmotic conditions increased MLC1 membrane expression and favoured MLC1/Na,K-ATPase-β1 association. Moreover, hypo-osmosis induced astrocyte swelling and the reversible formation of endosome-derived vacuoles, where the two proteins co-localized. These data suggest that through its interaction with Na,K-ATPase, MLC1 is involved in the control of intracellular osmotic conditions and volume regulation in astrocytes, opening new perspectives for understanding the pathological mechanisms of MLC disease.

  9. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte-mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  10. Amitriptyline induces brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression through ERK-dependent modulation of multiple BDNF mRNA variants in primary cultured rat cortical astrocytes and microglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Kajitani, Naoto; Kaneko, Masahiro; Shigetou, Takahiro; Kasai, Miho; Matsumoto, Chie; Yokoe, Toshiki; Azuma, Honami; Takebayashi, Minoru; Morioka, Norimitsu; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2016-03-01

    A significant role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been previously implicated in the therapeutic effect of antidepressants. To ascertain the contribution of specific cell types in the brain that produce BDNF following antidepressant treatment, the effects of the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline on rat primary neuronal, astrocytic and microglial cortical cultures were examined. Amitriptyline increased the expression of BDNF mRNA in astrocytic and microglial cultures but not neuronal cultures. Antidepressants with distinct mechanisms of action, such as clomipramine, duloxetine and fluvoxamine, also increased BDNF mRNA expression in astrocytic and microglial cultures. There are multiple BDNF mRNA variants (exon I, IIA, IV and VI) expressed in astrocytes and microglia and the variant induced by antidepressants has yet to be elaborated. Treatment with antidepressants increased the expression of exon I, IV and VI in astrocyte and microglia. Clomipramine alone significantly upregulated expression of exon IIA. The amitriptyline-induced expression of both total and individual BDNF mRNA variants (exon I, IV and VI) were blocked by MEK inhibitor U0126, indicating MEK/ERK signaling is required in the expression of BDNF. These findings indicate that non-neural cells are a significant target of antidepressants and further support the contention that glial production of BDNF is crucial role in the therapeutic effect of antidepressants. The current data suggest that targeting of glial function could lead to the development of antidepressants with a truly novel mechanism of action. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Altered Homeostatic Functions in Reactive Astrocytes and Their Potential as a Therapeutic Target After Brain Ischemic Injury

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pivoňková, Helena; Anděrová, Miroslava

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 33 (2017), s. 5056-5074 ISSN 1381-6128 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-02760S; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-10214S Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : reactive astrocytes * potassium buffering * glutamate homeostasis * ion channels Subject RIV: FH - Neurology OBOR OECD: Neurosciences (including psychophysiology Impact factor: 2.611, year: 2016

  12. Astrocyte-neuron communication: functional consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Achour, Sarrah; Pascual, Olivier

    2012-11-01

    Astrocyte-neuron communication has recently been proposed as a potential mechanism participating to synaptic transmission. With the development of this concept and accumulating evidences in favor of a modulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes, has emerged the term gliotransmission. It refers to the capacity of astrocytes to release various transmitters, such as ATP, glutamate, D-serine, and GABA in the vicinity of synapses. While the cellular mechanisms involved in gliotransmission still need to be better described and, for some, identified, the aim of more and more studies is to determine the role of astrocytes from a functional point of view. This review will summarize the principal studies that have investigated a potential role of astrocytes in the various functions regulated by the brain (sleep, breathing, perception, learning and memory…). This will allow us to highlight the similarities and discrepancies in the signaling pathways involved in the different areas of the brain related to these functions.

  13. The effect of tobacco smoke exposure on the generation of reactive oxygen species and cellular membrane damage using co-culture model of blood brain barrier with astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Seung-Beom; Choe, Eun Sang; Kim, Kwang-Sik; Shim, Soon-Mi

    2017-06-01

    Brain tissue is known to be vulnerable to the exposure by tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke can induce generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), causing inflammatory activity and blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairment. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of tobacco smoke on cell cytotoxicity, generation of ROS, and cellular membrane damage in astrocytes and BBB using a co-culture system. Cell viability of U373MG cells was reduced in a dose-dependent manner, ranging from 96.7% to 40.3% by tobacco smoke condensate (TSC). Cell viability of U373MG co-cultured with human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) was 104.9% at the IC 50 value of TSC. Trans-epithelial electric resistance values drastically decreased 80% following 12-h incubation. The value was maintained until 48 h and then increased at 72-h incubation (85%). It then decreased to 75% at 120 h. Generation of ROS increased in a dose-dependent manner, ranging from 102.7% to 107.9%, when various concentrations of TSC (4-16 mg/mL) were administered to the U373MG monoculture. When TSC was added into U373MG co-cultured with HBMECs, production of ROS ranged from 101.7% to 102.6%, slightly increasing over 12 h. Maximum exposure-generated ROS of 104.8% was reached at 24 h. Cell cytotoxicity and oxidative stress levels in the U373MG co-culture model system with HBMECs were lower than U373MG monoculture. HBMECs effectively acted as a barrier to protect the astrocytes (U373MG) from toxicity of TSC.

  14. Notch Signaling and Brain Tumors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stockhausen, Marie; Kristoffersen, Karina; Poulsen, Hans Skovgaard

    2011-01-01

    Human brain tumors are a heterogenous group of neoplasms occurring inside the cranium and the central spinal cord. In adults and children, astrocytic glioma and medulloblastoma are the most common subtypes of primary brain tumors. These tumor types are thought to arise from cells in which Notch...

  15. Restraint stress-induced morphological changes at the blood-brain barrier in adult rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra eSántha

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Stress is well known to contribute to the development of both neurological and psychiatric diseases. While the role of the blood-brain barrier is increasingly recognised in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier has been linked to stress-related psychiatric diseases only recently. In the present study the effects of restraint stress with different duration (1, 3 and 21 days were investigated on the morphology of the blood-brain barrier in male adult Wistar rats. Frontal cortex and hippocampus sections were immunostained for markers of brain endothelial cells (claudin-5, occludin and glucose transporter-1 and astroglia (GFAP. Staining pattern and intensity were visualized by confocal microscopy and evaluated by several types of image analysis. The ultrastructure of brain capillaries was investigated by electron microscopy. Morphological changes and intensity alterations in brain endothelial tight junction proteins claudin-5 and occludin were induced by stress. Following restraint stress significant increases in the fluorescence intensity of glucose transporter-1 were detected in brain endothelial cells in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Significant reductions in GFAP fluorescence intensity were observed in the frontal cortex in all stress groups. As observed by electron microscopy, one-day acute stress induced morphological changes indicating damage in capillary endothelial cells in both brain regions. After 21 days of stress thicker and irregular capillary basal membranes in the hippocampus and edema in astrocytes in both regions were seen. These findings indicate that stress exerts time-dependent changes in the staining pattern of tight junction proteins occludin, claudin-5 and glucose transporter-1 at the level of brain capillaries and in the ultrastructure of brain endothelial cells and astroglial endfeet, which may contribute to neurodegenerative processes

  16. Astrocyte, the star avatar: redefined

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This review summarizes the past and present knowledge of glial cell functions that has evolved over the years, and has resulted in a new appreciation of astrocytes and their value in studying the neurobiology of human brain cells and their functions. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the role of glial cells in ...

  17. Astrocytic actions on extrasynaptic neuronal currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balazs ePal

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In the last few decades, knowledge about astrocytic functions has significantly increased. It was demonstrated that astrocytes are not passive elements of the central nervous system, but active partners of neurons. There is a growing body of knowledge about the calcium excitability of astrocytes, the actions of different gliotransmitters and their release mechanisms, as well as the participation of astrocytes in the regulation of synaptic functions and their contribution to synaptic plasticity. However, astrocytic functions are even more complex than being a partner of the 'tripartite synapse', as they can influence extrasynaptic neuronal currents either by releasing substances or regulating ambient neurotransmitter levels. Several types of currents or changes of membrane potential with different kinetics and via different mechanisms can be elicited by astrocytic activity. Astrocyte-dependent phasic or tonic, inward or outward currents were described in several brain areas. Such currents, together with the synaptic actions of astrocytes, can contribute to neuromodulatory mechanisms, neurosensory and –secretory processes, cortical oscillatory activity, memory and learning or overall neuronal excitability. This mini-review is an attempt to give a brief summary of astrocyte-dependent extrasynaptic neuronal currents and their possible functional significance.

  18. Trafficking of astrocytic vesicles in hippocampal slices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potokar, Maja; Kreft, Marko; Lee, So-Young; Takano, Hajime; Haydon, Philip G.; Zorec, Robert

    2009-01-01

    The increasingly appreciated role of astrocytes in neurophysiology dictates a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying the communication between astrocytes and neurons. In particular, the uptake and release of signaling substances into/from astrocytes is considered as crucial. The release of different gliotransmitters involves regulated exocytosis, consisting of the fusion between the vesicle and the plasma membranes. After fusion with the plasma membrane vesicles may be retrieved into the cytoplasm and may continue to recycle. To study the mobility implicated in the retrieval of secretory vesicles, these structures have been previously efficiently and specifically labeled in cultured astrocytes, by exposing live cells to primary and secondary antibodies. Since the vesicle labeling and the vesicle mobility properties may be an artifact of cell culture conditions, we here asked whether the retrieving exocytotic vesicles can be labeled in brain tissue slices and whether their mobility differs to that observed in cell cultures. We labeled astrocytic vesicles and recorded their mobility with two-photon microscopy in hippocampal slices from transgenic mice with fluorescently tagged astrocytes (GFP mice) and in wild-type mice with astrocytes labeled by Fluo4 fluorescence indicator. Glutamatergic vesicles and peptidergic granules were labeled by the anti-vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGlut1) and anti-atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) antibodies, respectively. We report that the vesicle mobility parameters (velocity, maximal displacement and track length) recorded in astrocytes from tissue slices are similar to those reported previously in cultured astrocytes.

  19. Endothelial-astrocytic interactions in acute liver failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, A R; Norenberg, M D

    2013-06-01

    Brain edema and the subsequent increase in intracranial pressure are major neurological complications of acute liver failure (ALF), and swelling of astrocytes (cytotoxic brain edema) is the most prominent neuropathological abnormality in ALF. Recent studies, however, have suggested the co-existence of cytotoxic and vasogenic mechanisms in the brain edema associated with ALF. This review 1) summarizes the nature of the brain edema in humans and experimental animals with ALF; 2) reviews in vitro studies supporting the presence of cytotoxic brain edema (cell swelling in cultured astrocytes); and 3) documents the role of brain endothelial cells in the development of astrocyte swelling/brain edema in ALF.

  20. Astrocyte Ca2+ signalling: an unexpected complexity

    OpenAIRE

    Volterra, Andrea; Liaudet, Nicolas; Savtchouk, Iaroslav

    2014-01-01

    Astrocyte Ca(2+) signalling has been proposed to link neuronal information in different spatial-temporal dimensions to achieve a higher level of brain integration. However, some discrepancies in the results of recent studies challenge this view and highlight key insufficiencies in our current understanding. In parallel, new experimental approaches that enable the study of astrocyte physiology at higher spatial-temporal resolution in intact brain preparations are beginning to reveal an unexpec...

  1. Organotypic hippocampal slice culture from the adult mouse brain: a versatile tool for translational neuropsychopharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyunjeong; Kim, Eosu; Park, Minsun; Lee, Eun; Namkoong, Kee

    2013-03-05

    One of the most significant barriers towards translational neuropsychiatry would be an unavailability of living brain tissues. Although organotypic brain tissue culture could be a useful alternative enabling observation of temporal changes induced by various drugs in living brain tissues, a proper method to establish a stable organotypic brain slice culture system using adult (rather than neonatal) hippocampus has been still elusive. In this study, we evaluated our simple method using the serum-free culture medium for successful adult organotypic hippocampal slice culture. Several tens of hippocampal slices from a single adult mouse (3-5 months old) were cultured in serum-free versus serum-containing conventional culture medium for 30 days and underwent various experiments to validate the effects of the existence of serum in the culture medium. Neither the excessive regression of neuronal viability nor metabolic deficiency was observed in the serum-free medium culture in contrast to the serum-containing medium culture. Despite such viability, newly generated immature neurons were scarcely detected in the serum-free culture, suggesting that the original neurons in the brain slice persist rather than being replaced by neurogenesis. Key structural features of in vivo neural tissue constituting astrocytes, neural processes, and pre- and post-synapses were also well preserved in the serum-free culture. In conclusion, using the serum-free culture medium, the adult hippocampal slice culture system will serve as a promising ex vivo tool for various fields of neuroscience, especially for studies on aging-related neuropsychiatric disorders or for high throughput screening of potential agents working against such disorders. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Spatial organization of astrocytes in ferret visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    López‐Hidalgo, Mónica; Hoover, Walter B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Astrocytes form an intricate partnership with neural circuits to influence numerous cellular and synaptic processes. One prominent organizational feature of astrocytes is the “tiling” of the brain with non‐overlapping territories. There are some documented species and brain region–specific astrocyte specializations, but the extent of astrocyte diversity and circuit specificity are still unknown. We quantitatively defined the rules that govern the spatial arrangement of astrocyte somata and territory overlap in ferret visual cortex using a combination of in vivo two‐photon imaging, morphological reconstruction, immunostaining, and model simulations. We found that ferret astrocytes share, on average, half of their territory with other astrocytes. However, a specific class of astrocytes, abundant in thalamo‐recipient cortical layers (“kissing” astrocytes), overlap markedly less. Together, these results demonstrate novel features of astrocyte organization indicating that different classes of astrocytes are arranged in a circuit‐specific manner and that tiling does not apply universally across brain regions and species. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3561–3576, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27072916

  3. Distribution of rSlo Ca2+-activated K+ channels in rat astrocyte perivascular endfeet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Diana L; Ludwig, Jeffrey W; Mi, Huaiyu; Schwarz, Thomas L; Ellisman, Mark H

    2002-11-29

    Evidence that Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (K(Ca)) channels play a role in cell volume changes and K(+) homeostasis led to a prediction that astrocytes would have K(Ca) channels near blood vessels in order to maintain K(+) homeostasis. Consistent with this thinking the present study demonstrates that rSlo K(Ca) channels are in glial cells of the adult rat central nervous system (CNS) and highly localized to specializations of astrocytes associated with the brain vasculature. Using confocal and thin-section electron microscopic immunolabeling methods the distribution of rSlo was examined in adult rat brain. Strong rSlo immunolabeling was present around the vasculature of most brain regions. Examination of dye-filled hippocampal astrocytes revealed rSlo immunolabeling polarized in astrocytic endfeet. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed that the rSlo staining was concentrated in astrocytic endfeet ensheathing capillaries as well as abutting the pia mater. Immunostaining within the endfeet was predominantly distributed at the plasma membrane directly adjacent to either the vascular basal lamina or the pial surface. The distribution of the aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) water channel was also examined using dye-filled hippocampal astrocytes. In confirmation of earlier reports, intense AQP-4 immunolabeling was generally observed at the perimeter of blood vessels, and coincided with perivascular endfeet and rSlo labeling. We propose that rSlo K(Ca) channels, with their sensitivity to membrane depolarization and intracellular calcium, play a role in the K(+) modulation of cerebral blood flow. Additional knowledge of the molecular and cellular machinery present at perivascular endfeet may provide insight into the structural and functional molecular elements responsible for the neuronal activity-dependent regulation of cerebral blood flow. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.

  4. Electrospun fiber surface nanotopography influences astrocyte-mediated neurite outgrowth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher D; D'Amato, Anthony R; Puhl, Devan L; Wich, Douglas M; Vespermann, Amanda; Gilbert, Ryan J

    2018-05-15

    Aligned, electrospun fiber scaffolds provide topographical guidance for regenerating neurons and glia after central nervous system injury. To date, no study has explored how fiber surface nanotopography affects astrocyte response to fibrous scaffolds. Astrocytes play important roles in the glial scar, the blood brain barrier, and in maintaining homeostasis in the central nervous system. In this study, electrospun poly L-lactic acid fibers were engineered with smooth, pitted, or divoted surface nanotopography. Cortical or spinal cord primary rat astrocytes were cultured on the surfaces for either 1 or 3 days to examine the astrocyte response over time. The results showed that cortical astrocytes were significantly shorter and broader on the pitted and divoted fibers compared to those on smooth fibers. However, spinal cord astrocyte morphology was not significantly altered by the surface features. These findings indicate that astrocytes from unique anatomical locations respond differently to the presence of nanotopography. Western Blot results show that the differences in morphology were not associated with significant changes in GFAP or vinculin in either astrocyte population, suggesting that surface pits and divots do not induce a reactive phenotype in either cortical or spinal cord astrocytes. Finally, astrocytes were co-cultured with dorsal root ganglia to determine how the surfaces affected astrocyte-mediated neurite outgrowth. Astrocytes cultured on the fibers for shorter periods of time (1 day) generally supported longer neurite outgrowth. Pitted and divoted fibers restricted spinal cord astrocyte-mediated neurite outgrowth, while smooth fibers increased 3 day spinal cord astrocyte-mediated neurite outgrowth. In total, fiber surface nanotopography can influence astrocyte elongation and influence the capability of astrocytes to direct neurites. Therefore, fiber surface characteristics should be carefully controlled to optimize astrocyte-mediated axonal

  5. Neuron-astrocyte interaction enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Przemysław eKaczor

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain and mechanisms of GABAergic inhibition have been intensely investigated in the past decades. Recent studies provided evidence for an important role of astrocytes in shaping GABAergic currents. One of the most obvious, but yet poorly understood, mechanisms of the cross-talk between GABAergic currents and astrocytes is metabolism including neurotransmitter homeostasis. In particular, how modulation of GABAergic currents by astrocytes depends on key enzymes involved in cellular metabolism remains largely unknown. To address this issue, we have considered two simple models of neuronal cultures: nominally astrocyte-free neuronal culture (NC and neuronal-astrocytic co-cultures (ANCC and miniature Inhibitory Postsynaptic Currents (mIPSCs were recorded in control conditions and in the presence of respective enzyme blockers. We report that enrichment of neuronal culture with astrocytes results in a marked increase in mIPSC frequency. This enhancement of GABAergic activity was accompanied by increased number of GAD65 and vGAT puncta, indicating that at least a part of the frequency enhancement was due to increased number of synaptic contacts. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase (with MSO strongly reduced mIPSC frequency in ANCC but had no effect in NC. Moreover, treatment of ANCC with inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase (BAYU6751 or with selective inhibitor of astrocytic Krebs cycle,fluoroacetate, resulted in a marked reduction of mIPSC frequency in ANCC having no effect in NC. We conclude that GABAergic synaptic transmission strongly depends on neuron-astrocyte interaction in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes as well as on the Krebs cycle.

  6. In Vitro Modeling of Blood-Brain Barrier with Human iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells, Pericytes, Neurons, and Astrocytes via Notch Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Yamamizu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The blood-brain barrier (BBB is composed of four cell populations, brain endothelial cells (BECs, pericytes, neurons, and astrocytes. Its role is to precisely regulate the microenvironment of the brain through selective substance crossing. Here we generated an in vitro model of the BBB by differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs into all four populations. When the four hiPSC-derived populations were co-cultured, endothelial cells (ECs were endowed with features consistent with BECs, including a high expression of nutrient transporters (CAT3, MFSD2A and efflux transporters (ABCA1, BCRP, PGP, MRP5, and strong barrier function based on tight junctions. Neuron-derived Dll1, which activates Notch signaling in ECs, was essential for the BEC specification. We performed in vitro BBB permeability tests and assessed ten clinical drugs by nanoLC-MS/MS, finding a good correlation with the BBB permeability reported in previous cases. This technology should be useful for research on human BBB physiology, pathology, and drug development.

  7. Large-scale recording of astrocyte activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmerjahn, Axel; Bergles, Dwight E.

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes are highly ramified glial cells found throughout the central nervous system (CNS). They express a variety of neurotransmitter receptors that can induce widespread chemical excitation, placing these cells in an optimal position to exert global effects on brain physiology. However, the activity patterns of only a small fraction of astrocytes have been examined and techniques to manipulate their behavior are limited. As a result, little is known about how astrocytes modulate CNS function on synaptic, microcircuit, or systems levels. Here, we review current and emerging approaches for visualizing and manipulating astrocyte activity in vivo. Deciphering how astrocyte network activity is controlled in different physiological and pathological contexts is critical for defining their roles in the healthy and diseased CNS. PMID:25665733

  8. Astrocytes in Alzheimer’s disease

    OpenAIRE

    Verkhratsky, Alexei; Olabarria, Markel; Noristani, Harun N.; Yeh, Chia-Yu; Rodriguez, Jose Julio

    2010-01-01

    The circuitry of the human brain is formed by neuronal networks embedded into astroglial syncytia. The astrocytes perform numerous functions, providing for the overall brain homeostasis, assisting in neurogenesis, determining the micro-architecture of the grey matter, and defending the brain through evolutionary conserved astrogliosis programs.

  9. Circadian control of p75 neurotrophin receptor leads to alternate activation of Nrf2 and c-Rel to reset energy metabolism in astrocytes via brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Tetsuro; Warabi, Eiji; Mann, Giovanni E

    2018-05-01

    Circadian clock genes regulate energy metabolism partly through neurotrophins in the body. The low affinity neurotrophin receptor p75 NTR is a clock component directly regulated by the transcriptional factor Clock:Bmal1 complex. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is expressed in the brain and plays a key role in coordinating metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes. BDNF transduces signals through TrkB and p75 NTR receptors. This review highlights a novel molecular mechanism by which BDNF via circadian control of p75 NTR leads to daily resetting of glucose and glycogen metabolism in brain astrocytes to accommodate their functional interaction with neurons. Astrocytes store glycogen as an energy reservoir to provide active neurons with the glycolytic metabolite lactate. Astrocytes predominantly express the truncated receptor TrkB.T1 which lacks an intracellular receptor tyrosine kinase domain. TrkB.T1 retains the capacity to regulate cell morphology through regulation of Rho GTPases. In contrast, p75 NTR mediates generation of the bioactive lipid ceramide upon stimulation with BDNF and inhibits PKA activation. As ceramide directly activates PKCζ, we discuss the importance of the TrkB.T1-p75 NTR -ceramide-PKCζ signaling axis in the stimulation of glycogen and lipid synthesis and activation of RhoA. Ceramide-PKCζ-casein kinase 2 signaling activates Nrf2 to support oxidative phosphorylation via upregulation of antioxidant enzymes. In the absence of p75 NTR , TrkB.T1 functionally interacts with adenosine A 2A R and dopamine D1R receptors to enhance cAMP-PKA signaling and activate Rac1 and NF-κB c-Rel, favoring glycogen hydrolysis, gluconeogenesis and aerobic glycolysis. Thus, diurnal changes in p75 NTR levels in astrocytes resets energy metabolism via BDNF to accommodate their metabolic interaction with neurons. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Shiga toxin 1 induces on lipopolysaccharide-treated astrocytes the release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha that alter brain-like endothelium integrity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verónica I Landoni

    Full Text Available The hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS is characterized by hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia and renal dysfunction. The typical form of HUS is generally associated with infections by Gram-negative Shiga toxin (Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC. Endothelial dysfunction induced by Stx is central, but bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS and neutrophils (PMN contribute to the pathophysiology. Although renal failure is characteristic of this syndrome, neurological complications occur in severe cases and is usually associated with death. Impaired blood-brain barrier (BBB is associated with damage to cerebral endothelial cells (ECs that comprise the BBB. Astrocytes (ASTs are inflammatory cells in the brain and determine the BBB function. ASTs are in close proximity to ECs, hence the study of the effects of Stx1 and LPS on ASTs, and the influence of their response on ECs is essential. We have previously demonstrated that Stx1 and LPS induced activation of rat ASTs and the release of inflammatory factors such as TNF-α, nitric oxide and chemokines. Here, we demonstrate that rat ASTs-derived factors alter permeability of ECs with brain properties (HUVECd; suggesting that functional properties of BBB could also be affected. Additionally, these factors activate HUVECd and render them into a proagregant state promoting PMN and platelets adhesion. Moreover, these effects were dependent on ASTs secreted-TNF-α. Stx1 and LPS-induced ASTs response could influence brain ECs integrity and BBB function once Stx and factors associated to the STEC infection reach the brain parenchyma and therefore contribute to the development of the neuropathology observed in HUS.

  11. Shiga Toxin 1 Induces on Lipopolysaccharide-Treated Astrocytes the Release of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha that Alter Brain-Like Endothelium Integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landoni, Verónica I.; Schierloh, Pablo; de Campos Nebel, Marcelo; Fernández, Gabriela C.; Calatayud, Cecilia; Lapponi, María J.; Isturiz, Martín A.

    2012-01-01

    The hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is characterized by hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia and renal dysfunction. The typical form of HUS is generally associated with infections by Gram-negative Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Endothelial dysfunction induced by Stx is central, but bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and neutrophils (PMN) contribute to the pathophysiology. Although renal failure is characteristic of this syndrome, neurological complications occur in severe cases and is usually associated with death. Impaired blood-brain barrier (BBB) is associated with damage to cerebral endothelial cells (ECs) that comprise the BBB. Astrocytes (ASTs) are inflammatory cells in the brain and determine the BBB function. ASTs are in close proximity to ECs, hence the study of the effects of Stx1 and LPS on ASTs, and the influence of their response on ECs is essential. We have previously demonstrated that Stx1 and LPS induced activation of rat ASTs and the release of inflammatory factors such as TNF-α, nitric oxide and chemokines. Here, we demonstrate that rat ASTs-derived factors alter permeability of ECs with brain properties (HUVECd); suggesting that functional properties of BBB could also be affected. Additionally, these factors activate HUVECd and render them into a proagregant state promoting PMN and platelets adhesion. Moreover, these effects were dependent on ASTs secreted-TNF-α. Stx1 and LPS-induced ASTs response could influence brain ECs integrity and BBB function once Stx and factors associated to the STEC infection reach the brain parenchyma and therefore contribute to the development of the neuropathology observed in HUS. PMID:22479186

  12. Analysis of neuron–astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of db/db mice with cognitive decline using 13C NMR spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hong; Zheng, Yongquan; Wang, Dan; Cai, Aimin; Lin, Qiuting; Zhao, Liangcai; Chen, Minjiang; Deng, Mingjie; Ye, Xinjian

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes has been linked to cognitive impairment, but its potential metabolic mechanism is still unclear. The present study aimed to explore neuron–astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of diabetic (db/db, BKS.Cg-m+/+ Leprdb/J) mice with cognitive decline using 13C NMR technique in combination with intravenous [2-13C]-acetate and [3-13C]-lactate infusions. We found that the 13C-enrichment from [2-13C]-acetate into tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, succinate, was significantly decreased in db/db mice with cognitive decline compared with wild-type (WT, C57BLKS/J) mice, while an opposite result was obtained after [3-13C]-lactate infusion. Relative to WT mice, db/db mice with cognitive decline had significantly lower 13C labeling percentages in neurotransmitters including glutamine, glutamate, and γ-aminobutyric acid after [2-13C]-acetate infusion. However, [3-13C]-lactate resulted in increased 13C-enrichments in neurotransmitters in db/db mice with cognitive decline. This may indicate that the disturbance of neurotransmitter metabolism occurred during the development of cognitive decline. In addition, a reduction in 13C-labeling of lactate and an increase in gluconeogenesis were found from both labeled infusions in db/db mice with cognitive decline. Therefore, our results suggest that the development of cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes may be implicated to an unbalanced metabolism in neuron–astrocyte cooperation and an enhancement of gluconeogenesis. PMID:26762505

  13. Analysis of neuron-astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of db/db mice with cognitive decline using 13C NMR spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hong; Zheng, Yongquan; Wang, Dan; Cai, Aimin; Lin, Qiuting; Zhao, Liangcai; Chen, Minjiang; Deng, Mingjie; Ye, Xinjian; Gao, Hongchang

    2017-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes has been linked to cognitive impairment, but its potential metabolic mechanism is still unclear. The present study aimed to explore neuron-astrocyte metabolic cooperation in the brain of diabetic (db/db, BKS.Cg-m +/+ Leprdb/J) mice with cognitive decline using 13 C NMR technique in combination with intravenous [2- 13 C]-acetate and [3- 13 C]-lactate infusions. We found that the 13 C-enrichment from [2- 13 C]-acetate into tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, succinate, was significantly decreased in db/db mice with cognitive decline compared with wild-type (WT, C57BLKS/J) mice, while an opposite result was obtained after [3- 13 C]-lactate infusion. Relative to WT mice, db/db mice with cognitive decline had significantly lower 13 C labeling percentages in neurotransmitters including glutamine, glutamate, and γ-aminobutyric acid after [2- 13 C]-acetate infusion. However, [3- 13 C]-lactate resulted in increased 13 C-enrichments in neurotransmitters in db/db mice with cognitive decline. This may indicate that the disturbance of neurotransmitter metabolism occurred during the development of cognitive decline. In addition, a reduction in 13 C-labeling of lactate and an increase in gluconeogenesis were found from both labeled infusions in db/db mice with cognitive decline. Therefore, our results suggest that the development of cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes may be implicated to an unbalanced metabolism in neuron-astrocyte cooperation and an enhancement of gluconeogenesis. © The Author(s) 2016.

  14. Primary cultures of astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lange, Sofie C; Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2012-01-01

    During the past few decades of astrocyte research it has become increasingly clear that astrocytes have taken a central position in all central nervous system activities. Much of our new understanding of astrocytes has been derived from studies conducted with primary cultures of astrocytes...... subsequently found in vivo. Nevertheless, primary cultures of astrocytes are an in vitro model that does not fully mimic the complex events occurring in vivo. Here we present an overview of the numerous contributions generated by the use of primary astrocyte cultures to uncover the diverse functions...... of astrocytes. Many of these discoveries would not have been possible to achieve without the use of astrocyte cultures. Additionally, we address and discuss the concerns that have been raised regarding the use of primary cultures of astrocytes as an experimental model system....

  15. Memory in astrocytes: a hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caudle Robert M

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent work has indicated an increasingly complex role for astrocytes in the central nervous system. Astrocytes are now known to exchange information with neurons at synaptic junctions and to alter the information processing capabilities of the neurons. As an extension of this trend a hypothesis was proposed that astrocytes function to store information. To explore this idea the ion channels in biological membranes were compared to models known as cellular automata. These comparisons were made to test the hypothesis that ion channels in the membranes of astrocytes form a dynamic information storage device. Results Two dimensional cellular automata were found to behave similarly to ion channels in a membrane when they function at the boundary between order and chaos. The length of time information is stored in this class of cellular automata is exponentially related to the number of units. Therefore the length of time biological ion channels store information was plotted versus the estimated number of ion channels in the tissue. This analysis indicates that there is an exponential relationship between memory and the number of ion channels. Extrapolation of this relationship to the estimated number of ion channels in the astrocytes of a human brain indicates that memory can be stored in this system for an entire life span. Interestingly, this information is not affixed to any physical structure, but is stored as an organization of the activity of the ion channels. Further analysis of two dimensional cellular automata also demonstrates that these systems have both associative and temporal memory capabilities. Conclusion It is concluded that astrocytes may serve as a dynamic information sink for neurons. The memory in the astrocytes is stored by organizing the activity of ion channels and is not associated with a physical location such as a synapse. In order for this form of memory to be of significant duration it is necessary

  16. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  17. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

    Full Text Available Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  18. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  19. Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamee, Sarah E; Liu, Kendra E; Gerhard, Stephan; Tran, Cathy T; Fetter, Richard D; Cardona, Albert; Tolbert, Leslie P; Oland, Lynne A

    2016-07-01

    Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic premotor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (Eaat1), and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within 1 μm of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1979-1998, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Nonproductive human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection of human fetal astrocytes: independence from CD4 and major chemokine receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabri, F; Tresoldi, E; Di Stefano, M; Polo, S; Monaco, M C; Verani, A; Fiore, J R; Lusso, P; Major, E; Chiodi, F; Scarlatti, G

    1999-11-25

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection of the brain is associated with neurological manifestations both in adults and in children. The primary target for HIV-1 infection in the brain is the microglia, but astrocytes can also be infected. We tested 26 primary HIV-1 isolates for their capacity to infect human fetal astrocytes in culture. Eight of these isolates, independent of their biological phenotype and chemokine receptor usage, were able to infect astrocytes. Although no sustained viral replication could be demonstrated, the virus was recovered by coculture with receptive cells such as macrophages or on stimulation with interleukin-1beta. To gain knowledge into the molecular events that regulate attachment and penetration of HIV-1 in astrocytes, we investigated the expression of several chemokine receptors. Fluorocytometry and calcium-mobilization assay did not provide evidence of expression of any of the major HIV-1 coreceptors, including CXCR4, CCR5, CCR3, and CCR2b, as well as the CD4 molecule on the cell surface of human fetal astrocytes. However, mRNA transcripts for CXCR4, CCR5, Bonzo/STRL33/TYMSTR, and APJ were detected by RT-PCR. Furthermore, infection of astrocytes by HIV-1 isolates with different chemokine receptor usage was not inhibited by the chemokines SDF-1beta, RANTES, MIP-1beta, or MCP-1 or by antibodies directed against the third variable region or the CD4 binding site of gp120. These data show that astrocytes can be infected by primary HIV-1 isolates via a mechanism independent of CD4 or major chemokine receptors. Furthermore, astrocytes are potential carriers of latent HIV-1 and on activation may be implicated in spreading the infection to other neighbouring cells, such as microglia or macrophages. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  1. Inducible targeting of CNS astrocytes in Aldh1l1-CreERT2 BAC transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winchenbach, Jan; Düking, Tim; Berghoff, Stefan A; Stumpf, Sina K; Hülsmann, Swen; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Saher, Gesine

    2016-01-01

    Background: Studying astrocytes in higher brain functions has been hampered by the lack of genetic tools for the efficient expression of inducible Cre recombinase throughout the CNS, including the neocortex. Methods: Therefore, we generated BAC transgenic mice, in which CreERT2 is expressed under control of the Aldh1l1 regulatory region. Results: When crossbred to Cre reporter mice, adult Aldh1l1-CreERT2 mice show efficient gene targeting in astrocytes. No such Cre-mediated recombination was detectable in CNS neurons, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. As expected, Aldh1l1-CreERT2 expression was evident in several peripheral organs, including liver and kidney. Conclusions: Taken together, Aldh1l1-CreERT2 mice are a useful tool for studying astrocytes in neurovascular coupling, brain metabolism, synaptic plasticity and other aspects of neuron-glia interactions.

  2. Upregulation of adenosine kinase in astrocytes in experimental and human temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronica, Eleonora; Zurolo, Emanuele; Iyer, Anand; de Groot, Marjolein; Anink, Jasper; Carbonell, Caterina; van Vliet, Erwin A; Baayen, Johannes C; Boison, Detlev; Gorter, Jan A

    2011-09-01

    Adenosine kinase (ADK) represents the key metabolic enzyme for the regulation of extracellular adenosine levels in the brain. In adult brain, ADK is primarily present in astrocytes. Several lines of experimental evidence support a critical role of ADK in different types of brain injury associated with astrogliosis, which is also a prominent morphologic feature of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We hypothesized that dysregulation of ADK is an ubiquitous pathologic hallmark of TLE. Using immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis, we investigated ADK protein expression in a rat model of TLE during epileptogenesis and the chronic epileptic phase and compared those findings with tissue resected from TLE patients with mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS). In rat control hippocampus and cortex, a low baseline expression of ADK was found with mainly nuclear localization. One week after the electrical induction of status epilepticus (SE), prominent up-regulation of ADK became evident in astrocytes with a characteristic cytoplasmic localization. This increase in ADK persisted at least for 3-4 months after SE in rats developing a progressive form of epilepsy. In line with the findings from the rat model, expression of astrocytic ADK was also found to be increased in the hippocampus and temporal cortex of patients with TLE. In addition, in vitro experiments in human astrocyte cultures showed that ADK expression was increased by several proinflammatory molecules (interleukin-1β and lipopolysaccharide). These results suggest that dysregulation of ADK in astrocytes is a common pathologic hallmark of TLE. Moreover, in vitro data suggest the existence of an additional layer of modulatory crosstalk between the astrocyte-based adenosine cycle and inflammation. Whether this interaction also can play a role in vivo needs to be further investigated. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2011 International League Against Epilepsy.

  3. Immune and inflammatory responses in the CNS : Modulation by astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, Milena; aschner, michael; hidalgo, juan

    2008-01-01

    Beyond their long-recognized support functions, astrocytes are active partners of neurons in processing information, synaptic integration, and production of trophic factors, just to name a few. Both microglia and astrocytes produce and secrete a number of cytokines, modulating and integrating...... the communication between hematogenous cells and resident cells of the central nervous system (CNS). This review will address (1) the functions of astrocytes in the normal brain and (2) their role in surveying noxious stimuli within the brain, with particular emphasis on astrocytic responses to damage or disease...

  4. Development of antibody-modified chitosan nanoparticles for the targeted delivery of siRNA across the blood-brain barrier as a strategy for inhibiting HIV replication in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Jijin; Al-Bayati, Karam; Ho, Emmanuel A

    2017-08-01

    RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated gene silencing offers a novel treatment and prevention strategy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV was found to infect and replicate in human brain cells and can cause neuroinfections and neurological deterioration. We designed dual-antibody-modified chitosan/small interfering RNA (siRNA) nanoparticles to deliver siRNA across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) targeting HIV-infected brain astrocytes as a strategy for inhibiting HIV replication. We hypothesized that transferrin antibody and bradykinin B2 antibody could specifically bind to the transferrin receptor (TfR) and bradykinin B2 receptor (B2R), respectively, and deliver siRNA across the BBB into astrocytes as potential targeting ligands. In this study, chitosan nanoparticles (CS-NPs) were prepared by a complex coacervation method in the presence of siRNA, and antibody was chemically conjugated to the nanoparticles. The antibody-modified chitosan nanoparticles (Ab-CS-NPs) were spherical in shape, with an average particle size of 235.7 ± 10.2 nm and a zeta potential of 22.88 ± 1.78 mV. The therapeutic potential of the nanoparticles was evaluated based on their cellular uptake and gene silencing efficiency. Cellular accumulation and gene silencing efficiency of Ab-CS-NPs in astrocytes were significantly improved compared to non-modified CS-NPs and single-antibody-modified CS-NPs. These results suggest that the combination of anti-Tf antibody and anti-B2 antibody significantly increased the knockdown effect of siRNA-loaded nanoparticles. Thus, antibody-mediated dual-targeting nanoparticles are an efficient and promising delivery strategy for inhibiting HIV replication in astrocytes. Graphical abstract Graphic representation of dual-antibody-conjugated chitosan nanoparticles for the targeted delivery of siRNA across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) for inhibiting HIV replication in astrocytes. a Nanoparticle delivery to the BBB and penetration. b Tf

  5. Multifunctional role of astrocytes as gatekeepers of neuronal energy supply

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jillian L Stobart

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Dynamic adjustments to neuronal energy supply in response to synaptic activity are critical for neuronal function. Glial cells known as astrocytes have processes that ensheath most central synapses and express G-protein-coupled neurotransmitter receptors and transporters that respond to neuronal activity. Astrocytes also release substrates for neuronal oxidative phosphorylation and have processes that terminate on the surface of brain arterioles and can influence vascular smooth muscle tone and local blood flow. Membrane receptor or transporter-mediated effects of glutamate represent a convergence point of astrocyte influence on neuronal bioenergetics. Astrocytic glutamate uptake drives glycolysis and subsequent shuttling of lactate from astrocytes to neurons for oxidative metabolism. Astrocytes also convert synaptically reclaimed glutamate to glutamine, which is returned to neurons for glutamate salvage or oxidation. Finally, astrocytes store brain energy currency in the form of glycogen, which can be mobilized to produce lactate for neuronal oxidative phosphorylation in response to glutamatergic neurotransmission. These mechanisms couple synaptically-driven astrocytic responses to glutamate with release of energy substrates back to neurons to match demand with supply. In addition, astrocytes directly influence the tone of penetrating brain arterioles in response to glutamatergic neurotransmission, coordinating dynamic regulation of local blood flow. We will describe the role of astrocytes in neurometabolic and neurovascular coupling in detail and discuss, in turn, how astrocyte dysfunction may contribute to neuronal bioenergetic deficit and neurodegeneration. Understanding the role of astrocytes as a hub for neurometabolic and neurovascular coupling mechanisms is a critical underpinning for therapeutic development in a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by chronic generalized brain ischemia and brain microvascular

  6. The CNS microvascular pericyte: pericyte-astrocyte crosstalk in the regulation of tissue survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonkowski Drew

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The French scientist Charles Benjamin Rouget identified the pericyte nearly 140 years ago. Since that time the role of the pericyte in vascular function has been difficult to elucidate. It was not until the development of techniques to isolate and culture pericytes that scientists have begun to understand the true impact of this unique cell in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. In the brain the pericyte is an integral cellular component of the blood-brain barrier and, together with other cells of the neurovascular unit (endothelial cells, astrocytes and neurons the pericyte makes fine-tuned regulatory adjustments and adaptations to promote tissue survival. These regulatory changes involve trans-cellular communication networks between cells. In this review we consider evidence for cell-to-cell crosstalk between pericytes and astrocytes during development and in adult brain.

  7. Novel insights into the role of NF-κB p50 in astrocyte-mediated fate specification of adult neural progenitor cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Bortolotto

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Within the CNS nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB transcription factors are involved in a wide range of functions both in homeostasis and in pathology. Over the years, our and other groups produced a vast array of information on the complex involvement of NF-κB proteins in different aspects of postnatal neurogenesis. In particular, several extracellular signals and membrane receptors have been identified as being able to affect neural progenitor cells (NPC and their progeny via NF-κB activation. A crucial role in the regulation of neuronal fate specification in adult hippocampal NPC is played by the NF-κB p50 subunit. NF-κB p50KO mice display a remarkable reduction in adult hippocampal neurogenesis which correlates with a selective defect in hippocampal-dependent short-term memory. Moreover absence of NF-κB p50 can profoundly affect the in vitro proneurogenic response of adult hippocampal NPC (ahNPC to several endogenous signals and drugs. Herein we briefly review the current knowledge on the pivotal role of NF-κB p50 in the regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. In addition we discuss more recent data that further extend the relevance of NF-κB p50 to novel astroglia-derived signals which can influence neuronal specification of ahNPC and to astrocyte-NPC cross-talk.

  8. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) enhances GABA transport by modulating the trafficking of GABA transporter-1 (GAT-1) from the plasma membrane of rat cortical astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vaz, Sandra H; Jørgensen, Trine Nygaard; Cristóvão-Ferreira, Sofia

    2011-01-01

    /MAPK pathway and requires active adenosine A(2A) receptors. Transport through GAT-3 is not affected by BDNF. To elucidate if BDNF affects trafficking of GAT-1 in astrocytes, we generated and infected astrocytes with a functional mutant of the rat GAT-1 (rGAT-1) in which the hemagglutinin (HA) epitope...

  9. DJ-1 KNOCK-DOWN IMPAIRS ASTROCYTE MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    LARSEN, N. J.; AMBROSI, G.; MULLETT, S. J.; BERMAN, S. B.; HINKLE, D. A.

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD brain tissues show evidence for mitochondrial respiratory chain Complex I deficiency. Pharmacological inhibitors of Complex I, such as rotenone, cause experimental parkinsonism. The cytoprotective protein DJ-1, whose deletion is sufficient to cause genetic PD, is also known to have mitochondria-stabilizing properties. We have previously shown that DJ-1 is over-expressed in PD astrocytes, and that DJ-1 deficiency impairs the capacity of astrocytes to protect co-cultured neurons against rotenone. Since DJ-1 modulated, astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection against rotenone may depend upon proper astrocytic mitochondrial functioning, we hypothesized that DJ-1 deficiency would impair astrocyte mitochondrial motility, fission/fusion dynamics, membrane potential maintenance, and respiration, both at baseline and as an enhancement of rotenone-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. In astrocyte-enriched cultures, we observed that DJ-1 knock-down reduced mitochondrial motility primarily in the cellular processes of both untreated and rotenone treated cells. In these same cultures, DJ-1 knock-down did not appreciably affect mitochondrial fission, fusion, or respiration, but did enhance rotenone-induced reductions in the mitochondrial membrane potential. In neuron–astrocyte co-cultures, astrocytic DJ-1 knock-down reduced astrocyte process mitochondrial motility in untreated cells, but this effect was not maintained in the presence of rotenone. In the same co-cultures, astrocytic DJ-1 knock-down significantly reduced mitochondrial fusion in the astrocyte cell bodies, but not the processes, under the same conditions of rotenone treatment in which DJ-1 deficiency is known to impair astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection. Our studies therefore demonstrated the following new findings: (i) DJ-1 deficiency can impair astrocyte mitochondrial physiology at multiple levels, (ii) astrocyte

  10. Astrocyte mega-domain hypothesis of the autistic savantism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitterauer, Bernhard J

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with autism who show high abilities are called savants. Whereas in their brains a disconnection in and between neural networks has been identified, savantism is yet poorly understood. Focusing on astrocyte domain organization, it is hypothesized that local astrocyte mega-organizations may be responsible for exerting high capabilities in brains of autistic savants. Astrocytes, the dominant glial cell type, modulate synaptic information transmission. Each astrocyte is organized in non-overlapping domains. Formally, each astrocyte contacting n-neurons with m-synapses via its processes generates dynamic domains of synaptic interactions based on qualitative computation criteria, and hereby it structures neuronal information processing. If the number of processes is genetically significantly increased, these astrocytes operate in a mega-domain with a higher complexitiy of computation. From this model savant abilities are deduced. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Calcium dynamics of cortical astrocytic networks in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajime Hirase

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Large and long-lasting cytosolic calcium surges in astrocytes have been described in cultured cells and acute slice preparations. The mechanisms that give rise to these calcium events have been extensively studied in vitro. However, their existence and functions in the intact brain are unknown. We have topically applied Fluo-4 AM on the cerebral cortex of anesthetized rats, and imaged cytosolic calcium fluctuation in astrocyte populations of superficial cortical layers in vivo, using two-photon laser scanning microscopy. Spontaneous [Ca(2+](i events in individual astrocytes were similar to those observed in vitro. Coordination of [Ca(2+](i events among astrocytes was indicated by the broad cross-correlograms. Increased neuronal discharge was associated with increased astrocytic [Ca(2+](i activity in individual cells and a robust coordination of [Ca(2+](i signals in neighboring astrocytes. These findings indicate potential neuron-glia communication in the intact brain.

  12. Astrocytes at the Hub of the Stress Response: Potential Modulation of Neurogenesis by miRNAs in Astrocyte-Derived Exosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luarte, Alejandro; Cisternas, Pablo; Caviedes, Ariel; Batiz, Luis Federico; Lafourcade, Carlos; Wyneken, Ursula; Henzi, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Repetitive stress negatively affects several brain functions and neuronal networks. Moreover, adult neurogenesis is consistently impaired in chronic stress models and in associated human diseases such as unipolar depression and bipolar disorder, while it is restored by effective antidepressant treatments. The adult neurogenic niche contains neural progenitor cells in addition to amplifying progenitors, neuroblasts, immature and mature neurons, pericytes, astrocytes, and microglial cells. Because of their particular and crucial position, with their end feet enwrapping endothelial cells and their close communication with the cells of the niche, astrocytes might constitute a nodal point to bridge or transduce systemic stress signals from peripheral blood, such as glucocorticoids, to the cells involved in the neurogenic process. It has been proposed that communication between astrocytes and niche cells depends on direct cell-cell contacts and soluble mediators. In addition, new evidence suggests that this communication might be mediated by extracellular vesicles such as exosomes, and in particular, by their miRNA cargo. Here, we address some of the latest findings regarding the impact of stress in the biology of the neurogenic niche, and postulate how astrocytic exosomes (and miRNAs) may play a fundamental role in such phenomenon.

  13. Astrocytes at the Hub of the Stress Response: Potential Modulation of Neurogenesis by miRNAs in Astrocyte-Derived Exosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Luarte

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Repetitive stress negatively affects several brain functions and neuronal networks. Moreover, adult neurogenesis is consistently impaired in chronic stress models and in associated human diseases such as unipolar depression and bipolar disorder, while it is restored by effective antidepressant treatments. The adult neurogenic niche contains neural progenitor cells in addition to amplifying progenitors, neuroblasts, immature and mature neurons, pericytes, astrocytes, and microglial cells. Because of their particular and crucial position, with their end feet enwrapping endothelial cells and their close communication with the cells of the niche, astrocytes might constitute a nodal point to bridge or transduce systemic stress signals from peripheral blood, such as glucocorticoids, to the cells involved in the neurogenic process. It has been proposed that communication between astrocytes and niche cells depends on direct cell-cell contacts and soluble mediators. In addition, new evidence suggests that this communication might be mediated by extracellular vesicles such as exosomes, and in particular, by their miRNA cargo. Here, we address some of the latest findings regarding the impact of stress in the biology of the neurogenic niche, and postulate how astrocytic exosomes (and miRNAs may play a fundamental role in such phenomenon.

  14. New aspects of fenestrated vasculature and tissue dynamics in the sensory circumventricular organs of adult brains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seiji eMiyata

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The blood–brain barrier (BBB generally consists of endothelial tight junction barriers that prevent the free entry of blood-derived substances, thereby maintaining the extracellular environment of the brain. However, the circumventricular organs (CVOs, which are located along the midlines of the brain ventricles, lack these endothelial barriers and have fenestrated capillaries; therefore, they have a number of essential functions, including the transduction of information between the blood circulation and brain. Previous studies have demonstrated the extensive contribution of the CVOs to body fluid and thermal homeostasis, energy balance, the chemoreception of blood-derived substances, and neuroinflammation. In this review, recent advances have been discussed in fenestrated capillary characterization and dynamic tissue reconstruction accompanied by angiogenesis and neurogliogenesis in the sensory CVOs of adult brains. The sensory CVOs, including the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT, subfornical organ (SFO, and area postrema (AP, have size-selective and heterogeneous vascular permeabilities. Astrocyte-/tanycyte-like neural stem cells (NSCs sense blood- and cerebrospinal fluid-derived information through the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, a mechanical/osmotic receptor, Toll-like receptor 4, a lipopolysaccharide receptor, and Nax, a Na-sensing Na channel. They also express tight junction proteins and densely and tightly surround mature neurons to protect them from blood-derived neurotoxic substances, indicating that the NSCs of the CVOs perform BBB functions while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into new neurons and glial cells. In addition to neurogliogenesis, the density of fenestrated capillaries is regulated by angiogenesis, which is accompanied by the active proliferation and sprouting of endothelial cells. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF signaling may be involved in angiogenesis and

  15. Disruption of the blood-brain interface in neonatal rat neocortex induces a transient expression of metallothionein in reactive astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, M; Moos, T

    1995-01-01

    rats were subjected to a localized freeze lesion of the neocortex of the right temporal cortex. This lesion results in a disrupted blood-brain interface, leading to extravasation of plasma proteins. From 16 h, reactive astrocytosis, defined as an increase in the number and size of cells expressing GFAP...

  16. Effects of hypoglycaemia on neuronal metabolism in the adult brain: role of alternative substrates to glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, Ana I

    2013-07-01

    Hypoglycaemia is characterized by decreased blood glucose levels and is associated with different pathologies (e.g. diabetes, inborn errors of metabolism). Depending on its severity, it might affect cognitive functions, including impaired judgment and decreased memory capacity, which have been linked to alterations of brain energy metabolism. Glucose is the major cerebral energy substrate in the adult brain and supports the complex metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes, which are essential for synaptic activity. Therefore, hypoglycaemia disturbs cerebral metabolism and, consequently, neuronal function. Despite the high vulnerability of neurons to hypoglycaemia, important neurochemical changes enabling these cells to prolong their resistance to hypoglycaemia have been described. This review aims at providing an overview over the main metabolic effects of hypoglycaemia on neurons, covering in vitro and in vivo findings. Recent studies provided evidence that non-glucose substrates including pyruvate, glycogen, ketone bodies, glutamate, glutamine, and aspartate, are metabolized by neurons in the absence of glucose and contribute to prolong neuronal function and delay ATP depletion during hypoglycaemia. One of the pathways likely implicated in the process is the pyruvate recycling pathway, which allows for the full oxidation of glutamate and glutamine. The operation of this pathway in neurons, particularly after hypoglycaemia, has been re-confirmed recently using metabolic modelling tools (i.e. Metabolic Flux Analysis), which allow for a detailed investigation of cellular metabolism in cultured cells. Overall, the knowledge summarized herein might be used for the development of potential therapies targeting neuronal protection in patients vulnerable to hypoglycaemic episodes.

  17. CT brain demonstration of basal ganglion calcification in adult HIV ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    brain barrier has been postulated. Calcification of the basal ganglia in encephalopathic HIV/AIDS children has been relatively well documented. Only two adult HIV cases with basal ganglion calcification (BGC) have been reported in the literature.

  18. Guidelines for Better Communication with Brain Impaired Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... FCA - A A + A You are here Home Guidelines for Better Communication with Brain-Impaired Adults Printer- ... there are no easy solutions, following some basic guidelines should ease communication, and lower levels of stress ...

  19. Metallothionein-I overexpression decreases brain pathology in transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted expression of interleukin-6

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Molinero, Amalia; Penkowa, Milena; Hernández, Joaquín

    2003-01-01

    in this report support the idea that the upregulation of MT-I observed in GFAP-IL6 mice is an important mechanism for coping with brain damage. Thus, GFAP-IL6 mice that were crossed with TgMTI transgenic mice (GFAP-IL6xTgMTI) and overexpressed MT-I in the brain showed a decreased upregulation of cytokines...... such as IL-6 and a diminished recruitment and activation of macrophages and T cells throughout the CNS but mainly in the cerebellum. The GFAP-IL6 mice showed clear evidence of increased oxidative stress, which was significantly decreased by MT-I overexpression. Interestingly, MT-I overexpression increased...

  20. Oxidative metabolism of astrocytes is not reduced in hepatic encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iversen, Peter; Mouridsen, Kim; Hansen, Mikkel B

    2014-01-01

    In patients with impaired liver function and hepatic encephalopathy (HE), consistent elevations of blood ammonia concentration suggest a crucial role in the pathogenesis of HE. Ammonia and acetate are metabolized in brain both primarily in astrocytes. Here, we used dynamic [(11)C]acetate PET...... of the brain to measure the contribution of astrocytes to the previously observed reduction of brain oxidative metabolism in patients with liver cirrhosis and HE, compared to patients with cirrhosis without HE, and to healthy subjects. We used a new kinetic model to estimate uptake from blood to astrocytes...

  1. Astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases (I): function and molecular description.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillamón-Vivancos, T; Gómez-Pinedo, U; Matías-Guiu, J

    2015-03-01

    Astrocytes have been considered mere supporting cells in the CNS. However, we now know that astrocytes are actively involved in many of the functions of the CNS and may play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases. This article reviews the roles astrocytes play in CNS development and plasticity; control of synaptic transmission; regulation of blood flow, energy, and metabolism; formation of the blood-brain barrier; regulation of the circadian rhythms, lipid metabolism and secretion of lipoproteins; and in neurogenesis. Astrocyte markers and the functions of astrogliosis are also described. Astrocytes play an active role in the CNS. A good knowledge of astrocytes is essential to understanding the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  2. Astrocytes in physiological aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Arellano, J J; Parpura, V; Zorec, R; Verkhratsky, A

    2016-05-26

    Astrocytes are fundamental for homoeostasis, defence and regeneration of the central nervous system. Loss of astroglial function and astroglial reactivity contributes to the aging of the brain and to neurodegenerative diseases. Changes in astroglia in aging and neurodegeneration are highly heterogeneous and region-specific. In animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) astrocytes undergo degeneration and atrophy at the early stages of pathological progression, which possibly may alter the homeostatic reserve of the brain and contribute to early cognitive deficits. At later stages of AD reactive astrocytes are associated with neurite plaques, the feature commonly found in animal models and in human diseased tissue. In animal models of the AD reactive astrogliosis develops in some (e.g. in the hippocampus) but not in all regions of the brain. For instance, in entorhinal and prefrontal cortices astrocytes do not mount gliotic response to emerging β-amyloid deposits. These deficits in reactivity coincide with higher vulnerability of these regions to AD-type pathology. Astroglial morphology and function can be regulated through environmental stimulation and/or medication suggesting that astrocytes can be regarded as a target for therapies aimed at the prevention and cure of neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Astrocytes, therapeutic targets for neuroprotection and neurorestoration in ischemic stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhongwu; Chopp, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type within the central nervous system. They play essential roles in maintaining normal brain function, as they are a critical structural and functional part of the tripartite synapses and the neurovascular unit, and communicate with neurons, oligodendrocytes and endothelial cells. After an ischemic stroke, astrocytes perform multiple functions both detrimental and beneficial, for neuronal survival during the acute phase. Aspects of the astrocytic inflammatory response to stroke may aggravate the ischemic lesion, but astrocytes also provide benefit for neuroprotection, by limiting lesion extension via anti-excitotoxicity effects and releasing neurotrophins. Similarly, during the late recovery phase after stroke, the glial scar may obstruct axonal regeneration and subsequently reduce the functional outcome; however, astrocytes also contribute to angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and axonal remodeling, and thereby promote neurological recovery. Thus, the pivotal involvement of astrocytes in normal brain function and responses to an ischemic lesion designates them as excellent therapeutic targets to improve functional outcome following stroke. In this review, we will focus on functions of astrocytes and astrocyte-mediated events during stroke and recovery. We will provide an overview of approaches on how to reduce the detrimental effects and amplify the beneficial effects of astrocytes on neuroprotection and on neurorestoration post stroke, which may lead to novel and clinically relevant therapies for stroke. PMID:26455456

  4. Delayed astrocytic contact with cerebral blood vessels in FGF-2 deficient mice does not compromise permeability properties at the developing blood-brain barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Norman R; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M; Unsicker, Klaus; Ek, C Joakim

    2016-11-01

    The brain functions within a specialized environment tightly controlled by brain barrier mechanisms. Understanding the regulation of barrier formation is important for understanding brain development and may also lead to finding new ways to deliver pharmacotherapies to the brain; access of many potentially promising drugs is severely hindered by these barrier mechanisms. The cellular composition of the neurovascular unit of the blood-brain barrier proper and their effects on regulation of its function are beginning to be understood. One hallmark of the neurovascular unit in the adult is the astroglial foot processes that tightly surround cerebral blood vessels. However their role in barrier formation is still unclear. In this study we examined barrier function in newborn, juvenile and adult mice lacking fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), which has been shown to result in altered astroglial differentiation during development. We show that during development of FGF-2 deficient mice the astroglial contacts with cerebral blood vessels are delayed compared with wild-type animals. However, this delay did not result in changes to the permeability properties of the blood brain barrier as assessed by exclusion of either small or larger sized molecules at this interface. In addition cerebral vessels were positive for tight-junction proteins and we observed no difference in the ultrastructure of the tight-junctions. The results indicate that the direct contact of astroglia processes to cerebral blood vessels is not necessary for either the formation of the tight-junctions or for basic permeability properties and function of the blood-brain barrier. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1201-1212, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Astrocytic Vesicle Mobility in Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Zorec

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are no longer considered subservient to neurons, and are, instead, now understood to play an active role in brain signaling. The intercellular communication of astrocytes with neurons and other non-neuronal cells involves the exchange of molecules by exocytotic and endocytotic processes through the trafficking of intracellular vesicles. Recent studies of single vesicle mobility in astrocytes have prompted new views of how astrocytes contribute to information processing in nervous tissue. Here, we review the trafficking of several types of membrane-bound vesicles that are specifically involved in the processes of (i intercellular communication by gliotransmitters (glutamate, adenosine 5'-triphosphate, atrial natriuretic peptide, (ii plasma membrane exchange of transporters and receptors (EAAT2, MHC-II, and (iii the involvement of vesicle mobility carrying aquaporins (AQP4 in water homeostasis. The properties of vesicle traffic in astrocytes are discussed in respect to networking with neighboring cells in physiologic and pathologic conditions, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and states in which astrocytes contribute to neuroinflammatory conditions.

  6. Glucocorticoid regulation of astrocytic fate and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuang Yu

    Full Text Available Glial loss in the hippocampus has been suggested as a factor in the pathogenesis of stress-related brain disorders that are characterized by dysregulated glucocorticoid (GC secretion. However, little is known about the regulation of astrocytic fate by GC. Here, we show that astrocytes derived from the rat hippocampus undergo growth inhibition and display moderate activation of caspase 3 after exposure to GC. Importantly, the latter event, observed both in situ and in primary astrocytic cultures is not followed by either early- or late-stage apoptosis, as monitored by stage I or stage II DNA fragmentation. Thus, unlike hippocampal granule neurons, astrocytes are resistant to GC-induced apoptosis; this resistance is due to lower production of reactive oxygen species (ROS and a greater buffering capacity against the cytotoxic actions of ROS. We also show that GC influence hippocampal cell fate by inducing the expression of astrocyte-derived growth factors implicated in the control of neural precursor cell proliferation. Together, our results suggest that GC instigate a hitherto unknown dialog between astrocytes and neural progenitors, adding a new facet to understanding how GC influence the cytoarchitecture of the hippocampus.

  7. Inducible targeting of CNS astrocytes in Aldh1l1-CreERT2 BAC transgenic mice [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Winchenbach

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Studying astrocytes in higher brain functions has been hampered by the lack of genetic tools for the efficient expression of inducible Cre recombinase throughout the CNS, including the neocortex. Methods: Therefore, we generated BAC transgenic mice, in which CreERT2 is expressed under control of the Aldh1l1 regulatory region. Results: When crossbred to Cre reporter mice, adult Aldh1l1-CreERT2 mice show efficient gene targeting in astrocytes. No such Cre-mediated recombination was detectable in CNS neurons, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. As expected, Aldh1l1-CreERT2 expression was evident in several peripheral organs, including liver and kidney. Conclusions: Taken together, Aldh1l1-CreERT2 mice are a useful tool for studying astrocytes in neurovascular coupling, brain metabolism, synaptic plasticity and other aspects of neuron-glia interactions.

  8. Transcriptomic analyses of primary astrocytes under TNFα treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cindy Birck

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell population in the central nervous system, have important functional roles in the brain as blood brain barrier maintenance, synaptic transmission or intercellular communications [1,2]. Numerous studies suggested that astrocytes exhibit a functional and morphological high degree of plasticity. For example, following any brain injury, astrocytes become reactive and hypertrophic. This phenomenon, also called reactive gliosis, is characterized by a set of progressive gene expression and cellular changes [3]. Interestingly, in this context, astrocytes can re-acquire neurogenic properties. It has been shown that astrocytes can undergo dedifferentiation upon injury and inflammation, and may re-acquire the potentiality of neural progenitors [4,5,6,7].To assess the effect of inflammation on astrocytes, primary mouse astrocytes were treated with tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα, one of the main pro-inflammatory cytokines. The strength of this study is that pure primary astrocytes were used. As microglia are highly reactive immune cells, we used a magnetic cell sorting separation (MACS method to further obtain highly pure astrocyte cultures devoid of microglia.Here, we provide details of the microarray data, which have been deposited in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO under the series accession number GSE73022. The analysis and interpretation of these data are included in Gabel et al. (2015. Analysis of gene expression indicated that the NFκB pathway-associated genes were induced after a TNFα treatment. We have shown that primary astrocytes devoid of microglia can respond to a TNFα treatment with the re-expression of genes implicated in the glial cell development. Keywords: Primary astrocytes, Inflammation, Microarrays, Gene expression

  9. The effects of vitamin D on brain development and adult brain function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesby, James P; Eyles, Darryl W; Burne, Thomas H J; McGrath, John J

    2011-12-05

    A role for vitamin D in brain development and function has been gaining support over the last decade. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that this vitamin is actually a neuroactive steroid that acts on brain development, leading to alterations in brain neurochemistry and adult brain function. Early deficiencies have been linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and adult deficiencies have been associated with a host of adverse brain outcomes, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and cognitive decline. This review summarises the current state of research on the actions of vitamin D in the brain and the consequences of deficiencies in this vitamin. Furthermore, we discuss specific implications of vitamin D status on the neurotransmitter, dopamine. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Specificity of exogenous acetate and glutamate as astrocyte substrates examined in acute brain slices from female mice using methionine sulfoximine (MSO) to inhibit glutamine synthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jens Velde; McNair, Laura Frendrup; Schousboe, Arne

    2017-01-01

    Removal of endogenously released glutamate is mediated primarily by astrocytes and exogenous (13) C-labeled glutamate has been applied to study glutamate metabolism in astrocytes. Likewise, studies have clearly established the relevance of (13) C-labeled acetate as an astrocyte specific metabolic...... cortical slices from female NMRI mice were incubated in media containing [1,2-(13) C]acetate or [U-(13) C]glutamate, with or without methionine sulfoximine (MSO) to inhibit glutamine synthetase (GS). Tissue extracts were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Blocking GS abolished the majority...... of glutamine (13) C-labeling from [1,2-(13) C]acetate as intended. However, (13) C-labeling of GABA was only 40-50% reduced by MSO, suggesting considerable neuronal uptake of acetate. Moreover, labeling of glutamate from [1,2-(13) C]acetate in the presence of MSO exceeded the level probable from exclusive...

  11. A phase plane analysis of neuron-astrocyte interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiri, Mahmood; Montaseri, Ghazal; Bahrami, Fariba

    2013-08-01

    Intensive experimental studies have shown that astrocytes are active partners in modulation of synaptic transmission. In the present research, we study neuron-astrocyte signaling using a biologically inspired model of one neuron synapsing one astrocyte. In this model, the firing dynamics of the neuron is described by the Morris-Lecar model and the Ca(2+) dynamics of a single astrocyte explained by a functional model introduced by Postnov and colleagues. Using the coupled neuron-astrocyte model and based on the results of the phase plane analyses, it is demonstrated that the astrocyte is able to activate the silent neuron or change the neuron spiking frequency through bidirectional communication. This suggests that astrocyte feedback signaling is capable of modulating spike transmission frequency by changing neuron spiking frequency. This effect is described by a saddle-node on invariant circle bifurcation in the coupled neuron-astrocyte model. In this way, our results suggest that the neuron-astrocyte crosstalk has a fundamental role in producing diverse neuronal activities and therefore enhances the information processing capabilities of the brain. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The multi-dimensional roles of astrocytes in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Koji; Komine, Okiru

    2018-01-01

    Despite significant progress in understanding the molecular and genetic aspects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons, the precise and comprehensive pathomechanisms remain largely unknown. In addition to motor neuron involvement, recent studies using cellular and animal models of ALS indicate that there is a complex interplay between motor neurons and neighboring non-neuronal cells, such as astrocytes, in non-cell autonomous neurodegeneration. Astrocytes are key homeostatic cells that play numerous supportive roles in maintaining the brain environment. In neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, astrocytes change their shape and molecular expression patterns and are referred to as reactive or activated astrocytes. Reactive astrocytes in ALS lose their beneficial functions and gain detrimental roles. In addition, interactions between motor neurons and astrocytes are impaired in ALS. In this review, we summarize growing evidence that astrocytes are critically involved in the survival and demise of motor neurons through several key molecules and cascades in astrocytes in both sporadic and inherited ALS. These observations strongly suggest that astrocytes have multi-dimensional roles in disease and are a viable therapeutic target for ALS. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Identifying endogenous neural stem cells in the adult brain in vitro and in vivo: novel approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueger, Maria Adele; Androutsellis-Theotokis, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    In the 1960s, Joseph Altman reported that the adult mammalian brain is capable of generating new neurons. Today it is understood that some of these neurons are derived from uncommitted cells in the subventricular zone lining the lateral ventricles, and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. The first area generates new neuroblasts which migrate to the olfactory bulb, whereas hippocampal neurogenesis seems to play roles in particular types of learning and memory. A part of these uncommitted (immature) cells is able to divide and their progeny can generate all three major cell types of the nervous system: neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes; these properties define such cells as neural stem cells. Although the roles of these cells are not yet clear, it is accepted that they affect functions including olfaction and learning/memory. Experiments with insults to the central nervous system also show that neural stem cells are quickly mobilized due to injury and in various disorders by proliferating, and migrating to injury sites. This suggests a role of endogenous neural stem cells in disease. New pools of stem cells are being discovered, suggesting an even more important role for these cells. To understand these cells and to coax them to contribute to tissue repair it would be very useful to be able to image them in the living organism. Here we discuss advances in imaging approaches as well as new concepts that emerge from stem cell biology with emphasis on the interface between imaging and stem cells.

  14. Astrocytes mediate in vivo cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic transmission represents the cellular basis of learning and memory. Astrocytes have been shown to regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, their involvement in specific physiological processes that induce LTP in vivo remains unknown. Here we show that in vivo cholinergic activity evoked by sensory stimulation or electrical stimulation of the septal nucleus increases Ca²⁺ in hippocampal astrocytes and induces LTP of CA3-CA1 synapses, which requires cholinergic muscarinic (mAChR and metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR activation. Stimulation of cholinergic pathways in hippocampal slices evokes astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, postsynaptic depolarizations of CA1 pyramidal neurons, and LTP of transmitter release at single CA3-CA1 synapses. Like in vivo, these effects are mediated by mAChRs, and this cholinergic-induced LTP (c-LTP also involves mGluR activation. Astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations and LTP are absent in IP₃R2 knock-out mice. Downregulating astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal by loading astrocytes with BAPTA or GDPβS also prevents LTP, which is restored by simultaneous astrocyte Ca²⁺ uncaging and postsynaptic depolarization. Therefore, cholinergic-induced LTP requires astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, which stimulate astrocyte glutamate release that activates mGluRs. The cholinergic-induced LTP results from the temporal coincidence of the postsynaptic activity and the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal simultaneously evoked by cholinergic activity. Therefore, the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal is necessary for cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity, indicating that astrocytes are directly involved in brain storage information.

  15. Metallothionein-I overexpression alters brain inflammation and stimulates brain repair in transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted interleukin-6 expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, Milena; Camats, Jordi; Giralt, Mercedes

    2003-01-01

    injury, such as a cryolesion, demonstrate a neuroprotective role of IL-6. Thus, the GFAP-IL-6 mice showed faster tissue repair and decreased oxidative stress and apoptosis compared with control litter-mate mice. The neuroprotective factors metallothionein-I+II (MT-I+II) were upregulated by the cryolesion...... the inflammatory response, decreased oxidative stress and apoptosis significantly, and increased brain tissue repair in comparison with either GFAP-IL-6 or control litter-mate mice. Overall, the results demonstrate that brain MT-I+II proteins are fundamental neuroprotective factors....

  16. Deciphering the Astrocyte Reaction in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz G. Perez-Nievas

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Reactive astrocytes were identified as a component of senile amyloid plaques in the cortex of Alzheimer’s disease (AD patients several decades ago. However, their role in AD pathophysiology has remained elusive ever since, in part owing to the extrapolation of the literature from primary astrocyte cultures and acute brain injury models to a chronic neurodegenerative scenario. Recent accumulating evidence supports the idea that reactive astrocytes in AD acquire neurotoxic properties, likely due to both a gain of toxic function and a loss of their neurotrophic effects. However, the diversity and complexity of this glial cell is only beginning to be unveiled, anticipating that astrocyte reaction might be heterogeneous as well. Herein we review the evidence from mouse models of AD and human neuropathological studies and attempt to decipher the main conundrums that astrocytes pose to our understanding of AD development and progression. We discuss the morphological features that characterize astrocyte reaction in the AD brain, the consequences of astrocyte reaction for both astrocyte biology and AD pathological hallmarks, and the molecular pathways that have been implicated in this reaction.

  17. Astrocytic β2 Adrenergic Receptor Gene Deletion Affects Memory in Aged Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy Joanna Jensen

    Full Text Available In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that the astrocytic adrenergic signalling enhances glycogenolysis which provides energy to be transported to nearby cells and in the form of lactate. This energy source is important for motor and cognitive functioning. While it is suspected that the β2-adrenergic receptor on astrocytes might contribute to this energy balance, it has not yet been shown conclusively in vivo. Inducible astrocyte specific β2-adrenergic receptor knock-out mice were generated by crossing homozygous β2-adrenergic receptor floxed mice (Adrb2flox and mice with heterozygous tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase-expression driven by the astrocyte specific L-glutamate/L-aspartate transporter promoter (GLAST-CreERT2. Assessments using the modified SHIRPA (SmithKline/Harwell/Imperial College/Royal Hospital/Phenotype Assessment test battery, swimming ability test, and accelerating rotarod test, performed at 1, 2 and 4 weeks, 6 and 12 months after tamoxifen (or vehicle administration did not reveal any differences in physical health or motor functions between the knock-out mice and controls. However deficits were found in the cognitive ability of aged, but not young adult mice, reflected in impaired learning in the Morris Water Maze. Similarly, long-term potentiation (LTP was impaired in hippocampal brain slices of aged knock-out mice maintained in low glucose media. Using microdialysis in cerebellar white matter we found no significant differences in extracellular lactate or glucose between the young adult knock-out mice and controls, although trends were detected. Our results suggest that β2-adrenergic receptor expression on astrocytes in mice may be important for maintaining cognitive health at advanced age, but is dispensable for motor function.

  18. Redefining the role of metallothionein within the injured brain: extracellular metallothioneins play an important role in the astrocyte-neuron response to injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chung, Roger S; Penkowa, Milena; Dittmann, Justin

    2008-01-01

    for the first time the transfer of MT from astrocytes to neurons over a specific time course in vitro. Finally, we show that MT is rapidly internalized via the cell bodies of retinal ganglion cells in vivo and is a powerful promoter of axonal regeneration through the inhibitory environment of the completely...

  19. Computational Models for Calcium-Mediated Astrocyte Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiina Manninen

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The computational neuroscience field has heavily concentrated on the modeling of neuronal functions, largely ignoring other brain cells, including one type of glial cell, the astrocytes. Despite the short history of modeling astrocytic functions, we were delighted about the hundreds of models developed so far to study the role of astrocytes, most often in calcium dynamics, synchronization, information transfer, and plasticity in vitro, but also in vascular events, hyperexcitability, and homeostasis. Our goal here is to present the state-of-the-art in computational modeling of astrocytes in order to facilitate better understanding of the functions and dynamics of astrocytes in the brain. Due to the large number of models, we concentrated on a hundred models that include biophysical descriptions for calcium signaling and dynamics in astrocytes. We categorized the models into four groups: single astrocyte models, astrocyte network models, neuron-astrocyte synapse models, and neuron-astrocyte network models to ease their use in future modeling projects. We characterized the models based on which earlier models were used for building the models and which type of biological entities were described in the astrocyte models. Features of the models were compared and contrasted so that similarities and differences were more readily apparent. We discovered that most of the models were basically generated from a small set of previously published models with small variations. However, neither citations to all the previous models with similar core structure nor explanations of what was built on top of the previous models were provided, which made it possible, in some cases, to have the same models published several times without an explicit intention to make new predictions about the roles of astrocytes in brain functions. Furthermore, only a few of the models are available online which makes it difficult to reproduce the simulation results and further develop

  20. Computational Models for Calcium-Mediated Astrocyte Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manninen, Tiina; Havela, Riikka; Linne, Marja-Leena

    2018-01-01

    The computational neuroscience field has heavily concentrated on the modeling of neuronal functions, largely ignoring other brain cells, including one type of glial cell, the astrocytes. Despite the short history of modeling astrocytic functions, we were delighted about the hundreds of models developed so far to study the role of astrocytes, most often in calcium dynamics, synchronization, information transfer, and plasticity in vitro , but also in vascular events, hyperexcitability, and homeostasis. Our goal here is to present the state-of-the-art in computational modeling of astrocytes in order to facilitate better understanding of the functions and dynamics of astrocytes in the brain. Due to the large number of models, we concentrated on a hundred models that include biophysical descriptions for calcium signaling and dynamics in astrocytes. We categorized the models into four groups: single astrocyte models, astrocyte network models, neuron-astrocyte synapse models, and neuron-astrocyte network models to ease their use in future modeling projects. We characterized the models based on which earlier models were used for building the models and which type of biological entities were described in the astrocyte models. Features of the models were compared and contrasted so that similarities and differences were more readily apparent. We discovered that most of the models were basically generated from a small set of previously published models with small variations. However, neither citations to all the previous models with similar core structure nor explanations of what was built on top of the previous models were provided, which made it possible, in some cases, to have the same models published several times without an explicit intention to make new predictions about the roles of astrocytes in brain functions. Furthermore, only a few of the models are available online which makes it difficult to reproduce the simulation results and further develop the models. Thus

  1. Dichoptic training enables the adult amblyopic brain to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jinrong; Thompson, Benjamin; Deng, Daming; Chan, Lily Y L; Yu, Minbin; Hess, Robert F

    2013-04-22

    Adults with amblyopia, a common visual cortex disorder caused primarily by binocular disruption during an early critical period, do not respond to conventional therapy involving occlusion of one eye. But it is now clear that the adult human visual cortex has a significant degree of plasticity, suggesting that something must be actively preventing the adult brain from learning to see through the amblyopic eye. One possibility is an inhibitory signal from the contralateral eye that suppresses cortical inputs from the amblyopic eye. Such a gating mechanism could explain the apparent lack of plasticity within the adult amblyopic visual cortex. Here we provide direct evidence that alleviating suppression of the amblyopic eye through dichoptic stimulus presentation induces greater levels of plasticity than forced use of the amblyopic eye alone. This indicates that suppression is a key gating mechanism that prevents the amblyopic brain from learning to see. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Simultaneous neuron- and astrocyte-specific fluorescent marking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schulze, Wiebke [Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Hayata-Takano, Atsuko [Molecular Research Center for Children' s Mental Development, United Graduate School of Child Development, Osaka University, Kanazawa University, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Chiba University and University of Fukui, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Kamo, Toshihiko [Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Nakazawa, Takanobu, E-mail: takanobunakazawa-tky@umin.ac.jp [iPS Cell-based Research Project on Brain Neuropharmacology and Toxicology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Nagayasu, Kazuki [iPS Cell-based Research Project on Brain Neuropharmacology and Toxicology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Kasai, Atsushi; Seiriki, Kaoru [Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Interdisciplinary Program for Biomedical Sciences, Institute for Academic Initiatives, Osaka University, 1-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Shintani, Norihito [Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Ago, Yukio [Laboratory of Medicinal Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); Farfan, Camille [Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 (Japan); and others

    2015-03-27

    Systematic and simultaneous analysis of multiple cell types in the brain is becoming important, but such tools have not yet been adequately developed. Here, we aimed to generate a method for the specific fluorescent labeling of neurons and astrocytes, two major cell types in the brain, and we have developed lentiviral vectors to express the red fluorescent protein tdTomato in neurons and the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in astrocytes. Importantly, both fluorescent proteins are fused to histone 2B protein (H2B) to confer nuclear localization to distinguish between single cells. We also constructed several expression constructs, including a tandem alignment of the neuron- and astrocyte-expression cassettes for simultaneous labeling. Introducing these vectors and constructs in vitro and in vivo resulted in cell type-specific and nuclear-localized fluorescence signals enabling easy detection and distinguishability of neurons and astrocytes. This tool is expected to be utilized for the simultaneous analysis of changes in neurons and astrocytes in healthy and diseased brains. - Highlights: • We develop a method for the specific fluorescent labeling of neurons and astrocytes. • Neuron-specific labeling is achieved using Scg10 and synapsin promoters. • Astrocyte-specific labeling is generated using the minimal GFAP promoter. • Nuclear localization of fluorescent proteins is achieved with histone 2B protein.

  3. Simultaneous neuron- and astrocyte-specific fluorescent marking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulze, Wiebke; Hayata-Takano, Atsuko; Kamo, Toshihiko; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Nagayasu, Kazuki; Kasai, Atsushi; Seiriki, Kaoru; Shintani, Norihito; Ago, Yukio; Farfan, Camille

    2015-01-01

    Systematic and simultaneous analysis of multiple cell types in the brain is becoming important, but such tools have not yet been adequately developed. Here, we aimed to generate a method for the specific fluorescent labeling of neurons and astrocytes, two major cell types in the brain, and we have developed lentiviral vectors to express the red fluorescent protein tdTomato in neurons and the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in astrocytes. Importantly, both fluorescent proteins are fused to histone 2B protein (H2B) to confer nuclear localization to distinguish between single cells. We also constructed several expression constructs, including a tandem alignment of the neuron- and astrocyte-expression cassettes for simultaneous labeling. Introducing these vectors and constructs in vitro and in vivo resulted in cell type-specific and nuclear-localized fluorescence signals enabling easy detection and distinguishability of neurons and astrocytes. This tool is expected to be utilized for the simultaneous analysis of changes in neurons and astrocytes in healthy and diseased brains. - Highlights: • We develop a method for the specific fluorescent labeling of neurons and astrocytes. • Neuron-specific labeling is achieved using Scg10 and synapsin promoters. • Astrocyte-specific labeling is generated using the minimal GFAP promoter. • Nuclear localization of fluorescent proteins is achieved with histone 2B protein

  4. Sodium signaling and astrocyte energy metabolism

    KAUST Repository

    Chatton, Jean-Yves; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Barros, L. Felipe

    2016-01-01

    The Na+ gradient across the plasma membrane is constantly exploited by astrocytes as a secondary energy source to regulate the intracellular and extracellular milieu, and discard waste products. One of the most prominent roles of astrocytes in the brain is the Na+-dependent clearance of glutamate released by neurons during synaptic transmission. The intracellular Na+ load collectively generated by these processes converges at the Na,K-ATPase pump, responsible for Na+ extrusion from the cell, which is achieved at the expense of cellular ATP. These processes represent pivotal mechanisms enabling astrocytes to increase the local availability of metabolic substrates in response to neuronal activity. This review presents basic principles linking the intracellular handling of Na+ following activity-related transmembrane fluxes in astrocytes and the energy metabolic pathways involved. We propose a role of Na+ as an energy currency and as a mediator of metabolic signals in the context of neuron-glia interactions. We further discuss the possible impact of the astrocytic syncytium for the distribution and coordination of the metabolic response, and the compartmentation of these processes in cellular microdomains and subcellular organelles. Finally, we illustrate future avenues of investigation into signaling mechanisms aimed at bridging the gap between Na+ and the metabolic machinery. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Sodium signaling and astrocyte energy metabolism

    KAUST Repository

    Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2016-03-31

    The Na+ gradient across the plasma membrane is constantly exploited by astrocytes as a secondary energy source to regulate the intracellular and extracellular milieu, and discard waste products. One of the most prominent roles of astrocytes in the brain is the Na+-dependent clearance of glutamate released by neurons during synaptic transmission. The intracellular Na+ load collectively generated by these processes converges at the Na,K-ATPase pump, responsible for Na+ extrusion from the cell, which is achieved at the expense of cellular ATP. These processes represent pivotal mechanisms enabling astrocytes to increase the local availability of metabolic substrates in response to neuronal activity. This review presents basic principles linking the intracellular handling of Na+ following activity-related transmembrane fluxes in astrocytes and the energy metabolic pathways involved. We propose a role of Na+ as an energy currency and as a mediator of metabolic signals in the context of neuron-glia interactions. We further discuss the possible impact of the astrocytic syncytium for the distribution and coordination of the metabolic response, and the compartmentation of these processes in cellular microdomains and subcellular organelles. Finally, we illustrate future avenues of investigation into signaling mechanisms aimed at bridging the gap between Na+ and the metabolic machinery. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Involvement of astrocyte metabolic coupling in Tourette syndrome pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Leeuw, Christiaan; Goudriaan, Andrea; Smit, August B; Yu, Dongmei; Mathews, Carol A; Scharf, Jeremiah M; Verheijen, Mark H G; Posthuma, Danielle

    2015-11-01

    Tourette syndrome is a heritable neurodevelopmental disorder whose pathophysiology remains unknown. Recent genome-wide association studies suggest that it is a polygenic disorder influenced by many genes of small effect. We tested whether these genes cluster in cellular function by applying gene-set analysis using expert curated sets of brain-expressed genes in the current largest available Tourette syndrome genome-wide association data set, involving 1285 cases and 4964 controls. The gene sets included specific synaptic, astrocytic, oligodendrocyte and microglial functions. We report association of Tourette syndrome with a set of genes involved in astrocyte function, specifically in astrocyte carbohydrate metabolism. This association is driven primarily by a subset of 33 genes involved in glycolysis and glutamate metabolism through which astrocytes support synaptic function. Our results indicate for the first time that the process of astrocyte-neuron metabolic coupling may be an important contributor to Tourette syndrome pathogenesis.

  7. Cortical Astrocytes Acutely Exposed to the Monomethylarsonous Acid (MMAIII) Show Increased Pro-inflammatory Cytokines Gene Expression that is Consistent with APP and BACE-1: Over-expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero-Lourdes, C; Uresti-Rivera, E E; Oliva-González, C; Torres-Ramos, M A; Aguirre-Bañuelos, P; Gandolfi, A J

    2016-10-01

    Long-term exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) through drinking water has been associated with cognitive impairment in children and adults; however, the related pathogenic mechanisms have not been completely described. Increased or chronic inflammation in the brain is linked to impaired cognition and neurodegeneration; iAs induces strong inflammatory responses in several cells, but this effect has been poorly evaluated in central nervous system (CNS) cells. Because astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the CNS and play a critical role in brain homeostasis, including regulation of the inflammatory response, any functional impairment in them can be deleterious for the brain. We propose that iAs could induce cognitive impairment through inflammatory response activation in astrocytes. In the present work, rat cortical astrocytes were acutely exposed in vitro to the monomethylated metabolite of iAs (MMA III ), which accumulates in glial cells without compromising cell viability. MMA III LD 50 in astrocytes was 10.52 μM, however, exposure to sub-toxic MMA III concentrations (50-1000 nM) significantly increased IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, COX-2, and MIF-1 gene expression. These effects were consistent with amyloid precursor protein (APP) and β-secretase (BACE-1) increased gene expression, mainly for those MMA III concentrations that also induced TNF-α over-expression. Other effects of MMA III on cortical astrocytes included increased proliferative and metabolic activity. All tested MMA III concentrations led to an inhibition of intracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity. Results suggest that MMA III induces important metabolic and functional changes in astrocytes that may affect brain homeostasis and that inflammation may play a major role in cognitive impairment-related pathogenicity in As-exposed populations.

  8. Pattern of brain computed tomography findings of adult patients with ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    two adult head injured patients referred to the Radiology department for brain CT over a 3-year period was done. The patients were scanned using Toshiba Aquilion 64 slice spiral CT scan machine, data was collected using a proforma and ...

  9. Astrocyte truncated-TrkB mediates BDNF antiapoptotic effect leading to neuroprotection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saba, Julieta; Turati, Juan; Ramírez, Delia; Carniglia, Lila; Durand, Daniela; Lasaga, Mercedes; Caruso, Carla

    2018-05-31

    Astrocytes are glial cells that help maintain brain homeostasis and become reactive in neurodegenerative processes releasing both harmful and beneficial factors. We have demonstrated that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression is induced by melanocortins in astrocytes but BDNF actions in astrocytes are largely unknown. We hypothesize that BDNF may prevent astrocyte death resulting in neuroprotection. We found that BDNF increased astrocyte viability, preventing apoptosis induced by serum deprivation by decreasing active caspase-3 and p53 expression. The antiapoptotic action of BDNF was abolished by ANA-12 (a specific TrkB antagonist) and by K252a (a general Trk antagonist). Astrocytes only express the BDNF receptor TrkB truncated isoform 1, TrkB-T1. BDNF induced ERK, Akt and Src (a non-receptor tyrosine kinase) activation in astrocytes. Blocking ERK and Akt pathways abolished BDNF protection in serum deprivation-induced cell death. Moreover, BDNF protected astrocytes from death by 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP), an effect also blocked by ANA-12, K252a, and inhibitors of ERK, calcium and Src. BDNF reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels induced in astrocytes by 3-NP and increased xCT expression and glutathione levels. Astrocyte conditioned media (ACM) from untreated astrocytes partially protected PC12 neurons whereas ACM from BDNF-treated astrocytes completely protected PC12 neurons from 3-NP-induced apoptosis. Both ACM from control and BDNF-treated astrocytes markedly reduced ROS levels induced by 3-NP in PC12 cells. Our results demonstrate that BDNF protects astrocytes from cell death through TrkB-T1 signaling, exerts an antioxidant action, and induces release of neuroprotective factors from astrocytes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Astrocytic Gap Junctional Communication is Reduced in Amyloid-β-Treated Cultured Astrocytes, but not in Alzheimer's Disease Transgenic Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy F Cruz

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease is characterized by accumulation of amyloid deposits in brain, progressive cognitive deficits and reduced glucose utilization. Many consequences of the disease are attributed to neuronal dysfunction, but roles of astrocytes in its pathogenesis are not well understood. Astrocytes are extensively coupled via gap junctions, and abnormal trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules within astrocytic syncytia could alter functional interactions among cells comprising the neurovascular unit. To evaluate the influence of amyloid-β on astrocyte gap junctional communication, cultured astrocytes were treated with monomerized amyloid-β1-40 (1 μmol/l for intervals ranging from 2 h to 5 days, and the areas labelled by test compounds were determined by impaling a single astrocyte with a micropipette and diffusion of material into coupled cells. Amyloid-β-treated astrocytes had rapid, sustained 50-70% reductions in the area labelled by Lucifer Yellow, anionic Alexa Fluor® dyes and energy-related compounds, 6-NBDG (a fluorescent glucose analogue, NADH and NADPH. Amyloid-β treatment also caused a transient increase in oxidative stress. In striking contrast with these results, spreading of Lucifer Yellow within astrocytic networks in brain slices from three regions of 8.5-14-month-old control and transgenic Alzheimer's model mice was variable, labelling 10-2000 cells; there were no statistically significant differences in the number of dye-labelled cells among the groups or with age. Thus amyloid-induced dysfunction of gap junctional communication in cultured astrocytes does not reflect the maintenance of dye transfer through astrocytic syncytial networks in transgenic mice; the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease is not appropriately represented by the cell culture system.

  11. Astrocytic gap junctional communication is reduced in amyloid-β-treated cultured astrocytes, but not in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Nancy F; Ball, Kelly K; Dienel, Gerald A

    2010-08-17

    Alzheimer's disease is characterized by accumulation of amyloid deposits in brain, progressive cognitive deficits and reduced glucose utilization. Many consequences of the disease are attributed to neuronal dysfunction, but roles of astrocytes in its pathogenesis are not well understood. Astrocytes are extensively coupled via gap junctions, and abnormal trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules within astrocytic syncytia could alter functional interactions among cells comprising the neurovascular unit. To evaluate the influence of amyloid-beta on astrocyte gap junctional communication, cultured astrocytes were treated with monomerized amyloid-β(1-40) (1 μmol/l) for intervals ranging from 2 h to 5 days, and the areas labelled by test compounds were determined by impaling a single astrocyte with a micropipette and diffusion of material into coupled cells. Amyloid-β-treated astrocytes had rapid, sustained 50-70% reductions in the area labelled by Lucifer Yellow, anionic Alexa Fluor® dyes and energy-related compounds, 6-NBDG (a fluorescent glucose analogue), NADH and NADPH. Amyloid-β treatment also caused a transient increase in oxidative stress. In striking contrast with these results, spreading of Lucifer Yellow within astrocytic networks in brain slices from three regions of 8.5-14-month-old control and transgenic Alzheimer's model mice was variable, labelling 10-2000 cells; there were no statistically significant differences in the number of dye-labelled cells among the groups or with age. Thus amyloid-induced dysfunction of gap junctional communication in cultured astrocytes does not reflect the maintenance of dye transfer through astrocytic syncytial networks in transgenic mice; the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease is not appropriately represented by the cell culture system.

  12. Pedophilic brain potential responses to adult erotic stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, Verner; Impey, Danielle; Fisher, Derek; Delpero, Emily; Fedoroff, Paul

    2016-02-01

    Cognitive mechanisms associated with the relative lack of sexual interest in adults by pedophiles are poorly understood and may benefit from investigations examining how the brain processes adult erotic stimuli. The current study used event-related brain potentials (ERP) to investigate the time course of the explicit processing of erotic, emotional, and neutral pictures in 22 pedophilic patients and 22 healthy controls. Consistent with previous studies, early latency anterior ERP components were highly selective for erotic pictures. Although the ERPs elicited by emotional stimuli were similar in patients and controls, an early frontal positive (P2) component starting as early as 185 ms was significantly attenuated and slow to onset in pedophilia, and correlated with a clinical measure of cognitive distortions. Failure of rapid attentional capture by erotic stimuli suggests a relative reduction in early processing in pedophilic patients which may be associated with relatively diminished sexual interest in adults. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. DNA synthesis and cell division in the adult primate brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rakic, P.

    1985-01-01

    It is generally accepted that the adult human brain is incapable of producing new neuron. Even cursory examination of neurologic, neuropathologic, or neurobiological textbooks published during the past 50 years will testify that this belief is deeply entrenched. In his classification of cell populations on the basis of their proliferative behavior, Leblond regarded neurons of the central nervous system as belonging to a category of static, nonrenewing epithelial tissue incapable of expanding or replenishing itself. This belief, however needs to re reexamined for two major reasons: First, as reviewed below, a number of reports have provided evidence of neurogenesis in adult brain of several vertebrate species. Second, the capacity for neurogenesis in the adult primate central nervous system has never been examined by modern methods. In this article the author described recent results from an extensive autoradiographic analysis performed on twelve rhesus monkeys injected with the specific DNA precursor [ 3 H] thymidine at ages ranging from 6 postnatal months to 17 years

  14. Dynamic volume changes in astrocytes are an intrinsic phenomenon mediated by bicarbonate ion flux.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare M Florence

    Full Text Available Astrocytes, the major type of non-neuronal cells in the brain, play an important functional role in extracellular potassium ([K(+](o and pH homeostasis. Pathological brain states that result in [K(+](o and pH dysregulation have been shown to cause astrocyte swelling. However, whether astrocyte volume changes occur under physiological conditions is not known. In this study we used two-photon imaging to visualize real-time astrocyte volume changes in the stratum radiatum of the hippocampus CA1 region. Astrocytes were observed to swell by 19.0±0.9% in response to a small physiological increase in the concentration of [K(+](o (3 mM. Astrocyte swelling was mediated by the influx of bicarbonate (HCO(3- ions as swelling was significantly decreased when the influx of HCO(3- was reduced. We found: 1 in HCO(3- free extracellular solution astrocytes swelled by 5.4±0.7%, 2 when the activity of the sodium-bicarbonate cotransporter (NBC was blocked the astrocytes swelled by 8.3±0.7%, and 3 in the presence of an extracellular carbonic anhydrase (CA inhibitor astrocytes swelled by 11.4±0.6%. Because a significant HCO(3- efflux is known to occur through the γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA channel, we performed a series of experiments to determine if astrocytes were capable of HCO(3- mediated volume shrinkage with GABA channel activation. Astrocytes were found to shrink -7.7±0.5% of control in response to the GABA(A channel agonist muscimol. Astrocyte shrinkage from GABA(A channel activation was significantly decreased to -5.0±0.6% of control in the presence of the membrane-permeant CA inhibitor acetazolamide (ACTZ. These dynamic astrocyte volume changes may represent a previously unappreciated yet fundamental mechanism by which astrocytes regulate physiological brain functioning.

  15. Endothelial progenitor cells physiology and metabolic plasticity in brain angiogenesis and blood-brain barrier modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Malinovskaya

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Currently, there is a considerable interest to the assessment of blood-brain barrier (BBB development as a part of cerebral angiogenesis developmental program. Embryonic and adult angiogenesis in the brain is governed by the coordinated activity of endothelial progenitor cells, brain microvascular endothelial cells, and non-endothelial cells contributing to the establishment of the BBB (pericytes, astrocytes, neurons. Metabolic and functional plasticity of endothelial progenitor cells controls their timely recruitment, precise homing to the brain microvessels, and efficient support of brain angiogenesis. Deciphering endothelial progenitor cells physiology would provide novel engineering approaches to establish adequate microfluidically-supported BBB models and brain microphysiological systems for translational studies.

  16. α-Synuclein transfer between neurons and astrocytes indicates that astrocytes play a role in degradation rather than in spreading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loria, Frida; Vargas, Jessica Y; Bousset, Luc; Syan, Sylvie; Salles, Audrey; Melki, Ronald; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2017-11-01

    Recent evidence suggests that disease progression in Parkinson's disease (PD) could occur by the spreading of α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregates between neurons. Here we studied the role of astrocytes in the intercellular transfer and fate of α-syn fibrils, using in vitro and ex vivo models. α-Syn fibrils can be transferred to neighboring cells; however, the transfer efficiency changes depending on the cell types. We found that α-syn is efficiently transferred from astrocytes to astrocytes and from neurons to astrocytes, but less efficiently from astrocytes to neurons. Interestingly, α-syn puncta are mainly found inside the lysosomal compartments of the recipient cells. However, differently from neurons, astrocytes are able to efficiently degrade fibrillar α-syn, suggesting an active role for these cells in clearing α-syn deposits. Astrocytes co-cultured with organotypic brain slices are able to take up α-syn fibrils from the slices. Altogether our data support a role for astrocytes in trapping and clearing α-syn pathological deposits in PD.

  17. Clinical review: Brain-body temperature differences in adults with severe traumatic brain injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Surrogate or 'proxy' measures of brain temperature are used in the routine management of patients with brain damage. The prevailing view is that the brain is 'hotter' than the body. The polarity and magnitude of temperature differences between brain and body, however, remains unclear after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The focus of this systematic review is on the adult patient admitted to intensive/neurocritical care with a diagnosis of severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score of less than 8). The review considered studies that measured brain temperature and core body temperature. Articles published in English from the years 1980 to 2012 were searched in databases, CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Science Direct, Ovid SP, Mednar and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database. For the review, publications of randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials, before and after studies, cohort studies, case-control studies and descriptive studies were considered for inclusion. Of 2,391 records identified via the search strategies, 37 were retrieved for detailed examination (including two via hand searching). Fifteen were reviewed and assessed for methodological quality. Eleven studies were included in the systematic review providing 15 brain-core body temperature comparisons. The direction of mean brain-body temperature differences was positive (brain higher than body temperature) and negative (brain lower than body temperature). Hypothermia is associated with large brain-body temperature differences. Brain temperature cannot be predicted reliably from core body temperature. Concurrent monitoring of brain and body temperature is recommended in patients where risk of temperature-related neuronal damage is a cause for clinical concern and when deliberate induction of below-normal body temperature is instituted. PMID:23680353

  18. Environmental impoverishment and aging alter object recognition, spatial learning, and dentate gyrus astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Daniel G; Foro, César A R; Rego, Carla M D; Gloria, David A; de Oliveira, Fabio R R; Paes, Juliana M P; de Sousa, Aline A; Tokuhashi, Tatyana P; Trindade, Lucas S; Turiel, Maíra C P; Vasconcelos, Erick G R; Torres, João B; Cunnigham, Colm; Perry, Victor H; Vasconcelos, Pedro F da Costa; Diniz, Cristovam W P

    2010-08-01

    Environmental and age-related effects on learning and memory were analysed and compared with changes observed in astrocyte laminar distribution in the dentate gyrus. Aged (20 months) and young (6 months) adult female albino Swiss mice were housed from weaning either in impoverished conditions or in enriched conditions, and tested for episodic-like and water maze spatial memories. After these behavioral tests, brain hippocampal sections were immunolabeled for glial fibrillary acid protein to identify astrocytes. The effects of environmental enrichment on episodic-like memory were not dependent on age, and may protect water maze spatial learning and memory from declines induced by aging or impoverished environment. In the dentate gyrus, the number of astrocytes increased with both aging and enriched environment in the molecular layer, increased only with aging in the polymorphic layer, and was unchanged in the granular layer. We suggest that long-term experience-induced glial plasticity by enriched environment may represent at least part of the circuitry groundwork for improvements in behavioral performance in the aged mice brain.

  19. A revised dosimetric model of the adult head and brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bouchet, L.G.; Bolch, W.E.; Weber, D.A.

    1996-01-01

    During the last decade, new radiopharmaceutical have been introduced for brain imaging. The marked differences of these tracers in tissue specificity within the brain and their increasing use for diagnostic studies support the need for a more anthropomorphic model of the human brain and head. Brain and head models developed in the past have been only simplistic representations of this anatomic region. For example, the brain within the phantom of MIRD Pamphlet No. 5 Revised is modeled simply as a single ellipsoid of tissue With no differentiation of its internal structures. To address this need, the MIRD Committee established a Task Group in 1992 to construct a more detailed brain model to include the cerebral cortex, the white matter, the cerebellum, the thalamus, the caudate nucleus, the lentiform nucleus, the cerebral spinal fluid, the lateral ventricles, and the third ventricle. This brain model has been included within a slightly modified version of the head model developed by Poston et al. in 1984. This model has been incorporated into the radiation transport code EGS4 so as to calculate photon and electron absorbed fractions in the energy range 10 keV to 4 MeV for each of thirteen sources in the brain. Furthermore, explicit positron transport have been considered, separating the contribution by the positron itself and its associated annihilations photons. No differences are found between the electron and positron absorbed fractions; however, for initial energies of positrons greater than ∼0.5 MeV, significant differences are found between absorbed fractions from explicit transport of annihilation photons and those from an assumed uniform distribution of 0.511-MeV photons. Subsequently, S values were calculated for a variety of beta-particle and positron emitters brain imaging agents. Moreover, pediatric head and brain dosimetric models are currently being developed based on this adult head model

  20. Is there an astrocyte-neuron ketone body shuttle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán, M; Blázquez, C

    2001-01-01

    Ketone bodies can replace glucose as the major source of brain energy when glucose becomes scarce. Although it is generally assumed that the liver supplies extrahepatic tissues with ketone bodies, recent evidence shows that astrocytes are also ketogenic cells. Moreover, the partitioning of fatty acids between ketogenesis and ceramide synthesis de novo might control the survival/death decision of neural cells. These findings support the notion that astrocytes might supply neurons with ketone bodies in situ, and raise the possibility that astrocyte ketogenesis is a cytoprotective pathway.

  1. Astrocyte regulation of sleep circuits: experimental and modeling perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommaso eFellin

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Integrated within neural circuits, astrocytes have recently been shown to modulate brain rhythms thought to mediate sleep function. Experimental evidence suggests that local impact of astrocytes on single synapses translates into global modulation of neuronal networks and behavior. We discuss these findings in the context of current conceptual models of sleep generation and function, each of which have historically focused on neural mechanisms. We highlight the implications and the challenges introduced by these results from a conceptual and computational perspective. We further provide modeling directions on how these data might extend our knowledge of astrocytic properties and sleep function. Given our evolving understanding of how local cellular activities during sleep lead to functional outcomes for the brain, further mechanistic and theoretical understanding of astrocytic contribution to these dynamics will undoubtedly be of great basic and translational benefit.

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  17. Life satisfaction in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crom, Deborah B; Li, Zhenghong; Brinkman, Tara M; Hudson, Melissa M; Armstrong, Gregory T; Neglia, Joseph; Ness, Kirsten K

    2014-01-01

    Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors experience multiple, significant, lifelong deficits as a consequence of their malignancy and therapy. Current survivorship literature documents the substantial impact such impairments have on survivors' physical health and quality of life. Psychosocial reports detail educational, cognitive, and emotional limitations characterizing survivors as especially fragile, often incompetent, and unreliable in evaluating their circumstances. Anecdotal data suggest some survivors report life experiences similar to those of healthy controls. The aim of our investigation was to determine whether life satisfaction in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors differs from that of healthy controls and to identify potential predictors of life satisfaction in survivors. This cross-sectional study compared 78 brain tumor survivors with population-based matched controls. Chi-square tests, t tests, and linear regression models were used to investigate patterns of life satisfaction and identify potential correlates. Results indicated that life satisfaction of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors was similar to that of healthy controls. Survivors' general health expectations emerged as the primary correlate of life satisfaction. Understanding life satisfaction as an important variable will optimize the design of strategies to enhance participation in follow-up care, reduce suffering, and optimize quality of life in this vulnerable population. © 2014 by Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses.

  18. Immune and Inflammatory Responses in the Central Nervous System: Modulation by Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, Milena; hidalgo, juan; aschner, michael

    2008-01-01

    Beyond their long-recognized support functions, astrocytes are active partners of neurons in processing information, synaptic integration, and production of trophic factors, just to name a few. Both microglia and astrocytes produce and secrete a number of cytokines, modulating and integrating...... the communication between hematogenous cells and resident cells of the central nervous system (CNS). This review will address (1) the functions of astrocytes in the normal brain and (2) their role in surveying noxious stimuli within the brain, with particular emphasis on astrocytic responses to damage or disease...

  19. Genome-Scale Reconstruction of the Human Astrocyte Metabolic Network

    OpenAIRE

    Mart?n-Jim?nez, Cynthia A.; Salazar-Barreto, Diego; Barreto, George E.; Gonz?lez, Janneth

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cells of the central nervous system; they have a predominant role in maintaining brain metabolism. In this sense, abnormal metabolic states have been found in different neuropathological diseases. Determination of metabolic states of astrocytes is difficult to model using current experimental approaches given the high number of reactions and metabolites present. Thus, genome-scale metabolic networks derived from transcriptomic data can be used as a framework t...

  20. Palmitoylethanolamide Blunts Amyloid-β42-Induced Astrocyte Activation and Improves Neuronal Survival in Primary Mouse Cortical Astrocyte-Neuron Co-Cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beggiato, Sarah; Borelli, Andrea Celeste; Ferraro, Luca; Tanganelli, Sergio; Antonelli, Tiziana; Tomasini, Maria Cristina

    2018-01-01

    Based on the pivotal role of astrocytes in brain homeostasis and the strong metabolic cooperation existing between neurons and astrocytes, it has been suggested that astrocytic dysfunctions might cause and/or contribute to neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative processes. Therapeutic approaches aimed at both neuroprotection and neuroinflammation reduction may prove particularly effective in slowing the progression of these diseases. The endogenous lipid mediator palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) displayed neuroprotective and anti(neuro)inflammatory properties, and demonstrated interesting potential as a novel treatment for Alzheimer's disease. We firstly evaluated whether astrocytes could participate in regulating the Aβ42-induced neuronal damage, by using primary mouse astrocytes cell cultures and mixed astrocytes-neurons cultures. Furthermore, the possible protective effects of PEA against Aβ42-induced neuronal toxicity have also been investigated by evaluating neuronal viability, apoptosis, and morphometric parameters. The presence of astrocytes pre-exposed to Aβ42 (0.5μM; 24 h) induced a reduction of neuronal viability in primary mouse astrocytes-neurons co-cultures. Furthermore, under these experimental conditions, an increase in the number of neuronal apoptotic nuclei and a decrease in the number of MAP-2 positive neurons were observed. Finally, astrocytic Aβ42 pre-exposure induced an increase in the number of neurite aggregations/100μm as compared to control (i.e., untreated) astrocytes-neurons co-cultures. These effects were not observed in neurons cultured in the presence of astrocytes pre-exposed to PEA (0.1μM), applied 1 h before and maintained during Aβ42 treatment. Astrocytes contribute to Aβ42-induced neurotoxicity and PEA, by blunting Aβ42-induced astrocyte activation, improved neuronal survival in mouse astrocyte-neuron co-cultures.

  1. Speaker gaze increases information coupling between infant and adult brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Victoria; Byrne, Elizabeth; Clackson, Kaili; Georgieva, Stanimira; Lam, Sarah; Wass, Sam

    2017-12-12

    When infants and adults communicate, they exchange social signals of availability and communicative intention such as eye gaze. Previous research indicates that when communication is successful, close temporal dependencies arise between adult speakers' and listeners' neural activity. However, it is not known whether similar neural contingencies exist within adult-infant dyads. Here, we used dual-electroencephalography to assess whether direct gaze increases neural coupling between adults and infants during screen-based and live interactions. In experiment 1 ( n = 17), infants viewed videos of an adult who was singing nursery rhymes with ( i ) direct gaze (looking forward), ( ii ) indirect gaze (head and eyes averted by 20°), or ( iii ) direct-oblique gaze (head averted but eyes orientated forward). In experiment 2 ( n = 19), infants viewed the same adult in a live context, singing with direct or indirect gaze. Gaze-related changes in adult-infant neural network connectivity were measured using partial directed coherence. Across both experiments, the adult had a significant (Granger) causal influence on infants' neural activity, which was stronger during direct and direct-oblique gaze relative to indirect gaze. During live interactions, infants also influenced the adult more during direct than indirect gaze. Further, infants vocalized more frequently during live direct gaze, and individual infants who vocalized longer also elicited stronger synchronization from the adult. These results demonstrate that direct gaze strengthens bidirectional adult-infant neural connectivity during communication. Thus, ostensive social signals could act to bring brains into mutual temporal alignment, creating a joint-networked state that is structured to facilitate information transfer during early communication and learning. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  2. Synthetic AAV/CRISPR vectors for blocking HIV-1 expression in persistently infected astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunze, Christine; Börner, Kathleen; Kienle, Eike; Orschmann, Tanja; Rusha, Ejona; Schneider, Martha; Radivojkov-Blagojevic, Milena; Drukker, Micha; Desbordes, Sabrina; Grimm, Dirk; Brack-Werner, Ruth

    2018-02-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant cells in the mammalian brain, perform key functions and are involved in several neurodegenerative diseases. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can persist in astrocytes, contributing to the HIV burden and neurological dysfunctions in infected individuals. While a comprehensive approach to HIV cure must include the targeting of HIV-1 in astrocytes, dedicated tools for this purpose are still lacking. Here we report a novel Adeno-associated virus-based vector (AAV9P1) with a synthetic surface peptide for transduction of astrocytes. Analysis of AAV9P1 transduction efficiencies with single brain cell populations, including primary human brain cells, as well as human brain organoids demonstrated that AAV9P1 targeted terminally differentiated human astrocytes much more efficiently than neurons. We then investigated whether AAV9P1 can be used to deliver HIV-inhibitory genes to astrocytes. To this end we generated AAV9P1 vectors containing genes for HIV-1 proviral editing by CRISPR/Cas9. Latently HIV-1 infected astrocytes transduced with these vectors showed significantly diminished reactivation of proviruses, compared with untransduced cultures. Sequence analysis identified mutations/deletions in key HIV-1 transcriptional control regions. We conclude that AAV9P1 is a promising tool for gene delivery to astrocytes and may facilitate inactivation/destruction of persisting HIV-1 proviruses in astrocyte reservoirs. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Versatile and simple approach to determine astrocyte territories in mouse neocortex and hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antje Grosche

    astrocytes in the aging brain and the methods presented in this study might be a powerful tool to do so.

  4. Decreased STAT3 Phosphorylation Mediates Cell Swelling in Ammonia-Treated Astrocyte Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arumugam R. Jayakumar

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Brain edema, due largely to astrocyte swelling, and the subsequent increase in intracranial pressure and brain herniation, are major complications of acute liver failure (ALF. Elevated level of brain ammonia has been strongly implicated in the development of astrocyte swelling associated with ALF. The means by which ammonia brings about astrocyte swelling, however, is incompletely understood. Recently, oxidative/nitrosative stress and associated signaling events, including activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs, as well as activation of the transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB, have been implicated in the mechanism of ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling. Since these signaling events are known to be regulated by the transcription factor, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3, we examined the state of STAT3 activation in ammonia-treated cultured astrocytes, and determined whether altered STAT3 activation and/or protein expression contribute to the ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling. STAT3 was found to be dephosphorylated (inactivated at Tyrosine705 in ammonia-treated cultured astrocytes. Total STAT3 protein level was also reduced in ammonia-treated astrocytes. We also found a significant increase in protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type-1 (PTPRT-1 protein expression in ammonia-treated cultured astrocytes, and that inhibition of PTPRT-1 enhanced the phosphorylation of STAT3 after ammonia treatment. Additionally, exposure of cultured astrocytes to inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatases diminished the ammonia-induced cell swelling, while cultured astrocytes over-expressing STAT3 showed a reduction in the astrocyte swelling induced by ammonia. Collectively, these studies strongly suggest that inactivation of STAT3 represents a critical event in the mechanism of the astrocyte swelling associated with acute liver failure.

  5. Three-dimensional Ca2+ imaging advances understanding of astrocyte biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindocci, Erika; Savtchouk, Iaroslav; Liaudet, Nicolas; Becker, Denise; Carriero, Giovanni; Volterra, Andrea

    2017-05-19

    Astrocyte communication is typically studied by two-dimensional calcium ion (Ca 2+ ) imaging, but this method has not yielded conclusive data on the role of astrocytes in synaptic and vascular function. We developed a three-dimensional two-photon imaging approach and studied Ca 2+ dynamics in entire astrocyte volumes, including during axon-astrocyte interactions. In both awake mice and brain slices, we found that Ca 2+ activity in an individual astrocyte is scattered throughout the cell, largely compartmented between regions, preponderantly local within regions, and heterogeneously distributed regionally and locally. Processes and endfeet displayed frequent fast activity, whereas the soma was infrequently active. In awake mice, activity was higher than in brain slices, particularly in endfeet and processes, and displayed occasional multifocal cellwide events. Astrocytes responded locally to minimal axonal firing with time-correlated Ca 2+ spots. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Subcellular location of astrocytic calcium stores favors extrasynaptic neuron-astrocyte communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrushev, Ilya; Gavrilov, Nikolay; Turlapov, Vadim; Semyanov, Alexey

    2013-11-01

    Neuron-astrocyte interactions are important for brain computations and synaptic plasticity. Perisynaptic astrocytic processes (PAPs) contain a high density of transporters that are responsible for neurotransmitter clearance. Metabotropic glutamate receptors are thought to trigger Ca(2+) release from Ca(2+) stores in PAPs in response to synaptic activity. Our ultrastructural study revealed that PAPs are actually devoid of Ca(2+) stores and have a high surface-to-volume ratio favorable for uptake. Astrocytic processes containing Ca(2+) stores were located further away from the synapses and could therefore respond to changes in ambient glutamate. Thus, the anatomic data do not support communication involving Ca(2+) stores in tripartite synapses, but rather point to extrasynaptic communication. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Astrocyte-targeted expression of interleukin-3 and interferon-alpha causes region-specific changes in metallothionein expression in the brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giralt, M; Carrasco, J; Penkowa, M

    2001-01-01

    Transgenic mice expressing IL-3 and IFN-alpha under the regulatory control of the GFAP gene promoter (GFAP-IL3 and GFAP-IFNalpha mice) exhibit a cytokine-specific, late-onset chronic-progressive neurological disorder which resemble many of the features of human diseases such as multiple sclerosis...... was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. MT-III immunoreactivity was present in cells that were mainly round or amoeboid monocytes/macrophages and in astrocytes. MT-I+II induction was more generalized in the GFAP-IFNalpha (GIFN12 and GIFN39 lines) mice, with significant increases in the cerebellum, thalamus...

  8. Glutamate/glutamine metabolism coupling between astrocytes and glioma cells: neuroprotection and inhibition of glioma growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Pei-Sen; Kang, De-Zhi; Lin, Ru-Ying; Ye, Bing; Wang, Wei; Ye, Zu-Cheng

    2014-07-18

    Glioma glutamate release has been shown to promote the growth of glioma cells and induce neuronal injuries from epilepsy to neuronal death. However, potential counteractions from normal astrocytes against glioma glutamate release have not been fully evaluated. In this study, we investigated the glutamate/glutamine cycling between glioma cells and astrocytes and their impact on neuronal function. Co-cultures of glioma cells with astrocytes (CGA) in direct contact were established under different mix ratio of astrocyte/glioma. Culture medium conditioned in these CGAs were sampled for HPLC measurement, for neuronal ratiometric calcium imaging, and for neuronal survival assay. We found: (1) High levels of glutaminase expression in glioma cells, but not in astrocytes, glutaminase enables glioma cells to release large amount of glutamate in the presence of glutamine. (2) Glutamate levels in CGAs were directly determined by the astrocyte/glioma ratios, indicating a balance between glioma glutamate release and astrocyte glutamate uptake. (3) Culture media from CGAs of higher glioma/astrocyte ratios induced stronger neuronal Ca(2+) response and more severe neuronal death. (4) Co-culturing with astrocytes significantly reduced the growth rate of glioma cells. These results indicate that normal astrocytes in the brain play pivotal roles in glioma growth inhibition and in reducing neuronal injuries from glioma glutamate release. However, as tumor growth, the protective role of astrocytes gradually succumb to glioma cells. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Transplanted Adult Neural Stem Cells Express Sonic Hedgehog In Vivo and Suppress White Matter Neuroinflammation after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genevieve M. Sullivan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Neural stem cells (NSCs delivered intraventricularly may be therapeutic for diffuse white matter pathology after traumatic brain injury (TBI. To test this concept, NSCs isolated from adult mouse subventricular zone (SVZ were transplanted into the lateral ventricle of adult mice at two weeks post-TBI followed by analysis at four weeks post-TBI. We examined sonic hedgehog (Shh signaling as a candidate mechanism by which transplanted NSCs may regulate neuroregeneration and/or neuroinflammation responses of endogenous cells. Mouse fluorescent reporter lines were generated to enable in vivo genetic labeling of cells actively transcribing Shh or Gli1 after transplantation and/or TBI. Gli1 transcription is an effective readout for canonical Shh signaling. In ShhCreERT2;R26tdTomato mice, Shh was primarily expressed in neurons and was not upregulated in reactive astrocytes or microglia after TBI. Corroborating results in Gli1CreERT2;R26tdTomato mice demonstrated that Shh signaling was not upregulated in the corpus callosum, even after TBI or NSC transplantation. Transplanted NSCs expressed Shh in vivo but did not increase Gli1 labeling of host SVZ cells. Importantly, NSC transplantation significantly reduced reactive astrogliosis and microglial/macrophage activation in the corpus callosum after TBI. Therefore, intraventricular NSC transplantation after TBI significantly attenuated neuroinflammation, but did not activate host Shh signaling via Gli1 transcription.

  10. The role of astrocytes in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-García, J J

    2017-09-25

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS), in which astrocytes play an important role as CNS immune cells. However, the activity of astrocytes as antigen-presenting cells (APC) continues to be subject to debate. This review analyses the existing evidence on the participation of astrocytes in CNS inflammation in MS and on several mechanisms that modify astrocyte activity in the disease. Astrocytes play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of MS because they express toll-like receptors (TLR) and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) classI andII. In addition, astrocytes participate in regulating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and in modulating T cell activity through the production of cytokines. Future studies should focus on the role of astrocytes in order to find new therapeutic targets for the treatment of MS. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  11. Astrocytes as gate-keepers in optic nerve regeneration--a mini-review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Dana M; Koke, Joseph R

    2009-02-01

    Animals that develop without extra-embryonic membranes (anamniotes--fish, amphibians) have impressive regenerative capacity, even to the extent of replacing entire limbs. In contrast, animals that develop within extra-embryonic membranes (amniotes--reptiles, birds, mammals) have limited capacity for regeneration as adults, particularly in the central nervous system (CNS). Much is known about the process of nerve development in fish and mammals and about regeneration after lesions in the CNS in fish and mammals. Because the retina of the eye and optic nerve are functionally part of the brain and are accessible in fish, frogs, and mice, optic nerve lesion and regeneration (ONR) has been extensively used as a model system for study of CNS nerve regeneration. When the optic nerve of a mouse is severed, the axons leading into the brain degenerate. Initially, the cut end of the axons on the proximal, eye-side of the injury sprout neurites which begin to grow into the lesion. Simultaneously, astrocytes of the optic nerve become activated to initiate wound repair as a first step in reestablishing the structural integrity of the optic nerve. This activation appears to initiate a cascade of molecular signals resulting in apoptotic cell death of the retinal ganglion cells axons of which make up the neural component of the optic nerve; regeneration fails and the injury is permanent. Evidence specifically implicating astrocytes comes from studies showing selective poisoning of astrocytes at the optic nerve lesion, along with activation of a gene whose product blocks apoptosis in retinal ganglion cells, creates conditions favorable to neurites sprouting from the cut proximal stump, growing through the lesion and into the distal portion of the injured nerve, eventually reaching appropriate targets in the brain. In anamniotes, astrocytes ostensibly present no such obstacle since optic nerve regeneration occurs without intervention; however, no systematic study of glial involvement

  12. Astrocytes in Alzheimer's Disease

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Verkhratsky, Alexei; Olabarria, M.; Noristani, H. N.; Yeh, C. Y.; Rodríguez Arellano, Jose Julio

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 4 (2010), s. 399-412 ISSN 1933-7213 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA309/09/1696; GA ČR GA305/08/1384 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390703 Keywords : Astrocytes * neuroglia * neurodegeneration Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 6.084, year: 2010

  13. Amines, Astrocytes and Arousal

    OpenAIRE

    Bazargani, N.; Attwell, D.

    2017-01-01

    Amine neurotransmitters, such as noradrenaline, mediate arousal, attention, and reward in the CNS. New data suggest that, from flies to mammals, a major mechanism for amine transmitter action is to raise astrocyte [Ca2+]i and release gliotransmitters that modulate neuronal activity and behavior.

  14. Preferential lentiviral targeting of astrocytes in the central nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Fassler

    Full Text Available The ability to visualize and genetically manipulate specific cell populations of the central nervous system (CNS is fundamental to a better understanding of brain functions at the cellular and molecular levels. Tools to selectively target cells of the CNS include molecular genetics, imaging, and use of transgenic animals. However, these approaches are technically challenging, time consuming, and difficult to control. Viral-mediated targeting of cells in the CNS can be highly beneficial for studying and treating neurodegenerative diseases. Yet, despite specific marking of numerous cell types in the CNS, in vivo selective targeting of astrocytes has not been optimized. In this study, preferential targeting of astrocytes in the CNS was demonstrated using engineered lentiviruses that were pseudotyped with a modified Sindbis envelope and displayed anti-GLAST IgG on their surfaces as an attachment moiety. Viral tropism for astrocytes was initially verified in vitro in primary mixed glia cultures. When injected into the brains of mice, lentiviruses that displayed GLAST IgG on their surface, exhibited preferential astrocyte targeting, compared to pseudotyped lentiviruses that did not incorporate any IgG or that expressed a control isotype IgG. Overall, this approach is highly flexible and can be exploited to selectively target astrocytes or other cell types of the CNS. As such, it can open a window to visualize and genetically manipulate astrocytes or other cells of the CNS as means of research and treatment.

  15. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo, E-mail: mnuriya@z2.keio.jp

    2014-02-07

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage

  16. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca 2+ ] i under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca 2+ ] i increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca 2+ ] i oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage during the acute phase of ischemia

  17. Human astrocytes: secretome profiles of cytokines and chemokines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung S Choi

    Full Text Available Astrocytes play a key role in maintenance of neuronal functions in the central nervous system by producing various cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors, which act as a molecular coordinator of neuron-glia communication. At the site of neuroinflammation, astrocyte-derived cytokines and chemokines play both neuroprotective and neurotoxic roles in brain lesions of human neurological diseases. At present, the comprehensive profile of human astrocyte-derived cytokines and chemokines during inflammation remains to be fully characterized. We investigated the cytokine secretome profile of highly purified human astrocytes by using a protein microarray. Non-stimulated human astrocytes in culture expressed eight cytokines, including G-CSF, GM-CSF, GROα (CXCL1, IL-6, IL-8 (CXCL8, MCP-1 (CCL2, MIF and Serpin E1. Following stimulation with IL-1β and TNF-α, activated astrocytes newly produced IL-1β, IL-1ra, TNF-α, IP-10 (CXCL10, MIP-1α (CCL3 and RANTES (CCL5, in addition to the induction of sICAM-1 and complement component 5. Database search indicated that most of cytokines and chemokines produced by non-stimulated and activated astrocytes are direct targets of the transcription factor NF-kB. These results indicated that cultured human astrocytes express a distinct set of NF-kB-target cytokines and chemokines in resting and activated conditions, suggesting that the NF-kB signaling pathway differentially regulates gene expression of cytokines and chemokines in human astrocytes under physiological and inflammatory conditions.

  18. Subthalamic nucleus electrical stimulation modulates calcium activity of nigral astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Barat

    Full Text Available The substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr is a major output nucleus of the basal ganglia, delivering inhibitory efferents to the relay nuclei of the thalamus. Pathological hyperactivity of SNr neurons is known to be responsible for some motor disorders e.g. in Parkinson's disease. One way to restore this pathological activity is to electrically stimulate one of the SNr input, the excitatory subthalamic nucleus (STN, which has emerged as an effective treatment for parkinsonian patients. The neuronal network and signal processing of the basal ganglia are well known but, paradoxically, the role of astrocytes in the regulation of SNr activity has never been studied.In this work, we developed a rat brain slice model to study the influence of spontaneous and induced excitability of afferent nuclei on SNr astrocytes calcium activity. Astrocytes represent the main cellular population in the SNr and display spontaneous calcium activities in basal conditions. Half of this activity is autonomous (i.e. independent of synaptic activity while the other half is dependent on spontaneous glutamate and GABA release, probably controlled by the pace-maker activity of the pallido-nigral and subthalamo-nigral loops. Modification of the activity of the loops by STN electrical stimulation disrupted this astrocytic calcium excitability through an increase of glutamate and GABA releases. Astrocytic AMPA, mGlu and GABA(A receptors were involved in this effect.Astrocytes are now viewed as active components of neural networks but their role depends on the brain structure concerned. In the SNr, evoked activity prevails and autonomous calcium activity is lower than in the cortex or hippocampus. Our data therefore reflect a specific role of SNr astrocytes in sensing the STN-GPe-SNr loops activity and suggest that SNr astrocytes could potentially feedback on SNr neuronal activity. These findings have major implications given the position of SNr in the basal ganglia network.

  19. Subthalamic nucleus electrical stimulation modulates calcium activity of nigral astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barat, Elodie; Boisseau, Sylvie; Bouyssières, Céline; Appaix, Florence; Savasta, Marc; Albrieux, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    The substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) is a major output nucleus of the basal ganglia, delivering inhibitory efferents to the relay nuclei of the thalamus. Pathological hyperactivity of SNr neurons is known to be responsible for some motor disorders e.g. in Parkinson's disease. One way to restore this pathological activity is to electrically stimulate one of the SNr input, the excitatory subthalamic nucleus (STN), which has emerged as an effective treatment for parkinsonian patients. The neuronal network and signal processing of the basal ganglia are well known but, paradoxically, the role of astrocytes in the regulation of SNr activity has never been studied. In this work, we developed a rat brain slice model to study the influence of spontaneous and induced excitability of afferent nuclei on SNr astrocytes calcium activity. Astrocytes represent the main cellular population in the SNr and display spontaneous calcium activities in basal conditions. Half of this activity is autonomous (i.e. independent of synaptic activity) while the other half is dependent on spontaneous glutamate and GABA release, probably controlled by the pace-maker activity of the pallido-nigral and subthalamo-nigral loops. Modification of the activity of the loops by STN electrical stimulation disrupted this astrocytic calcium excitability through an increase of glutamate and GABA releases. Astrocytic AMPA, mGlu and GABA(A) receptors were involved in this effect. Astrocytes are now viewed as active components of neural networks but their role depends on the brain structure concerned. In the SNr, evoked activity prevails and autonomous calcium activity is lower than in the cortex or hippocampus. Our data therefore reflect a specific role of SNr astrocytes in sensing the STN-GPe-SNr loops activity and suggest that SNr astrocytes could potentially feedback on SNr neuronal activity. These findings have major implications given the position of SNr in the basal ganglia network.

  20. Tai Ji Quan, the brain, and cognition in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Kai Chang

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between physical activity (PA and cognition has received much attention recently. While evidence of improved cognition following PA has consistently been observed, the majority of studies have spotlighted aerobic exercise and the effects of other modes of PA, such as Tai Ji Quan, on cognition have received limited attention. This article provides a brief review of the literature concerning the influence of Tai Ji Quan on cognition in older adults, including those with intact cognition and those with cognitive impairment. In addition, this review proposes potential mechanisms (cardiovascular fitness, motor fitness, movement coordination, social interaction, and meditation statuses as well brain structure and function evaluated from a neuroimaging perspective that may explain the Tai Ji Quan–cognition relationship. Finally, we present suggestions for future research. In conclusion, Tai Ji Quan, with its multi-faceted characteristics, shows promise as a mode of PA for enhancing cognition, as well as brain health, in older adults. Based on the findings in this review, further exploration of the effects of Tai Ji Quan on cognition in older adults is warranted.

  1. Neuroimaging in adult penetrating brain injury: a guide for radiographers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Temple, Nikki; Donald, Cortny; Skora, Amanda [Discipline of Medical Radiation Sciences, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales (Australia); Reed, Warren, E-mail: warren.reed@sydney.edu.au [Medical Image Optimisation and Perception Group, Discipline of Medical Radiation Sciences, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales (Australia)

    2015-06-15

    Penetrating brain injuries (PBI) are a medical emergency, often resulting in complex damage and high mortality rates. Neuroimaging is essential to evaluate the location and extent of injuries, and to manage them accordingly. Currently, a myriad of imaging modalities are included in the diagnostic workup for adult PBI, including skull radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography, with each modality providing their own particular benefits. This literature review explores the current modalities available for investigating PBI and aims to assist in decision making for the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging when presented with an adult PBI. Based on the current literature, the authors have developed an imaging pathway for adult penetrating brain injury that functions as both a learning tool and reference guide for radiographers and other health professionals. Currently, CT is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of PBI patients, while MRI is important in the sub-acute setting where it aids prognosis prediction and rehabilitation planning, Additional follow-up imaging, such as angiography, should be dependent upon clinical findings.

  2. Neuroimaging in adult penetrating brain injury: a guide for radiographers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Temple, Nikki; Donald, Cortny; Skora, Amanda; Reed, Warren

    2015-01-01

    Penetrating brain injuries (PBI) are a medical emergency, often resulting in complex damage and high mortality rates. Neuroimaging is essential to evaluate the location and extent of injuries, and to manage them accordingly. Currently, a myriad of imaging modalities are included in the diagnostic workup for adult PBI, including skull radiography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography, with each modality providing their own particular benefits. This literature review explores the current modalities available for investigating PBI and aims to assist in decision making for the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging when presented with an adult PBI. Based on the current literature, the authors have developed an imaging pathway for adult penetrating brain injury that functions as both a learning tool and reference guide for radiographers and other health professionals. Currently, CT is recommended as the imaging modality of choice for the initial assessment of PBI patients, while MRI is important in the sub-acute setting where it aids prognosis prediction and rehabilitation planning, Additional follow-up imaging, such as angiography, should be dependent upon clinical findings

  3. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hänggi Jürgen

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The neurophysiological and neuroanatomical foundations of persistent developmental stuttering (PDS are still a matter of dispute. A main argument is that stutterers show atypical anatomical asymmetries of speech-relevant brain areas, which possibly affect speech fluency. The major aim of this study was to determine whether adults with PDS have anomalous anatomy in cortical speech-language areas. Methods Adults with PDS (n = 10 and controls (n = 10 matched for age, sex, hand preference, and education were studied using high-resolution MRI scans. Using a new variant of the voxel-based morphometry technique (augmented VBM the brains of stutterers and non-stutterers were compared with respect to white matter (WM and grey matter (GM differences. Results We found increased WM volumes in a right-hemispheric network comprising the superior temporal gyrus (including the planum temporale, the inferior frontal gyrus (including the pars triangularis, the precentral gyrus in the vicinity of the face and mouth representation, and the anterior middle frontal gyrus. In addition, we detected a leftward WM asymmetry in the auditory cortex in non-stutterers, while stutterers showed symmetric WM volumes. Conclusions These results provide strong evidence that adults with PDS have anomalous anatomy not only in perisylvian speech and language areas but also in prefrontal and sensorimotor areas. Whether this atypical asymmetry of WM is the cause or the consequence of stuttering is still an unanswered question.

  4. Glutamate metabolism is down-regulated in astrocytes during experimental allergic encephalomyelitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hardin-Pouzet, H; Krakowski, M; Bourbonnière, L

    1997-01-01

    dehydrogenase (GDH) expression were dramatically reduced. These two astrocytic enzymes are responsible for degradation of glutamate, the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. Since elevated levels of glutamate may be neurotoxic, we propose that the decreased capacity of astrocytes...... to metabolize glutamate may contribute to EAE pathology....

  5. Transplantation of specific human astrocytes promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J A Davies

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Repairing trauma to the central nervous system by replacement of glial support cells is an increasingly attractive therapeutic strategy. We have focused on the less-studied replacement of astrocytes, the major support cell in the central nervous system, by generating astrocytes from embryonic human glial precursor cells using two different astrocyte differentiation inducing factors. The resulting astrocytes differed in expression of multiple proteins thought to either promote or inhibit central nervous system homeostasis and regeneration. When transplanted into acute transection injuries of the adult rat spinal cord, astrocytes generated by exposing human glial precursor cells to bone morphogenetic protein promoted significant recovery of volitional foot placement, axonal growth and notably robust increases in neuronal survival in multiple spinal cord laminae. In marked contrast, human glial precursor cells and astrocytes generated from these cells by exposure to ciliary neurotrophic factor both failed to promote significant behavioral recovery or similarly robust neuronal survival and support of axon growth at sites of injury. Our studies thus demonstrate functional differences between human astrocyte populations and suggest that pre-differentiation of precursor cells into a specific astrocyte subtype is required to optimize astrocyte replacement therapies. To our knowledge, this study is the first to show functional differences in ability to promote repair of the injured adult central nervous system between two distinct subtypes of human astrocytes derived from a common fetal glial precursor population. These findings are consistent with our previous studies of transplanting specific subtypes of rodent glial precursor derived astrocytes into sites of spinal cord injury, and indicate a remarkable conservation from rat to human of functional differences between astrocyte subtypes. In addition, our studies provide a specific population of human

  6. Regulation of neurotrophic factors and energy metabolism by antidepressants in astrocytes

    KAUST Repository

    Martin, Jean Luc; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Allaman, Igor

    2013-01-01

    There is growing evidence that astrocytes are involved in the neuropathology of major depression. In particular, decreases in glial cell density observed in the cerebral cortex of individuals with major depressive disorder are accompanied by a reduction of several astrocytic markers suggesting that astrocyte dysfunction may contribute to the pathophysiology of major depression. In rodents, glial loss in the prefrontal cortex is sufficient to induce depressive-like behaviors and antidepressant treatment prevents the stress-induced reduction of astrocyte number in the hippocampus. Collectively, these data support the existence of a link between astrocyte loss or dysfunction, depressive-like behavior and antidepressant treatment. Astrocytes are increasingly recognized to play important roles in neuronal development, neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity and maintenance of brain homeostasis. It is also well established that astrocytes provide trophic, structural, and metabolic support to neurons. In this article, we review evidence that antidepressants regulate energy metabolism and neurotrophic factor expression with particular emphasis on studies in astrocytes. These observations support a role for astrocytes as new targets for antidepressants. The contribution of changes in astrocyte glucose metabolism and neurotrophic factor expression to the therapeutic effects of antidepressants remains to be established. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

  7. Regulation of neurotrophic factors and energy metabolism by antidepressants in astrocytes

    KAUST Repository

    Martin, Jean Luc

    2013-09-01

    There is growing evidence that astrocytes are involved in the neuropathology of major depression. In particular, decreases in glial cell density observed in the cerebral cortex of individuals with major depressive disorder are accompanied by a reduction of several astrocytic markers suggesting that astrocyte dysfunction may contribute to the pathophysiology of major depression. In rodents, glial loss in the prefrontal cortex is sufficient to induce depressive-like behaviors and antidepressant treatment prevents the stress-induced reduction of astrocyte number in the hippocampus. Collectively, these data support the existence of a link between astrocyte loss or dysfunction, depressive-like behavior and antidepressant treatment. Astrocytes are increasingly recognized to play important roles in neuronal development, neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity and maintenance of brain homeostasis. It is also well established that astrocytes provide trophic, structural, and metabolic support to neurons. In this article, we review evidence that antidepressants regulate energy metabolism and neurotrophic factor expression with particular emphasis on studies in astrocytes. These observations support a role for astrocytes as new targets for antidepressants. The contribution of changes in astrocyte glucose metabolism and neurotrophic factor expression to the therapeutic effects of antidepressants remains to be established. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

  8. Astrocyte-secreted thrombospondin-1 modulates synapse and spine defects in the fragile X mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Connie; Lau, Sally K M; Doering, Laurie C

    2016-08-02

    Astrocytes are key participants in various aspects of brain development and function, many of which are executed via secreted proteins. Defects in astrocyte signaling are implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by abnormal neural circuitry such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS). In animal models of FXS, the loss in expression of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (FMRP) from astrocytes is associated with delayed dendrite maturation and improper synapse formation; however, the effect of astrocyte-derived factors on the development of neurons is not known. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is an important astrocyte-secreted protein that is involved in the regulation of spine development and synaptogenesis. In this study, we found that cultured astrocytes isolated from an Fmr1 knockout (Fmr1 KO) mouse model of FXS displayed a significant decrease in TSP-1 protein expression compared to the wildtype (WT) astrocytes. Correspondingly, Fmr1 KO hippocampal neurons exhibited morphological deficits in dendritic spines and alterations in excitatory synapse formation following long-term culture. All spine and synaptic abnormalities were prevented in the presence of either astrocyte-conditioned media or a feeder layer derived from FMRP-expressing astrocytes, or following the application of exogenous TSP-1. Importantly, this work demonstrates the integral role of astrocyte-secreted signals in the establishment of neuronal communication and identifies soluble TSP-1 as a potential therapeutic target for Fragile X syndrome.

  9. Glucose and Intermediary Metabolism and Astrocyte-Neuron Interactions Following Neonatal Hypoxia-Ischemia in Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brekke, Eva; Berger, Hester Rijkje; Widerøe, Marius; Sonnewald, Ursula; Morken, Tora Sund

    2017-01-01

    Neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) and the delayed injury cascade that follows involve excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and mitochondrial failure. The susceptibility to excitotoxicity of the neonatal brain may be related to the capacity of astrocytes for glutamate uptake. Furthermore, the neonatal brain is vulnerable to oxidative stress, and the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) may be of particular importance for limiting this kind of injury. Also, in the neonatal brain, neurons depend upon de novo synthesis of neurotransmitters via pyruvate carboxylase in astrocytes to increase neurotransmitter pools during normal brain development. Several recent publications describing intermediary brain metabolism following neonatal HI have yielded interesting results: (1) Following HI there is a prolonged depression of mitochondrial metabolism in agreement with emerging evidence of mitochondria as vulnerable targets in the delayed injury cascade. (2) Astrocytes, like neurons, are metabolically impaired following HI, and the degree of astrocytic malfunction may be an indicator of the outcome following hypoxic and hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. (3) Glutamate transfer from neurons to astrocytes is not increased following neonatal HI, which may imply that astrocytes fail to upregulate glutamate uptake in response to the massive glutamate release during HI, thus contributing to excitotoxicity. (4) In the neonatal brain, the activity of the PPP is reduced following HI, which may add to the susceptibility of the neonatal brain to oxidative stress. The present review aims to discuss the metabolic temporal alterations observed in the neonatal brain following HI.

  10. Evaluation of an automatic brain segmentation method developed for neonates on adult MR brain images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeskops, Pim; Viergever, Max A.; Benders, Manon J. N. L.; Išgum, Ivana

    2015-03-01

    Automatic brain tissue segmentation is of clinical relevance in images acquired at all ages. The literature presents a clear distinction between methods developed for MR images of infants, and methods developed for images of adults. The aim of this work is to evaluate a method developed for neonatal images in the segmentation of adult images. The evaluated method employs supervised voxel classification in subsequent stages, exploiting spatial and intensity information. Evaluation was performed using images available within the MRBrainS13 challenge. The obtained average Dice coefficients were 85.77% for grey matter, 88.66% for white matter, 81.08% for cerebrospinal fluid, 95.65% for cerebrum, and 96.92% for intracranial cavity, currently resulting in the best overall ranking. The possibility of applying the same method to neonatal as well as adult images can be of great value in cross-sectional studies that include a wide age range.

  11. Functional alterations of astrocytes in mental disorders: pharmacological significance as a drug target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yutaka eKoyama

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes play an essential role in supporting brain functions in physiological and pathological states. Modulation of their pathophysiological responses have beneficial actions on nerve tissue injured by brain insults and neurodegenerative diseases, therefore astrocytes are recognized as promising targets for neuroprotective drugs. Recent investigations have identified several astrocytic mechanisms for modulating synaptic transmission and neural plasticity. These include altered expression of transporters for neurotransmitters, release of gliotransmitters and neurotrophic factors, and intercellular communication through gap junctions. Investigation of patients with mental disorders shows morphological and functional alterations in astrocytes. According to these observations, manipulation of astrocytic function by gene mutation and pharmacological tools reproduce mental disorder-like behavior in experimental animals. Some drugs clinically used for mental disorders affect astrocyte function. As experimental evidence shows their role in the pathogenesis of mental disorders, astrocytes have gained much attention as drug targets for mental disorders. In this article, I review functional alterations of astrocytes in several mental disorders including schizophrenia, mood disorder, drug dependence, and neurodevelopmental disorders. The pharmacological significance of astrocytes in mental disorders is also discussed.

  12. Astrocyte-neuronal interactions in epileptogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadera, Mussie Ghezu; Eloqayli, Haytham; Jaradat, Saied; Nehlig, Astrid; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2015-07-01

    Pentylenetetrazol, kainic acid, or pilocarpine can be used to induce seizures in animal models of epilepsy. The present Review describes disturbances in astrocyte-neuron interactions in the acute, latent, and chronic phases analyzed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy of brain tissue extracts from rats injected with [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate. The most consistent change after onset of seizures was the decrease in (13)C labeling of glutamate (GLU) from [1-(13) C]glucose regardless of brain area, severity, or duration of the period with seizures and toxin used. In most cases this decrease was accompanied by a reduction in glutamine (GLN) labeling from [1-(13)C]glucose, presumably as a direct consequence of the reduction in labeling of GLU and the GLU-GLN cycle. Amounts of GLN were never changed. Reduction in the content of N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) was first detectable some time after status epilepticus but before the occurrence of spontaneous seizures. This decrease can be an indication of neuronal death and/or mitochondrial impairment and might indicate beginning gliosis. It is known that gliosis occurs in the chronic phase of temporal lobe epilepsy in hippocampus, but astrocyte metabolism appears normal in this phase, indicating that the gliotic astrocytes have a somewhat reduced metabolism per volume. A decrease in (13)C labeling of GLU from [1-(13)C]glucose is a very sensitive measure for the onset of epileptogenesis, whereas reduction of NAA is first detectable later. In the chronic phases of the hippocampal formation, astrocyte metabolism is upregulated given that the number of neurons is reduced. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Induced Neural Stem Cells Achieve Long-Term Survival and Functional Integration in the Adult Mouse Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathrin Hemmer

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Differentiated cells can be converted directly into multipotent neural stem cells (i.e., induced neural stem cells [iNSCs]. iNSCs offer an attractive alternative to induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC technology with regard to regenerative therapies. Here, we show an in vivo long-term analysis of transplanted iNSCs in the adult mouse brain. iNSCs showed sound in vivo long-term survival rates without graft overgrowths. The cells displayed a neural multilineage potential with a clear bias toward astrocytes and a permanent downregulation of progenitor and cell-cycle markers, indicating that iNSCs are not predisposed to tumor formation. Furthermore, the formation of synaptic connections as well as neuronal and glial electrophysiological properties demonstrated that differentiated iNSCs migrated, functionally integrated, and interacted with the existing neuronal circuitry. We conclude that iNSC long-term transplantation is a safe procedure; moreover, it might represent an interesting tool for future personalized regenerative applications.

  14. Induced neural stem cells achieve long-term survival and functional integration in the adult mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemmer, Kathrin; Zhang, Mingyue; van Wüllen, Thea; Sakalem, Marna; Tapia, Natalia; Baumuratov, Aidos; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Schöler, Hans R; Zhang, Weiqi; Schwamborn, Jens C

    2014-09-09

    Differentiated cells can be converted directly into multipotent neural stem cells (i.e., induced neural stem cells [iNSCs]). iNSCs offer an attractive alternative to induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology with regard to regenerative therapies. Here, we show an in vivo long-term analysis of transplanted iNSCs in the adult mouse brain. iNSCs showed sound in vivo long-term survival rates without graft overgrowths. The cells displayed a neural multilineage potential with a clear bias toward astrocytes and a permanent downregulation of progenitor and cell-cycle markers, indicating that iNSCs are not predisposed to tumor formation. Furthermore, the formation of synaptic connections as well as neuronal and glial electrophysiological properties demonstrated that differentiated iNSCs migrated, functionally integrated, and interacted with the existing neuronal circuitry. We conclude that iNSC long-term transplantation is a safe procedure; moreover, it might represent an interesting tool for future personalized regenerative applications. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Connexin Hemichannels in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Brian Skriver; Hansen, Daniel Bloch; Ransom, Bruce R.

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli are repo...... selectivity. We expect that some, or all, of the controversies discussed here will be resolved by future research and sincerely hope that this review serves to motivate such clarifying investigations.......Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli....... Published studies about astrocyte hemichannel behavior, however, have been highly variable and/or contradictory. The field of connexin hemichannel research has been complicated by great variability in the experimental preparations employed, a lack of highly specific pharmacological inhibitors...

  16. Stretch-induced Ca2+ independent ATP release in hippocampal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Yingfei; Teng, Sasa; Zheng, Lianghong; Sun, Suhua; Li, Jie; Guo, Ning; Li, Mingli; Wang, Li; Zhu, Feipeng; Wang, Changhe; Rao, Zhiren; Zhou, Zhuan

    2018-02-28

    Similar to neurons, astrocytes actively participate in synaptic transmission via releasing gliotransmitters. The Ca 2+ -dependent release of gliotransmitters includes glutamate and ATP. Following an 'on-cell-like' mechanical stimulus to a single astrocyte, Ca 2+ independent single, large, non-quantal, ATP release occurs. Astrocytic ATP release is inhibited by either selective antagonist treatment or genetic knockdown of P2X7 receptor channels. Our work suggests that ATP can be released from astrocytes via two independent pathways in hippocampal astrocytes; in addition to the known Ca 2+ -dependent vesicular release, larger non-quantal ATP release depends on P2X7 channels following mechanical stretch. Astrocytic ATP release is essential for brain functions such as synaptic long-term potentiation for learning and memory. However, whether and how ATP is released via exocytosis remains hotly debated. All previous studies of non-vesicular ATP release have used indirect assays. By contrast, two recent studies report vesicular ATP release using more direct assays. In the present study, using patch clamped 'ATP-sniffer cells', we re-investigated astrocytic ATP release at single-vesicle resolution in hippocampal astrocytes. Following an 'on-cell-like' mechanical stimulus of a single astrocyte, a Ca 2+ independent single large non-quantal ATP release occurred, in contrast to the Ca 2+ -dependent multiple small quantal ATP release in a chromaffin cell. The mechanical stimulation-induced ATP release from an astrocyte was inhibited by either exposure to a selective antagonist or genetic knockdown of P2X7 receptor channels. Functional P2X7 channels were expressed in astrocytes in hippocampal brain slices. Thus, in addition to small quantal ATP release, larger non-quantal ATP release depends on P2X7 channels in astrocytes. © 2018 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2018 The Physiological Society.

  17. Age and Environment Influences on Mouse Prion Disease Progression: Behavioral Changes and Morphometry and Stereology of Hippocampal Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Bento-Torres

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Because enriched environment (EE and exercise increase and aging decreases immune response, we hypothesized that environmental enrichment and aging will, respectively, delay and increase prion disease progression. Mice dorsal striatum received bilateral stereotaxic intracerebral injections of normal or ME7 prion infected mouse brain homogenates. After behavior analysis, animals were euthanized and their brains processed for astrocyte GFAP immunolabeling. Our analysis related to the environmental influence are limited to young adult mice, whereas age influence refers to aged mice raised on standard cages. Burrowing activity began to reduce in ME7-SE two weeks before ME7-EE, while no changes were apparent in ME7 aged mice (ME7-A. Object placement recognition was impaired in ME7-SE, NBH-A, and ME7-A but normal in all other groups. Object identity recognition was impaired in ME7-A. Cluster analysis revealed two morphological families of astrocytes in NBH-SE animals, three in NBH-A and ME7-A, and four in NBH-EE, ME7-SE, and ME7-EE. As compared with control groups, astrocytes from DG and CA3 prion-diseased animals show significant numerical and morphological differences and environmental enrichment did not reverse these changes but induced different morphological changes in GFAP+ hippocampal astroglia. We suggest that environmental enrichment and aging delayed hippocampal-dependent behavioral and neuropathological signs of disease progression.

  18. Targeting of astrocytic glucose metabolism by beta-hydroxybutyrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdebenito, Rocío; Ruminot, Iván; Garrido-Gerter, Pamela; Fernández-Moncada, Ignacio; Forero-Quintero, Linda; Alegría, Karin; Becker, Holger M; Deitmer, Joachim W; Barros, L Felipe

    2016-10-01

    The effectiveness of ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting against neurological disorders has brought interest to the effects of ketone bodies on brain cells. These compounds are known to modify the metabolism of neurons, but little is known about their effect on astrocytes, cells that control the supply of glucose to neurons and also modulate neuronal excitability through the glycolytic production of lactate. Here we have used genetically-encoded Förster Resonance Energy Transfer nanosensors for glucose, pyruvate and ATP to characterize astrocytic energy metabolism at cellular resolution. Our results show that the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate strongly inhibited astrocytic glucose consumption in mouse astrocytes in mixed cultures, in organotypic hippocampal slices and in acute hippocampal slices prepared from ketotic mice, while blunting the stimulation of glycolysis by physiological and pathophysiological stimuli. The inhibition of glycolysis was paralleled by an increased ability of astrocytic mitochondria to metabolize pyruvate. These results support the emerging notion that astrocytes contribute to the neuroprotective effect of ketone bodies. © The Author(s) 2015.

  19. Asymmetry of the structural brain connectome in healthy older adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo eBonilha

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: It is now possible to map neural connections in vivo across the whole brain (i.e., the brain connectome. This is a promising development in neuroscience since many health and disease processes are believed to arise from the architecture of neural networks.Objective: To describe the normal range of hemispheric asymmetry in structural connectivity in healthy older adults.Methods: We obtained high-resolution structural magnetic resonance images (MRI from 17 healthy older adults. For each subject, the brain connectome was reconstructed by parcelating the probabilistic map of gray matter into anatomically defined regions of interested (ROIs. White matter fiber tractography was reconstructed from diffusion tensor imaging and streamlines connecting gray matter ROIs were computed. Asymmetry indices were calculated regarding ROI connectivity (representing the sum of connectivity weight of each cortical ROI and for regional white matter links. All asymmetry measures were compared to a normal distribution with mean=0 through one sample t-tests.Results: Leftward cortical ROI asymmetry was observed in medial temporal, dorsolateral frontal and occipital regions. Rightward cortical ROI asymmetry was observed in middle temporal and orbito-frontal regions. Link-wise asymmetry revealed stronger connections in the left hemisphere between the medial temporal, anterior and posterior peri-Sylvian and occipito-temporal regions. Rightward link asymmetry was observed in lateral temporal, parietal and dorsolateral frontal connections.Conclusions: We postulate that asymmetry of specific connections may be related to functional hemispheric organization. This study may provide reference for future studies evaluating the architecture of the connectome in health and disease processes in senior individuals.

  20. Complete Neuron-Astrocyte Interaction Model: Digital Multiplierless Design and Networking Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghiri, Saeed; Ahmadi, Arash; Saif, Mehrdad

    2017-02-01

    Glial cells, also known as neuroglia or glia, are non-neuronal cells providing support and protection for neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). They also act as supportive cells in the brain. Among a variety of glial cells, the star-shaped glial cells, i.e., astrocytes, are the largest cell population in the brain. The important role of astrocyte such as neuronal synchronization, synaptic information regulation, feedback to neural activity and extracellular regulation make the astrocytes play a vital role in brain disease. This paper presents a modified complete neuron-astrocyte interaction model that is more suitable for efficient and large scale biological neural network realization on digital platforms. Simulation results show that the modified complete interaction model can reproduce biological-like behavior of the original neuron-astrocyte mechanism. The modified interaction model is investigated in terms of digital realization feasibility and cost targeting a low cost hardware implementation. Networking behavior of this interaction is investigated and compared between two cases: i) the neuron spiking mechanism without astrocyte effects, and ii) the effect of astrocyte in regulating the neurons behavior and synaptic transmission via controlling the LTP and LTD processes. Hardware implementation on FPGA shows that the modified model mimics the main mechanism of neuron-astrocyte communication with higher performance and considerably lower hardware overhead cost compared with the original interaction model.

  1. Calcium in the Mechanism of Ammonia-Induced Astrocyte Swelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, A.R.; Rao, K.V. Rama; Tong, X.Y; Norenberg, M.D.

    2016-01-01

    Brain edema, due largely to astrocyte swelling, is an important clinical problem in patients with acute liver failure. While mechanisms underlying astrocyte swelling in this condition are not fully understood, ammonia and associated oxidative/nitrosative stress (ONS) appear to be involved. Mechanisms responsible for the increase in reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (RONS) and their role in ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling, however, are poorly understood. Recent studies have demonstrated a transient increase in intracellular Ca2+ in cultured astrocytes exposed to ammonia. As Ca2+ is a known inducer of RONS, we investigated potential mechanisms by which Ca2+ may be responsible for the production of RONS and cell swelling in cultured astrocytes after treatment with ammonia. Exposure of cultured astrocytes to ammonia (5 mM) increased the formation of free radicals, including nitric oxide, and such increase was significantly diminished by treatment with the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA-AM. We then examined the activity of Ca2+-dependent enzymes that are known to generate RONS and found that ammonia significantly increased the activities of NADPH oxidase (NOX), constitutive nitric oxide synthase (cNOS) and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and such increases in activity were significantly diminished by BAPTA. Pretreatment of cultures with 7-nitroindazole, apocyanin and quinacrine, respective inhibitors of cNOS, NOX and PLA2, all significantly diminished RONS production. Additionally, treatment of cultures with BAPTA or with inhibitors of cNOS, NOX and PLA2 reduced ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling. These studies suggest that the ammonia-induced rise in intracellular Ca2+ activates free radical producing enzymes that ultimately contribute to the mechanism of astrocyte swelling. PMID:19393035

  2. Brain natriuretic peptide and insulin resistance in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, F; Biggs, M L; Kizer, J R; Brutsaert, E F; de Filippi, C; Newman, A B; Kronmal, R A; Tracy, R P; Gottdiener, J S; Djoussé, L; de Boer, I H; Psaty, B M; Siscovick, D S; Mukamal, K J

    2017-02-01

    Higher levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) have been associated with a decreased risk of diabetes in adults, but whether BNP is related to insulin resistance in older adults has not been established. N-terminal of the pro hormone brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro BNP) was measured among Cardiovascular Health Study participants at the 1989-1990, 1992-1993 and 1996-1997 examinations. We calculated measures of insulin resistance [homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI), Gutt index, Matsuda index] from fasting and 2-h concentrations of glucose and insulin among 3318 individuals with at least one measure of NT-proBNP and free of heart failure, coronary heart disease and chronic kidney disease, and not taking diabetes medication. We used generalized estimating equations to assess the cross-sectional association of NT-proBNP with measures of insulin resistance. Instrumental variable analysis with an allele score derived from nine genetic variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms) within or near the NPPA and NPPB loci was used to estimate an un-confounded association of NT-proBNP levels on insulin resistance. Lower NT-proBNP levels were associated with higher insulin resistance even after adjustment for BMI, waist circumference and other risk factors (P insulin resistance (P = 0.38; P = 0.01 for comparison with the association of measured levels of NT-proBNP). In older adults, lower NT-proBNP is associated with higher insulin resistance, even after adjustment for traditional risk factors. Because related genetic variants were not associated with insulin resistance, the causal nature of this association will require future study. © 2016 Diabetes UK.

  3. Resting-state brain activity in adult males who stutter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Xuan

    Full Text Available Although developmental stuttering has been extensively studied with structural and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, few studies have focused on resting-state brain activity in this disorder. We investigated resting-state brain activity of stuttering subjects by analyzing the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF, region of interest (ROI-based functional connectivity (FC and independent component analysis (ICA-based FC. Forty-four adult males with developmental stuttering and 46 age-matched fluent male controls were scanned using resting-state fMRI. ALFF, ROI-based FCs and ICA-based FCs were compared between male stuttering subjects and fluent controls in a voxel-wise manner. Compared with fluent controls, stuttering subjects showed increased ALFF in left brain areas related to speech motor and auditory functions and bilateral prefrontal cortices related to cognitive control. However, stuttering subjects showed decreased ALFF in the left posterior language reception area and bilateral non-speech motor areas. ROI-based FC analysis revealed decreased FC between the posterior language area involved in the perception and decoding of sensory information and anterior brain area involved in the initiation of speech motor function, as well as increased FC within anterior or posterior speech- and language-associated areas and between the prefrontal areas and default-mode network (DMN in stuttering subjects. ICA showed that stuttering subjects had decreased FC in the DMN and increased FC in the sensorimotor network. Our findings support the concept that stuttering subjects have deficits in multiple functional systems (motor, language, auditory and DMN and in the connections between them.

  4. Resting-State Brain Activity in Adult Males Who Stutter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Chaozhe; Wang, Liang; Yan, Qian; Lin, Chunlan; Yu, Chunshui

    2012-01-01

    Although developmental stuttering has been extensively studied with structural and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), few studies have focused on resting-state brain activity in this disorder. We investigated resting-state brain activity of stuttering subjects by analyzing the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF), region of interest (ROI)-based functional connectivity (FC) and independent component analysis (ICA)-based FC. Forty-four adult males with developmental stuttering and 46 age-matched fluent male controls were scanned using resting-state fMRI. ALFF, ROI-based FCs and ICA-based FCs were compared between male stuttering subjects and fluent controls in a voxel-wise manner. Compared with fluent controls, stuttering subjects showed increased ALFF in left brain areas related to speech motor and auditory functions and bilateral prefrontal cortices related to cognitive control. However, stuttering subjects showed decreased ALFF in the left posterior language reception area and bilateral non-speech motor areas. ROI-based FC analysis revealed decreased FC between the posterior language area involved in the perception and decoding of sensory information and anterior brain area involved in the initiation of speech motor function, as well as increased FC within anterior or posterior speech- and language-associated areas and between the prefrontal areas and default-mode network (DMN) in stuttering subjects. ICA showed that stuttering subjects had decreased FC in the DMN and increased FC in the sensorimotor network. Our findings support the concept that stuttering subjects have deficits in multiple functional systems (motor, language, auditory and DMN) and in the connections between them. PMID:22276215

  5. Effects of aspartame metabolites on astrocytes and neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rycerz, Karol; Jaworska-Adamu, Jadwiga Elżbieta

    2013-01-01

    Aspartame, a widespread sweetener used in many food products, is considered as a highly hazardous compound. Aspartame was discovered in 1965 and raises a lot of controversy up to date. Astrocytes are glial cells, the presence and functions of which are closely connected with the central nervous system (CNS). The aim of this article is to demonstrate the direct and indirect role of astrocytes participating in the harmful effects of aspartame metabolites on neurons. The artificial sweetener is broken down into phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%) during metabolism in the body. The excess of phenylalanine blocks the transport of important amino acids to the brain contributing to reduced levels of dopamine and serotonin. Astrocytes directly affect the transport of this amino acid and also indirectly by modulation of carriers in the endothelium. Aspartic acid at high concentrations is a toxin that causes hyperexcitability of neurons and is also a precursor of other excitatory amino acid - glutamates. Their excess in quantity and lack of astrocytic uptake induces excitotoxicity and leads to the degeneration of astrocytes and neurons. The methanol metabolites cause CNS depression, vision disorders and other symptoms leading ultimately to metabolic acidosis and coma. Astrocytes do not play a significant role in methanol poisoning due to a permanent consumption of large amounts of aspartame. Despite intense speculations about the carcinogenicity of aspartame, the latest studies show that its metabolite - diketopiperazine - is cancirogenic in the CNS. It contributes to the formation of tumors in the CNS such as gliomas, medulloblastomas and meningiomas. Glial cells are the main source of tumors, which can be caused inter alia by the sweetener in the brain. On the one hand the action of astrocytes during aspartame poisoning may be advantageous for neuro-protection while on the other it may intensify the destruction of neurons. The role of the glia in

  6. Taurine Biosynthesis by Neurons and Astrocytes*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitvitsky, Victor; Garg, Sanjay K.; Banerjee, Ruma

    2011-01-01

    The physiological roles of taurine, a product of cysteine degradation and one of the most abundant amino acids in the body, remain elusive. Taurine deficiency leads to heart dysfunction, brain development abnormalities, retinal degradation, and other pathologies. The taurine synthetic pathway is proposed to be incomplete in astrocytes and neurons, and metabolic cooperation between these cell types is reportedly needed to complete the pathway. In this study, we analyzed taurine synthesis capability as reported by incorporation of radioactivity from [35S]cysteine into taurine, in primary murine astrocytes and neurons, and in several transformed cell lines (human (SH-SY5Y) and murine (N1E-115) neuroblastoma, human astrocytoma (U-87MG and 1321 N1), and rat glioma (C6)). Extensive incorporation of radioactivity from [35S]cysteine into taurine was observed in rat glioma cells as well as in primary mouse astrocytes and neurons, establishing the presence of an intact taurine synthesis pathway in these cells. Interestingly, exposure of cells to cysteine or cysteamine resulted in elevated intracellular hypotaurine without a corresponding increase in taurine levels, suggesting that oxidation of hypotaurine limits taurine synthesis in cells. Consistent with its role as an organic osmolyte, taurine synthesis was stimulated under hypertonic conditions in neurons. PMID:21778230

  7. Medium-chain fatty acids inhibit mitochondrial metabolism in astrocytes promoting astrocyte-neuron lactate and ketone body shuttle systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thevenet, Jonathan; De Marchi, Umberto; Domingo, Jaime Santo; Christinat, Nicolas; Bultot, Laurent; Lefebvre, Gregory; Sakamoto, Kei; Descombes, Patrick; Masoodi, Mojgan; Wiederkehr, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Medium-chain triglycerides have been used as part of a ketogenic diet effective in reducing epileptic episodes. The health benefits of the derived medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are thought to result from the stimulation of liver ketogenesis providing fuel for the brain. We tested whether MCFAs have direct effects on energy metabolism in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human astrocytes and neurons. Using single-cell imaging, we observed an acute pronounced reduction of the mitochondrial electrical potential and a concomitant drop of the NAD(P)H signal in astrocytes, but not in neurons. Despite the observed effects on mitochondrial function, MCFAs did not lower intracellular ATP levels or activate the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase. ATP concentrations in astrocytes were unaltered, even when blocking the respiratory chain, suggesting compensation through accelerated glycolysis. The MCFA decanoic acid (300 μM) promoted glycolysis and augmented lactate formation by 49.6%. The shorter fatty acid octanoic acid (300 μM) did not affect glycolysis but increased the rates of astrocyte ketogenesis 2.17-fold compared with that of control cells. MCFAs may have brain health benefits through the modulation of astrocyte metabolism leading to activation of shuttle systems that provide fuel to neighboring neurons in the form of lactate and ketone bodies.-Thevenet, J., De Marchi, U., Santo Domingo, J., Christinat, N., Bultot, L., Lefebvre, G., Sakamoto, K., Descombes, P., Masoodi, M., Wiederkehr, A. Medium-chain fatty acids inhibit mitochondrial metabolism in astrocytes promoting astrocyte-neuron lactate and ketone body shuttle systems. © FASEB.

  8. Correlation of Ultrastructural Changes of Endothelial Cells and Astrocytes Occurring during Blood Brain Barrier Damage after Traumatic Brain Injury with Biochemical Markers of Blood Brain Barrier Leakage and Inflammatory Response

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vajtr, D.; Benada, Oldřich; Kukačka, J.; Průša, R.; Houšťava, L.; Toupalík, P.; Kizek, R.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 58, č. 2 (2009), s. 263-268 ISSN 0862-8408 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : Blood brain barrier * Expansive contusion * Metalloproteinases Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 1.430, year: 2009

  9. Transformation of Astrocytes to a Neuroprotective Phenotype by Microglia via P2Y1 Receptor Downregulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youichi Shinozaki

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Microglia and astrocytes become reactive following traumatic brain injury (TBI. However, the coordination of this reactivity and its relation to pathophysiology are unclear. Here, we show that microglia transform astrocytes into a neuroprotective phenotype via downregulation of the P2Y1 purinergic receptor. TBI initially caused microglial activation in the injury core, followed by reactive astrogliosis in the peri-injured region and formation of a neuroprotective astrocyte scar. Equivalent changes to astrocytes were observed in vitro after injury. This change in astrocyte phenotype resulted from P2Y1 receptor downregulation, mediated by microglia-derived cytokines. In mice, astrocyte-specific P2Y1 receptor overexpression (Astro-P2Y1OE counteracted scar formation, while astrocyte-specific P2Y1 receptor knockdown (Astro-P2Y1KD facilitated scar formation, suggesting critical roles of P2Y1 receptors in the transformation. Astro-P2Y1OE and Astro-P2Y1KD mice showed increased and reduced neuronal damage, respectively. Altogether, our findings indicate that microglia-astrocyte interaction, involving a purinergic signal, is essential for the formation of neuroprotective astrocytes.

  10. Does rapid and physiological astrocyte-neuron signalling amplify epileptic activity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberger, Christian

    2017-03-15

    The hippocampus is a key brain region in the pathophysiology of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Long-term changes of its architecture and function on the network and cellular level are well documented in epilepsy. Astrocytes can control many aspects of neuronal function and their long-term alterations over weeks, months and years play an important role in epilepsy. However, a pathophysiological transformation of astrocytes does not seem to be required for astrocytes to contribute to epileptic activity. Some of the properties of physiological astrocyte-neuron communication could allow these cells to exacerbate or synchronize neuronal firing on shorter time scales of milliseconds to minutes. Therefore, these astrocyte-neuron interactions are increasingly recognized as potential contributors to epileptic activity. Fast and reciprocal communication between astrocytes and neurons is enabled by a diverse set of mechanisms that could both amplify and counteract epileptic activity. They may thus promote or cause development of epileptic activity or inhibit it. Mechanisms of astrocyte-neuron interactions that can quickly increase network excitability involve, for example, astrocyte Ca 2+ and Na + signalling, K + buffering, gap junction coupling and metabolism. However, rapid changes of astrocyte neurotransmitter uptake and morphology may also underlie or support development of network hyperexcitability. The temporal characteristics of these interactions, their ability to synchronize neuronal activity and their net effect on network activity will determine their contribution to the emergence or maintenance of epileptic activity. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2016 The Physiological Society.

  11. Astrocytes take the stage in a tale of signaling-metabolism coupling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse K

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are crucial cells in the brain that are intimately coupled with neuronal metabolism. A new paper from San Martín et al. provides evidence that physiological levels of the gaseous signal molecule NO can rapidly and reversibly increase astrocyte metabolism of glucose and production...... of lactate. A proposed neurological coupling-from the potential source of NO, endothelial cells, to the potential beneficiary from the lactate, neurons-prompts new questions regarding the controversial role of lactate in the brain....

  12. Metabolic Communication between Astrocytes and Neurons via Bicarbonate-Responsive Soluble Adenylyl Cyclase

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Hyun B.; Gordon, Grant R.J.; Zhou, Ning; Tai, Chao; Rungta, Ravi L.; Martinez, Jennifer; Milner, Teresa A.; Ryu, Jae K.; McLarnon, James G.; Tresguerres, Martin; Levin, Lonny R.; Buck, Jochen; MacVicar, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes are proposed to participate in brain energy metabolism by supplying substrates to neurons from their glycogen stores and from glycolysis. However, the molecules involved in metabolic sensing and the molecular pathways responsible for metabolic coupling between different cell types in the brain are not fully understood. Here we show that a recently cloned bicarbonate (HCO3−) sensor, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC), is highly expressed in astrocytes and becomes activated in response t...

  13. Exploratory case-control study of brain tumors in adults

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burch, J.D.; Craib, K.J.; Choi, B.C.; Miller, A.B.; Risch, H.A.; Howe, G.R.

    1987-01-01

    An exploratory study of brain tumors in adults was carried out using 215 cases diagnosed in Southern Ontario between 1979 and 1982, with an individually matched, hospital control series. Significantly elevated risks were observed for reported use of spring water, drinking of wine, and consumption of pickled fish, together with a significant protective effect for the regular consumption of any of several types of fruit. While these factors are consistent with a role for N-nitroso compounds in the etiology of these tumors, for several other factors related to this hypothesis, no association was observed. Occupation in the rubber industry was associated with a significant relative risk of 9.0, though no other occupational associations were seen. Two previously unreported associations were with smoking nonfilter cigarettes with a significant trend and with the use of hair dyes or sprays. The data do not support an association between physical head trauma requiring medical attention and risk of brain tumors and indicate that exposure to ionizing radiation and vinyl chloride monomer does not contribute any appreciable fraction of attributable risk in the population studied. The findings warrant further detailed investigation in future epidemiologic studies

  14. Neuropeptide Mapping of Dimmed Cells of Adult Drosophila Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diesner, Max; Predel, Reinhard; Neupert, Susanne

    2018-05-01

    Neuropeptides are structurally highly diverse messenger molecules that act as regulators of many physiological processes such as development, metabolism, reproduction or behavior in general. Differentiation of neuropeptidergic cells often corresponds with the presence of the transcription factor DIMMED. In the central nervous system of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, DIMMED commonly occurs in neuroendocrine neurons that release peptides as neurohormones but also in interneurons with complex branching patterns. Fly strains with green fluorescence protein (GFP)-expressing dimmed cells make it possible to systematically analyze the processed neuropeptides in these cells. In this study, we mapped individual GFP-expressing neurons of adult D. melanogaster from the dimmed ( c929)>GFP line. Using single cell mass spectrometry, we analyzed 10 types of dimmed neurons from the brain/gnathal ganglion. These cells included neuroendocrine cells with projection into the retrocerebral complex but also a number of large interneurons. Resulting mass spectra not only provided comprehensive data regarding mature products from 13 neuropeptide precursors but also evidence for the cellular co-localization of neuropeptides from different neuropeptide genes. The results can be implemented in a neuroanatomical map of the D. melanogaster brain. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  15. Neuropeptide Mapping of Dimmed Cells of Adult Drosophila Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diesner, Max; Predel, Reinhard; Neupert, Susanne

    2018-01-01

    Neuropeptides are structurally highly diverse messenger molecules that act as regulators of many physiological processes such as development, metabolism, reproduction or behavior in general. Differentiation of neuropeptidergic cells often corresponds with the presence of the transcription factor DIMMED. In the central nervous system of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, DIMMED commonly occurs in neuroendocrine neurons that release peptides as neurohormones but also in interneurons with complex branching patterns. Fly strains with green fluorescence protein (GFP)-expressing dimmed cells make it possible to systematically analyze the processed neuropeptides in these cells. In this study, we mapped individual GFP-expressing neurons of adult D. melanogaster from the dimmed (c929)>GFP line. Using single cell mass spectrometry, we analyzed 10 types of dimmed neurons from the brain/gnathal ganglion. These cells included neuroendocrine cells with projection into the retrocerebral complex but also a number of large interneurons. Resulting mass spectra not only provided comprehensive data regarding mature products from 13 neuropeptide precursors but also evidence for the cellular co-localization of neuropeptides from different neuropeptide genes. The results can be implemented in a neuroanatomical map of the D. melanogaster brain. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  16. Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting of Adult Brain Tumors: Initial Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badve, Chaitra; Yu, Alice; Dastmalchian, Sara; Rogers, Matthew; Ma, Dan; Jiang, Yun; Margevicius, Seunghee; Pahwa, Shivani; Lu, Ziang; Schluchter, Mark; Sunshine, Jeffrey; Griswold, Mark; Sloan, Andrew; Gulani, Vikas

    2016-01-01

    Background Magnetic resonance fingerprinting (MRF) allows rapid simultaneous quantification of T1 and T2 relaxation times. This study assesses the utility of MRF in differentiating between common types of adult intra-axial brain tumors. Methods MRF acquisition was performed in 31 patients with untreated intra-axial brain tumors: 17 glioblastomas, 6 WHO grade II lower-grade gliomas and 8 metastases. T1, T2 of the solid tumor (ST), immediate peritumoral white matter (PW), and contralateral white matter (CW) were summarized within each region of interest. Statistical comparisons on mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis were performed using univariate Wilcoxon rank sum test across various tumor types. Bonferroni correction was used to correct for multiple comparisons testing. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed for discrimination between glioblastomas and metastases and area under the receiver operator curve (AUC) was calculated. Results Mean T2 values could differentiate solid tumor regions of lower-grade gliomas from metastases (mean±sd: 172±53ms and 105±27ms respectively, p =0.004, significant after Bonferroni correction). Mean T1 of PW surrounding lower-grade gliomas differed from PW around glioblastomas (mean±sd: 1066±218ms and 1578±331ms respectively, p=0.004, significant after Bonferroni correction). Logistic regression analysis revealed that mean T2 of ST offered best separation between glioblastomas and metastases with AUC of 0.86 (95% CI 0.69–1.00, p<0.0001). Conclusion MRF allows rapid simultaneous T1, T2 measurement in brain tumors and surrounding tissues. MRF based relaxometry can identify quantitative differences between solid-tumor regions of lower grade gliomas and metastases and between peritumoral regions of glioblastomas and lower grade gliomas. PMID:28034994

  17. Characteristics of calcium signaling in astrocytes induced by photostimulation with femtosecond laser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yuan; Zhang, Yuan; Zhou, Wei; Liu, Xiuli; Zeng, Shaoqun; Luo, Qingming

    2010-05-01

    Astrocytes have been identified to actively contribute to brain functions through Ca2+ signaling, serving as a bridge to communicate with neurons and other brain cells. However, conventional stimulation techniques are hard to apply to delicate investigations on astrocytes. Our group previously reported photostimulation with a femtosecond laser to evoke astrocytic calcium (Ca2+) waves, providing a noninvasive and efficient approach with highly precise targeting. In this work, detailed characteristics of astrocytic Ca2+ signaling induced by photostimulation are presented. In a purified astrocytic culture, after the illumination of a femtosecond laser onto one cell, a Ca2+ wave throughout the network with reduced speed is induced, and intracellular Ca2+ oscillations are observed. The intercellular propagation is pharmacologically confirmed to be mainly mediated by ATP through P2Y receptors. Different patterns of Ca2+ elevations with increased amplitude in the stimulated astrocyte are discovered by varying the femtosecond laser power, which is correspondingly followed by broader intercellular waves. These indicate that the strength of photogenerated Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes has a positive relationship with the stimulating laser power. Therefore, distinct Ca2+ signaling is feasibly available for specific studies on astrocytes by employing precisely controlled photostimulation.

  18. Long-Term Plasticity of Astrocytic Metabotropic Neurotransmitter Receptors Driven by Changes in Neuronal Activity in Hippocampal Slices

    OpenAIRE

    Xie, Xiaoqiao

    2011-01-01

    In addition to synaptic communication between neurons, there is now strong evidence for neuron-to-astrocyte receptor signaling in the brain. During trains of action potentials or repetitive stimulation, neurotransmitter spills out of the synapse to activate astrocytic Gq protein-coupled receptors (Gq GPCRs). To date, very little is known about the ability of astrocytic receptors to exhibit plasticity as a result of long-term changes in neuronal firing rates. Here we describe for the first tim...

  19. Central Artery Stiffness, Baroreflex Sensitivity, and Brain White Matter Neuronal Fiber Integrity in Older Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Tarumi, Takashi; de Jong, Daan L.K.; Zhu, David C.; Tseng, Benjamin Y.; Liu, Jie; Hill, Candace; Riley, Jonathan; Womack, Kyle B.; Kerwin, Diana R.; Lu, Hanzhang; Cullum, C. Munro; Zhang, Rong

    2015-01-01

    Cerebral hypoperfusion elevates the risk of brain white matter (WM) lesions and cognitive impairment. Central artery stiffness impairs baroreflex, which controls systemic arterial perfusion, and may deteriorate neuronal fiber integrity of brain WM. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations among brain WM neuronal fiber integrity, baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and central artery stiffness in older adults. Fifty-four adults (65±6 years) with normal cognitive function or mild cog...

  20. Alteration of astrocytes and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the frontal cortex of autistic subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cao Fujiang

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction, verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. To date the etiology of this disorder is poorly understood. Studies suggest that astrocytes play critical roles in neural plasticity by detecting neuronal activity and modulating neuronal networks. Recently, a number of studies suggested that an abnormal function of glia/astrocytes may be involved in the development of autism. However, there is yet no direct evidence showing how astrocytes develop in the brain of autistic individuals. Methods Study subjects include brain tissue from autistic subjects, BTBR T + tfJ (BTBR and Neuroligin (NL-3 knock-down mice. Western blot analysis, Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy studies have be used to examine the density and morphology of astrocytes, as well as Wnt and β-catenin protein expression. Results In this study, we demonstrate that the astrocytes in autisitcsubjects exhibit significantly reduced branching processes, total branching length and cell body sizes. We also detected an astrocytosis in the frontal cortex of autistic subjects. In addition, we found that the astrocytes in the brain of an NL3 knockdown mouse exhibited similar alterations to what we found in the autistic brain. Furthermore, we detected that both Wnt and β-catenin proteins are decreased in the frontal cortex of autistic subjects. Wnt/β-catenin pathway has been suggested to be involved in the regulation of astrocyte development. Conclusions Our findings imply that defects in astrocytes could impair neuronal plasticity and partially contribute to the development of autistic-like behaviors in both humans and mice. The alteration of Wnt/β-catenin pathway in the brain of autistic subjects may contribute to the changes of astrocytes.

  1. Astrocytic GABA transporter activity modulates excitatory neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boddum, Kim; Jensen, Thomas P.; Magloire, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    unrecognized role for the astrocytic GABA transporter, GAT-3. GAT-3 activity results in a rise in astrocytic Na(+) concentrations and a consequent increase in astrocytic Ca(2+) through Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange. This leads to the release of ATP/adenosine by astrocytes, which then diffusely inhibits neuronal...

  2. Astrocytes as a source for Extracellular matrix molecules and cytokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eWiese

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Research of the past 25 years has shown that astrocytes do more than participating and building up the blood brain barrier and detoxify the active synapse by reuptake of neurotransmitters and ions. Indeed, astrocytes express neurotransmitter receptors and, as a consequence, respond to stimuli. Deeper knowledge of the differentiation processes during development of the central nervous system (CNS might help explaining and even help treating neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and psychiatric disorders in which astrocytes have been shown to play a role. Astrocytes and oligodendrocytes develop from a multipotent stem cell that prior to this has produced primarily neuronal precursor cells. This switch towards the more astroglial differentiation is regulated by a change in receptor composition on the cell surface and responsiveness of the respective trophic factors Fibroblast growth factor (FGF and Epidermal growth factor (EGF. The glial precursor cell is driven into the astroglial direction by signaling molecules like Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs, and EGF. However, the early astrocytes influence their environment not only by releasing and responding to diverse soluble factors but also express a wide range of extracellular matrix (ECM molecules, in particular proteoglycans of the lectican family and tenascins. Lately these ECM molecules have been shown to participate in glial development. In this regard, especially the matrix protein Tenascin C (Tnc proved to be an important regulator of astrocyte precursor cell proliferation and migration during spinal cord development. On the other hand, ECM molecules expressed by reactive astrocytes are also known to act mostly in an inhibitory fashion under pathophysiological conditions. In this regard, we further summarize recent data concerning the role of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans and Tnc under pathological

  3. A role for thrombospondin-1 deficits in astrocyte-mediated spine and synaptic pathology in Down's syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavio Garcia

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Down's syndrome (DS is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation. Reduced number and aberrant architecture of dendritic spines are common features of DS neuropathology. However, the mechanisms involved in DS spine alterations are not known. In addition to a relevant role in synapse formation and maintenance, astrocytes can regulate spine dynamics by releasing soluble factors or by physical contact with neurons. We have previously shown impaired mitochondrial function in DS astrocytes leading to metabolic alterations in protein processing and secretion. In this study, we investigated whether deficits in astrocyte function contribute to DS spine pathology.Using a human astrocyte/rat hippocampal neuron coculture, we found that DS astrocytes are directly involved in the development of spine malformations and reduced synaptic density. We also show that thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1, an astrocyte-secreted protein, possesses a potent modulatory effect on spine number and morphology, and that both DS brains and DS astrocytes exhibit marked deficits in TSP-1 protein expression. Depletion of TSP-1 from normal astrocytes resulted in dramatic changes in spine morphology, while restoration of TSP-1 levels prevented DS astrocyte-mediated spine and synaptic alterations. Astrocyte cultures derived from TSP-1 KO mice exhibited similar deficits to support spine formation and structure than DS astrocytes.These results indicate that human astrocytes promote spine and synapse formation, identify astrocyte dysfunction as a significant factor of spine and synaptic pathology in the DS brain, and provide a mechanistic rationale for the exploration of TSP-1-based therapies to treat spine and synaptic pathology in DS and other neurological conditions.

  4. Adult Neurogenesis in the Mammalian Brain: Significant Answers and Significant Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Guo-li; Song, Hongjun

    2011-01-01

    Summary Adult neurogenesis, a process of generating functional neurons from adult neural precursors, occurs throughout life in restricted brain regions in mammals. The past decade has witnessed tremendous progress in addressing questions related to almost every aspect of adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain. Here we review major advances in our understanding of adult mammalian neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and from the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle, the rostral migratory stream to the olfactory bulb. We highlight emerging principles that have significant implications for stem cell biology, developmental neurobiology, neural plasticity, and disease mechanisms. We also discuss remaining questions related to adult neural stem cells and their niches, underlying regulatory mechanisms and potential functions of newborn neurons in the adult brain. Building upon the recent progress and aided by new technologies, the adult neurogenesis field is poised to leap forward in the next decade. PMID:21609825

  5. Glutamate oxidation in astrocytes: Roles of glutamate dehydrogenase and aminotransferases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McKenna, Mary C; Stridh, Malin H; McNair, Laura Frendrup

    2016-01-01

    to the presynaptic neurons as the nonexcitatory amino acid glutamine. The cycle was initially thought to function with a 1:1 ratio between glutamate released and glutamine taken up by neurons. However, studies of glutamate metabolism in astrocytes have shown that a considerable proportion of glutamate undergoes...... the enzymes that mediate this conversion. Methods include pharmacological tools such as the transaminase inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid, studies using GDH knockout mice, and siRNA-mediated knockdown of GDH in astrocytes. Studies in brain slices incubated with [15N]glutamate demonstrated activity of GDH......The cellular distribution of transporters and enzymes related to glutamate metabolism led to the concept of the glutamate–glutamine cycle. Glutamate is released as a neurotransmitter and taken up primarily by astrocytes ensheathing the synapses. The glutamate carbon skeleton is transferred back...

  6. Rat nucleus accumbens core astrocytes modulate reward and the motivation to self-administer ethanol after abstinence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Cecilia; Freitas, Kelen C C; Zou, Shiping; Poland, Ryan S; Syed, Wahab A; Urban, Daniel J; Minter, Sabrina C; Shelton, Keith L; Hauser, Kurt F; Negus, S Stevens; Knapp, Pamela E; Bowers, M Scott

    2014-11-01

    Our understanding of the active role that astrocytes play in modulating neuronal function and behavior is rapidly expanding, but little is known about the role that astrocytes may play in drug-seeking behavior for commonly abused substances. Given that the nucleus accumbens is critically involved in substance abuse and motivation, we sought to determine whether nucleus accumbens astrocytes influence the motivation to self-administer ethanol following abstinence. We found that the packing density of astrocytes that were expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein increased in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) during abstinence from EtOH self-administration. No change was observed in the nucleus accumbens shell. This increased NAcore astrocyte density positively correlated with the motivation for ethanol. Astrocytes can communicate with one another and influence neuronal activity through gap-junction hemichannels. Because of this, the effect of blocking gap-junction hemichannels on the motivation for ethanol was examined. The motivation to self-administer ethanol after 3 weeks abstinence was increased following microinjection of gap-junction hemichannel blockers into the NAcore at doses that block both neuronal and astrocytic channels. In contrast, no effect was observed following microinjection of doses that are not thought to block astrocytic channels or following microinjection of either dose into the nucleus accumbens shell. Additionally, the motivation for sucrose after 3 weeks abstinence was unaffected by NAcore gap-junction hemichannel blockers. Next, Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) were selectively expressed in NAcore astrocytes to test the effect of astrocyte stimulation. DREADD activation increased cytosolic calcium in primary astrocytes, facilitated responding for rewarding brain stimulation, and reduced the motivation for ethanol after 3 weeks abstinence. This is the first work to modulate drug-seeking behavior with

  7. Astrocyte - neuron lactate shuttle may boost more ATP supply to the neuron under hypoxic conditions - in silico study supported by in vitro expression data

    OpenAIRE

    Genc, Seda; Kurnaz, Isil A; Ozilgen, Mustafa

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Neuro-glial interactions are important for normal functioning of the brain as well as brain energy metabolism. There are two major working models - in the classical view, both neurons and astrocytes can utilize glucose as the energy source through oxidative metabolism, whereas in the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle hypothesis (ANLSH) it is the astrocyte which can consume glucose through anaerobic glycolysis to pyruvate and then to lactate, and this lactate is secreted to ...

  8. Adding insult to brain injury: young adults' experiences of residing in nursing homes following acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, Aoife; Heary, Caroline; Ward, Marcia; MacNeela, Pádraig

    2017-08-28

    There is general consensus that adults under age 65 with acquired brain injury residing in nursing homes is inappropriate, however there is a limited evidence base on the issue. Previous research has relied heavily on third-party informants and qualitative studies have been of questionable methodological quality, with no known study adopting a phenomenological approach. This study explored the lived experiences of young adults with brain injury residing in aged care facilities. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed to collect and analyze data from six semi-structured interviews with participants regarding their experiences of living in nursing homes. Two themes were identified, including "Corporeal prison of acquired brain injury: broken selves" and "Existential prison of the nursing home: stagnated lives". Results illustrated that young adults with acquired brain injury can experience aged care as an existential prison in which their lives feel at a standstill. This experience was characterized by feelings of not belonging in a terminal environment, confinement, disempowerment, emptiness and hope for greater autonomy through rehabilitation. It is hoped that this study will provide relevant professionals, services and policy-makers with insight into the challenges and needs of young adults with brain injury facing these circumstances. Implications for rehabilitation This study supports the contention that more home-like and age-appropriate residential rehabilitation services for young adults with acquired brain injury are needed. As development of alternative accommodation is a lengthy process, the study findings suggest that the interim implementation of rehabilitative care in nursing homes should be considered. Taken together with existing research, it is proposed that nursing home staff may require training to deliver evidence-based rehabilitative interventions to those with brain injury. The present findings add support to the call for systemic

  9. Epigenetic control of vasopressin expression is maintained by steroid hormones in the adult male rat brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auger, Catherine J.; Coss, Dylan; Auger, Anthony P.; Forbes-Lorman, Robin M.

    2011-01-01

    Although some DNA methylation patterns are altered by steroid hormone exposure in the developing brain, less is known about how changes in steroid hormone levels influence DNA methylation patterns in the adult brain. Steroid hormones act in the adult brain to regulate gene expression. Specifically, the expression of the socially relevant peptide vasopressin (AVP) within the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) of adult brain is dependent upon testosterone exposure. Castration dramatically reduces and testosterone replacement restores AVP expression within the BST. As decreases in mRNA expression are associated with increases in DNA promoter methylation, we explored the hypothesis that AVP expression in the adult brain is maintained through sustained epigenetic modifications of the AVP gene promoter. We find that castration of adult male rats resulted in decreased AVP mRNA expression and increased methylation of specific CpG sites within the AVP promoter in the BST. Similarly, castration significantly increased estrogen receptor α (ERα) mRNA expression and decreased ERα promoter methylation within the BST. These changes were prevented by testosterone replacement. This suggests that the DNA promoter methylation status of some steroid responsive genes in the adult brain is actively maintained by the presence of circulating steroid hormones. The maintenance of methylated or demethylated states of some genes in the adult brain by the presence of steroid hormones may play a role in the homeostatic regulation of behaviorally relevant systems. PMID:21368111

  10. GABA from reactive astrocytes impairs memory in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Seonmi; Yarishkin, Oleg; Hwang, Yu Jin; Chun, Ye Eun; Park, Mijeong; Woo, Dong Ho; Bae, Jin Young; Kim, Taekeun; Lee, Jaekwang; Chun, Heejung; Park, Hyun Jung; Lee, Da Yong; Hong, Jinpyo; Kim, Hye Yun; Oh, Soo-Jin; Park, Seung Ju; Lee, Hyo; Yoon, Bo-Eun; Kim, YoungSoo; Jeong, Yong; Shim, Insop; Bae, Yong Chul; Cho, Jeiwon; Kowall, Neil W; Ryu, Hoon; Hwang, Eunmi; Kim, Daesoo; Lee, C Justin

    2014-08-01

    In Alzheimer's disease (AD), memory impairment is the most prominent feature that afflicts patients and their families. Although reactive astrocytes have been observed around amyloid plaques since the disease was first described, their role in memory impairment has been poorly understood. Here, we show that reactive astrocytes aberrantly and abundantly produce the inhibitory gliotransmitter GABA by monoamine oxidase-B (Maob) and abnormally release GABA through the bestrophin 1 channel. In the dentate gyrus of mouse models of AD, the released GABA reduces spike probability of granule cells by acting on presynaptic GABA receptors. Suppressing GABA production or release from reactive astrocytes fully restores the impaired spike probability, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory in the mice. In the postmortem brain of individuals with AD, astrocytic GABA and MAOB are significantly upregulated. We propose that selective inhibition of astrocytic GABA synthesis or release may serve as an effective therapeutic strategy for treating memory impairment in AD.

  11. Raindrops of synaptic noise on dual excitability landscape: an approach to astrocyte network modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verisokin, Andrey Yu.; Postnov, Dmitry E.; Verveyko, Darya V.; Brazhe, Alexey R.

    2018-04-01

    The most abundant non-neuronal cells in the brain, astrocytes, populate all parts of the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytic calcium activity ranging from subcellular sparkles to intercellular waves is believed to be the key to a plethora of regulatory pathways in the central nervous system from synaptic plasticity to blood flow regulation. Modeling of the calcium wave initiation and transmission and their spatiotemporal dynamics is therefore an important step stone in understanding the crucial cogs of cognition. Astrocytes are active sensors of ongoing neuronal and synaptic activity, and neurotransmitters diffusing from the synaptic cleft make a strong impact on the astrocytic activity. Here we propose a model describing the patterns of calcium wave formation at a single cell level and discuss the interplay between astrocyte shape the calcium waves dynamics driven by local stochastic surges of glutamate simulating synaptic activity.

  12. Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte communication at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murai, Keith K; Pasquale, Elena B

    2011-11-01

    Neuron-glia communication is essential for regulating the properties of synaptic connections in the brain. Astrocytes, in particular, play a critical and complex role in synapse development, maintenance, and plasticity. Likewise, neurons reciprocally influence astrocyte physiology. However, the molecular signaling events that enable astrocytes and neurons to effectively communicate with each other are only partially defined. Recent findings have revealed that Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrins play an important role in contact-dependent neuron-glia communication at synapses. Upon binding, these two families of cell surface-associated proteins trigger bidirectional signaling events that regulate the structural and physiological properties of both neurons and astrocytes. This review will focus on the emerging role of Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte interaction at synapses and discuss implications for synaptic plasticity, behavior, and disease. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. NT2 derived neuronal and astrocytic network signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J Hill

    Full Text Available A major focus of stem cell research is the generation of neurons that may then be implanted to treat neurodegenerative diseases. However, a picture is emerging where astrocytes are partners to neurons in sustaining and modulating brain function. We therefore investigated the functional properties of NT2 derived astrocytes and neurons using electrophysiological and calcium imaging approaches. NT2 neurons (NT2Ns expressed sodium dependent action potentials, as well as responses to depolarisation and the neurotransmitter glutamate. NT2Ns exhibited spontaneous and coordinated calcium elevations in clusters and in extended processes, indicating local and long distance signalling. Tetrodotoxin sensitive network activity could also be evoked by electrical stimulation. Similarly, NT2 astrocytes (NT2As exhibited morphology and functional properties consistent with this glial cell type. NT2As responded to neuronal activity and to exogenously applied neurotransmitters with calcium elevations, and in contrast to neurons, also exhibited spontaneous rhythmic calcium oscillations. NT2As also generated propagating calcium waves that were gap junction and purinergic signalling dependent. Our results show that NT2 derived astrocytes exhibit appropriate functionality and that NT2N networks interact with NT2A networks in co-culture. These findings underline the utility of such cultures to investigate human brain cell type signalling under controlled conditions. Furthermore, since stem cell derived neuron function and survival is of great importance therapeutically, our findings suggest that the presence of complementary astrocytes may be valuable in supporting stem cell derived neuronal networks. Indeed, this also supports the intriguing possibility of selective therapeutic replacement of astrocytes in diseases where these cells are either lost or lose functionality.

  14. Astrocytic GABA Transporters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Arne; Wellendorph, Petrine; Frølund, Bente

    2017-01-01

    , and several of these compounds have been shown to exhibit pronounced anticonvulsant activity in a variety of animal seizure models. As proof of concept of the validity of this drug development approach, one GABA-transport inhibitor, tiagabine, has been developed as a clinically active antiepileptic drug......Inactivation of GABA-mediated neurotransmission is achieved by high-affinity transporters located at both GABAergic neurons and the surrounding astrocytes. Early studies of the pharmacological properties of neuronal and glial GABA transporters suggested that different types of transporters might...... be expressed in the two cell types, and such a scenario was confirmed by the cloning of four distinctly different GABA transporters from a number of different species. These GABA-transport entities have been extensively characterized using a large number of GABA analogues of restricted conformation...

  15. Hippocampal Astrocytes in Migrating and Wintering Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho-Paulo, Dario; de Morais Magalhães, Nara G; de Almeida Miranda, Diego; Diniz, Daniel G; Henrique, Ediely P; Moraes, Isis A M; Pereira, Patrick D C; de Melo, Mauro A D; de Lima, Camila M; de Oliveira, Marcus A; Guerreiro-Diniz, Cristovam; Sherry, David F; Diniz, Cristovam W P

    2017-01-01

    Seasonal migratory birds return to the same breeding and wintering grounds year after year, and migratory long-distance shorebirds are good examples of this. These tasks require learning and long-term spatial memory abilities that are integrated into a navigational system for repeatedly locating breeding, wintering, and stopover sites. Previous investigations focused on the neurobiological basis of hippocampal plasticity and numerical estimates of hippocampal neurogenesis in birds but only a few studies investigated potential contributions of glial cells to hippocampal-dependent tasks related to migration. Here we hypothesized that the astrocytes of migrating and wintering birds may exhibit significant morphological and numerical differences connected to the long-distance flight. We used as a model the semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla , that migrates from northern Canada and Alaska to South America. Before the transatlantic non-stop long-distance component of their flight, the birds make a stopover at the Bay of Fundy in Canada. To test our hypothesis, we estimated total numbers and compared the three-dimensional (3-D) morphological features of adult C. pusilla astrocytes captured in the Bay of Fundy ( n = 249 cells) with those from birds captured in the coastal region of Bragança, Brazil, during the wintering period ( n = 250 cells). Optical fractionator was used to estimate the number of astrocytes and for 3-D reconstructions we used hierarchical cluster analysis. Both morphological phenotypes showed reduced morphological complexity after the long-distance non-stop flight, but the reduction in complexity was much greater in Type I than in Type II astrocytes. Coherently, we also found a significant reduction in the total number of astrocytes after the transatlantic flight. Taken together these findings suggest that the long-distance non-stop flight altered significantly the astrocytes population and that morphologically distinct astrocytes may play

  16. Hippocampal Astrocytes in Migrating and Wintering Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Carvalho-Paulo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal migratory birds return to the same breeding and wintering grounds year after year, and migratory long-distance shorebirds are good examples of this. These tasks require learning and long-term spatial memory abilities that are integrated into a navigational system for repeatedly locating breeding, wintering, and stopover sites. Previous investigations focused on the neurobiological basis of hippocampal plasticity and numerical estimates of hippocampal neurogenesis in birds but only a few studies investigated potential contributions of glial cells to hippocampal-dependent tasks related to migration. Here we hypothesized that the astrocytes of migrating and wintering birds may exhibit significant morphological and numerical differences connected to the long-distance flight. We used as a model the semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla, that migrates from northern Canada and Alaska to South America. Before the transatlantic non-stop long-distance component of their flight, the birds make a stopover at the Bay of Fundy in Canada. To test our hypothesis, we estimated total numbers and compared the three-dimensional (3-D morphological features of adult C. pusilla astrocytes captured in the Bay of Fundy (n = 249 cells with those from birds captured in the coastal region of Bragança, Brazil, during the wintering period (n = 250 cells. Optical fractionator was used to estimate the number of astrocytes and for 3-D reconstructions we used hierarchical cluster analysis. Both morphological phenotypes showed reduced morphological complexity after the long-distance non-stop flight, but the reduction in complexity was much greater in Type I than in Type II astrocytes. Coherently, we also found a significant reduction in the total number of astrocytes after the transatlantic flight. Taken together these findings suggest that the long-distance non-stop flight altered significantly the astrocytes population and that morphologically distinct astrocytes

  17. Cleavage of Hyaluronan and CD44 Adhesion Molecule Regulate Astrocyte Morphology via Rac1 Signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Konopka

    Full Text Available Communication of cells with their extracellular environment is crucial to fulfill their function in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The literature data provide evidence that such a communication is also important in case of astrocytes. Mechanisms that contribute to the interaction between astrocytes and extracellular matrix (ECM proteins are still poorly understood. Hyaluronan is the main component of ECM in the brain, where its major receptor protein CD44 is expressed by a subset of astrocytes. Considering the fact that functions of astrocytes are tightly coupled with changes in their morphology (e.g.: glutamate clearance in the synaptic cleft, migration, astrogliosis, we investigated the influence of hyaluronan cleavage by hyaluronidase, knockdown of CD44 by specific shRNA and CD44 overexpression on astrocyte morphology. Our results show that hyaluronidase treatment, as well as knockdown of CD44, in astrocytes result in a "stellate"-like morphology, whereas overexpression of CD44 causes an increase in cell body size and changes the shape of astrocytes into flattened cells. Moreover, as a dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is supposed to be responsible for morphological changes of cells, and this reorganization is controlled by small GTPases of the Rho family, we hypothesized that GTPase Rac1 acts as a downstream effector for hyaluronan and CD44 in astrocytes. We used FRET-based biosensor and a dominant negative mutant of Rac1 to investigate the involvement of Rac1 activity in hyaluronidase- and CD44-dependent morphological changes of astrocytes. Both, hyaluronidase treatment and knockdown of CD44, enhances Rac1 activity while overexpression of CD44 reduces the activity state in astrocytes. Furthermore, morphological changes were blocked by specific inhibition of Rac1 activity. These findings indicate for the first time that regulation of Rac1 activity is responsible for hyaluronidase and CD44-driven morphological

  18. Cleavage of Hyaluronan and CD44 Adhesion Molecule Regulate Astrocyte Morphology via Rac1 Signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Anna; Zeug, Andre; Skupien, Anna; Kaza, Beata; Mueller, Franziska; Chwedorowicz, Agnieszka; Ponimaskin, Evgeni; Wilczynski, Grzegorz M; Dzwonek, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    Communication of cells with their extracellular environment is crucial to fulfill their function in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The literature data provide evidence that such a communication is also important in case of astrocytes. Mechanisms that contribute to the interaction between astrocytes and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins are still poorly understood. Hyaluronan is the main component of ECM in the brain, where its major receptor protein CD44 is expressed by a subset of astrocytes. Considering the fact that functions of astrocytes are tightly coupled with changes in their morphology (e.g.: glutamate clearance in the synaptic cleft, migration, astrogliosis), we investigated the influence of hyaluronan cleavage by hyaluronidase, knockdown of CD44 by specific shRNA and CD44 overexpression on astrocyte morphology. Our results show that hyaluronidase treatment, as well as knockdown of CD44, in astrocytes result in a "stellate"-like morphology, whereas overexpression of CD44 causes an increase in cell body size and changes the shape of astrocytes into flattened cells. Moreover, as a dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is supposed to be responsible for morphological changes of cells, and this reorganization is controlled by small GTPases of the Rho family, we hypothesized that GTPase Rac1 acts as a downstream effector for hyaluronan and CD44 in astrocytes. We used FRET-based biosensor and a dominant negative mutant of Rac1 to investigate the involvement of Rac1 activity in hyaluronidase- and CD44-dependent morphological changes of astrocytes. Both, hyaluronidase treatment and knockdown of CD44, enhances Rac1 activity while overexpression of CD44 reduces the activity state in astrocytes. Furthermore, morphological changes were blocked by specific inhibition of Rac1 activity. These findings indicate for the first time that regulation of Rac1 activity is responsible for hyaluronidase and CD44-driven morphological changes of

  19. Astrocyte glycogenolysis is triggered by store-operated calcium entry and provides metabolic energy for cellular calcium homeostasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Margit S; Fox, Rebecca; Schousboe, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytic glycogen, the only storage form of glucose in the brain, has been shown to play a fundamental role in supporting learning and memory, an effect achieved by providing metabolic support for neurons. We have examined the interplay between glycogenolysis and the bioenergetics of astrocytic...

  20. CPEB1 modulates lipopolysaccharide-mediated iNOS induction in rat primary astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Ki Chan; Hyun Joo, So; Shin, Chan Young

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Expression and phosphorylation of CPEB1 is increased by LPS stimulation in rat primary astrocytes. → JNK regulates expression and phosphorylation of CPEB1 in reactive astrocytes. → Down-regulation of CPEB1 using siRNA inhibits oxidative stress and iNOS induction by LPS stimulation. → CPEB1 may play an important role in regulating inflammatory responses in reactive astrocytes induced by LPS. -- Abstract: Upon CNS damage, astrocytes undergo a series of biological changes including increased proliferation, production of inflammatory mediators and morphological changes, in a response collectively called reactive gliosis. This process is an essential part of the brains response to injury, yet much is unknown about the molecular mechanism(s) that induce these changes. In this study, we investigated the role of cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein 1 (CPEB1) in the regulation of inflammatory responses in a model of reactive gliosis, lipopolysaccharide-stimulated astrocytes. CPEB1 is an mRNA-binding protein recently shown to be expressed in astrocytes that may play a role in astrocytes migration. After LPS stimulation, the expression and phosphorylation of CPEB1 was increased in rat primary astrocytes in a JNK-dependent process. siRNA-induced knockdown of CPEB1 expression inhibited the LPS-induced up-regulation of iNOS as well as NO and ROS production, a hallmark of immunological activation of astrocytes. The results from the study suggest that CPEB1 is actively involved in the regulation of inflammatory responses in astrocytes, which might provide new insights into the regulatory mechanism after brain injury.

  1. Astrocyte, the star avatar: redefined

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Srinivas

    LIF, leukaemia inhibitory factor; LTP, long-term potentiation; MBP, myelin basic protein; MCP, ... In short, astrocytes are multifunctional, efficient housekeeping cells that help neurons become ..... memory, synaptic plasticity and induction of LTP.

  2. Community integration after severe traumatic brain injury in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truelle, Jean-Luc; Fayol, Patrick; Montreuil, Michèle; Chevignard, Mathilde

    2010-12-01

    Despite being the main cause of death and disability in young adults, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a rather neglected epidemic. Community integration of persons with TBI was, until recently, insufficiently informed by clinical research. To bridge the gap between rehabilitation and community re-entry, the first task is to assess the person, using TBI-specific outcome measures. The second task is to provide re-entry programs, the effectiveness of which is assessed by those measures, using well designed studies. There are very few such studies. However, there are some effective comprehensive programs and others which are specifically targeted dealing mainly with return to work, behavior, and family issues. The complex psychological and environmental components of the disability require individualized and often long-term care. For persons with severe TBI trying to achieve the best possible community integration a new semiology is required, not just limited to medical care, but also involving social and psychological care that is tailored to the needs of each individual and family, living within his/her environment. Currently, only a minority benefit from well validated programs.

  3. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  4. Understanding spatial and temporal patterning of astrocyte calcium transients via interactions between network transport and extracellular diffusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtrahman, E.; Maruyama, D.; Olariu, E.; Fink, C. G.; Zochowski, M.

    2017-02-01

    Astrocytes form interconnected networks in the brain and communicate via calcium signaling. We investigate how modes of coupling between astrocytes influence the spatio-temporal patterns of calcium signaling within astrocyte networks and specifically how these network interactions promote coordination within this group of cells. To investigate these complex phenomena, we study reduced cultured networks of astrocytes and neurons. We image the spatial temporal patterns of astrocyte calcium activity and quantify how perturbing the coupling between astrocytes influences astrocyte activity patterns. To gain insight into the pattern formation observed in these cultured networks, we compare the experimentally observed calcium activity patterns to the patterns produced by a reduced computational model, where we represent astrocytes as simple units that integrate input through two mechanisms: gap junction coupling (network transport) and chemical release (extracellular diffusion). We examine the activity patterns in the simulated astrocyte network and their dependence upon these two coupling mechanisms. We find that gap junctions and extracellular chemical release interact in astrocyte networks to modulate the spatiotemporal patterns of their calcium dynamics. We show agreement between the computational and experimental findings, which suggests that the complex global patterns can be understood as a result of simple local coupling mechanisms.

  5. Astrocytes promote myelination in response to electrical impulses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, Tomoko; Dakin, Kelly A; Stevens, Beth; Lee, Philip R; Kozlov, Serguei V; Stewart, Colin L; Fields, R Douglas

    2006-03-16

    Myelin, the insulating layers of membrane wrapped around axons by oligodendrocytes, is essential for normal impulse conduction. It forms during late stages of fetal development but continues into early adult life. Myelination correlates with cognitive development and can be regulated by impulse activity through unknown molecular mechanisms. Astrocytes do not form myelin, but these nonneuronal cells can promote myelination in ways that are not understood. Here, we identify a link between myelination, astrocytes, and electrical impulse activity in axons that is mediated by the cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). These findings show that LIF is released by astrocytes in response to ATP liberated from axons firing action potentials, and LIF promotes myelination by mature oligodendrocytes. This activity-dependent mechanism promoting myelination could regulate myelination according to functional activity or environmental experience and may offer new approaches to treating demyelinating diseases.

  6. Involvement of Astrocytes in Mediating the Central Effects of Ghrelin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frago, Laura M.; Chowen, Julie A.

    2017-01-01

    Although astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the mammalian brain, much remains to be learned about their molecular and functional features. Astrocytes express receptors for numerous hormones and metabolic factors, including the appetite-promoting hormone ghrelin. The metabolic effects of ghrelin are largely opposite to those of leptin, as it stimulates food intake and decreases energy expenditure. Ghrelin is also involved in glucose-sensing and glucose homeostasis. The widespread expression of the ghrelin receptor in the central nervous system suggests that this hormone is not only involved in metabolism, but also in other essential functions in the brain. In fact, ghrelin has been shown to promote cell survival and neuroprotection, with some studies exploring the use of ghrelin as a therapeutic agent against metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we highlight the possible role of glial cells as mediators of ghrelin’s actions within the brain. PMID:28257088

  7. Synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents in Spinal Dorsal Horn Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Removing and sequestering synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space is carried out by specific plasma membrane transporters that are primarily located in astrocytes. Glial glutamate transporter function can be monitored by recording the currents that are produced by co-transportation of Na+ ions with the uptake of glutamate. The goal of this study was to characterize glutamate transporter function in astrocytes of the spinal cord dorsal horn in real time by recording synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents. Results Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained from astrocytes in the spinal substantia gelatinosa (SG area in spinal slices of young adult rats. Glutamate transporter currents were evoked in these cells by electrical stimulation at the spinal dorsal root entry zone in the presence of bicuculline, strychnine, DNQX and D-AP5. Transporter currents were abolished when synaptic transmission was blocked by TTX or Cd2+. Pharmacological studies identified two subtypes of glutamate transporters in spinal astrocytes, GLAST and GLT-1. Glutamate transporter currents were graded with stimulus intensity, reaching peak responses at 4 to 5 times activation threshold, but were reduced following low-frequency (0.1 – 1 Hz repetitive stimulation. Conclusion These results suggest that glutamate transporters of spinal astrocytes could be activated by synaptic activation, and recording glutamate transporter currents may provide a means of examining the real time physiological responses of glial cells in spinal sensory processing, sensitization, hyperalgesia and chronic pain.

  8. Protein targeting to glycogen is a master regulator of glycogen synthesis in astrocytes

    KAUST Repository

    Ruchti, E.

    2016-10-08

    The storage and use of glycogen, the main energy reserve in the brain, is a metabolic feature of astrocytes. Glycogen synthesis is regulated by Protein Targeting to Glycogen (PTG), a member of specific glycogen-binding subunits of protein phosphatase-1 (PPP1). It positively regulates glycogen synthesis through de-phosphorylation of both glycogen synthase (activation) and glycogen phosphorylase (inactivation). In cultured astrocytes, PTG mRNA levels were previously shown to be enhanced by the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. To achieve further insight into the role of PTG in the regulation of astrocytic glycogen, its levels of expression were manipulated in primary cultures of mouse cortical astrocytes using adenovirus-mediated overexpression of tagged-PTG or siRNA to downregulate its expression. Infection of astrocytes with adenovirus led to a strong increase in PTG expression and was associated with massive glycogen accumulation (>100 fold), demonstrating that increased PTG expression is sufficient to induce glycogen synthesis and accumulation. In contrast, siRNA-mediated downregulation of PTG resulted in a 2-fold decrease in glycogen levels. Interestingly, PTG downregulation strongly impaired long-term astrocytic glycogen synthesis induced by insulin or noradrenaline. Finally, these effects of PTG downregulation on glycogen metabolism could also be observed in cultured astrocytes isolated from PTG-KO mice. Collectively, these observations point to a major role of PTG in the regulation of glycogen synthesis in astrocytes and indicate that conditions leading to changes in PTG expression will directly impact glycogen levels in this cell type.

  9. In Vivo Evidence for a Lactate Gradient from Astrocytes to Neurons

    KAUST Repository

    Mä chler, Philipp; Wyss, Matthias  T.; Elsayed, Maha; Stobart, Jillian; Gutierrez, Robin; von  Faber-Castell, Alexandra; Kaelin, Vincens; Zuend, Marc; San  Martí n, Alejandro; Romero-Gó mez, Ignacio; Baeza-Lehnert, Felipe; Lengacher, Sylvain; Schneider, Bernard  L.; Aebischer, Patrick; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Barros, L.  Felipe; Weber, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Investigating lactate dynamics in brain tissue is challenging, partly because in vivo data at cellular resolution are not available. We monitored lactate in cortical astrocytes and neurons of mice using the genetically encoded FRET sensor Laconic in combination with two-photon microscopy. An intravenous lactate injection rapidly increased the Laconic signal in both astrocytes and neurons, demonstrating high lactate permeability across tissue. The signal increase was significantly smaller in astrocytes, pointing to higher basal lactate levels in these cells, confirmed by a one-point calibration protocol. Trans-acceleration of the monocarboxylate transporter with pyruvate was able to reduce intracellular lactate in astrocytes but not in neurons. Collectively, these data provide in vivo evidence for a lactate gradient from astrocytes to neurons. This gradient is a prerequisite for a carrier-mediated lactate flux from astrocytes to neurons and thus supports the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle model, in which astrocyte-derived lactate acts as an energy substrate for neurons. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

  10. Long-term culture of astrocytes attenuates the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Kawano

    Full Text Available The astrocyte is a major glial cell type of the brain, and plays key roles in the formation, maturation, stabilization and elimination of synapses. Thus, changes in astrocyte condition and age can influence information processing at synapses. However, whether and how aging astrocytes affect synaptic function and maturation have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Here, we show the effects of prolonged culture on the ability of astrocytes to induce synapse formation and to modify synaptic transmission, using cultured autaptic neurons. By 9 weeks in culture, astrocytes derived from the mouse cerebral cortex demonstrated increases in β-galactosidase activity and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP expression, both of which are characteristic of aging and glial activation in vitro. Autaptic hippocampal neurons plated on these aging astrocytes showed a smaller amount of evoked release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and a lower frequency of miniature release of glutamate, both of which were attributable to a reduction in the pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Other features of synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission were retained, for example the ability to induce structural synapses, the presynaptic release probability, the fraction of functional presynaptic nerve terminals, and the ability to recruit functional AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors to synapses. Thus the presence of aging astrocytes affects the efficiency of synaptic transmission. Given that the pool of readily releasable vesicles is also small at immature synapses, our results are consistent with astrocytic aging leading to retarded synapse maturation.

  11. Exercise counteracts aging-related memory impairment: a potential role for the astrocytic metabolic shuttle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng-Feng eTsai

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Age-related cognitive impairment has become one of the most common health threats in many countries. The biological substrate of cognition is the interconnection of neurons to form complex information processing networks. Experience-based alterations in the activities of these information processing networks lead to neuroadaptation, which is physically represented at the cellular level as synaptic plasticity. Although synaptic plasticity is known to be affected by aging, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well described. Astrocytes, a glial cell type that is infrequently investigated in cognitive science, have emerged as energy suppliers which are necessary for meeting the abundant energy demand resulting from glutamatergic synaptic activity. Moreover, the concerted action of an astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle is essential for cognitive function; whereas, energetic incoordination between astrocytes and neurons may contribute to cognitive impairment. Whether altered function of the astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle links aging to reduced synaptic plasticity is unexplored. However, accumulated evidence documents significant beneficial effects of long-term, regular exercise on cognition and synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, exercise increases the effectiveness of astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle by upregulation of astrocytic lactate transporter levels. This review summarizes previous findings related to the neuronal activity-dependent astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle. Moreover, we discuss how aging and exercise may shape the astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle in cognition-associated brain areas.

  12. Hippocampal astrocytes are necessary for antidepressant treatment of learned helplessness rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Masaaki; Shirayama, Yukihiko; Ishida, Hisahito; Hazama, Gen-i; Nakagome, Kazuyuki

    2011-08-01

    The astrocyte is a major component of the neural network and plays a role in brain function. Previous studies demonstrated changes in the number of astrocytes in depression. In this study, we examined alterations in the number of astrocytes in the learned helplessness (LH) rat, an animal model of depression. The numbers of activated and nonactivated astrocytes in the dentate gyrus (molecular layer, subgranular zone, and hilus), and CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus were significantly increased 2 and 8 days after attainment of LH. Subchronic treatment with imipramine showed a tendency (although not statistically significant) to decrease the LH-induced increment of activated astrocytes in the CA3 region and dentate gyrus. Furthermore, subchronic treatment of naïve rats with imipramine did not alter the numbers of activated and nonactivated astrocytes. However, the antidepressant-like effects of imipramine in the LH paradigm were blocked when fluorocitrate (a reversible inhibitor of astrocyte function) was injected into the dentate gyrus or CA3 region. Injection of fluorocitrate into naive rats failed to induce behavioral deficits in the conditioned avoidance test. These results indicate that astrocytes are responsive to the antidepressant-like effect of imipramine in the dentate gyrus and CA3 region of the hippocampus. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. IFN-γ signaling to astrocytes protects from autoimmune mediated neurological disability.

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    Claudia Hindinger

    Full Text Available Demyelination and axonal degeneration are determinants of progressive neurological disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS. Cells resident within the central nervous system (CNS are active participants in development, progression and subsequent control of autoimmune disease; however, their individual contributions are not well understood. Astrocytes, the most abundant CNS cell type, are highly sensitive to environmental cues and are implicated in both detrimental and protective outcomes during autoimmune demyelination. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE was induced in transgenic mice expressing signaling defective dominant-negative interferon gamma (IFN-γ receptors on astrocytes to determine the influence of inflammation on astrocyte activity. Inhibition of IFN-γ signaling to astrocytes did not influence disease incidence, onset, initial progression of symptoms, blood brain barrier (BBB integrity or the composition of the acute CNS inflammatory response. Nevertheless, increased demyelination at peak acute disease in the absence of IFN-γ signaling to astrocytes correlated with sustained clinical symptoms. Following peak disease, diminished clinical remission, increased mortality and sustained astrocyte activation within the gray matter demonstrate a critical role of IFN-γ signaling to astrocytes in neuroprotection. Diminished disease remission was associated with escalating demyelination, axonal degeneration and sustained inflammation. The CNS infiltrating leukocyte composition was not altered; however, decreased IL-10 and IL-27 correlated with sustained disease. These data indicate that astrocytes play a critical role in limiting CNS autoimmune disease dependent upon a neuroprotective signaling pathway mediated by engagement of IFN-γ receptors.

  14. Ca2+ Entry is Required for Mechanical Stimulation-induced ATP Release from Astrocyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jaekwang; Chun, Ye-Eun; Han, Kyung-Seok; Lee, Jungmoo; Woo, Dong Ho

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes and neurons are inseparable partners in the brain. Neurotransmitters released from neurons activate corresponding G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) expressed in astrocytes, resulting in release of gliotransmitters such as glutamate, D-serine, and ATP. These gliotransmitters in turn influence neuronal excitability and synaptic activities. Among these gliotransmitters, ATP regulates the level of network excitability and is critically involved in sleep homeostasis and astrocytic Ca2+ oscillations. ATP is known to be released from astrocytes by Ca2+-dependent manner. However, the precise source of Ca2+, whether it is Ca2+ entry from outside of cell or from the intracellular store, is still not clear yet. Here, we performed sniffer patch to detect ATP release from astrocyte by using various stimulation. We found that ATP was not released from astrocyte when Ca2+ was released from intracellular stores by activation of Gαq-coupled GPCR including PAR1, P2YR, and B2R. More importantly, mechanical stimulation (MS)-induced ATP release from astrocyte was eliminated when external Ca2+ was omitted. Our results suggest that Ca2+ entry, but not release from intracellular Ca2+ store, is critical for MS-induced ATP release from astrocyte. PMID:25792866

  15. Astrocyte lipid metabolism is critical for synapse development and function in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F; Camargo, Nutabi; Timmerman, Jaap; Heistek, Tim; Brouwers, Jos F; Mogavero, Floriana; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Verheijen, Mark H G

    2017-04-01

    The brain is considered to be autonomous in lipid synthesis with astrocytes producing lipids far more efficiently than neurons. Accordingly, it is generally assumed that astrocyte-derived lipids are taken up by neurons to support synapse formation and function. Initial confirmation of this assumption has been obtained in cell cultures, but whether astrocyte-derived lipids support synapses in vivo is not known. Here, we address this issue and determined the role of astrocyte lipid metabolism in hippocampal synapse formation and function in vivo. Hippocampal protein expression for the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and its target gene fatty acid synthase (Fasn) was found in astrocytes but not in neurons. Diminishing SREBP activity in astrocytes using mice in which the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) was deleted from GFAP-expressing cells resulted in decreased cholesterol and phospholipid secretion by astrocytes. Interestingly, SCAP mutant mice showed more immature synapses, lower presynaptic protein SNAP-25 levels as well as reduced numbers of synaptic vesicles, indicating impaired development of the presynaptic terminal. Accordingly, hippocampal short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity were defective in mutant mice. These findings establish a critical role for astrocyte lipid metabolism in presynaptic terminal development and function in vivo. GLIA 2017;65:670-682. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. In Vivo Evidence for a Lactate Gradient from Astrocytes to Neurons

    KAUST Repository

    Mächler, Philipp

    2015-11-19

    Investigating lactate dynamics in brain tissue is challenging, partly because in vivo data at cellular resolution are not available. We monitored lactate in cortical astrocytes and neurons of mice using the genetically encoded FRET sensor Laconic in combination with two-photon microscopy. An intravenous lactate injection rapidly increased the Laconic signal in both astrocytes and neurons, demonstrating high lactate permeability across tissue. The signal increase was significantly smaller in astrocytes, pointing to higher basal lactate levels in these cells, confirmed by a one-point calibration protocol. Trans-acceleration of the monocarboxylate transporter with pyruvate was able to reduce intracellular lactate in astrocytes but not in neurons. Collectively, these data provide in vivo evidence for a lactate gradient from astrocytes to neurons. This gradient is a prerequisite for a carrier-mediated lactate flux from astrocytes to neurons and thus supports the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle model, in which astrocyte-derived lactate acts as an energy substrate for neurons. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

  17. Cerebral Mast Cells Participate In Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction by Promoting Astrocyte Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiang; Yao, Hao; Qian, Qingqing; Li, Nana; Jin, Wenjie; Qian, Yanning

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes, the major glial cell type that has been increasingly recognized as contributing to neuroinflammation, are critical in the occurrence and development of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). Although emerging evidence showed that brain mast cells (MCs) are the "first responders" in neuroinflammation, little is known about the functional communication between MCs and astrocytes. In this study, we investigated the potential regulation of astrocyte activation by MCs. Rats received an intracerebroventricular injection of Cromolyn (an MC stabilizer) or sterile saline 30 min before undergoing open tibial fracture surgery, and the levels of neuroinflammation and the degree of memory dysfunction were evaluated at 1 day and 3 days after surgery. In the in vitro study, the effect of activated MCs on astrocytes were further clarified. Surgery increased the number of MCs, the astrocyte activation and the production of inflammatory factors, and resulted in cognitive deficits. Site-directed pre-injection of Cromolyn can inhibit this effect. In the vitro study, the conditioned medium from C48/80-stimulated mast cells (P815) could induce primary astrocyte activation and subsequent production of inflammatory cytokines, which could be inhibited by Cromolyn. These findings indicate that activated MCs could trigger astrocyte activation, be involved in neuroinflammation and possibly contribute to POCD. Interactions between MCs and astrocytes could provide potential therapeutic targets for POCD. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. A digital implementation of neuron-astrocyte interaction for neuromorphic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazari, Soheila; Faez, Karim; Amiri, Mahmood; Karami, Ehsan

    2015-06-01

    Recent neurophysiologic findings have shown that astrocytes play important roles in information processing and modulation of neuronal activity. Motivated by these findings, in the present research, a digital neuromorphic circuit to study neuron-astrocyte interaction is proposed. In this digital circuit, the firing dynamics of the neuron is described by Izhikevich model and the calcium dynamics of a single astrocyte is explained by a functional model introduced by Postnov and colleagues. For digital implementation of the neuron-astrocyte signaling, Single Constant Multiply (SCM) technique and several linear approximations are used for efficient low-cost hardware implementation on digital platforms. Using the proposed neuron-astrocyte circuit and based on the results of MATLAB simulations, hardware synthesis and FPGA implementation, it is demonstrated that the proposed digital astrocyte is able to change the firing patterns of the neuron through bidirectional communication. Utilizing the proposed digital circuit, it will be illustrated that information processing in synaptic clefts is strongly regulated by astrocyte. Moreover, our results suggest that the digital circuit of neuron-astrocyte crosstalk produces diverse neural responses and therefore enhances the information processing capabilities of the neuromorphic circuits. This is suitable for applications in reconfigurable neuromorphic devices which implement biologically brain circuits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Cerebral Mast Cells Participate In Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction by Promoting Astrocyte Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Zhang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Astrocytes, the major glial cell type that has been increasingly recognized as contributing to neuroinflammation, are critical in the occurrence and development of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD. Although emerging evidence showed that brain mast cells (MCs are the "first responders” in neuroinflammation, little is known about the functional communication between MCs and astrocytes. Methods: In this study, we investigated the potential regulation of astrocyte activation by MCs. Rats received an intracerebroventricular injection of Cromolyn (an MC stabilizer or sterile saline 30 min before undergoing open tibial fracture surgery, and the levels of neuroinflammation and the degree of memory dysfunction were evaluated at 1 day and 3 days after surgery. In the in vitro study, the effect of activated MCs on astrocytes were further clarified. Results: Surgery increased the number of MCs, the astrocyte activation and the production of inflammatory factors, and resulted in cognitive deficits. Site-directed pre-injection of Cromolyn can inhibit this effect. In the vitro study, the conditioned medium from C48/80-stimulated mast cells (P815 could induce primary astrocyte activation and subsequent production of inflammatory cytokines, which could be inhibited by Cromolyn. Conclusion: These findings indicate that activated MCs could trigger astrocyte activation, be involved in neuroinflammation and possibly contribute to POCD. Interactions between MCs and astrocytes could provide potential therapeutic targets for POCD.

  20. Epilepsy and astrocyte energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boison, Detlev; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2018-06-01

    Epilepsy is a complex neurological syndrome characterized by neuronal hyperexcitability and sudden, synchronized electrical discharges that can manifest as seizures. It is now increasingly recognized that impaired astrocyte function and energy homeostasis play key roles in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. Excessive neuronal discharges can only happen, if adequate energy sources are made available to neurons. Conversely, energy depletion during seizures is an endogenous mechanism of seizure termination. Astrocytes control neuronal energy homeostasis through neurometabolic coupling. In this review, we will discuss how astrocyte dysfunction in epilepsy leads to distortion of key metabolic and biochemical mechanisms. Dysfunctional glutamate metabolism in astrocytes can directly contribute to neuronal hyperexcitability. Closure of astrocyte intercellular gap junction coupling as observed early during epileptogenesis limits activity-dependent trafficking of energy metabolites, but also impairs clearance of the extracellular space from accumulation of K + and glutamate. Dysfunctional astrocytes also increase the metabolism of adenosine, a metabolic product of ATP degradation that broadly inhibits energy-consuming processes as an evolutionary adaptation to conserve energy. Due to the critical role of astroglial energy homeostasis in the control of neuronal excitability, metabolic therapeutic approaches that prevent the utilization of glucose might represent a potent antiepileptic strategy. In particular, high fat low carbohydrate "ketogenic diets" as well as inhibitors of glycolysis and lactate metabolism are of growing interest for the therapy of epilepsy. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Changes in the Proliferative Program Limit Astrocyte Homeostasis in the Aged Post-Traumatic Murine Cerebral Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimann, Gábor; Canhos, Luisa L; Frik, Jesica; Jäger, Gabriele; Lepko, Tjasa; Ninkovic, Jovica; Götz, Magdalena; Sirko, Swetlana

    2017-08-01

    Aging leads to adverse outcomes after traumatic brain injury. The mechanisms underlying these defects, however, are not yet clear. In this study, we found that astrocytes in the aged post-traumatic cerebral cortex develop a significantly reduced proliferative response, resulting in reduced astrocyte numbers in the penumbra. Moreover, experiments of reactive astrocytes in vitro reveal that their diminished proliferation is due to an age-related switch in the division mode with reduced cell-cycle re-entry rather than changes in cell-cycle length. Notably, reactive astrocytes in vivo and in vitro become refractory to stimuli increasing their proliferation during aging, such as Sonic hedgehog signaling. These data demonstrate for the first time that age-dependent, most likely intrinsic changes in the proliferative program of reactive astrocytes result in their severely hampered proliferative response to traumatic injury thereby affecting astrocyte homeostasis. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  2. (13)C heteronuclear NMR studies of the interaction of cultured neurons and astrocytes and aluminum blockade of the preferential release of citrate from astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meshitsuka, Shunsuke; Aremu, David A

    2008-02-01

    Citrate has been identified as a major tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle constituent preferentially released by astrocytes. We undertook the present study to examine further the nature of metabolic compartmentation in central nervous system tissues using (13)C-labeled glucose and to provide new information on the influence of aluminum on the metabolic interaction between neurons and astrocytes. Metabolites released into the culture medium from astrocytes and neuron-astrocyte coculture, as well as the perchloric acid extracts of the cells were analyzed using 2D (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy. Astrocytes released citrate into the culture medium and the released citrate was consumed by neurons in coculture. Citrate release by astrocytes was blocked in the presence of aluminum, with progressive accumulation of citrate within the cells. We propose citrate supply is a more efficient energy source than lactate for neurons to produce ATP, especially in the hypoglycemic state on account of it being a direct component of the TCA cycle. Astrocytes may be the cellular compartment for aluminum accumulation as a citrate complex in the brain.

  3. Changes in brain-behavior relationships following a 3-month pilot cognitive intervention program for adults with traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, S; Torres, I J; Panenka, W; Rajwani, Z; Fawcett, D; Hyder, A; Virji-Babul, N

    2017-08-01

    Facilitating functional recovery following brain injury is a key goal of neurorehabilitation. Direct, objective measures of changes in the brain are critical to understanding how and when meaningful changes occur, however, assessing neuroplasticity using brain based results remains a significant challenge. Little is known about the underlying changes in functional brain networks that correlate with cognitive outcomes in traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of an intensive three month cognitive intervention program in individuals with chronic TBI and to evaluate the effects of this intervention on brain-behavioral relationships. We used tools from graph theory to evaluate changes in global and local brain network features prior to and following cognitive intervention. Network metrics were calculated from resting state electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings from 10 adult participants with mild to severe brain injury and 11 age and gender matched healthy controls. Local graph metrics showed hyper-connectivity in the right inferior frontal gyrus and hypo-connectivity in the left inferior frontal gyrus in the TBI group at baseline in comparison with the control group. Following the intervention, there was a statistically significant increase in the composite cognitive score in the TBI participants and a statistically significant decrease in functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal gyrus. In addition, there was evidence of changes in the brain-behavior relationships following intervention. The results from this pilot study provide preliminary evidence for functional network reorganization that parallels cognitive improvements after cognitive rehabilitation in individuals with chronic TBI.

  4. Bi-directionally protective communication between neurons and astrocytes under ischemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Mei Wu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The extensive existing knowledge on bi-directional communication between astrocytes and neurons led us to hypothesize that not only ischemia-preconditioned (IP astrocytes can protect neurons but also IP neurons protect astrocytes from lethal ischemic injury. Here, we demonstrated for the first time that neurons have a significant role in protecting astrocytes from ischemic injury. The cultured medium from IP neurons (IPcNCM induced a remarkable reduction in LDH and an increase in cell viability in ischemic astrocytes in vitro. Selective neuronal loss by kainic acid injection induced a significant increase in apoptotic astrocyte numbers in the brain of ischemic rats in vivo. Furthermore, TUNEL analysis, DNA ladder assay, and the measurements of ROS, GSH, pro- and anti-apoptotic factors, anti-oxidant enzymes and signal molecules in vitro and/or in vivo demonstrated that IP neurons protect astrocytes by an EPO-mediated inhibition of pro-apoptotic signals, activation of anti-apoptotic proteins via the P13K/ERK/STAT5 pathways and activation of anti-oxidant proteins via up-regulation of anti-oxidant enzymes. We demonstrated the existence of astro-protection by IP neurons under ischemia and proposed that the bi-directionally protective communications between cells might be a common activity in the brain or peripheral organs under most if not all pathological conditions.

  5. Bi-directionally protective communication between neurons and astrocytes under ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao-Mei; Qian, Christopher; Zhou, Yu-Fu; Yan, Yick-Chun; Luo, Qian-Qian; Yung, Wing-Ho; Zhang, Fa-Li; Jiang, Li-Rong; Qian, Zhong Ming; Ke, Ya

    2017-10-01

    The extensive existing knowledge on bi-directional communication between astrocytes and neurons led us to hypothesize that not only ischemia-preconditioned (IP) astrocytes can protect neurons but also IP neurons protect astrocytes from lethal ischemic injury. Here, we demonstrated for the first time that neurons have a significant role in protecting astrocytes from ischemic injury. The cultured medium from IP neurons (IPcNCM) induced a remarkable reduction in LDH and an increase in cell viability in ischemic astrocytes in vitro. Selective neuronal loss by kainic acid injection induced a significant increase in apoptotic astrocyte numbers in the brain of ischemic rats in vivo. Furthermore, TUNEL analysis, DNA ladder assay, and the measurements of ROS, GSH, pro- and anti-apoptotic factors, anti-oxidant enzymes and signal molecules in vitro and/or in vivo demonstrated that IP neurons protect astrocytes by an EPO-mediated inhibition of pro-apoptotic signals, activation of anti-apoptotic proteins via the P13K/ERK/STAT5 pathways and activation of anti-oxidant proteins via up-regulation of anti-oxidant enzymes. We demonstrated the existence of astro-protection by IP neurons under ischemia and proposed that the bi-directionally protective communications between cells might be a common activity in the brain or peripheral organs under most if not all pathological conditions. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Dephosphorylation of 2-deoxyglucose 6-phosphate and 2-deoxyglucose export from cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, R J; Bartlett, K; Eyre, J

    1996-03-01

    Neurotransmitter-stimulated mobilization of astrocyte glycogen has been proposed as a basis for local energy homeostasis in brain. However, uncertainty remains over the fate of astrocyte glycogen. Upon transfer of cultured astrocytes pre-loaded with [2-3H]2-deoxyglucose 6-phosphate at non-tracer concentrations to a glucose-free, 2-deoxyglucose-free medium, rapid dephosphorylation of a proportion of the intracellular 2-deoxyglucose 6-phosphate pool and export of 2-deoxyglucose to the extracellular fluid occurs. Astrocytes show very low, basal rates of gluconeogenesis from pyruvate (approx. 1 nmol mg protein-1 h-1). Astrocytes in vivo may be capable of physiologically significant glucose export from glucose-6-phosphate. The low gluconeogenic activity in astrocytes suggests that the most likely source of glucose-6-phosphate may be glycogen. These findings support the hypothesis that export, as glucose, to adjacent neurons may be one of the possible fate(s) of astrocytic glycogen. Such export of glycogen as glucose occurring in response to increases in neuronal activity could contribute to energy homeostasis on a paracrine scale within brain.

  7. Brain ventricular dimensions and relationship to outcome in adult patients with bacterial meningitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sporrborn, Janni L; Knudsen, Gertrud B; Sølling, Mette

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Experimental studies suggest that changes in brain ventricle size are key events in bacterial meningitis. This study investigated the relationship between ventricle size, clinical condition and risk of poor outcome in patients with bacterial meningitis. METHODS: Adult patients diagnos...

  8. Molecular Mechanism of Adult Neurogenesis and its Association with Human Brain Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in neuroscience challenge the old dogma that neurogenesis occurs only during embryonic development. Mounting evidence suggests that functional neurogenesis occurs throughout adulthood. This review article discusses molecular factors that affect adult neurogenesis, including morphogens, growth factors, neurotransmitters, transcription factors, and epigenetic factors. Furthermore, we summarize and compare current evidence of associations between adult neurogenesis and human brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and brain tumors.

  9. Neural progenitor cells but not astrocytes respond distally to thoracic spinal cord injury in rat models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara Nguyen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI is a detrimental condition that causes loss of sensory and motor function in an individual. Many complex secondary injury cascades occur after SCI and they offer great potential for therapeutic targeting. In this study, we investigated the response of endogenous neural progenitor cells, astrocytes, and microglia to a localized thoracic SCI throughout the neuroaxis. Twenty-five adult female Sprague-Dawley rats underwent mild-contusion thoracic SCI (n = 9, sham surgery (n = 8, or no surgery (n = 8. Spinal cord and brain tissues were fixed and cut at six regions of the neuroaxis. Immunohistochemistry showed increased reactivity of neural progenitor cell marker nestin in the central canal at all levels of the spinal cord. Increased reactivity of astrocyte-specific marker glial fibrillary acidic protein was found only at the lesion epicenter. The number of activated microglia was significantly increased at the lesion site, and activated microglia extended to the lumbar enlargement. Phagocytic microglia and macrophages were significantly increased only at the lesion site. There were no changes in nestin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, microglia and macrophage response in the third ventricle of rats subjected to mild-contusion thoracic SCI compared to the sham surgery or no surgery. These findings indicate that neural progenitor cells, astrocytes and microglia respond differently to a localized SCI, presumably due to differences in inflammatory signaling. These different cellular responses may have implications in the way that neural progenitor cells can be manipulated for neuroregeneration after SCI. This needs to be further investigated.

  10. Glutamate-induced glutamate release: A proposed mechanism for calcium bursting in astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larter, Raima; Craig, Melissa Glendening

    2005-12-01

    Here we present a new model for the generation of complex calcium-bursting patterns in astrocytes, a type of brain cell recently implicated in a variety of neural functions including memory formation. The model involves two positive feedback processes, in which the key feedback species are calcium ion and glutamate. The latter is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and has been shown to be involved in bidirectional communication between astrocytes and nearby neurons. The glutamate feedback process considered here is shown to be critical for the generation of complex bursting oscillations in the astrocytes and to, perhaps, code for information which may be passed from neuron to neuron via the astrocyte. These processes may be involved in memory storage and formation as well as in mechanisms which lead to dynamical diseases such as epilepsy.

  11. Risk of thyroid cancer, brain cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma after adult leukemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Sune F; Bojesen, Stig E; Birgens, Henrik S

    2011-01-01

    Patients with childhood leukemia surviving into adulthood have elevated risk of developing thyroid cancer, brain cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); these risks cannot automatically be extrapolated to patients surviving adult leukemia. We tested whether survivors of adult leukemia...... are at increased risk of developing thyroid cancer, brain cancer, and NHL. We included the entire adult Danish population (14 years of age or older), in a 28-year follow-up period from 1980 through 2007, composed of 6 542 639 persons; during this period, 18 834 developed adult leukemia, 4561 developed thyroid...... cancer, 13 362 developed brain cancer, and 15 967 developed NHL. In nested studies using Cox regression models on individual participant data, we found that, after adult leukemia, the multivariate adjusted hazard ratios were 4.9 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.8-8.5) for thyroid cancer, 1.9 (95% CI, 1...

  12. Doublecortin-like knockdown in the adult mouse brain : implications for neurogenesis, neuroplasticity and behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saaltink, Dirk-Jan

    2014-01-01

    The results in this thesis showed for the first time doublecortin-like (DCL)-specific expression in the adult mouse brain. Besides the expected regions with the capacity to generate new neurons (hippocampus and olfactory forebrain), DCL expression was found in three novel brain areas namely

  13. Hippotherapy in Adult Patients with Chronic Brain Disorders: A Pilot Study

    OpenAIRE

    Sunwoo, Hyuk; Chang, Won Hyuk; Kwon, Jeong-Yi; Kim, Tae-Won; Lee, Ji-Young; Kim, Yun-Hee

    2012-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effects of hippotherapy for adult patients with brain disorders. Method Eight chronic brain disorder patients (7 males, mean age 42.4?16.6 years) were recruited. The mean duration from injury was 7.9?7.7 years. The diagnoses were stroke (n=5), traumatic brain disorder (n=2), and cerebral palsy (n=1). Hippotherapy sessions were conducted twice a week for eight consecutive weeks in an indoor riding arena. Each hippotherapy session lasted 30 minutes. All participants...

  14. Infectious diseases of brain parenchyma in adults: imaging and differential diagnosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haehnel, S.; Kress, B.; Stippich, C.; Sartor, K.; Seitz, A.; Storch-Hagenlocher, B.; Forsting, M.; Jansen, O.

    2005-01-01

    Infectious diseases of the central nervous system have often to be considered in differential diagnosis, particularly in immunocompromised persons. Neuroimaging, specifically advanced techniques such as diffusion-weighted MRI and perfusion MRI contribute much to the differentiation of various brain infections and to delineation of brain infections from other, for instance, neoplastic diseases. In this review we present the imaging criteria for the most important brain infections in adults and discuss in detail differential diagnostic aspects. (orig.)

  15. Ketogenic diet and astrocyte/neuron metabolic interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vamecq Joseph

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The ketogenic diet is an anticonvulsant diet enriched in fat. It provides the body with a minimal protein requirement and a restricted carbohydrate supply, the vast majority of calories (more than 80-90% being given by fat. Though anticonvulsant activity of ketogenic diet has been well documented by a large number of experimental and clinical studies, underlying mechanisms still remain partially unclear. Astrocyte-neuron interactions, among which metabolic shuttles, may influence synaptic activity and hence anticonvulsant protection. The astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttles may be themselves influenced by the availability in energetic substrates such as hydrates of carbon and fats. Historically, ketogenic diet had been designed to mimic changes such as ketosis occurring upon starvation, a physiological state already known to exhibit anticonvulsant protection and sometimes referred to as “water diet”. For this reason, a special attention should be paid to metabolic features shared in common by ketogenic diet and starvation and especially those features that might result in anticonvulsant protection. Compared to feeding by usual mixed diet, starvation and ketogenic diet are both characterised by increased fat, lowered glucose and aminoacid supplies to cells. The resulting impact of these changes in energetic substrates on astrocyte/neuron metabolic shuttles might have anticonvulsant and/or neuroprotective properties. This is the aim of this communication to review some important astrocyte/neuron metabolic interactions (astrocyte/neuron lactate shuttle, glutamateinduced astrocytic glycolysis activation, glutamate/glutamine cycle along with the neurovascular coupling and the extent to which the way of their alteration by starvation and/or ketogenic diet might result in seizure and/or brain protection.

  16. THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT AND NEUROGENESIS IN THE ADULT MAMMALIAN BRAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia eLieberwirth

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Adult neurogenesis—the formation of new neurons in adulthood—has been shown to be modulated by a variety of endogenous (e.g., trophic factors, neurotransmitters, and hormones as well as exogenous (e.g., physical activity and environmental complexity factors. Research on exogenous regulators of adult neurogenesis has focused primarily on the non-social environment. Most recently, however, evidence has emerged suggesting that the social environment can also affect adult neurogenesis. The present review details the effects of adult-adult (e.g., mating, conspecific, and chemosensory signal exposure and adult-offspring (e.g., gestation, parenthood, and exposure to offspring interactions on adult neurogenesis. In addition, the effects of a stressful social environment (e.g., lack of social support and dominant-subordinate interactions on adult neurogenesis are reviewed. The underlying hormonal mechanisms and potential functional significance of adult-generated neurons in mediating social behaviors are also discussed.

  17. Molecular Neuropathology of Astrocytes and Oligodendrocytes in Alcohol Use Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José J. Miguel-Hidalgo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Postmortem studies reveal structural and molecular alterations of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in both the gray and white matter (GM and WM of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in human subjects with chronic alcohol abuse or dependence. These glial cellular changes appear to parallel and may largely explain structural and functional alterations detected using neuroimaging techniques in subjects with alcohol use disorders (AUDs. Moreover, due to the crucial roles of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in neurotransmission and signal conduction, these cells are very likely major players in the molecular mechanisms underpinning alcoholism-related connectivity disturbances between the PFC and relevant interconnecting brain regions. The glia-mediated etiology of alcohol-related brain damage is likely multifactorial since metabolic, hormonal, hepatic and hemodynamic factors as well as direct actions of ethanol or its metabolites have the potential to disrupt distinct aspects of glial neurobiology. Studies in animal models of alcoholism and postmortem human brains have identified astrocyte markers altered in response to significant exposures to ethanol or during alcohol withdrawal, such as gap-junction proteins, glutamate transporters or enzymes related to glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA metabolism. Changes in these proteins and their regulatory pathways would not only cause GM neuronal dysfunction, but also disturbances in the ability of WM axons to convey impulses. In addition, alcoholism alters the expression of astrocyte and myelin proteins and of oligodendrocyte transcription factors important for the maintenance and plasticity of myelin sheaths in WM and GM. These changes are concomitant with epigenetic DNA and histone modifications as well as alterations in regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs that likely cause profound disturbances of gene expression and protein translation. Knowledge is also available about interactions between astrocytes and

  18. Glycine Receptor Activation Impairs ATP-Induced Calcium Transients in Cultured Cortical Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P. Morais

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In central nervous system, glycine receptor (GlyR is mostly expressed in the spinal cord and brainstem, but glycinergic transmission related elements have also been identified in the brain. Astrocytes are active elements at the tripartite synapse, being responsible for the maintenance of brain homeostasis and for the fine-tuning of synaptic activity. These cells communicate, spontaneously or in response to a stimulus, by elevations in their cytosolic calcium (calcium transients, Ca2+T that can be propagated to other cells. How these Ca2+T are negatively modulated is yet poorly understood. In this work, we evaluated GlyR expression and its role on calcium signaling modulation in rat brain astrocytes. We first proved that GlyR, predominantly subunits α2 and β, was expressed in brain astrocytes and its localization was confirmed in the cytoplasm and astrocytic processes by immunohistochemistry assays. Calcium imaging experiments in cultured astrocytes showed that glycine (500 μM, a GlyR agonist, caused a concentration-dependent reduction in ATP-induced Ca2+T, an effect abolished by the GlyR antagonist, strychnine (0.8 μM, as well as by nocodazole (1 μM, known to impair GlyR anchorage to the plasma membrane. This effect was mimicked by activation of GABAAR, another Cl--permeable channel. In summary, we demonstrated that GlyR activation in astrocytes mediates an inhibitory effect upon ATP induced Ca2+T, which most probably involves changes in membrane permeability to Cl- and requires GlyR anchorage at the plasma membrane. GlyR in astrocytes may thus be part of a mechanism to modulate astrocyte-to-neuron communication.

  19. Computational model of neuron-astrocyte interactions during focal seizure generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide eReato

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Empirical research in the last decade revealed that astrocytes can respond to neurotransmitters with Ca2+ elevations and generate feedback signals to neurons which modulate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. This discovery changed our basic understanding of brain function and provided new perspectives for how astrocytes can participate not only to information processing, but also to the genesis of brain disorders, such as epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that can arise focally at restricted areas and propagate throughout the brain. Studies in brain slice models suggest that astrocytes contribute to epileptiform activity by increasing neuronal excitability through a Ca2+-dependent release of glutamate. The underlying mechanism remains, however, unclear. In this study, we implemented a parsimonious network model of neurons and astrocytes. The model consists of excitatory and inhibitory neurons described by Izhikevich's neuron dynamics. The experimentally observed Ca2+ change in astrocytes in response to neuronal activity was modeled with linear equations. We considered that glutamate is released from astrocytes above certain intracellular Ca2+ concentrations thus providing a non-linear positive feedback signal to neurons. Propagating seizure-like ictal discharges (IDs were reliably evoked in our computational model by repeatedly exciting a small area of the network, which replicates experimental results in a slice model of focal ID in entorhinal cortex. We found that the threshold of focal ID generation was lowered when an excitatory feedback-loop between astrocytes and neurons was included. Simulations show that astrocytes can contribute to ID generation by directly affecting the excitatory/inhibitory balance of the neuronal network. Our model can be used to obtain mechanistic insights into the distinct contributions of the different signaling pathways to the generation and

  20. Protein targeting to glycogen is a master regulator of glycogen synthesis in astrocytes

    OpenAIRE

    E. Ruchti; P.J. Roach; A.A. DePaoli-Roach; P.J. Magistretti; I. Allaman

    2016-01-01

    The storage and use of glycogen, the main energy reserve in the brain, is a metabolic feature of astrocytes. Glycogen synthesis is regulated by Protein Targeting to Glycogen (PTG), a member of specific glycogen-binding subunits of protein phosphatase-1 (PPP1). It positively regulates glycogen synthesis through de-phosphorylation of both glycogen synthase (activation) and glycogen phosphorylase (inactivation). In cultured astrocytes, PTG mRNA levels were previously shown to be enhanced by the ...

  1. Aspects of astrocyte energy metabolism, amino acid neurotransmitter homoeostasis and metabolic compartmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kreft, Marko; Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes are key players in brain function; they are intimately involved in neuronal signalling processes and their metabolism is tightly coupled to that of neurons. In the present review, we will be concerned with a discussion of aspects of astrocyte metabolism, including energy......-generating pathways and amino acid homoeostasis. A discussion of the impact that uptake of neurotransmitter glutamate may have on these pathways is included along with a section on metabolic compartmentation....

  2. Maternal deprivation and adolescent cannabinoid exposure impact hippocampal astrocytes, CB1 receptors and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in a sexually dimorphic fashion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Gallardo, M; López-Rodríguez, A B; Llorente-Berzal, Á; Rotllant, D; Mackie, K; Armario, A; Nadal, R; Viveros, M-P

    2012-03-01

    We have recently reported that early maternal deprivation (MD) for 24 h [postnatal day (PND) 9-10] and/or an adolescent chronic treatment with the cannabinoid agonist CP-55,940 (CP) [0.4 mg/kg, PND 28-42] in Wistar rats induced, in adulthood, diverse sex-dependent long-term behavioral and physiological modifications. Here we show the results obtained from investigating the immunohistochemical analysis of CB1 cannabinoid receptors, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive (+) cells and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampus of the same animals. MD induced, in males, a significant increase in the number of GFAP+ cells in CA1 and CA3 areas and in the polymorphic layer of the dentate gyrus (DG), an effect that was attenuated by CP in the two latter regions. Adolescent cannabinoid exposure induced, in control non-deprived males, a significant increase in the number of GFAP+ cells in the polymorphic layer of the DG. MD induced a decrease in CB1 expression in both sexes, and this effect was reversed in males by the cannabinoid treatment. In turn, the drug "per se" induced, in males, a general decrease in CB1 immunoreactivity, and the opposite effect was observed in females. Cannabinoid exposure tended to reduce BDNF expression in CA1 and CA3 of females, whereas MD counteracted this trend and induced an increase of BDNF in females. As a whole, the present results show sex-dependent long-term effects of both MD and juvenile cannabinoid exposure as well as functional interactions between the two treatments. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. MATERNAL DEPRIVATION AND ADOLESCENT CANNABINOID EXPOSURE IMPACT HIPPOCAMPAL ASTROCYTES, CB1 RECEPTORS AND BRAIN-DERIVED NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR IN A SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC FASHION

    Science.gov (United States)

    LÓPEZ-GALLARDO, M.; LÓPEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, A. B.; LLORENTE-BERZAL, Á.; ROTLLANT, D.; MACKIE, K.; ARMARIO, A.; NADAL, R.; VIVEROS, M.-P.

    2013-01-01

    We have recently reported that early maternal deprivation (MD) for 24 h [postnatal day (PND) 9–10] and/or an adolescent chronic treatment with the cannabinoid agonist CP-55,940 (CP) [0.4 mg/kg, PND 28–42] in Wistar rats induced, in adulthood, diverse sex-dependent long-term behavioral and physiological modifications. Here we show the results obtained from investigating the immunohistochemical analysis of CB1 cannabinoid receptors, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) positive (+) cells and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampus of the same animals. MD induced, in males, a significant increase in the number of GFAP+ cells in CA1 and CA3 areas and in the polymorphic layer of the dentate gyrus (DG), an effect that was attenuated by CP in the two latter regions. Adolescent cannabinoid exposure induced, in control non-deprived males, a significant increase in the number of GFAP+ cells in the polymorphic layer of the DG. MD induced a decrease in CB1 expression in both sexes, and this effect was reversed in males by the cannabinoid treatment. In turn, the drug “per se” induced, in males, a general decrease in CB1 immunoreactivity, and the opposite effect was observed in females. Cannabinoid exposure tended to reduce BDNF expression in CA1 and CA3 of females, whereas MD counteracted this trend and induced an increase of BDNF in females. As a whole, the present results show sex-dependent long-term effects of both MD and juvenile cannabinoid exposure as well as functional interactions between the two treatments. PMID:22001306

  4. Selective enhancement of wnt4 expression by cyclic AMP-associated cooperation between rat central astrocytes and microglia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohnishi, Masatoshi, E-mail: ohnishi@fupharm.fukuyama-u.ac.jp [Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Graduate School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuyama University, 985-1 Sanzo, Higashimura-cho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, 729-0292 (Japan); Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuyama University, 985-1 Sanzo, Higashimura-cho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, 729-0292 (Japan); Urasaki, Tomoka [Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Graduate School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuyama University, 985-1 Sanzo, Higashimura-cho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, 729-0292 (Japan); Ochiai, Hiroyuki; Matsuoka, Kohei; Takeo, Shin; Harada, Tomoki; Ohsugi, Yoshihito [Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuyama University, 985-1 Sanzo, Higashimura-cho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, 729-0292 (Japan); Inoue, Atsuko [Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Graduate School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuyama University, 985-1 Sanzo, Higashimura-cho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, 729-0292 (Japan); Department of Pharmacotherapeutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuyama University, 985-1 Sanzo, Higashimura-cho, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, 729-0292 (Japan)

    2015-11-13

    The wnt protein family has important members involved in cell differentiation, proliferation and plasticity expression; however, little is known about its biosynthesis processes. On the other hand, an increase in the intracerebral cyclic adenosine 3′, 5’-monophosphate (cAMP) level leads to synaptic plasticity via the de novo synthesis of any protein. Here, the effect of dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP), a membrane permeability cAMP analog, on the wnt family was investigated in rat primary-cultured glial cells containing astrocytes and microglia. Among wnt3a, 4, 5a, 7a and 11 mRNA, only wnt4 expression was increased by longer treatment (24 h), compared with short treatment (2 h), with dbcAMP in a concentration-dependent manner, and its effect reached statistical significance at 1 mM. In cultures of isolated astrocytes or microglia, wnt4 expression was not affected by 1 mM dbcAMP for 24 h, and microglial wnt4 protein was undetectable even when cells were treated with the drug. Mixed glial cells treated for 24 h with 1 mM dbcAMP showed significantly increased wnt4 protein, as well as mRNA. Immunofluorescence manifested that cells that expressed wnt4 protein were astrocytes, but not microglia. Intraperitoneal injection of 1.25 mg/kg rolipram, a phosphodiesterase (PDE) IV inhibitor that can pass through the blood brain barrier and inhibits cAMP degradation specifically, showed a tendency to increase wnt4 expression in the adult rat brain after 24 h, and the increases in wnt4 mRNA and protein levels reached statistical significance in the hippocampus and striatum, respectively. This is the first finding to help elucidate the selective biosynthesis of central wnt4 through cAMP-stimulated microglia and astrocytes interaction. - Highlights: • Dibutyryl cAMP increased wnt4, but not wnt3a, 5a, 7a and 11, mRNA in mixed glia. • Wnt4 protein increased in astrocytes co-cultivated with microglia. • It took a long time to robustly increase wnt4 expression. • Rolipram

  5. Selective enhancement of wnt4 expression by cyclic AMP-associated cooperation between rat central astrocytes and microglia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohnishi, Masatoshi; Urasaki, Tomoka; Ochiai, Hiroyuki; Matsuoka, Kohei; Takeo, Shin; Harada, Tomoki; Ohsugi, Yoshihito; Inoue, Atsuko

    2015-01-01

    The wnt protein family has important members involved in cell differentiation, proliferation and plasticity expression; however, little is known about its biosynthesis processes. On the other hand, an increase in the intracerebral cyclic adenosine 3′, 5’-monophosphate (cAMP) level leads to synaptic plasticity via the de novo synthesis of any protein. Here, the effect of dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP), a membrane permeability cAMP analog, on the wnt family was investigated in rat primary-cultured glial cells containing astrocytes and microglia. Among wnt3a, 4, 5a, 7a and 11 mRNA, only wnt4 expression was increased by longer treatment (24 h), compared with short treatment (2 h), with dbcAMP in a concentration-dependent manner, and its effect reached statistical significance at 1 mM. In cultures of isolated astrocytes or microglia, wnt4 expression was not affected by 1 mM dbcAMP for 24 h, and microglial wnt4 protein was undetectable even when cells were treated with the drug. Mixed glial cells treated for 24 h with 1 mM dbcAMP showed significantly increased wnt4 protein, as well as mRNA. Immunofluorescence manifested that cells that expressed wnt4 protein were astrocytes, but not microglia. Intraperitoneal injection of 1.25 mg/kg rolipram, a phosphodiesterase (PDE) IV inhibitor that can pass through the blood brain barrier and inhibits cAMP degradation specifically, showed a tendency to increase wnt4 expression in the adult rat brain after 24 h, and the increases in wnt4 mRNA and protein levels reached statistical significance in the hippocampus and striatum, respectively. This is the first finding to help elucidate the selective biosynthesis of central wnt4 through cAMP-stimulated microglia and astrocytes interaction. - Highlights: • Dibutyryl cAMP increased wnt4, but not wnt3a, 5a, 7a and 11, mRNA in mixed glia. • Wnt4 protein increased in astrocytes co-cultivated with microglia. • It took a long time to robustly increase wnt4 expression. • Rolipram

  6. Control of the neurovascular coupling by nitric oxide-dependent regulation of astrocytic Ca2+ signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Francisco Muñoz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal activity must be tightly coordinated with blood flow to keep proper brain function, which is achieved by a mechanism known as neurovascular coupling. Then, an increase in synaptic activity leads to a dilation of local parenchymal arterioles that matches the enhanced metabolic demand. Neurovascular coupling is orchestrated by astrocytes. These glial cells are located between neurons and the microvasculature, with the astrocytic endfeet ensheathing the vessels, which allows fine intercellular communication. The neurotransmitters released during neuronal activity reach astrocytic receptors and trigger a Ca2+ signaling that propagates to the endfeet, activating the release of vasoactive factors and arteriolar dilation. The astrocyte Ca2+ signaling is coordinated by gap junction channels and hemichannels formed by connexins (Cx43 and Cx30 and channels formed by pannexins (Panx-1. The neuronal activity-initiated Ca2+ waves are propagated among neighboring astrocytes directly via gap junctions or through ATP release via connexin hemichannels or pannexin channels. In addition, Ca2+ entry via connexin hemichannels or pannexin channels may participate in the regulation of the astrocyte signaling-mediated neurovascular coupling. Interestingly, nitric oxide (NO can activate connexin hemichannel by S-nitrosylation and the Ca2+-dependent NO-synthesizing enzymes endothelial NO synthase (eNOS and neuronal NOS (nNOS are expressed in astrocytes. Therefore, the astrocytic Ca2+ signaling triggered in neurovascular coupling may activate NO production, which, in turn, may lead to Ca2+ influx through hemichannel activation. Furthermore, NO release from the hemichannels located at astrocytic endfeet may contribute to the vasodilation of parenchymal arterioles. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the astrocytic Ca2+ signaling that mediates neurovascular coupling, with a special emphasis in the possible participation of NO in

  7. A Computational Model to Investigate Astrocytic Glutamate Uptake Influence on Synaptic Transmission and Neuronal Spiking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushmita Lakshmi Allam

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decades, our view of astrocytes has switched from passive support cells to active processing elements in the brain. The current view is that astrocytes shape neuronal communication and also play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the growing awareness of the importance of astrocytes, the exact mechanisms underlying neuron-astrocyte communication and the physiological consequences of astrocytic-neuronal interactions remain largely unclear. In this work, we define a modeling framework that will permit to address unanswered questions regarding the role of astrocytes. Our computational model of a detailed glutamatergic synapse facilitates the analysis of neural system responses to various stimuli and conditions that are otherwise difficult to obtain experimentally, in particular the readouts at the sub-cellular level. In this paper, we extend a detailed glutamatergic synaptic model, to include astrocytic glutamate transporters. We demonstrate how these glial transporters, responsible for the majority of glutamate uptake, modulate synaptic transmission mediated by ionotropic AMPA and NMDA receptors at glutamatergic synapses. Furthermore, we investigate how these local signaling effects at the synaptic level are translated into varying spatio-temporal patterns of neuron firing. Paired pulse stimulation results reveal that the effect of astrocytic glutamate uptake is more apparent when the input inter-spike interval is sufficiently long to allow the receptors to recover from desensitization. These results suggest an important functional role of astrocytes in spike timing dependent processes and demand further investigation of the molecular basis of certain neurological diseases specifically related to alterations in astrocytic glutamate uptake, such as epilepsy.

  8. Astrocytes protect neurons against methylmercury via ATP/P2Y(1) receptor-mediated pathways in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Yusuke; Shinozaki, Youichi; Fujishita, Kayoko; Shibata, Keisuke; Imura, Yoshio; Morizawa, Yosuke; Gachet, Christian; Koizumi, Schuichi

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a well known environmental pollutant that induces serious neuronal damage. Although MeHg readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, and should affect both neurons and glial cells, how it affects glia or neuron-to-glia interactions has received only limited attention. Here, we report that MeHg triggers ATP/P2Y1 receptor signals in astrocytes, thereby protecting neurons against MeHg via interleukin-6 (IL-6)-mediated pathways. MeHg increased several mRNAs in astrocytes, among which IL-6 was the highest. For this, ATP/P2Y1 receptor-mediated mechanisms were required because the IL-6 production was (i) inhibited by a P2Y1 receptor antagonist, MRS2179, (ii) abolished in astrocytes obtained from P2Y1 receptor-knockout mice, and (iii) mimicked by exogenously applied ATP. In addition, (iv) MeHg released ATP by exocytosis from astrocytes. As for the intracellular mechanisms responsible for IL-6 production, p38 MAP kinase was involved. MeHg-treated astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) showed neuro-protective effects against MeHg, which was blocked by anti-IL-6 antibody and was mimicked by the application of recombinant IL-6. As for the mechanism of neuro-protection by IL-6, an adenosine A1 receptor-mediated pathway in neurons seems to be involved. Taken together, when astrocytes sense MeHg, they release ATP that autostimulates P2Y1 receptors to upregulate IL-6, thereby leading to A1 receptor-mediated neuro-protection against MeHg.

  9. Phosphoinositide metabolism and adrenergic receptors in astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, E.P.; Ritchie, T.; de Vellis, J.

    1986-01-01

    Agonist-induced phosphoinositide (PI) breakdown functions as a signal generating system. Diacylglycerol, one breakdown product of phosphotidylinositol-4,5-diphosphate hydrolysis, can stimulate protein kinase C, whereas inositol triphosphate, the other product, has been proposed to be a second messenger for Ca ++ mobilization. Using purified astrocyte cultures from neonatal rat brain, the effects of adrenergic agonists and antagonists at 10 -5 M were measured on PI breakdown. Astrocytes grown in culture were prelabeled with ( 3 H)inositol, and basal ( 3 H) inositol phosphate (IP 1 ) accumulation was measured in the presence of Li + . Epinephrine > norepinephrine (NE) were the most active stimulants of IP 1 production. The α 1 adrenoreceptor blockers, phentolamine and phenoxybenzamine, added alone had no effect on IP 1 production was reduced below basal levels. Propranolol partially blocked the effects of NE. Clonidine and isoproterenol, separately added, reduced IP 1 below basal levels and when added together diminished IP 1 accumulation even further. The role of adrenergic stimulation in the production of c-AMP

  10. As tears go by : Baby tears trigger more brain activity than adult tears in nulliparous women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendricx-Riem, M.M.E.; De Carli, P.; van IJzendoorn, M.H.; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.; Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J.

    2017-01-01

    The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines brain activity during the perception of infant and adult tears. Infant tears evoke stronger responses in the visual cortex than adult tears, indicating that infant tears are highly salient. In addition, our study shows that infant

  11. Factors affecting mortality in severe traumatic brain injury in adults at ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To assess factors contributing to mortality of adult patients admitted to intensive care units for severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Patients and methods: This is a retrospective, descriptive and analytical study. Included in the study were all adults patients admitted for severe TBI. From the hospital records, ...

  12. New neurons in the adult brain : The role of sleep and consequences of sleep loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerlo, Peter; Mistiberger, Ralph E.; Jacobs, Barry L.; Heller, H. Craig; McGinty, Dennis; Mistlberger, Ralph E.

    2009-01-01

    Research over the last few decades has firmly established that new neurons are generated in selected areas of the adult mammalian brain, particularly the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation and the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. The function of adult-born neurons is still a

  13. Astrocytes play a key role in activation of microglia by persistent Borna disease virus infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sauder Christian

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV infection of the rat brain is associated with microglial activation and damage to certain neuronal populations. Since persistent BDV infection of neurons is nonlytic in vitro, activated microglia have been suggested to be responsible for neuronal cell death in vivo. However, the mechanisms of activation of microglia in neonatally BDV-infected rat brains remain unclear. Our previous studies have shown that activation of microglia by BDV in culture requires the presence of astrocytes as neither the virus nor BDV-infected neurons alone activate microglia. Here, we evaluated the mechanisms whereby astrocytes can contribute to activation of microglia in neuron-glia-microglia mixed cultures. We found that persistent infection of neuronal cells leads to activation of uninfected astrocytes as measured by elevated expression of RANTES. Activation of astrocytes then produces activation of microglia as evidenced by increased formation of round-shaped, MHCI-, MHCII- and IL-6-positive microglia cells. Our analysis of possible molecular mechanisms of activation of astrocytes and/or microglia in culture indicates that the mediators of activation may be soluble heat-resistant, low molecular weight factors. The findings indicate that astrocytes may mediate activation of microglia by BDV-infected neurons. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that microglia activation in the absence of neuronal damage may represent initial steps in the gradual neurodegeneration observed in brains of neonatally BDV-infected rats.

  14. Cell-type-specific and differentiation-status-dependent variations in cytotoxicity of tributyltin in cultured rat cerebral neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyanagi, Koshi; Tashiro, Tomoko; Negishi, Takayuki

    2015-08-01

    Tributyltin (TBT) is an organotin used as an anti-fouling agent for fishing nets and ships and it is a widespread environmental contaminant at present. There is an increasing concern about imperceptible but serious adverse effect(s) of exposure to chemicals existing in the environment on various organs and their physiological functions, e.g. brain and mental function. Here, so as to contribute to improvement of and/or advances in in vitro cell-based assay systems for evaluating brain-targeted adverse effect of chemicals, we tried to evaluate cell-type-specific and differentiation-status-dependent variations in the cytotoxicity of TBT towards neurons and astrocytes using the four culture systems differing in the relative abundance of these two types of cells; primary neuron culture (> 95% neurons), primary neuron-astrocyte (2 : 1) mix culture, primary astrocyte culture (> 95% astrocytes), and passaged astrocyte culture (100% proliferative astrocytes). Cell viability was measured at 48 hr after exposure to TBT in serum-free medium. IC50's of TBT were 198 nM in primary neuron culture, 288 nM in primary neuron-astrocyte mix culture, 2001 nM in primary astrocyte culture, and 1989 nM in passaged astrocyte culture. Furthermore, in primary neuron-astrocyte mix culture, vulnerability of neurons cultured along with astrocytes to TBT toxicity was lower than that of neurons cultured purely in primary neuron culture. On the other hand, astrocytes in primary neuron-astrocyte mix culture were considered to be more vulnerable to TBT than those in primary or passaged astrocyte culture. The present study demonstrated variable cytotoxicity of TBT in neural cells depending on the culture condition.

  15. Cognitive deficits in adult patients with brain tumours.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Taphoorn, M.J.B.; Klein, M.

    2004-01-01

    Cognitive function, with survival and response on brain imaging, is increasingly regarded as an important outcome measure in patients with brain tumours. This measure provides us with information on a patient's clinical situation and adverse treatment effects. Radiotherapy has been regarded as the

  16. Cerebroventricular Microinjection (CVMI) into Adult Zebrafish Brain Is an Efficient Misexpression Method for Forebrain Ventricular Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kizil, Caghan; Brand, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The teleost fish Danio rerio (zebrafish) has a remarkable ability to generate newborn neurons in its brain at adult stages of its lifespan-a process called adult neurogenesis. This ability relies on proliferating ventricular progenitors and is in striking contrast to mammalian brains that have rather restricted capacity for adult neurogenesis. Therefore, investigating the zebrafish brain can help not only to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of widespread adult neurogenesis in a vertebrate species, but also to design therapies in humans with what we learn from this teleost. Yet, understanding the cellular behavior and molecular programs underlying different biological processes in the adult zebrafish brain requires techniques that allow manipulation of gene function. As a complementary method to the currently used misexpression techniques in zebrafish, such as transgenic approaches or electroporation-based delivery of DNA, we devised a cerebroventricular microinjection (CVMI)-assisted knockdown protocol that relies on vivo morpholino oligonucleotides, which do not require electroporation for cellular uptake. This rapid method allows uniform and efficient knockdown of genes in the ventricular cells of the zebrafish brain, which contain the neurogenic progenitors. We also provide data on the use of CVMI for growth factor administration to the brain – in our case FGF8, which modulates the proliferation rate of the ventricular cells. In this paper, we describe the CVMI method and discuss its potential uses in zebrafish. PMID:22076157

  17. Astrocytic expression of the Alzheimer's disease beta-secretase (BACE1) is stimulus-dependent

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartlage-Rübsamen, Maike; Zeitschel, Ulrike; Apelt, Jenny

    2003-01-01

    The beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme (BACE1) is a prerequisite for the generation of beta-amyloid peptides, which give rise to cerebrovascular and parenchymal beta-amyloid deposits in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients. BACE1 is neuronally expressed in the brains of humans and experimental...... paradigms studied. In contrast, BACE1 expression by reactive astrocytes was evident in chronic but not in acute models of gliosis. Additionally, we observed BACE1-immunoreactive astrocytes in proximity to beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of aged Tg2576 mice and Alzheimer's disease patients....

  18. Cell proliferation in the Drosophila adult brain revealed by clonal analysis and bromodeoxyuridine labelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brand Andrea H

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The production of new neurons during adulthood and their subsequent integration into a mature central nervous system have been shown to occur in all vertebrate species examined to date. However, the situation in insects is less clear and, in particular, it has been reported that there is no proliferation in the Drosophila adult brain. Results We report here, using clonal analysis and 5'-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU labelling, that cell proliferation does occur in the Drosophila adult brain. The majority of clones cluster on the ventrolateral side of the antennal lobes, as do the BrdU-positive cells. Of the BrdU-labelled cells, 86% express the glial gene reversed polarity (repo, and 14% are repo negative. Conclusion We have observed cell proliferation in the Drosophila adult brain. The dividing cells may be adult stem cells, generating glial and/or non-glial cell types.

  19. Neuroinflammation leads to region-dependent alterations in astrocyte gap junction communication and hemichannel activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpuk, Nikolay; Burkovetskaya, Maria; Fritz, Teresa; Angle, Amanda; Kielian, Tammy

    2011-01-12

    Inflammation attenuates gap junction (GJ) communication in cultured astrocytes. Here we used a well-characterized model of experimental brain abscess as a tool to query effects of the CNS inflammatory milieu on astrocyte GJ communication and electrophysiological properties. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive astrocytes in acute brain slices from glial fibrillary acidic protein-GFP mice at 3 or 7 d after Staphylococcus aureus infection in the striatum. Astrocyte GJ communication was significantly attenuated in regions immediately surrounding the abscess margins and progressively increased to levels typical of uninfected brain with increasing distance from the abscess proper. Conversely, astrocytes bordering the abscess demonstrated hemichannel activity as evident by enhanced ethidium bromide (EtBr) uptake that could be blocked by several pharmacological inhibitors, including the connexin 43 (Cx43) mimetic peptide Gap26, carbenoxolone, the pannexin1 (Panx1) mimetic peptide (10)Panx1, and probenecid. However, hemichannel opening was transient with astrocytic EtBr uptake observed near the abscess at day 3 but not day 7 after infection. The region-dependent pattern of hemichannel activity at day 3 directly correlated with increases in Cx43, Cx30, Panx1, and glutamate transporter expression (glial L-glutamate transporter and L-glutamate/L-aspartate transporter) along the abscess margins. Changes in astrocyte resting membrane potential and input conductance correlated with the observed changes in GJ communication and hemichannel activity. Collectively, these findings indicate that astrocyte coupling and electrical properties are most dramatically affected near the primary inflammatory site and reveal an opposing relationship between the open states of GJ channels versus hemichannels during acute infection. This relationship may extend to other CNS diseases typified with an inflammatory component.

  20. Computational Flux Balance Analysis Predicts that Stimulation of Energy Metabolism in Astrocytes and their Metabolic Interactions with Neurons Depend on Uptake of K+ Rather than Glutamate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiNuzzo, Mauro; Giove, Federico; Maraviglia, Bruno; Mangia, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Brain activity involves essential functional and metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes. The importance of astrocytic functions to neuronal signaling is supported by many experiments reporting high rates of energy consumption and oxidative metabolism in these glial cells. In the brain, almost all energy is consumed by the Na + /K + ATPase, which hydrolyzes 1 ATP to move 3 Na + outside and 2 K + inside the cells. Astrocytes are commonly thought to be primarily involved in transmitter glutamate cycling, a mechanism that however only accounts for few % of brain energy utilization. In order to examine the participation of astrocytic energy metabolism in brain ion homeostasis, here we attempted to devise a simple stoichiometric relation linking glutamatergic neurotransmission to Na + and K + ionic currents. To this end, we took into account ion pumps and voltage/ligand-gated channels using the stoichiometry derived from available energy budget for neocortical signaling and incorporated this stoichiometric relation into a computational metabolic model of neuron-astrocyte interactions. We aimed at reproducing the experimental observations about rates of metabolic pathways obtained by 13 C-NMR spectroscopy in rodent brain. When simulated data matched experiments as well as biophysical calculations, the stoichiometry for voltage/ligand-gated Na + and K + fluxes generated by neuronal activity was close to a 1:1 relationship, and specifically 63/58 Na + /K + ions per glutamate released. We found that astrocytes are stimulated by the extracellular K + exiting neurons in excess of the 3/2 Na + /K + ratio underlying Na + /K + ATPase-catalyzed reaction. Analysis of correlations between neuronal and astrocytic processes indicated that astrocytic K + uptake, but not astrocytic Na + -coupled glutamate uptake, is instrumental for the establishment of neuron-astrocytic metabolic partnership. Our results emphasize the importance of K + in stimulating the activation of

  1. Effects of lactic acid on astrocytes in primary culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norenberg, M D; Mozes, L W; Gregorios, J B; Norenberg, L O

    1987-03-01

    Excessive tissue lactic acidosis is considered to be detrimental to the central nervous system (CNS) and may adversely affect recovery from anoxia, ischemia, trauma and epilepsy. Since astrocytes are believed to play a role in pH regulation in the CNS, we studied the effect of this acid on primary astrocyte cultures. Cells exposed to lactic acid showed chromatin clumping, an increase of lipid and dense bodies, a loss of polyribosomal clusters, slightly increased cytoplasmic lucency, swollen mitochondria and tangled intermediate filaments. These alterations progressed with lower pH and longer exposure. Irreversible changes occurred one to two hours after exposure at pH 6; after 30 to 60 minutes (min) at pH 5.5 and after ten to 30 min at pH 5. Comparable results were obtained with the use of other weak acids indicating that the observed changes were due to increased hydrogen ion concentration rather than secondary to lactate per se. Additionally, various concentrations of lactic acid adjusted to identical pH produced similar morphologic alterations. Thus, while lactic acid caused marked and at times irreversible alterations in astrocytes, severe and prolonged acidosis was required to produce such injurious effects. This relative resistance of astrocytes to acidosis is in keeping with their potential role in pH regulation in brain.

  2. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 regulates inflammatory tolerance in astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beurel, Eléonore; Jope, Richard S.

    2010-01-01

    Inflammatory tolerance is the down-regulation of inflammation upon repeated stimuli, which is well-established to occur in peripheral immune cells. However, less is known about inflammatory tolerance in the brain although it may provide an important protective mechanism from detrimental consequences of prolonged inflammation, which appears to occur in many psychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions. Array analysis of 308 inflammatory molecules produced by mouse primary astrocytes after two sequential stimulations with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) distinguished three classes, tolerant, sensitized and unaltered groups. For many of these inflammatory molecules, inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) increased tolerance and reduced sensitization. Focusing on LPS-tolerance in interleukin-6 (IL-6) production, we found that microglia exhibited a strong tolerance response that matched that of macrophages, whereas astrocytes exhibited only partial tolerance. The astrocyte semi-tolerance was found to be regulated by GSK3. GSK3 inhibitors or knocking down GSK3 levels promoted LPS-tolerance and astrocytes expressing constitutively active GSK3 did not develop LPS-tolerance. These findings identify the critical role of GSK3 in counteracting IL-6 inflammatory tolerance in cells of the CNS, supporting the therapeutic potential of GSK3 inhibitors to reduce neuroinflammation by promoting tolerance. PMID:20553816

  3. The psychostimulant modafinil enhances gap junctional communication in cortical astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xinhe; Petit, Jean-Marie; Ezan, Pascal; Gyger, Joël; Magistretti, Pierre; Giaume, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Sleep-wake cycle is characterized by changes in neuronal network activity. However, for the last decade there is increasing evidence that neuroglial interaction may play a role in the modulation of sleep homeostasis and that astrocytes have a critical impact in this process. Interestingly, astrocytes are organized into communicating networks based on their high expression of connexins, which are the molecular constituents of gap junction channels. Thus, neuroglial interactions should also be considered as the result of the interplay between neuronal and astroglial networks. Here, we investigate the effect of modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, on astrocyte gap junctional communication. We report that in the cortex modafinil injection increases the expression of mRNA and protein of connexin 30 but not those of connexin 43, the other major astroglial connexin. These increases are correlated with an enhancement of intercellular dye coupling in cortical astrocytes, which is abolished when neuronal activity is silenced by tetrodotoxin. Moreover, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which at a millimolar concentration induces sleep, has an opposite effect on astroglial gap junctions in an activity-independent manner. These results support the proposition that astroglia may play an important role in complex physiological brain functions, such as sleep regulation, and that neuroglial networking interaction is modified during sleep-wake cycle. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Connexin-based intercellular communication and astrocyte heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theis, Martin; Giaume, Christian

    2012-12-03

    This review gives an overview of the current knowledge on connexin-mediated communication in astrocytes, covering gap junction and hemichannel functions mediated by connexins. Astroglia is the main brain cell type that expresses the largest amount of connexin and exhibits high level of gap junctional communication compared to neurons and oligodendrocytes. However, in certain developmental and regional situations, astrocytes are also coupled with oligodendrocytes and neurons. This heterotypic coupling is infrequent and minor in terms of extent of the coupling area, which does not mean that it is not important in terms of cell interaction. Here, we present an update on heterogeneity of connexin expression and function at the molecular, subcellular, cellular and networking levels. Interestingly, while astrocytes were initially considered as a homogenous population, there is now increasing evidence for morphological, developmental, molecular and physiological heterogeneity of astrocytes. Consequently, the specificity of gap junction channel- and hemichannel-mediated communication, which tends to synchronize cell populations, is also a parameter to take into account when neuroglial interactions are investigated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Electrical Synapses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. NFkappaB in the mechanism of ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling in culture.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinke, A.P.; Jayakumar, A.R.; Panickar, K.S.; Moriyama, M.; Reddy, P.V.; Norenberg, M.D.

    2008-01-01

    Astrocyte swelling and brain edema are major neuropathological findings in the acute form of hepatic encephalopathy (fulminant hepatic failure), and substantial evidence supports the view that elevated brain ammonia level is an important etiological factor in this condition. Although the mechanism

  6. A computational study of astrocytic glutamate influence on post-synaptic neuronal excitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronac Flanagan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ability of astrocytes to rapidly clear synaptic glutamate and purposefully release the excitatory transmitter is critical in the functioning of synapses and neuronal circuits. Dysfunctions of these homeostatic functions have been implicated in the pathology of brain disorders such as mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. However, the reasons for these dysfunctions are not clear from experimental data and computational models have been developed to provide further understanding of the implications of glutamate clearance from the extracellular space, as a result of EAAT2 downregulation: although they only partially account for the glutamate clearance process. In this work, we develop an explicit model of the astrocytic glutamate transporters, providing a more complete description of the glutamate chemical potential across the astrocytic membrane and its contribution to glutamate transporter driving force based on thermodynamic principles and experimental data. Analysis of our model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate content due to glutamine synthetase downregulation also results in increased postsynaptic quantal size due to gliotransmission. Moreover, the proposed model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate could prolong the time course of glutamate in the synaptic cleft and enhances astrocyte-induced slow inward currents, causing a disruption to the clarity of synaptic signalling and the occurrence of intervals of higher frequency postsynaptic firing. Overall, our work distilled the necessity of a low astrocytic glutamate concentration for reliable synaptic transmission of information and the possible implications of enhanced glutamate levels as in epilepsy.

  7. Neuromyelitis optica IgG stimulates an immunological response in rat astrocyte cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Charles L; Kaptzan, Tatiana; Magaña, Setty M; Ayers-Ringler, Jennifer R; LaFrance-Corey, Reghann G; Lucchinetti, Claudia F

    2014-05-01

    Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a primary astrocyte disease associated with central nervous system inflammation, demyelination, and tissue injury. Brain lesions are frequently observed in regions enriched in expression of the aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel, an antigenic target of the NMO IgG serologic marker. Based on observations of disease reversibility and careful characterization of NMO lesion development, we propose that the NMO IgG may induce a dynamic immunological response in astrocytes. Using primary rat astrocyte-enriched cultures and treatment with NMO patient-derived serum or purified IgG, we observed a robust pattern of gene expression changes consistent with the induction of a reactive and inflammatory phenotype in astrocytes. The reactive astrocyte factor lipocalin-2 and a broad spectrum of chemokines, cytokines, and stress response factors were induced by either NMO patient serum or purified IgG. Treatment with IgG from healthy controls had no effect. The effect is disease-specific, as serum from patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, Sjögren's, or systemic lupus erythematosus did not induce a response in the cultures. We hypothesize that binding of the NMO IgG to AQP4 induces a cellular response that results in transcriptional and translational events within the astrocyte that are consistent with a reactive and inflammatory phenotype. Strategies aimed at reducing the inflammatory response of astrocytes may short circuit an amplification loop associated with NMO lesion development. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Brain glucose metabolism in adults with ataxia-telangiectasia and their asymptomatic relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkow, Nora D; Tomasi, Dardo; Wang, Gene-Jack; Studentsova, Yana; Margus, Brad; Crawford, Thomas O

    2014-06-01

    Ataxia-telangiectasia is a recessive genetic disorder (ATM is the mutated gene) of childhood with severe motor impairments and whereas homozygotes manifest the disorder, heterozygotes are asymptomatic. Structural brain imaging and post-mortem studies in individuals with ataxia-telangiectasia have reported cerebellar atrophy; but abnormalities of motor control characteristic of extrapyramidal dysfunction suggest impairment of broader motor networks. Here, we investigated possible dysfunction in other brain areas in individuals with ataxia-telangiectasia and tested for brain changes in asymptomatic relatives to assess if heterozygocity affects brain function. We used positron emission tomography and (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose to measure brain glucose metabolism (quantified as µmol/100 g/min), which serves as a marker of brain function, in 10 adults with ataxia-telangiectasia, 19 non-affected adult relatives (12 siblings, seven parents) and 29 age-matched healthy controls. Statistical parametric mapping and region of interest analyses were used to compare individuals with ataxia-telangiectasia, asymptomatic relatives, and unrelated controls. We found that participants with ataxia-telangiectasia had lower metabolism in cerebellar hemispheres (14%, P brain stimulation. Our finding of decreased metabolism in vermis and hippocampus of asymptomatic relatives suggests that heterozygocity influences the function of these brain regions. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain 2014. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  9. Functional organization of the transcriptome in human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldham, Michael C; Konopka, Genevieve; Iwamoto, Kazuya; Langfelder, Peter; Kato, Tadafumi; Horvath, Steve; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2009-01-01

    The enormous complexity of the human brain ultimately derives from a finite set of molecular instructions encoded in the human genome. These instructions can be directly studied by exploring the organization of the brain’s transcriptome through systematic analysis of gene coexpression relationships. We analyzed gene coexpression relationships in microarray data generated from specific human brain regions and identified modules of coexpressed genes that correspond to neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. These modules provide an initial description of the transcriptional programs that distinguish the major cell classes of the human brain and indicate that cell type–specific information can be obtained from whole brain tissue without isolating homogeneous populations of cells. Other modules corresponded to additional cell types, organelles, synaptic function, gender differences and the subventricular neurogenic niche. We found that subventricular zone astrocytes, which are thought to function as neural stem cells in adults, have a distinct gene expression pattern relative to protoplasmic astrocytes. Our findings provide a new foundation for neurogenetic inquiries by revealing a robust and previously unrecognized organization to the human brain transcriptome. PMID:18849986

  10. White matter sexual dimorphism of the adult human brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bourisly Ali K.

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Sex-biased psychophysiology, behavior, brain function, and conditions are extensive, yet underlying structural brain mechanisms remain unclear. There is contradicting evidence regarding sexual dimorphism when it comes to brain structure, and there is still no consensus on whether or not there exists such a dimorphism for brain white matter. Therefore, we conducted a voxel-based morphometry (VBM analysis along with global volume analysis for white matter across sex. We analyzed 384 T1-weighted MRI brain images (192 male, 192 female to investigate any differences in white matter (WM between males and females. In the VBM analysis, we found males to have larger WM, compared to females, in occipital, temporal, insular, parietal, and frontal brain regions. In contrast, females showed only one WM region to be significantly larger than males: the right postcentral gyrus in the parietal lobe region. Although, on average, males showed larger global WM volume, we did not find any significant difference in global WM volume between males and females.

  11. Changes in brain-behavior relationships following a 3-month pilot cognitive intervention program for adults with traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Porter

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Facilitating functional recovery following brain injury is a key goal of neurorehabilitation. Direct, objective measures of changes in the brain are critical to understanding how and when meaningful changes occur, however, assessing neuroplasticity using brain based results remains a significant challenge. Little is known about the underlying changes in functional brain networks that correlate with cognitive outcomes in traumatic brain injury (TBI. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of an intensive three month cognitive intervention program in individuals with chronic TBI and to evaluate the effects of this intervention on brain-behavioral relationships. We used tools from graph theory to evaluate changes in global and local brain network features prior to and following cognitive intervention. Network metrics were calculated from resting state electroencephalographic (EEG recordings from 10 adult participants with mild to severe brain injury and 11 age and gender matched healthy controls. Local graph metrics showed hyper-connectivity in the right inferior frontal gyrus and hypo-connectivity in the left inferior frontal gyrus in the TBI group at baseline in comparison with the control group. Following the intervention, there was a statistically significant increase in the composite cognitive score in the TBI participants and a statistically significant decrease in functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal gyrus. In addition, there was evidence of changes in the brain-behavior relationships following intervention. The results from this pilot study provide preliminary evidence for functional network reorganization that parallels cognitive improvements after cognitive rehabilitation in individuals with chronic TBI.

  12. HIV and drug abuse mediate astrocyte senescence in a β-catenin-dependent manner leading to neuronal toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chunjiang; Narasipura, Srinivas D; Richards, Maureen H; Hu, Xiu-Ti; Yamamoto, Bryan; Al-Harthi, Lena

    2017-10-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that cell senescence plays an important role in aging-associated diseases including neurodegenerative diseases. HIV leads to a spectrum of neurologic diseases collectively termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Drug abuse, particularly methamphetamine (meth), is a frequently abused psychostimulant among HIV+ individuals and its abuse exacerbates HAND. The mechanism by which HIV and meth lead to brain cell dysregulation is not entirely clear. In this study, we evaluated the impact of HIV and meth on astrocyte senescence using in vitro and several animal models. Astrocytes constitute up to 50% of brain cells and play a pivotal role in marinating brain homeostasis. We show here that HIV and meth induce significant senescence of primary human fetal astrocytes, as evaluated by induction of senescence markers (β-galactosidase and p16 INK 4A ), senescence-associated morphologic changes, and cell cycle arrest. HIV- and meth-mediated astrocyte senescence was also demonstrated in three small animal models (humanized mouse model of HIV/NSG-huPBMCs, HIV-transgenic rats, and in a meth administration rat model). Senescent astrocytes in turn mediated neuronal toxicity. Further, we show that β-catenin, a pro-survival/proliferation transcriptional co-activator, is downregulated by HIV and meth in human astrocytes and this downregulation promotes astrocyte senescence while induction of β-catenin blocks HIV- and meth-mediated astrocyte senescence. These studies, for the first time, demonstrate that HIV and meth induce astrocyte senescence and implicate the β-catenin pathway as potential therapeutic target to overcome astrocyte senescence. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Adult brain abscess associated with patent foramen ovale: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stathopoulos Georgios T

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Brain abscess results from local or metastatic septic spread to the brain. The primary infectious site is often undetected, more commonly so when it is distant. Unlike pediatric congenital heart disease, minor intracardiac right-to-left shunting due to patent foramen ovale has not been appreciated as a cause of brain abscess in adults. Here we present a case of brain abscess associated with a patent foramen ovale in a 53-year old man with dental-gingival sepsis treated in the intensive care unit. Based on this case and the relevant literature we suggest a link between a silent patent foramen ovale, paradoxic pathogen dissemination to the brain, and development of brain abscess.

  14. Risk of thyroid cancer, brain cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma after adult leukemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Sune F; Bojesen, Stig E; Birgens, Henrik S

    2011-01-01

    .2-3.1) for brain cancer, and 3.3 (95% CI, 2.5-4.4) for NHL. Corresponding hazard ratios after childhood leukemia were 10.4 (95% CI, 0.4-223) for thyroid cancer, 7.2 (95% CI, 2.0-26) for brain cancer, and 6.5 (95% CI, 0.4-110) for NHL. Patients with adult leukemia have excess risk of thyroid cancer, brain cancer......Patients with childhood leukemia surviving into adulthood have elevated risk of developing thyroid cancer, brain cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); these risks cannot automatically be extrapolated to patients surviving adult leukemia. We tested whether survivors of adult leukemia...... are at increased risk of developing thyroid cancer, brain cancer, and NHL. We included the entire adult Danish population (14 years of age or older), in a 28-year follow-up period from 1980 through 2007, composed of 6 542 639 persons; during this period, 18 834 developed adult leukemia, 4561 developed thyroid...

  15. Huperzine A, but not tacrine, stimulates S100B secretion in astrocyte cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunardi, Paula; Nardin, Patrícia; Guerra, Maria Cristina; Abib, Renata; Leite, Marina Concli; Gonçalves, Carlos-Alberto

    2013-04-09

    The loss of cholinergic function in the central nervous system contributes significantly to the cognitive decline associated with advanced age and dementias. Huperzine A (HupA) is a selective inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and has been shown to significantly reduce cognitive impairment in animal models of dementia. Based on the importance of astrocytes in physiological and pathological brain activities, we investigated the effect of HupA and tacrine on S100B secretion in primary astrocyte cultures. S100B is an astrocyte-derived protein that has been proposed to be a marker of brain injury. Primary astrocyte cultures were exposed to HupA, tacrine, cholinergic agonists, and S100B secretion was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) at 1 and 24h. HupA, but not tacrine, at 100μM significantly increased S100B secretion in astrocyte cultures. Nicotine (at 100 and 1000μM) was able to stimulate S100B secretion in astrocyte cultures. Our data reinforce the idea that AChE inhibitors, particularly HupA, do not act exclusively on the acetylcholine balance. This effect of HupA could contribute to improve the cognitive deficit observed in patients, which are attributed to cholinergic dysfunction. In addition, for the first time, to our knowledge, these data indicate that S100B secretion can be modulated by nicotinic receptors, in addition to glutamate, dopamine and serotonin receptors. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Is docosahexaenoic acid synthesis from α-linolenic acid sufficient to supply the adult brain?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domenichiello, Anthony F; Kitson, Alex P; Bazinet, Richard P

    2015-07-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is important for brain function, and can be obtained directly from the diet or synthesized in the body from α-linolenic acid (ALA). Debate exists as to whether DHA synthesized from ALA can provide sufficient DHA for the adult brain, as measures of DHA synthesis from ingested ALA are typically <1% of the oral ALA dose. However, the primary fate of orally administered ALA is β-oxidation and long-term storage in adipose tissue, suggesting that DHA synthesis measures involving oral ALA tracer ingestion may underestimate total DHA synthesis. There is also evidence that DHA synthesized from ALA can meet brain DHA requirements, as animals fed ALA-only diets have brain DHA concentrations similar to DHA-fed animals, and the brain DHA requirement is estimated to be only 2.4-3.8 mg/day in humans. This review summarizes evidence that DHA synthesis from ALA can provide sufficient DHA for the adult brain by examining work in humans and animals involving estimates of DHA synthesis and brain DHA requirements. Also, an update on methods to measure DHA synthesis in humans is presented highlighting a novel approach involving steady-state infusion of stable isotope-labeled ALA that bypasses several limitations of oral tracer ingestion. It is shown that this method produces estimates of DHA synthesis that are at least 3-fold higher than brain uptake rates in rats. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. A Statistically Representative Atlas for Mapping Neuronal Circuits in the Drosophila Adult Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arganda-Carreras, Ignacio; Manoliu, Tudor; Mazuras, Nicolas; Schulze, Florian; Iglesias, Juan E; Bühler, Katja; Jenett, Arnim; Rouyer, François; Andrey, Philippe

    2018-01-01

    Imaging the expression patterns of reporter constructs is a powerful tool to dissect the neuronal circuits of perception and behavior in the adult brain of Drosophila , one of the major models for studying brain functions. To date, several Drosophila brain templates and digital atlases have been built to automatically analyze and compare collections of expression pattern images. However, there has been no systematic comparison of performances between alternative atlasing strategies and registration algorithms. Here, we objectively evaluated the performance of different strategies for building adult Drosophila brain templates and atlases. In addition, we used state-of-the-art registration algorithms to generate a new group-wise inter-sex atlas. Our results highlight the benefit of statistical atlases over individual ones and show that the newly proposed inter-sex atlas outperformed existing solutions for automated registration and annotation of expression patterns. Over 3,000 images from the Janelia Farm FlyLight collection were registered using the proposed strategy. These registered expression patterns can be searched and compared with a new version of the BrainBaseWeb system and BrainGazer software. We illustrate the validity of our methodology and brain atlas with registration-based predictions of expression patterns in a subset of clock neurons. The described registration framework should benefit to brain studies in Drosophila and other insect species.

  18. A Statistically Representative Atlas for Mapping Neuronal Circuits in the Drosophila Adult Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio Arganda-Carreras

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Imaging the expression patterns of reporter constructs is a powerful tool to dissect the neuronal circuits of perception and behavior in the adult brain of Drosophila, one of the major models for studying brain functions. To date, several Drosophila brain templates and digital atlases have been built to automatically analyze and compare collections of expression pattern images. However, there has been no systematic comparison of performances between alternative atlasing strategies and registration algorithms. Here, we objectively evaluated the performance of different strategies for building adult Drosophila brain templates and atlases. In addition, we used state-of-the-art registration algorithms to generate a new group-wise inter-sex atlas. Our results highlight the benefit of statistical atlases over individual ones and show that the newly proposed inter-sex atlas outperformed existing solutions for automated registration and annotation of expression patterns. Over 3,000 images from the Janelia Farm FlyLight collection were registered using the proposed strategy. These registered expression patterns can be searched and compared with a new version of the BrainBaseWeb system and BrainGazer software. We illustrate the validity of our methodology and brain atlas with registration-based predictions of expression patterns in a subset of clock neurons. The described registration framework should benefit to brain studies in Drosophila and other insect species.

  19. Fueling and Imaging Brain Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald A Dienel

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic signals are used for imaging and spectroscopic studies of brain function and disease and to elucidate the cellular basis of neuroenergetics. The major fuel for activated neurons and the models for neuron–astrocyte interactions have been controversial because discordant results are obtained in different experimental systems, some of which do not correspond to adult brain. In rats, the infrastructure to support the high energetic demands of adult brain is acquired during postnatal development and matures after weaning. The brain's capacity to supply and metabolize glucose and oxygen exceeds demand over a wide range of rates, and the hyperaemic response to functional activation is rapid. Oxidative metabolism provides most ATP, but glycolysis is frequently preferentially up-regulated during activation. Underestimation of glucose utilization rates with labelled glucose arises from increased lactate production, lactate diffusion via transporters and astrocytic gap junctions, and lactate release to blood and perivascular drainage. Increased pentose shunt pathway flux also causes label loss from C1 of glucose. Glucose analogues are used to assay cellular activities, but interpretation of results is uncertain due to insufficient characterization of transport and phosphorylation kinetics. Brain activation in subjects with low blood-lactate levels causes a brain-to-blood lactate gradient, with rapid lactate release. In contrast, lactate flooding of brain during physical activity or infusion provides an opportunistic, supplemental fuel. Available evidence indicates that lactate shuttling coupled to its local oxidation during activation is a small fraction of glucose oxidation. Developmental, experimental, and physiological context is critical for interpretation of metabolic studies in terms of theoretical models.

  20. Fueling and imaging brain activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A

    2012-01-01

    Metabolic signals are used for imaging and spectroscopic studies of brain function and disease and to elucidate the cellular basis of neuroenergetics. The major fuel for activated neurons and the models for neuron–astrocyte interactions have been controversial because discordant results are obtained in different experimental systems, some of which do not correspond to adult brain. In rats, the infrastructure to support the high energetic demands of adult brain is acquired during postnatal development and matures after weaning. The brain's capacity to supply and metabolize glucose and oxygen exceeds demand over a wide range of rates, and the hyperaemic response to functional activation is rapid. Oxidative metabolism provides most ATP, but glycolysis is frequently preferentially up-regulated during activation. Underestimation of glucose utilization rates with labelled glucose arises from increased lactate production, lactate diffusion via transporters and astrocytic gap junctions, and lactate release to blood and perivascular drainage. Increased pentose shunt pathway flux also causes label loss from C1 of glucose. Glucose analogues are used to assay cellular activities, but interpretation of results is uncertain due to insufficient characterization of transport and phosphorylation kinetics. Brain activation in subjects with low blood-lactate levels causes a brain-to-blood lactate gradient, with rapid lactate release. In contrast, lactate flooding of brain during physical activity or infusion provides an opportunistic, supplemental fuel. Available evidence indicates that lactate shuttling coupled to its local oxidation during activation is a small fraction of glucose oxidation. Developmental, experimental, and physiological context is critical for interpretation of metabolic studies in terms of theoretical models. PMID:22612861

  1. Exocytosis of gliotransmitters from cortical astrocytes: implications for synaptic plasticity and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalo, Ulyana; Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining brain function during aging is very important for mental and physical health. Recent studies showed a crucial importance of communication between two major types of brain cells: neurons transmitting electrical signals, and glial cells, which maintain the well-being and function of neurons. Still, the study of age-related changes in neuron-glia signalling is far from complete. We have shown previously that cortical astrocytes are capable of releasing ATP by a quantal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex-dependent mechanism. Release of ATP from cortical astrocytes can be activated via various pathways, including direct UV-uncaging of intracellular Ca²⁺ or G-protein-coupled receptors. Importantly, release of both ATP and glutamate from neocortical astrocytes was not observed in brain slices of dominant-negative SNARE (dnSNARE) mice, expressing dnSNARE domain selectively in astrocytes. We also discovered that astrocyte-driven ATP can cause significant attenuation of synaptic inhibition in the pyramidal neurons via Ca²⁺-interaction between the neuronal ATP and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Furthermore, we showed that astrocyte-derived ATP can facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex. Our recent data have shown that an age-related decrease in the astroglial Ca²⁺ signalling can cause a substantial decrease in the exocytosis of gliotransmitters, in particular ATP. Age-related impairment of ATP release from cortical astrocytes can cause a decrease in the extent of astroglial modulation of synaptic transmission in the neocortex and can therefore contribute to the age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive decline. Combined, our results strongly support the physiological relevance of glial exocytosis for glia-neuron communications and brain function.

  2. Mechanisms of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling under high extracellular K(+) concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Shingo; Kurachi, Yoshihisa

    2016-03-01

    In response to the elevation of extracellular K(+) concentration ([K(+)]out), astrocytes clear excessive K(+) to maintain conditions necessary for neural activity. K(+) clearance in astrocytes occurs via two processes: K(+) uptake and K(+) spatial buffering. High [K(+)]out also induces swelling in astrocytes, leading to edema and cell death in the brain. Despite the importance of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report results from a simulation analysis of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling. Astrocyte models were constructed by incorporating various mechanisms such as intra/extracellular ion concentrations of Na(+), K(+), and Cl(-), cell volume, and models of Na,K-ATPase, Na-K-Cl cotransporter (NKCC), K-Cl cotransporter, inwardly-rectifying K(+) (KIR) channel, passive Cl(-) current, and aquaporin channel. The simulated response of astrocyte models under the uniform distribution of high [K(+)]out revealed significant contributions of NKCC and Na,K-ATPase to increases of intracellular K(+) and Cl(-) concentrations, and swelling. Moreover, we found that, under the non-uniform distribution of high [K(+)]out, KIR channels localized at synaptic clefts absorbed excess K(+) by depolarizing the equivalent potential of K(+) (E K) above membrane potential, while K(+) released through perivascular KIR channels was enhanced by hyperpolarizing E K and depolarizing membrane potential. Further analysis of simulated drug effects revealed that astrocyte swelling was modulated by blocking each of the ion channels and transporters. Our simulation analysis revealed controversial mechanisms of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling resulting from complex interactions among ion channels and transporters.

  3. Cellular Origin of [18F]FDG-PET Imaging Signals During Ceftriaxone-Stimulated Glutamate Uptake: Astrocytes and Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A; Behar, Kevin L; Rothman, Douglas L

    2017-12-01

    Ceftriaxone stimulates astrocytic uptake of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and it is used to treat glutamatergic excitotoxicity that becomes manifest during many brain diseases. Ceftriaxone-stimulated glutamate transport was reported to drive signals underlying [ 18 F]fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomographic ([ 18 F]FDG-PET) metabolic images of brain glucose utilization and interpreted as supportive of the notion of lactate shuttling from astrocytes to neurons. This study draws attention to critical roles of astrocytes in the energetics and imaging of brain activity, but the results are provocative because (1) the method does not have cellular resolution or provide information about downstream pathways of glucose metabolism, (2) neuronal and astrocytic [ 18 F]FDG uptake were not separately measured, and (3) strong evidence against lactate shuttling was not discussed. Evaluation of potential metabolic responses to ceftriaxone suggests lack of astrocytic specificity and significant contributions by pre- and postsynaptic neuronal compartments. Indeed, astrocytic glycolysis may not make a strong contribution to the [ 18 F]FDG-PET signal because partial or complete oxidation of one glutamate molecule on its uptake generates enough ATP to fuel uptake of 3 to 10 more glutamate molecules, diminishing reliance on glycolysis. The influence of ceftriaxone on energetics of glutamate-glutamine cycling must be determined in astrocytes and neurons to elucidate its roles in excitotoxicity treatment.

  4. Area-specific migration and recruitment of new neurons in the adult songbird brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vellema, Michiel; Van der Linden, Annemie; Gahr, Manfred

    2010-01-01

    sensitive to plastic changes, such as nucleus higher vocal center (HVC) and area X, recruited similar numbers of new neurons as their surrounding brain tissues, employing no specific directional mechanisms. The distribution pattern in and around HVC could best be described by a random displacement model......Neuron recruitment has been implicated in morphological and functional plasticity in the adult brain. Whereas mammals restrict neuron recruitment specifically to two regions of known plasticity, the hippocampus and olfactory bulb, newborn neurons are found throughout the forebrain of adult...... songbirds. In order to study the area-specificity of the widespread proliferation and recruitment in the songbird brain, six adult male canaries received repetitive intraperitoneal injections of the mitotic marker BrdU (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine) and were sacrificed after 24 hours to study proliferation...

  5. Distribution of ELOVL4 in the Developing and Adult Mouse Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M. Sherry

    2017-05-01

    labeling. Little or no ELOVL4 labeling was present in astrocytes or radial glial cells. These findings suggest that ELOVL4 and its very long chain fatty acid products are important in many parts of the brain and that they are particularly associated with neuronal function. Specific roles for ELOVL4 and its products in oligodendrocytes and myelin and in cellular proliferation, especially during development, are possible.

  6. Astrocyte uncoupling as a cause of human temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedner, Peter; Dupper, Alexander; Hüttmann, Kerstin; Müller, Julia; Herde, Michel K; Dublin, Pavel; Deshpande, Tushar; Schramm, Johannes; Häussler, Ute; Haas, Carola A; Henneberger, Christian; Theis, Martin; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2015-05-01

    Glial cells are now recognized as active communication partners in the central nervous system, and this new perspective has rekindled the question of their role in pathology. In the present study we analysed functional properties of astrocytes in hippocampal specimens from patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy without (n = 44) and with sclerosis (n = 75) combining patch clamp recording, K(+) concentration analysis, electroencephalography/video-monitoring, and fate mapping analysis. We found that the hippocampus of patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis is completely devoid of bona fide astrocytes and gap junction coupling, whereas coupled astrocytes were abundantly present in non-sclerotic specimens. To decide whether these glial changes represent cause or effect of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis, we developed a mouse model that reproduced key features of human mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis. In this model, uncoupling impaired K(+) buffering and temporally preceded apoptotic neuronal death and the generation of spontaneous seizures. Uncoupling was induced through intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide, prevented in Toll-like receptor4 knockout mice and reproduced in situ through acute cytokine or lipopolysaccharide incubation. Fate mapping confirmed that in the course of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis, astrocytes acquire an atypical functional phenotype and lose coupling. These data suggest that astrocyte dysfunction might be a prime cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis and identify novel targets for anti-epileptogenic therapeutic intervention. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Neutral genetic variation in adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) affects brain-to-body trade-off and brain laterality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Daniel D.; Higgs, Dennis M.

    2017-01-01

    Low levels of heterozygosity can have detrimental effects on life history and growth characteristics of organisms but more subtle effects such as those on trade-offs of expensive tissues and morphological laterality, especially of the brain, have not been explicitly tested. The objective of the current study was to investigate how estimated differences in heterozygosity may potentially affect brain-to-body trade-offs and to explore how these heterozygosity differences may affect differential brain growth, focusing on directional asymmetry in adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) using the laterality and absolute laterality indices. Level of inbreeding was estimated as mean microsatellite heterozygosity resulting in four ‘inbreeding level groups’ (Very High, High, Medium, Low). A higher inbreeding level corresponded with a decreased brain-to-body ratio, thus a decrease in investment in brain tissue, and also showed a decrease in the laterality index for the cerebellum, where the left hemisphere was larger than the right across all groups. These results begin to show the role that differences in heterozygosity may play in differential tissue investment and in morphological laterality, and may be useful in two ways. Firstly, the results may be valuable for restocking programmes that wish to emphasize brain or body growth when crossing adults to generate individuals for release, as we show that genetic variation does affect these trade-offs. Secondly, this study is one of the first examinations to test the hypothesized relationship between genetic variation and laterality, finding that in Chinook salmon there is potential for an effect of inbreeding on lateralized morphology, but not in the expected direction. PMID:29308240

  8. Effectors of Th1 and Th17 cells act on astrocytes and augment their neuroinflammatory properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prajeeth, Chittappen K; Kronisch, Julius; Khorooshi, Reza; Knier, Benjamin; Toft-Hansen, Henrik; Gudi, Viktoria; Floess, Stefan; Huehn, Jochen; Owens, Trevor; Korn, Thomas; Stangel, Martin

    2017-10-16

    Autoreactive Th1 and Th17 cells are believed to mediate the pathology of multiple sclerosis in the central nervous system (CNS). Their interaction with microglia and astrocytes in the CNS is crucial for the regulation of the neuroinflammation. Previously, we have shown that only Th1 but not Th17 effectors activate microglia. However, it is not clear which cells are targets of Th17 effectors in the CNS. To understand the effects driven by Th17 cells in the CNS, we induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in wild-type mice and CD4 + T cell-specific integrin α4-deficient mice where trafficking of Th1 cells into the CNS was affected. We compared microglial and astrocyte response in the brain and spinal cord of these mice. We further treated astrocytes with supernatants from highly pure Th1 and Th17 cultures and assessed the messenger RNA expression of neurotrophic factors, cytokines and chemokines, using real-time PCR. Data obtained was analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. We observed in α4-deficient mice weak microglial activation but comparable astrogliosis to that of wild-type mice in the regions of the brain populated with Th17 infiltrates, suggesting that Th17 cells target astrocytes and not microglia. In vitro, in response to supernatants from Th1 and Th17 cultures, astrocytes showed altered expression of neurotrophic factors, pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Furthermore, increased expression of chemokines in Th1- and Th17-treated astrocytes enhanced recruitment of microglia and transendothelial migration of Th17 cells in vitro. Our results demonstrate the delicate interaction between T cell subsets and glial cells and how they communicate to mediate their effects. Effectors of Th1 act on both microglia and astrocytes whereas Th17 effectors preferentially target astrocytes to promote neuroinflammation.

  9. Modelling glioblastoma tumour-host cell interactions using adult brain organotypic slice co-culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Angeles Marques-Torrejon

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM is an aggressive incurable brain cancer. The cells that fuel the growth of tumours resemble neural stem cells found in the developing and adult mammalian forebrain. These are referred to as glioma stem cells (GSCs. Similar to neural stem cells, GSCs exhibit a variety of phenotypic states: dormant, quiescent, proliferative and differentiating. How environmental cues within the brain influence these distinct states is not well understood. Laboratory models of GBM can be generated using either genetically engineered mouse models, or via intracranial transplantation of cultured tumour initiating cells (mouse or human. Unfortunately, these approaches are expensive, time-consuming, low-throughput and ill-suited for monitoring live cell behaviours. Here, we explored whole adult brain coronal organotypic slices as an alternative model. Mouse adult brain slices remain viable in a serum-free basal medium for several weeks. GSCs can be easily microinjected into specific anatomical sites ex vivo, and we demonstrate distinct responses of engrafted GSCs to diverse microenvironments in the brain tissue. Within the subependymal zone – one of the adult neural stem cell niches – injected tumour cells could effectively engraft and respond to endothelial niche signals. Tumour-transplanted slices were treated with the antimitotic drug temozolomide as proof of principle of the utility in modelling responses to existing treatments. Engraftment of mouse or human GSCs onto whole brain coronal organotypic brain slices therefore provides a simplified, yet flexible, experimental model. This will help to increase the precision and throughput of modelling GSC-host brain interactions and complements ongoing in vivo studies. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

  10. Computational Models of Neuron-Astrocyte Interactions Lead to Improved Efficacy in the Performance of Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarellos-González, Alberto; Pazos, Alejandro; Porto-Pazos, Ana B.

    2012-01-01

    The importance of astrocytes, one part of the glial system, for information processing in the brain has recently been demonstrated. Regarding information processing in multilayer connectionist systems, it has been shown that systems which include artificial neurons and astrocytes (Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks) have well-known advantages over identical systems including only artificial neurons. Since the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is unknown, we have investigated, using computational models, different astrocyte-neuron interactions for information processing; different neuron-glia algorithms have been implemented for training and validation of multilayer Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks oriented toward classification problem resolution. The results of the tests performed suggest that all the algorithms modelling astrocyte-induced synaptic potentiation improved artificial neural network performance, but their efficacy depended on the complexity of the problem. PMID:22649480

  11. Nonlinear Waves on Stochastic Support: Calcium Waves in Astrocyte Syncytia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, P.; Cornell-Bell, A. H.

    Astrocyte-signaling has been observed in cell cultures and brain slices in the form of Calcium waves. Their functional relevance for neuronal communication, brain functions and diseases is, however, not understood. In this paper, the propagation of intercellular calcium waves is modeled in terms of waves in excitable media on a stochastic support. We utilize a novel method to decompose the spatiotemporal patterns into space-time clusters (wave fragments). Based on this cluster decomposition, a statistical description of wave patterns is developed.

  12. Neocortical glial cell numbers in human brains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pelvig, D.P.; Pakkenberg, H.; Stark, A.K.

    2008-01-01

    Stereological cell counting was applied to post-mortem neocortices of human brains from 31 normal individuals, age 18-93 years, 18 females (average age 65 years, range 18-93) and 13 males (average age 57 years, range 19-87). The cells were differentiated in astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia...... while the total astrocyte number is constant through life; finally males have a 28% higher number of neocortical glial cells and a 19% higher neocortical neuron number than females. The overall total number of neocortical neurons and glial cells was 49.3 billion in females and 65.2 billion in males...... and neurons and counting were done in each of the four lobes. The study showed that the different subpopulations of glial cells behave differently as a function of age; the number of oligodendrocytes showed a significant 27% decrease over adult life and a strong correlation to the total number of neurons...

  13. Birth of projection neurons in adult avian brain may be related to perceptual or motor learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez-Buylla, A.; Kirn, J.R.; Nottebohm, F.

    1990-01-01

    Projection neurons that form part of the motor pathway for song control continue to be produced and to replace older projection neurons in adult canaries and zebra finches. This is shown by combining [3H]thymidine, a cell birth marker, and fluorogold, a retrogradely transported tracer of neuronal connectivity. Species and seasonal comparisons suggest that this process is related to the acquisition of perceptual or motor memories. The ability of an adult brain to produce and replace projection neurons should influence our thinking on brain repair

  14. MRI visualization of endogenous neural progenitor cell migration along the RMS in the adult mouse brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vreys, Ruth; Vande Velde, Greetje; Krylychkina, Olga

    2010-01-01

    The adult rodent brain contains neural progenitor cells (NPCs), generated in the subventricular zone (SVZ), which migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS) towards the olfactory bulb (OB) where they differentiate into neurons. The aim of this study was to visualize endogenous NPC migration...... by a longitudinal MRI study and validated with histology. Here, we visualized endogenous NPC migration in the mouse brain by in vivo MRI and demonstrated accumulation of MPIO-labeled NPCs in the OB over time with ex vivo MRI. Furthermore, we investigated the influence of in situ injection of MPIOs on adult...

  15. Angiotensin II Type 1 receptor (AT1) signaling in astrocytes regulates synaptic degeneration-induced leukocyte entry to the central nervous system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Füchtbauer, L; Groth-Rasmussen, Maria; Holm, Thomas Hellesøe

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes are the major cellular component of the blood-brain barrier glia limitans and act as regulators of leukocyte infiltration via chemokine expression. We have studied angiotensin-II receptor Type 1 (AT1) and related NF-κB signaling in astrocytes. Angiotensin II derives from cleavage of an...

  16. Exposure of rat hippocampal astrocytes to Ziram increases oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matei, Ann-Marie; Trombetta, Louis D

    2016-04-01

    Pesticides have been shown in several studies to be the leading candidates of environmental toxins and may contribute to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Ziram (zinc-bis(dimethyldithiocarbamate)) is an agricultural dithiocarbamate fungicide that is used to treat a variety of plant diseases. In spite of their generally acknowledged low toxicity, dithiocarbamates are known to cause a wide range of neurobehavioral effects as well as neuropathological changes in the brain. Astrocytes play a key role in normal brain physiology and in the pathology of the nervous system. This investigation studied the effects of 1.0 µM Ziram on rat hippocampal astrocytes. The thiobarbituric acid reactive substance assay performed showed a significant increase in malondialdehyde, a product of lipid peroxidation, in the Ziram-treated cells. Biochemical analysis also revealed a significant increase in the induction of 70 kDa heat shock and heme oxygenase 1 stress proteins. In addition, an increase of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and a significant increase in oxidized glutathione (GSSG) were observed in the Ziram-treated cells. The ratio GSH to GSSG calculated from the treated cells was also decreased. Light and transmission electron microscopy supported the biochemical findings in Ziram-treated astrocytes. This data suggest that the cytotoxic effects observed with Ziram treatments may be related to the increase of oxidative stress. © The Author(s) 2013.

  17. Glucose and hypothalamic astrocytes: More than a fueling role?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leloup, C; Allard, C; Carneiro, L; Fioramonti, X; Collins, S; Pénicaud, L

    2016-05-26

    Brain plays a central role in energy homeostasis continuously integrating numerous peripheral signals such as circulating nutrients, and in particular blood glucose level, a variable that must be highly regulated. Then, the brain orchestrates adaptive responses to modulate food intake and peripheral organs activity in order to achieve the fine tuning of glycemia. More than fifty years ago, the presence of glucose-sensitive neurons was discovered in the hypothalamus, but what makes them specific and identifiable still remains disconnected from their electrophysiological signature. On the other hand, astrocytes represen