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Sample records for astrocytes

  1. 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. Such ...

  2. RNA Localization in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Rune

    2012-01-01

    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......, 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...... 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...

  3. Porosome in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin-Sook; Cho, Won Jin; Jeftinija, Ksenija; Jeftinija, Srdija; Jena, Bhanu P

    2009-02-01

    Secretion is a universal cellular process occurring in bakers yeast, to the complex multicellular organisms, to humans beings. Neurotransmission, digestion, immune response or the release of hormones occur as a result of cell secretion. Secretory defects result in numerous diseases and hence a molecular understanding of the process is critical. Cell secretion involves the transport of vesicular products from within cells to the outside. Porosomes are permanent cup-shaped supramolecular structures at the cell plasma membrane, where secretory vesicles transiently dock and transiently fuse to release intravesicular contents to the outside. In the past decade, porosomes have been determined to be the universal secretory machinery in cells, present in the exocrine pancreas, endocrine and neuroendocrine cells, and in neurons. In this study, we report for the first time the presence of porosomes in rat brain astrocytes. Using atomic force microscopy on live astrocytes, cup-shaped porosomes measuring 10-15 nm are observed at the cell plasma membrane. Further studies using electron microscopy confirm the presence of porosomes in astrocytes. Analogous to neuronal porosomes, there is a central plug in the astrocyte porosome complex. Immunoisolation and reconstitution of the astrocyte porosome in lipid membrane, demonstrates a structure similar to what is observed in live cells. These studies demonstrate that in astrocytes, the secretory apparatus at the cell plasma membrane is similar to what is found in neurons.

  4. Astrocytes in Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Jiang Shan; Gao, Kai; Chai, Rui Chao; Jia, Xi Hua; Luo, Dao Peng; Ge, Guo; Jiang, Yu Wu; Fung, Yin-Wan Wendy; Li, Lina; Yu, Albert Cheung Hoi

    2017-01-01

    Cell migration is a fundamental phenomenon that underlies tissue morphogenesis, wound healing, immune response, and cancer metastasis. Great progresses have been made in research methodologies, with cell migration identified as a highly orchestrated process. Brain is considered the most complex organ in the human body, containing many types of neural cells with astrocytes playing crucial roles in monitoring normal functions of the central nervous system. Astrocytes are mostly quiescent under normal physiological conditions in the adult brain but become migratory after injury. Under most known pathological conditions in the brain, spinal cord and retina, astrocytes are activated and become hypertrophic, hyperplastic, and up-regulating GFAP based on the grades of severity. These three observations are the hallmark in glia scar formation-astrogliosis. The reactivation process is initiated with structural changes involving cell process migration and ended with cell migration. Detailed mechanisms in astrocyte migration have not been studied extensively and remain largely unknown. Here, we therefore attempt to review the mechanisms in migration of astrocytes.

  5. Targeting astrocytes in major depression

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes represent a highly heterogeneous population of neural cells primarily responsible for the homeostasis of the central nervous system. Astrocytes express multiple receptors for neurotransmitters, including the serotonin 5-HT2B receptors and interact with neurones at the synapse. Astroglia contribute to neurological diseases through homeostatic response, neuroprotection and reactivity. In major depression, astrocytes show signs of degeneration and are decreased in numbe...

  6. Why are astrocytes important?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verkhratsky, Alexei; Nedergaard, Maiken; Hertz, Leif

    2015-02-01

    Astrocytes, which populate the grey and white mater of the brain and the spinal cord are highly heterogeneous in their morphology and function. These cells are primarily responsible for homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS). Most central synapses are surrounded by exceedingly thin astroglial perisynaptic processes, which act as "astroglial cradle" critical for genesis, maturation and maintenance of synaptic connectivity. The perisynaptic glial processes are densely packed with numerous transporters, which provide for homeostasis of ions and neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft, for local metabolic support and for release of astroglial derived scavengers of reactive oxygen species. Through perivascular processes astrocytes contribute to blood-brain barrier and form "glymphatic" drainage system of the CNS. Furthermore astrocytes are indispensible for glutamatergic and γ-aminobutyrate-ergic synaptic transmission being the supplier of neurotransmitters precursor glutamine via an astrocytic/neuronal cycle. Pathogenesis of many neurological disorders, including neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases is defined by loss of homeostatic function (astroglial asthenia) or remodelling of astroglial homoeostatic capabilities. Astroglial cells further contribute to neuropathologies through mounting complex defensive programme generally known as reactive astrogliosis.

  7. [Novel function of astrocytes revealed by optogenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beppu, Kaoru; Matsui, Ko

    2014-12-01

    Astrocytes respond to neuronal activity. However, whether astrocytic activity has any significance in brain function is unknown. Signaling pathway leading from astrocytes to neurons would be required for astrocytes to participate in neuronal functions and, here, we investigated the presence of such pathway. Optogenetics was used to manipulate astrocytic activity. A light-sensitive protein, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), was selectively expressed in astrocytes. Photostimulation of these astrocytes induced glutamate release which modulated neuronal activity and animal behavior. Such glutamate release was triggered by intracellular acidification produced by ChR2 photoactivation. Astrocytic acidification occurs upon brain ischemia, and we found that another optogenetic tool, archaerhodopsin (ArchT), could counter the acidification and suppress astrocytic glutamate release. Controlling of astrocytic pH may become a therapeutic strategy upon ischemia.

  8. Astrocyte, the star avatar: redefined

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Pankaj Seth; Nitin Koul

    2008-09-01

    Until recently, the neuroscience community held the belief that glial cells such as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes functioned solely as “support” cells of the brain. In this role, glial cells simply provide physical support and housekeeping functions for the more important cells of the brain, the neurons. However, this view has changed radically in recent years with the discovery of previously unrecognized and surprising functions for this underappreciated cell type. In the past decade or so, emerging evidence has provided new insights into novel glial cell activities such as control of synapse formation and function, communication, cerebrovascular tone regulation, immune regulation and adult neurogenesis. Such advances in knowledge have effectively elevated the role of the astrocyte to one that is more important than previously realized. 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 physiology, pathophysiology and, most importantly, in adult neurogenesis and “stemness”, with special emphasis on astrocytes.

  9. Astrocytic glycogenolysis: mechanisms and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Xu, Junnan; Song, Dan; Du, Ting; Li, Baoman; Yan, Enzhi; Peng, Liang

    2015-02-01

    Until the demonstration little more than 20 years ago that glycogenolysis occurs during normal whisker stimulation glycogenolysis was regarded as a relatively uninteresting emergency procedure. Since then, a series of important astrocytic functions has been shown to be critically dependent on glycogenolytic activity to support the signaling mechanisms necessary for these functions to operate. This applies to glutamate formation and uptake and to release of ATP as a transmitter, stimulated by other transmitters or elevated K(+) concentrations and affecting not only other astrocytes but also most other brain cells. It is also relevant for astrocytic K(+) uptake both during the period when the extracellular K(+) concentration is still elevated after neuronal excitation, and capable of stimulating glycogenolytic activity, and during the subsequent undershoot after intense neuronal activity, when glycogenolysis may be stimulated by noradrenaline. Both elevated K(+) concentrations and several transmitters, including the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol and vasopressin increase free cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration in astrocytes, which stimulates phosphorylase kinase so that it activates the transformation of the inactive glycogen phosphorylase a to the active phosphorylase b. Contrary to common belief cyclic AMP plays at most a facilitatory role, and only when free cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration is also increased. Cyclic AMP is not increased during activation of glycogenolysis by either elevated K(+) concentrations or the stimulation of the serotonergic 5-HT(2B) receptor. Not all agents that stimulate glycogenolysis do so by directly activating phophorylase kinase--some do so by activating processes requiring glycogenolysis, e.g. for synthesis of glutamate.

  10. Astrocyte-Synapse Structural Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Bernardinelli

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The function and efficacy of synaptic transmission are determined not only by the composition and activity of pre- and postsynaptic components but also by the environment in which a synapse is embedded. Glial cells constitute an important part of this environment and participate in several aspects of synaptic functions. Among the glial cell family, the roles played by astrocytes at the synaptic level are particularly important, ranging from the trophic support to the fine-tuning of transmission. Astrocytic structures are frequently observed in close association with glutamatergic synapses, providing a morphological entity for bidirectional interactions with synapses. Experimental evidence indicates that astrocytes sense neuronal activity by elevating their intracellular calcium in response to neurotransmitters and may communicate with neurons. The precise role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic properties, function, and plasticity remains however a subject of intense debate and many aspects of their interactions with neurons remain to be investigated. A particularly intriguing aspect is their ability to rapidly restructure their processes and modify their coverage of the synaptic elements. The present review summarizes some of these findings with a particular focus on the mechanisms driving this form of structural plasticity and its possible impact on synaptic structure and function.

  11. Astrocyte-Synapse Structural Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The function and efficacy of synaptic transmission are determined not only by the composition and activity of pre- and postsynaptic components but also by the environment in which a synapse is embedded. Glial cells constitute an important part of this environment and participate in several aspects of synaptic functions. Among the glial cell family, the roles played by astrocytes at the synaptic level are particularly important, ranging from the trophic support to the fine-tuning of transmissi...

  12. Triptolide protects astrocytes from hypoxia/ reoxygenation injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Minfang Guo; Hongcui Fan; Jiezhong Yu; Ning Ji; Yongsheng Sun; Liyun Liang; Baoguo Xiao; Cungen Ma

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes in an in vitro murine astrocyte model of oxygen and glucose deprivation/hypoxia and reoxygenation were treated with different concentrations of triptolide (250, 500, 1 000 ng/mL) in a broader attempt to elucidate the protection and mechanism underlying triptolide treatment on astrocytes exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation injury. The results showed that the matrix metalloproteinase-9, interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin-6 expressions were significantly decreased after triptolide treatment in the astrocytes exposed to hypoxia/ reoxygenation injury, while interleukin-10 expression was upregulated. In addition, the vitality of the injured astrocytes was enhanced, the triptolide's effect was apparent at 500 ng/mL. These experimental findings indicate that triptolide treatment could protect astrocytes against hypoxia/ reoxygenation injury through the inhibition of inflammatory response and the reduction of matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression.

  13. Dynamic reactive astrocytes after focal ischemia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shinghua Ding

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are specialized and most numerous glial cell type in the central nervous system and play important roles in physiology. Astrocytes are also critically involved in many neural disor-ders including focal ischemic stroke, a leading cause of brain injury and human death. One of the prominent pathological features of focal ischemic stroke is reactive astrogliosis and glial scar for-mation associated with morphological changes and proliferation. This review paper discusses the recent advances in spatial and temporal dynamics of morphology and proliferation of reactive astrocytes after ischemic stroke based on results from experimental animal studies. As reactive astrocytes exhibit stem cell-like properties, knowledge of dynamics of reactive astrocytes and glial scar formation will provide important insights for astrocyte-based cell therapy in stroke.

  14. Astrocyte calcium signaling: the third wave.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazargani, Narges; Attwell, David

    2016-02-01

    The discovery that transient elevations of calcium concentration occur in astrocytes, and release 'gliotransmitters' which act on neurons and vascular smooth muscle, led to the idea that astrocytes are powerful regulators of neuronal spiking, synaptic plasticity and brain blood flow. These findings were challenged by a second wave of reports that astrocyte calcium transients did not mediate functions attributed to gliotransmitters and were too slow to generate blood flow increases. Remarkably, the tide has now turned again: the most important calcium transients occur in fine astrocyte processes not resolved in earlier studies, and new mechanisms have been discovered by which astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i is raised and exerts its effects. Here we review how this third wave of discoveries has changed our understanding of astrocyte calcium signaling and its consequences for neuronal function.

  15. Active sulforhodamine 101 uptake into hippocampal astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schnell

    Full Text Available Sulforhodamine 101 (SR101 is widely used as a marker of astrocytes. In this study we investigated labeling of astrocytes by SR101 in acute slices from the ventrolateral medulla and the hippocampus of transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the astrocyte-specific human GFAP promoter. While SR101 efficiently and specifically labeled EGFP-expressing astrocytes in hippocampus, we found that the same staining procedure failed to label astrocytes efficiently in the ventrolateral medulla. Although carbenoxolone is able to decrease the SR101-labeling of astrocytes in the hippocampus, it is unlikely that SR101 is taken up via gap-junction hemichannels because mefloquine, a blocker for pannexin and connexin hemichannels, was unable to prevent SR101-labeling of hippocampal astrocytes. However, SR101-labeling of the hippocampal astrocytes was significantly reduced by substrates of organic anion transport polypeptides, including estron-3-sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, suggesting that SR101 is actively transported into hippocampal astrocytes.

  16. Relaxin protects astrocytes from hypoxia in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan M Willcox

    Full Text Available The peptide relaxin has recently been shown to protect brain tissues from the detrimental effects of ischemia. To date, the mechanisms for this remain unclear. In order to investigate the neuroprotective mechanisms by which relaxin may protect the brain, we investigated the possibility that relaxin protects astrocytes from hypoxia or oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD. Cultured astrocytes were pre-treated with either relaxin-2 or relaxin-3 and exposed to OGD for 24 or 48 hours. Following OGD exposure, viability assays showed that relaxin-treated cells exhibited a higher viability when compared to astrocytes that experienced OGD-alone. Next, to test whether relaxin reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS astrocytes were exposed to the same conditions as the previous experiment and a commercially available ROS detection kit was used to detect ROS production. Astrocytes that were treated with relaxin-2 and relaxin-3 showed a marked decrease in ROS production when compared to control astrocytes that were exposed only to OGD. Finally, experiments were performed to determine whether or not the mitochondrial membrane potential was affected by relaxin treatment during 24 hour OGD. Mitochondrial membrane potential was higher in astrocytes that were treated with relaxin-2 and relaxin-3 compared to untreated OGD-alone astrocytes. Taken together, these data present novel findings that show relaxin protects astrocytes from ischemic conditions through the reduction of ROS production and the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential.

  17. Astrocyte loss and astrogliosis in neuroinflammatory disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hostenbach, Stephanie; Cambron, Melissa; D'haeseleer, Miguel; Kooijman, Ron; De Keyser, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    Neuroinflammation can lead to either damage of astrocytes or astrogliosis. Astrocyte loss may be caused by cytotoxic T cells as seen in Rasmussen encephalitis, auto-antibodies such as in neuromyelitis optica (aquaporin-4 antibodies), or cytokines such as TNF-alpha in major depressive disorder. Inter

  18. Nitric Oxide in Astrocyte-Neuron Signaling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nianzhen Li

    2002-06-27

    Astrocytes, a subtype of glial cell, have recently been shown to exhibit Ca{sup 2+} elevations in response to neurotransmitters. A Ca{sup 2+} elevation can propagate to adjacent astrocytes as a Ca{sup 2+} wave, which allows an astrocyte to communicate with its neighbors. Additionally, glutamate can be released from astrocytes via a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent mechanism, thus modulating neuronal activity and synaptic transmission. In this dissertation, the author investigated the roles of another endogenous signal, nitric oxide (NO), in astrocyte-neuron signaling. First the author tested if NO is generated during astrocytic Ca{sup 2+} signaling by imaging NO in purified murine cortical astrocyte cultures. Physiological concentrations of a natural messenger, ATP, caused a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent NO production. To test the roles of NO in astrocytic Ca{sup 2+} signaling, the author applied NO to astrocyte cultures via addition of a NO donor, S-nitrosol-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP). NO induced an influx of external Ca{sup 2+}, possibly through store-operated Ca{sup 2+} channels. The NO-induced Ca{sup 2+} signaling is cGMP-independent since 8-Br-cGMP, an agonistic analog of cGMP, did not induce a detectable Ca{sup 2+} change. The consequence of this NO-induced Ca{sup 2+} influx was assessed by simultaneously monitoring of cytosolic and internal store Ca{sup 2+} using fluorescent Ca{sup 2+} indicators x-rhod-1 and mag-fluo-4. Blockage of NO signaling with the NO scavenger PTIO significantly reduced the refilling percentage of internal stores following ATP-induced Ca{sup 2+} release, suggesting that NO modulates internal store refilling. Furthermore, locally photo-release of NO to a single astrocyte led to a Ca{sup 2+} elevation in the stimulated astrocyte and a subsequent Ca{sup 2+} wave to neighbors. Finally, the author tested the role of NO inglutamate-mediated astrocyte-neuron signaling by recording the astrocyte-evoked glutamate-dependent neuronal slow inward current (SIC

  19. Nitric Oxide in Astrocyte-Neuron Signaling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Nianzhen [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Astrocytes, a subtype of glial cell, have recently been shown to exhibit Ca2+ elevations in response to neurotransmitters. A Ca2+ elevation can propagate to adjacent astrocytes as a Ca2+ wave, which allows an astrocyte to communicate with its neighbors. Additionally, glutamate can be released from astrocytes via a Ca2+-dependent mechanism, thus modulating neuronal activity and synaptic transmission. In this dissertation, the author investigated the roles of another endogenous signal, nitric oxide (NO), in astrocyte-neuron signaling. First the author tested if NO is generated during astrocytic Ca2+ signaling by imaging NO in purified murine cortical astrocyte cultures. Physiological concentrations of a natural messenger, ATP, caused a Ca2+-dependent NO production. To test the roles of NO in astrocytic Ca2+ signaling, the author applied NO to astrocyte cultures via addition of a NO donor, S-nitrosol-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP). NO induced an influx of external Ca2+, possibly through store-operated Ca2+ channels. The NO-induced Ca2+ signaling is cGMP-independent since 8-Br-cGMP, an agonistic analog of cGMP, did not induce a detectable Ca2+ change. The consequence of this NO-induced Ca2+ influx was assessed by simultaneously monitoring of cytosolic and internal store Ca2+ using fluorescent Ca2+ indicators x-rhod-1 and mag-fluo-4. Blockage of NO signaling with the NO scavenger PTIO significantly reduced the refilling percentage of internal stores following ATP-induced Ca2+ release, suggesting that NO modulates internal store refilling. Furthermore, locally photo-release of NO to a single astrocyte led to a Ca2+ elevation in the stimulated astrocyte and a subsequent Ca2+ wave to neighbors. Finally, the author tested the role of NO inglutamate-mediated astrocyte-neuron signaling by

  20. Profilin isoforms modulate astrocytic morphology and the motility of astrocytic processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie K Schweinhuber

    Full Text Available The morphology of astrocytic processes determines their close structural association with synapses referred to as the 'tripartite synapse'. Concerted morphological plasticity processes at tripartite synapses are supposed to shape neuronal communication. Morphological changes in astrocytes as well as the motility of astrocytic processes require remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Among the regulators of fast timescale actin-based motility, the actin binding protein profilin 1 has recently been shown to control the activity-dependent outgrowth of astrocytic processes. Here, we demonstrate that cultured murine astrocytes in addition to the ubiquitous profilin 1 also express the neuronal isoform profilin 2a. To analyze the cellular function of both profilins in astrocytes, we took advantage of a shRNA mediated isoform-specific downregulation. Interestingly, consistent with earlier results in neurons, we found redundant as well as isoform-specific functions of both profilins in modulating cellular physiology. The knockdown of either profilin 1 or profilin 2a led to a significant decrease in cell spreading of astrocytes. In contrast, solely the knockdown of profilin 2a resulted in a significantly reduced morphological complexity of astrocytes in both dissociated and slice culture astrocytes. Moreover, both isoforms proved to be crucial for forskolin-induced astrocytic stellation. Furthermore, forskolin treatment resulted in isoform-specific changes in the phosphorylation level of profilin 1 and profilin 2a, leading to a PKA-dependent phosphorylation of profilin 2a. In addition, transwell assays revealed an involvement of both isoforms in the motility of astrocytic processes, while FRAP analysis displayed an isoform-specific role of profilin 1 in the regulation of actin dynamics in peripheral astrocytic processes. Taken together, we suggest profilin isoforms to be important modulators of astrocytic morphology and motility with overlapping as well as

  1. Astrocytes generate Na+-mediated metabolic waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardinelli, Yann; Magistretti, Pierre J; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2004-10-12

    Glutamate-evoked Na+ increase in astrocytes has been identified as a signal coupling synaptic activity to glucose consumption. Astrocytes participate in multicellular signaling by transmitting intercellular Ca2+ waves. Here we show that intercellular Na+ waves are also evoked by activation of single cultured cortical mouse astrocytes in parallel with Ca2+ waves; however, there are spatial and temporal differences. Indeed, maneuvers that inhibit Ca2+ waves also inhibit Na+ waves; however, inhibition of the Na+/glutamate cotransporters or enzymatic degradation of extracellular glutamate selectively inhibit the Na+ wave. Thus, glutamate released by a Ca2+ wave-dependent mechanism is taken up by the Na+/glutamate cotransporters, resulting in a regenerative propagation of cytosolic Na+ increases. The Na+ wave gives rise to a spatially correlated increase in glucose uptake, which is prevented by glutamate transporter inhibition. Therefore, astrocytes appear to function as a network for concerted neurometabolic coupling through the generation of intercellular Na+ and metabolic waves.

  2. Modulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil functions by astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xie Luokun

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuroinflammation is a complex process involving cells from the immune system and the central nerve system (CNS. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN are the most abundant class of white blood cells, and typically the first type of leukocyte recruited to sites of inflammation. In the CNS, astrocytes are the most abundant glial cell population and participate in the local innate immune response triggered by a variety of insults. In the present study, we investigated the impacts of astrocytes on PMN function. Methods Primary astrocyte cultures were derived from postnatal C57BL/6 mice and primary neutrophils were isolated from 8 to 12 weeks old C57BL/6 mice. PMNs respiratory burst was analyzed by H2DCFDA assay. For phagocytosis assay, neutrophils were incubated with FITC-labeled E. coli and the phagocytosis of E coli was determined by flow cytometer. PMNs degranulation was determined by myeloperoxidase assay. Cytokine expression was determined by real-time PCR. To determine the involvement of different signaling pathway, protein lysates were prepared and western blots were conducted to assess the activation of Akt, Erk1/2, and p38. Results Using ex vivo neutrophils and primary astrocyte cultures, our study demonstrated that astrocytes differentially regulate neutrophil functions, depending upon whether the interactions between the two cell types are direct or indirect. Upon direct cell-cell contact, astrocytes attenuate neutrophil apoptosis, respiratory bust, and degranulation, while enhancing neutrophil phagocytic capability and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Through indirect interaction with neutrophils, astrocytes attenuate apoptosis and enhance necrosis in neutrophils, augment neutrophil phagocytosis and respiratory burst, and inhibit neutrophil degranulation. In addition, astrocytes could augment Akt, Erk1/2, and p38 activation in neutrophils. Conclusions Astrocytes differentially regulate neutrophil functions through

  3. 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.

  4. Astrocytic vesicle mobility in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potokar, Maja; Vardjan, Nina; Stenovec, Matjaž; Gabrijel, Mateja; Trkov, Saša; Jorgačevski, Jernej; Kreft, Marko; Zorec, Robert

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. Isolation and Characterization of Ischemia-Derived Astrocytes (IDAs) with Ability to Transactivate Quiescent Astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Alejandro; Rosciszewski, Gerardo; Murta, Veronica; Cadena, Vanesa; Usach, Vanina; Dodes-Traian, Martin M.; Setton-Avruj, Patricia; Barbeito, Luis H.; Ramos, Alberto J.

    2016-01-01

    Reactive gliosis involving activation and proliferation of astrocytes and microglia, is a widespread but largely complex and graded glial response to brain injury. Astroglial population has a previously underestimated high heterogeneity with cells differing in their morphology, gene expression profile, and response to injury. Here, we identified a subset of reactive astrocytes isolated from brain focal ischemic lesions that show several atypical characteristics. Ischemia-derived astrocytes (IDAs) were isolated from early ischemic penumbra and core. IDA did not originate from myeloid precursors, but rather from pre-existing local progenitors. Isolated IDA markedly differ from primary astrocytes, as they proliferate in vitro with high cell division rate, show increased migratory ability, have reduced replicative senescence and grow in the presence of macrophages within the limits imposed by the glial scar. Remarkably, IDA produce a conditioned medium that strongly induced activation on quiescent primary astrocytes and potentiated the neuronal death triggered by oxygen-glucose deprivation. When re-implanted into normal rat brains, eGFP-IDA migrated around the injection site and induced focal reactive gliosis. Inhibition of gamma secretases or culture on quiescent primary astrocytes monolayers facilitated IDA differentiation to astrocytes. We propose that IDA represent an undifferentiated, pro-inflammatory, highly replicative and migratory astroglial subtype emerging from the ischemic microenvironment that may contribute to the expansion of reactive gliosis. Main Points: Ischemia-derived astrocytes (IDA) were isolated from brain ischemic tissue IDA show reduced replicative senescence, increased cell division and spontaneous migration IDA potentiate death of oxygen-glucose deprived cortical neurons IDA propagate reactive gliosis on quiescent astrocytes in vitro and in vivo Inhibition of gamma secretases facilitates IDA differentiation to astrocytes PMID:27313509

  6. Astrocytes: a central element in neurological diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekny, Milos; Pekna, Marcela; Messing, Albee; Steinhäuser, Christian; Lee, Jin-Moo; Parpura, Vladimir; Hol, Elly M; Sofroniew, Michael V; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2016-03-01

    The neurone-centred view of the past disregarded or downplayed the role of astroglia as a primary component in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. As this concept is changing, so is also the perceived role of astrocytes in the healthy and diseased brain and spinal cord. We have started to unravel the different signalling mechanisms that trigger specific molecular, morphological and functional changes in reactive astrocytes that are critical for repairing tissue and maintaining function in CNS pathologies, such as neurotrauma, stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases. An increasing body of evidence shows that the effects of astrogliosis on the neural tissue and its functions are not uniform or stereotypic, but vary in a context-specific manner from astrogliosis being an adaptive beneficial response under some circumstances to a maladaptive and deleterious process in another context. There is a growing support for the concept of astrocytopathies in which the disruption of normal astrocyte functions, astrodegeneration or dysfunctional/maladaptive astrogliosis are the primary cause or the main factor in neurological dysfunction and disease. This review describes the multiple roles of astrocytes in the healthy CNS, discusses the diversity of astroglial responses in neurological disorders and argues that targeting astrocytes may represent an effective therapeutic strategy for Alexander disease, neurotrauma, stroke, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease as well as other neurodegenerative diseases.

  7. Sodium signaling and astrocyte energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    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. GLIA 2016;64:1667-1676.

  8. 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.

  9. Spinal astrocytes produce and secrete dynorphin neuropeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlert, Andrew; Funkelstein, Lydiane; Fitzsimmons, Bethany; Yaksh, Tony; Hook, Vivian

    2013-04-01

    Dynorphin peptide neurotransmitters (neuropeptides) have been implicated in spinal pain processing based on the observations that intrathecal delivery of dynorphin results in proalgesic effects and disruption of extracellular dynorphin activity (by antisera) prevents injury evoked hyperalgesia. However, the cellular source of secreted spinal dynorphin has been unknown. For this reason, this study investigated the expression and secretion of dynorphin-related neuropeptides from spinal astrocytes (rat) in primary culture. Dynorphin A (1-17), dynorphin B, and α-neoendorphin were found to be present in the astrocytes, illustrated by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy, in a discrete punctate pattern of cellular localization. Measurement of astrocyte cellular levels of these dynorphins by radioimmunoassays confirmed the expression of these three dynorphin-related neuropeptides. Notably, BzATP (3'-O-(4-benzoyl)benzoyl adenosine 5'-triphosphate) and KLA (di[3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonyl]-lipid A) activation of purinergic and toll-like receptors, respectively, resulted in stimulated secretion of dynorphins A and B. However, α-neoendorphin secretion was not affected by BzATP or KLA. These findings suggest that dynorphins A and B undergo regulated secretion from spinal astrocytes. These findings also suggest that spinal astrocytes may provide secreted dynorphins that participate in spinal pain processing.

  10. Hypoxia inducible factor-2α regulates the development of retinal astrocytic network by maintaining adequate supply of astrocyte progenitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Juan Duan

    Full Text Available Here we investigate the role of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-2α in coordinating the development of retinal astrocytic and vascular networks. Three Cre mouse lines were used to disrupt floxed Hif-2α, including Rosa26(CreERT2, Tie2(Cre, and GFAP(Cre. Global Hif-2α disruption by Rosa26(CreERT2 led to reduced astrocytic and vascular development in neonatal retinas, whereas endothelial disruption by Tie2(Cre had no apparent effects. Hif-2α deletion in astrocyte progenitors by GFAP(Cre significantly interfered with the development of astrocytic networks, which failed to reach the retinal periphery and were incapable of supporting vascular development. Perplexingly, the abundance of strongly GFAP(+ mature astrocytes transiently increased at P0 before they began to lag behind the normal controls by P3. Pax2(+ and PDGFRα(+ astrocytic progenitors and immature astrocytes were dramatically diminished at all stages examined. Despite decreased number of astrocyte progenitors, their proliferation index or apoptosis was not altered. The above data can be reconciled by proposing that HIF-2α is required for maintaining the supply of astrocyte progenitors by slowing down their differentiation into non-proliferative mature astrocytes. HIF-2α deficiency in astrocyte progenitors may accelerate their differentiation into astrocytes, a change which greatly interferes with the replenishment of astrocyte progenitors due to insufficient time for proliferation. Rapidly declining progenitor supply may lead to premature cessation of astrocyte development. Given that HIF-2α protein undergoes oxygen dependent degradation, an interesting possibility is that retinal blood vessels may regulate astrocyte differentiation through their oxygen delivery function. While our findings support the consensus that retinal astrocytic template guides vascular development, they also raise the possibility that astrocytic and vascular networks may mutually regulate each other

  11. Isolation and characterization of ischemia-derived astrocytes (IDA with ability to transactivate quiescent astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro eVillarreal

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Reactive gliosis involving activation and proliferation of astrocytes and microglia, is a widespread but largely complex and graded glial response to brain injury. Astroglial population has a previously underestimated high heterogeneity with cells differing in their morphology, gene expression profile and response to injury. Here, we identified a subset of reactive astrocytes isolated from brain focal ischemic lesions that show several atypical characteristics. Ischemia-derived astrocytes (IDA were isolated from early ischemic penumbra and core. IDA did not originate from myeloid precursors, but rather from pre-existing local progenitors. Isolated IDA markedly differ from primary astrocytes, as they proliferate in vitro with high cell division rate, show increased migratory ability, have reduced replicative senescence and grow in the presence of macrophages within the limits imposed by the glial scar. Remarkably, IDA produce a conditioned medium that strongly induced activation on quiescent primary astrocytes and potentiated the neuronal death triggered by oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD. When re-implanted into normal rat brains, eGFP-IDA migrated around the injection site and induced focal reactive gliosis. Inhibition of gamma secretases or culture on quiescent primary astrocytes monolayers facilitated IDA differentiation to astrocytes. We propose that IDA represent an undifferentiated, pro-inflammatory, highly replicative and migratory astroglial subtype emerging from the ischemic microenvironment that may contribute to the expansion of reactive gliosis.

  12. Neuroinflammatory TNFα Impairs Memory via Astrocyte Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habbas, Samia; Santello, Mirko; Becker, Denise; Stubbe, Hiltrud; Zappia, Giovanna; Liaudet, Nicolas; Klaus, Federica R; Kollias, George; Fontana, Adriano; Pryce, Christopher R; Suter, Tobias; Volterra, Andrea

    2015-12-17

    The occurrence of cognitive disturbances upon CNS inflammation or infection has been correlated with increased levels of the cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα). To date, however, no specific mechanism via which this cytokine could alter cognitive circuits has been demonstrated. Here, we show that local increase of TNFα in the hippocampal dentate gyrus activates astrocyte TNF receptor type 1 (TNFR1), which in turn triggers an astrocyte-neuron signaling cascade that results in persistent functional modification of hippocampal excitatory synapses. Astrocytic TNFR1 signaling is necessary for the hippocampal synaptic alteration and contextual learning-memory impairment observed in experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). This process may contribute to the pathogenesis of cognitive disturbances in MS, as well as in other CNS conditions accompanied by inflammatory states or infections.

  13. From stem cell to astrocyte: Decoding the regulation of GFAP

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Kanski

    2014-01-01

    The research presented in this thesis focuses on glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), the main intermediate filament (IF) in astrocytes and astrocyte subpopulations such as neural stem cells (NSCs). In neurodegenerative diseases or upon brain damage, astrocytes respond to an injury with an upregu

  14. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Astrocytes : a central element in neurological diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pekny, Milos; Pekna, Marcela; Messing, Albee; Steinhäuser, Christian; Lee, Jin Moo; Parpura, Vladimir; Hol, Elly M.; Sofroniew, Michael V.; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2016-01-01

    The neurone-centred view of the past disregarded or downplayed the role of astroglia as a primary component in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. As this concept is changing, so is also the perceived role of astrocytes in the healthy and diseased brain and spinal cord. We have started to unr

  18. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiang-Dong; Li, Lei; Liu, Fang; Huang, Zhi-Hui; Bean, Jonathan C; Jiao, Hui-Feng; Barik, Arnab; Kim, Seon-Myung; Wu, Haitao; Shen, Chengyong; Tian, Yun; Lin, Thiri W; Bates, Ryan; Sathyamurthy, Anupama; Chen, Yong-Jun; Yin, Dong-Min; Xiong, Lei; Lin, Hui-Ping; Hu, Jin-Xia; Li, Bao-Ming; Gao, Tian-Ming; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2016-08-01

    Neurotransmission requires precise control of neurotransmitter release from axon terminals. This process is regulated by glial cells; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We found that glutamate release in the brain was impaired in mice lacking low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4), a protein that is critical for neuromuscular junction formation. Electrophysiological studies revealed compromised release probability in astrocyte-specific Lrp4 knockout mice. Lrp4 mutant astrocytes suppressed glutamatergic transmission by enhancing the release of ATP, whose level was elevated in the hippocampus of Lrp4 mutant mice. Consequently, the mutant mice were impaired in locomotor activity and spatial memory and were resistant to seizure induction. These impairments could be ameliorated by blocking the adenosine A1 receptor. The results reveal a critical role for Lrp4, in response to agrin, in modulating astrocytic ATP release and synaptic transmission. Our findings provide insight into the interaction between neurons and astrocytes for synaptic homeostasis and/or plasticity.

  19. Superantigen presenting capacity of human astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hassan-Zahraee, M; Ladiwala, U; Lavoie, P M;

    2000-01-01

    We found that human fetal astrocytes (HFA) are able to support superantigen (SAG) staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1)-induced activation of immediately ex vivo allogenic human CD4 T cells. Using radiolabelled toxins, we demonstrate that both SEB and TSST-1...

  20. Characterization of astrocytic and neuronal benzodiazepine receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bender, A.S.

    1988-01-01

    Primary cultures of astrocytes and neurons express benzodiazepine receptors. Neuronal benzodiazepine receptors were of high-affinity, K{sub D} values were 7.5-43 nM and the densities of receptors (B{sub max}) were 924-4131 fmol/mg protein. Astrocytes posses a high-affinity benzodiazepine receptor, K{sub D} values were 6.6-13 nM. The B{sub max} values were 6,033-12,000 fmol/mg protein. The pharmacological profile of the neuronal benzodiazepine receptor was that of the central-type benzodiazepine receptor, where clonazepam has a high-affinity and Ro 5-4864 (4{prime}-chlorodiazepam) has a low-affinity. Whereas astrocytic benzoidazepine receptor was characteristic of the so called peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptors, which shows a high-affinity towards Ro 5-4863, and a low-affinity towards clonazepam. The astrocytic benzodiazepine receptors was functionally correlated with voltage dependent calcium channels, since dihydropyridines and benzodiazepines interacted with ({sup 3}H) diazepam and ({sup 3}H) nitrendipine receptors with the same rank order of potency, showing a statistically significant correlation. No such correlation was observed in neurons.

  1. New roles for astrocytes: the nightlife of an 'astrocyte'. La vida loca!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, Philip J; Palmer, Theo D

    2003-11-01

    Like a newly popular nightspot, the biology of adult stem cells has emerged from obscurity to become one of the most lively new disciplines of the decade. The neurosciences have not escaped this trendy pastime and, from amid the noise and excitement, the astrocyte emerges as a beguiling companion to the adult neural stem cell. A once receding partner to neurons and oligodendrocytes, the astrocyte even takes on an alter ego of the stem cell itself (S. Goldman, this issue of TINS). Putting ego aside, the 'astrocyte' is also (and perhaps more importantly) an integral component of neural progenitor hotspots, where the craziness or 'la vida loca' of the nightlife might not be so wild when compared with our traditional understanding of the astrocyte. Here, astrocytes contribute to the instructive confluence of location, atmosphere and cellular neighbors that define the daily 'vida local' or everyday local life of an adult stem cell. This review discusses astrocytes as influential components in the local stem cell niche.

  2. Endocannabinoids potentiate synaptic transmission through stimulation of astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2010-10-06

    Endocannabinoids and their receptor CB1 play key roles in brain function. Astrocytes express CB1Rs that are activated by endocannabinoids released by neurons. However, the consequences of the endocannabinoid-mediated neuron-astrocyte signaling on synaptic transmission are unknown. We show that endocannabinoids released by hippocampal pyramidal neurons increase the probability of transmitter release at CA3-CA1 synapses. This synaptic potentiation is due to CB1R-induced Ca(2+) elevations in astrocytes, which stimulate the release of glutamate that activates presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. While endocannabinoids induce synaptic depression in the stimulated neuron by direct activation of presynaptic CB1Rs, they indirectly lead to synaptic potentiation in relatively more distant neurons by activation of CB1Rs in astrocytes. Hence, astrocyte calcium signal evoked by endogenous stimuli (neuron-released endocannabinoids) modulates synaptic transmission. Therefore, astrocytes respond to endocannabinoids that then potentiate synaptic transmission, indicating that astrocytes are actively involved in brain physiology.

  3. Mash1 efifciently reprograms rat astrocytes into neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Daofang Ding; Leqin Xu; Hao Xu; Xiaofeng Li; Qianqian Liang; Yongjian Zhao; Yongjun Wang

    2014-01-01

    To date, it remains poorly understood whether astrocytes can be easily reprogrammed into neurons. Mash1 and Brn2 have been previously shown to cooperate to reprogram fibroblasts into neurons. In this study, we examined astrocytes from 2-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats, and found that Brn2 was expressed, but Mash1 was not detectable. Thus, we hypothesized that Mash1 alone could be used to reprogram astrocytes into neurons. We transfected a recombinant MSCV-MASH1 plasmid into astrocytes for 72 hours, and saw that all cells expressed Mash1. One week later, we observed the changes in morphology of astrocytes, which showed typical neuro-nal characteristics. Moreover,β-tubulin expression levels were signiifcantly higher in astrocytes expressing Mash1 than in control cells. These results indicate that Mash1 alone can reprogram astrocytes into neurons.

  4. Dysbalance of astrocyte calcium under hyperammonemic conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Haack

    Full Text Available Increased brain ammonium (NH4(+/NH3 plays a central role in the manifestation of hepatic encephalopathy (HE, a complex syndrome associated with neurological and psychiatric alterations, which is primarily a disorder of astrocytes. Here, we analysed the influence of NH4(+/NH3 on the calcium concentration of astrocytes in situ and studied the underlying mechanisms of NH4(+/NH3-evoked calcium changes, employing fluorescence imaging with Fura-2 in acute tissue slices derived from different regions of the mouse brain. In the hippocampal stratum radiatum, perfusion with 5 mM NH4(+/NH3 for 30 minutes caused a transient calcium increase in about 40% of astrocytes lasting about 10 minutes. Furthermore, the vast majority of astrocytes (∼ 90% experienced a persistent calcium increase by ∼ 50 nM. This persistent increase was already evoked at concentrations of 1-2 mM NH4(+/NH3, developed within 10-20 minutes and was maintained as long as the NH4(+/NH3 was present. Qualitatively similar changes were observed in astrocytes of different neocortical regions as well as in cerebellar Bergmann glia. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase resulted in significantly larger calcium increases in response to NH4(+/NH3, indicating that glutamine accumulation was not a primary cause. Calcium increases were not mimicked by changes in intracellular pH. Pharmacological inhibition of voltage-gated sodium channels, sodium-potassium-chloride-cotransporters (NKCC, the reverse mode of sodium/calcium exchange (NCX, AMPA- or mGluR5-receptors did not dampen NH4(+/NH3-induced calcium increases. They were, however, significantly reduced by inhibition of NMDA receptors and depletion of intracellular calcium stores. Taken together, our measurements show that sustained exposure to NH4(+/NH3 causes a sustained increase in intracellular calcium in astrocytes in situ, which is partly dependent on NMDA receptor activation and on release of calcium from intracellular stores. Our study

  5. Handling of Copper and Copper Oxide Nanoparticles by Astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulcke, Felix; Dringen, Ralf

    2016-02-01

    Copper is an essential trace element for many important cellular functions. However, excess of copper can impair cellular functions by copper-induced oxidative stress. In brain, astrocytes are considered to play a prominent role in the copper homeostasis. In this short review we summarise the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms which are involved in the handling of copper by astrocytes. Cultured astrocytes efficiently take up copper ions predominantly by the copper transporter Ctr1 and the divalent metal transporter DMT1. In addition, copper oxide nanoparticles are rapidly accumulated by astrocytes via endocytosis. Cultured astrocytes tolerate moderate increases in intracellular copper contents very well. However, if a given threshold of cellular copper content is exceeded after exposure to copper, accelerated production of reactive oxygen species and compromised cell viability are observed. Upon exposure to sub-toxic concentrations of copper ions or copper oxide nanoparticles, astrocytes increase their copper storage capacity by upregulating the cellular contents of glutathione and metallothioneins. In addition, cultured astrocytes have the capacity to export copper ions which is likely to involve the copper ATPase 7A. The ability of astrocytes to efficiently accumulate, store and export copper ions suggests that astrocytes have a key role in the distribution of copper in brain. Impairment of this astrocytic function may be involved in diseases which are connected with disturbances in brain copper metabolism.

  6. Physiopathologic dynamics of vesicle traffic in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potokar, Maja; Stenovec, Matjaž; Kreft, Marko; Gabrijel, Mateja; Zorec, Robert

    2011-02-01

    The view of how astrocytes, a type of glial cells, contribute to the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) has changed greatly in the last decade. Although glial cells outnumber neurons in the mammalian brain, it was considered for over a century that they played a subservient role to neurons. This view changed. Functions thought to be exclusively present in neurons, i.e. excitability mediated release of chemical messengers, has also been demonstrated in astrocytes. In this process, following an increase in cytosolic calcium activity, membrane bound vesicles, storing chemical messengers (gliotransmitters), fuse with the plasma membrane, a process known as exocytosis, permitting the exit of vesicle cargo into the extracellular space. Vesicles are delivered to and are removed from the site of exocytosis by an amazingly complex set of processes that we have only started to learn about recently. In this paper we review vesicle traffic, which is subject to physiological regulation and may be changed under pathological conditions.

  7. Astrocyte glutamine synthetase: pivotal in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Christopher F; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Parpura, Vladimir

    2013-12-01

    The multifunctional properties of astrocytes signify their importance in brain physiology and neurological function. In addition to defining the brain architecture, astrocytes are primary elements of brain ion, pH and neurotransmitter homoeostasis. GS (glutamine synthetase), which catalyses the ATP-dependent condensation of ammonia and glutamate to form glutamine, is an enzyme particularly found in astrocytes. GS plays a pivotal role in glutamate and glutamine homoeostasis, orchestrating astrocyte glutamate uptake/release and the glutamate-glutamine cycle. Furthermore, astrocytes bear the brunt of clearing ammonia in the brain, preventing neurotoxicity. The present review depicts the central function of astrocytes, concentrating on the importance of GS in glutamate/glutamine metabolism and ammonia detoxification in health and disease.

  8. Redox state alteration modulates astrocyte glucuronidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heurtaux, T; Benani, A; Bianchi, A; Moindrot, A; Gradinaru, D; Magdalou, J; Netter, P; Minn, A

    2004-10-01

    We have investigated the effects of mild oxidative conditions on drug-metabolizing enzyme activity in rat cultured astrocytes. These experimental conditions promoting an oxidative environment were obtained by short exposure to a low concentration of menadione (5 microM) for a short duration (15 min). This resulted in the rapid and transient production of reactive oxygen species (+130%), associated with a decrease in GSH cellular content (-24%), and an increase in total protein oxidation (+26%), but promoted neither PGE(2) nor NO production. This treatment induced a rapid and persistent decrease in astrocyte glucuronidation activities, which was totally prevented by N-acetyl-l-cysteine. These oxidative conditions also affected the specific UGT1A6 activity measured in transfected V79-1A6 cells. Finally, the subsequent recovery of astrocyte glucuronidation activity may result from upregulation of UGT1A6 expression (+62%) as shown by RT-PCR and gene reporter assay. These results show that the catalytic properties and expression of cerebral UGT1A6 are highly sensitive to the redox environment. The protective effect of N-acetyl-l-cysteine suggests both a direct action of reactive oxygen species on the protein and a more delayed action on the transcriptional regulation of UGT1A6. These results suggest that cerebral metabolism can be altered by physiological or pathological redox modifications.

  9. Mechanisms of Astrocyte-Mediated Cerebral Edema

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokum, Jesse A.; Kurland, David B.; Gerzanich, Volodymyr; Simard, J. Marc

    2014-01-01

    Cerebral edema formation stems from disruption of blood brain barrier (BBB) integrity and occurs after injury to the CNS. Due to the restrictive skull, relatively small increases in brain volume can translate into impaired tissue perfusion and brain herniation. In excess, cerebral edema can be gravely harmful. Astrocytes are key participants in cerebral edema by virtue of their relationship with the cerebral vasculature, their unique compliment of solute and water transport proteins, and their general role in brain volume homeostasis. Following the discovery of aquaporins, passive conduits of water flow, aquaporin 4 (AQP4) was identified as the predominant astrocyte water channel. Normally, AQP4 is highly enriched at perivascular endfeet, the outermost layer of the BBB, whereas after injury, AQP4 expression disseminates to the entire astrocytic plasmalemma, a phenomenon termed dysregulation. Arguably, the most important role of AQP4 is to rapidly neutralize osmotic gradients generated by ionic transporters. In pathological conditions, AQP4 is believed to be intimately involved in the formation and clearance of cerebral edema. In this review, we discuss aquaporin function and localization in the BBB during health and injury, and we examine post-injury ionic events that modulate AQP4- dependent edema formation. PMID:24996934

  10. 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.

  11. Astrocyte Cultures Mimicking Brain Astrocytes in Gene Expression, Signaling, Metabolism and K(+) Uptake and Showing Astrocytic Gene Expression Overlooked by Immunohistochemistry and In Situ Hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Chen, Ye; Song, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Based on differences in gene expression between cultured astrocytes and freshly isolated brain astrocytes it has been claimed that cultured astrocytes poorly reflect the characteristics of their in vivo counterparts. This paper shows that this is not the case with the cultures of mouse astrocytes we have used since 1978. The culture is prepared following guidelines provided by Drs. Monique Sensenbrenner and John Booher, with the difference that dibutyryl cyclic AMP is added to the culture medium from the beginning of the third week. This addition has only minor effects on glucose and glutamate metabolism, but it is crucial for effects by elevated K(+) concentrations and for Ca(2+) homeostasis, important aspects of astrocyte function. Work by Liang Peng and her colleagues has shown identity between not only gene expression but also drug-induced gene upregulations and editings in astrocytes cultured by this method and astrocytes freshly isolated from brains of drug-treated animals. Dr. Norenberg's laboratory has demonstrated identical upregulation of the cotransporter NKCC1 in ammonia-exposed astrocytes and rats with liver failure. Similarity between cultured and freshly isolated astrocytes has also been shown in metabolism, K(+) uptake and several aspects of signaling. However, others have shown that the gene for the glutamate transporter GLT1 is not expressed, and rat cultures show some abnormalities in K(+) effects. Nevertheless, the overall reliability of the cultured cells is important because immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization poorly demonstrate many astrocytic genes, e.g., those of nucleoside transporters, and even microarray analysis of isolated cells can be misleading.

  12. Development of a method for the purification and culture of rodent astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foo, Lynette C; Allen, Nicola J; Bushong, Eric A; Ventura, P Britten; Chung, Won-Suk; Zhou, Lu; Cahoy, John D; Daneman, Richard; Zong, Hui; Ellisman, Mark H; Barres, Ben A

    2011-09-08

    The inability to purify and culture astrocytes has long hindered studies of their function. Whereas astrocyte progenitor cells can be cultured from neonatal brain, culture of mature astrocytes from postnatal brain has not been possible. Here, we report a new method to prospectively purify astrocytes by immunopanning. These astrocytes undergo apoptosis in culture, but vascular cells and HBEGF promote their survival in serum-free culture. We found that some developing astrocytes normally undergo apoptosis in vivo and that the vast majority of astrocytes contact blood vessels, suggesting that astrocytes are matched to blood vessels by competing for vascular-derived trophic factors such as HBEGF. Compared to traditional astrocyte cultures, the gene profiles of the cultured purified postnatal astrocytes much more closely resemble those of in vivo astrocytes. Although these astrocytes strongly promote synapse formation and function, they do not secrete glutamate in response to stimulation.

  13. Astrocyte Hypertrophy Contributes to Aberrant Neurogenesis after Traumatic Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clark Robinson

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI is a widespread epidemic with severe cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences. TBIs typically result in a relatively rapid inflammatory and neuroinflammatory response. A major component of the neuroinflammatory response is astrocytes, a type of glial cell in the brain. Astrocytes are important in maintaining the integrity of neuronal functioning, and it is possible that astrocyte hypertrophy after TBIs might contribute to pathogenesis. The hippocampus is a unique brain region, because neurogenesis persists in adults. Accumulating evidence supports the functional importance of these newborn neurons and their associated astrocytes. Alterations to either of these cell types can influence neuronal functioning. To determine if hypertrophied astrocytes might negatively influence immature neurons in the dentate gyrus, astrocyte and newborn neurons were analyzed at 30 days following a TBI in mice. The results demonstrate a loss of radial glial-like processes extending through the granule cell layer after TBI, as well as ectopic growth and migration of immature dentate neurons. The results further show newborn neurons in close association with hypertrophied astrocytes, suggesting a role for the astrocytes in aberrant neurogenesis. Future studies are needed to determine the functional significance of these alterations to the astrocyte/immature neurons after TBI.

  14. Comparison of the gene expression profiles of human fetal cortical astrocytes with pluripotent stem cell derived neural stem cells identifies human astrocyte markers and signaling pathways and transcription factors active in human astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Nasir; Wang, Xiantao; Shah, Sonia; Efthymiou, Anastasia G; Yan, Bin; Heman-Ackah, Sabrina; Zhan, Ming; Rao, Mahendra

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system (CNS) and have a multitude of functions that include maintenance of CNS homeostasis, trophic support of neurons, detoxification, and immune surveillance. It has only recently been appreciated that astrocyte dysfunction is a primary cause of many neurological disorders. Despite their importance in disease very little is known about global gene expression for human astrocytes. We have performed a microarray expression analysis of human fetal astrocytes to identify genes and signaling pathways that are important for astrocyte development and maintenance. Our analysis confirmed that the fetal astrocytes express high levels of the core astrocyte marker GFAP and the transcription factors from the NFI family which have been shown to play important roles in astrocyte development. A group of novel markers were identified that distinguish fetal astrocytes from pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells (NSCs) and NSC-derived neurons. As in murine astrocytes, the Notch signaling pathway appears to be particularly important for cell fate decisions between the astrocyte and neuronal lineages in human astrocytes. These findings unveil the repertoire of genes expressed in human astrocytes and serve as a basis for further studies to better understand astrocyte biology, especially as it relates to disease.

  15. Astrocytes Enhance Streptococcus suis-Glial Cell Interaction in Primary Astrocyte-Microglial Cell Co-Cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seele, Jana; Nau, Roland; Prajeeth, Chittappen K; Stangel, Martin; Valentin-Weigand, Peter; Seitz, Maren

    2016-06-13

    Streptococcus (S.) suis infections are the most common cause of meningitis in pigs. Moreover, S. suis is a zoonotic pathogen, which can lead to meningitis in humans, mainly in adults. We assume that glial cells may play a crucial role in host-pathogen interactions during S. suis infection of the central nervous system. Glial cells are considered to possess important functions during inflammation and injury of the brain in bacterial meningitis. In the present study, we established primary astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures to investigate interactions of S. suis with glial cells. For this purpose, microglial cells and astrocytes were isolated from new-born mouse brains and characterized by flow cytometry, followed by the establishment of astrocyte and microglial cell mono-cultures as well as astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures. In addition, we prepared microglial cell mono-cultures co-incubated with uninfected astrocyte mono-culture supernatants and astrocyte mono-cultures co-incubated with uninfected microglial cell mono-culture supernatants. After infection of the different cell cultures with S. suis, bacteria-cell association was mainly observed with microglial cells and most prominently with a non-encapsulated mutant of S. suis. A time-dependent induction of NO release was found only in the co-cultures and after co-incubation of microglial cells with uninfected supernatants of astrocyte mono-cultures mainly after infection with the capsular mutant. Only moderate cytotoxic effects were found in co-cultured glial cells after infection with S. suis. Taken together, astrocytes and astrocyte supernatants increased interaction of microglial cells with S. suis. Astrocyte-microglial cell co-cultures are suitable to study S. suis infections and bacteria-cell association as well as NO release by microglial cells was enhanced in the presence of astrocytes.

  16. Neuron-glia interactions through the Heartless FGF receptor signaling pathway mediate morphogenesis of Drosophila astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stork, Tobias; Sheehan, Amy; Tasdemir-Yilmaz, Ozge E; Freeman, Marc R

    2014-07-16

    Astrocytes are critically important for neuronal circuit assembly and function. Mammalian protoplasmic astrocytes develop a dense ramified meshwork of cellular processes to form intimate contacts with neuronal cell bodies, neurites, and synapses. This close neuron-glia morphological relationship is essential for astrocyte function, but it remains unclear how astrocytes establish their intricate morphology, organize spatial domains, and associate with neurons and synapses in vivo. Here we characterize a Drosophila glial subtype that shows striking morphological and functional similarities to mammalian astrocytes. We demonstrate that the Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor Heartless autonomously controls astrocyte membrane growth, and the FGFs Pyramus and Thisbe direct astrocyte processes to ramify specifically in CNS synaptic regions. We further show that the shape and size of individual astrocytes are dynamically sculpted through inhibitory or competitive astrocyte-astrocyte interactions and Heartless FGF signaling. Our data identify FGF signaling through Heartless as a key regulator of astrocyte morphological elaboration in vivo.

  17. Neuroimmunological Implications of AQP4 in Astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeshima-Kataoka, Hiroko

    2016-01-01

    The brain has high-order functions and is composed of several kinds of cells, such as neurons and glial cells. It is becoming clear that many kinds of neurodegenerative diseases are more-or-less influenced by astrocytes, which are a type of glial cell. Aquaporin-4 (AQP4), a membrane-bound protein that regulates water permeability is a member of the aquaporin family of water channel proteins that is expressed in the endfeet of astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). Recently, AQP4 has been shown to function, not only as a water channel protein, but also as an adhesion molecule that is involved in cell migration and neuroexcitation, synaptic plasticity, and learning/memory through mechanisms involved in long-term potentiation or long-term depression. The most extensively examined role of AQP4 is its ability to act as a neuroimmunological inducer. Previously, we showed that AQP4 plays an important role in neuroimmunological functions in injured mouse brain in concert with the proinflammatory inducer osteopontin (OPN). The aim of this review is to summarize the functional implication of AQP4, focusing especially on its neuroimmunological roles. This review is a good opportunity to compile recent knowledge and could contribute to the therapeutic treatment of autoimmune diseases through strategies targeting AQP4. Finally, the author would like to hypothesize on AQP4’s role in interaction between reactive astrocytes and reactive microglial cells, which might occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, a therapeutic strategy for AQP4-related neurodegenerative diseases is proposed. PMID:27517922

  18. Glutamine Synthetase Deficiency in Murine Astrocytes Results in Neonatal Death

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Y. He; T.B.M. Hakvoort; J.L.M. Vermeulen; W.T. Labruyere; D.R. de Waart; W.S. van der Hel; J.M. Ruijter; H.B.M. Uylings; W.H. Lamers

    2010-01-01

    Glutamine synthetase (GS) is a key enzyme in the "glutamine-glutamate cycle" between astrocytes and neurons, but its function in vivo was thus far tested only pharmacologically. Crossing GS(fl/lacZ) or GS(fl/f)l mice with hGFAP-Cre mice resulted in prenatal excision of the GS(fl) allele in astrocyte

  19. Motor neuron death in ALS – programmed by astrocytes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirooznia, Sheila K.; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2014-01-01

    Motor neurons in ALS die via cell-autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms. Using adult human astrocytes and motor neurons, Re et al (2014) discover that familial and sporadic ALS derived human adult astrocytes secrete neurotoxic factors that selectively kill motor neurons through necroptosis, suggesting a new therapeutic avenue. PMID:24607221

  20. Synaptic modulation by astrocytes via Ca2+-dependent glutamate release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, M; Volterra, A

    2009-01-12

    In the past 15 years the classical view that astrocytes play a relatively passive role in brain function has been overturned and it has become increasingly clear that signaling between neurons and astrocytes may play a crucial role in the information processing that the brain carries out. This new view stems from two seminal observations made in the early 1990s: 1. astrocytes respond to neurotransmitters released during synaptic activity with elevation of their intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i); 2. astrocytes release chemical transmitters, including glutamate, in response to [Ca2+]i elevations. The simultaneous recognition that astrocytes sense neuronal activity and release neuroactive agents has been instrumental for understanding previously unknown roles of these cells in the control of synapse formation, function and plasticity. These findings open a conceptual revolution, leading to rethink how brain communication works, as they imply that information travels (and is processed) not just in the neuronal circuitry but in an expanded neuron-glia network. In this review we critically discuss the available information concerning: 1. the characteristics of the astrocytic Ca2+ responses to synaptic activity; 2. the basis of Ca2+-dependent glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes; 3. the modes of action of astrocytic glutamate on synaptic function.

  1. [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: is the astrocyte the cell primarily involved?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sica, Roberto E

    2013-01-01

    So far, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is thought as due to a primary insult of the motor neurons. None of its pathogenic processes proved to be the cause of the illness, nor can be blamed environmental agents. Motor neurons die by apoptosis, leaving the possibility that their death might be due to an unfriendly environment, unable to sustain their health, rather than being directly targeted themselves. These reasons justify an examination of the astrocytes, because they have the most important role controlling the neurons' environment. It is known that astrocytes are plastic, enslaving their functions to the requirements of the neurons to which they are related. Each population of astrocytes is unique, and if it were affected the consequences would reach the neurons that it normally sustains. In regard to the motor neurons, this situation would lead to a disturbed production and release of astrocytic neurotransmitters and transporters, impairing nutritional and trophic support as well. For explaining the spreading of muscle symptoms in ALS, correlated with the type of spreading observed at the cortical and spinal motor neurons pools, the present hypotheses suggests that the illness-causing process is spreading among astrocytes, through their gap junctions, depriving the motor neurons of their support. Also it is postulated that a normal astrocytic protein becomes misfolded and infectious, inducing the misfolding of its wild type, travelling from one protoplasmatic astrocyte to another and to the fibrous astrocytes encircling the pyramidal pathway which joints the upper and lower motoneurones.

  2. Astrocytes Control Neuronal Excitability in the Nucleus Accumbens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommaso Fellin

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Though accumulating evidence shows that the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5 mediates some of the actions of extracellular glutamate after cocaine use, the cellular events underlying this action are poorly understood. In this review, we will discuss recent results showing that mGluR5 receptors are key regulators of astrocyte activity. Synaptic release of glutamate activates mGluR5 expressed in perisynaptic astrocytes and generates intense Ca2+ signaling in these cells. Ca2+ oscillations, in turn, trigger the release from astrocytes of the gliotransmitter glutamate, which modulates neuronal excitability by activating NMDA receptors. By integrating these results with the most recent evidence demonstrating the importance of astrocytes in the regulation of neuronal excitability, we propose that astrocytes are involved in mediating some of the mGluR5-dependent drug-induced behaviors.

  3. Phosphoinositide metabolism and adrenergic receptors in astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noble, E.P.; Ritchie, T.; de Vellis, J.

    1986-03-01

    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/sup + +/ mobilization. Using purified astrocyte cultures from neonatal rat brain, the effects of adrenergic agonists and antagonists at 10/sup -5/ M were measured on PI breakdown. Astrocytes grown in culture were prelabeled with (/sup 3/H)inositol, and basal (/sup 3/H) inositol phosphate (IP/sub 1/) accumulation was measured in the presence of Li/sup +/. Epinephrine > norepinephrine (NE) were the most active stimulants of IP/sub 1/ production. The ..cap alpha../sub 1/ adrenoreceptor blockers, phentolamine and phenoxybenzamine, added alone had no effect on IP/sub 1/ production was reduced below basal levels. Propranolol partially blocked the effects of NE. Clonidine and isoproterenol, separately added, reduced IP/sub 1/ below basal levels and when added together diminished IP/sub 1/ accumulation even further. The role of adrenergic stimulation in the production of c-AMP.

  4. Study of red wine neuroprotection on astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Serranillos, M Pilar; Martín, Sara; Ortega, Teresa; Palomino, Olga M; Prodanov, Marín; Vacas, Visitación; Hernández, Teresa; Estrella, Isabel; Carretero, M Emilia

    2009-12-01

    Phenolic composition of wine depends not only on the grape variety from which it is made, but on some external factors such as winemaking technology. Red wine possesses the most antioxidant effect because of its high polyphenolic content. The aim of this work is to study for the first time, the neuroprotective activity of four monovarietal Spanish red wines (Merlot (ME), Tempranillo (T), Garnacha (G) and Cabernet-Sauvignon (CS)) through its antioxidant ability, and to relate this neuroprotection to its polyphenolic composition, if possible. The wine effect on neuroprotection was studied through its effect as free radical scavenger against FeSO4, H2O2 and FeSO4 + H2O2. Effect on cell survival was determined by 3(4,5-dimethyltiazol-2-il)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium reduction assay (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay on astrocytes cultures. Results showed that most of the studied wine varieties induced neuroprotection through their antioxidant ability in astrocytes, Merlot being the most active; this variety is especially rich in phenolic compounds, mainly catechins and oligomeric proanthocyanidins. Our results show that red wine exerts a protection against oxidative stress generated by different toxic agents and that the observed neuroprotective activity is related to their polyphenolic content.

  5. 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.

  6. Evidence for heterogeneity of astrocyte de-differentiation in vitro: astrocytes transform into intermediate precursor cells following induction of ACM from scratch-insulted astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Qian, Xin-Hong; Cong, Rui; Li, Jing-wen; Yao, Qin; Jiao, Xi-Ying; Ju, Gong; You, Si-Wei

    2010-04-01

    Our previous study definitely demonstrated that the mature astrocytes could undergo a de-differentiation process and further transform into pluripotential neural stem cells (NSCs), which might well arise from the effect of diffusible factors released from scratch-insulted astrocytes. However, these neurospheres passaged from one neurosphere-derived from de-differentiated astrocytes possessed a completely distinct characteristic in the differentiation behavior, namely heterogeneity of differentiation. The heterogeneity in cell differentiation has become a crucial but elusive issue. In this study, we show that purified astrocytes could de-differentiate into intermediate precursor cells (IPCs) with addition of scratch-insulted astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) to the culture, which can express NG2 and A2B5, the IPCs markers. Apart from the number of NG2(+) and A2B5(+) cells, the percentage of proliferative cells as labeled with BrdU progressively increased with prolonged culture period ranging from 1 to 10 days. Meanwhile, the protein level of A2B5 in cells also increased significantly. These results revealed that not all astrocytes could de-differentiate fully into NSCs directly when induced by ACM, rather they generated intermediate or more restricted precursor cells that might undergo progressive de-differentiation to generate NSCs.

  7. Extensive astrocyte infection is prominent in human immunodeficiency virus-associated dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, Melissa J; Wesselingh, Steven L; Cowley, Daniel; Pardo, Carlos A; McArthur, Justin C; Brew, Bruce J; Gorry, Paul R

    2009-08-01

    Astrocyte infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is considered rare, so astrocytes are thought to play a secondary role in HIV neuropathogenesis. By combining double immunohistochemistry, laser capture microdissection, and highly sensitive multiplexed polymerase chain reaction to detect HIV DNA in single astrocytes in vivo, we showed that astrocyte infection is extensive in subjects with HIV-associated dementia, occurring in up to 19% of GFAP+ cells. In addition, astrocyte infection frequency correlated with the severity of neuropathological changes and proximity to perivascular macrophages. Our data indicate that astrocytes can be extensively infected with HIV, and suggest an important role for HIV-infected astrocytes in HIV neuropathogenesis.

  8. Dexmedetomidine Attenuates Lipopolysaccharide Induced MCP-1 Expression in Primary Astrocyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huan; Faez Abdelgawad, Amro

    2017-01-01

    Background. Neuroinflammation which presents as a possible mechanism of delirium is associated with MCP-1, an important proinflammatory factor which is expressed on astrocytes. It is known that dexmedetomidine (DEX) possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. This study aimed to investigate the potential effects of DEX on the production of MCP-1 in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated astrocytes. Materials and Methods. Astrocytes were treated with LPS (10 ng/ml, 50 ng/ml, 100 ng/ml, and 1000 ng/ml), DEX (500 ng/mL), LPS (100 ng/ml), and DEX (10, 100, and 500 ng/mL) for a duration of three hours; expression levels of MCP-1 were measured by real-time PCR. The double immunofluorescence staining protocol was utilized to determine the expression of α2-adrenoceptors (α2AR) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) on astrocytes. Results. Expressions of MCP-1 mRNA in astrocytes were induced dose-dependently by LPS. Administration of DEX significantly inhibited the expression of MCP-1 mRNA (P < 0.001). Double immunofluorescence assay showed that α2AR colocalize with GFAP, which indicates the expression of α2-adrenoceptors in astrocytes. Conclusions. DEX is a potent suppressor of MCP-1 in astrocytes induced with lipopolysaccharide through α2A-adrenergic receptors, which potentially explains its beneficial effects in the treatment of delirium by attenuating neuroinflammation. PMID:28286770

  9. 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.

  10. Astrocytic metabolic and inflammatory changes as a function of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Tianyi; Cadenas, Enrique

    2014-12-01

    This study examines age-dependent metabolic-inflammatory axis in primary astrocytes isolated from brain cortices of 7-, 13-, and 18-month-old Sprague-Dawley male rats. Astrocytes showed an age-dependent increase in mitochondrial oxidative metabolism respiring on glucose and/or pyruvate substrates; this increase in mitochondrial oxidative metabolism was accompanied by increases in COX3/18SrDNA values, thus suggesting an enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis. Enhanced mitochondrial respiration in astrocytes limits the substrate supply from astrocytes to neurons; this may be viewed as an adaptive mechanism to altered cellular inflammatory-redox environment with age. These metabolic changes were associated with an age-dependent increase in hydrogen peroxide generation (largely ascribed to an enhanced expression of NOX2) and NFκB signaling in the cytosol as well as its translocation to the nucleus. Astrocytes also displayed augmented responses with age to inflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, and TNFα. Activation of NFκB signaling resulted in increased expression of nitric oxide synthase 2 (inducible nitric oxide synthase), leading to elevated nitric oxide production. IL-1β and TNFα treatment stimulated mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis in astrocytes. It may be surmised that increased mitochondrial aerobic metabolism and inflammatory responses are interconnected and support the functionality switch of astrocytes, from neurotrophic to neurotoxic with age.

  11. Curcumin alleviates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daverey, Amita; Agrawal, Sandeep K

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress plays a critical role in various neurodegenerative diseases, thus alleviating oxidative stress is a potential strategy for therapeutic intervention and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, alleviation of oxidative stress through curcumin is investigated in A172 (human glioblastoma cell line) and HA-sp (human astrocytes cell line derived from the spinal cord) astrocytes. H2O2 was used to induce oxidative stress in astrocytes (A172 and HA-sp). Data show that H2O2 induces activation of astrocytes in dose- and time-dependent manner as evident by increased expression of GFAP in A172 and HA-sp cells after 24 and 12h respectively. An upregulation of Prdx6 was also observed in A172 and HA-sp cells after 24h of H2O2 treatment as compared to untreated control. Our data also showed that curcumin inhibits oxidative stress-induced cytoskeleton disarrangement, and impedes the activation of astrocytes by inhibiting upregulation of GFAP, vimentin and Prdx6. In addition, we observed an inhibition of oxidative stress-induced inflammation, apoptosis and mitochondria fragmentation after curcumin treatment. Therefore, our results suggest that curcumin not only protects astrocytes from H2O2-induced oxidative stress but also reverses the mitochondrial damage and dysfunction induced by oxidative stress. This study also provides evidence for protective role of curcumin on astrocytes by showing its effects on attenuating reactive astrogliosis and inhibiting apoptosis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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.

  14. Characterisation of the expression of NMDA receptors in human astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Chak Lee

    Full Text Available Astrocytes have long been perceived only as structural and supporting cells within the central nervous system (CNS. However, the discovery that these glial cells may potentially express receptors capable of responding to endogenous neurotransmitters has resulted in the need to reassess astrocytic physiology. The aim of the current study was to characterise the expression of NMDA receptors (NMDARs in primary human astrocytes, and investigate their response to physiological and excitotoxic concentrations of the known endogenous NMDAR agonists, glutamate and quinolinic acid (QUIN. Primary cultures of human astrocytes were used to examine expression of these receptors at the mRNA level using RT-PCR and qPCR, and at the protein level using immunocytochemistry. The functionality role of the receptors was assessed using intracellular calcium influx experiments and measuring extracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH activity in primary cultures of human astrocytes treated with glutamate and QUIN. We found that all seven currently known NMDAR subunits (NR1, NR2A, NR2B, NR2C, NR2D, NR3A and NR3B are expressed in astrocytes, but at different levels. Calcium influx studies revealed that both glutamate and QUIN could activate astrocytic NMDARs, which stimulates Ca2+ influx into the cell and can result in dysfunction and death of astrocytes. Our data also show that the NMDAR ion channel blockers, MK801, and memantine can attenuate glutamate and QUIN mediated cell excitotoxicity. This suggests that the mechanism of glutamate and QUIN gliotoxicity is at least partially mediated by excessive stimulation of NMDARs. The present study is the first to provide definitive evidence for the existence of functional NMDAR expression in human primary astrocytes. This discovery has significant implications for redefining the cellular interaction between glia and neurons in both physiological processes and pathological conditions.

  15. AMPK Activation Affects Glutamate Metabolism in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voss, Caroline Marie; Pajęcka, Kamilla; Stridh, Malin H

    2015-01-01

    on glutamate metabolism in astrocytes was studied using primary cultures of these cells from mouse cerebral cortex during incubation in media containing 2.5 mM glucose and 100 µM [U-(13)C]glutamate. The metabolism of glutamate including a detailed analysis of its metabolic pathways involving the tricarboxylic...... acid (TCA) cycle was studied using high-performance liquid chromatography analysis supplemented with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technology. It was found that AMPK activation had profound effects on the pathways involved in glutamate metabolism since the entrance of the glutamate carbon...... affected by a reduction of the flux of glutamate derived carbon through the malic enzyme and pyruvate carboxylase catalyzed reactions. Finally, it was found that in the presence of glutamate as an additional substrate, glucose metabolism monitored by the use of tritiated deoxyglucose was unaffected by AMPK...

  16. Intercellular synchronization of diffusively coupled astrocytes

    CERN Document Server

    Alam, Md Jahoor; Devi, Gurumayum Reenaroy; Singh, Heisnam Dinachandra; Singh, R K Brojen; Sharma, B Indrajit

    2010-01-01

    We examine the synchrony of the dynamics of localized [Ca^{2+}]_i oscillations in internal pool of astrocytes via diffusing coupling of a network of such cells in a certain topology where cytosolic Ca^{2+} and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) are coupling molecules; and possible long range interaction among the cells. Our numerical results claim that the cells exhibit fairly well coordinated behaviour through this coupling mechanism. It is also seen in the results that as the number of coupling molecular species is increased, the rate of synchrony is also increased correspondingly. Apart from the topology of the cells taken, as the number of coupled cells around any one of the cells in the system is increased, the cell process information faster.

  17. Copper handling by astrocytes: insights into neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiffany-Castiglioni, Evelyn; Hong, Sandra; Qian, Yongchang

    2011-12-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element in the brain that can be toxic at elevated levels. Cu accumulation is a suspected etiology in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and prion-induced disorders. Astrocytes are a proposed depot in the brain for Cu and other metals, including lead (Pb). This article describes the physiological roles of Cu in the central nervous system and in selected neurodegenerative diseases, and reviews evidence that astrocytes accumulate Cu and protect neurons from Cu toxicity. Findings from murine genetic models of Menkes disease and from cell culture models concerning the molecular mechanisms by which astrocytes take up, store, and buffer Cu intracellularly are discussed, as well as potential mechanistic linkages between astrocyte functions in Cu handling and neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. Astrocytes Mediate In Vivo Cholinergic-Induced Synaptic Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    In vivo and in vitro studies reveal that astrocytes, classically considered supportive cells for neurons, regulate synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus and are directly involved in information storage.

  19. Transfer of mitochondria from astrocytes to neurons after stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Esposito, Elga; Wang, Xiaohua; Terasaki, Yasukazu; Liu, Yi; Xing, Changhong; Ji, Xunming; Lo, Eng H.

    2016-01-01

    Recently, it was suggested that neurons can release and transfer damaged mitochondria to astrocytes for disposal and recycling 1. This ability to exchange mitochondria may represent a potential mode of cell-cell signaling in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that astrocytes can also release functional mitochondria that enter into neurons. Astrocytic release of extracellular mitochondria particles was mediated by a calcium-dependent mechanism involving CD38/cyclic ADP ribose signaling. Transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice induced astrocytic mitochondria entry to adjacent neurons that amplified cell survival signals. Suppression of CD38 signaling with siRNA reduced extracellular mitochondria transfer and worsened neurological outcomes. These findings suggest a new mitochondrial mechanism of neuroglial crosstalk that may contribute to endogenous neuroprotective and neurorecovery mechanisms after stroke. PMID:27466127

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

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    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.

  1. Inhibition or ablation of transglutaminase 2 impairs astrocyte migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteagudo, Alina; Ji, Changyi; Akbar, Abdullah; Keillor, Jeffrey W; Johnson, Gail V W

    2017-01-22

    Astrocytes play numerous complex roles that support and facilitate the function of neurons. Further, when there is an injury to the central nervous system (CNS) they can both facilitate or ameliorate functional recovery depending on the location and severity of the injury. When a CNS injury is relatively severe a glial scar is formed, which is primarily composed of astrocytes. The glial scar can be both beneficial, by limiting inflammation, and detrimental, by preventing neuronal projections, to functional recovery. Thus, understanding the processes and proteins that regulate astrocyte migration in response to injury is still of fundamental importance. One protein that is likely involved in astrocyte migration is transglutaminase 2 (TG2); a multifunctional protein expressed ubiquitously throughout the brain. Its functions include transamidation and GTPase activity, among others, and previous studies have implicated TG2 as a regulator of migration. Therefore, we examined the role of TG2 in primary astrocyte migration subsequent to injury. Using wild type or TG2(-/-) astrocytes, we manipulated the different functions and conformation of TG2 with novel irreversible inhibitors or mutant versions of the protein. Results showed that both inhibition and ablation of TG2 in primary astrocytes significantly inhibit migration. Additionally, we show that the deficiency in migration caused by deletion of TG2 can only be rescued with the native protein and not with mutants. Finally, the addition of TGFβ rescued the migration deficiency independent of TG2. Taken together, our study shows that transamidation and GTP/GDP-binding are necessary for inhibiting astrocyte migration and it is TGFβ independent.

  2. Two-pore Domain Potassium Channels in Astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryoo, Kanghyun

    2016-01-01

    Two-pore domain potassium (K2P) channels have a distinct structure and channel properties, and are involved in a background K+ current. The 15 members of the K2P channels are identified and classified into six subfamilies on the basis of their sequence similarities. The activity of the channels is dynamically regulated by various physical, chemical, and biological effectors. The channels are expressed in a wide variety of tissues in mammals in an isoform specific manner, and play various roles in many physiological and pathophysiological conditions. To function as channels, the K2P channels form dimers, and some isoforms form heterodimers that provide diversity in channel properties. In the brain, TWIK1, TREK1, TREK2, TRAAK, TASK1, and TASK3 are predominantly expressed in various regions, including the cerebral cortex, dentate gyrus, CA1-CA3, and granular layer of the cerebellum. TWIK1, TREK1, and TASK1 are highly expressed in astrocytes, where they play specific cellular roles. Astrocytes keep leak K+ conductance, called the passive conductance, which mainly involves TWIK1-TREK1 heterodimeric channel. TWIK1 and TREK1 also mediate glutamate release from astrocytes in an exocytosis-independent manner. The expression of TREK1 and TREK2 in astrocytes increases under ischemic conditions, that enhance neuroprotection from ischemia. Accumulated evidence has indicated that astrocytes, together with neurons, are involved in brain function, with the K2P channels playing critical role in these astrocytes. PMID:27790056

  3. Astrocytic modulation of blood brain barrier: perspectives on Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezas, Ricardo; Avila, Marcos; Gonzalez, Janneth; El-Bachá, Ramon Santos; Báez, Eliana; García-Segura, Luis Miguel; Jurado Coronel, Juan Camilo; Capani, Francisco; Cardona-Gomez, Gloria Patricia; Barreto, George E

    2014-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly regulated interface in the Central Nervous System (CNS) that regulates the exchange of molecules in and out from the brain thus maintaining the CNS homeostasis. It is mainly composed of endothelial cells (ECs), pericytes and astrocytes that create a neurovascular unit (NVU) 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 ECs 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 (PD) 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.

  4. Astrocytes, Synapses and Brain Function: A Computational Approach

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    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2006-03-01

    Modulation of synaptic reliability is one of the leading mechanisms involved in long- term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) and therefore has implications in information processing in the brain. A recently discovered mechanism for modulating synaptic reliability critically involves recruitments of astrocytes - star- shaped cells that outnumber the neurons in most parts of the central nervous system. Astrocytes until recently were thought to be subordinate cells merely participating in supporting neuronal functions. New evidence, however, made available by advances in imaging technology has changed the way we envision the role of these cells in synaptic transmission and as modulator of neuronal excitability. We put forward a novel mathematical framework based on the biophysics of the bidirectional neuron-astrocyte interactions that quantitatively accounts for two distinct experimental manifestation of recruitment of astrocytes in synaptic transmission: a) transformation of a low fidelity synapse transforms into a high fidelity synapse and b) enhanced postsynaptic spontaneous currents when astrocytes are activated. Such a framework is not only useful for modeling neuronal dynamics in a realistic environment but also provides a conceptual basis for interpreting experiments. Based on this modeling framework, we explore the role of astrocytes for neuronal network behavior such as synchrony and correlations and compare with experimental data from cultured networks.

  5. Metabolic aspects of Neuronal – Oligodendrocytic - Astrocytic (NOA interactions

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    Ana I Amaral

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Whereas astrocytes have been in the limelight on the metabolic glucose interaction scene for a while, oligodendrocytes are still waiting for a place. We would like to call oligodendrocyte interaction with astrocytes and neurons: NOA (neuron – oligodendrocyte – astrocyte interactions. One of the reasons to find out more about oligodendrocyte interaction with neurons and astrocytes is to detect markers of healthy oligodendrocyte metabolism, to be used in diagnosis and treatment assessment in diseases such as Perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and multiple sclerosis in which oligodendrocyte function is impaired, possibly due to glutamate toxicity. Glutamate receptors are expressed in oligodendrocytes and also vesicular glutamate release in the white matter has received considerable attention. It is also important to establish if the glial precursor cells recruited to damaged areas are developing oligodendrocyte characteristics or those of astrocytes. Thus, it is important to study astrocytes and oligodendrocytes separately to be able to differentiate between them. This is of particular importance in the white matter where the number of oligodendrocytes is considerable. The present review summarizes the not very extensive information published on glucose metabolism in oligodendrocytes in an attempt to stimulate research into this important field.

  6. 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.

  7. Unveiling astrocytic control of cerebral blood flow with optogenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masamoto, Kazuto; Unekawa, Miyuki; Watanabe, Tatsushi; Toriumi, Haruki; Takuwa, Hiroyuki; Kawaguchi, Hiroshi; Kanno, Iwao; Matsui, Ko; Tanaka, Kenji F; Tomita, Yutaka; Suzuki, Norihiro

    2015-06-16

    Cortical neural activities lead to changes in the cerebral blood flow (CBF), which involves astrocytic control of cerebrovascular tone. However, the manner in which astrocytic activity specifically leads to vasodilation or vasoconstriction is difficult to determine. Here, cortical astrocytes genetically expressing a light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), were transcranially activated with a blue laser while the spatiotemporal changes in CBF were noninvasively monitored with laser speckle flowgraphy in the anesthetised mouse cortex. A brief photostimulation induced a fast transient increase in CBF. The average response onset time was 0.7 ± 0.7 sec at the activation foci, and this CBF increase spread widely from the irradiation spot with an apparent propagation speed of 0.8-1.1 mm/sec. The broad increase in the CBF could be due to a propagation of diffusible vasoactive signals derived from the stimulated astrocytes. Pharmacological manipulation showed that topical administration of a K(+) channel inhibitor (BaCl2; 0.1-0.5 mM) significantly reduced the photostimulation-induced CBF responses, which indicates that the ChR2-evoked astrocytic activity involves K(+) signalling to the vascular smooth muscle cells. These findings demonstrate a unique model for exploring the role of the astrocytes in gliovascular coupling using non-invasive, time-controlled, cell-type specific perturbations.

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

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    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

  9. The role of astrocytes in Multiple Sclerosis progression

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    Jorge eCorreale

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disorder causing central nervous system demyelination and axonal injury. Although its etiology remains elusive, several lines of evidence support the concept that autoimmunity plays a major role in disease pathogenesis.The course ofMS is highly variable; nevertheless, the majority of patients initially present a relapsing-remitting clinical course. After 10-15 years of disease, this pattern becomes progressive in up to 50% of untreated patients, during which time clinical symptoms slowly cause constant deterioration over a period of many years. In about 15% of MS patients however, disease progression is relentless from disease onset. Published evidence supports the concept that progressive multiple sclerosis reflects a poorly understood mechanism of insidious axonal degeneration and neuronal loss. Recently, the type of microglial cell and of astrocyte activation and proliferation observed has suggested contribution of resident central nervous system cells may play a critical role in disease progression. Astrocytes could contribute to this process through several mechanisms: a as part of the innate immune system, b as a source of cytotoxic factors, c inhibiting re-myelination and axonal regeneration by forming a glial scar, and d contributing to axonal mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, regulatory mechanisms mediated by astrocytes can be affected by aging. Notably, astrocytes might also limit the detrimental effects of pro-inflammatory factors, while providing support and protection for oligodendrocytes and neurons. Because of the dichotomy observed in astrocytic effects, the design of therapeutic strategies targeting astrocytes becomes a challenging endeavor. Better knowledge of molecular and functional properties of astrocytes therefore, should promote understanding of their specific role in multiple sclerosis pathophysiology, and consequently lead to development of novel and more successful

  10. The effects of trypsin on rat brain astrocyte activation.

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    Masoud Fereidoni

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are cells within the central nervous system which are activated in a wide spectrum of infections, and autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. In pathologic states, they produce inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and nitric oxide (NO, and sometimes they induce apoptosis. Their protease-activated receptors (PARs can be activated by proteases, e.g. thrombin and trypsin, which are important in brain inflammation. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of different concentrations of trypsin (1 to 100U/ml on cultured astrocytes.In the present study, two-day rat infants' brains were isolated and homogenized after meninges removal, then cultivated in DMEM + 10% FBS medium. 10 days later, astrocytes were harvested and recultivated for more purification (up to 95%, using Immunocytochemistry method, in order to be employed for tests. They were affected by different concentrations of trypsin (1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 U/ml. To reveal the inflammation progress, NO concentrations (the Griess test were assessed after 24 and 48 hours.The results showed that trypsin concentration up to 20 U/ml caused a significant increase in NO, in a dose-dependent manner, on cultured astrocytes (P < 0.001. Trypsin 20 U/ml increased NO production fivefold the control group (P < 0.001. At higher concentrations than 20 U/ml, NO production diminished (P < 0.001. At 100 U/ml, NO production was less than the control group (P < 0.001.Inflammatory effects of trypsin 5-20 U/ml are probably due to the stimulation of astrocytes' PAR-2 receptors and the increasing of the activation of NF-κB, PKC, MAPKs. Stimulation of astrocytes' PAR-2 receptors causes an increase in iNOS activation which in turn leads to NO production. However, higher trypsin concentration possibly made astrocyte apoptosis; therefore, NO production diminished. These assumptions need to be further investigated.

  11. 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

  12. Fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis in astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Auestad, N.

    1988-01-01

    Astrocytes were derived from cortex of two-day-old rat brain and grown in primary culture to confluence. The metabolism of the fatty acids, octanoate and palmitate, to CO{sub 2} in oxidative respiration and to the formation of ketone bodies was examined by radiolabeled tracer methodology. The net production of acetoacetate was also determined by measurement of its mass. The enzymes in the ketogenic pathway were examined by measuring enzymic activity and/or by immunoblot analyses. Labeled CO{sub 2} and labeled ketone bodies were produced from the oxidation of fatty acids labeled at carboxy- and {omega}-terminal carbons, indicating that fatty acids were oxidized by {beta}-oxidation. The results from the radiolabeled tracer studies also indicated that a substantial proportion of the {omega}-terminal 4-carbon unit of the fatty acids bypassed the {beta}-ketothiolase step of the {beta}-oxidation pathway. The ({sup 14}C)acetoacetate formed from the (1-{sup 14}C)labeled fatty acids, obligated to pass through the acetyl-CoA pool, contained 50% of the label at carbon 3 and 50% at carbon 1. In contrast, the ({sup 14}C)acetoacetate formed from the ({omega}-1)labeled fatty acids contained 90% of the label at carbon 3 and 10% at carbon 1.

  13. Novel cell separation method for molecular analysis of neuron-astrocyte cocultures

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    Andrea eGoudriaan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last decade, the importance of astrocyte-neuron communication in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity has become increasingly clear. Since neuron-astrocyte interactions represent highly dynamic and reciprocal processes, we hypothesized that many astrocyte genes may be regulated as a consequence of their interactions with maturing neurons. In order to identify such neuron-responsive astrocyte genes in vitro, we sought to establish an expedite technique for separation of neurons from co-cultured astrocytes. Our newly established method makes use of cold jet, which exploits different adhesion characteristics of subpopulations of cells (Jirsova et al., 1997, and is rapid, performed under ice-cold conditions and avoids protease-mediated isolation of astrocytes or time-consuming centrifugation, yielding intact astrocyte mRNA with approximately 90% of neuronal RNA removed. Using this purification method, we executed genome-wide profiling in which RNA derived from astrocyte-only cultures was compared with astrocyte RNA derived from differentiating neuron-astrocyte co-cultures. Data analysis determined that many astrocytic mRNAs and biological processes are regulated by neuronal interaction. Our results validate the cold jet as an efficient method to separate astrocytes from neurons in co-culture, and reveals that neurons induce robust gene-expression changes in co-cultured astrocytes.

  14. A Critical Role for Astrocytes in Hypercapnic Vasodilation in Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Barbara Lykke; LeDue, Jeffrey M.; Ellis-Davies, Graham; Sibson, Nicola R.

    2017-01-01

    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%–4%), the coupling mechanism is incompletely understood. We tested the hypothesis that astrocytic prostaglandin E2 (PgE2) plays a key role for cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity, and that preserved synthesis of glutathione is essential for the full development of this response. We combined two-photon imaging microscopy 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 [Ca2+]i and stimulates COX-1 activity. The enzyme downstream of COX-1 that synthesizes PgE2 (microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1) depends critically for its vasodilator activity on the level of glutathione in the brain. We show that, when glutathione levels are reduced, astrocyte calcium-evoked release of PgE2 is decreased and vasodilation triggered by increased astrocyte [Ca2+]i in vitro and by hypercapnia in vivo is inhibited. Astrocyte synthetic pathways, dependent on glutathione, are involved in cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2. Reductions in glutathione levels in aging, stroke, or schizophrenia could lead to dysfunctional regulation of CBF and subsequent neuronal damage. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuronal activity leads to the generation of CO2, which has previously been shown to evoke cerebral blood flow (CBF) increases via the release of the vasodilator PgE2. We demonstrate that hypercapnia (increased CO2) evokes increases in astrocyte calcium signaling, which in turn stimulates COX-1 activity and generates downstream PgE2 production. We demonstrate that astrocyte calcium

  15. 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.

  16. Simultaneous neuron- and astrocyte-specific fluorescent marking.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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.

  17. Channel-Mediated Lactate Release by K+-Stimulated Astrocytes

    KAUST Repository

    Sotelo-Hitschfeld, T.

    2015-03-11

    Excitatory synaptic transmission is accompanied by a local surge in interstitial lactate that occurs despite adequate oxygen availability, a puzzling phenomenon termed aerobic glycolysis. In addition to its role as an energy substrate, recent studies have shown that lactate modulates neuronal excitability acting through various targets, including NMDA receptors and G-protein-coupled receptors specific for lactate, but little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the increase in interstitial lactate. Using a panel of genetically encoded fluorescence nanosensors for energy metabolites, we show here that mouse astrocytes in culture, in cortical slices, and in vivo maintain a steady-state reservoir of lactate. The reservoir was released to the extracellular space immediately after exposure of astrocytes to a physiological rise in extracellular K+ or cell depolarization. Cell-attached patch-clamp analysis of cultured astrocytes revealed a 37 pS lactate-permeable ion channel activated by cell depolarization. The channel was modulated by lactate itself, resulting in a positive feedback loop for lactate release. A rapid fall in intracellular lactate levels was also observed in cortical astrocytes of anesthetized mice in response to local field stimulation. The existence of an astrocytic lactate reservoir and its quick mobilization via an ion channel in response to a neuronal cue provides fresh support to lactate roles in neuronal fueling and in gliotransmission.

  18. Astrocytes mediate the neuroprotective effects of Tibolone following brain injury

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    Luis Miguel Garcia-Segura

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Recently, astrocytes have become a key central player in mediating important functions in the brain. These physiological processes include neurotransmitter recycling, energy management, metabolic shuttle, immune sensing, K+ buffer, antioxidant supply and release of neurotrophic factors and gliotransmitters. These astrocytic roles are somehow altered upon brain injury, therefore strategies aimed at better protecting astrocytes are an essential asset to maintain brain homeostasis. In this context, estrogenic compounds, such as Tibolone, have attracted attention for their beneficial effects in acute and chronic degenerative diseases. Tibolone may act through binding to estrogen, androgen or progesterone receptors and exert protective effects by reducing astrocytes cell death and oxidative stress signaling mechanisms. Although Tibolone has a multifactorial effect in the brain, its mechanisms of action are not completely understood. In this work, we highlight the role of Tibolone in brain protection upon damage, how astrocytes might mediate part of its neuroprotective actions and discuss the effects of Tibolone in diminishing the harmful consequences of a metabolic insult and energy failure in the setting of a pathological event.

  19. Mild brain ischemia induces unique physiological properties in striatal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li-Ping; Cheung, Giselle; Kronenberg, Golo; Gertz, Karen; Ji, Shengbo; Kempermann, Gerd; Endres, Matthias; Kettenmann, Helmut

    2008-07-01

    We studied the properties of GFAP-expressing cells in adult mouse striatum using acute brain slices from transgenic animals expressing EGFP under GFAP promoter. Under physiological conditions, two distinct populations of GFAP-EGFP cells could be identified: (1) brightly fluorescent cells had bushy processes, passive membrane properties, glutamate transporter activity, and high gap junction coupling rate typical for classical astrocytes; (2) weakly fluorescent cells were characterized by thin, clearly distinguishable processes, voltage-gated currents, complex responses to kainate, and low coupling rate reminiscent of an astrocyte subtype recently described in the hippocampus. Mild focal cerebral ischemia confers delayed neuronal cell death and astrogliosis in the striatum. Following middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion, brightly fluorescent cells were the dominant GFAP-EGFP population observed within the ischemic lesion. Interestingly, the majority of these cells expressed voltage-gated channels, showed complex responses to kainate, and a high coupling rate exceeding that of brightly fluorescent control cells. A minority of cells had passive membrane properties and was coupled less compared with passive control cells. We conclude that, in the adult striatum, astrocytes undergo distinct pathophysiological changes after ischemic insults. The dominant population in the ischemic lesion constitutes a novel physiological phenotype unlike any normal astrocyte and generates a large syncytium which might be a neuroprotective response of reactive astrocytes.

  20. Astrocytic modulation of neuronal excitability through K(+) spatial buffering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellot-Saez, Alba; Kékesi, Orsolya; Morley, John W; Buskila, Yossi

    2017-03-06

    The human brain contains two major cell populations, neurons and glia. While neurons are electrically excitable and capable of discharging short voltage pulses known as action potentials, glial cells are not. However, astrocytes, the prevailing subtype of glia in the cortex, are highly connected and can modulate the excitability of neurons by changing the concentration of potassium ions in the extracellular environment, a process called K(+) clearance. During the past decade, astrocytes have been the focus of much research, mainly due to their close association with synapses and their modulatory impact on neuronal activity. It has been shown that astrocytes play an essential role in normal brain function including: nitrosative regulation of synaptic release in the neocortex, synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we discuss the role of astrocytes in network modulation through their K(+) clearance capabilities, a theory that was first raised 50 years ago by Orkand and Kuffler. We will discuss the functional alterations in astrocytic activity that leads to aberrant modulation of network oscillations and synchronous activity.

  1. Glucocorticoids decrease astrocyte numbers by reducing glucocorticoid receptor expression in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unemura, Kazuhiro; Kume, Toshiaki; Kondo, Minami; Maeda, Yuki; Izumi, Yasuhiko; Akaike, Akinori

    2012-01-01

    Glucocorticoids are stress hormones released from the adrenal cortex and their concentration is controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. In this study, we investigated the effect of glucocorticoids on the number of astrocytes and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression in vitro and in vivo. Proliferation of cultured astrocytes was reduced following treatment with corticosterone and dexamethasone for 72 h. Corticosterone and dexamethasone also reduced GR expression in astrocytes. RU486, a GR antagonist, inhibited the reduction in both astrocyte proliferation and GR expression. Furthermore, GR knockdown by siRNA inhibited astrocyte proliferation. We also examined the effect of excessive glucocorticoid release on GR expression and the number of astrocytes in vivo by administering adrenocorticotropic hormone to rats for 14 days. GR expression was reduced in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus and the number of astrocytes was reduced in the frontal cortex. Overall, our results suggest that glucocorticoids decrease the number of astrocytes by reducing GR expression.

  2. Histone acetylation in astrocytes suppresses GFAP and stimulates a reorganization of the intermediate filament network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanski, Regina; Sneeboer, Marjolein A M; van Bodegraven, Emma J; Sluijs, Jacqueline A; Kropff, Wietske; Vermunt, Marit W.; Creyghton, Menno P; De Filippis, Lidia; Vescovi, Angelo; Aronica, Eleonora; van Tijn, P.; van Strien, Miriam E; Hol, Elly M

    2014-01-01

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the main intermediate filament in astrocytes and is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms during development. We demonstrate that histone acetylation also controls GFAP expression in mature astrocytes. Inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) with trichostati

  3. Glioactive ATP controls BDNF recycling in cortical astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vignoli, Beatrice; Canossa, Marco

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT We have recently reported that long-term memory retention requires synaptic glia for proBDNF uptake and recycling. Through the recycling course, glial cells release endocytic BDNF, a mechanism that is activated in response to glutamate via AMPA and mGluRI/II receptors. Cortical astrocytes express receptors for many different transmitters suggesting for a complex signaling controlling endocytic BDNF secretion. Here, we demonstrated that the extracellular nucleotide ATP, activating P2X and P2Y receptors, regulates endocytic BDNF secretion in cultured astrocytes. Our data indicate that distinct glioactive molecules can participate in BDNF glial recycling and suggest that cortical astrocytes contributing to neuronal plasticity can be influenced by neurotransmitters in tune with synaptic needs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kitty Reemst

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available 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 developmental processes such as neuro-/gliogenesis, angiogenesis, axonal outgrowth, synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning. Due to their important instructive roles in these processes, dysfunction of microglia or astrocytes during brain development could contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders and potentially even late-onset neuropathology. A better understanding of the origin, differentiation process and developmental functions of microglia and astrocytes will help to fully appreciate their role both in the developing as well as in the adult brain, in health and disease.

  5. Reactive astrocytes express NADPH diaphorase in vivo after transient ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endoh, M; Maiese, K; Pulsinelli, W A; Wagner, J A

    1993-05-14

    In the hippocampus, ten minutes of transient global ischemia results in the death of CA1 pyramidal cells after a period of one to three days. The neurons in the CA1 region constitutively express NADPH-D (NADPH diaphorase activity). In contrast, astrocytes in the hippocampus do not normally express NADPH-D; but a population of reactive astrocytes (GFAP+ cells) begin to express of NADPH-D one day after transient global ischemia. NADPH-D is thought to be a histological marker for Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS), the enzyme that is responsible for the synthesis of NO, a potent neurotoxin. We suggest that this increase in NADPH-D/NOS expression is an important element in the sequence of changes that occurs after ischemia, and that NO derived from reactive astrocytes or from neurons may play a causal role in neural cell death after ischemia in the hippocampus.

  6. Are astrocytes executive cells within the central nervous system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sica, Roberto E; Caccuri, Roberto; Quarracino, Cecilia; Capani, Francisco

    2016-08-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that astrocytes play a crucial role in the physiology of the central nervous system (CNS) by modulating synaptic activity and plasticity. Based on what is currently known we postulate that astrocytes are fundamental, along with neurons, for the information processing that takes place within the CNS. On the other hand, experimental findings and human observations signal that some of the primary degenerative diseases of the CNS, like frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's dementia, Huntington's dementia, primary cerebellar ataxias and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, all of which affect the human species exclusively, may be due to astroglial dysfunction. This hypothesis is supported by observations that demonstrated that the killing of neurons by non-neural cells plays a major role in the pathogenesis of those diseases, at both their onset and their progression. Furthermore, recent findings suggest that astrocytes might be involved in the pathogenesis of some psychiatric disorders as well.

  7. Triptolide upregulates NGF synthesis in rat astrocyte cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Bing; Jiao, Jian; Zhang, Lei; Li, Kai-Rong; Gong, Yun-Tao; Xie, Jun-Xia; Wang, Xiao-Min

    2007-07-01

    Triptolide (T10), an extract from the traditional Chinese herb, Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF), has been shown to attenuate the rotational behavior induced by D: -amphetamine and prevent the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in rat models of Parkinson's disease. To examine if the neuroprotective effect is mediated by its stimulation of production of neurotrophic factors from astrocytes, we investigated the effect of T10 on synthesis and release of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in rat astrocyte cultures. T10 did not affect the synthesis and release of either BDNF or GDNF. However, it significantly increased NGF mRNA expression. It also increased both intracellular NGF and NGF level in culture medium. These results indicate that the neuroprotective effect of T10 might be mediated, at least in part, via a stimulation of the production and release of NGF in astrocytes.

  8. File list: Oth.Neu.10.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

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  16. Dynamical patterns of calcium signaling in a functional model of neuron-astrocyte networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Postnov, D.E.; Koreshkov, R.N.; Brazhe, N.A.

    2009-01-01

    We propose a functional mathematical model for neuron-astrocyte networks. The model incorporates elements of the tripartite synapse and the spatial branching structure of coupled astrocytes. We consider glutamate-induced calcium signaling as a specific mode of excitability and transmission...... in astrocytic-neuronal networks. We reproduce local and global dynamical patterns observed experimentally....

  17. Astrocytes in oligodendrocyte lineage development and white matter pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiasi eLi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available White matter is primarily composed of myelin and myelinated axons. Structural and functional completeness of myelin is critical for the reliable and efficient transmission of information. White matter injury has been associated with the development of many demyelinating diseases. Despite a variety of scientific advances aimed at promoting re-myelination, their benefit has proven at best to be marginal. Research suggests that the failure of the re-myelination process may be the result of an unfavorable microenvironment. Astrocytes, are the most ample and diverse type of glial cells in central nervous system which display multiple functions for the cells of the oligodendrocytes lineage. As such, much attention has recently been drawn to astrocyte function in terms of white matter myelin repair. They are different in white matter from those in grey matter in specific regards to development, morphology, location, protein expression and other supportive functions. During the process of demyelination and re-myelination, the functions of astrocytes are dynamic in that they are able to change functions in accordance to different time points, triggers or reactive pathways resulting in vastly different biologic effects. They have pivotal effects on oligodendrocytes and other cell types in the oligodendrocyte lineage by serving as an energy supplier, a participant of immunological and inflammatory functions, a source of trophic factors and iron and a sustainer of homeostasis. Astrocytic impairment has been shown to be directly linked to the development of neuromyelities optica. In addition, astroctyes have also been implicated in other white matter conditions such as psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Inhibiting specifically detrimental signaling pathways in astrocytes while preserving their beneficial functions may be a promising approach for

  18. 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.

  19. p53 protein alterations in adult astrocytic tumors and oligodendrogliomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nayak Anupma

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: p53 is a tumor suppressor gene implicated in the genesis of a variety of malignancies including brain tumors. Overexpression of the p53 protein is often used as a surrogate indicator of alterations in the p53 gene. AIMS: In this study, data is presented on p53 protein expression in adult cases (>15 years of age of astrocytic (n=152 and oligodendroglial (n=28 tumors of all grades. Of the astrocytic tumors, 86% were supratentorial in location while remaining 14% were located infratentorially - 8 in the the cerebellum and 13 in the brainstem. All the oligodendrogliomas were supratentorial. MATERIALS AND METHODS: p53 protein expression was evaluated on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections using streptavidin biotin immunoperoxidase technique after high temperature antigen retrieval. RESULTS: Overall 52% of supratentorial astrocytic tumors showed p53 immunopositivity with no correlation to the histological grade. Thus, 58.8% of diffuse astrocytomas (WHO Grade II, 53.8% of anaplastic astrocytomas (WHO Grade III and 50% of glioblastomas (WHO Grade IV were p53 protein positive. In contrast, all the infratentorial tumors were p53 negative except for one brainstem glioblastoma. Similarly, pilocytic astrocytomas were uniformly p53 negative irrespective of the location. Among oligodendroglial tumors, the overall frequency of p53 immunopositivity was lower (only 28%, though a trend of positive correlation with the tumor grade was noted - 25% in Grade II and 31.5% in grade III (anaplastic oligodendroglioma. Interestingly, p53 labeling index (p53 LI did not correlate with the histopathological grade in both astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, this study gives an insight into the genetic and hence biological heterogeneity of gliomas, not only between astrocytic tumors vs. oligodendrogliomas but also within astrocytic tumors with regard to their grade and location. With p53 gene therapy trials in progress, this will

  20. 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.

  1. Astrocytes in Oligodendrocyte Lineage Development and White Matter Pathology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiasi; Zhang, Lei; Chu, Yongxin; Namaka, Michael; Deng, Benqiang; Kong, Jiming; Bi, Xiaoying

    2016-01-01

    White matter is primarily composed of myelin and myelinated axons. Structural and functional completeness of myelin is critical for the reliable and efficient transmission of information. White matter injury has been associated with the development of many demyelinating diseases. Despite a variety of scientific advances aimed at promoting re-myelination, their benefit has proven at best to be marginal. Research suggests that the failure of the re-myelination process may be the result of an unfavorable microenvironment. Astrocytes, are the most ample and diverse type of glial cells in central nervous system (CNS) which display multiple functions for the cells of the oligodendrocytes lineage. As such, much attention has recently been drawn to astrocyte function in terms of white matter myelin repair. They are different in white matter from those in gray matter in specific regards to development, morphology, location, protein expression and other supportive functions. During the process of demyelination and re-myelination, the functions of astrocytes are dynamic in that they are able to change functions in accordance to different time points, triggers or reactive pathways resulting in vastly different biologic effects. They have pivotal effects on oligodendrocytes and other cell types in the oligodendrocyte lineage by serving as an energy supplier, a participant of immunological and inflammatory functions, a source of trophic factors and iron and a sustainer of homeostasis. Astrocytic impairment has been shown to be directly linked to the development of neuromyelities optica (NMO). In addition, astroctyes have also been implicated in other white matter conditions such as psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Inhibiting specifically detrimental signaling pathways in astrocytes while preserving their beneficial functions may be a promising approach for

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antje Grosche

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Besides their neuronal support functions, astrocytes are active partners in neuronal information processing. The typical territorial structure of astrocytes (the volume of neuropil occupied by a single astrocyte is pivotal for many aspects of glia-neuron interactions. METHODS: Individual astrocyte territorial volumes are measured by Golgi impregnation, and astrocyte densities are determined by S100β immunolabeling. These data are compared with results from conventionally applied methods such as dye filling and determination of the density of astrocyte networks by biocytin loading. Finally, we implemented our new approach to investigate age-related changes in astrocyte territories in the cortex and hippocampus of 5- and 21-month-old mice. RESULTS: The data obtained by our simplified approach based on Golgi impregnation were compared to previously published dye filling experiments, and yielded remarkably comparable results regarding astrocyte territorial volumes. Moreover, we found that almost all coupled astrocytes (as indicated by biocytin loading were immunopositive for S100β. A first application of this new experimental approach gives insight in age-dependent changes in astrocyte territorial volumes. They increased with age, while cell densities remained stable. In 5-month-old mice, the overlap factor was close to 1, revealing little or no interdigitation of astrocyte territories. However, in 21-month-old mice, the overlap factor was more than 2, suggesting that processes of adjacent astrocytes interdigitate. CONCLUSION: Here we verified the usability of a simple, versatile method for assessing astrocyte territories and the overlap factor between adjacent territories. Second, we found that there is an age-related increase in territorial volumes of astrocytes that leads to loss of the strict organization in non-overlapping territories. Future studies should elucidate the physiological relevance of this adaptive reaction of

  4. Rapid stimulus-evoked astrocyte Ca2+ elevations and hemodynamic responses in mouse somatosensory cortex in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lind, Barbara Lykke; Brazhe, Alexey; Jessen, Sanne Barsballe;

    2013-01-01

    in astrocyte somas, processes, and end-feet preceded local vasodilatation. Fast Ca(2+) responses in both neurons and astrocytes correlated with synaptic activity, but only the astrocytic responses correlated with the hemodynamic shifts. These data establish that a large proportion of cortical astrocytes have...

  5. Signaling molecules regulating phenotypic conversions of astrocytes and glial scar formation in damaged nerve tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Yutaka

    2014-12-01

    Phenotypic conversion of astrocytes from resting to reactive (i.e., astrocytic activation) occurs in numerous brain disorders. Astrocytic activation in severely damaged brain regions often leads to glial scar formation. Because astrocytic activation and glial scar largely affect the vulnerability and tissue repair of damaged brain, numerous studies have been made to clarify mechanisms regulating the astrocytic phenotype. The phenotypic conversion is accompanied by the increased expression of intermediate filament proteins and the induction of hypertrophy in reactive astrocytes. Severe brain damage results in proliferation and migration of reactive astrocytes, which lead to glial scar formations at the injured areas. Gliogenesis from neural progenitors in the adult brain is also involved in astrocytic activation and glial scar formation. Recent studies have shown that increased expression of connexin 43, aquaporin 4, matrix metalloproteinase 9, and integrins alter the function of astrocytes. The transcription factors: STAT3, OLIG2, SMAD, NF-κB, and Sp1 have been suggested to play regulatory roles in astrocytic activation and glial scar formation. In this review, I discuss the roles of these key molecules regulating the pathophysiological functions of reactive astrocytes.

  6. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-12-24

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay.

  7. YAP stabilizes SMAD1 and promotes BMP2-induced neocortical astrocytic differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zhihui; Hu, Jinxia; Pan, Jinxiu; Wang, Ying; Hu, Guoqing; Zhou, Jiliang; Mei, Lin; Xiong, Wen-Cheng

    2016-07-01

    ‪YAP (yes-associated protein), a key transcriptional co-factor that is negatively regulated by the Hippo pathway, is crucial for the development and size control of multiple organs, including the liver. However, its role in the brain remains unclear. Here, we provide evidence for YAP regulation of mouse neocortical astrocytic differentiation and proliferation. YAP was undetectable in neurons, but selectively expressed in neural stem cells (NSCs) and astrocytes. YAP in NSCs was required for neocortical astrocytic differentiation, with no apparent role in self-renewal or neural differentiation. However, YAP in astrocytes was necessary for astrocytic proliferation. Yap (Yap1) knockout, Yap(nestin) conditional knockout and Yap(GFAP) conditional knockout mice displayed fewer neocortical astrocytes and impaired astrocytic proliferation and, consequently, death of neocortical neurons. Mechanistically, YAP was activated by BMP2, and the active/nuclear YAP was crucial for BMP2 induction and stabilization of SMAD1 and astrocytic differentiation. Expression of SMAD1 in YAP-deficient NSCs partially rescued the astrocytic differentiation deficit in response to BMP2. Taken together, these results identify a novel function of YAP in neocortical astrocytic differentiation and proliferation, and reveal a BMP2-YAP-SMAD1 pathway underlying astrocytic differentiation in the developing mouse neocortex.

  8. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20362.001 PMID:28012274

  9. 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.

  10. Formaldehyde stimulates Mrp1-mediated glutathione deprivation of cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulpule, Ketki; Dringen, Ralf

    2011-02-01

    Formaldehyde (Fal) is an environmental neurotoxin that is also endogenously produced in brain. Since the tripeptide glutathione (GSH) plays an important role in detoxification processes in brain cells, we have investigated the consequences of a Fal exposure on the GSH metabolism of brain cells, using astrocyte-rich primary cultures as model system. Treatment of these cultures with Fal resulted in a rapid time- and concentration-dependent depletion of cellular GSH and a matching increase in the extracellular GSH content. Exposure of astrocytes to 1mm Fal for 3h did not compromise cell viability but almost completely deprived the cells of GSH. Half-maximal deprivation of cellular GSH was observed after application of 0.3mm Fal. This effect was rather specific for Fal, since methanol, formate or acetaldehyde did not affect cellular GSH levels. The Fal-stimulated GSH loss from viable astrocytes was completely prevented by semicarbazide-mediated chemical removal of Fal or by the application of MK571, an inhibitor of the multidrug resistance protein 1. These data demonstrate that Fal deprives astrocytes of cellular GSH by a multidrug resistance protein 1-mediated process.

  11. Astrocytes in development, aging and disease: starring GFAP

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middeldorp, J.

    2010-01-01

    We show in this thesis that different subtypes of astrocytes comprise specialized GFAP-IF networks, that change during development, aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The novel functions that have emerged for the IF network suggest these changes can play an important part in the specialized function of

  12. Spontaneous NA+ transients in individual mitochondria of intact astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azarias, Guillaume; Van de Ville, Dimitri; Unser, Michael; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2008-02-01

    Mitochondria in intact cells maintain low Na(+) levels despite the large electrochemical gradient favoring cation influx into the matrix. In addition, they display individual spontaneous transient depolarizations. The authors report here that individual mitochondria in living astrocytes exhibit spontaneous increases in their Na(+) concentration (Na(mit)(+) spiking), as measured using the mitochondrial probe CoroNa Red. In a field of view with approximately 30 astrocytes, up to 1,400 transients per minute were typically detected under resting conditions. Na(mit)(+) spiking was also observed in neurons, but was scarce in two nonneural cell types tested. Astrocytic Na(mit)(+) spikes averaged 12.2 +/- 0.8 s in duration and 35.5 +/- 3.2 mM in amplitude and coincided with brief mitochondrial depolarizations; they were impaired by mitochondrial depolarization and ruthenium red pointing to the involvement of a cation uniporter. Na(mit)(+) spiking activity was significantly inhibited by mitochondrial Na(+)/H(+) exchanger inhibition and sensitive to cellular pH and Na(+) concentration. Ca(2+) played a permissive role on Na(mit)(+) spiking activity. Finally, the authors present evidence suggesting that Na(mit)(+) spiking frequency was correlated with cellular ATP levels. This study shows that, under physiological conditions, individual mitochondria in living astrocytes exhibit fast Na(+) exchange across their inner membrane, which reveals a new form of highly dynamic and localized functional regulation.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  14. Astrocytes and the evolution of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, James M

    2014-02-01

    Cells within the astroglial lineage are proposed as the origin of human brain evolution. It is now widely accepted that they direct mammalian fetal neurogenesis, gliogenesis, laminar cytoarchitectonics, synaptic connectivity and neuronal network formation. Furthermore, genetic, anatomical and functional studies have recently identified multiple astrocyte exaptations that strongly suggest a direct relation to the increased size and complexity of the human brain.

  15. Network analysis of human glaucomatous optic nerve head astrocytes

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    Bhattacharya Sanjoy K

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Astrocyte activation is a characteristic response to injury in the central nervous system, and can be either neurotoxic or neuroprotective, while the regulation of both roles remains elusive. Methods To decipher the regulatory elements controlling astrocyte-mediated neurotoxicity in glaucoma, we conducted a systems-level functional analysis of gene expression, proteomic and genetic data associated with reactive optic nerve head astrocytes (ONHAs. Results Our reconstruction of the molecular interactions affected by glaucoma revealed multi-domain biological networks controlling activation of ONHAs at the level of intercellular stimuli, intracellular signaling and core effectors. The analysis revealed that synergistic action of the transcription factors AP-1, vitamin D receptor and Nuclear Factor-kappaB in cross-activation of multiple pathways, including inflammatory cytokines, complement, clusterin, ephrins, and multiple metabolic pathways. We found that the products of over two thirds of genes linked to glaucoma by genetic analysis can be functionally interconnected into one epistatic network via experimentally-validated interactions. Finally, we built and analyzed an integrative disease pathology network from a combined set of genes revealed in genetic studies, genes differentially expressed in glaucoma and closely connected genes/proteins in the interactome. Conclusion Our results suggest several key biological network modules that are involved in regulating neurotoxicity of reactive astrocytes in glaucoma, and comprise potential targets for cell-based therapy.

  16. Are astrocytes central players in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Keyser, J; Zeinstra, E; Frohman, E

    2003-01-01

    An interaction between antimyelin T cells and antigen-presenting glial cells is a crucial step in the cascade of immune events that lead to the inflammatory lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS). One of the most debated and controversial issues is whether microglial cells or astrocytes are the key play

  17. How do astrocytes shape synaptic transmission? Insights from electrophysiology

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    Glenn eDallérac

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A major breakthrough in neuroscience has been the realization in the last decades that the dogmatic view of astroglial cells as being merely fostering and buffering elements of the nervous system is simplistic. A wealth of investigations now shows that astrocytes actually participate in the control of synaptic transmission in an active manner. This was first hinted by the intimate contacts glial processes make with neurons, particularly at the synaptic level, and evidenced using electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques. Calcium imaging has provided critical evidence demonstrating that astrocytic regulation of synaptic efficacy is not a passive phenomenon. However, given that cellular activation is not only represented by calcium signaling, it is also crucial to assess concomitant mechanisms. We and others have used electrophysiological techniques to simultaneously record neuronal and astrocytic activity, thus enabling the study of multiple ionic currents and in depth investigation of neuro-glial dialogues. In the current review, we focus on the input such approach has provided in the understanding of astrocyte-neuron interactions underlying control of synaptic efficacy.

  18. Astrocyte proliferation following stroke in the mouse depends on distance from the infarct.

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    George E Barreto

    Full Text Available Reactive gliosis is a hallmark of brain pathology and the injury response, yet the extent to which astrocytes proliferate, and whether this is central to astrogliosis is still controversial. We determined the fraction of mature astrocytes that proliferate in a mouse stroke model using unbiased stereology as a function of distance from the infarct edge. Cumulatively 11.1±1.2% of Aldh1l1(+ astrocytes within 400 µm in the cortical penumbra incorporate BrdU in the first week following stroke, while the overall number of astrocytes does not change. The number of astrocytes proliferating fell sharply with distance with more than half of all proliferating astrocytes found within 100 µm of the edge of the infarct. Despite extensive cell proliferation primarily of microglia and neutrophils/monocytes in the week following stroke, few mature astrocytes re-enter cell cycle, and these are concentrated close to the infarct boundary.

  19. Astrocyte proliferation following stroke in the mouse depends on distance from the infarct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreto, George E; Sun, Xiaoyun; Xu, Lijun; Giffard, Rona G

    2011-01-01

    Reactive gliosis is a hallmark of brain pathology and the injury response, yet the extent to which astrocytes proliferate, and whether this is central to astrogliosis is still controversial. We determined the fraction of mature astrocytes that proliferate in a mouse stroke model using unbiased stereology as a function of distance from the infarct edge. Cumulatively 11.1±1.2% of Aldh1l1(+) astrocytes within 400 µm in the cortical penumbra incorporate BrdU in the first week following stroke, while the overall number of astrocytes does not change. The number of astrocytes proliferating fell sharply with distance with more than half of all proliferating astrocytes found within 100 µm of the edge of the infarct. Despite extensive cell proliferation primarily of microglia and neutrophils/monocytes in the week following stroke, few mature astrocytes re-enter cell cycle, and these are concentrated close to the infarct boundary.

  20. [In vitro co-cultivation of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites with rat brain astrocytes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dong-na; Liang, You-sheng; Zhou, Yong-hua; Zhang, Huan-xiang; Sheng, Hai-ying; Luo, Wei; Gong, Wei; Zhuge, Hong-xiang

    2010-08-01

    Purified astrocytes were cultured in plates. When astrocytes grew over 80% of the plate, tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii RH strain were added for co-culture. In the period of 0-72 h, change of the astrocytes and tachyzoites was observed after Giemsa staining. In 0-48 h, monodansylcadaverine (MDC) was used to study the action of autophagy in the process of tachyzoites invading astrocytes. At 1 h co-culture, tachyzoites had entered in astrocytes and the autophagosomes appeared. At 4 h, the autophagosomes increased pronouncedly. However, after 12 h, number of autophagosomes considerably decreased and damage of the cells occurred. 48 h later, autophagosomes disappeared and more astrocytes were destroyed. At 72 h most cells destroyed and tachyzoites were released. The result showed that autophagy is inhibited when the astrocytes were in vitro infected by tachyzoites.

  1. H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in astrocytes through macroautophagy

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    Hu, Wei-Wei; Yang, Ying; Wang, Zhe; Shen, Zhe; Zhang, Xiang-Nan [Department of Pharmacology, Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology of the Ministry of Health of China, Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058 (China); Wang, Guang-Hui [College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123 (China); Chen, Zhong, E-mail: chenzhong@zju.edu.cn [Department of Pharmacology, Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology of the Ministry of Health of China, Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058 (China)

    2012-04-15

    H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in vascular smooth muscle cells, which may contribute to their cardiovascular toxicity. The CNS toxicity of H1-antihistamines may also be related to their non-receptor-mediated activity. The aim of this study was to investigate whether H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in astrocytes and the mechanism involved. The H1-antihistamines induced large numbers of giant vacuoles in astrocytes. Such vacuoles were marked with both the lysosome marker Lysotracker Red and the alkalescent fluorescence dye monodansylcadaverine, which indicated that these vacuoles were lysosome-like acidic vesicles. Quantitative analysis of monodansylcadaverine fluorescence showed that the effect of H1-antihistamines on vacuolation in astrocytes was dose-dependent, and was alleviated by extracellular acidification, but aggravated by extracellular alkalization. The order of potency to induce vacuolation at high concentrations of H1-antihistamines (diphenhydramine > pyrilamine > astemizole > triprolidine) corresponded to their pKa ranking. Co-treatment with histamine and the histamine receptor-1 agonist trifluoromethyl toluidide did not inhibit the vacuolation. Bafilomycin A1, a vacuolar (V)-ATPase inhibitor, which inhibits intracellular vacuole or vesicle acidification, clearly reversed the vacuolation and intracellular accumulation of diphenhydramine. The macroautophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine largely reversed the percentage of LC3-positive astrocytes induced by diphenhydramine, while only partly reversing the number of monodansylcadaverine-labeled vesicles. In Atg5{sup −/−} mouse embryonic fibroblasts, which cannot form autophagosomes, the number of vacuoles induced by diphenhydramine was less than that in wild-type cells. These results indicated that H1-antihistamines induce V-ATPase-dependent acidic vacuole formation in astrocytes, and this is partly mediated by macroautophagy. The pKa and alkalescent characteristic of H1-antihistamines may be the

  2. 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.

  3. Astrocyte signaling in the presence of spatial inhomogeneities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamatakis, Michail; Mantzaris, Nikos V.

    2007-09-01

    Astrocytes, a special type of glial cells, were considered to have just a supporting role in information processing in the brain. However, several recent studies have shown that they can be chemically stimulated by various neurotransmitters, such as ATP, and can generate Ca2+ and ATP waves, which can propagate over many cell lengths before being blocked. Although pathological conditions, such as spreading depression and epilepsy, have been linked to abnormal wave propagation in astrocytic cellular networks, a quantitative understanding of the underlying characteristics is still lacking. Astrocytic cellular networks are inhomogeneous, in the sense that the domain they occupy contains passive regions or gaps, which are unable to support wave propagation. Thus, this work focuses on understanding the complex interplay between single-cell signal transduction, domain inhomogeneity, and the characteristics of wave propagation and blocking in astrocytic cellular networks. The single-cell signal transduction model that was employed accounts for ATP-mediated IP3 production, the subsequent Ca2+ release from the ER, and ATP release into the extracellular space. The model is excitable and thus an infinite range of wave propagation is observed if the domain of propagation is homogeneous. This is not always the case for inhomogeneous domains. To model wave propagation in inhomogeneous astrocytic networks, a reaction-diffusion framework was developed and one-gap as well as multiple-gap cases were simulated using an efficient finite-element algorithm. The minimum gap length that blocks the wave was computed as a function of excitability levels and geometric characteristics of the inhomogeneous network, such as the length of the active regions (cells). Complex transient patterns, such as wave reflection, wave trapping, and generation of echo waves, were also predicted by the model, and their relationship to the geometric characteristics of the network was evaluated. Therefore, the

  4. Novel neuronal and astrocytic mechanisms in thalamocortical loop dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crunelli, Vincenzo; Blethyn, Kate L; Cope, David W; Hughes, Stuart W; Parri, H Rheinallt; Turner, Jonathan P; Tòth, Tibor I; Williams, Stephen R

    2002-12-29

    In this review, we summarize three sets of findings that have recently been observed in thalamic astrocytes and neurons, and discuss their significance for thalamocortical loop dynamics. (i) A physiologically relevant 'window' component of the low-voltage-activated, T-type Ca(2+) current (I(Twindow)) plays an essential part in the slow (less than 1 Hz) sleep oscillation in adult thalamocortical (TC) neurons, indicating that the expression of this fundamental sleep rhythm in these neurons is not a simple reflection of cortical network activity. It is also likely that I(Twindow) underlies one of the cellular mechanisms enabling TC neurons to produce burst firing in response to novel sensory stimuli. (ii) Both electrophysiological and dye-injection experiments support the existence of gap junction-mediated coupling among young and adult TC neurons. This finding indicates that electrical coupling-mediated synchronization might be implicated in the high and low frequency oscillatory activities expressed by this type of thalamic neuron. (iii) Spontaneous intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) waves propagating among thalamic astrocytes are able to elicit large and long-lasting N-methyl-D-aspartate-mediated currents in TC neurons. The peculiar developmental profile within the first two postnatal weeks of these astrocytic [Ca(2+)](i) transients and the selective activation of these glutamate receptors point to a role for this astrocyte-to-neuron signalling mechanism in the topographic wiring of the thalamocortical loop. As some of these novel cellular and intracellular properties are not restricted to thalamic astrocytes and neurons, their significance may well apply to (patho)physiological functions of glial and neuronal elements in other brain areas.

  5. Hypothyroidism affects astrocyte and microglial morphology in type 2 diabetes*

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sung Min Nam; Yo Na Kim; Dae Young Yoo; Sun Shin Yi; Jung Hoon Choi; In Koo Hwang; Je Kyung Seong; Yeo Sung Yoon

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the effects of hypothyroidism on the morphology of astrocytes and microglia in the hippocampus of Zucker diabetic fatty rats and Zucker lean control rats. To in-duce hypothyroidism, Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty rats at 7 weeks of age oral y received the vehicle or methimazole, an anti-thyroid drug, treatment for 5 weeks and were sacrificed at 12 weeks of age in al groups for blood chemistry and immunohistochemical staining. In the methimazole-treated Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty rats, the serum circulating tri odothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels were significantly decreased compared to levels ob-served in the vehicle-treated Zucker lean control or Zucker diabetic fatty rats. This reduction was more prominent in the methimazole-treated Zucker diabetic fatty group. Glial fibril ary acidic protein immunoreactive astrocytes and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1)-immunoreactive microglia in the Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty group were diffusely detected in the hippocampal CA1 region and dentate gyrus. There were no significant differences in the glial fibril ary acidic protein and Iba-1 immunoreactivity in the CA1 region and dentate gyrus between Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty groups. However, in the methimazole-treated Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty groups, the processes of glial fibril ary acidic protein immunoreactive astrocytes and Iba-1 immunoreactive microglia, were significantly decreased in both the CA1 region and dentate gyrus compared to that in the vehicle-treated Zucker lean control and Zucker diabetic fatty groups. These results suggest that diabetes has no effect on the mor-phology of astrocytes and microglia and that hypothyroidism during the onset of diabetes promi-nently reduces the processes of astrocytes and microglia.

  6. Astrocytic mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization following extended oxygen and glucose deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korenić, Andrej; Boltze, Johannes; Deten, Alexander; Peters, Myriam; Andjus, Pavle; Radenović, Lidija

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes can tolerate longer periods of oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) as compared to neurons. The reasons for this reduced vulnerability are not well understood. Particularly, changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ(m)) in astrocytes, an indicator of the cellular redox state, have not been investigated during reperfusion after extended OGD exposure. Here, we subjected primary mouse astrocytes to glucose deprivation (GD), OGD and combinations of both conditions varying in duration and sequence. Changes in Δψ(m), visualized by change in the fluorescence of JC-1, were investigated within one hour after reconstitution of oxygen and glucose supply, intended to model in vivo reperfusion. In all experiments, astrocytes showed resilience to extended periods of OGD, which had little effect on Δψ(m) during reperfusion, whereas GD caused a robust Δψ(m) negativation. In case no Δψ(m) negativation was observed after OGD, subsequent chemical oxygen deprivation (OD) induced by sodium azide caused depolarization, which, however, was significantly delayed as compared to normoxic group. When GD preceded OD for 12 h, Δψ(m) hyperpolarization was induced by both GD and subsequent OD, but significant interaction between these conditions was not detected. However, when GD was extended to 48 h preceding OGD, hyperpolarization enhanced during reperfusion. This implicates synergistic effects of both conditions in that sequence. These findings provide novel information regarding the role of the two main substrates of electron transport chain (glucose and oxygen) and their hyperpolarizing effect on Δψ(m) during substrate deprivation, thus shedding new light on mechanisms of astrocyte resilience to prolonged ischemic injury.

  7. Is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a primary astrocytic disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sica, Roberto E

    2012-12-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is thought to be due to primary involvement of motor neurons. Pathogenic mechanisms underlying its appearance are relatively well known and include inflammation, excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, protein damage, genetic abnormalities and type of neuronal death. Although these processes have been investigated in detail in the past two decades none of them appear to be the cause of the illness. In addition several possible environmental agents have been investigated but the results, in every case, were conflicting and therefore inconclusive. However, since the motor neurons display the features of apoptosis in this illness, the possibility remains that the motor neurons die because of a hostile environment, one that is unable to sustain their health, rather than being directly targeted themselves. The above considerations lead to an examination of astrocytes, for these cells play a key role in controlling the environment of neurons. It is known that astrocytes are exquisitely plastic, adapting their metabolism and behaviour to the needs of the neurons they contact. Each population of astrocytes is therefore unique and, were one to be adversely affected at the start of a disease process, the consequences would extend to the neurons that it normally chaperoned. The disturbed relationship might involve inappropriate production and secretion of astrocytic neurotransmitters, defective transport of glutamate and impaired trophic and metabolic support of the motor neurons. In order to explain the spread of weakness and pyramidal signs in ALS patients, which is very often from one group of muscles to a neighbouring one, it is postulated that, within the spinal cord, the brainstem and the motor cortex, the disease-causing process is also spreading-in this case, from one group of astrocytes to its neighbours. A misfolded protein, possibly a prion-like protein, would be a candidate for this type of transmission.

  8. Cellular mechanism for spontaneous calcium oscillations in astrocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tong-fei WANG; Chen ZHOU; Ai-hui TANG; Shi-qiang WANG; Zhen CHAI

    2006-01-01

    Aim: To determine the Ca2+ source and cellular mechanisms of spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations in hippocampal astrocytes. Methods: The cultured cells were loaded with Fluo-4 AM, the indicator of intracellular Ca2+, and the dynamic Ca2+ transients were visualized with confocal laser-scanning microscopy. Results: The spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations in astrocytes were observed first in co-cultured hippocampal neurons and astrocytes. These oscillations were not affected by tetrodotoxin (TTX) treatment and kept up in purity cultured astrocytes. The spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations were not impacted after blocking the voltage-gated Ca2+ channels or ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) bathing, indicating that intracellular Ca2+ elevation was not the result of extracellular Ca2+ influx. Furthermore, the correlation between the spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations and the Ca2+ store in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) were investigated with pharmacological experiments. The oscillations were: 1) enhanced when cells were exposed to both low Na+ (70 mmol/L) and high Ca2+ (5 mmol/L) solution, and eliminated completely by 2 μmol/L thapsigargin, a blocker of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase; and 2) still robust after the application with either 50 μmol/L ryanodine or 400 μmol/L tetracaine, two specific antagonists of ryanodine receptors, but depressed in a dose-dependent manner by 2-APB, an InsP3 receptors (InsP3R) blocker. Conclusion: InsP3R-induced ER Ca2+ release is an important cellular mechanism for the initiation of spontaneous Ca2+ oscillation in hippocampal astrocytes.

  9. Astrocytic mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization following extended oxygen and glucose deprivation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrej Korenić

    Full Text Available Astrocytes can tolerate longer periods of oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD as compared to neurons. The reasons for this reduced vulnerability are not well understood. Particularly, changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ(m in astrocytes, an indicator of the cellular redox state, have not been investigated during reperfusion after extended OGD exposure. Here, we subjected primary mouse astrocytes to glucose deprivation (GD, OGD and combinations of both conditions varying in duration and sequence. Changes in Δψ(m, visualized by change in the fluorescence of JC-1, were investigated within one hour after reconstitution of oxygen and glucose supply, intended to model in vivo reperfusion. In all experiments, astrocytes showed resilience to extended periods of OGD, which had little effect on Δψ(m during reperfusion, whereas GD caused a robust Δψ(m negativation. In case no Δψ(m negativation was observed after OGD, subsequent chemical oxygen deprivation (OD induced by sodium azide caused depolarization, which, however, was significantly delayed as compared to normoxic group. When GD preceded OD for 12 h, Δψ(m hyperpolarization was induced by both GD and subsequent OD, but significant interaction between these conditions was not detected. However, when GD was extended to 48 h preceding OGD, hyperpolarization enhanced during reperfusion. This implicates synergistic effects of both conditions in that sequence. These findings provide novel information regarding the role of the two main substrates of electron transport chain (glucose and oxygen and their hyperpolarizing effect on Δψ(m during substrate deprivation, thus shedding new light on mechanisms of astrocyte resilience to prolonged ischemic injury.

  10. In vitro differentiation of cultured human CD34+ cells into astrocytes

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    Katari Venkatesh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Astrocytes are abundantly present as glial cells in the brain and play an important role in the regenerative processes. The possible role of stem cell derived astrocytes in the spinal cord injuries is possible related to their influence at the synaptic junctions. Aim: The present study is focused on in vitro differentiation of cultured human CD34+ cells into astrocytes. Materials and Methods: Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor mobilized human CD34+ cells were isolated from peripheral blood using apheresis method from a donor. These cells were further purified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and cultured in Dulbecco′s modified eagle′s medium. Thus, cultured cells were induced with astrocyte defined medium (ADM and in the differentiated astrocytes serine/threonine protein kinases (STPK and glutamine synthetase (GLUL activities were estimated. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and GLUL were confirmed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR. Results: The cultured human CD34+ cells differentiated into astrocytes after 11 h of incubation in ADM. The RT-PCR experiment showed the expression of GLUL (1.5 kb and GFAP (2.9 kb in differentiated astrocytes. The high enzyme activities of GLUL and STPK in differentiated astrocytes compared with cultured human CD34+ cells confirmed astrocyte formation. Conclusion: In the present study, in vitro differentiation of stem cells with retinoic acid induction may result in the formation of astrocytes.

  11. 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.

  12. Calcium Imaging of Living Astrocytes in the Mouse Spinal Cord following Sensory Stimulation

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    Giovanni Cirillo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytic Ca2+ dynamics have been extensively studied in ex vivo models; however, the recent development of two-photon microscopy and astrocyte-specific labeling has allowed the study of Ca2+ signaling in living central nervous system. Ca2+ waves in astrocytes have been described in cultured cells and slice preparations, but evidence for astrocytic activation during sensory activity is lacking. There are currently few methods to image living spinal cord: breathing and heart-beating artifacts have impeded the widespread application of this technique. We here imaged the living spinal cord by two-photon microscopy in C57BL6/J mice. Through pressurized injection, we specifically loaded spinal astrocytes using the red fluorescent dye sulforhodamine 101 (SR101 and imaged astrocytic Ca2+ levels with Oregon-Green BAPTA-1 (OGB. Then, we studied astrocytic Ca2+ levels at rest and after right electrical hind paw stimulation. Sensory stimulation significantly increased astrocytic Ca2+ levels within the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord compared to rest. In conclusion, in vivo morphofunctional imaging of living astrocytes in spinal cord revealed that astrocytes actively participate to sensory stimulation.

  13. Unperturbed posttranscriptional regulatory Rev protein function and HIV-1 replication in astrocytes.

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    Ashok Chauhan

    Full Text Available Astrocytes protect neurons, but also evoke proinflammatory responses to injury and viral infections, including HIV. There is a prevailing notion that HIV-1 Rev protein function in astrocytes is perturbed, leading to restricted viral replication. In earlier studies, our finding of restricted viral entry into astrocytes led us to investigate whether there are any intracellular restrictions, including crippled Rev function, in astrocytes. Despite barely detectable levels of DDX3 (Rev-supporting RNA helicase and TRBP (anti-PKR in primary astrocytes compared to astrocytic cells, Rev function was unperturbed in wild-type, but not DDX3-ablated astrocytes. As in permissive cells, after HIV-1 entry bypass in astrocytes, viral-encoded Tat and Rev proteins had robust regulatory activities, leading to efficient viral replication. Productive HIV-1 infection in astrocytes persisted for several weeks. Our findings on HIV-1 entry bypass in astrocytes demonstrated that the intracellular environment is conducive to viral replication and that Tat and Rev functions are unperturbed.

  14. Purification and Characterization of Progenitor and Mature Human Astrocytes Reveals Transcriptional and Functional Differences with Mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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; Gephart, Melanie G Hayden; Barres, Ben A

    2016-01-01

    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 abilities similar to those of murine astrocytes in promoting neuronal survival, inducing functional synapse formation, and engulfing synaptosomes. In contrast to existing observations in mice, we found that mature human astrocytes respond robustly to glutamate. Next, we performed RNA sequencing of healthy human astrocytes along with astrocytes from epileptic and tumor foci and compared these to human neurons, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and endothelial cells (available at http://www.brainrnaseq.org). With these profiles, we identified novel human-specific astrocyte genes and discovered a transcriptome-wide transformation between astrocyte precursor cells and mature post-mitotic astrocytes. These data represent some of the first cell-type-specific molecular profiles of the healthy and diseased human brain.

  15. Fibrous and protoplasmic astrocytes express GABAA receptors that differ in benzodiazepine pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosewater, K; Sontheimer, H

    1994-02-04

    Astrocytes cultured from spinal cord contain two morphologically distinguishable types of astrocytes: fibrous and protoplasmic cells. Both astrocyte subtypes, in culture, are able to express GABAA receptors, and their activation results in inward currents at the resting potential. Using patch-clamp electrophysiology we characterized their basic receptor pharmacology and compared it to spinal cord neurons that were also present in small numbers in these cultures. As in neuronal GABAA receptors, the local anesthetic pentobarbital effectively potentiated GABA-induced currents in both astrocyte subtypes. Similarly, the benzodiazepine diazepam, on average doubled GABA-induced currents in both astrocytes subtypes. In contrast to these effects that were similar in both astrocytes types and similar to spinal cord neurons, the response to the convulsant methyl-4-ethyl-6,7-dimethoxy-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate (DMCM), which is an inverse benzodiazepine agonist differs between astrocyte subtypes. DMCM reduced GABA-induced currents by about 50% in fibrous astrocytes as we also observed with spinal cord neurons. In contrast, DMCM increased GABA currents in protoplasmic astrocytes by up to 150%, an effect never observed in neurons. DMCM potentiations of GABA currents have recently been attributed to differences in receptor subunit composition. Our results thus indicate that subtypes of astrocytes express GABAA receptors that differ pharmacologically and likely differ also in subunit composition.

  16. P2X7 receptors regulate engulfing activity of non-stimulated resting astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Mina; Kamatsuka, Yosuke; Ohishi, Akihiro; Nishida, Kentaro; Nagasawa, Kazuki

    2013-09-13

    We previously demonstrated that P2X7 receptors (P2X7Rs) expressed by cultured mouse astrocytes were activated without any exogenous stimuli, but its roles in non-stimulated resting astrocytes remained unknown. It has been reported that astrocytes exhibit engulfing activity, and that the basal activity of P2X7Rs regulates the phagocytic activity of macrophages. In this study, therefore, we investigated whether P2X7Rs regulate the engulfing activity of mouse astrocytes. Uptake of non-opsonized beads by resting astrocytes derived from ddY-mouse cortex time-dependently increased, and the uptaken beads were detected in the intracellular space. The bead uptake was inhibited by cytochalasin D (CytD), an F-actin polymerization inhibitor, and agonists and antagonists of P2X7Rs apparently decreased the uptake. Spontaneous YO-PRO-1 uptake by ddY-mouse astrocytes was reduced by the agonists and antagonists of P2X7Rs, but not by CytD. Down-regulation of P2X7Rs using siRNA decreased the bead uptake by ddY-mouse astrocytes. In addition, compared to in the case of ddY-mouse astrocytes, SJL-mouse astrocytes exhibited higher YO-PRO-1 uptake activity, and their bead uptake was significantly greater. These findings suggest that resting astrocytes exhibit engulfing activity and that the activity is regulated, at least in part, by their P2X7Rs.

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J A Davies

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Stephen J A; Shih, Chung-Hsuan; Noble, Mark; Mayer-Proschel, Margot; Davies, Jeannette E; Proschel, Christoph

    2011-03-02

    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 astrocytes that

  20. Spinal dorsal horn astrocytes: New players in chronic itch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makoto Tsuda

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic itch is a debilitating symptom of inflammatory skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, and systemic diseases, for which existing treatment is largely ineffective. Recent studies have revealed the selective neuronal pathways that are involved in itch sensations; however, the mechanisms by which itch turns into a pathological chronic state are poorly understood. Recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms producing chronic itch have been made by defining causal roles for astrocytes in the spinal dorsal horn in mouse models of chronic itch including atopic dermatitis. Understanding the key roles of astrocytes may provide us with exciting insights into the mechanisms for itch chronicity and lead to a previously unrecognized target for treating chronic itch.

  1. Biomechanical and proteomic analysis of INF- {beta}-treated astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vergara, Daniele; Leporatti, Stefano; Maruccio, Giuseppe; Cingolani, Roberto; Rinaldi, Ross [National Nanotechnology Laboratory of CNR-INFM, ISUFI, University of Lecce, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) Research Unit, via Arnesano, I-73100 Lecce (Italy); Martignago, Roberta; Nuccio, Franco De; Nicolardi, Giuseppe; Maffia, Michele [Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Salento, via Monteroni, I-73100 Lecce (Italy); Bonsegna, Stefania; Santino, Angelo, E-mail: michele.maffia@unile.i, E-mail: ross.rinaldi@unile.i [Institute of Sciences of Food Production CNR, Unit of Lecce I-73100 (Italy)

    2009-11-11

    Astrocytes have a key role in the pathogenesis of several diseases including multiple sclerosis and were proposed as the designed target for immunotherapy. In this study we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) and proteomics methods to analyse and correlate the modifications induced in the viscoleastic properties of astrocytes to the changes induced in protein expression after interferon- {beta} (IFN-{beta}) treatment. Our results indicated that IFN-{beta} treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the Young's modulus, a measure of cell elasticity, in comparison with control cells. The molecular mechanisms that trigger these changes were investigated by 2DE (two-dimensional electrophoresis) and confocal analyses and confirmed by western blotting. Altered proteins were found to be involved in cytoskeleton organization and other important physiological processes.

  2. 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

    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...... oxidative degradation; thus, quantitative formation of glutamine from the glutamate taken up is not possible. Oxidation of glutamate is initiated by transamination catalyzed by an aminotransferase, or oxidative deamination catalyzed by glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). We discuss methods available to elucidate...... 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...

  3. Intravascular AAV9 preferentially targets neonatal neurons and adult astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foust, Kevin D; Nurre, Emily; Montgomery, Chrystal L; Hernandez, Anna; Chan, Curtis M; Kaspar, Brian K

    2009-01-01

    Delivery of genes to the brain and spinal cord across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) has not yet been achieved. Here we show that adeno-associated virus (AAV) 9 injected intravenously bypasses the BBB and efficiently targets cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Injection of AAV9-GFP into neonatal mice through the facial vein results in extensive transduction of dorsal root ganglia and motor neurons throughout the spinal cord and widespread transduction of neurons throughout the brain, including the neocortex, hippocampus and cerebellum. In adult mice, tail vein injection of AAV9-GFP leads to robust transduction of astrocytes throughout the entire CNS, with limited neuronal transduction. This approach may enable the development of gene therapies for a range of neurodegenerative diseases, such as spinal muscular atrophy, through targeting of motor neurons, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, through targeting of astrocytes. It may also be useful for rapid postnatal genetic manipulations in basic neuroscience studies.

  4. BMPs as Therapeutic Targets and Biomarkers in Astrocytic Glioma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar González-Gómez

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytic glioma is the most common brain tumor. The glioma initiating cell (GIC fraction of the tumor is considered as highly chemoresistant, suggesting that GICs are responsible for glioma relapse. A potential treatment for glioma is to induce differentiation of GICs to a more benign and/or druggable cell type. Given BMPs are among the most potent inducers of GIC differentiation, they have been considered as noncytotoxic therapeutic compounds that may be of use to prevent growth and recurrence of glioma. We herein summarize advances made in the understanding of the role of BMP signaling in astrocytic glioma, with a particular emphasis on the effects exerted on GICs. We discuss the prognostic value of BMP signaling components and the implications of BMPs in the differentiation of GICs and in their sensitization to alkylating drugs and oncolytic therapy/chemotherapy. This mechanistic insight may provide new opportunities for therapeutic intervention of brain cancer.

  5. Diverse FGF receptor signaling controls astrocyte specification and proliferation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Kyungjun [School of Life Sciences, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Oryong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-712 (Korea, Republic of); Song, Mi-Ryoung, E-mail: msong@gist.ac.kr [School of Life Sciences, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Oryong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-712 (Korea, Republic of); Bioimaging Research Center and Cell Dynamics Research Center, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Oryong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-712 (Korea, Republic of)

    2010-05-07

    During CNS development, pluripotency neuronal progenitor cells give rise in succession to neurons and glia. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), a major signal that maintains neural progenitors in the undifferentiated state, is also thought to influence the transition from neurogenesis to gliogenesis. Here we present evidence that FGF receptors and underlying signaling pathways transmit the FGF-2 signals that regulate astrocyte specification aside from its mitogenic activity. Application of FGF-2 to cortical progenitors suppressed neurogenesis whereas treatment with an FGFR antagonist in vitro promoted neurogenesis. Introduction of chimeric FGFRs with mutated tyrosine residues into cortical progenitors and drug treatments to specifically block individual downstream signaling pathways revealed that the overall activity of FGFR rather than individual autophosphorylation sites is important for delivering signals for glial specification. In contrast, a signal for cell proliferation by FGFR was mainly delivered by MAPK pathway. Together our findings indicate that FGFR activity promotes astrocyte specification in the developing CNS.

  6. Fisetin regulates astrocyte migration and proliferation in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Nan; Yao, Fang; Li, Ke; Zhang, Lanlan; Yin, Guo; Du, Mingjun; Wu, Bingyi

    2017-02-15

    Fisetin (3,3',4',7-tetrahydroxyflavone) is a plant flavonol found in fruits and vegetables that has been reported to inhibit migration and proliferation in several types of cancer. Reactive astrogliosis involves astrocyte migration and proliferation, and contributes to the formation of glial scars in central nervous system (CNS) disorders. However, the effect of fisetin on the migration and proliferation of astrocytes remains unclear. In this study, we found that fisetin inhibited astrocyte migration in a scratch-wound assay and diminished the phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK; Tyr576/577 and paxillin (Tyr118). It also suppressed cell proliferation, as indicated by the decreased number of 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU)-positive cells, induced cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase, reduced the percentage of cells in the G2 and S phase (as measured by flow cytometry), and decreased cyclin D1 expression, but had no effect on apoptosis. Fisetin also decreased the phosphorylation levels of Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk)1/2, but had no effect on the phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). These results indicate that fisetin inhibits aggressive cell phenotypes by suppressing cell migration and proliferation via the Akt/Erk signaling pathway. Fisetin may thus have potential for use as a therapeutic strategy targeting reactive astrocytes, which may lead to the inhibition of glial scar formation in vitro.

  7. Methamphetamine compromises gap junctional communication in astrocytes and neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Paul; Nwagbo, Chisom; Martinez, Luis R; Eugenin, Eliseo A

    2016-05-01

    Methamphetamine (meth) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that results in psychological and physical dependency. The long-term effects of meth within the CNS include neuronal plasticity changes, blood-brain barrier compromise, inflammation, electrical dysfunction, neuronal/glial toxicity, and an increased risk to infectious diseases including HIV. Most of the reported meth effects in the CNS are related to dysregulation of chemical synapses by altering the release and uptake of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. However, little is known about the effects of meth on connexin (Cx) containing channels, such as gap junctions (GJ) and hemichannels (HC). We examined the effects of meth on Cx expression, function, and its role in NeuroAIDS. We found that meth altered Cx expression and localization, decreased GJ communication between neurons and astrocytes, and induced the opening of Cx43/Cx36 HC. Furthermore, we found that these changes in GJ and HC induced by meth treatment were mediated by activation of dopamine receptors, suggesting that dysregulation of dopamine signaling induced by meth is essential for GJ and HC compromise. Meth-induced changes in GJ and HC contributed to amplified CNS toxicity by dysregulating glutamate metabolism and increasing the susceptibility of neurons and astrocytes to bystander apoptosis induced by HIV. Together, our results indicate that connexin containing channels, GJ and HC, are essential in the pathogenesis of meth and increase the sensitivity of the CNS to HIV CNS disease. Methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant. Meth reduced gap junctional (GJ) communication by inducing internalization of connexin-43 (Cx43) in astrocytes and reducing expression of Cx36 in neurons by a mechanism involving activation of dopamine receptors (see cartoon). Meth-induced changes in Cx containing channels increased extracellular levels of glutamate and resulted in higher

  8. Acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage in rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Xinzhu; Kamendulis, Lisa M; Klaunig, James E

    2006-10-01

    Chronic administration of acrylonitrile results in a dose-related increase in astrocytomas in rat brain, but the mechanism of acrylonitrile carcinogenicity is not fully understood. The potential of acrylonitrile or its metabolites to induce direct DNA damage as a mechanism for acrylonitrile carcinogenicity has been questioned, and recent studies indicate that the mechanism involves the induction of oxidative stress in rat brain. The present study examined the ability of acrylonitrile to induce DNA damage in the DI TNC1 rat astrocyte cell line using the alkaline Comet assay. Oxidized DNA damage also was evaluated using formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase treatment in the modified Comet assay. No increase in direct DNA damage was seen in astrocytes exposed to sublethal concentrations of acrylonitrile (0-1.0 mM) for 24 hr. However, acrylonitrile treatment resulted in a concentration-related increase in oxidative DNA damage after 24 hr. Antioxidant supplementation in the culture media (alpha-tocopherol, (-)-epigallocathechin-3 gallate, or trolox) reduced acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage. Depletion of glutathione using 0.1 mM DL-buthionine-[S,R]-sulfoximine increased acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage (22-46%), while cotreatment of acrylonitrile with 2.5 mM L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, a precursor for glutathione biosynthesis, significantly reduced acrylonitrile-induced oxidative DNA damage (7-47%). Cotreatment of acrylonitrile with 0.5 mM 1-aminobenzotriazole, a suicidal inhibitor of cytochrome P450, prevented the oxidative DNA damage produced by acrylonitrile. Cyanide (0.1-0.5 mM) increased oxidative DNA damage (44-160%) in astrocytes. These studies demonstrate that while acrylonitrile does not directly damage astrocyte DNA, it does increase oxidative DNA damage. The oxidative DNA damage following acrylonitrile exposure appears to arise mainly through the P450 metabolic pathway; moreover, glutathione depletion may contribute to the

  9. Quantifying Filopodia in Cultured Astrocytes by an Algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aumann, Georg; Friedländer, Felix; Thümmler, Matthias; Keil, Fabian; Brunkhorst, Robert; Korf, Horst-Werner; Derouiche, Amin

    2017-02-27

    Astrocytes in vivo extend thin processes termed peripheral astrocyte processes (PAPs), in particular around synapses where they can mediate glia-neuronal communication. The relation of PAPs to synapses is not based on coincidence, but it is not clear which stimuli and mechanisms lead to their formation and are active during process extension/ retraction in response to neuronal activity. Also, the molecular basis of the extremely fine PAP morphology (often 50 to 100 nm) is not understood. These open questions can be best investigated under in vitro conditions studying glial filopodia. We have previously analyzed filopodial mechanisms (Lavialle et al. PNAS 108:12915) applying an automated method for filopodia morphometry, which is now described in greater detail. The Filopodia Specific Shape Factor (FSSF) developed integrates number and length of filopodia. It quantifies filopodia independent of overall astrocytic shape or size, which can be intricate in itself. The algorithm supplied here permits automated image processing and measurements using ImageJ. Cells have to be sampled in higher numbers to obtain significant results. We validate the FSSF, and characterize the systematic influence of thresholding and camera pixel grid on measurements. We provide exemplary results of substance-induced filopodia dynamics (glutamate, mGluR agonists, EGF), and show that filopodia formation is highly sensitive to medium pH (CO2) and duration of cell culture. Although the FSSF was developed to study astrocyte filopodia with focus on the perisynaptic glial sheath, we expect that this parameter can also be applied to neuronal growth cones, non-neural cell types, or cell lines.

  10. Effects of propofol on ammonium chloride-exposed astrocyte morphology and aquaporin-4 expression

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hanjian Chen; Caifei Pan; Peng Guo; Yueying Zheng; Shengmei Zhu

    2011-01-01

    Ammonia induces astrocyte swelling, which is strongly associated with overexpression of aquaporin-4.However, the mechanisms by which ammonia induces astrocyte swelling, and subsequently upregulating aquaporin-4 expression, remain unknown.In the present study,astrocytes were cultured in vitro and exposed to ammonium chloride (NH4CI), followed by propofol,protein kinase C agonist, or antagonist, respectively.Astrocyte morphology was observed by light microscopy, and aquaporin-4 expression was detected by western blot analysis.Results showed that propofol or protein kinase C agonist significantly attenuated the degree of NH4CI-induced astrocyte swelling and inhibited increased aquaporin-4 expression.Propofol treatment inhibited aquaporin-4 overexpression in cultured astrocyte induced by NH4CI; protein kinase C pathway activation is potentially involved.

  11. Astrocytes from familial and sporadic ALS patients are toxic to motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haidet-Phillips, Amanda M; Hester, Mark E; Miranda, Carlos J; Meyer, Kathrin; Braun, Lyndsey; Frakes, Ashley; Song, SungWon; Likhite, Shibi; Murtha, Matthew J; Foust, Kevin D; Rao, Meghan; Eagle, Amy; Kammesheidt, Anja; Christensen, Ashley; Mendell, Jerry R; Burghes, Arthur H M; Kaspar, Brian K

    2011-08-10

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease, with astrocytes implicated as contributing substantially to motor neuron death in familial (F)ALS. However, the proposed role of astrocytes in the pathology of ALS derives in part from rodent models of FALS based upon dominant mutations within the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene, which account for 90% of ALS patients, remains to be established. Using astrocytes generated from postmortem tissue from both FALS and SALS patients, we show that astrocytes derived from both patient groups are similarly toxic to motor neurons. We also demonstrate that SOD1 is a viable target for SALS, as its knockdown significantly attenuates astrocyte-mediated toxicity toward motor neurons. Our data highlight astrocytes as a non-cell autonomous component in SALS and provide an in vitro model system to investigate common disease mechanisms and evaluate potential therapies for SALS and FALS.

  12. Glutamate metabolism in the brain focusing on astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Metabolism of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter and precursor of GABA, is exceedingly complex and highly compartmentalized in brain. Maintenance of these neurotransmitter pools is strictly dependent on the de novo synthesis of glutamine in astrocytes which requires both the anaplero......Metabolism of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter and precursor of GABA, is exceedingly complex and highly compartmentalized in brain. Maintenance of these neurotransmitter pools is strictly dependent on the de novo synthesis of glutamine in astrocytes which requires both...... the anaplerotic enzyme pyruvate carboxylase and glutamine synthetase. Glutamate is formed directly from glutamine by deamidation via phosphate activated glutaminase a reaction that also yields ammonia. Glutamate plays key roles linking carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism via the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle......, 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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 3-4%), the co......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...... and stimulates COX-1 activity. The enzyme downstream of COX-1 that synthesizes PgE2 (microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1) depends critically for its vasodilator activity on the level of glutathione in the brain. We show that when glutathione levels are reduced, astrocyte calcium-evoked release of PgE2...

  14. The role of astrocytes in the development of hepatic encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsushita, M; Yamamoto, T; Gemba, H

    1999-09-01

    Thioacetamide (TAA), a hepatotoxin used to ascertain the role of astrocytes in hepatic encephalopathy, was administered to prepare four experimental groups of rats. (The TAA1D, TAA1.5D, TAA2D, and TAA2.5D group rats were perfusion fixated with formalin at 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 days, respectively, after initial administration of TAA. In addition, TAA was readministered to the TAA2D and TAA2.5D rats 24 h after the first dose.) Abnormalities of higher brain function and equilibrium that progressed with time were apparent in the rats receiving TAA. On the other hand, innate reflexes (e.g. pupillary reflex) were similar to those in the normal control group. Astrocyte cell areas in the hippocampus, neocortex, hypothalamus, cerebellum, and basal ganglia (striatum) from the TAA rats were significantly larger than in corresponding sites from the normal rats (maximum in TAA1D and TAA1.5D groups). However, there were no differences with respect to the midbrain. Any morphological difference was not observed in neurons between the hepatic encephalopathy and normal rats. Administration of TAA caused hepatic tissue injury that progressed over time. Surprisingly, encephalopathy was apparent even when hepatic injury was mild. These findings suggest that abnormalities in astrocytes, which precede any abnormal change in neurons, play a role in the development of hepatic encephalopathy.

  15. "Cell therapy for stroke: use of local astrocytes"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melek eChouchane

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Stroke refers to a variety of conditions caused by the occlusion or hemorrhage of blood vessels supplying the brain, which is one of the main causes of death and the leading cause of disability worldwide. In the last years, cell-based therapies have been proposed as a new approach to ameliorate post stroke deficits. However, the most appropriate type of cell to be used in such therapies, as well as their sources, remains a matter of intense research. A good candidate cell should, in principle, display high plasticity to generate diverse types of neurons and, at the same type, low risk to cause undesired outcomes, such as malignant transformation. Recently, a new approach grounded on the reprogramming of endogenous astrocytes towards neuronal fates emerged as an alternative to restore neurological functions in several central nervous system diseases. In this perspective, we review data about the potential of astrocytes to become functional neurons following expression of neurogenic genes and discuss the potential benefits and risks of reprogramming astrocytes in the glial scar to replace neurons lost after stroke.

  16. Lactate produced by glycogenolysis in astrocytes regulates memory processing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori A Newman

    Full Text Available When administered either systemically or centrally, glucose is a potent enhancer of memory processes. Measures of glucose levels in extracellular fluid in the rat hippocampus during memory tests reveal that these levels are dynamic, decreasing in response to memory tasks and loads; exogenous glucose blocks these decreases and enhances memory. The present experiments test the hypothesis that glucose enhancement of memory is mediated by glycogen storage and then metabolism to lactate in astrocytes, which provide lactate to neurons as an energy substrate. Sensitive bioprobes were used to measure brain glucose and lactate levels in 1-sec samples. Extracellular glucose decreased and lactate increased while rats performed a spatial working memory task. Intrahippocampal infusions of lactate enhanced memory in this task. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of astrocytic glycogenolysis impaired memory and this impairment was reversed by administration of lactate or glucose, both of which can provide lactate to neurons in the absence of glycogenolysis. Pharmacological block of the monocarboxylate transporter responsible for lactate uptake into neurons also impaired memory and this impairment was not reversed by either glucose or lactate. These findings support the view that astrocytes regulate memory formation by controlling the provision of lactate to support neuronal functions.

  17. Lactate produced by glycogenolysis in astrocytes regulates memory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Lori A; Korol, Donna L; Gold, Paul E

    2011-01-01

    When administered either systemically or centrally, glucose is a potent enhancer of memory processes. Measures of glucose levels in extracellular fluid in the rat hippocampus during memory tests reveal that these levels are dynamic, decreasing in response to memory tasks and loads; exogenous glucose blocks these decreases and enhances memory. The present experiments test the hypothesis that glucose enhancement of memory is mediated by glycogen storage and then metabolism to lactate in astrocytes, which provide lactate to neurons as an energy substrate. Sensitive bioprobes were used to measure brain glucose and lactate levels in 1-sec samples. Extracellular glucose decreased and lactate increased while rats performed a spatial working memory task. Intrahippocampal infusions of lactate enhanced memory in this task. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of astrocytic glycogenolysis impaired memory and this impairment was reversed by administration of lactate or glucose, both of which can provide lactate to neurons in the absence of glycogenolysis. Pharmacological block of the monocarboxylate transporter responsible for lactate uptake into neurons also impaired memory and this impairment was not reversed by either glucose or lactate. These findings support the view that astrocytes regulate memory formation by controlling the provision of lactate to support neuronal functions.

  18. Microglia trigger astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection via purinergic gliotransmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinozaki, Youichi; Nomura, Masatoshi; Iwatsuki, Ken; Moriyama, Yoshinori; Gachet, Christian; Koizumi, Schuichi

    2014-03-01

    Microglia are highly sensitive to even small changes in the brain environment, such as invasion of non-hazardous toxicants or the presymptomatic state of diseases. However, the physiological or pathophysiological consequences of their responses remain unknown. Here, we report that cultured microglia sense low concentrations of the neurotoxicant methylmercury (MeHglow) and provide neuroprotection against MeHg, for which astrocytes are also required. When exposed to MeHglow, microglia exocytosed ATP via p38 MAPK- and vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT)-dependent mechanisms. Astrocytes responded to the microglia-derived ATP via P2Y1 receptors and released interleukin-6 (IL-6), thereby protecting neurons against MeHglow. These neuroprotective actions were also observed in organotypic hippocampal slices from wild-type mice, but not in slices prepared from VNUT knockout or P2Y1 receptor knockout mice. These findings suggest that microglia sense and respond to even non-hazardous toxicants such as MeHglow and change their phenotype into a neuroprotective one, for which astrocytic support is required.

  19. Synapses lacking astrocyte appear in the amygdala during consolidation of Pavlovian threat conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostroff, Linnaea E; Manzur, Mustfa K; Cain, Christopher K; Ledoux, Joseph E

    2014-06-15

    There is growing evidence that astrocytes, long held to merely provide metabolic support in the adult brain, participate in both synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Astrocytic processes are sometimes present at the synaptic cleft, suggesting that they might act directly at individual synapses. Associative learning induces synaptic plasticity and morphological changes at synapses in the lateral amygdala (LA). To determine whether astrocytic contacts are involved in these changes, we examined LA synapses after either threat conditioning (also called fear conditioning) or conditioned inhibition in adult rats by using serial section transmission electron microscopy (ssTEM) reconstructions. There was a transient increase in the density of synapses with no astrocytic contact after threat conditioning, especially on enlarged spines containing both polyribosomes and a spine apparatus. In contrast, synapses with astrocytic contacts were smaller after conditioned inhibition. This suggests that during memory consolidation astrocytic processes are absent if synapses are enlarging but present if they are shrinking. We measured the perimeter of each synapse and its degree of astrocyte coverage, and found that only about 20-30% of each synapse was ensheathed. The amount of synapse perimeter surrounded by astrocyte did not scale with synapse size, giving large synapses a disproportionately long astrocyte-free perimeter and resulting in a net increase in astrocyte-free perimeter after threat conditioning. Thus astrocytic processes do not mechanically isolate LA synapses, but may instead interact through local signaling, possibly via cell-surface receptors. Our results suggest that contact with astrocytic processes opposes synapse growth during memory consolidation.

  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. Energy metabolism in astrocytes: high rate of oxidative metabolism and spatiotemporal dependence on glycolysis/glycogenolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Peng, Liang; Dienel, Gerald A

    2007-02-01

    Astrocytic energy demand is stimulated by K(+) and glutamate uptake, signaling processes, responses to neurotransmitters, Ca(2+) fluxes, and filopodial motility. Astrocytes derive energy from glycolytic and oxidative pathways, but respiration, with its high-energy yield, provides most adenosine 5' triphosphate (ATP). The proportion of cortical oxidative metabolism attributed to astrocytes ( approximately 30%) in in vivo nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic and autoradiographic studies corresponds to their volume fraction, indicating similar oxidation rates in astrocytes and neurons. Astrocyte-selective expression of pyruvate carboxylase (PC) enables synthesis of glutamate from glucose, accounting for two-thirds of astrocytic glucose degradation via combined pyruvate carboxylation and dehydrogenation. Together, glutamate synthesis and oxidation, including neurotransmitter turnover, generate almost as much energy as direct glucose oxidation. Glycolysis and glycogenolysis are essential for astrocytic responses to increasing energy demand because astrocytic filopodial and lamellipodial extensions, which account for 80% of their surface area, are too narrow to accommodate mitochondria; these processes depend on glycolysis, glycogenolysis, and probably diffusion of ATP and phosphocreatine formed via mitochondrial metabolism to satisfy their energy demands. High glycogen turnover in astrocytic processes may stimulate glucose demand and lactate production because less ATP is generated when glucose is metabolized via glycogen, thereby contributing to the decreased oxygen to glucose utilization ratio during brain activation. Generated lactate can spread from activated astrocytes via low-affinity monocarboxylate transporters and gap junctions, but its subsequent fate is unknown. Astrocytic metabolic compartmentation arises from their complex ultrastructure; astrocytes have high oxidative rates plus dependence on glycolysis and glycogenolysis, and their energetics is

  2. Astrocytic expression of HIV-1 Nef impairs spatial and recognition memory

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Despite the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy that effectively limits viral replication, memory impairment remains a dilemma for HIV infected people. In the CNS, HIV infection of astrocytes leads to the production of the HIV-1 Nef protein without viral replication. Post mortem studies have found Nef expression in hippocampal astrocytes of people with HIV associated dementia suggesting that astrocytic Nef may contribute to HIV associated cognitive impairment even when viral replication ...

  3. Morphine Protects Spinal Cord Astrocytes from Glutamate-Induced Apoptosis via Reducing Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Zhang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Glutamate is not only a neurotransmitter but also an important neurotoxin in central nervous system (CNS. Chronic elevation of glutamate induces both neuronal and glial cell apoptosis. However, its effect on astrocytes is complex and still remains unclear. In this study, we investigated whether morphine, a common opioid ligand, could affect glutamate-induced apoptosis in astrocytes. Primary cultured astrocytes were incubated with glutamate in the presence/absence of morphine. It was found that morphine could reduce glutamate-induced apoptosis of astrocytes. Furthermore, glutamate activated Ca2+ release, thereby inducing endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress in astrocytes, while morphine attenuated this deleterious effect. Using siRNA to reduce the expression of κ-opioid receptor, morphine could not effectively inhibit glutamate-stimulated Ca2+ release in astrocytes, the protective effect of morphine on glutamate-injured astrocytes was also suppressed. These results suggested that morphine could protect astrocytes from glutamate-induced apoptosis via reducing Ca2+ overload and ER stress pathways. In conclusion, this study indicated that excitotoxicity participated in the glutamate mediated apoptosis in astrocytes, while morphine attenuated this deleterious effect via regulating Ca2+ release and ER stress.

  4. CD81 Inhibits the Proliferation of Astrocytes by Inducing G_0/G_1 Arrest In Vitro

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马俊芳; 刘仁刚; 彭会明; 周洁萍; 李海朋

    2010-01-01

    Astrocytes play a major role in the reactive processes in response to neuronal injuries in the brain.Excessive gliosis is detrimental and can contribute to neuronal damage.CD81(TAPA),a member of the tetraspanin family of proteins,is upregulated by astrocytes after traumatic injury to the rat central nervous system(CNS).To further understand the role of CD81 in the inhibition of astrocytes,we analyzed the effects of a CD81 antibody,on cultured rat astrocytes.The results indicated that the effect worked in a ...

  5. The similarity of astrocytes number in dentate gyrus and CA3 subfield of rats hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahanshahi, Mehrdad; Sadeghi, Y; Hosseini, A; Naghdi, N

    2007-01-01

    The dentate gyrus is a part of hippocampal formation that it contains granule cells, which project to the pyramidal cells and interneurons of the CA3 subfield of the hippocampus. Astrocytes play a more active role in neuronal activity, including regulating ion flux currents, energy production, neurotransmitter release and synaptogenesis. Astrocytes are the only cells in the brain that contain the energy molecule glycogen. The close relationship between dentate gyrus and CA3 area can cause the similarity of the number of astrocytes in these areas. In this study 5 male albino wistar rats were used. Rats were housed in large plastic cage in animal house and were maintained under standard conditions, after histological processing, The 7 microm slides of the brains were stained with PTAH staining for showing the astrocytes. This staining is specialized for astrocytes. We showed that the number of astrocytes in different (ant., mid., post) parts of dentate gyrus and CA3 of hippocampus is the same. For example, the anterior parts of two area have the most number of astrocytes and the middle parts of two area have the least number of astrocytes. We concluded that dentate gyrus and CA3 area of hippocampus have the same group of astrocytes.

  6. Astrocytic expression of HIV-1 Nef impairs spatial and recognition memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chompre, Gladys; Cruz, Emmanuel; Maldonado, Lucianette; Rivera-Amill, Vanessa; Porter, James T; Noel, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    Despite the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy that effectively limits viral replication, memory impairment remains a dilemma for HIV infected people. In the CNS, HIV infection of astrocytes leads to the production of the HIV-1 Nef protein without viral replication. Post mortem studies have found Nef expression in hippocampal astrocytes of people with HIV associated dementia suggesting that astrocytic Nef may contribute to HIV associated cognitive impairment even when viral replication is suppressed. To test whether astrocytic expression of Nef is sufficient to induce cognitive deficits, we examined the effect of implanting primary rat astrocytes expressing Nef into the hippocampus on spatial and recognition memory. Rats implanted unilaterally with astrocytes expressing Nef showed impaired novel location and novel object recognition in comparison with controls implanted with astrocytes expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). This impairment was correlated with an increase in chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) expression and the infiltration of peripheral macrophages into the hippocampus at the site of injection. Furthermore, the Nef exposed rats exhibited a bilateral loss of CA3 neurons. These results suggest that Nef protein expressed by the implanted astrocytes activates the immune system leading to neuronal damage and spatial and recognition memory deficits. Therefore, the continued expression of Nef by astrocytes in the absence of viral replication has the potential to contribute to HIV associated cognitive impairment.

  7. Trophic and tropic effects of striatal astrocytes on cografted mesencephalic dopamine neurons and their axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierret, P; Quenneville, N; Vandaele, S; Abbaszadeh, R; Lanctôt, C; Crine, P; Doucet, G

    1998-01-01

    Astrocytes from the ventral mesencephalon and from the striatum respectively promote the dendritic and axonal arborization of dopamine (DA) neurons in vitro. To test this response in vivo, astrocytes in primary cultures from the neonatal cerebral cortex, ventral mesencephalon, or striatum were coimplanted with fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue into the intact or DA-denervated striatum of adult rats and these cografts examined after 3-6 months by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemistry (intact recipients) or after 5-6 months by in vitro [3H]DA-uptake autoradiography (DA-denervated recipients). In contrast with single ventral mesencephalic grafts, all types of cograft displayed a rather uniform distribution of TH-immunoreactive perikarya. The average size of TH-immunoreactive cell bodies was not significantly different in cografts containing cortical or mesencephalic astrocytes and in single ventral mesencephalic grafts, but it was significantly larger in cografts containing striatal astrocytes. Nevertheless, the number of [3H]DA-labeled terminals in the DA-lesioned host striatum was clearly smaller with cografts of striatal astrocytes than with single mesencephalic grafts or with cografts containing cortical astrocytes. On the other hand, cografts of striatal astrocytes contained much higher numbers of [3H]DA-labeled terminals than the other types of graft or cograft. Thus, while cografted astrocytes in general influence the distribution of DA neurons within the graft, astrocytes from the neonatal striatum have a trophic effect on DA perikarya and a tropic effect on DA axons, keeping the latter within the graft.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Walls, Anne B; Eyjolfsson, Elvar M; Schousboe, Arne

    2014-01-01

    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......]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...

  9. Interlukin-18 Is a Pivot Regulatory Factor on Matrix Metalloproteinase-13 Expression and Brain Astrocytic Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jia-Hong; Tsai, Chon-Haw; Lin, Hsiao-Yun; Huang, Chien-Fang; Leung, Yuk-Man; Lai, Sheng-Wei; Tsai, Cheng-Fang; Chang, Pei-Chun; Lu, Dah-Yuu; Lin, Chingju

    2016-11-01

    The expression of matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) has been shown to be elevated in some pathophysiological conditions and is involved in the degradation of extracellular matrix in astrocytes. In current study, the function of MMP-13 was further investigated. The conditioned medium (CM) collected from activated microglia increased interleukin (IL)-18 production and enhanced MMP-13 expression in astrocytes. Furthermore, treatment with recombinant IL-18 increased MMP-13 protein and mRNA levels in astrocytes. Recombinant IL-18 stimulation also increased the enzymatic activity of MMP-13 and the migratory activity of astrocytes, while administration of MMP-13 or pan-MMP inhibitors antagonized IL-18-induced migratory activity of astrocytes. In addition, administration of recombinant IL-18 to astrocytes led to the phosphorylation of JNK, Akt, or PKCδ, and treatment of astrocytes with JNK, PI3 kinase/Akt, or PKCδ inhibitors significantly decreased the IL-18-induced migratory activity. Taken together, the results suggest that IL-18-induced MMP-13 expression in astrocytes is regulated by JNK, PI3 kinase/Akt, and PKCδ signaling pathways. These findings also indicate that IL-18 is an important regulator leading to MMP-13 expression and cell migration in astrocytes.

  10. Astrocytes derived from trisomic human embryonic stem cells express markers of astrocytic cancer cells and premalignant stem-like progenitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iverson Linda E

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trisomic variants of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs arise spontaneously in culture. Although trisomic hESCs share many properties with diploid hESCs, they also exhibit features of cancer stem cells. Since most hESC-based therapies will utilize differentiated derivatives, it is imperative to investigate the potential of trisomic hESCs to undergo malignant transformation during differentiation prior to their use in the clinical setting. Methods Diploid and trisomic hESCs were differentiated into astrocytic progenitors cells (APCs, RNA extracted and hybridized to human exon-specific microarrays. Global gene expression profiles of diploid and trisomic APCs were compared to that of an astrocytoma cell line and glioblastoma samples, analyzed by others, using the same microarray platform. Results Bioinformatic analysis of microarray data indicates that differentiated trisomic APCs exhibit global expression profiles with similarities to the malignant astrocytoma cell line. An analogous trend is observed in comparison to glioblastoma samples indicating that trisomic APCs express markers of astrocytic cancer cells. The analysis also allowed identification of transcripts predicted to be differentially expressed in brain tumor stem cells. These data indicate that in vitro differentiation of trisomic hESCs along astrocytic pathways give rise to cells exhibiting properties of premalignant astrocytic stem/progenitor cells. Conclusions Given their occult nature, opportunities to study premalignant stem/progenitor cells in human have been few. The ability to propagate and direct the differentiation of aneuploid hESCs provides a powerful in vitro system for investigating biological properties of human cells exhibiting features of premalignant stem cells. This in vitro culture system can be used to elucidate changes in gene expression occurring enroute to malignant transformation and to identify molecular markers of cancer stem

  11. Persistent oxygen-glucose deprivation induces astrocytic death through two different pathways and calpain-mediated proteolysis of cytoskeletal proteins during astrocytic oncosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xu; Zhang, Ying; Zou, Liangyu; Xiao, Haibing; Chu, Yinghao; Chu, Xiaofan

    2010-07-26

    Astrocytes are thought to play a role in the maintenance of homeostasis and the provision of metabolic substrates for neurons as well as the coupling of cerebral blood flow to neuronal activity. Accordingly, astrocytic death due to various types of injury can critically influence neuronal survival. The exact pathway of cell death after brain ischemia is under debate. In the present study, we used astrocytes from rat primary culture treated with persistent oxygen-glucose-deprivation (OGD) as a model of ischemia to examine the pathway of cell death and the relevant mechanisms. We observed changes in the cellular morphology, the energy metabolism of astrocytes, and the percentage of apoptosis or oncosis of the astrocytes induced by OGD. Electron microscopy revealed the co-existence of ultrastructural features in both apoptosis and oncosis in individual cells. The cellular ATP content was gradually decreased and the percentages of apoptotic and oncotic cells were increased during OGD. After 4h of OGD, ATP depletion to less than 35% of the control was observed, and oncosis became the primary pathway for astrocytic death. Increased plasma membrane permeability due to oncosis was associated with increased calpain-mediated degradation of several cytoskeletal proteins, including paxillin, vinculin, vimentin and GFAP. Pre-treatment with the calpain inhibitor 3-(4-iodophenyl)-2-mercapto-(Z)-2-propenoic acid (PD150606) could delay the OGD-induced astrocytic oncosis. These results suggest that there is a narrow range of ATP that determines astrocytic oncotic death induced by persistent OGD and that calpain-mediated hydrolysis of the cytoskeletal-associated proteins may contribute to astrocytes oncosis.

  12. Identification and pharmacological characterization of the histamine H3 receptor in cultured rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mele, Tina; Jurič, Damijana Mojca

    2013-11-15

    Recently we reported that cultured rat cortical astrocytes express histamine H3 receptor that is functionally coupled to Gi/o proteins and participates to the stimulatory effect of histamine. Due to the lack of data on the distribution of histamine H3 receptors on glial cells we further investigated their presence in cultured astrocytes from different brain regions. Real-time PCR was performed to examine the expression of native histamine H3 receptor in cultured rat astrocytes from cortex,cerebellum, hippocampus and striatum.Double-antigen immunofluorescence staining and[3H]N-α-methylhistamine([3H]NαMH) binding studies were utilized to specifically identify and characterize receptor binding sites in astrocytes. Histamine H3 receptor mRNA was detected in rat astrocytes from all the regions under investigation with the highest levels in striatal astrocytes followed by hippocampal astrocytes and approximately equal levels in cerebellar and cortical astrocytes.Double-antigen immunofluorescence confirmed the presence of histamine H3 receptors on the membrane of all examined astroglial populations.[3H]NαMH bound with high affinity and specificity to an apparently single class of saturable sites on cortical astrocytic membranes(KD¼4.5570.46 nM; Bmax¼5.6370.21 fmol/mg protein)and competition assays with selective agonists and antagonists were consistent with labeling of histamine H3 receptor(range of pKi values 7.50–8.87). Our study confirmed the ability of cultured astrocytes from different rat brain regions to express histamine H3 receptors.The observed diverse distribution of the receptors within various astrocytic populations possibly mirrors their heterogeneity in the brain and indicates their active involvement in histamine-mediated effects.

  13. Diazinon and diazoxon impair the ability of astrocytes to foster neurite outgrowth in primary hippocampal neurons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pizzurro, Daniella M.; Dao, Khoi [Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Costa, Lucio G. [Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma, Parma (Italy)

    2014-02-01

    Evidence from in vivo and epidemiological studies suggests that organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) are developmental neurotoxicants, but possible underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Astrocytes are increasingly recognized for their active role in normal neuronal development. This study sought to investigate whether the widely-used OP diazinon (DZ), and its oxygen metabolite diazoxon (DZO), would affect glial–neuronal interactions as a potential mechanism of developmental neurotoxicity. Specifically, we investigated the effects of DZ and DZO on the ability of astrocytes to foster neurite outgrowth in primary hippocampal neurons. The results show that both DZ and DZO adversely affect astrocyte function, resulting in inhibited neurite outgrowth in hippocampal neurons. This effect appears to be mediated by oxidative stress, as indicated by OP-induced increased reactive oxygen species production in astrocytes and prevention of neurite outgrowth inhibition by antioxidants. The concentrations of OPs were devoid of cytotoxicity, and cause limited acetylcholinesterase inhibition in astrocytes (18 and 25% for DZ and DZO, respectively). Among astrocytic neuritogenic factors, the most important one is the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin. DZ and DZO decreased levels of fibronectin in astrocytes, and this effect was also attenuated by antioxidants. Underscoring the importance of fibronectin in this context, adding exogenous fibronectin to the co-culture system successfully prevented inhibition of neurite outgrowth caused by DZ and DZO. These results indicate that DZ and DZO increase oxidative stress in astrocytes, and this in turn modulates astrocytic fibronectin, leading to impaired neurite outgrowth in hippocampal neurons. - Highlights: • DZ and DZO inhibit astrocyte-mediated neurite outgrowth in rat hippocampal neurons. • Oxidative stress is involved in inhibition of neuritogenesis by DZ and DZO. • DZ and DZO decrease expression of the neuritogenic

  14. DJ-1 immunoreactivity in human brain astrocytes is dependent on infarct presence and infarct age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullett, Steven J; Hamilton, Ronald L; Hinkle, David A

    2009-04-01

    DJ-1 is a protein with anti-oxidative stress and anti-apoptotic properties that is abundantly expressed in reactive CNS astrocytes in chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and Pick's disease. Genetic mutations which eliminate DJ-1 expression in humans are sufficient to produce an early-onset form of familial PD, PARK7, suggesting that DJ-1 is a critical component of the neuroprotective arsenal of the brain. Previous studies in parkinsonism/dementia brain tissues have revealed that reactive astrocytes within and surrounding incidentally identified infarcts were often robustly immunoreactive for DJ-1, especially if the infarcts showed histological features consistent with older age. Given this, we sought to evaluate astrocytic DJ-1 expression in human stroke more extensively, and with a particular emphasis on determining whether immunohistochemical DJ-1 expression in astrocytes correlates with histological infarct age. The studies presented here show that DJ-1 is abundantly expressed in reactive infarct region astrocytes in both gray and white matter, that subacute and chronic infarct region astrocytes are much more robustly DJ-1+ than are acute infarct and non-infarct region astrocytes, and that DJ-1 staining intensity in astrocytes generally correlates with that of the reactive astrocyte marker GFAP. Confocal imaging of DJ-1 and GFAP dual-labelled human brain sections were used to confirm the localization to and expression of DJ-1 in astrocytes. Neuronal DJ-1 staining was minimal under all infarct and non-infarct conditions. Our data support the conclusion that the major cellular DJ-1 response to stroke in the human brain is astrocytic, and that there is a temporal correlation between DJ-1 expression in these cells and advanced infarct age.

  15. Effect of 8-bromo-cAMP and dexamethasone on glutamate metabolism in rat astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zielke, H.R.; Tildon, J.T.; Landry, M.E.; Max, S.R. (Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (USA))

    1990-11-01

    Glutamine synthetase (GS) activity in cultured rat astrocytes was measured in extracts and compared to the intracellular rate of glutamine synthesis by intact control astrocytes or astrocytes exposed to 1 mM 8-bromo-cAMP (8Br-cAMP) + 1 microM dexamethasone (DEX) for 4 days. GS activity in extracts of astrocytes treated with 8Br-cAMP + DEX was 7.5 times greater than the activity in extracts of control astrocytes. In contrast, the intracellular rate of glutamine synthesis by intact cells increased only 2-fold, suggesting that additional intracellular effectors regulate the expression of GS activity inside the intact cell. The rate of glutamine synthesis by astrocytes was 4.3 times greater in MEM than in HEPES buffered Hank's salts. Synthesis of glutamine by intact astrocytes cultured in MEM was independent of the external glutamine or ammonia concentrations but was increased by higher extracellular glutamate concentrations. In studies with intact astrocytes 80% of the original (U-{sup 14}C)glutamate was recovered in the medium as radioactive glutamine, 2-3% as aspartate, and 7% as glutamate after 2 hours for both control and treated astrocytes. The results suggest: (1) astrocytes are highly efficient in the conversion of glutamate to glutamine; (2) induction of GS activity increases the rate of glutamate conversion to glutamine by astrocytes and the rate of glutamine release into the medium; (3) endogenous intracellular regulators of GS activity control the flux of glutamate through this enzymatic reaction; and (4) the composition of the medium alters the rate of glutamine synthesis from external glutamate.

  16. Imbalance between Glutamate and GABA in Fmr1 Knockout Astrocytes Influences Neuronal Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is a form of inherited mental retardation that results from the absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP, the product of the Fmr1 gene. Numerous studies have shown that FMRP expression in astrocytes is important in the development of FXS. Although astrocytes affect neuronal dendrite development in Fmr1 knockout (KO mice, the factors released by astrocytes are still unclear. We cultured wild type (WT cortical neurons in astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM from WT or Fmr1 KO mice. Immunocytochemistry and Western blotting were performed to detect the dendritic growth of both WT and KO neurons. We determined glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA levels using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC. The total neuronal dendritic length was reduced when cultured in the Fmr1 KO ACM. This neurotoxicity was triggered by an imbalanced release of glutamate and GABA from Fmr1 KO astrocytes. We found increased glutaminase and GABA transaminase (GABA-T expression and decreased monoamine oxidase B expression in Fmr1 KO astrocytes. The elevated levels of glutamate contributed to oxidative stress in the cultured neurons. Vigabatrin (VGB, a GABA-T inhibitor, reversed the changes caused by glutamate and GABA release in Fmr1 KO astrocytes and the abnormal behaviors in Fmr1 KO mice. Our results indicate that the imbalance in the astrocytic glutamate and GABA release may be involved in the neuropathology and the underlying symptoms of FXS, and provides a therapeutic target for treatment.

  17. Acute isolation and transcriptome characterization of cortical astrocytes and microglia from young and aged mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Orre, Marie; Kamphuis, W.; Osborn, Lana M; Melief, Jeroen; Kooijman, Lieneke; Huitinga, I.; Klooster, Jan; Bossers, K.; Hol, Elly M

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes and microglia become reactive in many neurological disorders resulting in phenotypic and functional alterations. Both cell types might also display functional changes during normal aging. To identify gene signatures and changes in basal cellular functions of astrocytes and microglia in re

  18. A Cellular Star Atlas: Using Astrocytes from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eKrencik

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available What roles do astrocytes play in human disease? This question remains unanswered for nearly every human neurological disorder. Yet, because of their abundance and complexity astrocytes can impact neurological function in many ways. The differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into neuronal and glial subtypes, including astrocytes, is becoming routine, thus their use as tools for modeling neurodevelopment and disease will provide one important approach to answer this question. When designing experiments, careful consideration must be given to choosing paradigms for differentiation, maturation, and functional analysis of these temporally asynchronous cellular populations in culture. In the case of astrocytes, they display heterogeneous characteristics depending upon species of origin, brain region, developmental stage, environmental factors, and disease states, all of which may render experimental results highly variable. In this review, challenges and future directions are discussed for using hPSC-derived astroglial progenitors and mature astrocytes for neurodevelopmental studies with a focus on exploring human astrocyte effects upon neuronal function. As new technologies emerge to measure the functions of astrocytes in vitro and in vivo, there is also a need for a standardized source of human astrocytes that are most relevant to the diseases of interest.

  19. Local Ca2+ detection and modulation of synaptic release by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Chuquet, Julien; Liaudet, Nicolas; Bhaukaurally, Khaleel; Santello, Mirko; Bouvier, David; Tiret, Pascale; Volterra, Andrea

    2011-09-11

    Astrocytes communicate with synapses by means of intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) elevations, but local calcium dynamics in astrocytic processes have never been thoroughly investigated. By taking advantage of high-resolution two-photon microscopy, we identify the characteristics of local astrocyte calcium activity in the adult mouse hippocampus. Astrocytic processes showed intense activity, triggered by physiological transmission at neighboring synapses. They encoded synchronous synaptic events generated by sparse action potentials into robust regional (∼12 μm) [Ca(2+)](i) elevations. Unexpectedly, they also sensed spontaneous synaptic events, producing highly confined (∼4 μm), fast (millisecond-scale) miniature Ca(2+) responses. This Ca(2+) activity in astrocytic processes is generated through GTP- and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent signaling and is relevant for basal synaptic function. Thus, buffering astrocyte [Ca(2+)](i) or blocking a receptor mediating local astrocyte Ca(2+) signals decreased synaptic transmission reliability in minimal stimulation experiments. These data provide direct evidence that astrocytes are integrated in local synaptic functioning in adult brain.

  20. Imbalance between Glutamate and GABA in Fmr1 Knockout Astrocytes Influences Neuronal Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Wang, Yan; Zhou, Shimeng; Yang, Liukun; Shi, Qixin; Li, Yujiao; Zhang, Kun; Yang, Le; Zhao, Minggao; Yang, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a form of inherited mental retardation that results from the absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), the product of the Fmr1 gene. Numerous studies have shown that FMRP expression in astrocytes is important in the development of FXS. Although astrocytes affect neuronal dendrite development in Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice, the factors released by astrocytes are still unclear. We cultured wild type (WT) cortical neurons in astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) from WT or Fmr1 KO mice. Immunocytochemistry and Western blotting were performed to detect the dendritic growth of both WT and KO neurons. We determined glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The total neuronal dendritic length was reduced when cultured in the Fmr1 KO ACM. This neurotoxicity was triggered by an imbalanced release of glutamate and GABA from Fmr1 KO astrocytes. We found increased glutaminase and GABA transaminase (GABA-T) expression and decreased monoamine oxidase B expression in Fmr1 KO astrocytes. The elevated levels of glutamate contributed to oxidative stress in the cultured neurons. Vigabatrin (VGB), a GABA-T inhibitor, reversed the changes caused by glutamate and GABA release in Fmr1 KO astrocytes and the abnormal behaviors in Fmr1 KO mice. Our results indicate that the imbalance in the astrocytic glutamate and GABA release may be involved in the neuropathology and the underlying symptoms of FXS, and provides a therapeutic target for treatment. PMID:27517961

  1. Proteomic analysis of astrocytic secretion that regulates neurogenesis using quantitative amine-specific isobaric tagging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan, Hu; Zhou, Wenhao [Children' s Hospital of Fudan University, 399 Wanyuan Road, Shanghai 201102 (China); Wei, Liming; Zhong, Fan [Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Roda, Shanghai 200032 (China); Yang, Yi, E-mail: yyang@shmu.edu.cn [Children' s Hospital of Fudan University, 399 Wanyuan Road, Shanghai 201102 (China)

    2010-01-08

    Astrocytes are essential components of neurogenic niches that affect neurogenesis through membrane association and/or the release of soluble factors. To identify factors released from astrocytes that could regulate neural stem cell differentiation and proliferation, we used mild oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) to inhibit the secretory capacity of astrocytes. Using the Transwell co-culture system, we found that OGD-treated astrocytes could not promote neural stem cell differentiation and proliferation. Next, isobaric tagging for the relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) proteomics techniques was performed to identify the proteins in the supernatants of astrocytes (with or without OGD). Through a multi-step analysis and gene ontology classification, 130 extracellular proteins were identified, most of which were involved in neuronal development, the inflammatory response, extracellular matrix composition and supportive functions. Of these proteins, 44 had never been reported to be produced by astrocytes. Using ProteinPilot software analysis, we found that 60 extracellular proteins were significantly altered (27 upregulated and 33 downregulated) in the supernatant of OGD-treated astrocytes. Among these proteins, 7 have been reported to be able to regulate neurogenesis, while others may have the potential to regulate neurogenesis. This study profiles the major proteins released by astrocytes, which play important roles in the modulation of neurogenesis.

  2. Conditions and constraints for astrocyte calcium signaling in the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haustein, Martin D; Kracun, Sebastian; Lu, Xiao-Hong; Shih, Tiffany; Jackson-Weaver, Olan; Tong, Xiaoping; Xu, Ji; Yang, X William; O'Dell, Thomas J; Marvin, Jonathan S; Ellisman, Mark H; Bushong, Eric A; Looger, Loren L; Khakh, Baljit S

    2014-04-16

    The spatiotemporal activities of astrocyte Ca²⁺ signaling in mature neuronal circuits remain unclear. We used genetically encoded Ca²⁺ and glutamate indicators as well as pharmacogenetic and electrical control of neurotransmitter release to explore astrocyte activity in the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway. Our data revealed numerous localized, spontaneous Ca²⁺ signals in astrocyte branches and territories, but these were not driven by neuronal activity or glutamate. Moreover, evoked astrocyte Ca²⁺ signaling changed linearly with the number of mossy fiber action potentials. Under these settings, astrocyte responses were global, suppressed by neurotransmitter clearance, and mediated by glutamate and GABA. Thus, astrocyte engagement in the fully developed mossy fiber pathway was slow and territorial, contrary to that frequently proposed for astrocytes within microcircuits. We show that astrocyte Ca²⁺ signaling functionally segregates large volumes of neuropil and that these transients are not suited for responding to, or regulating, single synapses in the mossy fiber pathway.

  3. Reactive Transformation and Increased BDNF Signaling by Hippocampal Astrocytes in Response to MK-801.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjuan Yu

    Full Text Available MK-801, also known as dizocilpine, is a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA receptor antagonist that induces schizophrenia-like symptoms. While astrocytes have been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, astrocytic responses to MK-801 and their significance to schizotypic symptoms are unclear. Changes in the expression levels of glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP, a marker of astrocyte activation in response to a variety of pathogenic stimuli, were examined in the hippocampus of rats treated with the repeated MK-801 injection (0.5 mg/10 ml/kg body weight for 6 days and in primary cultured hippocampal astrocytes incubated with MK-801 (5 or 20 μM for 24 h. Moreover, the expression levels of BDNF and its receptors TrkB and p75 were examined in MK-801-treated astrocyte cultures. MK-801 treatment enhanced GFAP expression in the rat hippocampus and also increased the levels of GFAP protein and mRNA in hippocampal astrocytes in vitro. Treatment of cultured hippocampal astrocytes with MK-801 enhanced protein and mRNA levels of BDNF, TrkB, and p75. Collectively, our results suggest that hippocampal astrocytes may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia symptoms associated with NMDA receptor hypofunction by reactive transformation and altered BDNF signaling.

  4. Effect of fatty acids isolated from edible oils like mustard, linseed or coconut on astrocytes maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joardar, Anindita; Das, Sumantra

    2007-12-01

    The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) has been previously shown to facilitate some of the vital functions of astrocytes. Since some dietary oils contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3), which is a precursor of DHA, we examined their effect on astrocyte development. Fatty acids (FAs) were isolated from commonly used oils and their compositions were determined by GLC. FAs from three oils, viz. coconut, mustard and linseed were studied for their effect on astrocyte morphology. Parallel studies were conducted with FAs from the same oils after heating for 72 h. Unlike coconut oil, FAs from mustard and linseed, both heated and raw, caused significant morphogenesis of astrocytes in culture. ss-AR binding was also substantially increased in astrocytes treated with FAs from raw mustard and linseed oils as compared to astrocytes grown in normal medium. The expression profile of the isoforms of GFAP showed that astrocyte maturation by FAs of mustard and linseed oil was associated with appearance of acidic variants of GFAP and disappearance of some neutral isoforms similar to that observed in cultures grown in serum containing medium or in the presence of DHA. Taken together, the study highlights the contribution of specific dietary oils in facilitating astrocyte development that can have potential impact on human health.

  5. Neuron to astrocyte communication via cannabinoid receptors is necessary for sustained epileptiform activity in rat hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guyllaume Coiret

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are integral functional components of synapses, regulating transmission and plasticity. They have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of epilepsy, although their precise roles have not been comprehensively characterized. Astrocytes integrate activity from neighboring synapses by responding to neuronally released neurotransmitters such as glutamate and ATP. Strong activation of astrocytes mediated by these neurotransmitters can promote seizure-like activity by initiating a positive feedback loop that induces excessive neuronal discharge. Recent work has demonstrated that astrocytes express cannabinoid 1 (CB1 receptors, which are sensitive to endocannabinoids released by nearby pyramidal cells. In this study, we tested whether this mechanism also contributes to epileptiform activity. In a model of 4-aminopyridine induced epileptic-like activity in hippocampal slice cultures, we show that pharmacological blockade of astrocyte CB1 receptors did not modify the initiation, but significantly reduced the maintenance of epileptiform discharge. When communication in astrocytic networks was disrupted by chelating astrocytic calcium, this CB1 receptor-mediated modulation of epileptiform activity was no longer observed. Thus, endocannabinoid signaling from neurons to astrocytes represents an additional significant factor in the maintenance of epileptiform activity in the hippocampus.

  6. 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.

  7. Mechanical Loading of Neurons and Astrocytes with Application to Blast Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    traumatic brain injury ( TBI ). Neurons and astrocytes are susceptible to damage mechanisms arising from various...further developments may be pursued to unravel the key mechanical pathways potentially involved in TBI . 1. INTRODUCTION Traumatic brain injury ... injury mechanisms at the cellular level. This is especially important when studying traumatic brain injury ( TBI ). Neurons and astrocytes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjaerby, Celia; Rasmussen, Rune; Andersen, Mie; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2017-02-16

    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 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 look at the development and availability of innovative new methodological tools that are opening up for new ways of visualizing and perturbing astrocyte activity in awake behaving animals. With these new tools at hand, the field of astrocyte research will likely be able to elucidate the causal and mechanistic roles of astrocytes in complex behaviors within a very near future.

  10. Characterization of primary and secondary cultures of astrocytes prepared from mouse cerebral cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skytt, Dorte Marie; Madsen, Karsten Kirkegaard; Pajecka, Kamilla;

    2010-01-01

    Astrocyte cultures were prepared from cerebral cortex of new-born and 7-day-old mice and additionally, the cultures from new-born animals were passaged as secondary cultures. The cultures were characterized by immunostaining for the astrocyte markers glutamine synthetase (GS), glial fibrillary ac...

  11. IFN-γ signaling to astrocytes protects from autoimmune mediated neurological disability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Concurrent loss and proliferation of astrocytes following lateral fluid percussion brain injury in the adult rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill-Felberg, S J; McIntosh, T K; Oliver, D L; Raghupathi, R; Barbarese, E

    1999-07-15

    Astrocyte populations were analyzed over a period of 1 month in the hippocampus following lateral fluid percussion (FP) brain injury. Rats (n = 23) were subjected either to a brain injury of moderate severity, or to anesthesia and surgery without injury (n = 7). At 3 days, 1, 2, or 4 weeks postinjury, subgroups of animals were sacrificed and the brains removed and sectioned for histochemical analysis. The density of astrocytes, identified with gold sublimate staining, decreased significantly in the ipsilateral hippocampus of injured rats 3 days following injury, eventually falling to 64% of the total astrocyte population present in uninjured animals by 1 week postinjury. One month postinjury, the density of hippocampal astrocytes had returned to 85% of the total number of astrocytes observed in the hippocampus of uninjured animals. In order to characterize the post-traumatic formation of new astrocytes, immunohistochemistry was performed using antibodies to proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and to glial fibriallary acidic protein (GFAP). Positive immunolabeling for both PCNA and GFAP was most abundant at 3 days following FP brain injury in regions where the blood brain barrier was compromised, and was not detectable by 1 month postinjury. These results indicate that astrocyte proliferation after injury may be evoked by mitogens released from vascular sources, and may be an attempt to compensate for some of the astrocytic cell loss observed after injury.

  13. Transcriptomic analyses of primary astrocytes under TNFα treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cindy Birck

    2016-03-01

    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.

  14. Regulatory mechanisms for glycogenolysis and K+ uptake in brain astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiNuzzo, Mauro; Mangia, Silvia; Maraviglia, Bruno; Giove, Federico

    2013-11-01

    Recent advances in brain energy metabolism support the notion that glycogen in astrocytes is necessary for the clearance of neuronally-released K(+) from the extracellular space. However, how the multiple metabolic pathways involved in K(+)-induced increase in glycogen turnover are regulated is only partly understood. Here we summarize the current knowledge about the mechanisms that control glycogen metabolism during enhanced K(+) uptake. We also describe the action of the ubiquitous Na(+)/K(+) ATPase for both ion transport and intracellular signaling cascades, and emphasize its importance in understanding the complex relation between glycogenolysis and K(+) uptake.

  15. Mitochondrial biogenesis of astrocytes is increased under experimental septic conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Yang; Chen Zhijiang; Zhang Yu; Fang Suzhen; Zeng Qiyi

    2014-01-01

    Background Mitochondrial dysfunction has been reported to be one of the contributing factors of sepsis-associated encephalopathy (SAE).Mitochondrial biogenesis controls mitochondrial homeostasis and responds to changes in cellular energy demand.In addition,it is enhanced or decreased due to mitochondrial dysfunction during SAE.The aim of this study was to explore the changes of mitochondrial biogenesis of astrocytes under septic conditions.Methods Lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 50 ng/ml) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ; 200 U/ml) were incubated with astrocytes to model the effects of a septic insult on astrocytes in vitro.The mitochondrial ultrastructure and volume density were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy.Intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels were detected by the firefly luciferase system.The expression of protein markers of mitochondrial biogenesis and the binding ability of mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) were determined by western blot and electrophoretic mobility shift assays,respectively.The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction.Results The number of mildly damaged mitochondria was found to be significantly greater after treatment for 6 hours,as compared with at 0 hour (P<0.05).The mitochondrial volume density was significantly elevated at 24 hours,as compared with at 0 hour (P<0.05).The ATP levels at 6 hours,12 hours,and 24 hours were significantly greater than those at 0 hour (P<0.05).The protein markers of mitochondrial biogenesis were significantly increased at 6 hours and 12 hours,as compared with at 0 hour (P<0.05).The TFAM binding activity was not significantly changed among the four time points analyzed.The mtDNA contents were significantly increased at 12 hours and 24 hours,as compared with at 0 hour (P<0.05).Conclusions Under septic conditions,mitochonddal biogenesis of astrocytes increased to meet the high-energy demand and to promote mitochondrial recovery

  16. Laminins containing the β2 and γ3 chains regulate astrocyte migration and angiogenesis in the retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnanaguru, Gopalan; Bachay, Galina; Biswas, Saptarshi; Pinzón-Duarte, Germán; Hunter, Dale D; Brunken, William J

    2013-05-01

    Pathologies of retinal blood vessels are among the major causes of blindness worldwide. A key cell type that regulates retinal vascular development is the astrocyte. Generated extrinsically to the retina, astrocytes migrate into the retina through the optic nerve head. Even though there is a strong correlation between astrocyte distribution and retinal vascular development, the factors that guide astrocytes into the retina remain unclear. In this study, we show that astrocytes migrate within a laminin-containing basement membrane - the inner limiting membrane. Genetic deletion of the laminin β2 and γ3 chains affects astrocyte migration and spatial distribution. We show that laminins act as haptotactic factors in vitro in an isoform-specific manner, inducing astrocyte migration and promoting astrocyte differentiation. The addition of exogenous laminins to laminin-null retinal explants rescues astrocyte migration and spatial patterning. Furthermore, we show that the loss of laminins reduces β1 integrin expression in astrocytes. Culturing laminin-null retinal astrocytes on laminin substrates restores focal localization of β1 integrin. Finally, we show that laminins containing β2 and γ3 chains regulate subsequent retinal blood vessel growth and maintain vascular integrity. These in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrate clearly that laminins containing β2 and γ3 chains are indispensable for migration and spatial organization of astrocytes and that they play a crucial role during retinal angiogenesis in vivo.

  17. Imaging intracellular Ca²⁺ signals in striatal astrocytes from adult mice using genetically-encoded calcium indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ruotian; Haustein, Martin D; Sofroniew, Michael V; Khakh, Baljit S

    2014-11-19

    Astrocytes display spontaneous intracellular Ca(2+) concentration fluctuations ([Ca(2+)]i) and in several settings respond to neuronal excitation with enhanced [Ca(2+)]i signals. It has been proposed that astrocytes in turn regulate neurons and blood vessels through calcium-dependent mechanisms, such as the release of signaling molecules. However, [Ca(2+)]i imaging in entire astrocytes has only recently become feasible with genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) such as the GCaMP series. The use of GECIs in astrocytes now provides opportunities to study astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i signals in detail within model microcircuits such as the striatum, which is the largest nucleus of the basal ganglia. In the present report, detailed surgical methods to express GECIs in astrocytes in vivo, and confocal imaging approaches to record [Ca(2+)]i signals in striatal astrocytes in situ, are described. We highlight precautions, necessary controls and tests to determine if GECI expression is selective for astrocytes and to evaluate signs of overt astrocyte reactivity. We also describe brain slice and imaging conditions in detail that permit reliable [Ca(2+)]i imaging in striatal astrocytes in situ. The use of these approaches revealed the entire territories of single striatal astrocytes and spontaneous [Ca(2+)]i signals within their somata, branches and branchlets. The further use and expansion of these approaches in the striatum will allow for the detailed study of astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i signals in the striatal microcircuitry.

  18. Translation in astrocyte distal processes sets molecular heterogeneity at the gliovascular interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Anne- Cécile; Saubaméa, Bruno; Adam, Nicolas; Chasseigneaux, Stéphanie; Mazaré, Noémie; Gilbert, Alice; Bahin, Mathieu; Bastianelli, Leïla; Blugeon, Corinne; Perrin, Sandrine; Pouch, Juliette; Ducos, Bertrand; Le Crom, Stéphane; Genovesio, Auguste; Chrétien, Fabrice; Declèves, Xavier; Laplanche, Jean-Louis; Cohen-Salmon, Martine

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes send out long processes that are terminated by endfeet at the vascular surface and regulate vascular functions as well as homeostasis at the vascular interface. To date, the astroglial mechanisms underlying these functions have been poorly addressed. Here we demonstrate that a subset of messenger RNAs is distributed in astrocyte endfeet. We identified, among this transcriptome, a pool of messenger RNAs bound to ribosomes, the endfeetome, that primarily encodes for secreted and membrane proteins. We detected nascent protein synthesis in astrocyte endfeet. Finally, we determined the presence of smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus in astrocyte perivascular processes and endfeet, suggesting for local maturation of membrane and secreted proteins. These results demonstrate for the first time that protein synthesis occurs in astrocyte perivascular distal processes that may sustain their structural and functional polarization at the vascular interface.

  19. Co-culture of astrocytes with neurons from injured brain A time-dependent dichotomy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaojing Xu; Min Wang; Jing Liu; Jingya Lv; Yanan Hu; Huanxiang Zhang

    2011-01-01

    As supportive cells for neuronal growth and development, much effort has been devoted to the role of astrocytes in the normal state. However, the effect of the astrocytes after injury remains elusive. In the present study, neurons isolated from the subventricular zone of injured neonatal rat brains were co-cultured with astrocytes. After 6 days, these astrocytes showed a mature neuron-like appearance and the number of survivingneurons, primary dendrites and total branches was significantly higher than those at 3 days. The neurons began to shrink at 9 days after co-culture with shorter and thinner processes and the number of primary dendrites and total branches was significantly reduced. These experimental findings indicate that astrocytes in the injured brain promote the development of neurons in the early stages of co-culture while these cells reversely inhibit neuronal growth and development at the later states.

  20. Neuron-glia signaling: Implications for astrocyte differentiation and synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stipursky, Joice; Romão, Luciana; Tortelli, Vanessa; Neto, Vivaldo Moura; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2011-10-10

    Glial cells are currently viewed as active partners of neurons in synapse formation. The close proximity of astrocytes to the synaptic cleft implicates that they strongly influence synapse function as well as suggests that these cells might be potential targets for neuronal-released molecules. In this review, we discuss the signaling pathways of astrocyte generation and the role of astrocyte-derived molecules in synapse formation in the central nervous system. Further, we discuss the role of the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) pathway in astrocyte generation and differentiation. We provide evidence that astrocytes surrounding synapses are target of neuronal activity and shed light into the role of astroglial cells into neurological disorders associated with glutamate neurotoxicity.

  1. New neurons clear the path of astrocytic processes for their rapid migration in the adult brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Naoko; Marín, Oscar; Koike, Masato; Hirota, Yuki; Uchiyama, Yasuo; Wu, Jane Y; Lu, Qiang; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo; Okano, Hideyuki; Rubenstein, John L R; Sawamoto, Kazunobu

    2010-07-29

    In the long-range neuronal migration of adult mammals, young neurons travel from the subventricular zone to the olfactory bulb, a long journey (millimeters to centimeters, depending on the species). How can these neurons migrate through the dense meshwork of neuronal and glial processes of the adult brain parenchyma? Previous studies indicate that young neurons achieve this by migrating in chains through astrocytic tunnels. Here, we report that young migrating neurons actively control the formation and maintenance of their own migration route. New neurons secrete the diffusible protein Slit1, whose receptor, Robo, is expressed on astrocytes. We show that the Slit-Robo pathway is required for morphologic and organizational changes in astrocytes that result in the formation and maintenance of the astrocytic tunnels. Through this neuron-glia interaction, the new neurons regulate the formation of the astrocytic meshwork that is needed to enable their rapid and directional migration in adult brain.

  2. 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

    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...... 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 Ca2+ signaling in response to activation of the noradrenergic system, but whether...... astrocytic Ca2+ 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 Ca2+ signaling in awake animals in order to explore the role of astrocytic signaling in brain state shifts. Furthermore, we...

  3. Metallothionein-3 regulates lysosomal function in cultured astrocytes under both normal and oxidative conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sook-Jeong; Park, Mi-Ha; Kim, Hyun-Jae; Koh, Jae-Young

    2010-08-01

    Cellular zinc plays a key role in lysosomal change and cell death in neurons and astrocytes under oxidative stress. Here, using astrocytes lacking metallothionein-3 (MT3), a potential source of labile zinc in the brain, we studied the role of MT3 in oxidative stress responses. H(2)O(2) induced a large increase in labile zinc in wild-type (WT) astrocytes, but stimulated only a modest rise in MT3-null astrocytes. In addition, H(2)O(2)-induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP) and cell death were comparably attenuated in MT3-null astrocytes. Expression and glycosylation of Lamp1 (lysosome-associated membrane protein 1) and Lamp2 were increased in MT3-null astrocytes, and the activities of several lysosomal enzymes were significantly reduced, indicating an effect of MT3 on lysosomal components. Consistent with lysosomal dysfunction in MT3-null cells, the level of LC3-II (microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3), a marker of early autophagy, was increased by oxidative stress in WT astrocytes, but not in MT3-null cells. Similar changes in Lamp1, LC3, and cathepsin-D were induced by the lysosomal inhibitors bafilomycin A1, chloroquine, and monensin, indicating that lysosomal dysfunction may lie upstream of changes observed in MT3-null astrocytes. Consistent with this idea, lysosomal accumulation of cholesterol and lipofuscin were augmented in MT3-null astrocytes. Similar to the results seen in MT3-null cells, MT3 knockdown by siRNA inhibited oxidative stress-induced increases in zinc and LMP. These results indicate that MT3 may play a key role in normal lysosomal function in cultured astrocytes.

  4. Pre-Conditioning Induces the Precocious Differentiation of Neonatal Astrocytes to Enhance Their Neuroprotective Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellora Sen

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Hypoxic preconditioning reprogrammes the brain's response to subsequent H/I (hypoxia-ischaemia injury by enhancing neuroprotective mechanisms. Given that astrocytes normally support neuronal survival and function, the purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that a hypoxic preconditioning stimulus would activate an adaptive astrocytic response. We analysed several functional parameters 24 h after exposing rat pups to 3 h of systemic hypoxia (8% O2. Hypoxia increased neocortical astrocyte maturation as evidenced by the loss of GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic proteinpositive cells with radial morphologies and the acquisition of multipolar GFAP-positive cells. Interestingly, many of these astrocytes had nuclear S100B. Accompanying their differentiation, there was increased expression of GFAP, GS (glutamine synthetase, EAAT-1 (excitatory amino acid transporter-1; also known as GLAST, MCT-1 (monocarboxylate transporter-1 and ceruloplasmin. A subsequent H/I insult did not result in any further astrocyte activation. Some responses were cell autonomous, as levels of GS and MCT-1 increased subsequent to hypoxia in cultured forebrain astrocytes. In contrast, the expression of GFAP, GLAST and ceruloplasmin remained unaltered. Additional experiments utilized astrocytes exposed to exogenous dbcAMP (dibutyryl-cAMP, which mimicked several aspects of the preconditioning response, to determine whether activated astrocytes could protect neurons from subsequent excitotoxic injury. dbcAMP treatment increased GS and glutamate transporter expression and function, and as hypothesized, protected neurons from glutamate excitotoxicity. Taken altogether, these results indicate that a preconditioning stimulus causes the precocious differentiation of astrocytes and increases the acquisition of multiple astrocytic functions that will contribute to the neuroprotection conferred by a sublethal preconditioning stress.

  5. 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

  6. Acute death of astrocytes in blast-exposed rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Anna P.; Shah, Alok S.; Aperi, Brandy V.; Kurpad, Shekar N.; Stemper, Brian D.; Glavaski-Joksimovic, Aleksandra

    2017-01-01

    Blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI) affects civilians, soldiers, and veterans worldwide and presents significant health concerns. The mechanisms of neurodegeneration following bTBI remain elusive and current therapies are largely ineffective. It is important to better characterize blast-evoked cellular changes and underlying mechanisms in order to develop more effective therapies. In the present study, our group utilized rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHCs) as an in vitro system to model bTBI. OHCs were exposed to either 138 ± 22 kPa (low) or 273 ± 23 kPa (high) overpressures using an open-ended helium-driven shock tube, or were assigned to sham control group. At 2 hours (h) following injury, we have characterized the astrocytic response to a blast overpressure. Immunostaining against the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) revealed acute shearing and morphological changes in astrocytes, including clasmatodendrosis. Moreover, overlap of GFAP immunostaining and propidium iodide (PI) indicated astrocytic death. Quantification of the number of dead astrocytes per counting area in the hippocampal cornu Ammonis 1 region (CA1), demonstrated a significant increase in dead astrocytes in the low- and high-blast, compared to sham control OHCs. However only a small number of GFAP-expressing astrocytes were co-labeled with the apoptotic marker Annexin V, suggesting necrosis as the primary type of cell death in the acute phase following blast exposure. Moreover, western blot analyses revealed calpain mediated breakdown of GFAP. The dextran exclusion additionally indicated membrane disruption as a potential mechanism of acute astrocytic death. Furthermore, although blast exposure did not evoke significant changes in glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) expression, loss of GLT-1-expressing astrocytes suggests dysregulation of glutamate uptake following injury. Our data illustrate the profound effect of blast overpressure on astrocytes in OHCs at 2 h

  7. Modulation of interleukin-1beta mediated inflammatory response in human astrocytes by flavonoids: implications in neuroprotection.

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    Sharma, Vivek; Mishra, Mamata; Ghosh, Soumya; Tewari, Richa; Basu, Anirban; Seth, Pankaj; Sen, Ellora

    2007-06-15

    The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) contributes to inflammation and neuronal death in CNS injuries and neurodegenerative pathologies, and astrocytes have been implicated as the primary mediators of IL-1beta induced neuronal death. As astrocytes play an important role in supporting the survival and functions of neurons, we investigated the effect of plant flavonoids quercetin and luteolin, with known anti-inflammatory properties in modulating the response of human astrocytes to IL-1beta for therapeutic intervention. Flavonoids significantly decreased the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) from astrocytes stimulated with IL-1beta. This decrease was accompanied by an increase in expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD-1) and thioredoxin (TRX1)-mediators associated with protection against oxidative stress. Flavonoids not only modulated the expression of astrocytes specific molecules such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), glutamine synthetase (GS), and ceruloplasmin (CP) both in the presence and absence of IL-1beta but also decreased the elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and chemokines interleukin-8 (IL-8), interferon-inducible protein (IP-10), monocyte-chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and RANTES from IL-1beta activated astrocytes. Significant decrease in neuronal apoptosis was observed in neurons cultured in conditioned medium obtained from astrocytes treated with a combination of IL-1beta and flavonoids as compared to that treated with IL-1beta alone. Our result suggests that by (i) enhancing the potential of activated astrocytes to detoxify free radical, (ii) reducing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and (iii) modulating expression of mediators associated with enhanced physiological activity of astrocyte in response to injury, flavonoids confer (iv) protection against IL-1beta induced astrocyte mediated neuronal damage.

  8. Pre-conditioning induces the precocious differentiation of neonatal astrocytes to enhance their neuroprotective properties

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    Sandra J Hewett

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Hypoxic preconditioning reprogrammes the brain's response to subsequent H/I (hypoxia–ischaemia injury by enhancing neuroprotective mechanisms. Given that astrocytes normally support neuronal survival and function, the purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that a hypoxic preconditioning stimulus would activate an adaptive astrocytic response. We analysed several functional parameters 24 h after exposing rat pups to 3 h of systemic hypoxia (8% O2. Hypoxia increased neocortical astrocyte maturation as evidenced by the loss of GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells with radial morphologies and the acquisition of multipolar GFAP-positive cells. Interestingly, many of these astrocytes had nuclear S100B. Accompanying their differentiation, there was increased expression of GFAP, GS (glutamine synthetase, EAAT-1 (excitatory amino acid transporter-1; also known as GLAST, MCT-1 (monocarboxylate transporter-1 and ceruloplasmin. A subsequent H/I insult did not result in any further astrocyte activation. Some responses were cell autonomous, as levels of GS and MCT-1 increased subsequent to hypoxia in cultured forebrain astrocytes. In contrast, the expression of GFAP, GLAST and ceruloplasmin remained unaltered. Additional experiments utilized astrocytes exposed to exogenous dbcAMP (dibutyryl-cAMP, which mimicked several aspects of the preconditioning response, to determine whether activated astrocytes could protect neurons from subsequent excitotoxic injury. dbcAMP treatment increased GS and glutamate transporter expression and function, and as hypothesized, protected neurons from glutamate excitotoxicity. Taken altogether, these results indicate that a preconditioning stimulus causes the precocious differentiation of astrocytes and increases the acquisition of multiple astrocytic functions that will contribute to the neuroprotection conferred by a sublethal preconditioning stress.

  9. A Computational Model to Investigate Astrocytic Glutamate Uptake Influence on Synaptic Transmission and Neuronal Spiking

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    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.

  10. Electrical coupling of astrocytes in rat hippocampal slices under physiological and simulated ischemic conditions.

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    Xu, Guangjin; Wang, Wei; Kimelberg, Harold K; Zhou, Min

    2010-03-01

    Mammalian protoplasmic astrocytes are extensively coupled through gap junction channels but the biophysical properties of these channels under physiological and ischemic conditions in situ are not well defined. Using confocal morphometric analysis of biocytin-filled astrocytic syncytia in rat hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum we found that each astrocyte directly couples, on average, to 11 other astrocytes with a mean interastrocytic distance of 45 microm. Voltage-independent and bidirectional transjunctional currents were always measured between directly coupled astrocyte pairs in dual voltage-clamp recordings, but never from astrocyte-NG2 glia or astrocyte-interneuron pairs. The electrical coupling ratio varied considerably among astrocytes in developing postnatal day 14 rats (P14, 0.5-12.4%, mean = 3.6%), but became more constant in young adult P21 rats (0.18-3.9%, mean = 1.6%), and the coupling ratio declined exponentially with increasing pair distance. Electrical coupling was not affected by short-term oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) treatment, but showed delayed inhibition in an acidic extracellular pH of 6.4. Combination of acidic pH (6.4) and OGD, a condition that better represents cerebral ischemia in vivo, accelerated the inhibition of electrical coupling. Our results show that, under physiological conditions, 20.7-24.2% of K(+) induced currents can travel from any astrocytic soma in CA1 stratum radiatum to the gap junctions of the nearest neighbor astrocytes, but this should be severely inhibited as a consequence of the OGD and acidosis seen in the ischemic brain.

  11. A tale of two stories: astrocyte regulation of synaptic depression and facilitation.

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    Maurizio De Pittà

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Short-term presynaptic plasticity designates variations of the amplitude of synaptic information transfer whereby the amount of neurotransmitter released upon presynaptic stimulation changes over seconds as a function of the neuronal firing activity. While a consensus has emerged that the resulting decrease (depression and/or increase (facilitation of the synapse strength are crucial to neuronal computations, their modes of expression in vivo remain unclear. Recent experimental studies have reported that glial cells, particularly astrocytes in the hippocampus, are able to modulate short-term plasticity but the mechanism of such a modulation is poorly understood. Here, we investigate the characteristics of short-term plasticity modulation by astrocytes using a biophysically realistic computational model. Mean-field analysis of the model, supported by intensive numerical simulations, unravels that astrocytes may mediate counterintuitive effects. Depending on the expressed presynaptic signaling pathways, astrocytes may globally inhibit or potentiate the synapse: the amount of released neurotransmitter in the presence of the astrocyte is transiently smaller or larger than in its absence. But this global effect usually coexists with the opposite local effect on paired pulses: with release-decreasing astrocytes most paired pulses become facilitated, namely the amount of neurotransmitter released upon spike i+1 is larger than that at spike i, while paired-pulse depression becomes prominent under release-increasing astrocytes. Moreover, we show that the frequency of astrocytic intracellular Ca(2+ oscillations controls the effects of the astrocyte on short-term synaptic plasticity. Our model explains several experimental observations yet unsolved, and uncovers astrocytic gliotransmission as a possible transient switch between short-term paired-pulse depression and facilitation. This possibility has deep implications on the processing of neuronal spikes

  12. PUMA is invovled in ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis of mouse cerebral astrocytes.

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    Chen, H; Tian, M; Jin, L; Jia, H; Jin, Y

    2015-01-22

    PUMA (p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis), a BH3-only member of the Bcl-2 protein family, is required for p53-dependent and p53-independent forms of apoptosis. PUMA has been invovled in the onset and progress of several diseases, including cancer, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and ischemic brain disease. Although many studies have shown that ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) can induce the apoptosis of astrocytes, the role of PUMA in I/R-mediated apoptosis of cerebral astrocyte apoptosis remains unclear. To mimic in vivo I/R conditions, primary mouse cerebral astrocytes were incubated in a combinational cultural condition of oxygen, glucose, and serum deprivation (OSGD) for 1 h followed by reperfusion (OSGD/R). Cell death determination assays and cell viability assays indicated that OSGD and OSGD/R induce the apoptosis of primary cerebral astrocytes. The expression of PUMA was significantly elevated in primary cerebral astrocytes during OSGD/R. Moreover, targeted down-regulation of PUMA by siRNA transfection significantly decreased the OSGD/R-induced apoptosis of primary cerebral astrocytes. We also found that OSGD and OSGD/R triggered the release of cytochrome c in astrocytes, indicating the dependence on a mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) was extremely generated during OSGD and OSGD/R, and the elimination of ROS by treated with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) remarkably inhibited the expression of PUMA and the apoptosis of primary cerebral astrocytes. The activation of Caspase 3 and Caspase 9 was extremely elevated in primary cerebral astrocytes during OSGD. In addition, we found that knockdown of PUMA led to the depressed expression of Bax, cleaved caspase-9 and caspase-3 during OSGD/R. These results indicate that PUMA is invovled in the apoptosis of cerebral astrocytes upon I/R injury.

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

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

    2017-02-18

    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.

  14. Combining ketamine with astrocytic inhibitor as a potential analgesic strategy for neuropathic pain. ketamine, astrocytic inhibitor and pain

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    Mei Xiao-Peng

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuropathic pain is an intractable clinical problem. Intrathecal ketamine, a noncompetitive N--methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR antagonist, is reported to be useful for treating neuropathic pain in clinic by inhibiting the activity of spinal neurons. Nevertheless, emerging studies have disclosed that spinal astrocytes played a critical role in the initiation and maintenance of neuropathic pain. However, the present clinical therapeutics is still just concerning about neuronal participation. Therefore, the present study is to validate the coadministration effects of a neuronal noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR antagonist ketamine and astrocytic cytotoxin L-α-aminoadipate (LAA on spinal nerve ligation (SNL-induced neuropathic pain. Results Intrathecal ketamine (10, 100, 1000 μg/kg or LAA (10, 50, 100 nmol alleviated SNL-induced mechanical allodynia in a dose-dependent manner respectively. Phosphorylated NR1 (pNR1 or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP expression was down-regulated by intrathecal ketamine (100, 1000 μg/kg or LAA (50, 100 nmol respectively. The combination of ketamine (100 μg/kg with LAA (50 nmol showed superadditive effects on neuropathic pain compared with that of intrathecal administration of either ketamine or LAA alone. Combined administration obviously relieved mechanical allodynia in a quick and stable manner. Moreover, down-regulation of pNR1 and GFAP expression were also enhanced by drugs coadministration. Conclusions These results suggest that combining NMDAR antagonist ketamine with an astrocytic inhibitor or cytotoxin, which is suitable for clinical use once synthesized, might be a potential strategy for clinical management of neuropathic pain.

  15. Pituitary Adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide orchestrates neuronal regulation of the astrocytic glutamate-releasing mechanism system xc (.).

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    Kong, Linghai; Albano, Rebecca; Madayag, Aric; Raddatz, Nicholas; Mantsch, John R; Choi, SuJean; Lobner, Doug; Baker, David A

    2016-05-01

    Glutamate signaling is achieved by an elaborate network involving neurons and astrocytes. Hence, it is critical to better understand how neurons and astrocytes interact to coordinate the cellular regulation of glutamate signaling. In these studies, we used rat cortical cell cultures to examine whether neurons or releasable neuronal factors were capable of regulating system xc (-) (Sxc), a glutamate-releasing mechanism that is expressed primarily by astrocytes and has been shown to regulate synaptic transmission. We found that astrocytes cultured with neurons or exposed to neuronal-conditioned media displayed significantly higher levels of Sxc activity. Next, we demonstrated that the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) may be a neuronal factor capable of regulating astrocytes. In support, we found that PACAP expression was restricted to neurons, and that PACAP receptors were expressed in astrocytes. Interestingly, blockade of PACAP receptors in cultures comprised of astrocytes and neurons significantly decreased Sxc activity to the level observed in purified astrocytes, whereas application of PACAP to purified astrocytes increased Sxc activity to the level observed in cultures comprised of neurons and astrocytes. Collectively, these data reveal that neurons coordinate the actions of glutamate-related mechanisms expressed by astrocytes, such as Sxc, a process that likely involves PACAP. A critical gap in modeling excitatory signaling is how distinct components of the glutamate system expressed by neurons and astrocytes are coordinated. In these studies, we found that system xc (-) (Sxc), a glutamate release mechanism expressed by astrocytes, is regulated by releasable neuronal factors including PACAP. This represents a novel form of neuron-astrocyte communication, and highlights the possibility that pathological changes involving astrocytic Sxc may stem from altered neuronal activity.

  16. Response of Quiescent Cerebral Cortical Astrocytes to Nanofibrillar Scaffold Properties

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    Ayres, Virginia; Mujdat Tiryaki, Volkan; Xie, Kan; Ahmed, Ijaz; Shreiber, David I.

    2013-03-01

    We present results of an investigation to examine the hypothesis that the extracellular environment can trigger specific signaling cascades with morphological consequences. Differences in the morphological responses of quiescent cerebral cortical astrocytes cultured on the nanofibrillar matrices versus poly-L-lysine functionalized glass and Aclar, and unfunctionalized Aclar surfaces were demonstrated using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and phalloidin staining of F-actin. The differences and similarities of the morphological responses were consistent with differences and similarities of the surface polarity and surface roughness of the four surfaces investigated in this work, characterized using contact angle and AFM measurements. The three-dimensional capability of AFM was also used to identify differences in cell spreading. An initial quantitative immunolabeling study further identified significant differences in the activation of the Rho GTPases: Cdc42, Rac1, and RhoA, which are upstream regulators of the observed morphological responses: filopodia, lamellipodia, and stress fiber formation. The results support the hypothesis that the extracellular environment can trigger preferential activation of members of the Rho GTPase family with demonstrable morphological consequences for cerebral cortical astrocytes. The support of NSF PHY-095776 is acknowledged.

  17. Selective ion changes during spontaneous mitochondrial transients in intact astrocytes.

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    Guillaume Azarias

    Full Text Available The bioenergetic status of cells is tightly regulated by the activity of cytosolic enzymes and mitochondrial ATP production. To adapt their metabolism to cellular energy needs, mitochondria have been shown to exhibit changes in their ionic composition as the result of changes in cytosolic ion concentrations. Individual mitochondria also exhibit spontaneous changes in their electrical potential without altering those of neighboring mitochondria. We recently reported that individual mitochondria of intact astrocytes exhibit spontaneous transient increases in their Na(+ concentration. Here, we investigated whether the concentration of other ionic species were involved during mitochondrial transients. By combining fluorescence imaging methods, we performed a multiparameter study of spontaneous mitochondrial transients in intact resting astrocytes. We show that mitochondria exhibit coincident changes in their Na(+ concentration, electrical potential, matrix pH and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production during a mitochondrial transient without involving detectable changes in their Ca(2+ concentration. Using widefield and total internal reflection fluorescence imaging, we found evidence for localized transient decreases in the free Mg(2+ concentration accompanying mitochondrial Na(+ spikes that could indicate an associated local and transient enrichment in the ATP concentration. Therefore, we propose a sequential model for mitochondrial transients involving a localized ATP microdomain that triggers a Na(+-mediated mitochondrial depolarization, transiently enhancing the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Our work provides a model describing ionic changes that could support a bidirectional cytosol-to-mitochondria ionic communication.

  18. Selective ion changes during spontaneous mitochondrial transients in intact astrocytes.

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    Azarias, Guillaume; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2011-01-01

    The bioenergetic status of cells is tightly regulated by the activity of cytosolic enzymes and mitochondrial ATP production. To adapt their metabolism to cellular energy needs, mitochondria have been shown to exhibit changes in their ionic composition as the result of changes in cytosolic ion concentrations. Individual mitochondria also exhibit spontaneous changes in their electrical potential without altering those of neighboring mitochondria. We recently reported that individual mitochondria of intact astrocytes exhibit spontaneous transient increases in their Na(+) concentration. Here, we investigated whether the concentration of other ionic species were involved during mitochondrial transients. By combining fluorescence imaging methods, we performed a multiparameter study of spontaneous mitochondrial transients in intact resting astrocytes. We show that mitochondria exhibit coincident changes in their Na(+) concentration, electrical potential, matrix pH and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production during a mitochondrial transient without involving detectable changes in their Ca(2+) concentration. Using widefield and total internal reflection fluorescence imaging, we found evidence for localized transient decreases in the free Mg(2+) concentration accompanying mitochondrial Na(+) spikes that could indicate an associated local and transient enrichment in the ATP concentration. Therefore, we propose a sequential model for mitochondrial transients involving a localized ATP microdomain that triggers a Na(+)-mediated mitochondrial depolarization, transiently enhancing the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Our work provides a model describing ionic changes that could support a bidirectional cytosol-to-mitochondria ionic communication.

  19. Role of astrocytic glutamate transporter in alcohol use disorder.

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    Ayers-Ringler, Jennifer R; Jia, Yun-Fang; Qiu, Yan-Yan; Choi, Doo-Sup

    2016-03-22

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most widespread neuropsychiatric conditions, having a significant health and socioeconomic impact. According to the 2014 World Health Organization global status report on alcohol and health, the harmful use of alcohol is responsible for 5.9% of all deaths worldwide. Additionally, 5.1% of the global burden of disease and injury is ascribed to alcohol (measured in disability adjusted life years, or disability adjusted life years). Although the neurobiological basis of AUD is highly complex, the corticostriatal circuit contributes significantly to the development of addictive behaviors. In-depth investigation into the changes of the neurotransmitters in this circuit, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyricacid, and glutamate, and their corresponding neuronal receptors in AUD and other addictions enable us to understand the molecular basis of AUD. However, these discoveries have also revealed a dearth of knowledge regarding contributions from non-neuronal sources. Astrocytes, though intimately involved in synaptic function, had until recently been noticeably overlooked in their potential role in AUD. One major function of the astrocyte is protecting neurons from excitotoxicity by removing glutamate from the synapse via excitatory amino acid transporter type 2. The importance of this key transporter in addiction, as well as ethanol withdrawal, has recently become evident, though its regulation is still under investigation. Historically, pharmacotherapy for AUD has been focused on altering the activity of neuronal glutamate receptors. However, recent clinical evidence has supported the animal-based findings, showing that regulating glutamate homeostasis contributes to successful management of recovery from AUD.

  20. HIV-1, Methamphetamine and Astrocytes at Neuroinflammatory crossroads

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    Kathleen eBorgmann

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available As a popular psychostimulant, methamphetamine (METH use leads to long-lasting, strong euphoric effects. While METH abuse is common in the general population, between 10-15% of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1 patients report having abused METH. METH exacerbates the severity and onset of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND through direct and indirect mechanisms. Repetitive METH use decreases adherence to antiretroviral drug regimens, increasing the likelihood of HIV-1 disease progression towards AIDS. METH exposure also directly affects both innate and adaptive immunity, altering lymphocyte number and activity, cytokine signaling, phagocytic function, and CNS infiltration through the blood brain barrier. Further, METH triggers the neuronal dopamine reward pathway and leads to altered neuronal activity and direct toxicity. Concurrently, METH and HIV-1 alter the neuroimmune balance and induce neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation modulates a wide range of brain functions including neuronal signaling and activity, glial activation, viral infection, oxidative stress and excitotoxicity. Pathologically, glial activation is a hallmark of both HIV-1 and METH-associated neuroinflammation. Significant commonality exists in the neurotoxic mechanisms for both METH and HAND; however, the pathways dysregulated in astroglia during METH exposure are less clear. Thus alterations in astrocyte intracellular signaling pathways, gene expression and function during METH and HIV-1 comorbidity, neuroinflammation and HAND are carefully reviewed. Interventions targeting astrocytes in HAND and METH are presented as potential novel therapeutic approaches.

  1. Substrate regulation of ascorbate transport activity in astrocytes

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    Wilson, J.X.; Jaworski, E.M.; Kulaga, A.; Dixon, S.J. (Univ. of Western Ontario, London (Canada))

    1990-10-01

    Astrocytes possess a concentrative L-ascorbate (vitamin C) uptake mechanism involving a Na(+)-dependent L-ascorbate transporter located in the plasma membrane. The present experiments examined the effects of deprivation and supplementation of extracellular L-ascorbate on the activity of this transport system. Initial rates of L-ascorbate uptake were measured by incubating primary cultures of rat astrocytes with L-(14C)ascorbate for 1 min at 37 degrees C. We observed that the apparent maximal rate of uptake (Vmax) increased rapidly (less than 1 h) when cultured cells were deprived of L-ascorbate. In contrast, there was no change in the apparent affinity of the transport system for L-(14C)ascorbate. The increase in Vmax was reversed by addition of L-ascorbate, but not D-isoascorbate, to the medium. The effects of external ascorbate on ascorbate transport activity were specific in that preincubation of cultures with L-ascorbate did not affect uptake of 2-deoxy-D-(3H(G))glucose. We conclude that the astroglial ascorbate transport system is modulated by changes in substrate availability. Regulation of transport activity may play a role in intracellular ascorbate homeostasis by compensating for regional differences and temporal fluctuations in external ascorbate levels.

  2. Glutamine synthetase plays a role in D-galactose-induced astrocyte aging in vitro and in vivo.

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    Shen, Yao; Gao, Hongchang; Shi, Xiaojie; Wang, Na; Ai, Dongdong; Li, Juan; Ouyang, Li; Yang, Jianbo; Tian, Yueyang; Lu, Jianxin

    2014-10-01

    Astrocytes play multiple roles in physiological and pathological conditions in brain. However, little is known about the alterations of astrocytes in age-related changes, and few aging models of the astrocytes in vitro have been established. Therefore, in the present study, we used d-galactose (D-Gal) to establish astrocyte aging model to explore the alterations of astrocytes in brain aging. We also used (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR) spectra to verify the metabolic changes in the cerebral cortex of mice injected with D-gal. The results showed that D-gal (55mM) treatment for 1 week induced senescence characteristics in cultured cortical astrocytes. Real-time PCR and western blot analysis showed that the levels of glutamine synthetase (GS) mRNA and protein were strikingly decreased in the cultured senescent astrocytes, and the senescent astrocytes showed less resistance to the glutamate-induced gliotoxicity. The impairments of glutamate-glutamine cycle and astrocytes were also found in the cerebral cortex of mice treatment with D-gal (100mg/kg) for 6 weeks, and the level of GS mRNA was also found to be reduced markedly, being consistent with the result obtained from the senescent astrocytes in vitro. These results indicate that astrocyte may be the predominant contributor to the pathogenic mechanisms of D-gal-induced brain aging in mice, and GS might be one of the potential therapeutic targets of the aged brain induced by D-gal.

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

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    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.

  4. Influence of rat substrain and growth conditions on the characteristics of primary cultures of adult rat spinal cord astrocytes.

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    Codeluppi, Simone; Gregory, Ebba Norsted; Kjell, Jacob; Wigerblad, Gustaf; Olson, Lars; Svensson, Camilla I

    2011-04-15

    Primary astrocyte cell cultures have become a valuable tool for studies of signaling pathways that regulate astrocyte physiology, reactivity, and function; however, differences in culture preparation affect data reproducibility. The aim of this work was to define optimal conditions for obtaining primary astrocytes from adult rat spinal cord with an expression profile most similar to adult human spinal cord astrocytes. Hence, we examined whether different Sprague-Dawley substrains and culture conditions affect astrocyte culture quality. Medium supplemented with fetal bovine serum from three sources (Sigma, Gibco, Hyclone) or a medium with defined composition (AM medium) was used to culture astrocytes isolated from spinal cords of adult Harlan and Charles River Spraque-Dawley rats. Purity was significantly different between cultures established in media with different sera. No microglia were detected in AM or Hyclone cultures. Gene expression was also affected, with AM cultures expressing the highest level of glutamine synthetase, connexin-43, and glutamate transporter-1. Interestingly, cell response to starvation was substrain dependent. Charles River-derived cultures responded the least, while astrocytes derived from Harlan rats showed a greater decrease in Gfap and glutamine synthetase, suggesting a more quiescent phenotype. Human and Harlan astrocytes cultured in AM media responded similarly to starvation. Taken together, this study shows that rat substrain and growth medium composition affect purity, expression profile and response to starvation of primary astrocytes suggesting that cultures of Harlan rats in AM media have optimal astrocyte characteristics, purity, and similarity to human astrocytes.

  5. Astrocyte differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells: new tools for neurological disorder research

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    Abinaya Chandrasekaran

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes have a central role in brain development and function, and so have gained increasing attention over the past two decades. Consequently, our knowledge about their origin, differentiation and function has increased significantly, with new research showing that astrocytes cultured alone or co-cultured with neurons have the potential to improve our understanding of various central nervous system (CNS diseases, such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Alexander disease. The generation of astrocytes derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs opens up a new area for studying neurologic diseases in vitro; these models could be exploited to identify and validate potential drugs by detecting adverse effects in the early stages of drug development. However, as it is now known that a range of astrocyte populations exist in the brain, it will be important in vitro to develop standardized protocols for the in vitro generation of astrocyte subsets with defined maturity status and phenotypic properties. This will then open new possibilities for co-cultures with neurons and the generation of neural organoids for research purposes. The aim of this review article is to compare and summarize the currently available protocols and their strategies to generate human astrocytes from PSCs. Furthermore, we discuss the potential role of human-induced PSCs derived astrocytes in disease modeling.

  6. α7 Nicotinic Receptor Promotes the Neuroprotective Functions of Astrocytes against Oxaliplatin Neurotoxicity

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    Lorenzo Di Cesare Mannelli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuropathies are characterized by a complex response of the central nervous system to injuries. Glial cells are recruited to maintain neuronal homeostasis but dysregulated activation leads to pain signaling amplification and reduces the glial neuroprotective power. Recently, we highlighted the property of α7 nicotinic-acetylcholine-receptor (nAChR agonists to relieve pain and induce neuroprotection simultaneously with a strong increase in astrocyte density. Aimed to study the role of α7 nAChR in the neuron-glia cross-talk, we treated primary rat neurons and astrocytes with the neurotoxic anticancer drug oxaliplatin evaluating the effect of the α7 nAChR agonist PNU-282987 (PNU. Oxaliplatin (1 μM, 48 h reduced cell viability and increased caspase-3 activity of neuron monocultures without damaging astrocytes. In cocultures, astrocytes were not able to protect neurons by oxaliplatin even if glial cell metabolism was stimulated (pyruvate increase. On the contrary, the coculture incubation with 10 μM PNU improved neuron viability and inhibited apoptosis. In the absence of astrocytes, the protection disappeared. Furthermore, PNU promoted the release of the anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF-β1 and the expression of the glutamate-detoxifying enzyme glutamine synthetase. The α7 nAChR stimulation protects neurons from oxaliplatin toxicity through an astrocyte-mediated mechanism. α7 nAChR is suggested for recovering the homeostatic role of astrocytes.

  7. Evaluation of the importance of astrocytes when screening for acute toxicity in neuronal cell systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woehrling, E K; Hill, E J; Coleman, M D

    2010-02-01

    Reliable, high throughput, in vitro preliminary screening batteries have the potential to greatly accelerate the rate at which regulatory neurotoxicity data is generated. This study evaluated the importance of astrocytes when predicting acute toxic potential using a neuronal screening battery of pure neuronal (NT2.N) and astrocytic (NT2.A) and integrated neuronal/astrocytic (NT2.N/A) cell systems derived from the human NT2.D1 cell line, using biochemical endpoints (mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) depolarisation and ATP and GSH depletion). Following exposure for 72 h, the known acute human neurotoxicants trimethyltin-chloride, chloroquine and 6-hydroxydopamine were frequently capable of disrupting biochemical processes in all of the cell systems at non-cytotoxic concentrations. Astrocytes provide key metabolic and protective support to neurons during toxic challenge in vivo and generally the astrocyte containing cell systems showed increased tolerance to toxicant insult compared with the NT2.N mono-culture in vitro. Whilst there was no consistent relationship between MMP, ATP and GSH log IC(50) values for the NT2.N/A and NT2.A cell systems, these data did provide preliminary evidence of modulation of the acute neuronal toxic response by astrocytes. In conclusion, the suitability of NT2 neurons and astrocytes as cell systems for acute toxicity screening deserves further investigation.

  8. Astrocytic Expression of CTMP Following an Excitotoxic Lesion in the Mouse Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Nara; Yi, Min-Hee; Kim, Sena; Baek, Hyunjung; Triantafillu, Ursula L.

    2017-01-01

    Akt (also known as protein kinase B, PKB) has been seen to play a role in astrocyte activation of neuroprotection; however, the underlying mechanism on deregulation of Akt signaling in brain injuries is not fully understood. We investigated the role of carboxy-terminal modulator protein (CTMP), an endogenous Akt inhibitor, in brain injury following kainic acid (KA)-induced neurodegeneration of mouse hippocampus. In control mice, there was a weak signal for CTMP in the hippocampus, but CTMP was markedly increased in the astrocytes 3 days after KA treatment. To further investigate the effectiveness of Akt signaling, the phosphorylation of CTMP was examined. KA treatment induced an increased p-CTMP expression in the astrocytes of hippocampus at 1 day. LPS/IFN-γ-treatment on primary astrocytes promoted the p-CTMP was followed by phosphorylation of Akt and finally upregulation of CTMP and p-CREB. Time-dependent expression of p-CTMP, p-Akt, p-CREB, and CTMP indicate that LPS/IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of CTMP can activate Akt/CREB signaling, whereas lately emerging enhancement of CTMP can inhibit it. These results suggest that elevation of CTMP in the astrocytes may suppress Akt activity and ultimately negatively affect the outcome of astrocyte activation (astroglisiois). Early time point enhancers of phosphorylation of CTMP and/or late time inhibitors specifically targeting CTMP may be beneficial in astrocyte activation for neuroprotection within treatment in neuroinflammatory conditions.

  9. Interleukin-1β induces blood-brain barrier disruption by downregulating Sonic hedgehog in astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue Wang

    Full Text Available The blood-brain barrier (BBB is composed of capillary endothelial cells, pericytes, and perivascular astrocytes, which regulate central nervous system homeostasis. Sonic hedgehog (SHH released from astrocytes plays an important role in the maintenance of BBB integrity. BBB disruption and microglial activation are common pathological features of various neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β, a major pro-inflammatory cytokine released from activated microglia, increases BBB permeability. Here we show that IL-1β abolishes the protective effect of astrocytes on BBB integrity by suppressing astrocytic SHH production. Astrocyte conditioned media, SHH, or SHH signal agonist strengthened BBB integrity by upregulating tight junction proteins, whereas SHH signal inhibitor abrogated these effects. Moreover, IL-1β increased astrocytic production of pro-inflammatory chemokines such as CCL2, CCL20, and CXCL2, which induce immune cell migration and exacerbate BBB disruption and neuroinflammation. Our findings suggest that astrocytic SHH is a potential therapeutic target that could be used to restore disrupted BBB in patients with neurologic diseases.

  10. Central role of maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic brain edema formation

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    Yu-Feng eWang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Brain edema formation and the ensuing brain damages are the major cause of high mortality and long term disability following the occurrence of ischemic stroke. In this process, oxygen and glucose deprivation and the ensuing reperfusion injury play primary roles. In response to the ischemic insult, the neurovascular unit experiences both intracellular and extracellular edemas; the two processes are interactive closely under the driving of maladapted astrocytic plasticity. The astrocytic plasticity includes both morphologic and functional plasticity. The former involves a reactive gliosis and the ensuing glial retraction. It relates to the capacity of astrocytes to buffer changes in extracellular chemical levels, particularly K+ and glutamate, as well as the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. The latter involves the expression and activity of a series of ion and water transport proteins. These molecules are grouped together around glial fibrillary acidic protein and water channel protein aquaporin 4 to form functional networks, regulate hydromineral balance across cell membranes and maintain the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Intense ischemic challenges can disrupt these capacities of astrocytes and result in their maladaptation. The maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke cannot only disrupt the hydromineral homeostasis across astrocyte membrane and the blood-brain barrier, but also lead to disorders of the whole neurovascular unit. This review focuses on how the maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke plays the central role in the brain edema formation.

  11. HIV-1 Entry and Trans-Infection of Astrocytes Involves CD81 Vesicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Lachlan R.; Turville, Stuart G.; HItchen, Tina L.; Cheng, Wan-Jung; Ellett, Anne M.; Salimi, Hamid; Roche, Michael J.; Wesselingh, Steve L.; Gorry, Paul R.; Churchill, Melissa J.

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are extensively infected with HIV-1 in vivo and play a significant role in the development of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders. Despite their extensive infection, little is known about how astrocytes become infected, since they lack cell surface CD4 expression. In the present study, we investigated the fate of HIV-1 upon infection of astrocytes. Astrocytes were found to bind and harbor virus followed by biphasic decay, with HIV-1 detectable out to 72 hours. HIV-1 was observed to associate with CD81-lined vesicle structures. shRNA silencing of CD81 resulted in less cell-associated virus but no loss of co-localization between HIV-1 and CD81. Astrocytes supported trans-infection of HIV-1 to T-cells without de novo virus production, and the virus-containing compartment required 37°C to form, and was trypsin-resistant. The CD81 compartment observed herein, has been shown in other cell types to be a relatively protective compartment. Within astrocytes, this compartment may be actively involved in virus entry and/or spread. The ability of astrocytes to transfer virus, without de novo viral synthesis suggests they are capable of sequestering and protecting virus and thus, they could potentially facilitate viral dissemination in the CNS. PMID:24587404

  12. Interleukin-1β induces blood-brain barrier disruption by downregulating Sonic hedgehog in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yue; Jin, Shijie; Sonobe, Yoshifumi; Cheng, Yi; Horiuchi, Hiroshi; Parajuli, Bijay; Kawanokuchi, Jun; Mizuno, Tetsuya; Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Suzumura, Akio

    2014-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is composed of capillary endothelial cells, pericytes, and perivascular astrocytes, which regulate central nervous system homeostasis. Sonic hedgehog (SHH) released from astrocytes plays an important role in the maintenance of BBB integrity. BBB disruption and microglial activation are common pathological features of various neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), a major pro-inflammatory cytokine released from activated microglia, increases BBB permeability. Here we show that IL-1β abolishes the protective effect of astrocytes on BBB integrity by suppressing astrocytic SHH production. Astrocyte conditioned media, SHH, or SHH signal agonist strengthened BBB integrity by upregulating tight junction proteins, whereas SHH signal inhibitor abrogated these effects. Moreover, IL-1β increased astrocytic production of pro-inflammatory chemokines such as CCL2, CCL20, and CXCL2, which induce immune cell migration and exacerbate BBB disruption and neuroinflammation. Our findings suggest that astrocytic SHH is a potential therapeutic target that could be used to restore disrupted BBB in patients with neurologic diseases.

  13. Vitro Culture and Immunohistochemical Identification of Astrocytes of Infantile Optic Nerve

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jianliang Zheng; Yuqing Lan; Jie Zhang; Yan Guo; Yan Luo

    2000-01-01

    Objective: To culture astrocytes of optic nerve and to establish the cell lines for further study of healing process after optic nerve trauma.Methods: Optic nerve astrocytes of infantile and adults with sudden death were cultured by tissue inoculation or tissue digestion with 0. 25% Trypsin and 0. 06% EDTA. The second and fourth passage cells were stained with HE and anti- GFAP, S-100 protein, Vimentin, and CD34 antibodies.Results: The trypsinized astrocytes of infantile optic nerve reached confluence in 7 days,but the astrocytes of adults weren't successfully cultured. The cultured cells were in polygonal shape with processes; the cytoplasm was abundant and pink; the cells had light-blue nuclei. These cells were positive in GFAP, S-100 protein and vimentin staining, and negative in CD34 staining.Conclusions: The results showed that astrocytes of infantile optic nerve can be successfully cultured and trypsinization is a better method than tissue inoculation. The culture of infantile astrocytes is easier than that of adult astrocytes. Immunohistochemistry were used to determine the source and type of those cultured cells.

  14. Neuromyelitis optica IgG stimulates an immunological response in rat astrocyte cultures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Howe CL; Kaptzan T; Magaa SM; Ayers-Ringler JR; LaFrance-Corey RG; Lucchinetti CF

    2014-01-01

    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, Sj gren'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.

  15. Astrocyte-derived vascular endothelial growth factor stabilizes vessels in the developing retinal vasculature.

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    Andrew Scott

    Full Text Available Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF plays a critical role in normal development as well as retinal vasculature disease. During retinal vascularization, VEGF is most strongly expressed by not yet vascularized retinal astrocytes, but also by retinal astrocytes within the developing vascular plexus, suggesting a role for retinal astrocyte-derived VEGF in angiogenesis and vessel network maturation. To test the role of astrocyte-derived VEGF, we used Cre-lox technology in mice to delete VEGF in retinal astrocytes during development. Surprisingly, this only had a minor impact on retinal vasculature development, with only small decreases in plexus spreading, endothelial cell proliferation and survival observed. In contrast, astrocyte VEGF deletion had more pronounced effects on hyperoxia-induced vaso-obliteration and led to the regression of smooth muscle cell-coated radial arteries and veins, which are usually resistant to the vessel-collapsing effects of hyperoxia. These results suggest that VEGF production from retinal astrocytes is relatively dispensable during development, but performs vessel stabilizing functions in the retinal vasculature and might be relevant for retinopathy of prematurity in humans.

  16. Genes involved in the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS) are specifcally regulated in cortical astrocytes following sleep deprivation in mice

    KAUST Repository

    Petit, Jean Marie

    2013-10-01

    Study Objectives: There is growing evidence indicating that in order to meet the neuronal energy demands, astrocytes provide lactate as an energy substrate for neurons through a mechanism called "astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle" (ANLS). Since neuronal activity changes dramatically during vigilance states, we hypothesized that the ANLS may be regulated during the sleep-wake cycle. To test this hypothesis we investigated the expression of genes associated with the ANLS specifcally in astrocytes following sleep deprivation. Astrocytes were purifed by fuorescence-activated cell sorting from transgenic mice expressing the green fuorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the human astrocytic GFAP-promoter. Design: 6-hour instrumental sleep deprivation (TSD). Setting: Animal sleep research laboratory. Participants: Young (P23-P27) FVB/N-Tg (GFAP-GFP) 14Mes/J (Tg) mice of both sexes and 7-8 week male Tg and FVB/Nj mice. Interventions: Basal sleep recordings and sleep deprivation achieved using a modifed cage where animals were gently forced to move. Measurements and Results: Since Tg and FVB/Nj mice displayed a similar sleep-wake pattern, we performed a TSD in young Tg mice. Total RNA was extracted from the GFP-positive and GFP-negative cells sorted from cerebral cortex. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that levels of Glut1, a-2-Na/K pump, Glt1, and Ldha mRNAs were signifcantly increased following TSD in GFP-positive cells. In GFP-negative cells, a tendency to increase, although not signifcant, was observed for Ldha, Mct2, and α-3-Na/K pump mRNAs. Conclusions: This study shows that TSD induces the expression of genes associated with ANLS specifcally in astrocytes, underlying the important role of astrocytes in the maintenance of the neuro-metabolic coupling across the sleep-wake cycle.

  17. Methamphetamine inhibits the glucose uptake by human neurons and astrocytes: stabilization by acetyl-L-carnitine.

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    P M Abdul Muneer

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (METH, an addictive psycho-stimulant drug exerts euphoric effects on users and abusers. It is also known to cause cognitive impairment and neurotoxicity. Here, we hypothesized that METH exposure impairs the glucose uptake and metabolism in human neurons and astrocytes. Deprivation of glucose is expected to cause neurotoxicity and neuronal degeneration due to depletion of energy. We found that METH exposure inhibited the glucose uptake by neurons and astrocytes, in which neurons were more sensitive to METH than astrocytes in primary culture. Adaptability of these cells to fatty acid oxidation as an alternative source of energy during glucose limitation appeared to regulate this differential sensitivity. Decrease in neuronal glucose uptake by METH was associated with reduction of glucose transporter protein-3 (GLUT3. Surprisingly, METH exposure showed biphasic effects on astrocytic glucose uptake, in which 20 µM increased the uptake while 200 µM inhibited glucose uptake. Dual effects of METH on glucose uptake were paralleled to changes in the expression of astrocytic glucose transporter protein-1 (GLUT1. The adaptive nature of astrocyte to mitochondrial β-oxidation of fatty acid appeared to contribute the survival of astrocytes during METH-induced glucose deprivation. This differential adaptive nature of neurons and astrocytes also governed the differential sensitivity to the toxicity of METH in these brain cells. The effect of acetyl-L-carnitine for enhanced production of ATP from fatty oxidation in glucose-free culture condition validated the adaptive nature of neurons and astrocytes. These findings suggest that deprivation of glucose-derived energy may contribute to neurotoxicity of METH abusers.

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

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    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.

  19. 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.

  20. The astrocyte-targeted therapy by Bushi for the neuropathic pain in mice.

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    Keisuke Shibata

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is accumulating evidence that the activation of spinal glial cells, especially microglia, is a key event in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. However, the inhibition of microglial activation is often ineffective, especially for long-lasting persistent neuropathic pain. So far, neuropathic pain remains largely intractable and a new therapeutic strategy for the pain is still required. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using Seltzer model mice, we investigated the temporal aspect of two types of neuropathic pain behaviors, i.e., thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia, as well as that of morphological changes in spinal microglia and astrocytes by immunohistochemical studies. Firstly, we analyzed the pattern of progression in the pain behaviors, and found that the pain consisted of an "early induction phase" and subsequent "late maintenance phase". We next analyzed the temporal changes in spinal glial cells, and found that the induction and the maintenance phase of pain were associated with the activation of microglia and astrocytes, respectively. When Bushi, a Japanese herbal medicine often used for several types of persistent pain, was administered chronically, it inhibited the maintenance phase of pain without affecting the induction phase, which was in accordance with the inhibition of astrocytic activation in the spinal cord. These analgesic effects and the inhibition of astrocytic activation by Bushi were mimicked by the intrathecal injection of fluorocitrate, an inhibitor of astrocytic activation. Finally, we tested the direct effect of Bushi on astrocytic activation, and found that Bushi suppressed the IL-1β- or IL-18-evoked ERK1/2-phosphorylation in cultured astrocytes but not the ATP-evoked p38- and ERK1/2-phosphorylation in microglia in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicated that the activation of spinal astrocytes was responsible for the late maintenance phase of neuropathic pain in the Seltzer model mice and

  1. 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

  2. Astrocytic Orosomucoid-2 Modulates Microglial Activation and Neuroinflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Myungjin; Kim, Jong-Heon; Song, Gyun Jee; Seo, Minchul; Hwang, Eun Mi; Suk, Kyoungho

    2017-03-15

    Orosomucoid (ORM) is an acute-phase protein that belongs to the immunocalin subfamily, a group of small-molecule-binding proteins with immunomodulatory functions. Little is known about the role of ORM proteins in the CNS. The aim of the present study was to investigate the brain expression of ORM and its role in neuroinflammation. Expression of Orm2, but not Orm1 or Orm3, was highly induced in the mouse brain after systemic injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Plasma levels of ORM2 were also significantly higher in patients with cognitive impairment than in normal subjects. RT-PCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence analyses revealed that astrocytes are the major cellular sources of ORM2 in the inflamed mouse brain. Recombinant ORM2 protein treatment decreased microglial production of proinflammatory mediators and reduced microglia-mediated neurotoxicity in vitro LPS-induced microglial activation, proinflammatory cytokines in hippocampus, and neuroinflammation-associated cognitive deficits also decreased as a result of intracerebroventricular injection of recombinant ORM2 protein in vivo Moreover, lentiviral shRNA-mediated Orm2 knockdown enhanced LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokine gene expression and microglial activation in the hippocampus. Mechanistically, ORM2 inhibited C-C chemokine ligand 4 (CCL4)-induced microglial migration and activation by blocking the interaction of CCL4 with C-C chemokine receptor type 5. Together, the results from our cultured glial cells, mouse neuroinflammation model, and patient studies suggest that ORM2 is a novel mediator of astrocyte-microglial interaction. We also report that ORM2 exerts anti-inflammatory effects by modulating microglial activation and migration during brain inflammation. ORM2 can be exploited therapeutically for the treatment of neuroinflammatory diseases.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural cell interactions are important for brain physiology and pathology. Particularly, the interaction between non

  3. Abundance of Flt3 and its ligand in astrocytic tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eßbach C

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available C Eßbach,1 N Andrae,1 D Pachow,1 J-P Warnke,2 A Wilisch-Neumann,1 E Kirches,1 C Mawrin11Department of Neuropathology, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, 2Department of Neurosurgery, Paracelsus Hospital, Zwickau, GermanyBackground: Molecular targeted therapies for astrocytic tumors are the subject of growing research interest, due to the limited response of these tumors, especially glioblastoma multiforme, to conventional chemotherapeutic regimens. Several of these approaches exploit the inhibition of receptor tyrosine kinases. To date, it has not been elucidated if fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 (Flt3 and its natural ligand (Flt3L are expressed in astrocytic tumors, although some of the clinically intended small-molecule receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors affect Flt3, while others do not. More importantly, the recent proof of principle for successful stimulation of the immune system against gliomas in preclinical models via local Flt3L application requires elucidation of this receptor tyrosine kinase pathway in these tumors in more detail. This therapy is based on recruitment of Flt3-positive dendritic cells, but may be corroborated by activity of this signaling pathway in glioma cells.Methods: Receptor and ligand expression was analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction in 31 astrocytic tumors (six diffuse and 11 anaplastic astrocytomas, 14 glioblastomas derived from patients of both genders and in glioblastoma cell lines. The two most common activating mutations of the Flt3 gene, ie, internal tandem duplication and D835 point mutation, were assessed by specific polymerase chain reaction.Results: A relatively high abundance of Flt3L mRNA (4%–6% of the reference, β2 microglobulin could be demonstrated in all tumor samples. Flt3 expression could generally be demonstrated by 40 specific polymerase chain reaction cycles and gel electrophoresis in 87% of the tumors, including all grades, although the small quantities of the receptor did

  4. Astrocyte Proliferation Following Stroke in the Mouse Depends on Distance from the Infarct

    OpenAIRE

    Barreto, George E.; Xiaoyun Sun; Lijun Xu; Giffard, Rona G

    2011-01-01

    Reactive gliosis is a hallmark of brain pathology and the injury response, yet the extent to which astrocytes proliferate, and whether this is central to astrogliosis is still controversial. We determined the fraction of mature astrocytes that proliferate in a mouse stroke model using unbiased stereology as a function of distance from the infarct edge. Cumulatively 11.1±1.2% of Aldh1l1(+) astrocytes within 400 µm in the cortical penumbra incorporate BrdU in the first week following stroke, wh...

  5. A neuronal and astrocyte co-culture assay for high content analysis of neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderl, Janet L; Redpath, Stella; Ball, Andrew J

    2009-05-05

    High Content Analysis (HCA) assays combine cells and detection reagents with automated imaging and powerful image analysis algorithms, allowing measurement of multiple cellular phenotypes within a single assay. In this study, we utilized HCA to develop a novel assay for neurotoxicity. Neurotoxicity assessment represents an important part of drug safety evaluation, as well as being a significant focus of environmental protection efforts. Additionally, neurotoxicity is also a well-accepted in vitro marker of the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Recently, the application of HCA to neuronal screening has been reported. By labeling neuronal cells with betaIII-tubulin, HCA assays can provide high-throughput, non-subjective, quantitative measurements of parameters such as neuronal number, neurite count and neurite length, all of which can indicate neurotoxic effects. However, the role of astrocytes remains unexplored in these models. Astrocytes have an integral role in the maintenance of central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis, and are associated with both neuroprotection and neurodegradation when they are activated in response to toxic substances or disease states. GFAP is an intermediate filament protein expressed predominantly in the astrocytes of the CNS. Astrocytic activation (gliosis) leads to the upregulation of GFAP, commonly accompanied by astrocyte proliferation and hypertrophy. This process of reactive gliosis has been proposed as an early marker of damage to the nervous system. The traditional method for GFAP quantitation is by immunoassay. This approach is limited by an inability to provide information on cellular localization, morphology and cell number. We determined that HCA could be used to overcome these limitations and to simultaneously measure multiple features associated with gliosis - changes in GFAP expression, astrocyte hypertrophy, and astrocyte proliferation - within a single assay. In co

  6. Glutamate enhances the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in cultured SD rat astrocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Objective To study the effect of glutamate on the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA and protein in cultured rat astrocytes. Methods Cultured rat astrocytes were randomly divided into 6 groups:control group (C),glutamate group (G),QA group (Q),DCG-IV group (D),L-AP4 group (L) and glutamate+MCPG group (G+M). Cells were cultured under nomoxic condition (95% air,5% CO2). RT-PCR and ELISA methods were used to detect the expression of VEGF mRNA and protein in cultured astrocytes,respect...

  7. Nanoscale Properties of Neural Cell Prosthetic and Astrocyte Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowers, D. A.; Ayres, V. M.; Delgado-Rivera, R.; Ahmed, I.; Meiners, S. A.

    2009-03-01

    Preliminary data from in-vivo investigations (rat model) suggest that a nanofiber prosthetic device of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2)-modified nanofibers can correctly guide regenerating axons across an injury gap with aligned functional recovery. Scanning Probe Recognition Microscopy (SPRM) with auto-tracking of individual nanofibers is used for investigation of the key nanoscale properties of the nanofiber prosthetic device for central nervous system tissue engineering and repair. The key properties under SPRM investigation include nanofiber stiffness and surface roughness, nanofiber curvature, nanofiber mesh density and porosity, and growth factor presentation and distribution. Each of these factors has been demonstrated to have global effects on cell morphology, function, proliferation, morphogenesis, migration, and differentiation. The effect of FGF-2 modification on the key nanoscale properties is investigated. Results from the nanofiber prosthetic properties investigations are correlated with astrocyte response to unmodified and FGF-2 modified scaffolds, using 2D planar substrates as a control.

  8. HIV-1 differentially modulates autophagy in neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehla, Rajeev; Chauhan, Ashok

    2015-08-15

    Autophagy, a lysosomal degradative pathway that maintains cellular homeostasis, has emerged as an innate immune defense against pathogens. The role of autophagy in the deregulated HIV-infected central nervous system (CNS) is unclear. We have found that HIV-1-induced neuro-glial (neurons and astrocytes) damage involves modulation of the autophagy pathway. Neuro-glial stress induced by HIV-1 led to biochemical and morphological dysfunctions. X4 HIV-1 produced neuro-glial toxicity coupled with suppression of autophagy, while R5 HIV-1-induced toxicity was restricted to neurons. Rapamycin, a specific mTOR inhibitor (autophagy inducer) relieved the blockage of the autophagy pathway caused by HIV-1 and resulted in neuro-glial protection. Further understanding of the regulation of autophagy by cytokines and chemokines or other signaling events may lead to recognition of therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases.

  9. Optical probing of sodium dynamics in neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, Christophe M; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2011-09-15

    Changes in intracellular Na(+) concentration underlie essential neurobiological processes, but few reliable tools exist for their measurement. Here we characterize a new synthetic Na(+)-sensitive fluorescent dye, Asante Natrium Green (ANG), with unique properties. This indicator was excitable in the visible spectrum and by two-photon illumination, suffered little photobleaching and located to the cytosol were it remained for long durations without noticeable unwanted effects on basic cell properties. When used in brain tissue, ANG yielded a bright fluorescent signal during physiological Na(+) responses both in neurons and astrocytes. Synchronous electrophysiological and fluorometric recordings showed that ANG produced accurate Na(+) measurement in situ. This new Na(+) indicator opens innovative ways of probing neuronal circuits.

  10. Leptin regulates glutamate and glucose transporters in hypothalamic astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuente-Martín, Esther; García-Cáceres, Cristina; Granado, Miriam; de Ceballos, María L.; Sánchez-Garrido, Miguel Ángel; Sarman, Beatrix; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Dietrich, Marcelo O.; Tena-Sempere, Manuel; Argente-Arizón, Pilar; Díaz, Francisca; Argente, Jesús; Horvath, Tamas L.; Chowen, Julie A.

    2012-01-01

    Glial cells perform critical functions that alter the metabolism and activity of neurons, and there is increasing interest in their role in appetite and energy balance. Leptin, a key regulator of appetite and metabolism, has previously been reported to influence glial structural proteins and morphology. Here, we demonstrate that metabolic status and leptin also modify astrocyte-specific glutamate and glucose transporters, indicating that metabolic signals influence synaptic efficacy and glucose uptake and, ultimately, neuronal function. We found that basal and glucose-stimulated electrical activity of hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in mice were altered in the offspring of mothers fed a high-fat diet. In adulthood, increased body weight and fasting also altered the expression of glucose and glutamate transporters. These results demonstrate that whole-organism metabolism alters hypothalamic glial cell activity and suggest that these cells play an important role in the pathology of obesity. PMID:23064363

  11. Analysis of p53- immunoreactivity in astrocytic brain tumors

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    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.

  12. Astrocytic Pathological Calcium Homeostasis and Impaired Vesicle Trafficking in Neurodegeneration

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    Nina Vardjan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Although the central nervous system (CNS consists of highly heterogeneous populations of neurones and glial cells, clustered into diverse anatomical regions with specific functions, there are some conditions, including alertness, awareness and attention that require simultaneous, coordinated and spatially homogeneous activity within a large area of the brain. During such events, the brain, representing only about two percent of body mass, but consuming one fifth of body glucose at rest, needs additional energy to be produced. How simultaneous energy procurement in a relatively extended area of the brain takes place is poorly understood. This mechanism is likely to be impaired in neurodegeneration, for example in Alzheimer’s disease, the hallmark of which is brain hypometabolism. Astrocytes, the main neural cell type producing and storing glycogen, a form of energy in the brain, also hold the key to metabolic and homeostatic support in the central nervous system and are impaired in neurodegeneration, contributing to the slow decline of excitation-energy coupling in the brain. Many mechanisms are affected, including cell-to-cell signalling. An important question is how changes in cellular signalling, a process taking place in a rather short time domain, contribute to the neurodegeneration that develops over decades. In this review we focus initially on the slow dynamics of Alzheimer’s disease, and on the activity of locus coeruleus, a brainstem nucleus involved in arousal. Subsequently, we overview much faster processes of vesicle traffic and cytosolic calcium dynamics, both of which shape the signalling landscape of astrocyte-neurone communication in health and neurodegeneration.

  13. Activation of the Astrocytic Endothelin System in Response to Hypoxia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    An Ding Xua; Kai M.Schmidt-Ott; Scbastian Tuschick; Lutz Liefeldt; Susan Lyons; Helmut Kettcnmann; Martin.Paul

    2000-01-01

    Objcctive:To determine the gene expression patterns of endothelin (ET)system components in cultured astrocytes(AC),and to examine the direct effcct of hypoxia on ET system gene expression in cultured AC.Background:The ET system was considered to be related to the activation of AC. However,how hypoxia affects the ET system in transcriptional levels remains unclear.Methods:AC was prepared form mouse brain,and cultured 4 days.then further incubated under normoxic or hypoxic conditions for 24h. ET peptide levels were determined by RIA.The transcripts of ET system components were measured by Northern Blot RNA hybridization and RT-PCR.Results:In normoxic AC,ET-1,ET converting enzyme(ECE)-2,ETA receptor,and ETB receptor mRNAs were detected by Northern blot hybridization with ETB receptor mRNA appearing to be the predominant receptor transcript.ET-3and ECE-1 were only detected by RT-PCR,indicating low expression levels of these components.Hypoxia induced a 1.7-fold increase in ET peptide level in culture supernatants as comparcd to controls(p<0.001).At the same time,a 3-fold increase of ET-1 mRNA(p<0.001)was determined by Northern blot RNA analysis,indicating a regulation at the transcriptional Ievel.Both ETA and ETB receptor mRNASweredownregulated to approximately 20% of control levels(p<0.001), while ECE-2 mRNA remained unchanged.Conclusions:These results indicate direct effects of hypoxia on astrocytic ET system gene expression.Therefore,similar changes observed in ischemic conditions in vivo are likely to be at least partially independent from the modified cerebral microenvironment.

  14. Immortalized Rat Astrocyte Strain Genetically Modified by Rat Preprogalanin Gene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    To construct an immortalized rat astrocyte strain genetically modified by rat preprogalanin gene (IAST/GAL) and detect its galanin (GAL) expression and secretion, a cDNA fragment of rat GAL in plasmid of pBS KS(+)-GAL was inserted into eukaryotic expression vector pcDNA3.1(+) by DNA recombinant technology, then the restriction enzyme digestion and DNA sequencing were carried out to evaluate the recombinant. The pcDNA3.1 (+)-GAL and pcDNA3.1 (+) construct were transfected into immortalized rat astrocyte strain (IAST) by lipofectamine and the population of cells which stably integrated the construct was selected with 600 μg/mL G418. Individual clones were screened and expanded into clonal cell strains. Detection of Neo gene was used to validate the success of the transfection. Immunocytochemical staining, RT-PCR and radioimmunoassay were used to detect the expression and secretion level of GAL. The recombinant had been successfully constructed by restriction enzyme digestion and DNA sequencing. Detection of Neo gene showed that the pcDNA3.1 (+)-GAL and pcDNA3.1 (+) have been successfully transfected into IAST. After selection by using G418, IAST/GAL and IAST/Neo cell strains were obtained.IAST/GAL, IAST/Neo and IAST were immunostained positively for GAL, but the GAL average optical density of IAST/GAL was significantly higher than that of IAST/Neo and IAST (P<0.01). The level of GAL mRNA expression and the supernatant concentration of GAL in cultured IAST/GAL were significantly higher than those of IAST and IAST/Neo (P<0.01), but no significant differences were found between the IAST and IAST/Neo (P>0.05). It was concluded that IAST/GAL strain was constructed successfully and it might provide a basis for the further study of pain therapy.

  15. Astrocytic Pathological Calcium Homeostasis and Impaired Vesicle Trafficking in Neurodegeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vardjan, Nina; Verkhratsky, Alexej; Zorec, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Although the central nervous system (CNS) consists of highly heterogeneous populations of neurones and glial cells, clustered into diverse anatomical regions with specific functions, there are some conditions, including alertness, awareness and attention that require simultaneous, coordinated and spatially homogeneous activity within a large area of the brain. During such events, the brain, representing only about two percent of body mass, but consuming one fifth of body glucose at rest, needs additional energy to be produced. How simultaneous energy procurement in a relatively extended area of the brain takes place is poorly understood. This mechanism is likely to be impaired in neurodegeneration, for example in Alzheimer’s disease, the hallmark of which is brain hypometabolism. Astrocytes, the main neural cell type producing and storing glycogen, a form of energy in the brain, also hold the key to metabolic and homeostatic support in the central nervous system and are impaired in neurodegeneration, contributing to the slow decline of excitation-energy coupling in the brain. Many mechanisms are affected, including cell-to-cell signalling. An important question is how changes in cellular signalling, a process taking place in a rather short time domain, contribute to the neurodegeneration that develops over decades. In this review we focus initially on the slow dynamics of Alzheimer’s disease, and on the activity of locus coeruleus, a brainstem nucleus involved in arousal. Subsequently, we overview much faster processes of vesicle traffic and cytosolic calcium dynamics, both of which shape the signalling landscape of astrocyte-neurone communication in health and neurodegeneration. PMID:28208745

  16. Regulation of Kir4.1 expression in astrocytes and astrocytic tumors: a role for interleukin-1 β

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zurolo Emanuele

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective Decreased expression of inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir channels in astrocytes and glioma cells may contribute to impaired K+ buffering and increased propensity for seizures. Here, we evaluated the potential effect of inflammatory molecules, such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β on Kir4.1 mRNA and protein expression. Methods We investigated Kir4.1 (Kcnj10 and IL-1β mRNA expression in the temporal cortex in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy 24 h and 1 week after induction of status epilepticus (SE, using real-time PCR and western blot analysis. The U373 glioblastoma cell line and human fetal astrocytes were used to study the regulation of Kir4.1 expression in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Expression of Kir4.1 protein was also evaluated by means of immunohistochemistry in surgical specimens of patients with astrocytic tumors (n = 64, comparing the expression in tumor patients with (n = 38 and without epilepsy (n = 26. Results Twenty-four hours after onset of SE, Kir4.1 mRNA and protein were significantly down-regulated in temporal cortex of epileptic rats. This decrease in expression was followed by a return to control level at 1 week after SE. The transient downregulation of Kir4.1 corresponded to the time of prominent upregulation of IL-1β mRNA. Expression of Kir4.1 mRNA and protein in glial cells in culture was downregulated after exposure to IL-1β. Evaluation of Kir4.1 in tumor specimens showed a significantly lower Kir4.1 expression in the specimens of patients with epilepsy compared to patients without epilepsy. This paralleled the increased presence of activated microglial cells, as well as the increased expression of IL-1β and the cytoplasmic translocation of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1. Conclusions Taken together, these findings indicate that alterations in expression of Kir4.1 occurring in epilepsy-associated lesions are possibly influenced by the local inflammatory environment and in

  17. 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.

  18. Modulation of Pineal Melatonin Synthesis by Glutamate Involves Paracrine Interactions between Pinealocytes and Astrocytes through NF-κB Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darine Villela

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The glutamatergic modulation of melatonin synthesis is well known, along with the importance of astrocytes in mediating glutamatergic signaling in the central nervous system. Pinealocytes and astrocytes are the main cell types in the pineal gland. The objective of this work was to investigate the interactions between astrocytes and pinealocytes as a part of the glutamate inhibitory effect on melatonin synthesis. Rat pinealocytes isolated or in coculture with astrocytes were incubated with glutamate in the presence of norepinephrine, and the melatonin content, was quantified. The expression of glutamate receptors, the intracellular calcium content and the NF-κB activation were analyzed in astrocytes and pinealocytes. TNF-α's possible mediation of the effect of glutamate was also investigated. The results showed that glutamate's inhibitory effect on melatonin synthesis involves interactions between astrocytes and pinealocytes, possibly through the release of TNF-α. Moreover, the activation of the astrocytic NF-κB seems to be a necessary step. In astrocytes and pinealocytes, AMPA, NMDA, and group I metabotropic glutamate receptors were observed, as well as the intracellular calcium elevation. In conclusion, there is evidence that the modulation of melatonin synthesis by glutamate involves paracrine interactions between pinealocytes and astrocytes through the activation of the astrocytic NF-κB transcription factor and possibly by subsequent TNF-α release.

  19. Effect of type-2 astrocytes on the viability of dorsal root ganglion neurons and length of neuronal processes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunling Fan; Hui Wang; Dan Chen; Xiaoxin Cheng; Kun Xiong; Xuegang Luo; Qilin Cao

    2014-01-01

    The role of type-2 astrocytes in the repair of central nervous system injury remains poorly un-derstood. In this study, using a relatively simple culture condition in vitro, type-2 astrocytes, differentiated from oligodendrocyte precursor cells by induction with bone morphogenetic pro-tein-4, were co-cultured with dorsal root ganglion neurons. We examined the effects of type-2 astrocytes differentiated from oligodendrocyte precursor cells on the survival and growth of dorsal root ganglion neurons. Results demonstrated that the number of dorsal root ganglion neurons was higher following co-culture of oligodendrocyte precursor cells and type-2 astrocytes than when cultured alone, but lower than that of neurons co-cultured with type-1 astrocytes. The length of the longest process and the length of all processes of a single neuron were shortest in neurons cultured alone, followed by neurons co-cultured with type-2 astrocytes, then neurons co-cultured with oligodendrocyte precursor cells, and longest in neurons co-cultured with type-1 astrocytes. These results indicate that co-culture with type-2 astrocytes can increase neuronal survival rate and process length. However, compared with type-1 astrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursor cells, the promotion effects of type-2 astrocytes on the growth of dorsal root ganglion neurons were weaker.

  20. Cortical spreading depression in traumatic brain injuries: is there a role for astrocytes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrente, Daniel; Cabezas, Ricardo; Avila, Marco Fidel; García-Segura, Luis Miguel; Barreto, George E; Guedes, Rubem Carlos Araújo

    2014-04-17

    Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is a presumably pathophysiological phenomenon that interrupts local cortical function for periods of minutes to hours. This phenomenon is important due to its association with different neurological disorders such as migraine, malignant stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Glial cells, especially astrocytes, play an important role in the regulation of CSD and in the protection of neurons under brain trauma. The correlation of TBI with CSD and the astrocytic function under these conditions remain unclear. This review discusses the possible link of TBI and CSD and its implication for neuronal survival. Additionally, we highlight the importance of astrocytic function for brain protection, and suggest possible therapeutic strategies targeting astrocytes to improve the outcome following TBI-associated CSD.

  1. Metabolic Changes Following Perinatal Asphyxia: Role of Astrocytes and Their Interaction with Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logica, Tamara; Riviere, Stephanie; Holubiec, Mariana I; Castilla, Rocío; Barreto, George E; Capani, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Perinatal Asphyxia (PA) represents an important cause of severe neurological deficits including delayed mental and motor development, epilepsy, major cognitive deficits and blindness. The interaction between neurons, astrocytes and endothelial cells plays a central role coupling energy supply with changes in neuronal activity. Traditionally, experimental research focused on neurons, whereas astrocytes have been more related to the damage mechanisms of PA. Astrocytes carry out a number of functions that are critical to normal nervous system function, including uptake of neurotransmitters, regulation of pH and ion concentrations, and metabolic support for neurons. In this work, we aim to review metabolic neuron-astrocyte interactions with the purpose of encourage further research in this area in the context of PA, which is highly complex and its mechanisms and pathways have not been fully elucidated to this day.

  2. Differential roles of astrocyte and microglia in supporting oligodendrocyte development and myelination in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Yi; Fan, Lir-Wan; Tien, Lu-Tai; Dai, Xuemei; Zheng, Baoying; Cai, Zhengwei; Lin, Rick C S; Bhatt, Abhay

    2013-09-01

    Oligodendrocyte (OL) development relies on many extracellular cues, most of which are secreted cytokines from neighboring neural cells. Although it is generally accepted that both astrocytes and microglia are beneficial for OL development, there is a lack of understanding regarding whether astrocytes and microglia play similar or distinct roles. The current study examined the effects of astrocytes and microglia on OL developmental phenotypes including cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and myelination in vitro. Our data reveal that, although both astrocytes- and microglia-conditioned medium (ACDM and MCDM, respectively) protect OL progenitor cells (OPCs) against growth factor withdrawal-induced apoptosis, ACDM is significantly more effective than MCDM in supporting long-term OL survival. In contrast, MCDM preferentially promotes OL differentiation and myelination. These differential effects of ACDM and MCDM on OL development are highlighted by distinct pattern of cytokine/growth factors in the conditioned medium, which correlates with differentially activated intracellular signaling pathways in OPCs upon exposure to the conditioned medium.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milsted, A.; Barna, B.P.; Ransohoff, R.M.; Brosnihan, K.B.; Ferrario, C.M. (Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH (USA))

    1990-08-01

    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.

  4. A mathematical model for astrocytes mediated LTP at single hippocampal synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewari, Shivendra; Majumdar, Kaushik

    2012-10-01

    Many contemporary studies have shown that astrocytes play a significant role in modulating both short and long form of synaptic plasticity. There are very few experimental models which elucidate the role of astrocyte over Long-term Potentiation (LTP). Recently, Perea and Araque (Science 317:1083-1086, 2007) demonstrated a role of astrocytes in induction of LTP at single hippocampal synapses. They suggested a purely pre-synaptic basis for induction of this N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptor-independent LTP. Also, the mechanisms underlying this pre-synaptic induction were not investigated. Here, in this article, we propose a mathematical model for astrocyte modulated LTP which successfully imitates the experimental findings of Perea and Araque (Science 317:1083-1086, 2007). Our study suggests the role of retrograde messengers, possibly Nitric Oxide (NO), for this pre-synaptically modulated LTP.

  5. Sex differences in the inflammatory response of primary astrocytes to lipopolysaccharide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santos-Galindo María

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders show sex differences in incidence, age of onset, symptomatology or outcome. Astrocytes, one of the glial cell types of the brain, show sex differences in number, differentiation and function. Since astrocytes are involved in the response of neural tissue to injury and inflammation, these cells may participate in the generation of sex differences in the response of the brain to pathological insults. To explore this hypothesis, we have examined whether male and female astrocytes show a different response to an inflammatory challenge and whether perinatal testosterone influences this response. Methods Cortical astrocyte cultures were prepared from postnatal day 1 (one day after birth male or female CD1 mice pups. In addition, cortical astrocyte cultures were also prepared from female pups that were injected at birth with 100 μg of testosterone propionate or vehicle. Cultures were treated for 5 hours with medium containing lipopolysaccharide (LPS or with control medium. The mRNA levels of IL6, interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP10, TNFα, IL1β, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein and translocator protein were assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Statistical significance was assessed by unpaired t-test or by one-way analysis of variance followed by the Tukey post hoc test. Results The mRNA levels of IL6, TNFα and IL1β after LPS treatment were significantly higher in astrocytes derived from male or androgenized females compared to astrocytes derived from control or vehicle-injected females. In contrast, IP10 mRNA levels after LPS treatment were higher in astrocytes derived from control or vehicle-injected females than in those obtained from males or androgenized females. The different response of male and female astrocytes to LPS was due neither to differences in the basal expression of the inflammatory molecules nor to

  6. Astrocytic mechanisms explaining neural-activity-induced shrinkage of extraneuronal space

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Østby, Ivar; Øyehaug, Leiv; Einevoll, Gaute T;

    2009-01-01

    Neuronal stimulation causes approximately 30% shrinkage of the extracellular space (ECS) between neurons and surrounding astrocytes in grey and white matter under experimental conditions. Despite its possible implications for a proper understanding of basic aspects of potassium clearance and astr......Neuronal stimulation causes approximately 30% shrinkage of the extracellular space (ECS) between neurons and surrounding astrocytes in grey and white matter under experimental conditions. Despite its possible implications for a proper understanding of basic aspects of potassium clearance...

  7. 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.

  8. Globular adiponectin induces a pro-inflammatory response in human astrocytic cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, Zhongxiao; Mah, Dorrian; Simtchouk, Svetlana [School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC (Canada); Klegeris, Andis [Department of Biology, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC (Canada); Little, Jonathan P., E-mail: jonathan.little@ubc.ca [School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC (Canada)

    2014-03-28

    Highlights: • Adiponectin receptors are expressed in human astrocytes. • Globular adiponectin induces secretion of IL-6 and MCP-1 from cultured astrocytes. • Adiponectin may play a pro-inflammatory role in astrocytes. - Abstract: Neuroinflammation, mediated in part by activated brain astrocytes, plays a critical role in the development of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Adiponectin is the most abundant adipokine secreted from adipose tissue and has been reported to exert both anti- and pro-inflammatory effects in peripheral tissues; however, the effects of adiponectin on astrocytes remain unknown. Shifts in peripheral concentrations of adipokines, including adiponectin, could contribute to the observed link between midlife adiposity and increased AD risk. The aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of globular adiponectin (gAd) on pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression and secretion in human U373 MG astrocytic cells and to explore the potential involvement of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases (PI3 K) signaling pathways in these processes. We demonstrated expression of adiponectin receptor 1 (adipoR1) and adipoR2 in U373 MG cells and primary human astrocytes. gAd induced secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, and gene expression of IL-6, MCP-1, IL-1β and IL-8 in U373 MG cells. Using specific inhibitors, we found that NF-κB, p38MAPK and ERK1/2 pathways are involved in gAd-induced induction of cytokines with ERK1/2 contributing the most. These findings provide evidence that gAd may induce a pro-inflammatory phenotype in human astrocytes.

  9. Cdh1 inhibits reactive astrocyte proliferation after oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Jin; Zhang, Chuanhan; Lv, Youyou; Zhang, Yue; Zhu, Chang; Wang, Xueren; Yao, Wenlong

    2013-08-01

    Anaphase-promoting complex (APC) and its co-activator Cdh1 are required for cell cycle regulation in proliferating cells. Recent studies have defined diverse functions of APC-Cdh1 in nervous system development and injury. Our previous studies have demonstrated the activity of APC-Cdh1 is down-regulated in hippocampus after global cerebral ischemia. But the detailed mechanisms of APC-Cdh1 in ischemic nervous injury are unclear. It is known that astrocyte proliferation is an important pathophysiological process following cerebral ischemia. However, the role of APC-Cdh1 in reactive astrocyte proliferation is not determined yet. In the present study, we cultured primary cerebral astrocytes and set up in vitro oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion model. Our results showed that the expression of Cdh1 was decreased while Skp2 (the downstream substrate of APC-Cdh1) was increased in astrocytes after 1h oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion. The down-regulation of APC-Cdh1 was coupled with reactive astrocyte proliferation. By constructing Cdh1 expressing lentivirus system, we also found exogenous Cdh1 can down-regulate Skp2 and inhibit reactive astrocyte proliferation induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion. Moreover, Western blot showed that other downstream proteins of APC-Cdh1, PFK-1 and SnoN, were decreased in the inhibition of reactive astrocyte proliferation with Cdh1 expressing lentivirus treatment. These results suggest that Cdh1 plays an important role in the regulation of reactive astrocyte proliferation induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion.

  10. The NRTIs Lamivudine, Stavudine and Zidovudine Have Reduced HIV-1 Inhibitory Activity in Astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Lachlan R.; Tachedjian, Gilda; Ellett, Anne M.; Roche, Michael J.; Cheng, Wan-Jung; Guillemin, Gilles J.; Brew, Bruce J.; Turville, Stuart G.; Wesselingh, Steve L.; Gorry, Paul R.; Churchill, Melissa J.

    2013-01-01

    HIV-1 establishes infection in astrocytes and macroage-lineage cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Certain antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) can penetrate the CNS, and are therefore often used in neurologically active combined antiretroviral therapy (Neuro-cART) regimens, but their relative activity in the different susceptible CNS cell populations is unknown. Here, we determined the HIV-1 inhibitory activity of CNS-penetrating ARVs in astrocytes and macrophage-lineage cells. Primary human fetal astrocytes (PFA) and the SVG human astrocyte cell line were used as in vitro models for astrocyte infection, and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) were used as an in vitro model for infection of macrophage-lineage cells. The CNS-penetrating ARVs tested were the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) abacavir (ABC), lamivudine (3TC), stavudine (d4T) and zidovudine (ZDV), the non-NRTIs efavirenz (EFV), etravirine (ETR) and nevirapine (NVP), and the integrase inhibitor raltegravir (RAL). Drug inhibition assays were performed using single-round HIV-1 entry assays with luciferase viruses pseudotyped with HIV-1 YU-2 envelope or vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSV-G). All the ARVs tested could effectively inhibit HIV-1 infection in macrophages, with EC90s below concentrations known to be achievable in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Most of the ARVs had similar potency in astrocytes, however the NRTIs 3TC, d4T and ZDV had insufficient HIV-1 inhibitory activity in astrocytes, with EC90s 12-, 187- and 110-fold greater than achievable CSF concentrations, respectively. Our data suggest that 3TC, d4T and ZDV may not adequately target astrocyte infection in vivo, which has potential implications for their inclusion in Neuro-cART regimens. PMID:23614033

  11. Astrocytic modulation of blood brain barrier: perspectives on Parkinson’s disease

    OpenAIRE

    Cabezas, Ricardo; Ávila,Marcos; Gonzalez, Janneth; El-Bachá, Ramon Santos; Báez, Eliana; García-Segura, Luis Miguel; Jurado Coronel, Juan Camilo; Capani, Francisco; Cardona-Gomez, Gloria Patricia; Barreto, George E.

    2014-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly regulated interface in the Central Nervous System (CNS) that regulates the exchange of molecules in and out from the brain thus maintaining the CNS homeostasis. It is mainly composed of endothelial cells (ECs), pericytes and astrocytes that create a neurovascular unit (NVU) 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 ce...

  12. Transplantation of stem cell-derived astrocytes for thetreatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cordinjury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Charles Nicaise; Dinko Mitrecic; Aditi Falnikar; Angelo C Lepore

    2015-01-01

    Neglected for years, astrocytes are now recognized tofulfill and support many, if not all, homeostatic functionsof the healthy central nervous system (CNS). Duringneurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophiclateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal cord injury (SCI),astrocytes in the vicinity of degenerating areasundergo both morphological and functional changesthat might compromise their intrinsic properties.Evidence from human and animal studies show thatdeficient astrocyte functions or loss-of-astrocytes largelycontribute to increased susceptibility to cell death forneurons, oligodendrocytes and axons during ALS andSCI disease progression. Despite exciting advances inexperimental CNS repair, most of current approachesthat are translated into clinical trials focus on thereplacement or support of spinal neurons throughstem cell transplantation, while none focus on thespecific replacement of astroglial populations. Knowingthe important functions carried out by astrocytesin the CNS, astrocyte replacement-based therapiesmight be a promising approach to alleviate overallastrocyte dysfunction, deliver neurotrophic support todegenerating spinal tissue and stimulate endogenousCNS repair abilities. Enclosed in this review, we gatheredexperimental evidence that argue in favor of astrocytetransplantation during ALS and SCI. Based on theirintrinsic properties and according to the cell typetransplanted, astrocyte precursors or stem cell-derivedastrocytes promote axonal growth, support mechanismsand cells involved in myelination, are able to modulatethe host immune response, deliver neurotrophic factorsand provide protective molecules against oxidative orexcitotoxic insults, amongst many possible benefits.Embryonic or adult stem cells can even be geneticallyengineered in order to deliver missing gene productsand therefore maximize the chance of neuroprotectionand functional recovery. However, before broad clinicaltranslation, further preclinical data on safety

  13. Dynamics of β-adrenergic/cAMP signaling and morphological changes in cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vardjan, Nina; Kreft, Marko; Zorec, Robert

    2014-04-01

    The morphology of astrocytes, likely regulated by cAMP, determines the structural association between astrocytes and the synapse, consequently modulating synaptic function. β-Adrenergic receptors (β-AR), which increase cytosolic cAMP concentration ([cAMP]i ), may affect cell morphology. However, the real-time dynamics of β-AR-mediated cAMP signaling in single live astrocytes and its effect on cell morphology have not been studied. We used the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based cAMP biosensor Epac1-camps to study time-dependent changes in [cAMP]i ; morphological changes in primary rat astrocytes were monitored by real-time confocal microscopy. Stimulation of β-AR by adrenaline, noradrenaline, and isoprenaline, a specific agonist of β-AR, rapidly increased [cAMP]i (∼15 s). The FRET signal response, mediated via β-AR, was faster than in the presence of forskolin (twofold) and dibutyryl-cAMP (>35-fold), which directly activate adenylyl cyclase and Epac1-camps, respectively, likely due to slow entry of these agents into the cytosol. Oscillations in [cAMP]i have not been recorded, indicating that cAMP-dependent processes operate in a slow time domain. Most Epac1-camps expressing astrocytes revealed a morphological change upon β-AR activation and attained a stellate morphology within 1 h. The morphological changes exhibited a bell-shaped dependency on [cAMP]i . The 5-10% decrease in cell cross-sectional area and the 30-50% increase in cell perimeter are likely due to withdrawal of the cytoplasm to the perinuclear region and the appearance of protrusions on the surface of astrocytes. Because astrocyte processes ensheath neurons, β-AR/cAMP-mediated morphological changes can modify the geometry of the extracellular space, affecting synaptic, neuronal, and astrocyte functions in health and disease.

  14. Astrocyte Ca2+ Signaling Drives Inversion of Neurovascular Coupling after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Physiologically, neurovascular coupling (NVC) matches focal increases in neuronal activity with local arteriolar dilation. Astrocytes participate in NVC by sensing increased neurotransmission and releasing vasoactive agents (e.g., K+) from perivascular endfeet surrounding parenchymal arterioles. Previously, we demonstrated an increase in the amplitude of spontaneous Ca2+ events in astrocyte endfeet and inversion of NVC from vasodilation to vasoconstriction in brain slices obtained from subara...

  15. An excitatory loop with astrocytes contributes to drive neurons to seizure threshold.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Gómez-Gonzalo

    Full Text Available Seizures in focal epilepsies are sustained by a highly synchronous neuronal discharge that arises at restricted brain sites and subsequently spreads to large portions of the brain. Despite intense experimental research in this field, the earlier cellular events that initiate and sustain a focal seizure are still not well defined. Their identification is central to understand the pathophysiology of focal epilepsies and to develop new pharmacological therapies for drug-resistant forms of epilepsy. The prominent involvement of astrocytes in ictogenesis was recently proposed. We test here whether a cooperation between astrocytes and neurons is a prerequisite to support ictal (seizure-like and interictal epileptiform events. Simultaneous patch-clamp recording and Ca2+ imaging techniques were performed in a new in vitro model of focal seizures induced by local applications of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA in rat entorhinal cortex slices. We found that a Ca2+ elevation in astrocytes correlates with both the initial development and the maintenance of a focal, seizure-like discharge. A delayed astrocyte activation during ictal discharges was also observed in other models (including the whole in vitro isolated guinea pig brain in which the site of generation of seizure activity cannot be precisely monitored. In contrast, interictal discharges were not associated with Ca2+ changes in astrocytes. Selective inhibition or stimulation of astrocyte Ca2+ signalling blocked or enhanced, respectively, ictal discharges, but did not affect interictal discharge generation. Our data reveal that neurons engage astrocytes in a recurrent excitatory loop (possibly involving gliotransmission that promotes seizure ignition and sustains the ictal discharge. This neuron-astrocyte interaction may represent a novel target to develop effective therapeutic strategies to control seizures.

  16. Riluzole and gabapentinoids activate glutamate transporters to facilitate glutamate-induced glutamate release from cultured astrocytes

    OpenAIRE

    Yoshizumi, Masaru; Eisenach, James C.; Hayashida, Ken-ichiro

    2011-01-01

    We have recently demonstrated that the glutamate transporter activator riluzole paradoxically enhanced glutamate-induced glutamate release from cultured astrocytes. We further showed that both riluzole and the α2δ subunit ligand gabapentin activated descending inhibition in rats by increasing glutamate receptor signaling in the locus coeruleus and hypothesized that these drugs share common mechanisms to enhance glutamate release from astrocytes. In the present study, we examined the effects o...

  17. Astrocytic IL-6 mediates locomotor activity, exploration, anxiety, learning and social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erta, Maria; Giralt, Mercedes; Esposito, Flavia Lorena; Fernandez-Gayol, Olaya; Hidalgo, Juan

    2015-07-01

    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a major cytokine in the central nervous system, secreted by different brain cells and with roles in a number of physiological functions. We herewith confirm and expand the importance of astrocytic production of and response to IL-6 by using transgenic mice deficient in astrocytic IL-6 (Ast-IL-6 KO) or in its receptor (Ast-IL-6R KO) in full C57Bl/6 genetic background. A major prosurvival effect of astrocytic IL-6 at early ages was clearly demonstrated. Robust effects were also evident in the control of activity and anxiety in the hole-board and elevated plus-maze, and in spatial learning in the Morris water-maze. The results also suggest an inhibitory role of IL-6 in the mechanism controlling the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent spatial learning. Less robust effects of astrocytic IL-6 system were also observed in despair behavior in the tail suspension test, and social behavior in the dominance and resident-intruder tests. The behavioral phenotype was highly dependent on age and/or sex in some cases. The phenotype of Ast-IL-6R KO mice mimicked only partially that of Ast-IL-6KO mice, which indicates both a role of astrocytes in behavior and the participation of other cells besides astrocytes. No evidences of altered function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis were observed. These results demonstrate that astrocytic IL-6 (acting at least partially in astrocytes) regulates normal behavior in mice.

  18. The NRTIs lamivudine, stavudine and zidovudine have reduced HIV-1 inhibitory activity in astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lachlan R Gray

    Full Text Available HIV-1 establishes infection in astrocytes and macroage-lineage cells of the central nervous system (CNS. Certain antiretroviral drugs (ARVs can penetrate the CNS, and are therefore often used in neurologically active combined antiretroviral therapy (Neuro-cART regimens, but their relative activity in the different susceptible CNS cell populations is unknown. Here, we determined the HIV-1 inhibitory activity of CNS-penetrating ARVs in astrocytes and macrophage-lineage cells. Primary human fetal astrocytes (PFA and the SVG human astrocyte cell line were used as in vitro models for astrocyte infection, and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM were used as an in vitro model for infection of macrophage-lineage cells. The CNS-penetrating ARVs tested were the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs abacavir (ABC, lamivudine (3TC, stavudine (d4T and zidovudine (ZDV, the non-NRTIs efavirenz (EFV, etravirine (ETR and nevirapine (NVP, and the integrase inhibitor raltegravir (RAL. Drug inhibition assays were performed using single-round HIV-1 entry assays with luciferase viruses pseudotyped with HIV-1 YU-2 envelope or vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSV-G. All the ARVs tested could effectively inhibit HIV-1 infection in macrophages, with EC90s below concentrations known to be achievable in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF. Most of the ARVs had similar potency in astrocytes, however the NRTIs 3TC, d4T and ZDV had insufficient HIV-1 inhibitory activity in astrocytes, with EC90s 12-, 187- and 110-fold greater than achievable CSF concentrations, respectively. Our data suggest that 3TC, d4T and ZDV may not adequately target astrocyte infection in vivo, which has potential implications for their inclusion in Neuro-cART regimens.

  19. Circadian modulation of gene expression, but not glutamate uptake, in mouse and rat cortical astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Beaulé

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Circadian clocks control daily rhythms including sleep-wake, hormone secretion, and metabolism. These clocks are based on intracellular transcription-translation feedback loops that sustain daily oscillations of gene expression in many cell types. Mammalian astrocytes display circadian rhythms in the expression of the clock genes Period1 (Per1 and Period2 (Per2. However, a functional role for circadian oscillations in astrocytes is unknown. Because uptake of extrasynaptic glutamate depends on the presence of Per2 in astrocytes, we asked whether glutamate uptake by glia is circadian. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured glutamate uptake, transcript and protein levels of the astrocyte-specific glutamate transporter, Glast, and the expression of Per1 and Per2 from cultured cortical astrocytes and from explants of somatosensory cortex. We found that glutamate uptake and Glast mRNA and protein expression were significantly reduced in Clock/Clock, Per2- or NPAS2-deficient glia. Uptake was augmented when the medium was supplemented with dibutyryl-cAMP or B27. Critically, glutamate uptake was not circadian in cortical astrocytes cultured from rats or mice or in cortical slices from mice. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that glutamate uptake levels are modulated by CLOCK, PER2, NPAS2, and the composition of the culture medium, and that uptake does not show circadian variations.

  20. Astrocytic Ca2+ signals are required for the functional integrity of tripartite synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanaka Mika

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal activity alters calcium ion (Ca2+ dynamics in astrocytes, but the physiologic relevance of these changes is controversial. To examine this issue further, we generated an inducible transgenic mouse model in which the expression of an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate absorbent, “IP3 sponge”, attenuates astrocytic Ca2+ signaling. Results Attenuated Ca2+ activity correlated with reduced astrocytic coverage of asymmetric synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in these animals. The decreased astrocytic ‘protection’ of the synapses facilitated glutamate ‘spillover’, which was reflected by prolonged glutamate transporter currents in stratum radiatum astrocytes and enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons in response to burst stimulation. These mice also exhibited behavioral impairments in spatial reference memory and remote contextual fear memory, in which hippocampal circuits are involved. Conclusions Our findings suggest that IP3-mediated astrocytic Ca2+ signaling correlates with the formation of functional tripartite synapses in the hippocampus.

  1. Carnosine modulates glutamine synthetase expression in senescent astrocytes exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation/recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xiaojie; Wang, Bingyu; Liu, Yuan; Zhang, Jingjing; Huang, Yuyan; Cao, Pei; Shen, Yao; Lyu, Jianxin

    2017-01-20

    Carnosine is believed to be neuroprotective in cerebral ischemia. However, few reports concern its function on senescent astrocytes during cerebral ischemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of carnosine on cell damage and glutamine synthetase (GS) expression in D-galactose-induced senescent astrocytes exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation/recovery (OGD/R). The results showed that OGD/R caused massive cell damage and a significant decrease in GS expression both in the young and senescent astrocytes. The GS expression level was partly recovered whereas it continued to decline in the recovery stage in the young and senescent astrocytes, respectively. Decreased GS expression significantly inhibited glutamate uptake and glutamine production and release. Carnosine prevented the cell damage, rescued the expression of GS and reversed the glutamate uptake activity and glutamine production in the senescent astrocytes exposed to OGD/R. The modulatory effect of carnosine on GS expression was partly antagonized by pyrilamine, a selective histamine H1 receptors antagonist, but not bestatin. Bisindolylmaleimide II, a broad-spectrum inhibitor of PKC could also reverse the action of carnosine on GS expression. Thus, histamine H1 receptors and PKC pathway may be involved in the modulatory action of carnosine in GS expression in the senescent astrocytes exposed to OGD/R.

  2. Image Features of Retinal Astrocytic Hamartoma in a Patient with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peng Zhang; Dongjie Sun; Jinting Zhu; Juan Li; Yusheng Wang

    2014-01-01

    Purpose:.To describe the image features of retinal astrocytic hamartoma in a 35-year-old male patient with tuberous sclero-sis complex (TSC). Methods:. Fundus photography , . fundus autofluorescence (FAF), fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA), and spectral domain optical coherence tomography. (SD-OCT).were per-formed for this retinal astrocytic hamartoma. Results:Fundus photography showed that the retinal astrocyt-ic hamartoma presented as a well-circumscribed,.mulberry-like lesion consisting of glistening yellowish spherules of calcifica-tion..FAF demonstrated dense hyper-autofluorescence spots corresponding to retinal astrocytic hamartoma..FFA revealed leakage from dilated retinal capillaries over the hamartoma. SD-OCT indicated moth-eaten optically empty spaces and hy-perreflective dots within the lesion..The lesion surface was fluctuate. Conclusion: FAF is a useful imaging modality for obtaining greater contrast between a retinal astrocytic hamartoma and the surrounding retina due to hyper-autofluorescence of calcifica-tion in the lesion. FFA is beneficial for monitoring the abnor-mal blood vessels in these lesions. SD-OCT is capable of visu-alization the structural details, such as the uneven surface and inner hyperreflective dots.

  3. Astrocytes are involved in trigeminal dynamic mechanical allodynia: potential role of D-serine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieb, W; Hafidi, A

    2013-09-01

    Trigeminal neuropathic pain affects millions of people worldwide. Despite decades of study on the neuronal processing of pain, mechanisms underlying enhanced pain states after injury remain unclear. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent changes play a critical role in triggering central sensitization in neuropathic pain. These receptors are regulated at the glycine site through a mandatory endogenous co-agonist D-serine, which is synthesized by astrocytes. Therefore, the present study was carried out to determine whether astrocytes are involved, through D-serine secretion, in dynamic mechanical allodynia (DMA) obtained after chronic constriction of the infraorbital nerve (CCI-IoN) in rats. Two weeks after CCI-IoN, an important reaction of astrocytes was present in the medullary dorsal horn (MDH), as revealed by an up-regulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in allodynic rats. In parallel, an increase in D-serine synthesis, which co-localized with its synthesis enzyme serine racemase, was strictly observed in astrocytes. Blocking astrocyte metabolism by intracisternal delivery of fluorocitrate alleviated DMA. Furthermore, the administration of D-amino-acid oxidase (DAAO), a D-serine-degrading enzyme, or that of L-serine O-sulfate (LSOS), a serine racemase inhibitor, significantly decreased pain behavior in allodynic rats. These results demonstrate that astrocytes are involved in the modulation of orofacial post-traumatic neuropathic pain via the release of the gliotransmitter D-serine.

  4. Regulation of Neuron-Astrocyte Metabolic Coupling across the Sleep-Wake Cycle

    KAUST Repository

    Petit, Jean-Marie

    2015-12-17

    Over the last thirty years, a growing number of studies showed that astrocytes play a pivotal role in the energy support to synapses. More precisely, astrocytes adjust the energy production to the neuronal energy needs through different mechanisms grouped under the term “neurometabolic coupling” (NMC). In this review we describe these mechanisms of coupling and how they involve astrocytes. From a physiological point of view, these mechanisms of coupling are particularly important to ensure normal synaptic functioning when neurons undergo rapid and repetitive changes in firing rate such as during the sleep/wake transitions. Investigations on brain energy metabolism during the sleep/wake cycle have been mainly focused on glucose consumption and on glycogen metabolism. However, the recent development of substrate-specific biosensors allowed measurements of the variation in extracellular levels of glutamate, glucose and lactate with a time resolution compatible with sleep stage duration. Together with gene expression data these experiments allowed to better define the variations of energy metabolites regulation across the sleep/wake cycle. The aim of this review is to bring into perspective the role of astrocytes and neurometabolic coupling in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle. The data reviewed also suggest an important role of the astrocytic network. In addition, the role of astrocytes in NMC mechanisms is consistent with the “local and use dependent” sleep hypothesis.

  5. Specific modulation of astrocyte inflammation by inhibition of mixed lineage kinases with CEP-1347.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falsig, Jeppe; Pörzgen, Peter; Lotharius, Julie; Leist, Marcel

    2004-08-15

    Inflammatory conversion of murine astrocytes correlates with the activation of various MAPK, and inhibition of terminal MAPKs like JNK or p38 dampens the inflammatory reaction. Mixed lineage kinases (MLKs), a family of MAPK kinase kinases, may therefore be involved in astrocyte inflammation. In this study, we explored the effect of the MLK inhibitors CEP-1347 and CEP-11004 on the activation of murine astrocytes by either TNF plus IL-1 or by a complete cytokine mix containing additional IFN-gamma. The compounds blocked NO-, PG-, and IL-6 release with a median inhibitory concentration of approximately 100 nM. This activity correlated with a block of the JNK and the p38 pathways activated in complete cytokine mix-treated astrocytes. Although CEP-1347 did not affect the activation of NF-kappaB, it blocked the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible NO synthase at the transcriptional level. Quantitative transcript profiling of 17 inflammation-linked genes revealed a specific modulation pattern of astrocyte activation by MLK inhibition, for instance, characterized by up-regulation of the anti-stress factors inhibitor of apoptosis protein-2 and activated transcription factor 4, no effect on manganese superoxide dismutase and caspase-11, and down-regulation of major inflammatory players like TNF, GM-CSF, urokinase-type plasminogen activator, and IL-6. In conclusion, MLK inhibitors like CEP-1347 are highly potent astrocyte immune modulators with a novel spectrum of activity.

  6. 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.

  7. The insulin-like growth factor I receptor regulates glucose transport by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Garzón, Edwin; Fernandez, Ana M; Perez-Alvarez, Alberto; Genis, Laura; Bascuñana, Pablo; Fernandez de la Rosa, Ruben; Delgado, Mercedes; Angel Pozo, Miguel; Moreno, Estefania; McCormick, Peter J; Santi, Andrea; Trueba-Saiz, Angel; Garcia-Caceres, Cristina; Tschöp, Matthias H; Araque, Alfonso; Martin, Eduardo D; Torres Aleman, Ignacio

    2016-11-01

    Previous findings indicate that reducing brain insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) activity promotes ample neuroprotection. We now examined a possible action of IGF-IR on brain glucose transport to explain its wide protective activity, as energy availability is crucial for healthy tissue function. Using (18) FGlucose PET we found that shRNA interference of IGF-IR in mouse somatosensory cortex significantly increased glucose uptake upon sensory stimulation. In vivo microscopy using astrocyte specific staining showed that after IGF-IR shRNA injection in somatosensory cortex, astrocytes displayed greater increases in glucose uptake as compared to astrocytes in the scramble-injected side. Further, mice with the IGF-IR knock down in astrocytes showed increased glucose uptake in somatosensory cortex upon sensory stimulation. Analysis of underlying mechanisms indicated that IGF-IR interacts with glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), the main facilitative glucose transporter in astrocytes, through a mechanism involving interactions with the scaffolding protein GIPC and the multicargo transporter LRP1 to retain GLUT1 inside the cell. These findings identify IGF-IR as a key modulator of brain glucose metabolism through its inhibitory action on astrocytic GLUT1 activity. GLIA 2016;64:1962-1971.

  8. Astrocytes require insulin-like growth factor I to protect neurons against oxidative injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genis, Laura; Dávila, David; Fernandez, Silvia; Pozo-Rodrigálvarez, Andrea; Martínez-Murillo, Ricardo; Torres-Aleman, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a proposed mechanism in brain aging, making the study of its regulatory processes an important aspect of current neurobiological research. In this regard, the role of the aging regulator insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in brain responses to oxidative stress remains elusive as both beneficial and detrimental actions have been ascribed to this growth factor. Because astrocytes protect neurons against oxidative injury, we explored whether IGF-I participates in astrocyte neuroprotection and found that blockade of the IGF-I receptor in astrocytes abrogated their rescuing effect on neurons. We found that IGF-I directly protects astrocytes against oxidative stress (H 2O 2). Indeed, in astrocytes but not in neurons, IGF-I decreases the pro-oxidant protein thioredoxin-interacting protein 1 and normalizes the levels of reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, IGF-I cooperates with trophic signals produced by astrocytes in response to H 2O 2 such as stem cell factor (SCF) to protect neurons against oxidative insult. After stroke, a condition associated with brain aging where oxidative injury affects peri-infarcted regions, a simultaneous increase in SCF and IGF-I expression was found in the cortex, suggesting that a similar cooperative response takes place in vivo. Cell-specific modulation by IGF-I of brain responses to oxidative stress may contribute in clarifying the role of IGF-I in brain aging.

  9. Histidine provides long-term neuroprotection after cerebral ischemia through promoting astrocyte migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Ru-jia; Jiang, Lei; Wang, Rong-rong; Zhao, Hua-wei; Chen, Ying; Li, Ya; Wang, Lu; Jie, Li-Yong; Zhou, Yu-dong; Zhang, Xiang-nan; Chen, Zhong; Hu, Wei-wei

    2015-01-01

    The formation of glial scar impedes the neurogenesis and neural functional recovery following cerebral ischemia. Histamine showed neuroprotection at early stage after cerebral ischemia, however, its long-term effect, especially on glial scar formation, hasn’t been characterized. With various administration regimens constructed for histidine, a precursor of histamine, we found that histidine treatment at a high dose at early stage and a low dose at late stage demonstrated the most remarkable long-term neuroprotection with decreased infarct volume and improved neurological function. Notably, this treatment regimen also robustly reduced the glial scar area and facilitated the astrocyte migration towards the infarct core. In wound-healing assay and transwell test, histamine significantly promoted astrocyte migration. H2 receptor antagonists reversed the promotion of astrocyte migration and the neuroprotection provided by histidine. Moreover, histamine upregulated the GTP-bound small GTPase Rac1, while a Rac1 inhibitor, NSC23766, abrogated the neuroprotection of histidine and its promotion of astrocyte migration. Our data indicated that a dose/stage-dependent histidine treatment, mediated by H2 receptor, promoted astrocyte migration towards the infarct core, which benefited long-term post-cerebral ischemia neurological recovery. Therefore, targeting histaminergic system may be an effective therapeutic strategy for long-term cerebral ischemia injury through its actions on astrocytes. PMID:26481857

  10. Saturated long-chain fatty acids activate inflammatory signaling in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Sunita; Knight, Alecia G; Gupta, Shruti; Keller, Jeffrey N; Bruce-Keller, Annadora J

    2012-03-01

    This study describes the effects of long-chain fatty acids on inflammatory signaling in cultured astrocytes. Data show that the saturated fatty acid palmitic acid, as well as lauric acid and stearic acid, trigger the release of TNFα and IL-6 from astrocytes. Unsaturated fatty acids were unable to induce cytokine release from cultured astrocytes. Furthermore, the effects of palmitic acid on cytokine release require Toll-like receptor 4 rather than CD36 or Toll-like receptor 2, and do not depend on palmitic acid metabolism to palmitoyl-CoA. Inhibitor studies revealed that pharmacologic inhibition of p38 or p42/44 MAPK pathways prevents the pro-inflammatory effects of palmitic acid, whereas JNK and PI3K inhibition does not affect cytokine release. Depletion of microglia from primary astrocyte cultures using the lysosomotropic agent l-leucine methyl ester revealed that the ability of palmitic acid to trigger cytokine release is not dependent on the presence of microglia. Finally, data show that the essential ω-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid acts in a dose-dependent manner to prevent the actions of palmitic acid on inflammatory signaling in astrocytes. Collectively, these data demonstrate the ability of saturated fatty acids to induce astrocyte inflammation in vitro. These data thus raise the possibility that high levels of circulating saturated fatty acids could cause reactive gliosis and brain inflammation in vivo, and could potentially participate in the reported adverse neurologic consequences of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

  11. Deimination level and peptidyl arginine deiminase 2 expression are elevated in astrocytes with increased incubation temperature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez-Algeciras, Mabel; Bhattacharya, Sanjoy K; Serra, Horacio M

    2015-09-01

    Astrocytes respond to environmental cues, including changes in temperatures. Increased deimination, observed in many progressive neurological diseases, is thought to be contributed by astrocytes. We determined the level of deimination and expression of peptidyl arginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) in isolated primary astrocytes in response to changes on either side (31°C and 41°C) of the optimal temperature (37°C). We investigated changes in the astrocytes by using a number of established markers and accounted for cell death with the CellTiter-Blue assay. We found increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein, ALDH1L1, and J1-31, resulting from increased incubation temperature and increased expression of TSP1, S100β, and AQP4, resulting from decreased incubation temperature vs. optimal temperature, suggesting activation of different biochemical pathways in astrocytes associated with different incubation temperatures. Mass spectrometric analyses support such trends. The PAD2 level was increased only as a result of increased incubation temperature with a commensurate increased level of deimination. Actin cytoskeleton and iso[4]LGE, a lipid peroxidase modification, also showed an increase with higher incubation temperature. Altogether, these results suggest that temperature, as an environmental cue, activates astrocytes in a different manner on either side of the optimal temperature and that increase in deimination is associated only with the higher temperature side of the spectrum.

  12. Heterogeneity of astrocytes: from development to injury - single cell gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vendula Rusnakova

    Full Text Available Astrocytes perform control and regulatory functions in the central nervous system; heterogeneity among them is still a matter of debate due to limited knowledge of their gene expression profiles and functional diversity. To unravel astrocyte heterogeneity during postnatal development and after focal cerebral ischemia, we employed single-cell gene expression profiling in acutely isolated cortical GFAP/EGFP-positive cells. Using a microfluidic qPCR platform, we profiled 47 genes encoding glial markers and ion channels/transporters/receptors participating in maintaining K(+ and glutamate homeostasis per cell. Self-organizing maps and principal component analyses revealed three subpopulations within 10-50 days of postnatal development (P10-P50. The first subpopulation, mainly immature glia from P10, was characterized by high transcriptional activity of all studied genes, including polydendrocytic markers. The second subpopulation (mostly from P20 was characterized by low gene transcript levels, while the third subpopulation encompassed mature astrocytes (mainly from P30, P50. Within 14 days after ischemia (D3, D7, D14, additional astrocytic subpopulations were identified: resting glia (mostly from P50 and D3, transcriptionally active early reactive glia (mainly from D7 and permanent reactive glia (solely from D14. Following focal cerebral ischemia, reactive astrocytes underwent pronounced changes in the expression of aquaporins, nonspecific cationic and potassium channels, glutamate receptors and reactive astrocyte markers.

  13. STIM1 and Orai1 mediate thrombin-induced Ca(2+) influx in rat cortical astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Claudia; Sampieri, Alicia; Vivas, Oscar; Peña-Segura, Claudia; Vaca, Luis

    2012-12-01

    In astrocytes, thrombin leads to cytoplasmic Ca(2+) elevations modulating a variety of cytoprotective and cytotoxic responses. Astrocytes respond to thrombin stimulation with a biphasic Ca(2+) increase generated by an interplay between ER-Ca(2+) release and store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE). In many cell types, STIM1 and Orai1 have been demonstrated to be central components of SOCE. STIM1 senses the ER-Ca(2+) depletion and binds Orai1 to activate Ca(2+) influx. Here we used immunocytochemistry, overexpression and siRNA assays to investigate the role of STIM1 and Orai1 in the thrombin-induced Ca(2+) response in primary cultures of rat cortical astrocytes. We found that STIM1 and Orai1 are endogenously expressed in cortical astrocytes and distribute accordingly with other mammalian cells. Importantly, native and overexpressed STIM1 reorganized in puncta under thrombin stimulation and this reorganization was reversible. In addition, the overexpression of STIM1 and Orai1 increased by twofold the Ca(2+) influx evoked by thrombin, while knockdown of endogenous STIM1 and Orai1 significantly decreased this Ca(2+) influx. These results indicate that STIM1 and Orai1 underlie an important fraction of the Ca(2+) response that astrocytes exhibit in the presence of thrombin. Thrombin stimulation in astrocytes leads to ER-Ca(2+) release which causes STIM1 reorganization allowing the activation of Orai1 and the subsequent Ca(2+) influx.

  14. 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.

  15. Inhibition of a SNARE-sensitive pathway in astrocytes attenuates damage following stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Dustin J; Haydon, Philip G

    2013-03-06

    A strong body of research has defined the role of excitotoxic glutamate in animal models of brain ischemia and stroke; however, clinical trials of glutamate receptor antagonists have demonstrated their limited capacity to prevent brain damage following ischemia. We propose that astrocyte-neuron signaling represents an important modulatory target that may be useful in mediating damage following stroke. To assess the impact of astrocyte signaling on damage following stroke, we have used the astrocyte-specific dominant-negative SNARE mouse model (dnSNARE). Recent findings have shown that the astrocytic SNARE signaling pathway can affect neuronal excitability by regulating the surface expression of NMDA receptors. Using focal photothrombosis via the Rose Bengal method, as well as excitotoxic NMDA lesions, we show that dnSNARE animals exhibited a sparing of damaged tissue quantified using Nissl and NeuN staining. At the same time point, animals were also tested in behavioral tasks that probe the functional integrity of stroke- or lesion-damaged motor and somatosensory areas. We found that dnSNARE mice performed significantly better than littermate controls on rung walk and adhesive dot removal tasks following lesion. Together, our results demonstrate the important role of astrocytic signaling under ischemic conditions. Drugs targeting astrocyte signaling have a potential benefit for the outcome of stroke in human patients by limiting the spread of damage.

  16. Morphology and functions of astrocytes cultured on water-repellent fractal tripalmitin surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei-wei; Wang, Zhe; Zhang, Shan-shan; Jiang, Lei; Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Xiangnan; Lei, Qun-fang; Park, Hyun-Joo; Fang, Wen-jun; Chen, Zhong

    2014-08-01

    In the brain, astrocytes play an essential role with their multiple functions and sophisticated structure, as surrounded by a fractal environment which has not been available in our traditional cell culture. Water-repellent fractal tripalmitin (PPP) surfaces can imitate the fractal environment in vivo, so the morphology and biochemical characterization of astrocytes on these surfaces are examined. Water-repellent fractal PPP surface can induce astrocytes to display sophisticated morphology with smaller size of cell area, longer and finer filopodium-like processes, and higher morphological complexity. The super water-repellent fractal PPP surface with water contact angle of 150°∼160° produces the maximal effects compared with other surfaces at lower water contact angles. The trends of characteristic protein expression, including that of nestin, vimentin, GFAP and glutamine synthetase, for astrocytes cultured on super water-repellent fractal PPP surfaces approximate more to in vivo pattern. The super water-repellent PPP surface also render astrocytes to perform more pronounced promotion of neurogenesis by increasing the release of nerve growth factor in a co-culture system. Altogether, our results suggest that the super water-repellent fractal PPP surface facilitates the astrocytes to mimic their in vivo performance, thus provides a closer-to-natural culture environment for experimental assessment of glial structure and functions.

  17. Histidine provides long-term neuroprotection after cerebral ischemia through promoting astrocyte migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Ru-jia; Jiang, Lei; Wang, Rong-rong; Zhao, Hua-wei; Chen, Ying; Li, Ya; Wang, Lu; Jie, Li-Yong; Zhou, Yu-dong; Zhang, Xiang-nan; Chen, Zhong; Hu, Wei-wei

    2015-10-20

    The formation of glial scar impedes the neurogenesis and neural functional recovery following cerebral ischemia. Histamine showed neuroprotection at early stage after cerebral ischemia, however, its long-term effect, especially on glial scar formation, hasn't been characterized. With various administration regimens constructed for histidine, a precursor of histamine, we found that histidine treatment at a high dose at early stage and a low dose at late stage demonstrated the most remarkable long-term neuroprotection with decreased infarct volume and improved neurological function. Notably, this treatment regimen also robustly reduced the glial scar area and facilitated the astrocyte migration towards the infarct core. In wound-healing assay and transwell test, histamine significantly promoted astrocyte migration. H2 receptor antagonists reversed the promotion of astrocyte migration and the neuroprotection provided by histidine. Moreover, histamine upregulated the GTP-bound small GTPase Rac1, while a Rac1 inhibitor, NSC23766, abrogated the neuroprotection of histidine and its promotion of astrocyte migration. Our data indicated that a dose/stage-dependent histidine treatment, mediated by H2 receptor, promoted astrocyte migration towards the infarct core, which benefited long-term post-cerebral ischemia neurological recovery. Therefore, targeting histaminergic system may be an effective therapeutic strategy for long-term cerebral ischemia injury through its actions on astrocytes.

  18. Glutamate-induced swelling of cultured astrocytes is mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    袁芳; 王天佑

    1996-01-01

    The effects of glutamate and its agonists and antagonists on the swelling of cultured astrocytes were studied. Swelling of astrocytes was measured by [3H]-O-methyl-D-glucose uptake. Glutamate at 0.5, 1 and 10mmol/L and irons-l-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (trans-ACPD), a metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist, at 1 mmol/L caused a significant increase in astrocytic volume, whereas alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole proprionic acid (AMPA) was not effective. L-2-amino-3-phosphonopropionic acid (L-AP3), an antagonist of mGluR, blocked the astrocytic swelling induced by trans-ACPD or glutamate. In Ca2+-free condition, glutamate was no longer effective. Swelling of astrocytes induced by glutamate was not blocked by CdCl2 at 20 μmol/L, but significantly reduced by CdCl2 at 300 μmol/L and dantrolene at 30 μmol/L. These findings indicate that mGluR activation results in astrocytic swelling and both extracellular calcium and internal calcium stores play important roles in the genes

  19. Quinolinic acid selectively induces apoptosis of human astrocytes: potential role in AIDS dementia complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Lily

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract There is evidence that the kynurenine pathway (KP and particularly one of its end products, quinolinic acid (QUIN play a role in the pathogenesis of several major neuroinflammatory diseases, and more particularly AIDS dementia complex (ADC. We hypothesized that QUIN may be involved in astrocyte apoptosis because: 1 apoptotic astrocytes have been observed in the brains of ADC patients, 2 ADC patients have elevated cerebrospinal fluid QUIN concentrations, and 3 QUIN can induce astrocyte death. Primary cultures of human fetal astrocytes were treated with three pathophysiological concentrations of QUIN. Numeration of apoptotic cells was assessed using double immunocytochemistry for expression of active caspase 3 and for nucleus condensation. We found that treatment of human astrocytes with QUIN induced morphological (cell body shrinking and biochemical changes (nucleus condensation and over-expression of active caspase 3 of apoptosis. After 24 hours of treatment with QUIN 500 nM and 1200 nM respectively 10 and 14% of astrocytes were undergoing apoptosis. This would be expected to lead to a relative lack of trophic support factors with consequent neuronal dysfunction and possibly death. Astroglial apoptosis induced by QUIN provides another potential mechanism for the neurotoxicity of QUIN during ADC.

  20. Changes in the Transcriptome of Human Astrocytes Accompanying Oxidative Stress-Induced Senescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Elizabeth P.; Tuzer, Ferit; Gregory, Brian D.; Donahue, Greg; Gosai, Sager J.; Cohen, Justin; Leung, Yuk Y.; Yetkin, Emre; Nativio, Raffaella; Wang, Li-San; Sell, Christian; Bonini, Nancy M.; Berger, Shelley L.; Johnson, F. Brad; Torres, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for many neurodegenerative disorders. A key feature of aging biology that may underlie these diseases is cellular senescence. Senescent cells accumulate in tissues with age, undergo widespread changes in gene expression, and typically demonstrate altered, pro-inflammatory profiles. Astrocyte senescence has been implicated in neurodegenerative disease, and to better understand senescence-associated changes in astrocytes, we investigated changes in their transcriptome using RNA sequencing. Senescence was induced in human fetal astrocytes by transient oxidative stress. Brain-expressed genes, including those involved in neuronal development and differentiation, were downregulated in senescent astrocytes. Remarkably, several genes indicative of astrocytic responses to injury were also downregulated, including glial fibrillary acidic protein and genes involved in the processing and presentation of antigens by major histocompatibility complex class II proteins, while pro-inflammatory genes were upregulated. Overall, our findings suggest that senescence-related changes in the function of astrocytes may impact the pathogenesis of age-related brain disorders. PMID:27630559

  1. Changes in the Transcriptome of Human Astrocytes Accompanying Oxidative Stress-induced Senescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth P. Crowe

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Aging is a major risk factor for many neurodegenerative disorders. A key feature of aging biology that may underlie these diseases is cellular senescence. Senescent cells accumulate in tissues with age, undergo widespread changes in gene expression, and typically demonstrate altered, pro-inflammatory profiles. Astrocyte senescence has been implicated in neurodegenerative disease, and to better understand senescence-associated changes in astrocytes, we investigated changes in their transcriptome using RNA sequencing. Senescence was induced in human fetal astrocytes by transient oxidative stress. Brain-expressed genes, including those involved in neuronal development and differentiation, were downregulated in senescent astrocytes. Remarkably, several genes indicative of astrocytic responses to injury were also downregulated, including GFAP and genes involved in the processing and presentation of antigens by major histocompatibility complex class II proteins, while pro-inflammatory genes were upregulated. Overall, our findings suggest that senescence-related changes in the function of astrocytes may impact the pathogenesis of age-related brain disorders.

  2. Serotonergic modulation of astrocytic activity in the hamster suprachiasmatic nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, J D; Chen, L

    1999-01-01

    -related astrocytic activity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus can be induced in response to serotonin-7 or serotonin-1A receptor activation in a phase-dependent manner. It is interesting to speculate that circadian reorganizations in astrocytic activity could be regulated by the daily rhythm in serotonin release in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

  3. Neonatal astrocyte damage is sufficient to trigger progressive striatal degeneration in a rat model of glutaric acidemia-I.

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    Silvia Olivera-Bravo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We have investigated whether an acute metabolic damage to astrocytes during the neonatal period may critically disrupt subsequent brain development, leading to neurodevelopmental disorders. Astrocytes are vulnerable to glutaric acid (GA, a dicarboxylic acid that accumulates in millimolar concentrations in Glutaric Acidemia I (GA-I, an inherited neurometabolic childhood disease characterized by degeneration of striatal neurons. While GA induces astrocyte mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and subsequent increased proliferation, it is presently unknown whether such astrocytic dysfunction is sufficient to trigger striatal neuronal loss. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A single intracerebroventricular dose of GA was administered to rat pups at postnatal day 0 (P0 to induce an acute, transient rise of GA levels in the central nervous system (CNS. GA administration potently elicited proliferation of astrocytes expressing S100β followed by GFAP astrocytosis and nitrotyrosine staining lasting until P45. Remarkably, GA did not induce acute neuronal loss assessed by FluoroJade C and NeuN cell count. Instead, neuronal death appeared several days after GA treatment and progressively increased until P45, suggesting a delayed onset of striatal degeneration. The axonal bundles perforating the striatum were disorganized following GA administration. In cell cultures, GA did not affect survival of either striatal astrocytes or neurons, even at high concentrations. However, astrocytes activated by a short exposure to GA caused neuronal death through the production of soluble factors. Iron porphyrin antioxidants prevented GA-induced astrocyte proliferation and striatal degeneration in vivo, as well as astrocyte-mediated neuronal loss in vitro. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, these results indicate that a transient metabolic insult with GA induces long lasting phenotypic changes in astrocytes that cause them to promote striatal

  4. Redefining the concept of reactive astrocytes as cells that remain within their unique domains upon reaction to injury

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    Reactive astrocytes in neurotrauma, stroke, or neurodegeneration are thought to undergo cellular hypertrophy, based on their morphological appearance revealed by immunohistochemical detection of glial fibrillary acidic protein, vimentin, or nestin, all of them forming intermediate filaments, a part of the cytoskeleton. Here, we used a recently established dye-filling method to reveal the full three-dimensional shape of astrocytes assessing the morphology of reactive astrocytes in two neurotra...

  5. Intermediate filaments of zebrafish retinal and optic nerve astrocytes and Müller glia: differential distribution of cytokeratin and GFAP

    OpenAIRE

    Mosier Amanda L; Koke Joseph R; García Dana M

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Optic nerve regeneration (ONR) following injury is a model for central nervous system regeneration. In zebrafish, ONR is rapid - neurites cross the lesion and enter the optic tectum within 7 days; in mammals regeneration does not take place unless astrocytic reactivity is suppressed. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is used as a marker for retinal and optic nerve astrocytes in both fish and mammals, even though it has long been known that astrocytes of optic nerves i...

  6. Loss of ATRX, associated with DNA methylation pattern of chromosome end, impacted biological behaviors of astrocytic tumors

    OpenAIRE

    CAI, JINQUAN; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Wei; Yang, Pei; Zhang, Chuanbao; Li, Mingyang; Yao, Kun; Wang, Hongjun; Li, Qingbin; Jiang, Chuanlu; Jiang., Tao

    2015-01-01

    Loss of ATRX leads to epigenetic alterations, including abnormal levels of DNA methylation at repetitive elements such as telomeres in murine cells. We conducted an extensive DNA methylation and mRNA expression profile study on a cohort of 82 patients with astrocytic tumors to study whether ATRX expression was associated with DNA methylation level in astrocytic tumors and in which cellular functions it participated. We observed that astrocytic tumors with lower ATRX expression harbored higher...

  7. Astrocytic LRP1 Mediates Brain Aβ Clearance and Impacts Amyloid Deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chia-Chen; Hu, Jin; Zhao, Na; Wang, Jian; Na, Wang; Cirrito, John R; Kanekiyo, Takahisa; Holtzman, David M; Bu, Guojun

    2017-03-08

    Accumulation and deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) in the brain represents an early and perhaps necessary step in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ accumulation leads to the formation of Aβ aggregates which may directly and indirectly lead to eventual neurodegeneration. While Aβ production is accelerated in many familial forms of early-onset AD, increasing evidence indicates that impaired clearance of Aβ is more evident in late-onset AD. To uncover the mechanisms underlying impaired Aβ clearance in AD, we examined the role of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) in astrocytes. Although LRP1 has been shown to play critical roles in brain Aβ metabolism in neurons and vascular mural cells, its role in astrocytes, the most abundant cell type in the brain responsible for maintaining neuronal homeostasis, remains unclear. Here, we show that astrocytic LRP1 plays a critical role in brain Aβ clearance. LRP1 knockdown in primary astrocytes resulted in decreased cellular Aβ uptake and degradation. In addition, silencing of LRP1 in astrocytes led to down-regulation of several major Aβ-degrading enzymes, including matrix metalloproteases MMP2, MMP9 and insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE). More important, conditional knockout of the Lrp1 gene in astrocytes in the background of APP/PS1 mice impaired brain Aβ clearance, exacerbated Aβ accumulation and accelerated amyloid plaque deposition without affecting its production. Together, our results demonstrate that astrocytic LRP1 plays an important role in Aβ metabolism and that restoring LRP1 expression and function in the brain could be an effective strategy to facilitate Aβ clearance and counter amyloid pathology in AD.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTAstrocytes represent a major cell type regulating brain homeostasis; however, their roles in brain clearance of amyloid-β (Aβ) and underlying mechanism are not clear. In this study, we used both cellular models and conditional knockout mouse models to

  8. Astrocyte-neuron co-culture on microchips based on the model of SOD mutation to mimic ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunze, Anja; Lengacher, Sylvain; Dirren, Elisabeth; Aebischer, Patrick; Magistretti, Pierre J; Renaud, Philippe

    2013-07-24

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common motor neuron disease. ALS is believed to be a non-cell autonomous condition, as other cell types, including astrocytes, have been implicated in disease pathogenesis. Hence, to facilitate the development of therapeutics against ALS, it is crucial to better understand the interactions between astrocytes and neural cells. Furthermore, cell culture assays are needed that mimic the complexity of cell to cell communication at the same time as they provide control over the different microenvironmental parameters. Here, we aim to validate a previously developed microfluidic system for an astrocyte-neuron cell culture platform, in which astrocytes have been genetically modified to overexpress either a human wild-type (WT) or a mutated form of the super oxide dismutase enzyme 1 (SOD1). Cortical neural cells were co-cultured with infected astrocytes and studied for up to two weeks. Using our microfluidic device that prevents direct cell to cell contact, we could evaluate neural cell response in the vicinity of astrocytes. We showed that neuronal cell density was reduced by about 45% when neurons were co-cultured with SOD-mutant astrocytes. Moreover, we demonstrated that SOD-WT overexpressing astrocytes reduced oxidative stress on cortical neurons that were in close metabolic contact. In contrast, cortical neurons in metabolic contact with SOD-mutant astrocytes lost their synapsin protein expression after severe glutamate treatment, an indication of the toxicity potentiating effect of the SOD-mutant enzyme.

  9. Endocytosis-mediated HIV-1 entry and its significance in the elusive behavior of the virus in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauhan, Ashok; Mehla, Rajeev; Vijayakumar, Theophilus Sunder; Handy, Indhira

    2014-05-01

    Astrocytes protect neurons but also evoke a proinflammatory response to injury and viral infections including HIV. We investigated the mechanism of HIV-1 infection in primary astrocytes, which showed minimal but productive viral infection independent of CXCR4. As with ectopic-CD4-expressing astrocytes, lysosomotropic agents led to increased HIV-1 infection in wild-type but not Rabs 5, 7, and 11-ablated astrocytes. Instead, HIV-1 infection was decreased in Rab-depleted astrocytes, corroborating viral entry by endocytosis. HIV-1 produced persistent infection in astrocytes (160 days); no evidence of latent infection was seen. Notably, one caveat is that endosomal modifiers enhanced wild-type HIV-1 infection (M- and T-tropic) in astrocytes, suggesting endocytic entry of the virus. Impeding endocytosis by inhibition of Rab 5, 7 or 11 will inhibit HIV infection in astrocytes. Although the contribution of such low-level infection in astrocytes to neurological complications is unclear, it may serve as an elusive viral reservoir in the central nervous system.

  10. Antagonistic interactions between dexamethasone and fluoxetine modulate morphodynamics and expression of cytokines in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henkel, A W; Alali, H; Devassy, A; Alawadi, M M; Redzic, Z B

    2014-11-07

    The "plasticity hypothesis" proposes that major depression is caused by morphological and biochemical modifications in neurons and astrocytes and those beneficial pharmacological effects of selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors (SSRI) are at least partially associated with modifications of cellular communications between these cells. In this study we examined effects of the antidepressant fluoxetine on cultured astrocytes that were, in some cases, pretreated with dexamethasone, a cortisol analog known to trigger depressive disorder. Primary rat astrocytes were purified and treated with dexamethasone and the SSRI fluoxetine in physiological concentrations so that both drugs did not affect cell viability. Expression of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and glia-derived-neurotrophic-factor (GDNF) were analyzed and monitored and cell viability, apoptosis, cluster formation, particle-removing capacity and cell mobility were also monitored. Pre-studies without any drugs on mixed neuron-astrocyte co-cultures suggested that astrocytes interacted with neurons and other brain cells in vitro by actively assembling them into clusters. Treatment of purified astrocytes with dexamethasone significantly decreased their mobility compared to controls but had no effect on cluster formation. Dexamethasone-treated cells removed fewer extracellular particles derived from dead cells and cell debris. Both effects were abolished by simultaneous application of fluoxetine. Intracellular IL-2 increased, while GDNF amount expression was diminished following dexamethasone treatment. Simultaneous administration of fluoxetine reversed dexamethasone-triggered IL-2 elevation but had no effect on decreased GDNF concentration. These results suggest that mobility and growth factor equilibrium of astrocytes are affected by dexamethasone and by fluoxetine and that fluoxetine could reverse some changes induced by dexamethasone.

  11. Astrocyte sodium signaling and neuro-metabolic coupling in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, C R; Chatton, J-Y

    2016-05-26

    At tripartite synapses, astrocytes undergo calcium signaling in response to release of neurotransmitters and this calcium signaling has been proposed to play a critical role in neuron-glia interaction. Recent work has now firmly established that, in addition, neuronal activity also evokes sodium transients in astrocytes, which can be local or global depending on the number of activated synapses and the duration of activity. Furthermore, astrocyte sodium signals can be transmitted to adjacent cells through gap junctions and following release of gliotransmitters. A main pathway for activity-related sodium influx into astrocytes is via high-affinity sodium-dependent glutamate transporters. Astrocyte sodium signals differ in many respects from the well-described glial calcium signals both in terms of their temporal as well as spatial distribution. There are no known buffering systems for sodium ions, nor is there store-mediated release of sodium. Sodium signals thus seem to represent rather direct and unbiased indicators of the site and strength of neuronal inputs. As such they have an immediate influence on the activity of sodium-dependent transporters which may even reverse in response to sodium signaling, as has been shown for GABA transporters for example. Furthermore, recovery from sodium transients through Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase requires a measurable amount of ATP, resulting in an activation of glial metabolism. In this review, we present basic principles of sodium regulation and the current state of knowledge concerning the occurrence and properties of activity-related sodium transients in astrocytes. We then discuss different aspects of the relationship between sodium changes in astrocytes and neuro-metabolic coupling, putting forward the idea that indeed sodium might serve as a new type of intracellular ion signal playing an important role in neuron-glia interaction and neuro-metabolic coupling in the healthy and diseased brain.

  12. Altered astrocytic swelling in the cortex of α-syntrophin-negative GFAP/EGFP mice.

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    Miroslava Anderova

    Full Text Available Brain edema accompanying ischemic or traumatic brain injuries, originates from a disruption of ionic/neurotransmitter homeostasis that leads to accumulation of K(+ and glutamate in the extracellular space. Their increased uptake, predominantly provided by astrocytes, is associated with water influx via aquaporin-4 (AQP4. As the removal of perivascular AQP4 via the deletion of α-syntrophin was shown to delay edema formation and K(+ clearance, we aimed to elucidate the impact of α-syntrophin knockout on volume changes in individual astrocytes in situ evoked by pathological stimuli using three dimensional confocal morphometry and changes in the extracellular space volume fraction (α in situ and in vivo in the mouse cortex employing the real-time iontophoretic method. RT-qPCR profiling was used to reveal possible differences in the expression of ion channels/transporters that participate in maintaining ionic/neurotransmitter homeostasis. To visualize individual astrocytes in mice lacking α-syntrophin we crossbred GFAP/EGFP mice, in which the astrocytes are labeled by the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter, with α-syntrophin knockout mice. Three-dimensional confocal morphometry revealed that α-syntrophin deletion results in significantly smaller astrocyte swelling when induced by severe hypoosmotic stress, oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD or 50 mM K(+. As for the mild stimuli, such as mild hypoosmotic or hyperosmotic stress or 10 mM K(+, α-syntrophin deletion had no effect on astrocyte swelling. Similarly, evaluation of relative α changes showed a significantly smaller decrease in α-syntrophin knockout mice only during severe pathological conditions, but not during mild stimuli. In summary, the deletion of α-syntrophin markedly alters astrocyte swelling during severe hypoosmotic stress, OGD or high K(+.

  13. Oxygen-glucose deprivation induced glial scar-like change in astrocytes.

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    Rongrong Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been demonstrated that cerebral ischemia induces astrocyte reactivity, and subsequent glial scar formation inhibits axonal regeneration during the recovery phase. Investigating the mechanism of glial scar formation will facilitate the development of strategies to improve axonal regeneration. However, an in vitro model of ischemia-induced glial scar has not yet been systematically established. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we at the first time found that oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD in vitro can induce rat cortical astrocytes to present characteristics of glial scar. After OGD for 6 h, astrocytes showed a remarkable proliferation following 24 h reperfusion, evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and BrdU immunocytochemistry. Meanwhile, the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein significantly increased, so did the expression of neurocan, which is a hallmark of the glial scar. In further experiments, neurons were co-cultured with astrocytes, which had been exposed to OGD, and then the immunostaining of class III β-tubulin was carried out to assess the neurite growth. When the co-culture was performed at 48 h reperfusion of astrocytes, the neurite growth was obviously inhibited, and this inhibition could be reversed by chondroitinase ABC, which digests glycosaminoglycan chains on CSPGs, including neurocan. However, the processes of neurons were elongated, when the co-culture was performed immediately after OGD. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicated that after conditioned OGD the astrocytes presented the characteristics of the glial scar, which are also comparable to the astrocytes in acute and chronic phases after cerebral ischemia in vivo. Therefore, the present system may be used as an in vitro model to explore the mechanisms underlying glial scar formation and the treatments to improve axonal regeneration after cerebral ischemia.

  14. Mitochondrial fission and fusion in astrocytes: a new pathway towards senescence

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    Sonia Luz Albarracin

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are highly specialized cells that can maintain the integrity of the synapse, facilitate nutrition and trophic support to neurons, and regulate metabolic coupling between neurons and glia. However, astrocytes are involved in resolving different types of injuries and in aging processes in the brain. Senescence has also been reported in the brain, and senescence-associated loss of astrocyte function is linked to neuronal dysfunction in age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson's disease. For example, astrocyte senescence per se inhibits synapse maturation and affects synaptic transmission. In response to the cell’s bio-energetic state, mitochondria continuously undergo structural remodeling through fission and fusion processes. These tightly regulated events are believed to be involved in many cellular events such as apoptosis, senescence, and age-related diseases. Although, little is known about the age-related changes that occur in astrocytes and if these cells are able to generate a senescent phenotype mediated by mitochondria, in the present study we evaluated the involvement of mitochondrial remodeling in the senescence process of rat astrocytes in vitro. The results obtained showed that when comparing cells at population doubling two (PD2 with cells at population doubling ten (PD10 there is a significant increase in the activity of the senescence-associated β-galactosidase marker in PD10 cells. In addition, PD10 cells had increased mitochondrial volume, decreased superoxide production, and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Protein characterization evidenced changes in the balance between mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins. Collectively, our results demonstrated a senescent-astrocyte phenotype at PD10, which is associated with metabolic and mitochondrial phenotype changes.

  15. Role of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I in the control of ketogenesis in primary cultures of rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blázquez, C; Sánchez, C; Velasco, G; Guzmán, M

    1998-10-01

    The role of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT-I) in the control of ketogenesis was studied in primary cultures of rat astrocytes. Ketone bodies were the major product of [14C]palmitate oxidation by cultured astrocytes, whereas CO2 made a minor contribution to the total oxidation products. Using tetradecylglycidate as a specific, cell-permeable inhibitor of CPT-I, a flux control coefficient of 0.77 +/- 0.07 was calculated for CPT-I over the flux of [14C]palmitate to ketone bodies. CPT-I from astrocytes was sensitive to malonyl-CoA (IC50 = 3.4 +/- 0.8 microM) and cross-reacted on western blots with an antibody raised against liver CPT-I. On the other hand, astrocytes expressed significant acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) activity, and consequently they contained considerable amounts of malonyl-CoA. Western blot analysis of ACC isoforms showed that ACC in astrocytes--like in neurons, liver, and white adipose tissue--mostly comprised the 265-kDa isoform, whereas the 280-kDa isoform--which was highly expressed in skeletal muscle--showed much lower abundance. Forskolin was used as a tool to study the modulation of the ketogenic pathway in astrocytes. Thus, forskolin decreased in parallel ACC activity and intracellular malonyl-CoA levels, whereas it stimulated CPT-I activity and [14C]palmitate oxidation to both ketone bodies and CO2. Results show that in cultured astrocytes (a) CPT-I exerts a very high degree of control over ketogenesis from palmitate, (b) the ACC/malonyl-CoA/CPT-I system is similar to that of liver, and (c) the ACC/malonyl-CoA/CPT-I system is subject to regulation by cyclic AMP.

  16. ATP and potassium ions: a deadly combination for astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, David G.; Wang, Junjie; Keane, Robert W.; Scemes, Eliana; Dahl, Gerhard

    2014-04-01

    The ATP release channel Pannexin1 (Panx1) is self-regulated, i.e. the permeant ATP inhibits the channel from the extracellular space. The affinity of the ATP binding site is lower than that of the purinergic P2X7 receptor allowing a transient activation of Panx1 by ATP through P2X7R. Here we show that the inhibition of Panx1 by ATP is abrogated by increased extracellular potassium ion concentration ([K+]o) in a dose-dependent manner. Since increased [K+]o is also a stimulus for Panx1 channels, it can be expected that a combination of ATP and increased [K+]o would be deadly for cells. Indeed, astrocytes did not survive exposure to these combined stimuli. The death mechanism, although involving P2X7R, does not appear to strictly follow a pyroptotic pathway. Instead, caspase-3 was activated, a process inhibited by Panx1 inhibitors. These data suggest that Panx1 plays an early role in the cell death signaling pathway involving ATP and K+ ions. Additionally, Panx1 may play a second role once cells are committed to apoptosis, since Panx1 is also a substrate of caspase-3.

  17. Midazolam Inhibits the Apoptosis of Astrocytes Induced by Oxygen Glucose Deprivation via Targeting JAK2-STAT3 Signaling Pathway

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    Li Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: There is an increasing interest in the role of astrocytes contributing to the intrinsic bioremediation of ischemic brain injury. The purpose of this study was to disclose the effects and mechanism of midazolam (MDZ on the proliferation and apoptosis of astrocytes under oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD condition. Methods: The astrocytes were assigned randomly into four groups: control group, OGD group, OGD+MDZ group, and OGD+MDZ+IL-6 group. The astrocytes were treated with MDZ at dose of 10 μmol/L in OGD+MDZ group. And in OGD+MDZ+IL-6 group, the astrocytes were treated with MDZ at dose of 10μmol/L and IL-6 at dose of 50 ng/mL. MTT assay was used to assess cell proliferation, and cell apoptosis was analyzed by TUNEL apoptosis assay kit and flow cytometry. Furthermore, the expression of JAK2, p-JAK2, STAT3, p-STAT3, Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3 proteins were determined by western blotting assay. Results: Astrocytes proliferation was decreased obviously in OGD group, while MDZ could increase astrocytes proliferation under OGD condition. Moreover, OGD could induce apoptosis in astrocytes and MDZ could play an anti-apoptotic role. However, IL-6, a JAK2 activator, could attenuate cell proliferation and anti-apoptotic effects of MDZ in astrocytes. In addition, the expression of Bcl-2 protein in MDZ group increased markedly, while the JAK2/STAT3 signal proteins, Bax and Caspase-3 proteins decreased relative to OGD group. But IL-6 could counteract the anti-apoptotic effects of MDZ. Conclusion: Midazolam has protective effects on the proliferation and apoptosis of astrocytes via JAK2/STAT3 signal pathway in vitro. We firstly disclose the beneficial roles of midazolam in astrocytes under ischemic condition, which may be a rational treatment selection for ischemic cerebral protection.

  18. Functional deficits in glutamate transporters and astrocyte biophysical properties in a rodent model of focal cortical dysplasia

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    Susan L Campbell

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Cortical dysplasia is associated with intractable epilepsy and developmental delay in young children. Recent work with the rat freeze-induced focal cortical dysplasia (FCD model has demonstrated that hyperexcitability in the dysplastic cortex is due in part to higher levels of extracellular glutamate. Astrocyte glutamate transporters play a pivotal role in cortical maintaining extracellular glutamate concentrations. Here we examined the function of astrocytic glutamate transporters in a FCD model in rats. Neocortical freeze lesions were made in postnatal day (PN 1 rat pups and whole cell electrophysiological recordings and biochemical studies were performed at PN 21-28. Synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents in astrocytes showed a near 10-fold reduction in amplitude compared to sham operated controls. Astrocyte glutamate transporter currents from lesioned animals were also significantly reduced when challenged exogenously applied glutamate. Reduced astrocytic glutamate transport clearance contributed to increased NMDA receptor-mediated current decay kinetics in lesioned animals. The electrophysiological profile of astrocytes in the lesion group was also markedly changed compared to sham operated animals. Control astrocytes demonstrate large-amplitude linear leak currents in response to voltage-steps whereas astrocytes in lesioned animals demonstrated significantly smaller voltage-activated inward and outward currents. Significant decreases in astrocyte resting membrane potential and increases in input resistance were observed in lesioned animals. However, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR demonstrated no differences in the expression of the astrocytic glutamate transporter GLT-1 in lesioned animals relative to controls. These data suggest that, in the absence of changes in protein or mRNA expression levels, functional changes in astrocytic glutamate transporters contribute to neuronal hyperexcitability in

  19. Antidepressant imipramine induces human astrocytes to differentiate into cells with neuronal phenotype.

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    Cabras, Stefano; Saba, Francesca; Reali, Camilla; Scorciapino, Maria Laura; Sirigu, Annarita; Talani, Giuseppe; Biggio, Giovanni; Sogos, Valeria

    2010-06-01

    Several recent studies have expanded our conception of the role of astrocytes in neurogenesis, proposing that these cells may contribute to this phenomenon not only as a source of trophic substances, but also as stem cells themselves. We recently observed in vitro that human mature astrocytes can be induced to differentiate into cells with a neuronal phenotype. Antidepressant drugs have been shown to increase neurogenesis in the adult rodent hippocampus. In order to better understand the role of astroglia in antidepressant-induced neurogenesis, primary astrocyte cultures were treated with the antidepressant imipramine. Cell morphology was rapidly modified by treatment. In fact, whereas untreated astrocytes showed large, flat morphology, after a few hours of treatment cells exhibited a round-shaped cell body with long, thin processes. The expression of neuronal markers was analysed by immunocytochemistry, Western Blot and RT-PCR at different treatment times. Results showed an increase in neuronal markers such as neurofilament and neuron-specific enolase (NSE), whereas glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and nestin expression were not significantly modified by treatment. Similar results were obtained with fluoxetine and venlafaxine. Hes1 mRNA significantly increased after 2 h of treatment, suggesting involvement of this transcription factor in this process. These results confirm the role of astrocytes in neurogenesis and suggest that these cells may represent one of the targets of antidepressants.

  20. Glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation in neurons and astrocytes during network activity in hippocampal slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Anton I; Malkov, Anton E; Waseem, Tatsiana; Mukhtarov, Marat; Buldakova, Svetlana; Gubkina, Olena; Zilberter, Misha; Zilberter, Yuri

    2014-03-01

    Network activation triggers a significant energy metabolism increase in both neurons and astrocytes. Questions of the primary neuronal energy substrate (e.g., glucose vs. lactate) as well as the relative contributions of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation and their cellular origin (neurons vs. astrocytes) are still a matter of debates. Using simultaneous measurements of electrophysiological and metabolic parameters during synaptic stimulation in hippocampal slices from mature mice, we show that neurons and astrocytes use both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation to meet their energy demands. Supplementation or replacement of glucose in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) with pyruvate or lactate strongly modifies parameters related to network activity-triggered energy metabolism. These effects are not induced by changes in ATP content, pH(i), [Ca(2+)](i) or accumulation of reactive oxygen species. Our results suggest that during network activation, a significant fraction of NAD(P)H response (its overshoot phase) corresponds to glycolysis and the changes in cytosolic NAD(P)H and mitochondrial FAD are coupled. Our data do not support the hypothesis of a preferential utilization of astrocyte-released lactate by neurons during network activation in slices--instead, we show that during such activity glucose is an effective energy substrate for both neurons and astrocytes.

  1. Influence of PrP 106 - 126 on expression of laminin and fibronectin in astrocyte

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI YuRong; GUAN LeLuo; YANG JianMin; ZHOU XiangMei; YIN XiaoMin; ZHAO DeMing

    2008-01-01

    Astrogliosis is a hallmark of prion disease, but the metabolic alterations of astrocytes remain poorly documented. A synthetic pepUde corresponding to amino acid 106-126 of the human prion protein (PrP) has been shown to be toxic to neurons. In this study, the effects of PrP 106-126 on astrocytes were investigated in vitro. The proliferation of astrocytes was significantly (P < 0.05) increased when grown in media conditioned with PrP 106-126 (80 μmol/L) from microglia. The expression of laminin (LN) and fibronectin (FN) was examined at both mRNA and protein levels. The results showed that ex-posure of astrocytes to PrP 106-126 enhanced the expression of LN and FN. The increase of FN in astrocyte cultures required cytokines previously released by activated microglia. This study reveals the expression ofLN and FN affected by PrP106-126.

  2. The medial habenula contains a specific nonstellate subtype of astrocyte expressing the ectonucleotidase NTPDase2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gampe, Kristine; Hammer, Klaus; Kittel, Ágnes; Zimmermann, Herbert

    2012-12-01

    ATP-mediated synaptic transmission represents the only transmitter-gated Ca(2+)-entry pathway in neurons of the rodent medial habenula. In addition to direct purinergic receptor-mediated synaptic inputs, the medial habenula contains purinergic systems that modulate synaptic transmission. Purinergic signaling is modulated or terminated by ectonucleotidase, nucleotide-hydrolyzing enzymes of the cell surface. Here we identify the major ectonucleotidase responsible for the hydrolysis of extracellular ATP in the mouse medial habenula as ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 2 (NTPDase2), using immunostaining and enzyme histochemistry. Double labeling experiments reveal that the enzyme is expressed by astrocytes enwrapping the densely packed neurons and also the myelinated fiber bundles of the stria medullaris. NTPDase2 immunoreactivity is absent from the lateral habenula. The analysis of mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of glial fibrillary acidic protein revealed that the medial habenula harbors a highly polar type of astrocytes with very long laminar cellular processes, untypical for grey matter astrocytes. Its morphology strongly differs from that of the stellate astrocytes in the adjacent lateral habenula. Our results suggest that the mouse medial habenula contains a specific perineuronal nonstellate subtype of astrocyte that expresses the ectonucleotidase NTPDase2 and is in a strategic position to modulate purinergic transmission in this subnucleus.

  3. Plasticity of astrocytic coverage and glutamate transporter expression in adult mouse cortex.

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    Christel Genoud

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes play a major role in the removal of glutamate from the extracellular compartment. This clearance limits the glutamate receptor activation and affects the synaptic response. This function of the astrocyte is dependent on its positioning around the synapse, as well as on the level of expression of its high-affinity glutamate transporters, GLT1 and GLAST. Using Western blot analysis and serial section electron microscopy, we studied how a change in sensory activity affected these parameters in the adult cortex. Using mice, we found that 24 h of whisker stimulation elicited a 2-fold increase in the expression of GLT1 and GLAST in the corresponding cortical column of the barrel cortex. This returns to basal levels 4 d after the stimulation was stopped, whereas the expression of the neuronal glutamate transporter EAAC1 remained unaltered throughout. Ultrastructural analysis from the same region showed that sensory stimulation also causes a significant increase in the astrocytic envelopment of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines. We conclude that a period of modified neuronal activity and synaptic release of glutamate leads to an increased astrocytic coverage of the bouton-spine interface and an increase in glutamate transporter expression in astrocytic processes.

  4. Protective and antioxidant effects of a chalconoid from Pulicaria incisa on brain astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmann, Anat; Telerman, Alona; Erlank, Hilla; Mordechay, Sharon; Rindner, Miriam; Ofir, Rivka; Kashman, Yoel

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. Ascl1 Converts Dorsal Midbrain Astrocytes into Functional Neurons In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yueguang; Miao, Qinglong; Yuan, Jiacheng; Han, Su'e; Zhang, Panpan; Li, Sanlan; Rao, Zhiping; Zhao, Wenlong; Ye, Qian; Geng, Junlan; Zhang, Xiaohui; Cheng, Leping

    2015-06-24

    In vivo induction of non-neuronal cells into neurons by transcription factors offers potential therapeutic approaches for neural regeneration. Although generation of induced neuronal (iN) cells in vitro and in vivo has been reported, whether iN cells can be fully integrated into existing circuits remains unclear. Here we show that expression of achaete-scute complex homolog-like 1 (Ascl1) alone is sufficient to convert dorsal midbrain astrocytes of mice into functional iN cells in vitro and in vivo. Specific expression of Ascl1 in astrocytes by infection with GFAP-adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector converts astrocytes in dorsal midbrain, striatum, and somatosensory cortex of postnatal and adult mice into functional neurons in vivo. These iN cells mature progressively, exhibiting neuronal morphology and markers, action potentials, and synaptic inputs from and output to existing neurons. Thus, a single transcription factor, Ascl1, is sufficient to convert brain astrocytes into functional neurons, and GFAP-AAV is an efficient vector for generating iN cells from astrocytes in vivo.

  6. Astrocytic mechanisms explaining neural-activity-induced shrinkage of extraneuronal space.

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    Ivar Østby

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal stimulation causes approximately 30% shrinkage of the extracellular space (ECS between neurons and surrounding astrocytes in grey and white matter under experimental conditions. Despite its possible implications for a proper understanding of basic aspects of potassium clearance and astrocyte function, the phenomenon remains unexplained. Here we present a dynamic model that accounts for current experimental data related to the shrinkage phenomenon in wild-type as well as in gene knockout individuals. We find that neuronal release of potassium and uptake of sodium during stimulation, astrocyte uptake of potassium, sodium, and chloride in passive channels, action of the Na/K/ATPase pump, and osmotically driven transport of water through the astrocyte membrane together seem sufficient for generating ECS shrinkage as such. However, when taking into account ECS and astrocyte ion concentrations observed in connection with neuronal stimulation, the actions of the Na(+/K(+/Cl(- (NKCC1 and the Na(+/HCO(3 (- (NBC cotransporters appear to be critical determinants for achieving observed quantitative levels of ECS shrinkage. Considering the current state of knowledge, the model framework appears sufficiently detailed and constrained to guide future key experiments and pave the way for more comprehensive astroglia-neuron interaction models for normal as well as pathophysiological situations.

  7. Tick-borne encephalitis virus infects rat astrocytes but does not affect their viability.

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    Maja Potokar

    Full Text Available Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV causes one of the most dangerous human neuroinfections in Europe and Asia. To infect neurons it must cross the blood-brain-barrier (BBB, and presumably also cells adjacent to the BBB, such as astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell type. However, the knowledge about the viral infection of glial cells is fragmental. Here we studied whether TBEV infects rat astrocytes. Rats belong to an animal group serving as a TBEV amplifying host. We employed high resolution quantitative fluorescence microscopy to investigate cell entry and cytoplasmic mobility of TBEV particles along with the effect on the cell cytoskeleton and cell survival. We report that infection of astrocytes with TBEV increases with time of exposure to TBEV and that with post-infection time TBEV particles gained higher mobility. After several days of infection actin cytoskeleton was affected, but cell survival was unchanged, indicating that rat astrocytes resist TBEV-mediated cell death, as reported for other mammalian cells. Therefore, astrocytes may present an important pool of dormant TBEV infections and a new target for therapeutic intervention.

  8. Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Infects Rat Astrocytes but Does Not Affect Their Viability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potokar, Maja; Korva, Miša; Jorgačevski, Jernej; Avšič-Županc, Tatjana; Zorec, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) causes one of the most dangerous human neuroinfections in Europe and Asia. To infect neurons it must cross the blood-brain-barrier (BBB), and presumably also cells adjacent to the BBB, such as astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell type. However, the knowledge about the viral infection of glial cells is fragmental. Here we studied whether TBEV infects rat astrocytes. Rats belong to an animal group serving as a TBEV amplifying host. We employed high resolution quantitative fluorescence microscopy to investigate cell entry and cytoplasmic mobility of TBEV particles along with the effect on the cell cytoskeleton and cell survival. We report that infection of astrocytes with TBEV increases with time of exposure to TBEV and that with post-infection time TBEV particles gained higher mobility. After several days of infection actin cytoskeleton was affected, but cell survival was unchanged, indicating that rat astrocytes resist TBEV-mediated cell death, as reported for other mammalian cells. Therefore, astrocytes may present an important pool of dormant TBEV infections and a new target for therapeutic intervention. PMID:24465969

  9. Cell death pathways in astrocytes with a modified model of oxygen-glucose deprivation.

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    Qiaoying Huang

    Full Text Available Traditional oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD models do not produce sufficiently stable and continuous deprivation to induce cell death in the ischemic core. Therefore, we modified the OGD model to mimic the observed damage in the ischemic core following stroke and utilized this new model to study cell death pathways in astrocytes. The PO2 and pH levels in the astrocyte culture medium were compared between a physical OGD group, a chemical OGD group and a mixed OGD group. The mixed OGD group was able to maintain anaerobic conditions in astrocyte culture medium for 6 h, while the physical and the chemical groups failed to maintain such conditions. Astrocyte viability decreased and LDH release into in the medium increased as a function of exposure to OGD. Compared to the control group, the expression of active caspase-3 in the mixed OGD group increased within 2 h after OGD, but decreased after 2 h of OGD. Additionally, porimin mRNA levels did not significantly increase during the first 2 h of OGD, while bcl-2 mRNA levels decreased at 1 h. However, both porimin and bcl-2 mRNA levels increased after 2 h of OGD; interestingly, they both suddenly decreased at 4 h of OGD. Taken together, these results indicate that apoptosis and oncosis are the two cell death pathways responsible for astrocyte death in the ischemic core. However, the main death pathway varies depending on the OGD period.

  10. Differential effects of glutamate transporter inhibitors on the global electrophysiological response of astrocytes to neuronal stimulation.

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    Bernardinelli, Yann; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2008-11-13

    Astrocytes are responsible for regulating extracellular levels of glutamate and potassium during neuronal activity. Glutamate clearance is handled by glutamate transporter subtypes glutamate transporter 1 and glutamate-aspartate transporter in astrocytes. DL-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate (TBOA) and dihydrokainate (DHK) are extensively used as inhibitors of glial glutamate transport activity. Using whole-cell recordings, we characterized the effects of both transporter inhibitors on afferent-evoked astrocyte currents in acute cortical slices of 3-week-old rats. When neuronal afferents were stimulated, passive astrocytes responded by a rapid inward current followed by a persistent tail current. The first current corresponded to a glutamate transporter current. This current was inhibited by both inhibitors and by tetrodotoxin. The tail current is an inward potassium current as it was blocked by barium. Besides inhibiting transporter currents, TBOA strongly enhanced the tail current. This effect was barium-sensitive and might be due to a rise in extracellular potassium level and increased glial potassium uptake. Unlike TBOA, DHK did not enhance the tail current but rather inhibited it. This result suggests that, in addition to inhibiting glutamate transport, DHK prevents astrocyte potassium uptake, possibly by blockade of inward-rectifier channels. This study revealed that, in brain slices, glutamate transporter inhibitors exert complex effects that cannot be attributed solely to glutamate transport inhibition.

  11. Glutamate transport decreases mitochondrial pH and modulates oxidative metabolism in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azarias, Guillaume; Perreten, Hélène; Lengacher, Sylvain; Poburko, Damon; Demaurex, Nicolas; Magistretti, Pierre J; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2011-03-09

    During synaptic activity, the clearance of neuronally released glutamate leads to an intracellular sodium concentration increase in astrocytes that is associated with significant metabolic cost. The proximity of mitochondria at glutamate uptake sites in astrocytes raises the question of the ability of mitochondria to respond to these energy demands. We used dynamic fluorescence imaging to investigate the impact of glutamatergic transmission on mitochondria in intact astrocytes. Neuronal release of glutamate induced an intracellular acidification in astrocytes, via glutamate transporters, that spread over the mitochondrial matrix. The glutamate-induced mitochondrial matrix acidification exceeded cytosolic acidification and abrogated cytosol-to-mitochondrial matrix pH gradient. By decoupling glutamate uptake from cellular acidification, we found that glutamate induced a pH-mediated decrease in mitochondrial metabolism that surpasses the Ca(2+)-mediated stimulatory effects. These findings suggest a model in which excitatory neurotransmission dynamically regulates astrocyte energy metabolism by limiting the contribution of mitochondria to the metabolic response, thereby increasing the local oxygen availability and preventing excessive mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production.

  12. NH4+ triggers the release of astrocytic lactate via mitochondrial pyruvate shunting

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    Lerchundi, Rodrigo; Fernández-Moncada, Ignacio; Contreras-Baeza, Yasna; Sotelo-Hitschfeld, Tamara; Mächler, Philipp; Wyss, Matthias T.; Stobart, Jillian; Baeza-Lehnert, Felipe; Alegría, Karin; Weber, Bruno; Barros, L. Felipe

    2015-01-01

    Neural activity is accompanied by a transient mismatch between local glucose and oxygen metabolism, a phenomenon of physiological and pathophysiological importance termed aerobic glycolysis. Previous studies have proposed glutamate and K+ as the neuronal signals that trigger aerobic glycolysis in astrocytes. Here we used a panel of genetically encoded FRET sensors in vitro and in vivo to investigate the participation of NH4+, a by-product of catabolism that is also released by active neurons. Astrocytes in mixed cortical cultures responded to physiological levels of NH4+ with an acute rise in cytosolic lactate followed by lactate release into the extracellular space, as detected by a lactate-sniffer. An acute increase in astrocytic lactate was also observed in acute hippocampal slices exposed to NH4+ and in the somatosensory cortex of anesthetized mice in response to i.v. NH4+. Unexpectedly, NH4+ had no effect on astrocytic glucose consumption. Parallel measurements showed simultaneous cytosolic pyruvate accumulation and NADH depletion, suggesting the involvement of mitochondria. An inhibitor-stop technique confirmed a strong inhibition of mitochondrial pyruvate uptake that can be explained by mitochondrial matrix acidification. These results show that physiological NH4+ diverts the flux of pyruvate from mitochondria to lactate production and release. Considering that NH4+ is produced stoichiometrically with glutamate during excitatory neurotransmission, we propose that NH4+ behaves as an intercellular signal and that pyruvate shunting contributes to aerobic lactate production by astrocytes. PMID:26286989

  13. Astrocytic response in hippocampus and cerebral cortex in an experimental epilepsy model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girardi, Elena; Ramos, Alberto Javier; Vanore, Gabriela; Brusco, Alicia

    2004-02-01

    Astrocytes are very sensitive to alterations in the brain environment and respond showing a phenomenon known as astroglial reaction. S100beta is an astroglial derived neurotrophic factor, seems to be involved in neuroplasticity. The aim of this work was to study the astrocytic response in rat hippocampus and cerebral cortex after repetitive seizures induced by 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MP) administration. Immunocytochemical studies were performed to analyze GFAP and S100beta expression. Both studied areas showed hypertrophied astrocytes with enlarged processes and increased soma size. Astrocyte hyperplasia was observed only in the cerebral cortex. A significant decrease in the astrocytic S100beta immunostaining occurs after MP treatment. These results indicate that MP administration induces an astroglial reaction with reduced intracellular S100beta level. The observed reduction in astroglial S100beta could be related to the release of this factor to the extracellular space, where it may produce neurotrophic or deleterious effects accordingly to the concentration achieved. The mechanism of this remains to be elucidated.

  14. Fimbria-fornix (FF)-transected hippocampal extracts induce the activation of astrocytes in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Linqing; Li, Haoming; Jin, Guohua; Tian, Meiling; Qin, Jianbing; Zhao, Heyan

    2014-03-01

    Hippocampus is one of the neurogenesis areas in adult mammals, but the function of astrocytes in this area is still less known. In our previous study, the fimbria-fornix (FF)-transected hippocampal extracts promoted the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of radial glial cells in vitro. To explore the effects of hippocampal extracts on gliogenesis, the hippocampal astrocytes were treated by normal or ff-transected hippocampal extracts in vitro. The cells were immunostained by brain lipid-binding protein (BLBP), nestin, and SOX2 to assess their state of activation. The effects of astrocyte-conditioned medium on the neuronal differentiation of hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) were also investigated. After treatment of FF-transected hippocampal extracts, the number of BLBP, nestin, and Sox-positive cells were obviously more than the cells which treated by normal hippocampal extracts, these cells maintained a state of activation and the activated astrocyte-conditioned medium also promoted the differentiation of NSCs into more neurons. These findings suggest that the astrocytes can be activated by FF-transected hippocampal extracts and these activated cells also can promote the neuronal differentiation of hippocampal NSCs in vitro.

  15. Myelination transition zone astrocytes are constitutively phagocytic and have synuclein dependent reactivity in glaucoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Judy V; Soto, Ileana; Kim, Keun-Young; Bushong, Eric A; Oglesby, Ericka; Valiente-Soriano, Francisco J; Yang, Zhiyong; Davis, Chung-ha O; Bedont, Joseph L; Son, Janice L; Wei, John O; Buchman, Vladimir L; Zack, Donald J; Vidal-Sanz, Manuel; Ellisman, Mark H; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas

    2011-01-18

    Optic nerve head (ONH) astrocytes have been proposed to play both protective and deleterious roles in glaucoma. We now show that, within the postlaminar ONH myelination transition zone (MTZ), there are astrocytes that normally express Mac-2 (also known as Lgals3 or galectin-3), a gene typically expressed only in phagocytic cells. Surprisingly, even in healthy mice, MTZ and other ONH astrocytes constitutive internalize large axonal evulsions that contain whole organelles. In mouse glaucoma models, MTZ astrocytes further up-regulate Mac-2 expression. During glaucomatous degeneration, there are dystrophic processes in the retina and optic nerve, including the MTZ, which contain protease resistant γ-synuclein. The increased Mac-2 expression by MTZ astrocytes during glaucoma likely depends on this γ-synuclein, as mice lacking γ-synuclein fail to up-regulate Mac-2 at the MTZ after elevation of intraocular pressure. These results suggest the possibility that a newly discovered normal degradative pathway for axons might contribute to glaucomatous neurodegeneration.

  16. Intercellular Signaling Pathway among Endothelia, Astrocytes and Neurons in Excitatory Neuronal Damage

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    Kanato Yamagata

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Neurons interact closely with astrocytes via glutamate; this neuron-glia circuit may play a pivotal role in synaptic transmission. On the other hand, astrocytes contact vascular endothelial cells with their end-feet. It is becoming obvious that non-neuronal cells play a critical role in regulating the neuronal activity in the brain. We find that kainic acid (KA administration induces the expression of microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1 in venous endothelial cells and the prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 receptor prostaglandin E receptor (EP-3 on astrocytes. Endothelial mPGES-1 exacerbates KA-induced neuronal damage in in vivo experiments. In in vitro experiments, mPGES-1 produces PGE2, which enhances astrocytic Ca2+ levels via the EP3 receptor and increases Ca2+-dependent glutamate release, thus aggravating neuronal injury. This novel endothelium-astrocyte-neuron signaling pathway may be crucial for driving neuronal damage after repetitive seizures and could be a new therapeutic target for epilepsy and other brain disorders.

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

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    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.

  18. Xanthohumol induces different cytotoxicity and apoptotic pathways in malignant and normal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajc, I; Filipič, M; Lah, T T

    2012-11-01

    Cytotoxicity and the mechanisms of cell death induced by xanthohumol (XN) were compared in normal and cancerous human cells as the differences may be relevant for the potential use of XN in cancer therapy. The cancer cells seemed to be more susceptible to the cytotoxicity of XN than normal cells, but a significant difference was observed only in astrocytic cells. XN induced a higher rate of apoptosis in glioblastoma cells than in normal astrocytes, which was associated with activation of p53 and an elevated Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in glioblastoma cells, indicating an intrinsic caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway. In contrast, a reduced Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was observed in normal human astrocytes. This was also associated with higher expression of the cell cycle inhibitor, p21, in glioblastoma cells than in normal astrocytes. In addition, at a lower, non-cytotoxic concentration, XN partially inhibited the invasiveness of glioblastoma cells. Due to the selective sensitivity of astrocytic cells to XN, this compound should be studied further as a candidate for adjuvant therapy in the treatment of glioma.

  19. [A protocol for primary dissociated astrocyte and neuron co-culture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Ying; Zhou, Mi; Jiang, Min

    2013-02-25

    Cultured primary hippocampal neurons are ideal tool for investigating the subcellular localization and trafficking of neuronal proteins. The aim of the present study was to establish a method to co-culture hippocampal neurons and cortical astrocytes, which would guarantee well conditions of neurons. Newborn Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were sacrificed by decapitation. The cortex of cerebrum was cut into pieces, and the cortical tissue was digested with trypsin. The liquid suspension of single cells was planted onto a 25 cm² culture flask. On the fourth day of culture, the tissue cells except astrocytes were removed by intensive agitation of culture flask. Purified astrocytes were allowed to grow continuously until they reached most area of flask. At this time point, we replaced the culture media with neuronal cell media containing cytarabine, and planted the primary culture of rat hippocampal neurons onto the feed layer of cortical astrocytes. The microscopic observation results showed that, the astrocytes evenly grew without obvious boundaries between each other, and exhibited good purity. The co-cultured hippocampal neurons were in good condition, developed intertwined network of axons and dendrites, lived for a long time, and could tolerate gene transfection. Above all, this method is relatively simple from a technical point of view, yet provides healthy and reliable neuronal culture.

  20. 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.

  1. PPARgamma agonist curcumin reduces the amyloid-beta-stimulated inflammatory responses in primary astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong-Mei; Zhao, Yan-Xin; Zhang, Shi; Liu, Gui-Dong; Kang, Wen-Yan; Tang, Hui-Dong; Ding, Jian-Qing; Chen, Sheng-Di

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder. Accumulating data indicate that astrocytes play an important role in the neuroinflammation related to the pathogenesis of AD. It has been shown that microglia and astrocytes are activated in AD brain and amyloid-beta (Abeta) can increase the expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), interleukin-1, and interleukin-6. Suppressing the inflammatory response caused by activated astrocytes may help to inhibit the development of AD. Curcumin is a major constituent of the yellow curry spice turmeric and proved to be a potential anti-inflammatory drug in arthritis and colitis. There is a low age-adjusted prevalence of AD in India, a country where turmeric powder is commonly used as a culinary compound. Curcumin has been shown to suppress activated astroglia in amyloid-beta protein precursor transgenic mice. The real mechanism by which curcumin inhibits activated astroglia is poorly understood. Here we report that the expression of COX-2 and glial fibrillary acidic protein were enhanced and that of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) was decreased in Abeta(25-35)-treated astrocytes. In line with these results, nuclear factor-kappaB translocation was increased in the presence of Abeta. All these can be reversed by the pretreatment of curcumin. Furthermore, GW9662, a PPARgamma antagonist, can abolish the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin. These results show that curcumin might act as a PPARgamma agonist to inhibit the inflammation in Abeta-treated astrocytes.

  2. Death and survival of neuronal and astrocytic cells in ischemic brain injury: a role of autophagy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Min XU; Hui-ling ZHANG

    2011-01-01

    Autophagy is a highly regulated cellular mechanism that leads to degradation of long-lived proteins and dysfunctional organelles. The process has been implicated in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions relevant to neurological diseases. Recent studies show the existence of autophagy in cerebral ischemia, but no consensus has yet been reached regarding the functions of autophagy in this condition. This article highlights the activation of autophagy during cerebral ischemia and/or reperfusion, especially in neurons and astrocytes, as well as the role of autophagy in neuronal or astrocytic cell death and survival. We propose that physiological levels of autophagy, presumably caused by mild to modest hypoxia or ischemia, appear to be protective. However, high levels of autophagy caused by severe hypoxia or ischemia and/or reperfusion may cause self-digestion and eventual neuronal and astrocytic cell death. We also discuss that oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stresses in cerebral hypoxia or ischemia and/or reperfusion are potent stimuli of autophagy in neurons and astrocytes. In addition, we review the evidence suggesting a considerable overlap between autophagy on one hand, and apoptosis, necrosis and necroptosis on the other hand, in determining the outcomes and final morphology of damaged neurons and astrocytes.

  3. Glutamate enhances the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in cultured SD rat astrocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chong-xiao Liu; Yong Liu; Wei Shi; Xin-lin Chen; Xin-li Xiao; Ling-yu Zhao; Yu-mei Tian; Jun-feng Zhang

    2009-01-01

    Objective To study the effect of glutamate on the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA and protein in cultured rat astrocytes. Methods Cultured rat astrocytes were randomly divided into 6 groups: control group (C), glutamate group (G), QA group (Q), DCG-IV group (D), L-AP4 group (L) and glutanmte-FMCPG gronp (G+M). Cells were cultured under nomoxic condition (95% air, 5% CO2). RT-PCR and ELISA methods were used to detect the expression of VEGF mRNA and protein in cultured astrocytes, respectively. G+ M group was preincubated with lmM MCPG for 30 min prior to the stimulation with glutamate. There were 7 time points at 0,4,8,12,16,24 and 48 h in each group except G+M group. Results The expression of VEGF mRNA and protein did not differ significantly among D group, L group and C group. Different from that in C group, the expression of VEGF mRNA and protein could be enhanced both in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner in G group and Q group. Meanwhile, the enhanced expression of VEGF mRNA and protein in G group was completely suppressed by MCPG after 24 h. Conclusion Glutamate can increase the expression of VEGF mRNA and protein in cultured astrocytes, which may be due to the activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors in astrocytes.

  4. Effect of quinolinic acid on human astrocytes morphology and functions: implications in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brew Bruce J

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The excitotoxin quinolinic acid (QUIN is synthesized through the kynurenine pathway (KP by activated monocyte lineage cells. QUIN is likely to play a role in the pathogenesis of several major neuroinflammatory diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD. The presence of reactive astrocytes, astrogliosis, increased oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines are important pathological hallmarks of AD. We assessed the stimulatory effects of QUIN at low physiological to high excitotoxic concentrations in comparison with the cytokines commonly associated with AD including IFN-γ and TNF-α on primary human astrocytes. We found that QUIN induces IL-1β expression, a key mediator in AD pathogenesis, in human astrocytes. We also explored the effect of QUIN on astrocyte morphology and functions. At low concentrations, QUIN treatment induced concomitantly a marked increase in glial fibrillary acid protein levels and reduction in vimentin levels compared to controls; features consistent with astrogliosis. At pathophysiological concentrations QUIN induced a switch between structural protein expressions in a dose dependent manner, increasing VIM and concomitantly decreasing GFAP expression. Glutamine synthetase (GS activity was used as a functional metabolic test for astrocytes. We found a significant dose-dependent reduction in GS activity following QUIN treatment. All together, this study showed that QUIN is an important factor for astroglial activation, dysregulation and cell death with potential relevance to AD and other neuroinflammatory diseases.

  5. Drosophila astrocytes cover specific territories of the CNS neuropil and are instructed to differentiate by Prospero, a key effector of Notch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peco, Emilie; Davla, Sejal; Camp, Darius; Stacey, Stephanie M; Landgraf, Matthias; van Meyel, Don J

    2016-04-01

    Astrocytes are crucial in the formation, fine-tuning, function and plasticity of neural circuits in the central nervous system. However, important questions remain about the mechanisms instructing astrocyte cell fate. We have studied astrogenesis in the ventral nerve cord of Drosophila larvae, where astrocytes exhibit remarkable morphological and molecular similarities to those in mammals. We reveal the births of larval astrocytes from a multipotent glial lineage, their allocation to reproducible positions, and their deployment of ramified arbors to cover specific neuropil territories to form a stereotyped astroglial map. Finally, we unraveled a molecular pathway for astrocyte differentiation in which the Ets protein Pointed and the Notch signaling pathway are required for astrogenesis; however, only Notch is sufficient to direct non-astrocytic progenitors toward astrocytic fate. We found that Prospero is a key effector of Notch in this process. Our data identify an instructive astrogenic program that acts as a binary switch to distinguish astrocytes from other glial cells.

  6. 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.

  7. Generation of GFAP::GFP astrocyte reporter lines from human adult fibroblast-derived iPS cells using zinc-finger nuclease technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping-Wu; Haidet-Phillips, Amanda M; Pham, Jacqueline T; Lee, Youngjin; Huo, Yuqing; Tienari, Pentti J; Maragakis, Nicholas J; Sattler, Rita; Rothstein, Jeffrey D

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are instrumental to major brain functions, including metabolic support, extracellular ion regulation, the shaping of excitatory signaling events and maintenance of synaptic glutamate homeostasis. Astrocyte dysfunction contributes to numerous developmental, psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. The generation of adult human fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has provided novel opportunities to study mechanisms of astrocyte dysfunction in human-derived cells. To overcome the difficulties of cell type heterogeneity during the differentiation process from iPSCs to astroglial cells (iPS astrocytes), we generated homogenous populations of iPS astrocytes using zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) technology. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) driven by the astrocyte-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter was inserted into the safe harbor adeno-associated virus integration site 1 (AAVS1) locus in disease and control-derived iPSCs. Astrocyte populations were enriched using Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) and after enrichment more than 99% of iPS astrocytes expressed mature astrocyte markers including GFAP, S100β, NFIA and ALDH1L1. In addition, mature pure GFP-iPS astrocytes exhibited a well-described functional astrocytic activity in vitro characterized by neuron-dependent regulation of glutamate transporters to regulate extracellular glutamate concentrations. Engraftment of GFP-iPS astrocytes into rat spinal cord grey matter confirmed in vivo cell survival and continued astrocytic maturation. In conclusion, the generation of GFAP::GFP-iPS astrocytes provides a powerful in vitro and in vivo tool for studying astrocyte biology and astrocyte-driven disease pathogenesis and therapy.

  8. Adenosine A(2B) receptor-mediated leukemia inhibitory factor release from astrocytes protects cortical neurons against excitotoxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moidunny, Shamsudheen; Vinet, Jonathan; Wesseling, Evelyn; Bijzet, Johan; Shieh, Chu-Hsin; van Ijzendoorn, Sven C.D.; Bezzi, Paola; Boddeke, Hendrikus W.G.M.; Biber, Knut

    2012-01-01

    Background: Neuroprotective and neurotrophic properties of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) have been widely reported. In the central nervous system (CNS), astrocytes are the major source for LIF, expression of which is enhanced following disturbances leading to neuronal damage. How astrocytic LIF e

  9. Astrocytic glutamate uptake is slow and does not limit neuronal NMDA receptor activation in the neonatal neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Elizabeth; Armbruster, Moritz; Cantu, David; Andresen, Lauren; Taylor, Amaro; Danbolt, Niels Christian; Dulla, Chris G

    2015-10-01

    Glutamate uptake by astrocytes controls the time course of glutamate in the extracellular space and affects neurotransmission, synaptogenesis, and circuit development. Astrocytic glutamate uptake has been shown to undergo post-natal maturation in the hippocampus, but has been largely unexplored in other brain regions. Notably, glutamate uptake has never been examined in the developing neocortex. In these studies, we investigated the development of astrocytic glutamate transport, intrinsic membrane properties, and control of neuronal NMDA receptor activation in the developing neocortex. Using astrocytic and neuronal electrophysiology, immunofluorescence, and Western blot analysis we show that: (1) glutamate uptake in the neonatal neocortex is slow relative to neonatal hippocampus; (2) astrocytes in the neonatal neocortex undergo a significant maturation of intrinsic membrane properties; (3) slow glutamate uptake is accompanied by lower expression of both GLT-1 and GLAST; (4) glutamate uptake is less dependent on GLT-1 in neonatal neocortex than in neonatal hippocampus; and (5) the slow glutamate uptake we report in the neonatal neocortex corresponds to minimal astrocytic control of neuronal NMDA receptor activation. Taken together, our results clearly show fundamental differences between astrocytic maturation in the developing neocortex and hippocampus, and corresponding changes in how astrocytes control glutamate signaling.

  10. Construction and identification of immortalized rat astrocyte cell line expressing enkephalin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Ying; TIAN Yu-ke; TIAN Xue-bi; AN Ke; YANG Hui

    2007-01-01

    Objective: To provide a sound cell source for further ex-vivo gene therapy for chronic pain, we attempt to develop an immortalized rat astrocyte cell line that expresses enkephalin regulated by doxycycline.Methods: Retrovirus infection method was employed to develop an immortalized rat astrocyte cell line that could express enkephalin regulated by doxycycline. The hPPE gene expression level of immoralized astroyte cells (IAC)/hPPE was detected by RT-PCR, indirect immunofiuorescence staining and radioimmunoassay.Results: IAC carrying Tet-on system transfected with preproenkephalin gene could secrete enkephalin that was regulated by doxycycline in a dose-dependent manner and hPPE gene activation could be repeated in on-off-on cycles through administration or removal of doxycycline.Conclusion: An immortalized rat astrocyte cell line that secrete enkephalin under the control of doxycycline is established successfully, which provides a research basis for transgenic cell transplantation for analgesia.

  11. Human glial chimeric mice reveal astrocytic dependence of JC virus infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kondo, Yoichi; Windrem, Martha S; Zou, Lisa;

    2014-01-01

    with humanized white matter by engrafting human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) into neonatal immunodeficient and myelin-deficient mice. Intracerebral delivery of JCV resulted in infection and subsequent demyelination of these chimeric mice. Human GPCs and astrocytes were infected more readily than...... oligodendrocytes, and viral replication was noted primarily in human astrocytes and GPCs rather than oligodendrocytes, which instead expressed early viral T antigens and exhibited apoptotic death. Engraftment of human GPCs in normally myelinated and immunodeficient mice resulted in humanized white matter...... that was chimeric for human astrocytes and GPCs. JCV effectively propagated in these mice, which indicates that astroglial infection is sufficient for JCV spread. Sequencing revealed progressive mutation of the JCV capsid protein VP1 after infection, suggesting that PML may evolve with active infection...

  12. TRPV1 on astrocytes rescues nigral dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease via CNTF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Jin H.; Park, Eun S.; Won, So-Yoon; Lee, Yu A.; Kim, Kyoung I.; Jeong, Jae Y.; Baek, Jeong Y.; Cho, Eun J.; Jin, Minyoung; Chung, Young C.; Lee, Byoung D.; Kim, Sung Hyun; Kim, Eung-Gook; Byun, Kyunghee; Lee, Bonghee; Woo, Dong Ho; Lee, C. Justin; Kim, Sang R.; Bok, Eugene; Kim, Yoon-Seong; Ahn, Tae-Beom; Ko, Hyuk Wan; Brahmachari, Saurav; Pletinkova, Olga; Troconso, Juan C.; Dawson, Valina L.; Dawson, Ted M.

    2015-01-01

    Currently there is no neuroprotective or neurorestorative therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Here we report that transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) on astrocytes mediates endogenous production of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), which prevents the active degeneration of dopamine neurons and leads to behavioural recovery through CNTF receptor alpha (CNTFRα) on nigral dopamine neurons in both the MPP+-lesioned or adeno-associated virus α-synuclein rat models of Parkinson’s disease. Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis of human post-mortem substantia nigra from Parkinson’s disease suggests that this endogenous neuroprotective system (TRPV1 and CNTF on astrocytes, and CNTFRα on dopamine neurons) might have relevance to human Parkinson’s disease. Our results suggest that activation of astrocytic TRPV1 activates endogenous neuroprotective machinery in vivo and that it is a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. PMID:26490328

  13. Sphingosine 1-phosphate signaling in astrocytes: Implications for progressive multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farez, Mauricio F; Correale, Jorge

    2016-02-15

    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by recurrent attacks against the central nervous system. After many years, certain patients enter a progressive disease phase, characterized by steady clinical deterioration. However, in 10-15% of patients, the disease is progressive from the beginning, and thus diagnosed as Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Unlike relapsing-remitting forms, progressive MS lacks effective therapy. Astrocytes are a major component of glial cells and are now thought to play a role in disease progression. Sphingosine 1-phophate is a molecule with extensive receptor expression on both immune and glial cells and is also a target of fingolimod, a drug used in relapsing remitting patients that sequesters lymphocytes within lymph nodes. However, because sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors are also expressed in astrocytes, and also because modification of this pathway has shown interesting benefits in animal models of Multiple Sclerosis, this astrocyte pathway has become an interesting target for developing potential new therapeutic approaches for Multiple Sclerosis.

  14. Targeted activation of CREB in reactive astrocytes is neuroprotective in focal acute cortical injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo, Luis; Schlüter, Agatha; Valor, Luis M; Barco, Angel; Giralt, Mercedes; Golbano, Arantxa; Hidalgo, Juan; Jia, Peilin; Zhao, Zhongming; Jové, Mariona; Portero-Otin, Manuel; Ruiz, Montserrat; Giménez-Llort, Lydia; Masgrau, Roser; Pujol, Aurora; Galea, Elena

    2016-05-01

    The clinical challenge in acute injury as in traumatic brain injury (TBI) is to halt the delayed neuronal loss that occurs hours and days after the insult. Here we report that the activation of CREB-dependent transcription in reactive astrocytes prevents secondary injury in cerebral cortex after experimental TBI. The study was performed in a novel bitransgenic mouse in which a constitutively active CREB, VP16-CREB, was targeted to astrocytes with the Tet-Off system. Using histochemistry, qPCR, and gene profiling we found less neuronal death and damage, reduced macrophage infiltration, preserved mitochondria, and rescued expression of genes related to mitochondrial metabolism in bitransgenic mice as compared to wild type littermates. Finally, with meta-analyses using publicly available databases we identified a core set of VP16-CREB candidate target genes that may account for the neuroprotective effect. Enhancing CREB activity in astrocytes thus emerges as a novel avenue in acute brain post-injury therapeutics.

  15. Simvastatin inhibits interferon-γ-induced MHC class II up-regulation in cultured astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glazenburg Lisa

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Based on their potent anti-inflammatory properties and a preliminary clinical trial, statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors are being studied as possible candidates for multiple sclerosis (MS therapy. The pathogenesis of MS is unclear. One theory suggests that the development of autoimmune lesions in the central nervous system may be due to a failure of endogenous inhibitory control of MHC class II expression on astrocytes, allowing these cells to adapt an interferon (IFN-γ-induced antigen presenting phenotype. By using immunocytochemistry in cultured astrocytes derived from newborn Wistar rats we found that simvastatin at nanomolar concentrations inhibited, in a dose-response fashion, up to 70% of IFN-γ-induced MHC class II expression. This effect was reversed by the HMG-CoA reductase product mevalonate. Suppression of the antigen presenting function of astrocytes might contribute to the beneficial effects of statins in MS.

  16. Amyloid-β and Astrocytes Interplay in Amyloid-β Related Disorders

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    Yazan S. Batarseh

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid-β (Aβ pathology is known to promote chronic inflammatory responses in the brain. It was thought previously that Aβ is only associated with Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. However, studies have shown its involvement in many other neurological disorders. The role of astrocytes in handling the excess levels of Aβ has been highlighted in the literature. Astrocytes have a distinctive function in both neuronal support and protection, thus its involvement in Aβ pathological process may tip the balance toward chronic inflammation and neuronal death. In this review we describe the involvement of astrocytes in Aβ related disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and frontotemporal dementia.

  17. Alpha-Synuclein Stimulation of Astrocytes: Potential Role for Neuroinflammation and Neuroprotection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He-Jin Lee

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Selective loss of neurons, abnormal protein deposition and neuroinflammation are the common pathological features of neurodegenerative diseases, and these features are closely related to one another. In Parkinson's disease, abnormal aggregation and deposition of α-synuclein is known as a critical event in pathogenesis of the disease, as well as in other related neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy. Increasing evidence suggests that α-synuclein aggregates can activate glial cells to induce neuroinflammation. However, how an inflammatory microenvironment is established and maintained by this protein remains unknown. Findings from our recent study suggest that neuronal α-synuclein can be directly transferred to astrocytes through sequential exocytosis and endocytosis and induce inflammatory responses from astrocytes. Here we discuss potential roles of astrocytes in a cascade of events leading to α-synuclein-induced neuroinflammation.

  18. Dynamic transition of neuronal firing induced by abnormal astrocytic glutamate oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiajia; Tang, Jun; Ma, Jun; Du, Mengmeng; Wang, Rong; Wu, Ying

    2016-08-01

    The gliotransmitter glutamate released from astrocytes can modulate neuronal firing by activating neuronal N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors. This enables astrocytic glutamate(AG) to be involved in neuronal physiological and pathological functions. Based on empirical results and classical neuron-glial “tripartite synapse” model, we propose a practical model to describe extracellular AG oscillation, in which the fluctuation of AG depends on the threshold of calcium concentration, and the effect of AG degradation is considered as well. We predict the seizure-like discharges under the dysfunction of AG degradation duration. Consistent with our prediction, the suppression of AG uptake by astrocytic transporters, which operates by modulating the AG degradation process, can account for the emergence of epilepsy.

  19. Astrocyte-specific overexpressed gene signatures in response to methamphetamine exposure in vitro

    KAUST Repository

    Bortell, Nikki

    2017-03-09

    BackgroundAstrocyte activation is one of the earliest findings in the brain of methamphetamine (Meth) abusers. Our goal in this study was to identify the characteristics of the astrocytic acute response to the drug, which may be critical in pathogenic outcomes secondary to the use.MethodsWe developed an integrated analysis of gene expression data to study the acute gene changes caused by the direct exposure to Meth treatment of astrocytes in vitro, and to better understand how astrocytes respond, what are the early molecular markers associated with this response. We examined the literature in search of similar changes in gene signatures that are found in central nervous system disorders.ResultsWe identified overexpressed gene networks represented by genes of an inflammatory and immune nature and that are implicated in neuroactive ligand-receptor interactions. The overexpressed networks are linked to molecules that were highly upregulated in astrocytes by all doses of methamphetamine tested and that could play a role in the central nervous system. The strongest overexpressed signatures were the upregulation of MAP2K5, GPR65, and CXCL5, and the gene networks individually associated with these molecules. Pathway analysis revealed that these networks are involved both in neuroprotection and in neuropathology. We have validated several targets associated to these genes.ConclusionsGene signatures for the astrocytic response to Meth were identified among the upregulated gene pool, using an in vitro system. The identified markers may participate in dysfunctions of the central nervous system but could also provide acute protection to the drug exposure. Further in vivo studies are necessary to establish the role of these gene networks in drug abuse pathogenesis.

  20. Insulin promotes glycogen storage and cell proliferation in primary human astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Heni

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: In the human brain, there are at least as many astrocytes as neurons. Astrocytes are known to modulate neuronal function in several ways. Thus, they may also contribute to cerebral insulin actions. Therefore, we examined whether primary human astrocytes are insulin-responsive and whether their metabolic functions are affected by the hormone. METHODS: Commercially available Normal Human Astrocytes were grown in the recommended medium. Major players in the insulin signaling pathway were detected by real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting. Phosphorylation events were detected by phospho-specific antibodies. Glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis were assessed using radio-labeled glucose. Glycogen content was assessed by histochemistry. Lactate levels were measured enzymatically. Cell proliferation was assessed by WST-1 assay. RESULTS: We detected expression of key proteins for insulin signaling, such as insulin receptor β-subunit, insulin receptor substrat-1, Akt/protein kinase B and glycogen synthase kinase 3, in human astrocytes. Akt was phosphorylated and PI-3 kinase activity increased following insulin stimulation in a dose-dependent manner. Neither increased glucose uptake nor lactate secretion after insulin stimulation could be evidenced in this cell type. However, we found increased insulin-dependent glucose incorporation into glycogen. Furthermore, cell numbers increased dose-dependently upon insulin treatment. DISCUSSION: This study demonstrated that human astrocytes are insulin-responsive at the molecular level. We identified glycogen synthesis and cell proliferation as biological responses of insulin signaling in these brain cells. Hence, this cell type may contribute to the effects of insulin in the human brain.

  1. Purines released from astrocytes inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission in the ventral horn of the spinal cord

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Meier Carlsen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Spinal neuronal networks are essential for motor function. They are involved in the integration of sensory inputs and the generation of rhythmic motor outputs. They continuously adapt their activity to the internal state of the organism and to the environment. This plasticity can be provided by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters by releasing gliotransmitters, which in turn modulate synaptic transmission. Here we investigated if astrocytes present in the ventral horn of the spinal cord modulate synaptic transmission. We evoked synaptic inputs in ventral horn neurons recorded in a slice preparation from the spinal cord of neonatal mice. Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs. We used mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein to identify astrocytes. Chelating calcium with BAPTA in a single neighboring astrocyte increased the amplitude of synaptic currents. In contrast, when we selectively stimulated astrocytes by activating PAR-1 receptors with the peptide TFLLR, the amplitude of EPSCs evoked by a paired stimulation protocol was reduced. The paired-pulse ratio was increased, suggesting an inhibition occurring at the presynaptic side of synapses. In the presence of blockers for extracellular ectonucleotidases, TFLLR did not induce presynaptic inhibition. Puffing adenosine reproduced the effect of TFLLR and blocking adenosine A1 receptors with DPCPX prevented it. Altogether our results show that ventral horn astrocytes are responsible for a tonic and a phasic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by releasing ATP, which gets converted into adenosine that binds to inhibitory

  2. Quantification of Metabolic Rearrangements During Neural Stem Cells Differentiation into Astrocytes by Metabolic Flux Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sá, João V; Kleiderman, Susanne; Brito, Catarina; Sonnewald, Ursula; Leist, Marcel; Teixeira, Ana P; Alves, Paula M

    2017-01-01

    Proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) have a crucial role to ensure neurogenesis and gliogenesis in the mammalian brain throughout life. As there is growing evidence for the significance of metabolism in regulating cell fate, knowledge on the metabolic programs in NSCs and how they evolve during differentiation into somatic cells may provide novel therapeutic approaches to address brain diseases. In this work, we applied a quantitative analysis to assess how the central carbon metabolism evolves upon differentiation of NSCs into astrocytes. Murine embryonic stem cell (mESC)-derived NSCs and astrocytes were incubated with labelled [1-(13)C]glucose and the label incorporation into intracellular metabolites was followed by GC-MS. The obtained (13)C labelling patterns, together with uptake/secretion rates determined from supernatant analysis, were integrated into an isotopic non-stationary metabolic flux analysis ((13)C-MFA) model to estimate intracellular flux maps. Significant metabolic differences between NSCs and astrocytes were identified, with a general downregulation of central carbon metabolism during astrocytic differentiation. While glucose uptake was 1.7-fold higher in NSCs (on a per cell basis), a high lactate-secreting phenotype was common to both cell types. Furthermore, NSCs consumed glutamine from the medium; the highly active reductive carboxylation of alpha-ketoglutarate indicates that this was converted to citrate and used for biosynthetic purposes. In astrocytes, pyruvate entered the TCA cycle mostly through pyruvate carboxylase (81%). This pathway supported glutamine and citrate secretion, recapitulating well described metabolic features of these cells in vivo. Overall, this fluxomics study allowed us to quantify the metabolic rewiring accompanying astrocytic lineage specification from NSCs.

  3. Striatal astrocytes transdifferentiate into functional mature neurons following ischemic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Chun-Ling; Liu, Chong-Wei; Shen, Shu-Wen; Yu, Zhang; Mo, Jia-Lin; Chen, Xian-Hua; Sun, Feng-Yan

    2015-09-01

    To determine whether reactive astrocytes stimulated by brain injury can transdifferentiate into functional new neurons, we labeled these cells by injecting a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) targeted enhanced green fluorescence protein plasmid (pGfa2-eGFP plasmid) into the striatum of adult rats immediately following a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and performed immunolabeling with specific neuronal markers to trace the neural fates of eGFP-expressing (GFP(+)) reactive astrocytes. The results showed that a portion of striatal GFP(+) astrocytes could transdifferentiate into immature neurons at 1 week after MCAO and mature neurons at 2 weeks as determined by double staining GFP-expressing cells with βIII-tubulin (GFP(+)-Tuj-1(+)) and microtubule associated protein-2 (GFP(+)-MAP-2(+)), respectively. GFP(+) neurons further expressed choline acetyltransferase, glutamic acid decarboxylase, dopamine receptor D2-like family proteins, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit R2, indicating that astrocyte-derived neurons could develop into cholinergic or GABAergic neurons and express dopamine and glutamate receptors on their membranes. Electron microscopy analysis indicated that GFP(+) neurons could form synapses with other neurons at 13 weeks after MCAO. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that action potentials and active postsynaptic currents could be recorded in the neuron-like GFP(+) cells but not in the astrocyte-like GFP(+) cells, demonstrating that new GFP(+) neurons possessed the capacity to fire action potentials and receive synaptic inputs. These results demonstrated that striatal astrocyte-derived new neurons participate in the rebuilding of functional neural networks, a fundamental basis for brain repair after injury. These results may lead to new therapeutic strategies for enhancing brain repair after ischemic stroke.

  4. Roles of astrocytic Na(+),K(+)-ATPase and glycogenolysis for K(+) homeostasis in mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Gerkau, Niklas J; Xu, Junnan; Durry, Simone; Song, Dan; Rose, Christine R; Peng, Liang

    2015-07-01

    Neuronal excitation increases extracellular K(+) concentration ([K(+)]o) in vivo and in incubated brain tissue by stimulation of postsynaptic glutamatergic receptors and by channel-mediated K(+) release during action potentials. Convincing evidence exists that subsequent cellular K(+) reuptake occurs by active transport, normally mediated by Na(+),K(+)-ATPase. This enzyme is expressed both in neurons and in astrocytes but is stimulated by elevated [K(+)]o only in astrocytes. This might lead to an initial K(+) uptake in astrocytes, followed by Kir4.1-mediated release and neuronal reuptake. In cell culture experiments, K(+)-stimulated glycogenolysis is essential for operation of the astrocytic Na(+),K(+)-ATPase resulting from the requirement for glycogenolysis in a pathway leading to uptake of Na(+) for costimulation of its intracellular sodium-binding site. The astrocytic but not the neuronal Na(+),K(+)-ATPase is additionally stimulated by isoproterenol, a β-adrenergic agonist, but only at nonelevated [K(+)]o. This effect is also glycogenolysis dependent and might play a role during poststimulatory undershoots. Attempts to replicate dependence on glycogenolysis for K(+) reuptake in glutamate-stimulated brain slices showed similar [K(+)]o recovery half-lives in the absence and presence of the glycogenolysis inhibitor 1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-D-arabinitol. The undershoot was decreased, but to the same extent as an unexpected reduction of peak [K(+)]o increase. A potential explanation for this difference from the cell culture experiments is that astrocytic glutamate uptake might supply the cells with sufficient Na(+). Inhibition of action potential generation by tetrodotoxin caused only a marginal, nonsignificant decrease in stimulated [K(+)]o in brain slices, hindering the evaluation if K(+) reaccumulation after action potential propagation requires glycogenolysis in this preparation.

  5. 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

  6. Suprachiasmatic astrocytes modulate the circadian clock in response to TNF-α1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duhart, José M.; Leone, María Juliana; Paladino, Natalia; Evans, Jennifer A.; Castanon-Cervantes, Oscar; Davidson, Alec J.; Golombek, Diego A.

    2013-01-01

    The immune and the circadian systems interact in a bidirectional fashion. The master circadian oscillator, located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus (SCN), responds to peripheral and local immune stimuli, such as proinflammatory cytokines and bacterial endotoxin. Astrocytes exert several immune functions in the central nervous system and there is growing evidence that points towards a role of these cells in the regulation of circadian rhythms. The aim of this work was to assess the response of SCN astrocytes to immune stimuli, particularly to the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α. TNF-α applied to cultures of SCN astrocytes from Per2luc knock in mice altered both the phase and amplitude of PER2 expression rhythms, in a phase dependent manner. Furthermore, conditioned media from SCN astrocytes cultures transiently challenged with TNF-α induced an increase in Per1 expression in NIH 3T3 cells, that was blocked by TNF-α antagonism. In addition, these conditioned media could induce phase shifts in SCN PER2 rhythms and, when administered intracerebroventricularly, induced phase delays in behavioral circadian rhythms and SCN activation in control mice, but not in TNF-Receptor-1 mutants. In summary, our results show that TNF-α modulates the molecular clock of SCN astrocytes in vitro and also that, in response to this molecule, SCN astrocytes can modulate clock gene expression in other cells and tissues, and induce phase shifts in a circadian behavioral output in vivo. These findings suggest a role for astroglial cells in the alteration of circadian timing by immune activation. PMID:24062487

  7. Suprachiasmatic astrocytes modulate the circadian clock in response to TNF-α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duhart, José M; Leone, María Juliana; Paladino, Natalia; Evans, Jennifer A; Castanon-Cervantes, Oscar; Davidson, Alec J; Golombek, Diego A

    2013-11-01

    The immune and the circadian systems interact in a bidirectional fashion. The master circadian oscillator, located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus, responds to peripheral and local immune stimuli, such as proinflammatory cytokines and bacterial endotoxin. Astrocytes exert several immune functions in the CNS, and there is growing evidence that points toward a role of these cells in the regulation of circadian rhythms. The aim of this work was to assess the response of SCN astrocytes to immune stimuli, particularly to the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α. TNF-α applied to cultures of SCN astrocytes from Per2(luc) knockin mice altered both the phase and amplitude of PER2 expression rhythms, in a phase-dependent manner. Furthermore, conditioned media from SCN astrocyte cultures transiently challenged with TNF-α induced an increase in Per1 expression in NIH 3T3 cells, which was blocked by TNF-α antagonism. In addition, these conditioned media could induce phase shifts in SCN PER2 rhythms and, when administered intracerebroventricularly, induced phase delays in behavioral circadian rhythms and SCN activation in control mice, but not in TNFR-1 mutants. In summary, our results show that TNF-α modulates the molecular clock of SCN astrocytes in vitro, and also that, in response to this molecule, SCN astrocytes can modulate clock gene expression in other cells and tissues, and induce phase shifts in a circadian behavioral output in vivo. These findings suggest a role for astroglial cells in the alteration of circadian timing by immune activation.

  8. Effects of lipopolysaccharide on oligodendrocyte progenitor cells are mediated by astrocytes and microglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Y; Cai, Z; Rhodes, P G

    2000-11-15

    Oligodendrocytes are the primary cells injured in periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a predominant form of brain white matter lesion in preterm infants. To explore the possible linkage between white matter injury and maternal infection, purified rat O-2A progenitor (Oligodendrocyte-type 2 astrocyte progenitor) cell cultures were used as a model in studying the effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an endotoxin, on survival and differentiation of oligodendrocytes and the involvement of other glial cells in the effects of LPS. O-2A progenitor cells were cultured from optic nerves of 7-day-old rat pups in a chemically defined medium (CDM). Astrocyte and microglia cell cultures were prepared from the cortex of 1-day-old rat brains in the CDM. Direct treatment of LPS (1 microg/ml) to O-2A cells had no effect on viability or differentiation of these cells. When O-2A progenitor cells were cultured in the conditioned medium obtained from either astrocyte or microglial cell cultures for 48 hr, survival rate and differentiation of O-2A cells into mature oligodendrocytes were greatly enhanced as measured by the MTT assay and immunocytochemistry. The conditioned medium obtained from astrocytes or microglia treated with LPS for 48 hr, however, failed to show such a promotional effect on viability and differentiation of O-2A cells. When 5 microg/ml LPS was used to stimulate astrocytes or microglia, the conditioned medium from these glial cell cultures caused O-2A cell injury. The overall results indicate that astrocytes and microglia may promote viability and differentiation of O-2A progenitor cells under physiological conditions, but they may also mediate cytotoxic effects of LPS on oligodendrocytes under an infectious disease biochemical environment.

  9. The origin of Rosenthal fibers and their contributions to astrocyte pathology in Alexander disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosunov, Alexander A; McKhann, Guy M; Goldman, James E

    2017-03-31

    Rosenthal fibers (RFs) are cytoplasmic, proteinaceous aggregates. They are the pathognomonic feature of the astrocyte pathology in Alexander Disease (AxD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the GFAP gene, encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Although RFs have been known for many years their origin and significance remain elusive issues. We have used mouse models of AxD based on the overexpression of human GFAP (transgenic, TG) and a point mutation in mouse GFAP (knock-in, KI) to examine the formation of RFs and to find astrocyte changes that correlate with the appearance of RFs. We found RFs of various sizes and shapes. The smallest ones appear as granular depositions on intermediate filaments. These contain GFAP and the small heat shock protein, alphaB-crystallin. Their aggregation appears to give rise to large RFs. The appearance of new RFs and the growth of previously formed RFs occur over time. We determined that DAPI is a reliable marker of RFs and in parallel with Fluoro-Jade B (FJB) staining defined a high variability in the appearance of RFs, even in neighboring astrocytes. Although many astrocytes in AxD with increased levels of GFAP and with or without RFs change their phenotype, only some cells with large numbers of RFs show a profound reconstruction of cellular processes, with a loss of fine distal processes and the appearance of large, lobulated nuclei, likely due to arrested mitosis. We conclude that 1) RFs appear to originate as small, osmiophilic masses containing both GFAP and alphaB-crystallin deposited on bundles of intermediate filaments. 2) RFs continue to form within AxD astrocytes over time. 3) DAPI is a reliable marker for RFs and can be used with immunolabeling. 4) RFs appear to interfere with the successful completion of astrocyte mitosis and cell division.

  10. Activation of α7-containing nicotinic receptors on astrocytes triggers AMPA receptor recruitment to glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xulong; Lippi, Giordano; Carlson, David M; Berg, Darwin K

    2013-12-01

    Astrocytes, an abundant form of glia, are known to promote and modulate synaptic signaling between neurons. They also express α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs), but the functional relevance of these receptors is unknown. We show here that stimulation of α7-nAChRs on astrocytes releases components that induce hippocampal neurons to acquire more α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors post-synaptically at glutamatergic synapses. The increase is specific in that no change is seen in synaptic NMDA receptor clusters or other markers for glutamatergic synapses, or in markers for GABAergic synapses. Moreover, the increases in AMPA receptors on the neuron surface are accompanied by increases in the frequency of spontaneous miniature synaptic currents mediated by the receptors and increases in the ratio of evoked synaptic currents mediated by AMPA versus NMDA receptors. This suggests that stimulating α7-nAChRs on astrocytes can convert 'silent' glutamatergic synapses to functional status. Astrocyte-derived thrombospondin is necessary but not sufficient for the effect, while tumor necrosis factor-α is sufficient but not necessary. The results identify astrocyte α7-nAChRs as a novel pathway through which nicotinic cholinergic signaling can promote the development of glutamatergic networks, recruiting AMPA receptors to post-synaptic sites and rendering the synapses more functional. We find that activation of nicotinic receptors on astrocytes releases a component that specifically recruits AMPA receptors to glutamatergic synapses. The recruitment appears to occur preferentially at what may be 'silent synapses', that is, synapses that have all the components required for glutamatergic transmission (including NMDA receptors) but lack sufficient AMPA receptors to generate a response. The results are unexpected and open up new possibilities for mechanisms underlying network formation and synaptic plasticity.

  11. Discerning neurogenic vs. non-neurogenic postnatal lateral ventricular astrocytes via activity-dependent input

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena W. Adlaf

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Throughout development, neural stem cells (NSCs give rise to differentiated neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes which together modulate perception, memory, and behavior in the adult nervous system. To understand how NSCs contribute to postnatal/adult brain remodeling and repair after injury, the lateral ventricular (LV neurogenic niche in the rodent postnatal brain serves as an excellent model system. It is a specialized area containing self-renewing GFAP+ astrocytes functioning as NSCs generating new neurons throughout life. In addition to this now well-studied regenerative process, the LV niche also generates astrocytes, playing an important role for glial scar formation after cortical injury. While LV NSCs can be clearly distinguished from their neuroblast and oligodendrocyte progeny via molecular markers, the astrocytic identity of NSCs has complicated their distinction from terminally-differentiated astrocytes in the niche. Our current models of postnatal/adult LV neurogenesis do not take into account local astrogenesis, or the possibility that cellular markers may be similar between non-dividing GFAP+ NSCs and their differentiated astrocyte daughters. Postnatal LV neurogenesis is regulated by NSC-intrinsic mechanisms interacting with extracellular/niche-driven cues. It is generally believed that these local effects are responsible for sustaining neurogenesis, though behavioral paradigms and disease states have suggested possibilities for neural circuit-level modulation. With recent experimental findings that neuronal stimulation can directly evoke responses in LV NSCs, it is possible that this exciting property will add a new dimension to identifying postnatal/adult NSCs. Here, we put forth a notion that neural circuit-level input can be a distinct characteristic defining postnatal/adult NSCs from non-neurogenic astroglia.

  12. Functional P2X7 receptors at cultured hippocampal astrocytes but not neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubini, Patrizia; Pagel, Gregor; Mehri, Soghra; Marquardt, Peter; Riedel, Thomas; Illes, Peter

    2014-10-01

    P2X7 receptors have been suggested to be located both on neurons and astrocytes of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the present Ca(2+)-imaging and patch-clamp study, we reinvestigated these findings on mixed neuronal-astrocytic cell cultures prepared from embryonic or newborn rat hippocampi. We found in a Mg(2+)-free bath medium that the prototypic P2X7 receptor agonist dibenzoyl-adenosine triphosphate (Bz-ATP) increased the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) both in the neuronal cell bodies and in their axo-dendritic processes only to a very minor extent. However, Bz-ATP produced marked [Ca(2+)]i transients in the neuronal processes, when they grew above a glial carpet, which was uniformly sensitive to Bz-ATP. These glial signals might be misinterpreted as neuronal responses because of the poor focal discrimination by a fluorescent microscope. Most astrocytes had a polygonal shape without clearly circumscribable boundaries, but a subgroup of them had neuron-like appearance. The cellular processes of this astrocytic subgroup, just as their cell somata and their polygonal counterparts, appeared to possess a high density of functional P2X7 receptors. In contrast to astrocytes, in a low Ca(2+)/no Mg(2+)-containing bath medium, hippocampal neurons failed to respond to Bz-ATP with membrane currents. In addition, neither the amplitude nor the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents, representing the quantal release of glutamate, was modified by Bz-ATP. We conclude that cultured hippocampal neurons, in contrast to astrocytes, possess P2X7 receptors, if at all, only at a low density.

  13. 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...... cultures of murine cerebellar and cortical astrocytes, and determined glycogen content to investigate the effects of SOCE on glycogen metabolism. By blocking glycogenolysis, we tested energetic dependency of SOCE-related Ca(2+) dynamics on glycogenolytic ATP. Our results show that SOCE triggers astrocytic...... glycogenolysis. Upon inhibition of adenylate cyclase with 2',5'-dideoxyadenosine, glycogen content was no longer significantly different from that in unstimulated control cells, indicating that SOCE triggers astrocytic glycogenolysis in a cAMP-dependent manner. When glycogenolysis was inhibited in cortical...

  14. 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....

  15. Astrocytic control of biosynthesis and turnover of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Arne; Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2013-01-01

    . Astrocytes play a pivotal role in the maintenance of the neurotransmitter pools of glutamate and GABA since only these cells express pyruvate carboxylase, the enzyme required for de novo synthesis of the two amino acids. Such de novo synthesis is obligatory to compensate for catabolism of glutamate and GABA...... that GS is exclusively expressed in astrocytes. It should be kept in mind that the operation of the cycle is associated with movement of ammonia nitrogen between the two cell types and different mechanisms which can mediate this have been proposed. This review is intended to delineate the above mentioned...

  16. Increased astrocytic expression of metallothioneins I + II in brainstem of adult rats treated with 6-aminonicotinamide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, Milena; Hidalgo, Juan; Moos, Torben

    1997-01-01

    The cerebral distribution of metallothioneins I and II (MT-I + II) was studied in adult rats subjected to i.p. injection with the gliotoxin 6-aminonicotinamide (6-AN). Grey matter regions of the brainstem heralded numerous OX-42-positive macrophages and microglia, indicating that 6-AN primarily...... caused damage to this part of the brain. In the grey matter regions infiltrated with OX-42-positive cells, astrocytes identified by anti-GFAP and MT-I + II antibodies were almost absent. By contrast, in the peripheral zone of the lesioned regions numerous reactive GFAP- and MT-I + II-positive astrocytes...

  17. Bone morphogenetic protein 7 regulates reactive gliosis in retinal astrocytes and Müller glia

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The focus of this study was to determine whether bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) trigger reactive gliosis in retinal astrocytes and/or Müller glial cells. Methods Retinal astrocytes and the Müller glial cell line MIO-M1 were treated with vehicle, BMP7, or BMP4. Samples from the treated cells were analyzed for changes in gliosis markers using reverse transcriptase – quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and western blotting. To determine potential similarities and differences in gliosis states...

  18. Purinergic P2X7 receptors mediate cell death in mouse cerebellar astrocytes in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, Elvira; Carrasquero, Luz María G; Olivos-Oré, Luis A; Bustillo, Diego; Artalejo, Antonio R; Miras-Portugal, Maria Teresa; Delicado, Esmerilda G

    2013-12-01

    The brain distribution and functional role of glial P2X7 receptors are broader and more complex than initially anticipated. We characterized P2X7 receptors from cerebellar astrocytes at the molecular, immunocytochemical, biophysical, and cell physiologic levels. Mouse cerebellar astrocytes in culture express mRNA coding for P2X7 receptors, which is translated into P2X7 receptor protein as proven by Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry. Fura-2 imaging showed cytosolic calcium responses to ATP and the synthetic analog 3'-O-(4-benzoyl)benzoyl-ATP (BzATP) exhibited two components, namely an initial transient and metabotropic component followed by a sustained one that depended on extracellular calcium. This latter component, which was absent in astrocytes from P2X7 receptor knockout mice (P2X7 KO), was modulated by extracellular Mg(2+), and was sensitive to Brilliant Blue G (BBG) and 3-(5-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1H-tetrazol-1-yl)methyl pyridine (A438079) antagonism. BzATP also elicited inwardly directed nondesensitizing whole-cell ionic currents that were reduced by extracellular Mg(2+) and P2X7 antagonists (BBG and calmidazolium). In contrast to that previously reported in rat cerebellar astrocytes, sustained BzATP application induced a gradual increase in membrane permeability to large cations, such as N-methyl-d-glucamine and 4-[3-methyl-2(3H)-benzoxazolylidene)-methyl]-1-[3-(triethylammonio)propyl]diiodide, which ultimately led to the death of mouse astrocytes. Cerebellar astrocyte cell death was prevented by BBG but not by calmidazolium, removal of extracellular calcium, or treatment with the caspase-3 inhibitor, benzyloxycarbonyl-Asp(OMe)-Glu(OMe)-Val-Asp(OMe)-fluoromethylketone, thus suggesting a necrotic-type mechanism of cell death. Since this cellular response was not observed in astrocytes from P2X7 KO mice, this study suggests that stimulation of P2X7 receptor may convey a cell death signal to cerebellar astrocytes in a species-specific manner.

  19. Ephrin-A3 reverse signaling regulates hippocampal neuronal damage and astrocytic glutamate transport after transient global ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jinshan; Luo, Xiang; Huang, Xiaojiang; Ning, Qin; Xie, Minjie; Wang, Wei

    2014-11-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that the Eph receptors and their ephrin ligands are involved in the regulation of interactions between neurons and astrocytes. Moreover, astrocytic ephrin-A3 reverse signaling mediated by EphA4 receptors is necessary for controlling the abundance of glial glutamate transporters. However, the role of ephrin-A3 reverse signaling in astrocytic function and neuronal death under ischemic conditions remains unclear. In the present study, we found that the EphA4 receptor and its ephrin-A3 ligand, which were distributed in neurons and astrocytes, respectively, in the hippocampus showed a coincident up-regulation of protein expression in the early stage of ischemia. Application of clustered EphA4 decreased the expressions of astrocytic glutamate transporters together with astrocytic glutamate uptake capacity through activating ephrin-A3 reverse signaling. In consequence, neuronal loss was aggravated in the CA1 region of the hippocampus accompanied by impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial memory when clustered EphA4 treatment was administered prior to transient global ischemia. These findings indicate that EphA4-mediated ephrin-A3 reverse signaling is a crucial mechanism for astrocytes to control glial glutamate transporters and prevent glutamate excitotoxicity under pathological conditions. Astrocytic ephrin-A3 reverse signaling mediated by EphA4 receptor is necessary for controlling the abundance of glial glutamate transporters under physiological conditions. However, the role of ephrin-A3 reverse signaling in astrocytic function and neuronal death under ischemic conditions remains unclear. We found EphA4-mediated ephrin-A3 reverse signaling to be a crucial mechanism for astrocytes to control glial glutamate transporters and protect hippocampal neurons from glutamate excitotoxicity under ischemic conditions, this cascade representing a potential therapeutic target for stroke.

  20. Dysfunctional astrocytes as key players in the pathogenesis of central nervous system disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Keyser, Jacques; Mostert, Jop P.; Koch, Marcus W.

    2008-01-01

    Once considered little more than the glue that holds neurons in place, astrocytes are now becoming appreciated for the key roles they play in central nervous system functions. They supply neurons and oligodendrocytes with substrates for energy metabolism, control extracellular water and electrolyte

  1. Selective stimulation of dendrite outgrowth from identified corticospinal neurons by homotopic astrocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gispen, W.H.; Dijkstra, S.; Bar, P.R.; Joosten, E.A.

    1999-01-01

    Corticospinal neurons were identified in primary cultures of cortical neurons established from rats that had been injected with a fluorescent tracer to retrogradely label the corticospinal tract. We measured neurite outgrowth from corticospinal neurons after they had been co-cultured with astrocytes

  2. Formate generated by cellular oxidation of formaldehyde accelerates the glycolytic flux in cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulpule, Ketki; Dringen, Ralf

    2012-04-01

    Formaldehyde is a neurotoxic compound that can be endogenously generated in the brain. Because astrocytes play a key role in metabolism and detoxification processes in brain, we have investigated the capacity of these cells to metabolize formaldehyde using primary astrocyte-rich cultures as a model system. Application of formaldehyde to these cultures resulted in the appearance of formate in cells and in a time-, concentration- and temperature-dependent disappearance of formaldehyde from the medium that was accompanied by a matching extracellular accumulation of formate. This formaldehyde-oxidizing capacity of astrocyte cultures is likely to be catalyzed by alcohol dehydrogenase 3 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2, because the cells of the cultures contain the mRNAs of these formaldehyde-oxidizing enzymes. In addition, exposure to formaldehyde increased both glucose consumption and lactate production by the cells. Both the strong increase in the cellular formate content and the increase in glycolytic flux were only observed after application of formaldehyde to the cells, but not after treatment with exogenous methanol or formate. The accelerated lactate production was not additive to that obtained for azide, a known inhibitor of complex IV of the respiratory chain, and persisted after removal of formaldehyde after a formaldehyde exposure for 1.5 h. These data demonstrate that cultured astrocytes efficiently oxidize formaldehyde to formate, which subsequently enhances glycolytic flux, most likely by inhibition of mitochondrial respiration.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Cultured human astrocytes secrete large cholesteryl ester- andtriglyceride-rich lipoproteins along with endothelial lipase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Lin; Liu, Yanzhu; Forte, Trudy M.; Chisholm, Jeffrey W.; Parks, John S.; Shachter, Neil S.

    2003-12-01

    We cultured normal human astrocytes and characterized their secreted lipoproteins. Human astrocytes secreted lipoproteins in the size range of plasma VLDL (Peak 1), LDL (Peak 2), HDL (Peak 3) and a smaller peak (Peak 4), as determined by gel filtration chromatography, nondenaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and transmission electron microscopy. Cholesterol enrichment of astrocytes led to a particular increase in Peak 1. Almost all Peak 2, 3 and 4 cholesterol and most Peak 1 cholesterol was esterified (unlike mouse astrocyte lipoproteins, which exhibited similar peaks but where cholesterol was predominantly non-esterified). Triglycerides were present at about 2/3 the level of cholesterol. LCAT was detected along with two of its activators, apolipoprotein (apo) A-IV and apoC-I. ApoA-I and apoA-II mRNA and protein were absent. ApoJ was present equally in all peaks but apoE was present predominantly in peaks 3 and 4. ApoB was not detected. The electron microscopic appearance of Peak 1 lipoproteins suggested partial lipolysis leading to the detection of a heparin-releasable triglyceride lipase consistent with endothelial lipase. The increased neuronal delivery of lipids from large lipoprotein particles, for which apoE4 has greater affinity than does apoE3, may be a mechanism whereby the apoE {var_epsilon}4 allele contributes to neurodegenerative risk.

  6. 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

    Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in SJL/J mice by adoptive transfer of MBP-reactive T cells in order to investigate the role of astrocytes in pathology. GFAP protein and mRNA expression (analyzed using semiquantitative Western blot and RT-PCR techniques) were upregulated ...

  7. 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.

  8. The effect of 2.1 T static magnetic field on astrocyte viability and morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodarahmi, Iman; Mobasheri, Hamid; Firouzi, Masoumeh

    2010-07-01

    The viability and a number of morphological properties of in situ astrocytes of rat spinal cord cultures including changes in surface area and migration of both cell body and nucleus were investigated at magnetic field intensities comparable to those currently used for magnetic resonance imaging. Viability of rat spinal astrocytes was studied after up to 72 hours of 2.1T static magnetic field exposure. Surface areas and two-dimensional centroids of both soma and nucleus after 2 hours of magnetic field exposure were determined and compared with those of the same cells before magnetic field exposure. Cell membrane ruffling was quantified using fractal analysis. Viability of astrocytes remained unchanged at 4, 16, 24, 48 and 72 hours. The mean soma area before and after 2 hours of field exposure was 6450 microm(2) and 6299 microm(2), respectively, whereas the values for nuclear area were 185.6 microm(2) and 185.7 microm(2). The mean displacement of the centroid of soma parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field direction was 1.07 microm and 0.78 microm, respectively. The corresponding quantities for nuclei were 0.29 microm and -2.00 microm. None of these changes were statistically significant. No membrane protrusion was observed by fractal analysis. In conclusion, strong static magnetic field at 2.1 T does not significantly affect the viability and morphological properties of rat astrocytes.

  9. Beyond neurovascular coupling, role of astrocytes in the regulation of vascular tone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filosa, J A; Morrison, H W; Iddings, J A; Du, W; Kim, K J

    2016-05-26

    The brain possesses two intricate mechanisms that fulfill its continuous metabolic needs: cerebral autoregulation, which ensures constant cerebral blood flow over a wide range of arterial pressures and functional hyperemia, which ensures rapid delivery of oxygen and glucose to active neurons. Over the past decade, a number of important studies have identified astrocytes as key intermediaries in neurovascular coupling (NVC), the mechanism by which active neurons signal blood vessels to change their diameter. Activity-dependent increases in astrocytic Ca(2+) activity are thought to contribute to the release of vasoactive substances that facilitate arteriole vasodilation. A number of vasoactive signals have been identified and their role on vessel caliber assessed both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we discuss mechanisms implicating astrocytes in NVC-mediated vascular responses, limitations encountered as a result of the challenges in maintaining all the constituents of the neurovascular unit intact and deliberate current controversial findings disputing a main role for astrocytes in NVC. Finally, we briefly discuss the potential role of pericytes and microglia in NVC-mediated processes.

  10. The modulation of phosphatase expression impacts the proliferation efficiency of HSV-1 in infected astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Yue

    Full Text Available Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1 is a major pathogen that causes human neurological diseases, including herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE. Previous studies have shown that astrocytes are involved in HSV-1 systemic pathogenesis in the central nervous system (CNS, although the mechanism remains unclear. In this study, a high-throughput RNAi library screening method was used to analyze the effect of host phosphatase gene regulation on HSV-1 replication using Macaca mulatta primary astrocytes in an in vitro culture system. The results showed that the downregulation of five phosphatase genes (PNKP, SNAP23, PTPRU, LOC714621 and PPM1M significantly inhibited HSV-1 infection, suggesting that these phosphatases were needed in HSV-1 replication in rhesus astrocytes. Although statistically significant, the effect of downregulation of these phosphatases on HSV-1 replication in a human astrocytoma cell line appears to be more limited. Our results suggest that the phosphatase genes in astrocytes may regulate the immunological and pathological reactions caused by HSV-1 CNS infection through the regulation of HSV-1 replication or of multiple signal transduction pathways.

  11. Astrocyte-Dependent Slow Inward Currents (SICs) Participate in Neuromodulatory Mechanisms in the Pedunculopontine Nucleus (PPN)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács, Adrienn; Pál, Balázs

    2017-01-01

    Slow inward currents (SICs) are known as excitatory events of neurons caused by astrocytic glutamate release and consequential activation of neuronal extrasynaptic NMDA receptors. In the present article we investigate the role of these astrocyte-dependent excitatory events on a cholinergic nucleus of the reticular activating system (RAS), the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN). It is well known about this and other elements of the RAS, that they do not only give rise to neuromodulatory innervation of several areas, but also targets neuromodulatory actions from other members of the RAS or factors providing the homeostatic drive for sleep. Using slice electrophysiology, optogenetics and morphological reconstruction, we revealed that SICs are present in a population of PPN neurons. The frequency of SICs recorded on PPN neurons was higher when the soma of the given neuron was close to an astrocytic soma. SICs do not appear simultaneously on neighboring neurons, thus it is unlikely that they synchronize neuronal activity in this structure. Occurrence of SICs is regulated by cannabinoid, muscarinic and serotonergic neuromodulatory mechanisms. In most cases, SICs occurred independently from tonic neuronal currents. SICs were affected by different neuromodulatory agents in a rather uniform way: if control SIC activity was low, the applied drugs increased it, but if SIC activity was increased in control, the same drugs lowered it. SICs of PPN neurons possibly represent a mechanism which elicits network-independent spikes on certain PPN neurons; forming an alternative, astrocyte-dependent pathway of neuromodulatory mechanisms. PMID:28203147

  12. Effects of folic acid on in vitro astrocytic differentiation of neural stem cells from neonatal rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xumei Zhang; Guowei Huang; Zhihong Tian; Guanglei Wang; Dalin Ren

    2009-01-01

    ary acidic protein/BrdU-positive ceils (P<0.05), and significantly decreased Ngn1 protein expression (P<0.05).CONCLUSION: Folic acid promotes astrocytic differentiation of NSCs, which might be related to downregulation of Ngnl protein expression.

  13. Isoform-selective regulation of glycogen phosphorylase by energy deprivation and phosphorylation in astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Margit S; Pedersen, Sofie E; Walls, Anne B;

    2015-01-01

    by determination of glycogen content showing an increase in glycogen levels following knockdown of either GPMM or GPBB. NE triggered glycogenolysis within 15 min in control cells and after GPBB knockdown. However, astrocytes in which expression of GPMM had been silenced showed a delay in response to NE...

  14. Study on Remodeling of Astrocytes in Facial Neuclus after Peripheral Injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Pei; WANG Peng; CHEN Guangli; GONG Shusheng

    2005-01-01

    To observe the glial reactions surrounding facial motor neurons following facial nerve anastomosis. At 1,7,21 and 60 d following facial nerve anastomosis, the recovery process of facial movement was observed, the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivitywas analyzed by a combined method of fluorescent retrograde tracing and immunofluorescent histochemical stai ning, and the ultrastructure of astrocytes were observed under a transmission electron microscope (TEM), respectively. Postoperatively the function of facial muscles could not return to normal, often accompanied with hyperkinetic syndromes such as synkinesis at the late stage. Motor neurons in every facial subnucleus could be retrogradely labeled by fluoro gold (FG), and displayed an evident somatotopic organization. Normally there was a considerable number of GFAP-positive cells in nonnucleus regions but few inside the facial nucleus region. Postoperatively the GFAP immunoreactivity in the anastomotic side increased significantly, but gradually decreased at the late stage. The ultrastructure of astrocytes in our experiment showed that the sheet-like process of astrocytes invested and protected the injured facial motor neurons. The present study shows that reactive astrocytes undergo some characteristic changes during the process of facial nerve injury and regeneration. The plastic change at the late stage may be involved in the mechanism of synkinesis.

  15. Histone acetylation in astrocytes suppresses GFAP and stimulates a reorganization of the intermediate filament network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanski, Regina; Sneeboer, Marjolein A M; van Bodegraven, Emma J; Sluijs, Jacqueline A; Kropff, Wietske; Vermunt, Marit W; Creyghton, Menno P; De Filippis, Lidia; Vescovi, Angelo; Aronica, Eleonora; van Tijn, Paula; van Strien, Miriam E; Hol, Elly M

    2014-10-15

    Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the main intermediate filament in astrocytes and is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms during development. We demonstrate that histone acetylation also controls GFAP expression in mature astrocytes. Inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) with trichostatin A or sodium butyrate reduced GFAP expression in primary human astrocytes and astrocytoma cells. Because splicing occurs co-transcriptionally, we investigated whether histone acetylation changes the ratio between the canonical isoform GFAPα and the alternative GFAPδ splice variant. We observed that decreased transcription of GFAP enhanced alternative isoform expression, as HDAC inhibition increased the GFAPδ∶GFAPα ratio. Expression of GFAPδ was dependent on the presence and binding of splicing factors of the SR protein family. Inhibition of HDAC activity also resulted in aggregation of the GFAP network, reminiscent of our previous findings of a GFAPδ-induced network collapse. Taken together, our data demonstrate that HDAC inhibition results in changes in transcription, splicing and organization of GFAP. These data imply that a tight regulation of histone acetylation in astrocytes is essential, because dysregulation of gene expression causes the aggregation of GFAP, a hallmark of human diseases like Alexander's disease.

  16. Iron entry in neurons and astrocytes: a link with synaptic activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franca eCodazzi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Iron plays a fundamental role in the development of the central nervous system (CNS as well as in several neuronal functions including synaptic plasticity. Accordingly, neuronal iron supply is tightly controlled: it depends not only on transferrin-bound iron but also on non-transferrin-bound iron (NTBI, which represents a relevant quote of the iron physiologically present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF. Different calcium permeable channels as well as the divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1 have been proposed to sustain NTBI entry in neurons and astrocytes even though it remains an open issue. In both cases, it emerges that the control of iron entry is tightly linked to synaptic activity. The iron-induced oxidative tone can, in physiological conditions, positively influence the calcium levels and thus the synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, an excess of iron, with the ensuing uncontrolled production of reactive oxygen species (ROS, is detrimental for neuronal survival. A protective mechanism can be played by astrocytes that, more resistant to oxidative stress, can uptake iron, thereby buffering its concentration in the synaptic environment. This competence is potentiated when astrocytes undergo activation during neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative processes. In this minireview we focus on the mechanisms responsible for NTBI entry in neurons and astrocytes and on how they can be modulated during synaptic activity. Finally, we speculate on the relevance they may have in both physiological and pathological conditions.

  17. MicroRNA Expression Patterns in Human Astrocytes in Relation to Anatomical Location and Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Vijayaraghava T S; Ludwin, Samuel K; Fuh, Shih-Chieh; Sawaya, Robin; Moore, Craig S; Ho, Ming-Kai; Bedell, Barry J; Sarnat, Harvey B; Bar-Or, Amit; Antel, Jack P

    2016-02-01

    Anatomic distribution and age are variables linked to functions of astrocytes under physiologic and pathologic conditions. We measured the relative expression of a panel of microRNAs (miRNAs) in astrocytes captured by laser micro-dissection from normal human adult white and grey matter, human fetal white matter and germinal matrix samples. Although expression of most miRNAs was comparable between adult and fetal samples, regional differences were observed. In the adult cerebral cortex, expression of miRNAs in morphologically distinct inter-laminar astrocytes underlying the glial limitans differed from those in deeper cortical layers, suggesting functional specialization possibly related to structural stability and defense from potentially harmful factors in the cerebrospinal fluid. Differences between adult white and grey matter miRNA expression included higher expression of pro-inflammatory miRNAs in the former, potentially contributing to differences in inflammation between grey and white matter plaques in multiple sclerosis. Lower expression of miRNAs in fetal versus adult white matter astrocytes likely reflects the immaturity of these migrating cells. Highly expressed miRNAs in the fetal germinal matrix are probably relevant in development and also recapitulate some responses to injury. Future studies can address regional alterations of miRNA expression in pathological conditions.

  18. 3-bromopyruvate inhibits glycolysis, depletes cellular glutathione, and compromises the viability of cultured primary rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrke, Eric; Arend, Christian; Dringen, Ralf

    2015-07-01

    The pyruvate analogue 3-bromopyruvate (3-BP) is an electrophilic alkylator that is considered a promising anticancer drug because it has been shown to kill cancer cells efficiently while having little toxic effect on nontumor cells. To test for potential adverse effects of 3-BP on brain cells, we exposed cultured primary rat astrocytes to 3-BP and investigated the effects of this compound on cell viability, glucose metabolism, and glutathione (GSH) content. The presence of 3-BP severely compromised cell viability and slowed cellular glucose consumption and lactate production in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, with half-maximal effects observed at about 100 µM 3-BP after 4 hr of incubation. The cellular hexokinase activity was not affected in 3-BP-treated astrocytes, whereas within 30 min after application of 3-BP the activity of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was inhibited, and cellular GSH content was depleted in a concentration-dependent manner, with half-maximal effects observed at about 30 µM 3-BP. The depletion of cellular GSH after exposure to 100 µM 3-BP was not prevented by the presence of 10 mM of the monocarboxylates lactate or pyruvate, suggesting that 3-BP is not taken up into astrocytes predominantly by monocarboxylate transporters. The data suggest that inhibition of glycolysis by inactivation of GAPDH and GSH depletion contributes to the toxicity that was observed for 3-BP-treated cultured astrocytes.

  19. Lauric Acid Stimulates Ketone Body Production in the KT-5 Astrocyte Cell Line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Yudai; Takagi, Tetsuo; Inai, Makoto; Nishimura, Shuhei; Urashima, Shogo; Honda, Kazumitsu; Aoyama, Toshiaki; Terada, Shin

    2016-08-01

    Coconut oil has recently attracted considerable attention as a potential Alzheimer's disease therapy because it contains large amounts of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and its consumption is thought to stimulate hepatic ketogenesis, supplying an alternative energy source for brains with impaired glucose metabolism. In this study, we first reevaluated the responses of plasma ketone bodies to oral administration of coconut oil to rats. We found that the coconut oil-induced increase in plasma ketone body concentration was negligible and did not significantly differ from that observed after high-oleic sunflower oil administration. In contrast, the administration of coconut oil substantially increased the plasma free fatty acid concentration and lauric acid content, which is the major MCFA in coconut oil. Next, to elucidate whether lauric acid can activate ketogenesis in astrocytes with the capacity to generate ketone bodies from fatty acids, we treated the KT-5 astrocyte cell line with 50 and 100 μM lauric acid for 4 h. The lauric acid treatments increased the total ketone body concentration in the cell culture supernatant to a greater extent than oleic acid, suggesting that lauric acid can directly and potently activate ketogenesis in KT-5 astrocytes. These results suggest that coconut oil intake may improve brain health by directly activating ketogenesis in astrocytes and thereby by providing fuel to neighboring neurons.

  20. Altered Astrocyte-Neuron Interactions and Epileptogenesis in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    and in vivo (video-EEG). To directly compare glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission , excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and...Epileptogenesis in non-tuber neural tissue in TS may thus arise by an imbalance of decreased inhibitory and increased excitatory synaptic transmission ... transmission . Astrocytes could also regulate neuronal excitability by glutamate uptake and other means that alter expression and function of synaptic

  1. Striatal adenosine signaling regulates EAAT2 and astrocytic AQP4 expression and alcohol drinking in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Moonnoh R; Ruby, Christina L; Hinton, David J; Choi, Sun; Adams, Chelsea A; Young Kang, Na; Choi, Doo-Sup

    2013-02-01

    Adenosine signaling is implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including alcoholism. Among its diverse functions in the brain, adenosine regulates glutamate release and has an essential role in ethanol sensitivity and preference. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying adenosine-mediated glutamate signaling in neuroglial interaction remain elusive. We have previously shown that mice lacking the ethanol-sensitive adenosine transporter, type 1 equilibrative nucleoside transporter (ENT1), drink more ethanol compared with wild-type mice and have elevated striatal glutamate levels. In addition, ENT1 inhibition or knockdown reduces glutamate transporter expression in cultured astrocytes. Here, we examined how adenosine signaling in astrocytes contributes to ethanol drinking. Inhibition or deletion of ENT1 reduced the expression of type 2 excitatory amino-acid transporter (EAAT2) and the astrocyte-specific water channel, aquaporin 4 (AQP4). EAAT2 and AQP4 colocalization was also reduced in the striatum of ENT1 null mice. Ceftriaxone, an antibiotic compound known to increase EAAT2 expression and function, elevated not only EAAT2 but also AQP4 expression in the striatum. Furthermore, ceftriaxone reduced ethanol drinking, suggesting that ENT1-mediated downregulation of EAAT2 and AQP4 expression contributes to excessive ethanol consumption in our mouse model. Overall, our findings indicate that adenosine signaling regulates EAAT2 and astrocytic AQP4 expressions, which control ethanol drinking in mice.

  2. White-matter astrocytes, axonal energy metabolism, and axonal degeneration in multiple sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cambron, Melissa; D'haeseleer, Miguel; Laureys, Guy; Clinckers, Ralph; Debruyne, Jan; De Keyser, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a diffuse axonal degeneration occurring throughout the white matter of the central nervous system causes progressive neurologic disability. The underlying mechanism is unclear. This review describes a number of pathways by which dysfunctional astrocytes in M

  3. Albumin activates astrocytes and microglia through mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralay Ranaivo, Hantamalala; Wainwright, Mark S

    2010-02-08

    Following acute brain injury, albumin may gain access to the brain parenchyma. Clinical studies indicate a protective role for albumin in stroke but an increase in mortality associated with albumin administration following traumatic brain injury. We investigated the effects of albumin on astrocyte and microglial activation, and the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in these responses. Albumin activated ERK1/2, p38 MAPK and JNK signaling pathways in astrocytes, and induced the production of interleukin (IL)-1beta, inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase, the NO metabolite nitrite, and the chemokine CX3CL1 while reducing the level of S100B. The release of inflammatory markers by astrocytes was partially dependent on p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 pathways, but not JNK. In microglia, albumin exposure activated all three MAPK pathways and produced an increase in IL-1beta and nitrite. Inhibition of p38 MAPK in microglia leads to an increased level of IL1beta, while inhibition of all three MAPKs suppressed the release of nitrite. These results suggest that albumin activates astrocytes and microglia, inducing inflammatory responses involved both in the mechanisms of cellular injury and repair via activation of MAPK pathways, and thereby implicate glial activation in the clinical responses to administration of albumin.

  4. Inhibitory effects of HS014 on glutamate release in astrocytes chronically treated with morphine

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haichen Chu; Zejun Niu; Zhao Yang; Xuefeng Zhang

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies have confirmed that the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive cells significantly increases during morphine tolerance.However,morphine tolerance is reversed with melanocortin receptor antagonists,and analgesic action is enhanced accordingly.However,these mechanisms remain unclear.In the present study,following addition of morphine to Wistar rat spinal cord astrocytes,glutamate levels in the supematant significantly increased(P<0.05).At 30-120minutes following addition of intervention agent to spinal cord astrocytes,naloxone significantly increased glutamate release in morphine-tolerant model cells(P < 0.05),while melanocortin receptor antagonist HS014 decreased glutamate release(P < 0.05).Additional naloxone and HS014 to astrocytes significantly decreased glutamate release compared with additional naloxone alone(P < 0.01).Results from the present study demonstrated that glutamate release was increased in spinal cord astrocytes co-cultured with morphine.Naloxone increased glutamate release,and HS014 reduced glutamate release.

  5. Anoxic depolarization of hippocampal astrocytes: possible modulation by P2X7 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leichsenring, Anna; Riedel, Thomas; Qin, Ying; Rubini, Patrizia; Illes, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Current responses from CA1 neurons and stratum oriens astrocytes were recorded from hippocampal brain slices by means of the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Anoxic depolarization (AD) was induced by an oxygen/glucose-deprived (OGD) medium also containing sodium iodoacetate and antimycin, in order to block glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, respectively. Anoxic depolarization has been reported to be due to the sudden increase of the extracellular K(+) concentration and the accompanying explosive rise in glutamate concentration. We asked ourselves whether the release of ATP activating P2X7 receptors is also involved in the AD. Although, the AD was evoked in absolute synchrony in neurons and astrocytes, and the NMDA receptor antagonistic AP-5 depressed these responses, neither the non-selective P2 receptor antagonist PPADS, nor the highly selective P2X7 receptor antagonist A438079 interfered with the AD or its delay time in neurons/astrocytes after inducing chemical hypoxia. However, A438079, but not PPADS increased in astrocytes the slow inward current observed in a hypoxic medium. It is concluded that ATP co-released with glutamate by hypoxic stimulation has only a minor function in the present brain slice system.

  6. Welcoming Treat: Astrocyte-Derived Exosomes Induce PTEN Suppression to Foster Brain Metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alečković, Maša; Kang, Yibin

    2015-11-09

    Metastasis to distant organs depends on pathological crosstalk between tumor cells and various tissue-specific stromal components. Zhang and colleagues recently demonstrated that astrocyte-derived exosomal miR-19a reversibly downregulated PTEN expression in cancer cells, thereby increasing their CCL2 secretion and recruitment of myeloid cell to promote brain metastasis.

  7. Role of Glycogenolysis in Stimulation of ATP Release from Cultured Mouse Astrocytes by Transmitters and High K+ Concentrations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junnan Xu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the role of glycogenolysis in stimulated release of ATP as a transmitter from astrocytes. Within the last 20 years our understanding of brain glycogenolysis has changed from it being a relatively uninteresting process to being a driving force for essential brain functions like production of transmitter glutamate and homoeostasis of potassium ions (K+ after their release from excited neurons. Simultaneously, the importance of astrocytic handling of adenosine, its phosphorylation to ATP and release of some astrocytic ATP, located in vesicles, as an important transmitter has also become to be realized. Among the procedures stimulating Ca2+ -dependent release of vesicular ATP are exposure to such transmitters as glutamate and adenosine, which raise intra-astrocytic Ca2+ concentration, or increase of extracellular K+ to a depolarizing level that opens astrocytic L-channels for Ca2+ and thereby also increase intra-astrocytic Ca2+ concentration, a prerequisite for glycogenolysis. The present study has confirmed and quantitated stimulated ATP release from well differentiated astrocyte cultures by glutamate, adenosine or elevated extracellular K+ concentrations, measured by a luciferin/luciferase reaction. It has also shown that this release is virtually abolished by an inhibitor of glycogenolysis as well as by inhibitors of transmitter-mediated signaling or of L-channel opening by elevated K+ concentrations.

  8. Role of glycogenolysis in stimulation of ATP release from cultured mouse astrocytes by transmitters and high K+ concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Junnan; Song, Dan; Bai, Qiufang; Zhou, Lijun; Cai, Liping; Hertz, Leif; Peng, Liang

    2014-01-13

    This study investigates the role of glycogenolysis in stimulated release of ATP as a transmitter from astrocytes. Within the last 20 years our understanding of brain glycogenolysis has changed from it being a relatively uninteresting process to being a driving force for essential brain functions like production of transmitter glutamate and homoeostasis of potassium ions (K+) after their release from excited neurons. Simultaneously, the importance of astrocytic handling of adenosine, its phosphorylation to ATP and release of some astrocytic ATP, located in vesicles, as an important transmitter has also become to be realized. Among the procedures stimulating Ca2+-dependent release of vesicular ATP are exposure to such transmitters as glutamate and adenosine, which raise intra-astrocytic Ca2+ concentration, or increase of extracellular K+ to a depolarizing level that opens astrocytic L-channels for Ca2+ and thereby also increase intra-astrocytic Ca2+ concentration, a prerequisite for glycogenolysis. The present study has confirmed and quantitated stimulated ATP release from well differentiated astrocyte cultures by glutamate, adenosine or elevated extracellular K+ concentrations, measured by a luciferin/luciferase reaction. It has also shown that this release is virtually abolished by an inhibitor of glycogenolysis as well as by inhibitors of transmitter-mediated signaling or of L-channel opening by elevated K+ concentrations.

  9. Inhibitory effect of the antidepressant imipramine on NF-κB-dependent CXCL1 expression in TNFα-exposed astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young Han; Kim, Se Hyun; Kim, Yeni; Lim, Yoongho; Ha, Kyooseob; Shin, Soon Young

    2012-04-01

    Neuroinflammation is associated with the pathophysiology of various neurodegenerative diseases. Emerging evidence indicates that imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant commonly used in depressive disorders, exhibits neuroprotective activity partly through anti-inflammatory effects. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying imipramine-mediated anti-inflammatory response are poorly understood. In this study, rat primary cultured astrocytes were used to elucidate the effect of the imipramine on TNFα-induced inflammatory responses. The results clearly demonstrated that imipramine reduced TNFα-induced CXCL1 expression through suppression of NF-κB-dependent CXCL1 promoter activity in primary astrocytes. In addition, we found that imipramine suppressed TNFα-induced phosphorylation of inhibitor of κBα (IκBα) and p65/RelA nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), as well as the nuclear translocation of p65/RelA in primary cultured astrocytes. Chemotaxis assay demonstrated that astrocyte-derived CXCL1 contributed to migration of BV2 microglial cells toward astrocytes. This response was significantly blocked by treatment of astrocytes with imipramine or NF-κB inhibitor BAY11-7082. This study indicates that the antidepressant imipramine inhibits TNFα-induced CXCL1 expression via down-regulation of NF-κB signaling pathway in astrocytes and suggests that imipramine has a potential as an anti-inflammatory drug.

  10. Role of glycogenolysis in stimulation of ATP release from cultured mouse astrocytes by transmitters and high K+ concentrations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junnan Xu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the role of glycogenolysis in stimulated release of ATP as a transmitter from astrocytes. Within the last 20 years our understanding of brain glycogenolysis has changed from it being a relatively uninteresting process to being a driving force for essential brain functions like production of transmitter glutamate and homoeostasis of potassium ions (K+ after their release from excited neurons. Simultaneously, the importance of astrocytic handling of adenosine, its phosphorylation to ATP and release of some astrocytic ATP, located in vesicles, as an important transmitter has also become to be realized. Among the procedures stimulating Ca2+-dependent release of vesicular ATP are exposure to such transmitters as glutamate and adenosine, which raise intra-astrocytic Ca2+ concentration, or increase of extracellular K+ to a depolarizing level that opens astrocytic L-channels for Ca2+ and thereby also increase intra-astrocytic Ca2+ concentration, a prerequisite for glycogenolysis. The present study has confirmed and quantitated stimulated ATP release from well differentiated astrocyte cultures by glutamate, adenosine or elevated extracellular K+ concentrations, measured by a luciferin/luciferase reaction. It has also shown that this release is virtually abolished by an inhibitor of glycogenolysis as well as by inhibitors of transmitter-mediated signaling or of L-channel opening by elevated K+ concentrations.

  11. Major histocompatibility complex class I molecules protect motor neurons from astrocyte-induced toxicity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, SungWon; Miranda, Carlos J; Braun, Lyndsey; Meyer, Kathrin; Frakes, Ashley E; Ferraiuolo, Laura; Likhite, Shibi; Bevan, Adam K; Foust, Kevin D; McConnell, Michael J; Walker, Christopher M; Kaspar, Brian K

    2016-04-01

    Astrocytes isolated from individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are toxic to motor neurons (MNs) and play a non-cell autonomous role in disease pathogenesis. The mechanisms underlying the susceptibility of MNs to cell death remain unclear. Here we report that astrocytes derived from either mice bearing mutations in genes associated with ALS or human subjects with ALS reduce the expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) molecules on MNs; reduced MHCI expression makes these MNs susceptible to astrocyte-induced cell death. Increasing MHCI expression on MNs increases survival and motor performance in a mouse model of ALS and protects MNs against astrocyte toxicity. Overexpression of a single MHCI molecule, HLA-F, protects human MNs from ALS astrocyte-mediated toxicity, whereas knockdown of its receptor, the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor KIR3DL2, on human astrocytes results in enhanced MN death. Thus, our data indicate that, in ALS, loss of MHCI expression on MNs renders them more vulnerable to astrocyte-mediated toxicity.

  12. 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.

  13. Ischemic brain cell-derived conditioned medium protects astrocytes against ischemia through GDNF/ERK/NF-kB signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Lan-Feng; Wang, Wei-Ti; Ghanta, Vithal K; Lin, Chi-Hsin; Chiang, Yung-Yen; Hsueh, Chi-Mei

    2008-11-06

    Conditioned medium (CM) collected from cultures of ischemic microglia, astrocytes, and neurons were protective to astrocytes under the in vitro ischemic condition (deprivation of oxygen, glucose and serum). Molecular and signaling pathway(s) responsible for the CMs protective activity were investigated. Results showed that CMs from the ischemic microglia (MCM), astrocytes (ACM) and neurons (NCM) contained glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which protects astrocytes against the in vitro ischemia. Expression of extra cellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) by GDNF led to the inhibition of apoptosis of the ischemic astrocytes in a caspase 3-independent manner. However, CMs- and GDNF-mediated protection of the ischemic astrocytes was protein kinase B (Akt) independent. These results provided mechanistic data regarding how GDNF- and CMs-mediated protection of the ischemic astrocytes is taking place. These observations provide information for the use of GDNF and GDNF containing CMs in the control of cerebral ischemia.

  14. Astrocyte reactivity in related brain regions in a mouse model of MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhijun Zhang; Chunlin Xia; Yulin Dong; Guangming Lü; Juan Liu; Lin Ding; Hengjian Ni

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Severe injury to dopaminergic neuronal cell bodies and their axon terminals in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) has been observed in both Parkinson's disease (PD) patients or in 1-methy-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyrindine(MPTP)-induced PD animal models, but only slight injury occurs in the adjacent ventral tegmental area (VTA). The mechanisms underlying this selective injury remain poorly understood.OBJECTIVE: To comparatively observe astrocyte reactivity in the SNC, caudate putamen (Cpu), VTA, and frontal association cortex (FrA).DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: A cellular and molecular biology, randomized, controlled experiment was performed at the Institute of Neurobiology, Department of Human Anatomy, Medical School of Nantong University, between December 2006 and September 2008.MATERIALS: A total of 80 healthy adult male C57BL/6 mice were included in this study. MPTP was purchased from Sigma, USA.METHODS: Mice were randomly divided into a model group (n = 64) and a sham-operated group (n = 16). PD was induced in the mice from the model group by intraperitoneal injection of 20 mg/kg MPTP, once every three hours, for a total of 4 times.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive neurons and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive astrocytes were examined by dual immunofluorescence labeling. GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes in the Cpu and FrA were determined by immunofluorescent staining. GFAP mRNA expression in the SNC, Cpu, VTA, and FrA was detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction. TH protein levels in the TH-immunoreactive axon terminals of the Cpu and FrA were detected by Western blotting.RESULTS: Numbers of TH-immunoreactive neurons in the SNC, and TH protein level in the Cpu, markedly decreased (by approximately 68%) 1 day after MPTP injection, and gradually increased at 3 days. Simultaneously, astrocyte reactivity was strengthened, in particular at 7 days. However, after MPTP injection, decreases in

  15. Is there in vivo evidence for amino acid shuttles carrying ammonia from neurons to astrocytes?

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    Rothman, Douglas L; De Feyter, Henk M; Maciejewski, Paul K; Behar, Kevin L

    2012-11-01

    The high in vivo flux of the glutamate/glutamine cycle puts a strong demand on the return of ammonia released by phosphate activated glutaminase from the neurons to the astrocytes in order to maintain nitrogen balance. In this paper we review several amino acid shuttles that have been proposed for balancing the nitrogen flows between neurons and astrocytes in the glutamate/glutamine cycle. All of these cycles depend on the directionality of glutamate dehydrogenase, catalyzing reductive glutamate synthesis (forward reaction) in the neuron in order to capture the ammonia released by phosphate activated glutaminase, while catalyzing oxidative deamination of glutamate (reverse reaction) in the astrocytes to release ammonia for glutamine synthesis. Reanalysis of results from in vivo experiments using (13)N and (15)N labeled ammonia and (15)N leucine in rats suggests that the maximum flux of the alanine/lactate or branched chain amino acid/branched chain amino acid transaminase shuttles between neurons and astrocytes are approximately 3-5 times lower than would be required to account for the ammonia transfer from neurons to astrocytes needed for glutamine synthesis (amide nitrogen) to sustain the glutamate/glutamine cycle. However, in the rat brain both the total ammonia fixation rate by glutamate dehydrogenase and the total branched chain amino acid transaminase activity are sufficient to support a branched chain amino acid/branched chain keto acid shuttle, as proposed by Hutson and coworkers, which would support the de novo synthesis of glutamine in the astrocyte to replace the ~20 % of neurotransmitter glutamate that is oxidized. A higher fraction of the nitrogen needs of total glutamate neurotransmitter cycling could be supported by hybrid cycles in which glutamate and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates act as a nitrogen shuttle. A limitation of all in vivo studies in animals conducted to date is that none have shown transfer of nitrogen for glutamine amide

  16. Effects of electroacupuncture on astrocytes in the marginal zone of focal cerebral ischemia in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan Luo; Nenggui Xu; Wei Yi; Yong Zi; Yixu Du

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Astrocytes react sensitively to cerebral ischemia, causing reactive proliferation and activation, which may contribute to their effect in protecting or injuring neuronal regeneration. Whether acupuncture, as a treatment for cerebral ischemia, regulates the activated state of astrocytes has become a focus of recent investigations.OBJECTIVE: To observe the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on ultrastructure changes and reactive proliferation of astrocytes in the marginal zone of focal cerebral ischemia in rats. DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: Randomized, controlled animal study. This study was performed at the Experimental Animal Center of Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine between December 2007 and July 2008.MATERIALS: A total of 90 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into sham operated, model and EA groups. Each group was subdivided into 1 hour, 1, 3, 7, and 21 days post-cerebral ischemia groups, with six animals for each time point. Rabbit anti-rat glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and goat anti-rabbit IgG/tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate were provided by Beijing Biosynthesis Biotechnology. The G-6805 electric acupuncture apparatus was provided by Shanghai Huayi.METHODS: Heat-coagulation-induced occlusion of the middle cerebral artery was performed to establish a model of focal cerebral ischemia, in the model and EA groups. Middle cerebral arteries were exposed without occlusion in sham operated group. EA was applied immediately after surgery in the EA group, 4/20 Hz, 2.0-3.0 V, 1-3 mA, to Baihui (GV 20) and Dazhui (GV 14), for 30 minutes. The treatment was performed once a day. The sham operated and model groups did not receive acupuncture.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: In the marginal zone of focal cerebral ischemia in rats at different time points after intervention, the ultrastructure changes of astrocytes were observed by using transmission electronic microscopy. GFAP expression in astrocytes was also measured by laser confocal

  17. Mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of glutamate uptake in primary astrocytes exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Christina L.; Natarajan, Vaishaali; Hayward, Stephen L.; Khalimonchuk, Oleh; Kidambi, Srivatsan

    2015-11-01

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are currently the second most produced engineered nanomaterial in the world with vast usage in consumer products leading to recurrent human exposure. Animal studies indicate significant nanoparticle accumulation in the brain while cellular toxicity studies demonstrate negative effects on neuronal cell viability and function. However, the toxicological effects of nanoparticles on astrocytes, the most abundant cells in the brain, have not been extensively investigated. Therefore, we determined the sub-toxic effect of three different TiO2 nanoparticles (rutile, anatase and commercially available P25 TiO2 nanoparticles) on primary rat cortical astrocytes. We evaluated some events related to astrocyte functions and mitochondrial dysregulation: (1) glutamate uptake; (2) redox signaling mechanisms by measuring ROS production; (3) the expression patterns of dynamin-related proteins (DRPs) and mitofusins 1 and 2, whose expression is central to mitochondrial dynamics; and (4) mitochondrial morphology by MitoTracker® Red CMXRos staining. Anatase, rutile and P25 were found to have LC50 values of 88.22 +/- 10.56 ppm, 136.0 +/- 31.73 ppm and 62.37 +/- 9.06 ppm respectively indicating nanoparticle specific toxicity. All three TiO2 nanoparticles induced a significant loss in glutamate uptake indicative of a loss in vital astrocyte function. TiO2 nanoparticles also induced an increase in reactive oxygen species generation, and a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, suggesting mitochondrial damage. TiO2 nanoparticle exposure altered expression patterns of DRPs at low concentrations (25 ppm) and apoptotic fission at high concentrations (100 ppm). TiO2 nanoparticle exposure also resulted in changes to mitochondrial morphology confirmed by mitochondrial staining. Collectively, our data provide compelling evidence that TiO2 nanoparticle exposure has potential implications in astrocyte-mediated neurological dysfunction.Titanium dioxide (Ti

  18. Inflammatory mediators alter the astrocyte transcriptome and calcium signaling elicited by multiple G-protein-coupled receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamby, Mary E; Coppola, Giovanni; Ao, Yan; Geschwind, Daniel H; Khakh, Baljit S; Sofroniew, Michael V

    2012-10-17

    Inflammation features in CNS disorders such as stroke, trauma, neurodegeneration, infection, and autoimmunity in which astrocytes play critical roles. To elucidate how inflammatory mediators alter astrocyte functions, we examined effects of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and interferon-gamma (IFNγ), alone and in combination, on purified, mouse primary cortical astrocyte cultures. We used microarrays to conduct whole-genome expression profiling, and measured calcium signaling, which is implicated in mediating dynamic astrocyte functions. Combinatorial exposure to TGF-β1, LPS, and IFNγ significantly modulated astrocyte expression of >6800 gene probes, including >380 synergistic changes not predicted by summing individual treatment effects. Bioinformatic analyses revealed significantly and markedly upregulated molecular networks and pathways associated in particular with immune signaling and regulation of cell injury, death, growth, and proliferation. Highly regulated genes included chemokines, growth factors, enzymes, channels, transporters, and intercellular and intracellular signal transducers. Notably, numerous genes for G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and G-protein effectors involved in calcium signaling were significantly regulated, mostly down (for example, Cxcr4, Adra2a, Ednra, P2ry1, Gnao1, Gng7), but some up (for example, P2ry14, P2ry6, Ccrl2, Gnb4). We tested selected cases and found that changes in GPCR gene expression were accompanied by significant, parallel changes in astrocyte calcium signaling evoked by corresponding GPCR-specific ligands. These findings identify pronounced changes in the astrocyte transcriptome induced by TGF-β1, LPS, and IFNγ, and show that these inflammatory stimuli upregulate astrocyte molecular networks associated with immune- and injury-related functions and significantly alter astrocyte calcium signaling stimulated by multiple GPCRs.

  19. 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.

  20. Role of GalNAc4S-6ST in astrocytic tumor progression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatsuya Kobayashi

    Full Text Available N-Acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfate 6-O-sulfotransferase (GalNAc4S-6ST is the sulfotransferase responsible for biosynthesis of highly sulfated chondroitin sulfate CS-E. Although involvements of CS-E in neuronal cell functions have been extensively analyzed, the role of GalNAc4S-6ST in astrocytic tumor progression remains unknown. Here, we reveal that GalNAc4S-6ST transcripts were detected in astrocytic tumors derived from all 30 patients examined using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Patients with high GalNAc4S-6ST mRNA expression had significantly worse outcome compared with patients with low expression, and multivariate survival analysis disclosed that GalNAc4S-6ST is an independent poor prognostic factor for astrocytic tumors. We then tested whether CS-E enhanced haptotaxic migration of glioblastoma U251-MG cells that endogenously express both the CS-E's scaffold tyrosine phosphatase ζ (PTPζ and GalNAc4S-6ST, in the presence of CS-E's preferred ligands, pleiotrophin (PTN or midkine (MK, using a modified Boyden chamber method. Haptotaxic stimulation of cell migration by PTN was most robust on control siRNA-transfected U251-MG cells, while that enhancing effect was cancelled following transduction of GalNAc4S-6ST siRNA. Similar results were obtained using MK, suggesting that both PTN and MK enhance migration of U251-MG cells by binding to CS-E. We also found that PTPζ as well as PTN and MK were frequently expressed in astrocytic tumor cells. Thus, our findings indicate that GalNAc4S-6ST mRNA expressed by astrocytic tumor cells is associated with poor patient prognosis likely by enhancing CS-E-mediated tumor cell motility in the presence of PTN and/or MK.

  1. Gene expression profiling of human neural progenitor cells following the serum-induced astrocyte differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obayashi, Shinya; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Kim, Seung U; Satoh, Jun-ichi

    2009-05-01

    Neural stem cells (NSC) with self-renewal and multipotent properties could provide an ideal cell source for transplantation to treat spinal cord injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the majority of transplanted NSC and neural progenitor cells (NPC) differentiate into astrocytes in vivo under pathological environments in the central nervous system, which potentially cause reactive gliosis. Because the serum is a potent inducer of astrocyte differentiation of rodent NPC in culture, we studied the effect of the serum on gene expression profile of cultured human NPC to identify the gene signature of astrocyte differentiation of human NPC. Human NPC spheres maintained in the serum-free culture medium were exposed to 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) for 72 h, and processed for analyzing on a Whole Human Genome Microarray of 41,000 genes, and the microarray data were validated by real-time RT-PCR. The serum elevated the levels of expression of 45 genes, including ID1, ID2, ID3, CTGF, TGFA, METRN, GFAP, CRYAB and CSPG3, whereas it reduced the expression of 23 genes, such as DLL1, DLL3, PDGFRA, SOX4, CSPG4, GAS1 and HES5. Thus, the serum-induced astrocyte differentiation of human NPC is characterized by a counteraction of ID family genes on Delta family genes. Coimmunoprecipitation analysis identified ID1 as a direct binding partner of a proneural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor MASH1. Luciferase assay indicated that activation of the DLL1 promoter by MASH1 was counteracted by ID1. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) elevated the levels of ID1 and GFAP expression in NPC under the serum-free culture conditions. Because the serum contains BMP4, these results suggest that the serum factor(s), most probably BMP4, induces astrocyte differentiation by upregulating the expression of ID family genes that repress the proneural bHLH protein-mediated Delta expression in human NPC.

  2. Spatial separation of two different pathways accounting for the generation of calcium signals in astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oschmann, Franziska; Mergenthaler, Konstantin; Obermayer, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes integrate and process synaptic information and exhibit calcium (Ca2+) signals in response to incoming information from neighboring synapses. The generation of Ca2+ signals is mostly attributed to Ca2+ release from internal Ca2+ stores evoked by an elevated metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) activity. Different experimental results associated the generation of Ca2+ signals to the activity of the glutamate transporter (GluT). The GluT itself does not influence the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, but it indirectly activates Ca2+ entry over the membrane. A closer look into Ca2+ signaling in different astrocytic compartments revealed a spatial separation of those two pathways. Ca2+ signals in the soma are mainly generated by Ca2+ release from internal Ca2+ stores (mGluR-dependent pathway). In astrocytic compartments close to the synapse most Ca2+ signals are evoked by Ca2+ entry over the plasma membrane (GluT-dependent pathway). This assumption is supported by the finding, that the volume ratio between the internal Ca2+ store and the intracellular space decreases from the soma towards the synapse. We extended a model for mGluR-dependent Ca2+ signals in astrocytes with the GluT-dependent pathway. Additionally, we included the volume ratio between the internal Ca2+ store and the intracellular compartment into the model in order to analyze Ca2+ signals either in the soma or close to the synapse. Our model results confirm the spatial separation of the mGluR- and GluT-dependent pathways along the astrocytic process. The model allows to study the binary Ca2+ response during a block of either of both pathways. Moreover, the model contributes to a better understanding of the impact of channel densities on the interaction of both pathways and on the Ca2+ signal. PMID:28192424

  3. Ceramide in primary astrocytes from cerebellum: metabolism and role in cell proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riboni, Laura; Tettamanti, Guido; Viani, Paola

    2002-04-01

    Cerebellar astrocytes are equipped with an efficient molecular machinery able to control the levels, and possibly the subcellular location, of ceramide. The major metabolic routes that contribute to the maintenance and variation of the cellular ceramide include ceramide biosynthesis, by de novo pathway or sphingosine recycling, ceramide formation from complex sphingolipids degradation and ceramide catabolism. In cerebellar astrocytes from rat cerebellum a peculiar metabolism of sphingomyelin occurs. This includes the preponderance of acidic sphingomyelinase, paralleled by a deficiency of the neutral Mg2+-dependent enzyme, as well as the presence of an extra-Golgi form of sphingomyelin synthase, which shares many characteristics with PC-PLC. Moreover these cells are characterized by a high efficiency in converting sphingosine to ceramide, possibly functional to the role played by astrocytes in the prevention of neuronal damage by high sphingosine concentration. Recent evidence demonstrates that a change of ceramide level is one of the key steps in the chain of reactions elicited by mitogenic stimuli. In fact, low cellular levels of ceramide characterize, and appear to be required for, the proliferation of cerebellar astrocytes. In particular mitogenic stimuli, such as basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), rapidly down regulate the cellular levels of ceramide by stimulating sphingomyelin synthase. Ceramide acts as an intracellular physiological inhibitor of cell growth, being able to counteract the effect of bFGF by inhibiting the MAP kinase pathway. Although many questions remain in this field, the present knowledge strongly supports that ceramide represents a crucial member within lipid mediators, involved in the signaling pathways underlying cell proliferation in cerebellar astrocytes.

  4. Extracellular Microvesicles from Astrocytes Contain Functional Glutamate Transporters: Regulation by Protein Kinase C and Cell Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain-Daniel eGosselin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Glutamate transport through astrocytic excitatory amino-acid transporters (EAAT-1 and EAAT-2 is paramount for neural homeostasis. EAAT-1 has been reported in secreted extracellular microvesicles (eMV, such as exosomes and because the Protein Kinase C (PKC family controls the sub-cellular distribution of EAATs, we have explored whether PKCs drive EAATs into eMV. Using rat primary astrocytes, confocal immunofluorescence and ultracentrifugation on sucrose gradient we here report that PKC activation by phorbol myristate acetate (PMA reorganizes EAAT-1 distribution and reduces functional [3H]-aspartate reuptake. Western-blots show that EAAT-1 is present in eMV from astrocyte conditioned medium, together with NaK ATPase and glutamine synthetase all being further increased after PMA treatment. However, nanoparticle tracking analysis reveals that PKC activation did not change particle concentration. Functional analysis indicates that eMV have the capacity to reuptake [3H]-aspartate. In vivo, we demonstrate that spinal astrocytic reaction induced by peripheral nerve lesion (spared nerve injury, SNI is associated with a phosphorylation of PKC δ together with a shift of EAAT distribution ipsilaterally. Ex vivo, spinal explants from SNI rats release eMV with an increased content of NaK ATPase, EAAT-1 and EAAT-2. These data indicate PKC and cell activation as important regulators of EAAT-1 incorporation in eMV, and raise the possibility that microvesicular EAAT-1 may exert extracellular functions. Beyond a putative role in neuropathic pain, this phenomenon may be important for understanding neural homeostasis and a wide range of neurological diseases associated with astrocytic reaction as well as non-neurological diseases linked to eMV release.

  5. Hippocalcin Is Required for Astrocytic Differentiation through Activation of Stat3 in Hippocampal Neural Precursor Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min-Jeong Kang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Hippocalcin (Hpca is a neuronal calcium sensor protein expressed in the mammalian brain. However, its function in neural stem/precursor cells has not yet been studied. Here, we clarify the function of Hpca in astrocytic differentiation in hippocampal neural precursor cells (HNPCs. When we overexpressed Hpca in HNPCs in the presence or absence of bFGF, expression levels of nerve-growth factors such as neurotrophin-3 (NT-3, neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, together with the proneural basic helix loop helix (bHLH transcription factors neuroD and neurogenin 1 (ngn1, increased significantly. In addition, there was an increase in the number of cells expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, an astrocyte marker, and in dendrite outgrowth, indicating astrocytic differentiation of the HNPCs. Downregulation of Hpca by transfection with Hpca siRNA reduced expression of NT-3, NT-4/5, BDNF, neuroD and ngn1 as well as levels of GFAP protein. Furthermore, overexpression of Hpca increased the phosphorylation of STAT3 (Ser727, and this effect was abolished by treatment with a STAT3 inhibitor (S3I-201, suggesting that STAT3 (Ser727 activation is involved in Hpca-mediated astrocytic differentiation. As expected, treatment with Stat3 siRNA or STAT3 inhibitor caused a complete inhibition of astrogliogenesis induced by Hpca overexpression. Taken together, this is the first report to show that Hpca, acting through Stat3, has an important role in the expression of neurotrophins and proneural bHLH transcription factors, and that it is an essential regulator of astrocytic differentiation and dendrite outgrowth in HNPCs.

  6. Valproic acid mediates the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory balance through astrocytes--a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao-Chuan; Chen, Po See; Hsu, Chien-Wen; Wu, Shou-Jung; Lin, Chieh-Ting; Gean, Po Wu

    2012-04-27

    Valproic acid (VPA) is one of the most widely used anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing agents for the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder. However, the underlying therapeutic mechanisms of the treatment of each disease remain unclear. Recently, the anti-epileptic effect of VPA has been found to lead to modulation of the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory balance. In addition, the therapeutic action of VPA has been linked to its effect on astrocytes by regulating gene expression at the molecular level, perhaps through an epigenetic mechanism as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. To provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the actions of VPA, this study investigated whether the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) balance could be mediated by VPA through astrocytes. First, using the primary rat neuronal, astroglial, and neuro-glial mixed culture systems, we demonstrated that VPA treatment could regulate the mRNA levels of two post-synaptic cell adhesion molecules(neuroligin-1 and neuregulin-1) and two extracellular matrices (neuronal pentraxin-1and thrombospondin-3) in primary rat astrocyte cultures in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, the up-regulation effect of VPA was noted in astrocytes, but not in neurons. In addition, these regulatory effects could be mimicked by sodium butyrate, a HDAC inhibitor, but not by lithium or two other glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta inhibitors. With the known role of these four proteins in regulating the synaptic E/I balance, we further demonstrated that VPA increased excitatory post-synaptic protein (postsynaptic density 95) and inhibitory post-synaptic protein (Gephyrin) in cortical neuro-glial mixed cultures. Our results suggested that VPA might affect the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory balance through its effect on astrocytes. This work provides the basis for future evaluation of the role of astroglial cell adhesion molecules and the extracellular matrix on the control of excitatory and

  7. High molecular weight hyaluronic acid limits astrocyte activation and scar formation after spinal cord injury

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    Khaing, Zin Z.; Milman, Brian D.; Vanscoy, Jennifer E.; Seidlits, Stephanie K.; Grill, Raymond J.; Schmidt, Christine E.

    2011-08-01

    A major hurdle for regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) is the ability of axons to penetrate and grow through the scar tissue. After SCI, inflammatory cells, astrocytes and meningeal cells all play a role in developing the glial scar. In addition, degradation of native high molecular weight (MW) hyaluronic acid (HA), a component of the extracellular matrix, has been shown to induce activation and proliferation of astrocytes. However, it is not known if the degradation of native HA actually enhances glial scar formation. We hypothesize that the presence of high MW HA (HA with limited degradation) after SCI will decrease glial scarring. Here, we demonstrate that high MW HA decreases cell proliferation and reduces chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) production in cultured neonatal and adult astrocytes. In addition, stiffness-matched high MW HA hydrogels crosslinked to resist degradation were implanted in a rat model of spinal dorsal hemisection injury. The numbers of immune cells (macrophages and microglia) detected at the lesion site in animals with HA hydrogel implants were significantly reduced at acute time points (one, three and ten days post-injury). Lesioned animals with HA implants also exhibited significantly lower CSPG expression at ten days post-injury. At nine weeks post-injury, animals with HA hydrogel implants exhibited a significantly decreased astrocytic response, but did not have significantly altered CSPG expression. Combined, these data suggest that high MW HA, when stabilized against degradation, mitigates astrocyte activation in vitro and in vivo. The presence of HA implants was also associated with a significant decrease in CSPG deposition at ten days after SCI. Therefore, HA-based hydrogel systems hold great potential for minimizing undesired scarring as part of future repair strategies after SCI.

  8. 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.

  9. General anesthetics have differential inhibitory effects on gap junction channels and hemichannels in astrocytes and neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xinhe; Gangoso, Ester; Yi, Chenju; Jeanson, Tiffany; Kandelman, Stanislas; Mantz, Jean; Giaume, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Astrocytes represent a major non-neuronal cell population actively involved in brain functions and pathologies. They express a large amount of gap junction proteins that allow communication between adjacent glial cells and the formation of glial networks. In addition, these membrane proteins can also operate as hemichannels, through which "gliotransmitters" are released, and thus contribute to neuroglial interaction. There are now reports demonstrating that alterations of astroglial gap junction communication and/or hemichannel activity impact neuronal and synaptic activity. Two decades ago we reported that several general anesthetics inhibited gap junctions in primary cultures of astrocytes (Mantz et al., (1993) Anesthesiology 78(5):892-901). As there are increasing studies investigating neuroglial interactions in anesthetized mice, we here updated this previous study by employing acute cortical slices and by characterizing the effects of general anesthetics on both astroglial gap junctions and hemichannels. As hemichannel activity is not detected in cortical astrocytes under basal conditions, we treated acute slices with the endotoxin LPS or proinflammatory cytokines to induce hemichannel activity in astrocytes, which in turn activated neuronal hemichannels. We studied two extensively used anesthetics, propofol and ketamine, and the more recently developed dexmedetomidine. We report that these drugs have differential inhibitory effects on gap junctional communication and hemichannel activity in astrocytes when used in their respective, clinically relevant concentrations, and that dexmedetomidine appears to be the least effective on both channel functions. In addition, the three anesthetics have similar effects on neuronal hemichannels. Altogether, our observations may contribute to optimizing the selection of anesthetics for in vivo animal studies.

  10. Astrocyte Transcriptome from the Mecp2(308)-Truncated Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delépine, Chloé; Nectoux, Juliette; Letourneur, Franck; Baud, Véronique; Chelly, Jamel; Billuart, Pierre; Bienvenu, Thierry

    2015-12-01

    Mutations in the gene encoding the transcriptional modulator methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) are responsible for the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome which is one of the most frequent sources of intellectual disability in women. Recent studies showed that loss of Mecp2 in astrocytes contributes to Rett-like symptoms and restoration of Mecp2 can rescue some of these defects. The goal of this work is to compare gene expression profiles of wild-type and mutant astrocytes from Mecp2(308/y) mice (B6.129S-MeCP2/J) by using Affymetrix mouse 2.0 microarrays. Results were confirmed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR and by Western blot analysis. Gene set enrichment analysis utilizing Ingenuity Pathways was employed to identify pathways disrupted by Mecp2 deficiency. A total of 2152 genes were statistically differentially expressed between wild-type and mutated samples, including 1784 coding transcripts. However, only 257 showed fold changes >1.2. We confirmed our data by replicative studies in independent primary cultures of cortical astrocytes from Mecp2-deficient mice. Interestingly, two genes known to encode secreted proteins, chromogranin B and lipocalin-2, showed significant dysregulation. These proteins secreted from Mecp2-deficient glia may exert negative non-cell autonomous effects on neuronal properties, including dendritic morphology. Moreover, transcriptional profiling revealed altered Nr2f2 expression which may explain down- and upregulation of several target genes in astrocytes such as Ccl2, Lcn2 and Chgb. Unraveling Nr2f2 involvement in Mecp2-deficient astrocytes could pave the way for a better understanding of Rett syndrome pathophysiology and offers new therapeutic perspectives.

  11. A novel optical intracellular imaging approach for potassium dynamics in astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa S Rimmele

    Full Text Available Astrocytes fulfill a central role in regulating K+ and glutamate, both released by neurons into the extracellular space during activity. Glial glutamate uptake is a secondary active process that involves the influx of three Na+ ions and one proton and the efflux of one K+ ion. Thus, intracellular K+ concentration ([K+]i is potentially influenced both by extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]o fluctuations and glutamate transport in astrocytes. We evaluated the impact of these K+ ion movements on [K+]i in primary mouse astrocytes by microspectrofluorimetry. We established a new noninvasive and reliable approach to monitor and quantify [K+]i using the recently developed K+ sensitive fluorescent indicator Asante Potassium Green-1 (APG-1. An in situ calibration procedure enabled us to estimate the resting [K+]i at 133±1 mM. We first investigated the dependency of [K+]i levels on [K+]o. We found that [K+]i followed [K+]o changes nearly proportionally in the range 3-10 mM, which is consistent with previously reported microelectrode measurements of intracellular K+ concentration changes in astrocytes. We then found that glutamate superfusion caused a reversible drop of [K+]i that depended on the glutamate concentration with an apparent EC50 of 11.1±1.4 µM, corresponding to the affinity of astrocyte glutamate transporters. The amplitude of the [K+]i drop was found to be 2.3±0.1 mM for 200 µM glutamate applications. Overall, this study shows that the fluorescent K+ indicator APG-1 is a powerful new tool for addressing important questions regarding fine [K+]i regulation with excellent spatial resolution.

  12. Control of mitochondrial pH by uncoupling protein 4 in astrocytes promotes neuronal survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perreten Lambert, Hélène; Zenger, Manuel; Azarias, Guillaume; Chatton, Jean-Yves; Magistretti, Pierre J; Lengacher, Sylvain

    2014-11-07

    Brain activity is energetically costly and requires a steady and highly regulated flow of energy equivalents between neural cells. It is believed that a substantial share of cerebral glucose, the major source of energy of the brain, will preferentially be metabolized in astrocytes via aerobic glycolysis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether uncoupling proteins (UCPs), located in the inner membrane of mitochondria, play a role in setting up the metabolic response pattern of astrocytes. UCPs are believed to mediate the transmembrane transfer of protons, resulting in the uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation from ATP production. UCPs are therefore potentially important regulators of energy fluxes. The main UCP isoforms expressed in the brain are UCP2, UCP4, and UCP5. We examined in particular the role of UCP4 in neuron-astrocyte metabolic coupling and measured a range of functional metabolic parameters including mitochondrial electrical potential and pH, reactive oxygen species production, NAD/NADH ratio, ATP/ADP ratio, CO2 and lactate production, and oxygen consumption rate. In brief, we found that UCP4 regulates the intramitochondrial pH of astrocytes, which acidifies as a consequence of glutamate uptake, with the main consequence of reducing efficiency of mitochondrial ATP production. The diminished ATP production is effectively compensated by enhancement of glycolysis. This nonoxidative production of energy is not associated with deleterious H2O2 production. We show that astrocytes expressing more UCP4 produced more lactate, which is used as an energy source by neurons, and had the ability to enhance neuronal survival.

  13. Control of Mitochondrial pH by Uncoupling Protein 4 in Astrocytes Promotes Neuronal Survival*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perreten Lambert, Hélène; Zenger, Manuel; Azarias, Guillaume; Chatton, Jean-Yves; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Lengacher, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Brain activity is energetically costly and requires a steady and highly regulated flow of energy equivalents between neural cells. It is believed that a substantial share of cerebral glucose, the major source of energy of the brain, will preferentially be metabolized in astrocytes via aerobic glycolysis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether uncoupling proteins (UCPs), located in the inner membrane of mitochondria, play a role in setting up the metabolic response pattern of astrocytes. UCPs are believed to mediate the transmembrane transfer of protons, resulting in the uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation from ATP production. UCPs are therefore potentially important regulators of energy fluxes. The main UCP isoforms expressed in the brain are UCP2, UCP4, and UCP5. We examined in particular the role of UCP4 in neuron-astrocyte metabolic coupling and measured a range of functional metabolic parameters including mitochondrial electrical potential and pH, reactive oxygen species production, NAD/NADH ratio, ATP/ADP ratio, CO2 and lactate production, and oxygen consumption rate. In brief, we found that UCP4 regulates the intramitochondrial pH of astrocytes, which acidifies as a consequence of glutamate uptake, with the main consequence of reducing efficiency of mitochondrial ATP production. The diminished ATP production is effectively compensated by enhancement of glycolysis. This nonoxidative production of energy is not associated with deleterious H2O2 production. We show that astrocytes expressing more UCP4 produced more lactate, which is used as an energy source by neurons, and had the ability to enhance neuronal survival. PMID:25237189

  14. A novel optical intracellular imaging approach for potassium dynamics in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimmele, Theresa S; Chatton, Jean-Yves

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes fulfill a central role in regulating K+ and glutamate, both released by neurons into the extracellular space during activity. Glial glutamate uptake is a secondary active process that involves the influx of three Na+ ions and one proton and the efflux of one K+ ion. Thus, intracellular K+ concentration ([K+]i) is potentially influenced both by extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]o) fluctuations and glutamate transport in astrocytes. We evaluated the impact of these K+ ion movements on [K+]i in primary mouse astrocytes by microspectrofluorimetry. We established a new noninvasive and reliable approach to monitor and quantify [K+]i using the recently developed K+ sensitive fluorescent indicator Asante Potassium Green-1 (APG-1). An in situ calibration procedure enabled us to estimate the resting [K+]i at 133±1 mM. We first investigated the dependency of [K+]i levels on [K+]o. We found that [K+]i followed [K+]o changes nearly proportionally in the range 3-10 mM, which is consistent with previously reported microelectrode measurements of intracellular K+ concentration changes in astrocytes. We then found that glutamate superfusion caused a reversible drop of [K+]i that depended on the glutamate concentration with an apparent EC50 of 11.1±1.4 µM, corresponding to the affinity of astrocyte glutamate transporters. The amplitude of the [K+]i drop was found to be 2.3±0.1 mM for 200 µM glutamate applications. Overall, this study shows that the fluorescent K+ indicator APG-1 is a powerful new tool for addressing important questions regarding fine [K+]i regulation with excellent spatial resolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Cathy Joanna; Demol, Frauke; Bauwens, Romy; Kooijman, Ron; Massie, Ann; Villers, Agnès; Ris, Laurence; De Keyser, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27776147

  16. Human astrocytes derived from glial restricted progenitors support regeneration of the injured spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Christopher; Fischer, Itzhak

    2013-06-15

    Cellular transplantation using neural stem cells and progenitors is a promising therapeutic strategy that has the potential to replace lost cells, modulate the injury environment, and create a permissive environment for the regeneration of injured host axons. Our research has focused on the use of human glial restricted progenitors (hGRP) and derived astrocytes. In the current study, we examined the morphological and phenotypic properties of hGRP prepared from the fetal central nervous system by clinically-approved protocols, compared with astrocytes derived from hGRP prepared by treatment with ciliary neurotrophic factor or bone morphogenetic protein 4. These differentiation protocols generated astrocytes that showed morphological differences and could be classified along an immature to mature spectrum, respectively. Despite these differences, the cells retained morphological and phenotypic plasticity upon a challenge with an alternate differentiation protocol. Importantly, when hGRP and derived astrocytes were transplanted acutely into a cervical dorsal column lesion, they survived and promoted regeneration of long ascending host sensory axons into the graft/lesion site, with no differences among the groups. Further, hGRP taken directly from frozen stocks behaved similarly and also supported regeneration of host axons into the lesion. Our results underscore the dynamic and permissive properties of human fetal astrocytes to promote axonal regeneration. They also suggest that a time-consuming process of pre-differentiation may not be necessary for therapeutic efficacy, and that the banking of large quantities of readily available hGRP can be an appropriate source of permissive cells for transplantation.

  17. Mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of glutamate uptake in primary astrocyte