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Sample records for astrocytic mechanisms explaining

  1. 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.

  2. 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...... 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...

  3. Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Rune; Samson, Andrew J.

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Spinal astrocytic activation contributes to mechanical allodynia in a rat chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain model.

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    Xi-Tuan Ji

    Full Text Available Chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CNP is the major dose-limiting factor in cancer chemotherapy. However, the neural mechanisms underlying CNP remain enigmatic. Accumulating evidence implicates the involvement of spinal glia in some neuropathic pain models. In this study, using a vincristine-evoked CNP rat model with obvious mechanical allodynia, we found that spinal astrocyte rather than microglia was dramatically activated. The mechanical allodynia was dose-dependently attenuated by intrathecal administratration of L-α-aminoadipate (astrocytic specific inhibitor; whereas minocycline (microglial specific inhibitor had no such effect, indicating that spinal astrocytic activation contributes to allodynia in CNP rat. Furthermore, oxidative stress mediated the development of spinal astrocytic activation, and activated astrocytes dramatically increased interleukin-1β expression which induced N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR phosphorylation in spinal neurons to strengthen pain transmission. Taken together, our findings suggest that spinal activated astrocytes may be a crucial component of the pathophysiology of CNP and "Astrocyte-Cytokine-NMDAR-neuron" pathway may be one detailed neural mechanisms underlying CNP. Thus, inhibiting spinal astrocytic activation may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for treating CNP.

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

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    Haghiri, Saeed; Ahmadi, Arash; Saif, Mehrdad

    2017-02-01

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

  7. Ca2+ Entry is Required for Mechanical Stimulation-induced ATP Release from Astrocyte

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    Lee, Jaekwang; Chun, Ye-Eun; Han, Kyung-Seok; Lee, Jungmoo; Woo, Dong Ho

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes and neurons are inseparable partners in the brain. Neurotransmitters released from neurons activate corresponding G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) expressed in astrocytes, resulting in release of gliotransmitters such as glutamate, D-serine, and ATP. These gliotransmitters in turn influence neuronal excitability and synaptic activities. Among these gliotransmitters, ATP regulates the level of network excitability and is critically involved in sleep homeostasis and astrocytic Ca2+ oscillations. ATP is known to be released from astrocytes by Ca2+-dependent manner. However, the precise source of Ca2+, whether it is Ca2+ entry from outside of cell or from the intracellular store, is still not clear yet. Here, we performed sniffer patch to detect ATP release from astrocyte by using various stimulation. We found that ATP was not released from astrocyte when Ca2+ was released from intracellular stores by activation of Gαq-coupled GPCR including PAR1, P2YR, and B2R. More importantly, mechanical stimulation (MS)-induced ATP release from astrocyte was eliminated when external Ca2+ was omitted. Our results suggest that Ca2+ entry, but not release from intracellular Ca2+ store, is critical for MS-induced ATP release from astrocyte. PMID:25792866

  8. Mechanisms of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling under high extracellular K(+) concentrations.

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    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.

  9. Activity-dependent astrocyte swelling is mediated by pH-regulating mechanisms.

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    Larsen, Brian Roland; MacAulay, Nanna

    2017-10-01

    During neuronal activity in the mammalian brain, the K + released into the synaptic space is initially buffered by the astrocytic compartment. In parallel, the extracellular space (ECS) shrinks, presumably due to astrocytic cell swelling. With the Na + /K + /2Cl - cotransporter and the Kir4.1/AQP4 complex not required for the astrocytic cell swelling in the hippocampus, the molecular mechanisms underlying the activity-dependent ECS shrinkage have remained unresolved. To identify these molecular mechanisms, we employed ion-sensitive microelectrodes to measure changes in ECS, [K + ] o and [H + ] o /pH o during electrical stimulation of rat hippocampal slices. Transporters and receptors responding directly to the K + and glutamate released into the extracellular space (the K + /Cl - cotransporter, KCC, glutamate transporters and G protein-coupled receptors) did not modulate the extracellular space dynamics. The HCO3--transporting mechanism, which in astrocytes mainly constitutes the electrogenic Na + / HCO3- cotransporter 1 (NBCe1), is activated by the K + -mediated depolarization of the astrocytic membrane. Inhibition of this transporter reduced the ECS shrinkage by ∼25% without affecting the K + transients, pointing to NBCe1 as a key contributor to the stimulus-induced astrocytic cell swelling. Inhibition of the monocarboxylate cotransporters (MCT), like-wise, reduced the ECS shrinkage by ∼25% without compromising the K + transients. Isosmotic reduction of extracellular Cl - revealed a requirement for this ion in parts of the ECS shrinkage. Taken together, the stimulus-evoked astrocytic cell swelling does not appear to occur as a direct effect of the K + clearance, as earlier proposed, but partly via the pH-regulating transport mechanisms activated by the K + -induced astrocytic depolarization and the activity-dependent metabolism. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Glutamate-induced glutamate release: A proposed mechanism for calcium bursting in astrocytes

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    Larter, Raima; Craig, Melissa Glendening

    2005-12-01

    Here we present a new model for the generation of complex calcium-bursting patterns in astrocytes, a type of brain cell recently implicated in a variety of neural functions including memory formation. The model involves two positive feedback processes, in which the key feedback species are calcium ion and glutamate. The latter is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and has been shown to be involved in bidirectional communication between astrocytes and nearby neurons. The glutamate feedback process considered here is shown to be critical for the generation of complex bursting oscillations in the astrocytes and to, perhaps, code for information which may be passed from neuron to neuron via the astrocyte. These processes may be involved in memory storage and formation as well as in mechanisms which lead to dynamical diseases such as epilepsy.

  11. Stat3 inhibition attenuates mechanical allodynia through transcriptional regulation of chemokine expression in spinal astrocytes.

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    Xiaodong Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3 is known to induce cell proliferation and inflammation by regulating gene transcription. Recent studies showed that Stat3 modulates nociceptive transmission by reducing spinal astrocyte proliferation. However, it is unclear whether Stat3 also contributes to the modulation of nociceptive transmission by regulating inflammatory response in spinal astrocytes. This study aimed at investigating the role of Stat3 on neuroinflammation during development of pain in rats after intrathecal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS. METHODS: Stat3 specific siRNA oligo and synthetic selective inhibitor (Stattic were applied to block the activity of Stat3 in primary astrocytes or rat spinal cord, respectively. LPS was used to induce the expression of proinflammatory genes in all studies. Immunofluorescence staining of cells and slices of spinal cord was performed to monitor Stat3 activation. The impact of Stat3 inhibition on proinflammatory genes expression was determined by cytokine antibody array, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Mechanical allodynia, as determined by the threshold pressure that could induce hind paw withdrawal after application of standardized von Frey filaments, was used to detect the effects of Stat3 inhibition after pain development with intrathecal LPS injection. RESULTS: Intrathecal injection of LPS activated Stat3 in reactive spinal astrocytes. Blockade of Stat3 activity attenuated mechanical allodynia significantly and was correlated with a lower number of reactive astrocytes in the spinal dorsal horn. In vitro study demonstrated that Stat3 modulated inflammatory response in primary astrocytes by transcriptional regulation of chemokine expression including Cx3cl1, Cxcl5, Cxcl10 and Ccl20. Similarly, inhibition of Stat3 reversed the expression of these chemokines in the spinal dorsal horn. CONCLUSIONS: Stat3 acted as a

  12. NFkappaB in the mechanism of ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling in culture.

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    Sinke, A.P.; Jayakumar, A.R.; Panickar, K.S.; Moriyama, M.; Reddy, P.V.; Norenberg, M.D.

    2008-01-01

    Astrocyte swelling and brain edema are major neuropathological findings in the acute form of hepatic encephalopathy (fulminant hepatic failure), and substantial evidence supports the view that elevated brain ammonia level is an important etiological factor in this condition. Although the mechanism

  13. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

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    David eDavila

    2013-12-01

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

  14. Dark matter "transporting" mechanism explaining positron excesses

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    Kim, Doojin; Park, Jong-Chul; Shin, Seodong

    2018-04-01

    We propose a novel mechanism to explain the positron excesses, which are observed by satellite-based telescopes including PAMELA and AMS-02, in dark matter (DM) scenarios. The novelty behind the proposal is that it makes direct use of DM around the Galactic Center where DM populates most densely, allowing us to avoid tensions from cosmological and astrophysical measurements. The key ingredients of this mechanism include DM annihilation into unstable states with a very long laboratory-frame life time and their "retarded" decay near the Earth to electron-positron pair(s) possibly with other (in)visible particles. We argue that this sort of explanation is not in conflict with relevant constraints from big bang nucleosynthesis and cosmic microwave background. Regarding the resultant positron spectrum, we provide a generalized source term in the associated diffusion equation, which can be readily applicable to any type of two-"stage" DM scenarios wherein production of Standard Model particles occurs at completely different places from those of DM annihilation. We then conduct a data analysis with the recent AMS-02 data to validate our proposal.

  15. A New Computational Model for Neuro-Glio-Vascular Coupling: Astrocyte Activation Can Explain Cerebral Blood Flow Nonlinear Response to Interictal Events.

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    Solenna Blanchard

    Full Text Available Developing a clear understanding of the relationship between cerebral blood flow (CBF response and neuronal activity is of significant importance because CBF increase is essential to the health of neurons, for instance through oxygen supply. This relationship can be investigated by analyzing multimodal (fMRI, PET, laser Doppler… recordings. However, the important number of intermediate (non-observable variables involved in the underlying neurovascular coupling makes the discovery of mechanisms all the more difficult from the sole multimodal data. We present a new computational model developed at the population scale (voxel with physiologically relevant but simple equations to facilitate the interpretation of regional multimodal recordings. This model links neuronal activity to regional CBF dynamics through neuro-glio-vascular coupling. This coupling involves a population of glial cells called astrocytes via their role in neurotransmitter (glutamate and GABA recycling and their impact on neighboring vessels. In epilepsy, neuronal networks generate epileptiform discharges, leading to variations in astrocytic and CBF dynamics. In this study, we took advantage of these large variations in neuronal activity magnitude to test the capacity of our model to reproduce experimental data. We compared simulations from our model with isolated epileptiform events, which were obtained in vivo by simultaneous local field potential and laser Doppler recordings in rats after local bicuculline injection. We showed a predominant neuronal contribution for low level discharges and a significant astrocytic contribution for higher level discharges. Besides, neuronal contribution to CBF was linear while astrocytic contribution was nonlinear. Results thus indicate that the relationship between neuronal activity and CBF magnitudes can be nonlinear for isolated events and that this nonlinearity is due to astrocytic activity, highlighting the importance of astrocytes in

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

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

    2008-11-04

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

  17. Beta2- and beta3-adrenoceptors activate glucose uptake in chick astrocytes by distinct mechanisms: a mechanism for memory enhancement?

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    Hutchinson, Dana S; Summers, Roger J; Gibbs, Marie E

    2007-11-01

    Isoprenaline, acting at beta-adrenoceptors (ARs), enhances memory formation in single trial discriminated avoidance learning in day-old chicks by mechanisms involving alterations in glucose and glycogen metabolism. Earlier studies of memory consolidation in chicks indicated that beta3-ARs enhanced memory by increasing glucose uptake, whereas beta2-ARs enhance memory by increasing glycogenolysis. This study examines the ability of beta-ARs to increase glucose uptake in chick forebrain astrocytes. The beta-AR agonist isoprenaline increased glucose uptake in a concentration-dependent manner, as did insulin. Glucose uptake was increased by the beta2-AR agonist zinterol and the beta3-AR agonist CL316243, but not by the beta1-AR agonist RO363. In chick astrocytes, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction studies showed that beta1-, beta2-, and beta3-AR mRNA were present, whereas radioligand-binding studies showed the presence of only beta2- and beta3-ARs. beta-AR or insulin-mediated glucose uptake was inhibited by phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase and protein kinase C inhibitors, suggesting a possible interaction between the beta-AR and insulin pathways. However beta2- and beta3-ARs increase glucose uptake by two different mechanisms: beta2-ARs via a Gs-cAMP-protein kinase A-dependent pathway, while beta3-ARs via interactions with Gi. These results indicate that activation of beta2- and beta3-ARs causes glucose uptake in chick astrocytes by distinct mechanisms, which may be relevant for memory enhancement.

  18. Monocarboxylate transporter-dependent mechanism confers resistance to oxygen- and glucose-deprivation injury in astrocyte-neuron co-cultures.

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    Gao, Chen; Zhou, Liya; Zhu, Wenxia; Wang, Hongyun; Wang, Ruijuan; He, Yunfei; Li, Zhiyun

    2015-05-06

    Hypoxic and low-glucose stressors contribute to neuronal death in many brain diseases. Astrocytes are anatomically well-positioned to shield neurons from hypoxic injury. During hypoxia/ischemia, lactate released from astrocytes is taken up by neurons and stored for energy. This process is mediated by monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) in the central nervous system. In the present study, we investigated the ability of astrocytes to protect neurons from oxygen- and glucose-deprivation (OGD) injury via an MCT-dependent mechanism in vitro. Primary cultures of neurons, astrocytes, and astrocytes-neurons derived from rat hippocampus were subjected to OGD, MCT inhibition with small interfering (si)RNA. Cell survival and expression of MCT4, MCT2, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and neuronal nuclear antigen were evaluated. OGD significantly increased cell death in neuronal cultures and up-regulated MCT4 expression in astrocyte cultures, but no increased cell death was observed in neuron-astrocyte co-cultures or astrocyte cultures. However, neuronal cell death in co-cultures was increased by exposure to MCT4- or MCT2-specific siRNA, and this effect was attenuated by the addition of lactate into the extracellular medium of neuronal cultures prior to OGD. These findings demonstrate that resistance to OGD injury in astrocyte-neuron co-cultures occurs via an MCT-dependent mechanism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Rao, Shilpa P; Sikdar, Sujit Kumar

    2007-12-01

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

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

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

    2008-08-20

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

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

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    Carlos Barcia

    2008-08-01

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

  2. Astrocyte sigma-1 receptors modulate connexin 43 expression leading to the induction of below-level mechanical allodynia in spinal cord injured mice.

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    Choi, Sheu-Ran; Roh, Dae-Hyun; Yoon, Seo-Yeon; Kwon, Soon-Gu; Choi, Hoon-Seong; Han, Ho-Jae; Beitz, Alvin J; Lee, Jang-Hern

    2016-12-01

    We have previously shown using a spinal cord injury (SCI) model that gap junctions contribute to the early spread of astrocyte activation in the lumbar spinal cord and that this astrocyte communication plays critical role in the induction of central neuropathic pain. Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) have been implicated in spinal astrocyte activation and the development of peripheral neuropathic pain, yet their contribution to central neuropathic pain remains unknown. Thus, we investigated whether SCI upregulates spinal Sig-1Rs, which in turn increase the expression of the astrocytic gap junction protein, connexin 43 (Cx43) leading to the induction of central neuropathic pain. A thoracic spinal cord hemisection significantly increased both astrocyte activation and Cx43 expression in lumbar dorsal horn. Sig-1Rs were also increased in lumbar dorsal horn astrocytes, but not neurons or microglia. Intrathecal injection of an astrocyte metabolic inhibitor (fluorocitrate); a gap junction/hemichannel blocker (carbenoxolone); or a Cx43 mimetic peptide ( 43 Gap26) significantly reduced SCI-induced bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Blockade of Sig-1Rs with BD1047 during the induction phase of pain significantly suppressed the SCI-induced development of mechanical allodynia, astrocyte activation, increased expression of Cx43 in both total and membrane levels, and increased association of Cx43 with Sig-1R. However, SCI did not change the expression of oligodendrocyte (Cx32) or neuronal (Cx36) gap junction proteins. These findings demonstrate that SCI activates astrocyte Sig-1Rs leading to increases in the expression of the gap junction protein, Cx43 and astrocyte activation in the lumbar dorsal horn, and ultimately contribute to the induction of bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Estradiol Uses Different Mechanisms in Astrocytes from the Hippocampus of Male and Female Rats to Protect against Damage Induced by Palmitic Acid

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    Laura M. Frago

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available An excess of saturated fatty acids can be toxic for tissues, including the brain, and this has been associated with the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Since palmitic acid (PA is a free fatty acid that is abundant in the diet and circulation and can be harmful, we have investigated the effects of this fatty acid on lipotoxicity in hippocampal astrocytes and the mechanism involved. Moreover, as males and females have different susceptibilities to some neurodegenerative diseases, we accessed the responses of astrocytes from both sexes, as well as the possible involvement of estrogens in the protection against fatty acid toxicity. PA increased endoplasmic reticulum stress leading to cell death in astrocytes from both males and females. Estradiol (E2 increased the levels of protective factors, such as Hsp70 and the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10, in astrocytes from both sexes. In male astrocytes, E2 decreased pJNK, TNFα, and caspase-3 activation. In contrast, in female astrocytes E2 did not affect the activation of JNK or TNFα levels, but decreased apoptotic cell death. Hence, although E2 exerted protective effects against the detrimental effects of PA, the mechanisms involved appear to be different between male and female astrocytes. This sexually dimorphic difference in the protective mechanisms induced by E2 could be involved in the different susceptibilities of males and females to some neurodegenerative processes.

  4. Protective effect of astrocyte-conditioned medium on neurons following hypoxia and mechanical injury

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    YAN Ji-wen

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available 【Abstract】Objective: To investigate the protec-tive effect of mouse astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM on hypoxic and mechanically injured neurons by a cell model in vitro, and to explore the possible mechanism. Methods: The model of hypoxic neuronal injury was caused by 3% O 2 in three-gas incubator. Neurons were cul-tured with ordinary medium or 20% ACM respectively and randomly divided into hypoxic group (hypoxia for 4, 8, 24 h and marked as H4R0, H8R0, H24R0 and hypoxia reoxygenation group (H4R24, H8R24, H24R24. Mechanical injury model was developed by scratching neurons cultured in 20% ACM or ordinary medium to different degrees. Neu-rons in both medium were divided into normal control group, mild, moderate and severe injury groups. The 20% ACM was added 24 h before hypoxia/reoxygenation or mechanical injury. The morphology and survival of neurons were observed and counted by trypan blue staining. The concentration of NO, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH and membrane ATPase activity were detected by corresponding kits. Results: It was showed that 20% ACM can obviously promote the survival rate of hypoxia/reoxygenated neurons and scratched neurons as well. The morphology and num-ber of neurons exposed to hypoxia or scratch injury showed great difference between groups with or without ACM treatment. Compared with control group, the concentration of NO and LDH was much lower in hypoxic/reoxygenated neurons treated with 20% ACM, and the ATPase activity was higher. For the mechanical injury model, neurons with moderate injury also revealed a lower NO and LDH concen-tration than the control group. All the differences were sta-tistically significant (P<0.05. Conclusion: ACM can promote the survival and func-tional recovery of neurons following hypoxia or scratching to a certain degree. The mechanism may be associated with reducing the synthesis and release of NO and LDH as well as increasing the activity of membrane ATPase. Key words: Glial cell line

  5. Activity-dependent astrocyte swelling is mediated by pH-regulating mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Brian Roland; MacAulay, Nanna

    2017-01-01

    affecting the K(+) transients, pointing to NBCe1 as a key contributor to the stimulus-induced astrocytic cell swelling. Inhibition of the monocarboxylate cotransporters (MCT), like-wise, reduced the ECS shrinkage by ∼25% without compromising the K(+) transients. Isosmotic reduction of extracellular Cl...

  6. A local anesthetic, ropivacaine, suppresses activated microglia via a nerve growth factor-dependent mechanism and astrocytes via a nerve growth factor-independent mechanism in neuropathic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakamoto Atsuhiro

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Local anesthetics alleviate neuropathic pain in some cases in clinical practice, and exhibit longer durations of action than those predicted on the basis of the pharmacokinetics of their blocking effects on voltage-dependent sodium channels. Therefore, local anesthetics may contribute to additional mechanisms for reversal of the sensitization of nociceptive pathways that occurs in the neuropathic pain state. In recent years, spinal glial cells, microglia and astrocytes, have been shown to play critical roles in neuropathic pain, but their participation in the analgesic effects of local anesthetics remains largely unknown. Results Repetitive epidural administration of ropivacaine reduced the hyperalgesia induced by chronic constrictive injury of the sciatic nerve. Concomitantly with this analgesia, ropivacaine suppressed the increases in the immunoreactivities of CD11b and glial fibrillary acidic protein in the dorsal spinal cord, as markers of activated microglia and astrocytes, respectively. In addition, epidural administration of a TrkA-IgG fusion protein that blocks the action of nerve growth factor (NGF, which was upregulated by ropivacaine in the dorsal root ganglion, prevented the inhibitory effect of ropivacaine on microglia, but not astrocytes. The blockade of NGF action also abolished the analgesic effect of ropivacaine on neuropathic pain. Conclusions Ropivacaine provides prolonged analgesia possibly by suppressing microglial activation in an NGF-dependent manner and astrocyte activation in an NGF-independent manner in the dorsal spinal cord. Local anesthetics, including ropivacaine, may represent a new approach for glial cell inhibition and, therefore, therapeutic strategies for neuropathic pain.

  7. RNA Localization in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Rune

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Impairments in Motor Neurons, Interneurons and Astrocytes Contribute to Hyperexcitability in ALS: Underlying Mechanisms and Paths to Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do-Ha, Dzung; Buskila, Yossi; Ooi, Lezanne

    2018-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by the loss of motor neurons leading to progressive paralysis and death. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and nerve excitability tests, several clinical studies have identified that cortical and peripheral hyperexcitability are among the earliest pathologies observed in ALS patients. The changes in the electrophysiological properties of motor neurons have been identified in both sporadic and familial ALS patients, despite the diverse etiology of the disease. The mechanisms behind the change in neuronal signalling are not well understood, though current findings implicate intrinsic changes in motor neurons and dysfunction of cells critical in regulating motor neuronal excitability, such as astrocytes and interneurons. Alterations in ion channel expression and/or function in motor neurons has been associated with changes in cortical and peripheral nerve excitability. In addition to these intrinsic changes in motor neurons, inhibitory signalling through GABAergic interneurons is also impaired in ALS, likely contributing to increased neuronal excitability. Astrocytes have also recently been implicated in increasing neuronal excitability in ALS by failing to adequately regulate glutamate levels and extracellular K + concentration at the synaptic cleft. As hyperexcitability is a common and early feature of ALS, it offers a therapeutic and diagnostic target. Thus, understanding the underlying pathways and mechanisms leading to hyperexcitability in ALS offers crucial insight for future development of ALS treatments.

  9. Amines, Astrocytes and Arousal

    OpenAIRE

    Bazargani, N.; Attwell, D.

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Glutamate mediated astrocytic filtering of neuronal activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilad Wallach

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Glutamate Mediated Astrocytic Filtering of Neuronal Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Which Mechanisms Explain Monetary Returns to International Student Mobility?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratz, Fabian; Netz, Nicolai

    2018-01-01

    The authors develop a conceptual framework explaining monetary returns to international student mobility (ISM). Based on data from two German graduate panel surveys, they test this framework using growth curve models and Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions. The results indicate that ISM-experienced graduates enjoy a steeper wage growth after graduation…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  14. Functional traits explain ecosystem function through opposing mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadotte, Marc W

    2017-08-01

    The ability to explain why multispecies assemblages produce greater biomass compared to monocultures, has been a central goal in the quest to understand biodiversity effects on ecosystem function. Species contributions to ecosystem function can be driven by two processes: niche complementarity and a selection effect that is influenced by fitness (competitive) differences, and both can be approximated with measures of species' traits. It has been hypothesised that fitness differences are associated with few, singular traits while complementarity requires multidimensional trait measures. Here, using experimental data from plant assemblages, I show that the selection effect was strongest when trait dissimilarity was low, while complementarity was greatest with high trait dissimilarity. Selection effects were best explained by a single trait, plant height. Complementarity was correlated with dissimilarity across multiple traits, representing above and below ground processes. By identifying the relevant traits linked to ecosystem function, we obtain the ability to predict combinations of species that will maximise ecosystem function. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Coulomb Mechanics And Landscape Geometry Explain Landslide Size Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeandet, L.; Steer, P.; Lague, D.; Davy, P.

    2017-12-01

    It is generally observed that the dimensions of large bedrock landslides follow power-law scaling relationships. In particular, the non-cumulative frequency distribution (PDF) of bedrock landslide area is well characterized by a negative power-law above a critical size, with an exponent 2.4. However, the respective role of bedrock mechanical properties, landscape shape and triggering mechanisms on the scaling properties of landslide dimensions are still poorly understood. Yet, unravelling the factors that control this distribution is required to better estimate the total volume of landslides triggered by large earthquakes or storms. To tackle this issue, we develop a simple probabilistic 1D approach to compute the PDF of rupture depths in a given landscape. The model is applied to randomly sampled points along hillslopes of studied digital elevation models. At each point location, the model determines the range of depth and angle leading to unstable rupture planes, by applying a simple Mohr-Coulomb rupture criterion only to the rupture planes that intersect downhill surface topography. This model therefore accounts for both rock mechanical properties, friction and cohesion, and landscape shape. We show that this model leads to realistic landslide depth distribution, with a power-law arising when the number of samples is high enough. The modeled PDF of landslide size obtained for several landscapes match the ones from earthquakes-driven landslides catalogues for the same landscape. In turn, this allows us to invert landslide effective mechanical parameters, friction and cohesion, associated to those specific events, including Chi-Chi, Wenchuan, Niigata and Gorkha earthquakes. The cohesion and friction ranges (25-35 degrees and 5-20 kPa) are in good agreement with previously inverted values. Our results demonstrate that reduced complexity mechanics is efficient to model the distribution of unstable depths, and show the role of landscape variability in landslide size

  16. 17β-Estradiol prevents cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction by estrogen receptor-dependent mechanism in astrocytes following oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jiabin; Duckles, Sue P.; Weiss, John H.; Li, Xuejun; Krause, Diana N.

    2012-01-01

    17β-estradiol (E2) has been shown to protect against ischemic brain injury, yet its targets and the mechanisms are unclear. E2 may exert multiple regulatory actions on astrocytes that may greatly contribute to its ability to protect the brain. Mitochondria are recognized to play central roles in the development of injury during ischemia. Increasing evidence indicates that mitochondrial mechanisms are critically involved in E2-mediated protection. In this study, the effect of E2 and the role of mitochondria were evaluated in primary cultures of astrocytes subjected to an ischemia-like condition of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)/reperfusion. We showed that E2 treatment significantly protects against OGD/reperfusion-induced cell death as determined by cell viability, apoptosis and lactate dehydrogenase leakage. The protective effects of E2 on astrocytic survival were blocked by an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist (ICI 182,780), and were mimicked by an estrogen receptor (ER) agonist selective for ERα (PPT), but not by an ER agonist selective for ERβ (DPN). OGD/reperfusion provoked mitochondria dysfunction as manifested by an increase of cellular reactive oxygen species production, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and depletion of ATP. E2 pretreatment significantly inhibited OGD/reperfusion-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, and this effect was also blocked by ICI 182,780. Therefore, we concluded that E2 provides direct protection to astrocytes from ischemic injury by an ER-dependent mechanism, highlighting an important role for ERα. Estrogen protects against mitochondria dysfunction at the early phase of ischemic injury. However, overall implications for protection against brain ischemia and its complex sequelae await further exploration. PMID:22554613

  17. 17β-Estradiol prevents cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction by an estrogen receptor-dependent mechanism in astrocytes after oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jiabin; Duckles, Sue P; Weiss, John H; Li, Xuejun; Krause, Diana N

    17β-Estradiol (E2) has been shown to protect against ischemic brain injury, yet its targets and the mechanisms are unclear. E2 may exert multiple regulatory actions on astrocytes that may greatly contribute to its ability to protect the brain. Mitochondria are recognized as playing central roles in the development of injury during ischemia. Increasing evidence indicates that mitochondrial mechanisms are critically involved in E2-mediated protection. In this study, the effects of E2 and the role of mitochondria were evaluated in primary cultures of astrocytes subjected to an ischemia-like condition of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)/reperfusion. We showed that E2 treatment significantly protects against OGD/reperfusion-induced cell death as determined by cell viability, apoptosis, and lactate dehydrogenase leakage. The protective effects of E2 on astrocytic survival were blocked by an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist (ICI-182,780) and were mimicked by an ER agonist selective for ERα (PPT), but not by an ER agonist selective for ERβ (DPN). OGD/reperfusion provoked mitochondrial dysfunction as manifested by an increase in cellular reactive oxygen species production, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and depletion of ATP. E2 pretreatment significantly inhibited OGD/reperfusion-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, and this effect was also blocked by ICI-182,780. Therefore, we conclude that E2 provides direct protection to astrocytes from ischemic injury by an ER-dependent mechanism, highlighting an important role for ERα. Estrogen protects against mitochondrial dysfunction at the early phase of ischemic injury. However, overall implications for protection against brain ischemia and its complex sequelae await further exploration. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Cognitive mechanisms for explaining dynamics of aesthetic appreciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbon, Claus-Christian

    2011-01-01

    For many domains aesthetic appreciation has proven to be highly reliable. Evaluations of facial attractiveness, for instance, show high internal consistencies and impressively high inter-rater reliabilities, even across cultures. This indicates general mechanisms underlying such evaluations. It is, however, also obvious that our taste for specific objects is not always stable—in some realms such stability is hardly conceivable at all since aesthetic domains such as fashion, design, or art are inherently very dynamic. Gaining insights into the cognitive mechanisms that trigger and enable corresponding changes of aesthetic appreciation is of particular interest for psychologists as this will probably reveal essential mechanisms of aesthetic evaluations per se. The present paper develops a two-step model, dynamically adapting itself, which accounts for typical dynamics of aesthetic appreciation found in different research areas such as art history, philosophy, and psychology. The first step assumes singular creative sources creating and establishing innovative material towards which, in a second step, people adapt by integrating it into their visual habits. This inherently leads to dynamic changes of the beholders— aesthetic appreciation. PMID:23145254

  19. Epilepsy and astrocyte energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boison, Detlev; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2018-06-01

    Epilepsy is a complex neurological syndrome characterized by neuronal hyperexcitability and sudden, synchronized electrical discharges that can manifest as seizures. It is now increasingly recognized that impaired astrocyte function and energy homeostasis play key roles in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. Excessive neuronal discharges can only happen, if adequate energy sources are made available to neurons. Conversely, energy depletion during seizures is an endogenous mechanism of seizure termination. Astrocytes control neuronal energy homeostasis through neurometabolic coupling. In this review, we will discuss how astrocyte dysfunction in epilepsy leads to distortion of key metabolic and biochemical mechanisms. Dysfunctional glutamate metabolism in astrocytes can directly contribute to neuronal hyperexcitability. Closure of astrocyte intercellular gap junction coupling as observed early during epileptogenesis limits activity-dependent trafficking of energy metabolites, but also impairs clearance of the extracellular space from accumulation of K + and glutamate. Dysfunctional astrocytes also increase the metabolism of adenosine, a metabolic product of ATP degradation that broadly inhibits energy-consuming processes as an evolutionary adaptation to conserve energy. Due to the critical role of astroglial energy homeostasis in the control of neuronal excitability, metabolic therapeutic approaches that prevent the utilization of glucose might represent a potent antiepileptic strategy. In particular, high fat low carbohydrate "ketogenic diets" as well as inhibitors of glycolysis and lactate metabolism are of growing interest for the therapy of epilepsy. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Astrocyte atrophy and immune dysfunction in self-harming macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kim M; Chiu, Kevin B; Sansing, Hope A; Inglis, Fiona M; Baker, Kate C; MacLean, Andrew G

    2013-01-01

    Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a complex condition that exhibits a spectrum of abnormal neuropsychological and locomotor behaviors. Mechanisms for neuropathogenesis could include irregular immune activation, host soluble factors, and astrocyte dysfunction. We examined the role of astrocytes as modulators of immune function in macaques with SIB. We measured changes in astrocyte morphology and function. Paraffin sections of frontal cortices from rhesus macaques identified with SIB were stained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). Morphologic features of astrocytes were determined using computer-assisted camera lucida. There was atrophy of white matter astrocyte cell bodies, decreased arbor length in both white and gray matter astrocytes, and decreased bifurcations and tips on astrocytes in animals with SIB. This was combined with a five-fold increase in the proportion of astrocytes immunopositive for TLR2. These results provide direct evidence that SIB induces immune activation of astrocytes concomitant with quantifiably different morphology.

  1. Astrocytic actions on extrasynaptic neuronal currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balazs ePal

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Evidence for involvement of the astrocytic benzodiazepine receptor in the mechanism of action of convulsant and anticonvulsant drugs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bender, A.S.; Hertz, L.

    1988-01-01

    The anticonvulsant drugs carbamazepine, phenobarbital, trimethadione, valproic acid and ethosuximide at pharmacologically relevant concentrations inhibit [ 3 H]diazepam binding to astrocytes in primary cultures but have much less effect on a corresponding preparation of neurons. Phenytoin as well as pentobarbital (which is not used chronically as an anticonvulsant) are equipotent in the two cell types. The convulsants picrotoxinin and pentylenetetrazol, the convulsant benzodiazepine RO 5-3663 and the two convulsant barbiturates DMBB and CHEB similarly inhibit diazepam binding to astrocytes but have little effect on neurons. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that these convulsants and anticonvulsants owe at least part of their effect to an interaction with the astrocytic benzodiazepine receptor, perhaps by interference with a calcium channel

  3. Cell Biology of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Nicola J; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-11-01

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

  4. Trafficking of astrocytic vesicles in hippocampal slices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Primary cultures of astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. New tools for investigating astrocyte-to-neuron communication

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Dongdong; Agulhon, Cendra; Schmidt, Elke; Oheim, Martin; Ropert, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    Gray matter protoplasmic astrocytes extend very thin processes and establish close contacts with synapses. It has been suggested that the release of neuroactive gliotransmitters at the tripartite synapse contributes to information processing. However, the concept of calcium (Ca2+)-dependent gliotransmitter release from astrocytes, and the release mechanisms are being debated. Studying astrocytes in their natural environment is challenging because: (i) astrocytes are electrically silent; (ii) ...

  7. Astrocyte-neuron communication: functional consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Achour, Sarrah; Pascual, Olivier

    2012-11-01

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

  8. Staphylococcus epidermidis polysaccharide intercellular adhesin induces IL-8 expression in human astrocytes via a mechanism involving TLR2.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Stevens, Niall T

    2009-03-01

    Staphylococcus epidermidis is an opportunistic biofilm-forming pathogen associated with neurosurgical device-related meningitis. Expression of the polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) on its surface promotes S. epidermidis biofilm formation. Here we investigated the pro-inflammatory properties of PIA against primary and transformed human astrocytes. PIA induced IL-8 expression in a dose- and\\/or time-dependent manner from U373 MG cells and primary normal human astrocytes. This effect was inhibited by depletion of N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosamine polymer from the PIA preparation with Lycopersicon esculentum lectin or sodium meta-periodate. Expression of dominant-negative versions of the TLR2 and TLR4 adaptor proteins MyD88 and Mal in U373 MG cells inhibited PIA-induced IL-8 production. Blocking IL-1 had no effect. PIA failed to induce IL-8 production from HEK293 cells stably expressing TLR4. However, in U373 MG cells which express TLR2, neutralization of TLR2 impaired PIA-induced IL-8 production. In addition to IL-8, PIA also induced expression of other cytokines from U373 MG cells including IL-6 and MCP-1. These data implicate PIA as an important immunogenic component of the S. epidermidis biofilm that can regulate pro-inflammatory cytokine production from human astrocytes, in part, via TLR2.

  9. Astrocytes and energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  11. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do…

  12. 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

  13. Molecular Neuropathology of Astrocytes and Oligodendrocytes in Alcohol Use Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José J. Miguel-Hidalgo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Postmortem studies reveal structural and molecular alterations of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in both the gray and white matter (GM and WM of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in human subjects with chronic alcohol abuse or dependence. These glial cellular changes appear to parallel and may largely explain structural and functional alterations detected using neuroimaging techniques in subjects with alcohol use disorders (AUDs. Moreover, due to the crucial roles of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in neurotransmission and signal conduction, these cells are very likely major players in the molecular mechanisms underpinning alcoholism-related connectivity disturbances between the PFC and relevant interconnecting brain regions. The glia-mediated etiology of alcohol-related brain damage is likely multifactorial since metabolic, hormonal, hepatic and hemodynamic factors as well as direct actions of ethanol or its metabolites have the potential to disrupt distinct aspects of glial neurobiology. Studies in animal models of alcoholism and postmortem human brains have identified astrocyte markers altered in response to significant exposures to ethanol or during alcohol withdrawal, such as gap-junction proteins, glutamate transporters or enzymes related to glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA metabolism. Changes in these proteins and their regulatory pathways would not only cause GM neuronal dysfunction, but also disturbances in the ability of WM axons to convey impulses. In addition, alcoholism alters the expression of astrocyte and myelin proteins and of oligodendrocyte transcription factors important for the maintenance and plasticity of myelin sheaths in WM and GM. These changes are concomitant with epigenetic DNA and histone modifications as well as alterations in regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs that likely cause profound disturbances of gene expression and protein translation. Knowledge is also available about interactions between astrocytes and

  14. New tools for investigating astrocyte-to-neuron communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dongdong; Agulhon, Cendra; Schmidt, Elke; Oheim, Martin; Ropert, Nicole

    2013-10-29

    Gray matter protoplasmic astrocytes extend very thin processes and establish close contacts with synapses. It has been suggested that the release of neuroactive gliotransmitters at the tripartite synapse contributes to information processing. However, the concept of calcium (Ca(2+))-dependent gliotransmitter release from astrocytes, and the release mechanisms are being debated. Studying astrocytes in their natural environment is challenging because: (i) astrocytes are electrically silent; (ii) astrocytes and neurons express an overlapping repertoire of transmembrane receptors; (iii) the size of astrocyte processes in contact with synapses are below the resolution of confocal and two-photon microscopes (iv) bulk-loading techniques using fluorescent Ca(2+) indicators lack cellular specificity. In this review, we will discuss some limitations of conventional methodologies and highlight the interest of novel tools and approaches for studying gliotransmission. Genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicators (GECIs), light-gated channels, and exogenous receptors are being developed to selectively read out and stimulate astrocyte activity. Our review discusses emerging perspectives on: (i) the complexity of astrocyte Ca(2+) signaling revealed by GECIs; (ii) new pharmacogenetic and optogenetic approaches to activate specific Ca(2+) signaling pathways in astrocytes; (iii) classical and new techniques to monitor vesicle fusion in cultured astrocytes; (iv) possible strategies to express specifically reporter genes in astrocytes.

  15. New Tools for Investigating Astrocyte-to-Neuron Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongdong eLi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Grey matter protoplasmic astrocytes extend very thin processes and establish close contacts with synapses. It has been suggested that the release of neuroactive gliotransmitters at the tripartite synapse contributes to information processing. However, the concept of calcium (Ca2+-dependent gliotransmitter release from astrocytes, and the release mechanisms are being debated.Studying astrocytes in their natural environment is challenging because: i astrocytes are electrically silent; ii astrocytes and neurons express an overlapping repertoire of transmembrane receptors; iii astrocyte processes in contact with synapses are below confocal and two-photon microscope resolution; iv bulk-loading techniques using fluorescent Ca2+ indicators lack cellular specificity.In this review, we will discuss some limitations of conventional methodologies and highlight the interest of novel tools and approaches for studying gliotransmission. Genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators (GECIs, light-gated channels, and exogenous receptors are being developed to selectively read out and stimulate astrocyte activity. Our review discusses emerging perspectives on: i the complexity of astrocyte Ca2+ signalling revealed by GECIs; ii new pharmacogenetic and optogenetic approaches to activate specific Ca2+ signalling pathways in astrocytes; iii classical and new techniques to monitor vesicle fusion in cultured astrocytes; iv possible strategies to express specifically reporter genes in astrocytes.

  16. Social Community: A Mechanism to Explain the Success of STEM Minority Mentoring Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondisa, Joi-Lynn; McComb, Sara A.

    2015-01-01

    Social community may be a mechanism that explains the success of minority mentoring programs. We define a social community as an environment where like-minded individuals engage in dynamic, multidirectional interactions that facilitate social support. In this conceptual article, we propose a social community model for science, technology,…

  17. A Model of How Different Biology Experts Explain Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

    Constructing explanations is an essential skill for all science learners. The goal of this project was to model the key components of expert explanation of molecular and cellular mechanisms. As such, we asked: What is an appropriate model of the components of explanation used by biology experts to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms? Do explanations made by experts from different biology subdisciplines at a university support the validity of this model? Guided by the modeling framework of R. S. Justi and J. K. Gilbert, the validity of an initial model was tested by asking seven biologists to explain a molecular mechanism of their choice. Data were collected from interviews, artifacts, and drawings, and then subjected to thematic analysis. We found that biologists explained the specific activities and organization of entities of the mechanism. In addition, they contextualized explanations according to their biological and social significance; integrated explanations with methods, instruments, and measurements; and used analogies and narrated stories. The derived methods, analogies, context, and how themes informed the development of our final MACH model of mechanistic explanations. Future research will test the potential of the MACH model as a guiding framework for instruction to enhance the quality of student explanations. PMID:25999313

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiri, Mahmood; Montaseri, Ghazal; Bahrami, Fariba

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  20. Calcium dynamics of cortical astrocytic networks in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajime Hirase

    2004-04-01

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

  1. Mechanisms of CDDO-imidazolide-mediated cytoprotection against acrolein-induced neurocytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells and primary human astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speen, Adam; Jones, Colton; Patel, Ruby; Shah, Halley; Nallasamy, Palanisamy; Brooke, Elizabeth A S; Zhu, Hong; Li, Y Robert; Jia, Zhenquan

    2015-10-01

    Acrolein is a ubiquitous unsaturated aldehyde has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various neurological disorders. However, limited study has been conducted into potential therapeutic protection and underlying mechanism against acrolein-induced cytotoxicity via upregulation of cellular aldehyde-detoxification defenses. In this study we have utilized RA-differentiated human SH-SY5Y cells and primary human astrocytes to investigate the induction of glutathione (GSH) by the synthetic triterpenoid 2-cyano-3,12-dixooleana-1,9-dien-28-imidazolide (CDDO-Im) and the protective effects CDDO-Im-mediated antioxidant defenses on acrolein toxicity. Acrolein exposure to RA-differentiated SH-SY5Y cells resulted in a significant time dependent depletion of cellular GSH preceding a reduction in cell viability and LDH release. Further, we demonstrated the predominance of cellular GSH in protection against acrolein-induced cytotoxicity. Buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) at 25μM dramatically depleted GSH and significantly potentiated acrolein-induced cytotoxicity. Pretreatment of the cells with 100nM CDDO-Im afforded a dramatic protection against acrolein-induced cytotoxicity. Pretreatment of BSO and CDDO was found to prevent the CDDO-Im-mediated GSH induction and partially reversed the cytoprotective effects of CDDO-Im against acrolein cytotoxicity. Overall, this study represents for the first time the CDDO-Im mediated upregulation of GSH is a predominant mechanism against acrolein-induced neurotoxicity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jillian L Stobart

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Mechanisms explaining Coulomb's electric force & Lorentz's magnetic force from a classical perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correnti, Dan S.

    2018-06-01

    The underlying mechanisms of the fundamental electric and magnetic forces are not clear in current models; they are mainly mathematical constructs. This study examines the underlying physics from a classical viewpoint to explain Coulomb's electric force and Lorentz's magnetic force. This is accomplished by building upon already established physics. Although no new physics is introduced, extension of existing models is made by close examination. We all know that an electron carries a bound cylindrical B-field (CBF) as it translates. Here, we show how the electron CBF plays an intrinsic role in the generation of the electric and magnetic forces.

  4. Explaining the differential distribution of Clean Development Mechanism projects across host countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkelman, Andrew G.; Moore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol represents an opportunity to involve all developing countries in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also promoting sustainable development. To date, however, the majority of CDM projects have gone to emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Mexico, while very few least developed countries have hosted projects. This paper investigates the differential distribution of CDM activities across countries. We develop a conceptual model for project profitability, which helps to identify potential country-level determinants of CDM activity. These potential determinants are employed as explanatory variables in regression analysis to explain the actual distribution of projects. Human capital and greenhouse gas emission levels influenced which countries have hosted projects and the amount of certified emission reductions (CER) created. Countries that offered growing markets for CDM co-products, such as electricity, were more likely to be CDM hosts, while economies with higher carbon intensity levels had greater CER production. These findings work against the least developed countries and help to explain their lack of CDM activity. - Research Highlights: → Regression models are used to explain the inter-country distribution of CDM projects. → Emissions and human capital are significant for hosting projects and CER creation. → An economy's emissions intensity is significant in determining CERs created. → Capacity building and electricity sector growth are significant in hosting projects. → The experience level for host countries in the CDM is significant for CER creation.

  5. Astrocyte atrophy and immune dysfunction in self-harming macaques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim M Lee

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Self-injurious behavior (SIB is a complex condition that exhibits a spectrum of abnormal neuropsychological and locomotor behaviors. Mechanisms for neuropathogenesis could include irregular immune activation, host soluble factors, and astrocyte dysfunction. METHODS: We examined the role of astrocytes as modulators of immune function in macaques with SIB. We measured changes in astrocyte morphology and function. Paraffin sections of frontal cortices from rhesus macaques identified with SIB were stained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2. Morphologic features of astrocytes were determined using computer-assisted camera lucida. RESULTS: There was atrophy of white matter astrocyte cell bodies, decreased arbor length in both white and gray matter astrocytes, and decreased bifurcations and tips on astrocytes in animals with SIB. This was combined with a five-fold increase in the proportion of astrocytes immunopositive for TLR2. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide direct evidence that SIB induces immune activation of astrocytes concomitant with quantifiably different morphology.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Petit, Jean-Marie; Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  7. Sodium signaling and astrocyte energy metabolism

    KAUST Repository

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. A Bystander Mechanism Explains the Specific Phenotype of a Broadly Expressed Misfolded Protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Klabonski

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Misfolded proteins in transgenic models of conformational diseases interfere with proteostasis machinery and compromise the function of many structurally and functionally unrelated metastable proteins. This collateral damage to cellular proteins has been termed 'bystander' mechanism. How a single misfolded protein overwhelms the proteostasis, and how broadly-expressed mutant proteins cause cell type-selective phenotypes in disease are open questions. We tested the gain-of-function mechanism of a R37C folding mutation in an endogenous IGF-like C.elegans protein DAF-28. DAF-28(R37C is broadly expressed, but only causes dysfunction in one specific neuron, ASI, leading to a distinct developmental phenotype. We find that this phenotype is caused by selective disruption of normal biogenesis of an unrelated endogenous protein, DAF-7/TGF-β. The combined deficiency of DAF-28 and DAF-7 biogenesis, but not of DAF-28 alone, explains the gain-of-function phenotype-deficient pro-growth signaling by the ASI neuron. Using functional, fluorescently-tagged protein, we find that, in animals with mutant DAF-28/IGF, the wild-type DAF-7/TGF-β is mislocalized to and accumulates in the proximal axon of the ASI neuron. Activation of two different branches of the unfolded protein response can modulate both the developmental phenotype and DAF-7 mislocalization in DAF-28(R37C animals, but appear to act through divergent mechanisms. Our finding that bystander targeting of TGF-β explains the phenotype caused by a folding mutation in an IGF-like protein suggests that, in conformational diseases, bystander misfolding may specify the distinct phenotypes caused by different folding mutations.

  10. The Fluid Mechanics of the Bible: Miracles Explainable by Christian Science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Amy

    2015-11-01

    The Bible is full of accounts clearly in violation of our scientific understanding of fluid mechanics. Examples include the floating axe head, Jesus walking on the water and immediately calming a storm. ``Jesus of Nazareth was the most scientific man that ever trod the globe. He plunged beneath the material surface of things, and found the spiritual cause,'' wrote Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), the founder of a now well-established religion known as Christian Science, in her seminal work Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures. She asserted that Jesus' miracles were in accord with the, ``Science of God's unchangeable law.'' She also proclaimed that matter is a derivative of consciousness. Independently with the discovery of quantum mechanics, physicists such as Max Planck and Sir James Jeans began to make similar statements (``The Mental Universe'', Nature, 2005). More recently, Max Tegmark (MIT) theorized that consciousness is a state of matter (New Scientist, April 2014). Using a paradigm shift from matter to consciousness as the primary substance, one can scientifically explain how a mental activity (i.e. prayer) could influence the physical. Since this conference is next door to the original church of Christian Science (Const. 1894), this talk will discuss various fluid-mechanic miracles in the Bible and provide an explanation based on divine metaphysics while providing an overview of scientific Christianity and its unifying influence to the fields of science, theology and medicine.

  11. Anisotropic p-f mixing mechanism explaining anomalous magnetic properties in Ce monopnictides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, H.; Kasuya, T.

    1985-01-01

    An anomalously small crystal-field splitting in the paramagnetic region in CeSb and CeBi compared with those in CeP and CeAs is explained by the mixing mechanism between the occupied 4f states and the valence band holes. In the paramagnetic regions, the above p-f mixing gives the effective crystal-field splitting, which is estimated to nearly cancel the normal splittings extrapolated from CeP and CeAs in good agreement with experiment. The formula for the second-order transition temperature, at which the population ratio of the 4f GAMMA 8 states begins to be unbalanced, is also derived. In CeBi the second-order transition may occur, while in CeSb the first-order transition should occur in agreement with experiments. (author)

  12. Edge-melting: nanoscale key-mechanism to explain nanoparticle formation from heated TEM grids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cesaria, Maura, E-mail: maura.cesaria@le.infn.it [Department of Mathematics and Physics “E. De Giorgi”, University of Salento, Via Arnesano, 73100 Lecce (Italy); Taurino, Antonietta; Catalano, Massimo [Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems, IMM-CNR, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce (Italy); Caricato, Anna Paola; Martino, Maurizio [Department of Mathematics and Physics “E. De Giorgi”, University of Salento, Via Arnesano, 73100 Lecce (Italy)

    2016-03-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Nanoparticle formation from metal grids explained by edge melting as key mechanism. • The inconsistency of bulk phenomenology invoking the vapor pressure is discussed. • Surface-melting and size-dependent evaporation are questioned as unsatisfactory. • Edge-melting: edges, corners, facets invoked as highly thermally unstable surfaces. • The polycrystalline nature of the really occurring metal grids is accounted for. - Abstract: In this study, we examine at both experimental and fundamental levels, the experimental evidence of nanoparticle formation in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) metal grids annealed at temperatures lower than the melting point of the corresponding metal bulk material. Our experimental investigation considers the most thermally unstable TEM grids (i.e. Cu-grids) and inspects the possible sources and mechanisms of contamination of thin films, conventionally deposited on carbon-coated Cu-grids. The investigations are supported by morphological–compositional analyses performed in different regions of the TEM sample. Then, a general model is formulated and discussed in order to explain the grid thermal instability, based on the critical role of edge-melting (i.e. melting initiated at edges and corners of the grid bars), the enhanced rate of evaporation from a liquid surface and the polycristallinity of the grid bars. Hence, we totally disregard conventional arguments such as bulk evaporation and metal vapor pressure and, in order to emphasize and clarify the alternative point of view of our model, we also overview the nano-scale melting phenomenology relevant to our discussion and survey the discrepancies reported in the literature.

  13. Astrocytes in endocannabinoid signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Díez, Adolfo; Araque, Alfonso

    2014-10-19

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

  14. Explaining the morphology of supernova remnant (SNR) 1987A with the jittering jets explosion mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bear, Ealeal; Soker, Noam

    2018-04-01

    We find that the remnant of supernova (SN) 1987A shares some morphological features with four supernova remnants (SNRs) that have signatures of shaping by jets, and from that we strengthen the claim that jets played a crucial role in the explosion of SN 1987A. Some of the morphological features appear also in planetary nebulae (PNe) where jets are observed. The clumpy ejecta bring us to support the claim that the jittering jets explosion mechanism can account for the structure of the remnant of SN 1987A, i.e., SNR 1987A. We conduct a preliminary attempt to quantify the fluctuations in the angular momentum of the mass that is accreted on to the newly born neutron star via an accretion disk or belt. The accretion disk/belt launches the jets that explode core collapse supernovae (CCSNe). The relaxation time of the accretion disk/belt is comparable to the duration of a typical jet-launching episode in the jittering jets explosion mechanism, and hence the disk/belt has no time to relax. We suggest that this might explain two unequal opposite jets that later lead to unequal sides of the elongated structures in some SNRs of CCSNe. We reiterate our earlier call for a paradigm shift from neutrino-driven explosion to a jet-driven explosion of CCSNe.

  15. Explaining recurring maser flares in the ISM through large-scale entangled quantum mechanical states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajabi, Fereshteh; Houde, Martin

    2017-03-01

    We apply Dicke's theory of superradiance (introduced in 1954) to the 6.7-GHz methanol and 22-GHz water spectral lines, often detected in molecular clouds as signposts for the early stages of the star formation process. We suggest that superradiance, characterized by burst-like features taking place over a wide range of time scales, may provide a natural explanation for the recent observations of periodic and seemingly alternating methanol and water maser flares in G107.298+5.639. Although these observations would be very difficult to explain within the context of maser theory, we show that these flares may result from simultaneously initiated 6.7-GHz methanol and 22-GHz water superradiant bursts operating on different time scales, thus providing a natural mechanism for their observed durations and time ordering. The evidence of superradiance in this source further suggests the existence of entangled quantum mechanical states, involving a very large number of molecules, over distances of up to a few kilometers in the interstellar medium.

  16. Synapse-specific astrocyte gating of amygdala-related behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Fernandez, Mario; Jamison, Stephanie; Robin, Laurie M; Zhao, Zhe; Martin, Eduardo D; Aguilar, Juan; Benneyworth, Michael A; Marsicano, Giovanni; Araque, Alfonso

    2017-11-01

    The amygdala plays key roles in fear and anxiety. Studies of the amygdala have largely focused on neuronal function and connectivity. Astrocytes functionally interact with neurons, but their role in the amygdala remains largely unknown. We show that astrocytes in the medial subdivision of the central amygdala (CeM) determine the synaptic and behavioral outputs of amygdala circuits. To investigate the role of astrocytes in amygdala-related behavior and identify the underlying synaptic mechanisms, we used exogenous or endogenous signaling to selectively activate CeM astrocytes. Astrocytes depressed excitatory synapses from basolateral amygdala via A 1 adenosine receptor activation and enhanced inhibitory synapses from the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala via A 2A receptor activation. Furthermore, astrocytic activation decreased the firing rate of CeM neurons and reduced fear expression in a fear-conditioning paradigm. Therefore, we conclude that astrocyte activity determines fear responses by selectively regulating specific synapses, which indicates that animal behavior results from the coordinated activity of neurons and astrocytes.

  17. Conceptual model and economic experiments to explain nonpersistence and enable mechanism designs fostering behavioral change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djawadi, Behnud Mir; Fahr, René; Turk, Florian

    2014-12-01

    Medical nonpersistence is a worldwide problem of striking magnitude. Although many fields of studies including epidemiology, sociology, and psychology try to identify determinants for medical nonpersistence, comprehensive research to explain medical nonpersistence from an economics perspective is rather scarce. The aim of the study was to develop a conceptual framework that augments standard economic choice theory with psychological concepts of behavioral economics to understand how patients' preferences for discontinuing with therapy arise over the course of the medical treatment. The availability of such a framework allows the targeted design of mechanisms for intervention strategies. Our conceptual framework models the patient as an active economic agent who evaluates the benefits and costs for continuing with therapy. We argue that a combination of loss aversion and mental accounting operations explains why patients discontinue with therapy at a specific point in time. We designed a randomized laboratory economic experiment with a student subject pool to investigate the behavioral predictions. Subjects continue with therapy as long as experienced utility losses have to be compensated. As soon as previous losses are evened out, subjects perceive the marginal benefit of persistence lower than in the beginning of the treatment. Consequently, subjects start to discontinue with therapy. Our results highlight that concepts of behavioral economics capture the dynamic structure of medical nonpersistence better than does standard economic choice theory. We recommend that behavioral economics should be a mandatory part of the development of possible intervention strategies aimed at improving patients' compliance and persistence behavior. Copyright © 2014 International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Computer simulations of neural mechanisms explaining upper and lower limb excitatory neural coupling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferris Daniel P

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When humans perform rhythmic upper and lower limb locomotor-like movements, there is an excitatory effect of upper limb exertion on lower limb muscle recruitment. To investigate potential neural mechanisms for this behavioral observation, we developed computer simulations modeling interlimb neural pathways among central pattern generators. We hypothesized that enhancement of muscle recruitment from interlimb spinal mechanisms was not sufficient to explain muscle enhancement levels observed in experimental data. Methods We used Matsuoka oscillators for the central pattern generators (CPG and determined parameters that enhanced amplitudes of rhythmic steady state bursts. Potential mechanisms for output enhancement were excitatory and inhibitory sensory feedback gains, excitatory and inhibitory interlimb coupling gains, and coupling geometry. We first simulated the simplest case, a single CPG, and then expanded the model to have two CPGs and lastly four CPGs. In the two and four CPG models, the lower limb CPGs did not receive supraspinal input such that the only mechanisms available for enhancing output were interlimb coupling gains and sensory feedback gains. Results In a two-CPG model with inhibitory sensory feedback gains, only excitatory gains of ipsilateral flexor-extensor/extensor-flexor coupling produced reciprocal upper-lower limb bursts and enhanced output up to 26%. In a two-CPG model with excitatory sensory feedback gains, excitatory gains of contralateral flexor-flexor/extensor-extensor coupling produced reciprocal upper-lower limb bursts and enhanced output up to 100%. However, within a given excitatory sensory feedback gain, enhancement due to excitatory interlimb gains could only reach levels up to 20%. Interconnecting four CPGs to have ipsilateral flexor-extensor/extensor-flexor coupling, contralateral flexor-flexor/extensor-extensor coupling, and bilateral flexor-extensor/extensor-flexor coupling could enhance

  19. Geckos as Springs: Mechanics Explain Across-Species Scaling of Adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilman, Casey A; Imburgia, Michael J; Bartlett, Michael D; King, Daniel R; Crosby, Alfred J; Irschick, Duncan J

    2015-01-01

    One of the central controversies regarding the evolution of adhesion concerns how adhesive force scales as animals change in size, either among or within species. A widely held view is that as animals become larger, the primary mechanism that enables them to climb is increasing pad area. However, prior studies show that much of the variation in maximum adhesive force remains unexplained, even when area is accounted for. We tested the hypothesis that maximum adhesive force among pad-bearing gecko species is not solely dictated by toepad area, but also depends on the ratio of toepad area to gecko adhesive system compliance in the loading direction, where compliance (C) is the change in extension (Δ) relative to a change in force (F) while loading a gecko's adhesive system (C = dΔ/dF). Geckos are well-known for their ability to climb on a range of vertical and overhanging surfaces, and range in mass from several grams to over 300 grams, yet little is understood of the factors that enable adhesion to scale with body size. We examined the maximum adhesive force of six gecko species that vary in body size (~2-100 g). We also examined changes between juveniles and adults within a single species (Phelsuma grandis). We found that maximum adhesive force and toepad area increased with increasing gecko size, and that as gecko species become larger, their adhesive systems become significantly less compliant. Additionally, our hypothesis was supported, as the best predictor of maximum adhesive force was not toepad area or compliance alone, but the ratio of toepad area to compliance. We verified this result using a synthetic "model gecko" system comprised of synthetic adhesive pads attached to a glass substrate and a synthetic tendon (mechanical spring) of finite stiffness. Our data indicate that increases in toepad area as geckos become larger cannot fully account for increased adhesive abilities, and decreased compliance must be included to explain the scaling of adhesion in

  20. Astrocytes in Alzheimer's Disease

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Mechanisms to explain the reverse perivascular transport of solutes out of the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schley, D; Carare-Nnadi, R; Please, C P; Perry, V H; Weller, R O

    2006-02-21

    Experimental studies and observations in the human brain indicate that interstitial fluid and solutes, such as amyloid-beta (Abeta), are eliminated from grey matter of the brain along pericapillary and periarterial pathways. It is unclear, however, what constitutes the motive force for such transport within blood vessel walls, which is in the opposite direction to blood flow. In this paper the potential for global pressure differences to achieve such transport are considered. A mathematical model is constructed in order to test the hypothesis that perivascular drainage of interstitial fluid and solutes out of brain tissue is driven by pulsations of the blood vessel walls. Here it is assumed that drainage occurs through a thin layer between astrocytes and endothelial cells or between smooth muscle cells. The model suggests that, during each pulse cycle, there are periods when fluid and solutes are driven along perivascular spaces in the reverse direction to the flow of blood. It is shown that successful drainage may depend upon some attachment of solutes to the lining of the perivascular space, in order to produce a valve-like effect, although an alternative without this requirement is also postulated. Reduction in pulse amplitude, as in ageing cerebral vessels, would prolong the attachment time, encourage precipitation of Abeta peptides in vessel walls, and impair elimination of Abeta from the brain. These factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of cerebral amyloid angiopathy and in the accumulation of Abeta in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.

  2. Regulation of neuron–astrocyte metabolic coupling across the sleep–wake cycle

    OpenAIRE

    Petit, J.-M.; Magistretti, P.J.

    2016-01-01

    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 energy production to 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 syn...

  3. Computational Models for Calcium-Mediated Astrocyte Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiina Manninen

    2018-04-01

    the models. Thus, we would like to emphasize that only via reproducible research are we able to build better computational models for astrocytes, which truly advance science. Our study is the first to characterize in detail the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms that have been modeled for astrocytes.

  4. Computational Models for Calcium-Mediated Astrocyte Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    , we would like to emphasize that only via reproducible research are we able to build better computational models for astrocytes, which truly advance science. Our study is the first to characterize in detail the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms that have been modeled for astrocytes.

  5. Reconsideration of atmospheric CO2 lifetime: potential mechanism for explaining CO2 missing sink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, R.; Gorbacheva, T.; Gerardo, R.

    2009-04-01

    Carbon cycle data (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1996) indicate that fossil fuel use accounts for emissions to the atmosphere of 5.5±0.5 GtC (Gigatons of carbon) annually. Other important processes in the global CO2 budget are tropical deforestation, estimated to generate about 1.6±1.0 GtC/yr; absorption by the oceans, removing about 2.0±0.8 GtC/yr; and regrowth of northern forests, taking up about 0.5±0.5 GtC/yr. However, accurate measurements of CO2 show that the atmosphere is accumulating only about 3.3±0.2 GtC/yr. The imbalance of about 1.3±1.5 GtC/yr, termed the "missing sink", represents the difference between the estimated sources and the estimated sinks of CO2; that is, we do not know where all of the anthropogenic CO2 is going. Several potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain this missing carbon, such as CO2 fertilization, climate change, nitrogen deposition, land use change, forest regrowth et al. Considering the complexity of ecosystem, most of ecosystem model cannot handle all the potential mechanisms to reproduce the real world. It has been believed that the dominant sink mechanism is the fertilizing effects of increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and the addition to soils of fixed nitrogen from fossil-fuel burning and agricultural fertilizers. However, a recent analysis of long-term observations of the change in biomass and growth rates suggests that such fertilization effects are much too small to explain more than a small fraction of the observed sink. In addition, long-term experiments in which small forest patches and other land ecosystems have been exposed to elevated CO2 levels for extended periods show a rapid decrease of the fertilization effect after an initial enhancement. We will explore this question of the missing sink in atmospheric CO2 residence time. Radioactive and stable carbon isotopes (13-C/12-C) show the real CO2 lifetime is about 5 years; i.e. CO2 is quickly taken out of the atmospheric

  6. Thyroid hormone modulates the extracellular matrix organization and expression in cerebellar astrocyte: effects on astrocyte adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trentin, Andréa Gonçalves; De Aguiar, Cláudia Beatriz Nedel Mendes; Garcez, Ricardo Castilho; Alvarez-Silva, Marcio

    2003-06-01

    The effects of thyroid hormone (T(3)) on extracellular matrix (ECM) expression and organization in cerebellar astrocytes were studied. Control astrocytes exhibit laminin immunostaining distributed in a punctate configuration and fibronectin concentrated in focal points at the cell surface. These cells attach to the substratum by membrane points, as shown by scanning microscopy, possibly by focal points stained to fibronectin. In contrast, after T(3) treatment, laminin assumes a fibrillary pattern and fibronectin becomes organized in filaments homogeneously distributed on the cell surface; the cells acquire a very flat and spread morphology. T(3) treatment also modulates astrocyte adhesion. In addition, increased expression of both laminin and fibronectin was detected by Western blot. These alterations in fibronectin and/or laminin production and organization may be involved in the flat and spread morphology and in altered adhesion. We observed that fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF(2)) added to cultures had similar effects to those described to T(3). Neutralizing antibodies against FGF(2) reversed T(3) effects on fibronectin and laminin distribution. We also observed that cerebellar neurons co-cultured on T(3)-treated astrocytes had an increase in the number of cells and presented longer neurites. Thus, we propose a novel mechanism of the effect of thyroid hormone on cerebellar development mediated by astrocytes: T(3) may induce astrocyte secretion of growth factors, mainly FGF(2), that autocrinally stimulate astrocyte proliferation, reorganization in ECM proteins, and alterations in cell spreading and adhesion. These effects may indirectly influence neuronal development. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Geckos as Springs: Mechanics Explain Across-Species Scaling of Adhesion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey A Gilman

    Full Text Available One of the central controversies regarding the evolution of adhesion concerns how adhesive force scales as animals change in size, either among or within species. A widely held view is that as animals become larger, the primary mechanism that enables them to climb is increasing pad area. However, prior studies show that much of the variation in maximum adhesive force remains unexplained, even when area is accounted for. We tested the hypothesis that maximum adhesive force among pad-bearing gecko species is not solely dictated by toepad area, but also depends on the ratio of toepad area to gecko adhesive system compliance in the loading direction, where compliance (C is the change in extension (Δ relative to a change in force (F while loading a gecko's adhesive system (C = dΔ/dF. Geckos are well-known for their ability to climb on a range of vertical and overhanging surfaces, and range in mass from several grams to over 300 grams, yet little is understood of the factors that enable adhesion to scale with body size. We examined the maximum adhesive force of six gecko species that vary in body size (~2-100 g. We also examined changes between juveniles and adults within a single species (Phelsuma grandis. We found that maximum adhesive force and toepad area increased with increasing gecko size, and that as gecko species become larger, their adhesive systems become significantly less compliant. Additionally, our hypothesis was supported, as the best predictor of maximum adhesive force was not toepad area or compliance alone, but the ratio of toepad area to compliance. We verified this result using a synthetic "model gecko" system comprised of synthetic adhesive pads attached to a glass substrate and a synthetic tendon (mechanical spring of finite stiffness. Our data indicate that increases in toepad area as geckos become larger cannot fully account for increased adhesive abilities, and decreased compliance must be included to explain the scaling of

  8. Endothelial-astrocytic interactions in acute liver failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, A R; Norenberg, M D

    2013-06-01

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

  9. ASTROCYTES IN THE NEUROPROTECTION AFTER BRAIN STROKE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria Patricia Cardona Gomez

    2015-03-01

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

  10. The role of astrocytes in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-García, J J

    2017-09-25

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

  11. An MJO-Mediated Mechanism to Explain ENSO and IOD Impacts on East African Short Rains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaitchik, B. F.; Berhane, F.; Gnanadesikan, A.

    2015-12-01

    Previous studies have found that the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) have significant impacts on rainfall over East Africa (EA) during the short rains (Oct-Dec). However, not all ENSO and IOD events are associated with significant precipitation anomalies over EA. Our analysis shows that the IOD and ENSO influence EA rainfall by modifying the MJO. Composite analysis of rainfall and outgoing longwave radiation data show that the MJO over the Indian Ocean (phases 2 and 3 of the Wheeler and Hendon index) is associated with significant increase in precipitation over EA during El Niño. In La Niña and non-ENSO years, the MJO over the Indian Ocean has very weak impacts on EA convection and precipitation. Although previous studies have found that El Niño / La Niña events are associated with anomalous wetness/dryness over EA, the associations are not evident in the absence of the MJO. Similarly, the IOD exhibits strong associations with EA precipitation when there is MJO activity over the Indian Ocean. During the positive phase of the IOD, the MJO over the Indian Ocean has impacts that extend to EA. In the absence of the MJO, however, the IOD shows weak associations with EA precipitation. Furthermore, there are more MJO days in the Indian Ocean during El Niño and positive IOD events, which implies stronger impacts on EA. During La Niña events more MJO days are observed in the Pacific Ocean, favoring subsidence over the western Indian Ocean and dry anomalies over EA. These observations suggest two critical MJO-related questions that must be addressed in order to explain EA short rain variability typically attributed to ENSO or IOD: first, how do ENSO and IOD modify background conditions in a way that causes Indian Ocean MJO activity to be more strongly connected to EA under El Niño and IOD positive conditions, and second, why is it that El Niño and IOD positive states slow MJO propagation over the Indian Ocean and speed it over

  12. Astrocytes regulate heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths in hippocampal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letellier, Mathieu; Park, Yun Kyung; Chater, Thomas E.; Chipman, Peter H.; Gautam, Sunita Ghimire; Oshima-Takago, Tomoko; Goda, Yukiko

    2016-01-01

    Dendrites are neuronal structures specialized for receiving and processing information through their many synaptic inputs. How input strengths are modified across dendrites in ways that are crucial for synaptic integration and plasticity remains unclear. We examined in single hippocampal neurons the mechanism of heterosynaptic interactions and the heterogeneity of synaptic strengths of pyramidal cell inputs. Heterosynaptic presynaptic plasticity that counterbalances input strengths requires N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and astrocytes. Importantly, this mechanism is shared with the mechanism for maintaining highly heterogeneous basal presynaptic strengths, which requires astrocyte Ca2+ signaling involving NMDAR activation, astrocyte membrane depolarization, and L-type Ca2+ channels. Intracellular infusion of NMDARs or Ca2+-channel blockers into astrocytes, conditionally ablating the GluN1 NMDAR subunit, or optogenetically hyperpolarizing astrocytes with archaerhodopsin promotes homogenization of convergent presynaptic inputs. Our findings support the presence of an astrocyte-dependent cellular mechanism that enhances the heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths of convergent connections, which may help boost the computational power of dendrites. PMID:27118849

  13. Connexin Hemichannels in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arumugam R. Jayakumar

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommaso eFellin

    2012-08-01

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

  18. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. Different mechanisms to explain the reversed effects of mental health on work characteristics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lange, A.H. de; Taris, T.W.; Kompier, M.A.J.; Houtman, I.L.D.; Bongers, P.M.

    2005-01-01

    Objectives: The number of longitudinal studies reporting evidence for reversed effects of strain on work is growing, but evidence regarding the mechanisms underlying such effects is scarce. In this study, earlier longitudinal findings were reviewed, and the following four mechanisms for reversed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-28

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

  1. Role of Cl−–HCO3 − exchanger AE3 in intracellular pH homeostasis in cultured murine hippocampal neurons, and in crosstalk to adjacent astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salameh, Ahlam I.; Hübner, Christian A.

    2016-01-01

    Key points A polymorphism of human AE3 is associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Knockout of AE3 in mice lowers the threshold for triggering epileptic seizures. The explanations for these effects are elusive.Comparisons of cells from wild‐type vs. AE3–/– mice show that AE3 (present in hippocampal neurons, not astrocytes; mediates HCO3 – efflux) enhances intracellular pH (pHi) recovery (decrease) from alkali loads in neurons and, surprisingly, adjacent astrocytes.During metabolic acidosis (MAc), AE3 speeds initial acidification, but limits the extent of pHi decrease in neurons and astrocytes.AE3 speeds re‐alkalization after removal of MAc in neurons and astrocytes, and speeds neuronal pHi recovery from an ammonium prepulse‐induced acid load.We propose that neuronal AE3 indirectly increases acid extrusion in (a) neurons via Cl– loading, and (b) astrocytes by somehow enhancing NBCe1 (major acid extruder). The latter would enhance depolarization‐induced alkalinization of astrocytes, and extracellular acidification, and thereby reduce susceptibility to epileptic seizures. Abstract The anion exchanger AE3, expressed in hippocampal (HC) neurons but not astrocytes, contributes to intracellular pH (pHi) regulation by facilitating the exchange of extracellular Cl– for intracellular HCO3 –. The human AE3 polymorphism A867D is associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Moreover, AE3 knockout (AE3–/–) mice are more susceptible to epileptic seizure. The mechanism of these effects has been unclear because the starting pHi in AE3–/– and wild‐type neurons is indistinguishable. The purpose of the present study was to use AE3–/– mice to investigate the role of AE3 in pHi homeostasis in HC neurons, co‐cultured with astrocytes. We find that the presence of AE3 increases the acidification rate constant during pHi recovery from intracellular alkaline loads imposed by reducing [CO2]. The presence of AE3 also speeds intracellular

  2. Role of Cl- -HCO3- exchanger AE3 in intracellular pH homeostasis in cultured murine hippocampal neurons, and in crosstalk to adjacent astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salameh, Ahlam I; Hübner, Christian A; Boron, Walter F

    2017-01-01

    A polymorphism of human AE3 is associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Knockout of AE3 in mice lowers the threshold for triggering epileptic seizures. The explanations for these effects are elusive. Comparisons of cells from wild-type vs. AE3 -/- mice show that AE3 (present in hippocampal neurons, not astrocytes; mediates HCO 3 - efflux) enhances intracellular pH (pH i ) recovery (decrease) from alkali loads in neurons and, surprisingly, adjacent astrocytes. During metabolic acidosis (MAc), AE3 speeds initial acidification, but limits the extent of pH i decrease in neurons and astrocytes. AE3 speeds re-alkalization after removal of MAc in neurons and astrocytes, and speeds neuronal pH i recovery from an ammonium prepulse-induced acid load. We propose that neuronal AE3 indirectly increases acid extrusion in (a) neurons via Cl - loading, and (b) astrocytes by somehow enhancing NBCe1 (major acid extruder). The latter would enhance depolarization-induced alkalinization of astrocytes, and extracellular acidification, and thereby reduce susceptibility to epileptic seizures. The anion exchanger AE3, expressed in hippocampal (HC) neurons but not astrocytes, contributes to intracellular pH (pH i ) regulation by facilitating the exchange of extracellular Cl - for intracellular HCO 3 - . The human AE3 polymorphism A867D is associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Moreover, AE3 knockout (AE3 -/- ) mice are more susceptible to epileptic seizure. The mechanism of these effects has been unclear because the starting pH i in AE3 -/- and wild-type neurons is indistinguishable. The purpose of the present study was to use AE3 -/- mice to investigate the role of AE3 in pH i homeostasis in HC neurons, co-cultured with astrocytes. We find that the presence of AE3 increases the acidification rate constant during pH i recovery from intracellular alkaline loads imposed by reducing [CO 2 ]. The presence of AE3 also speeds intracellular acidification during the early phase of

  3. Dynamic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by astrocyte-derived ATP in hippocampal cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, Schuichi; Fujishita, Kayoko; Tsuda, Makoto; Shigemoto-Mogami, Yukari; Inoue, Kazuhide

    2003-09-01

    Originally ascribed passive roles in the CNS, astrocytes are now known to have an active role in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Neuronal activity can evoke Ca2+ transients in astrocytes, and Ca2+ transients in astrocytes can evoke changes in neuronal activity. The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate has been shown to mediate such bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. We demonstrate here that ATP, a primary mediator of intercellular Ca2+ signaling among astrocytes, also mediates intercellular signaling between astrocytes and neurons in hippocampal cultures. Mechanical stimulation of astrocytes evoked Ca2+ waves mediated by the release of ATP and the activation of P2 receptors. Mechanically evoked Ca2+ waves led to decreased excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission in an ATP-dependent manner. Exogenous application of ATP does not affect postsynaptic glutamatergic responses but decreased presynaptic exocytotic events. Finally, we show that astrocytes exhibit spontaneous Ca2+ waves mediated by extracellular ATP and that inhibition of these Ca2+ responses enhanced excitatory glutamatergic transmission. We therefore conclude that ATP released from astrocytes exerts tonic and activity-dependent down-regulation of synaptic transmission via presynaptic mechanisms.

  4. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Explaining the "Pulse of Protoplasm": the search for molecular mechanisms of protoplasmic streaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Explanations for protoplasmic streaming began with appeals to contraction in the eighteenth century and ended with appeals to contraction in the twentieth. During the intervening years, biologists proposed a diverse array of mechanisms for streaming motions. This paper focuses on the re-emergence of contraction among the molecular mechanisms proposed for protoplasmic streaming during the twentieth century. The revival of contraction is a result of a broader transition from colloidal chemistry to a macromolecular approach to the chemistry of proteins, the recognition of the phenomena of shuttle streaming and the pulse of protoplasm, and the influential analogy between protoplasmic streaming and muscle contraction. © 2014 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  7. Anisotropic p-f mixing mechanism explaining anomalous magnetic properties in Ce monopnictides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, H.; Kasuya, T.

    1985-01-01

    The indirect f-f-interaction derived from fourth-order perturbation theory with respect to the p-f mixing is calculated using the valence bands obtained by the APW band calculations. The type of the f-f-interactions is described as the coupling through the symmetry exchange under the cubic crystal field, which cannot be written as a simple bilinear type of 4f spin operator. It is necessary to consider the short-range-ordering effect as well as the non-linear effect of the p-f mixing to explain the fact that a type-I antiferromagnetic ordering is established by the second-order transition in CeBi. (author)

  8. Astrocytic GABA transporter activity modulates excitatory neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Oestrogen influences on mitochondrial gene expression and respiratory chain activity in cortical and mesencephalic astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, G W; Beyer, C; Arnold, S

    2008-07-01

    The regulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism plays an essential role in the central nervous system (CNS). Abnormalities of the mitochondrial respiratory chain often accompany neurodegenerative diseases. This makes mitochondria a perfect target for strategies of cellular protection against toxic compounds and pathological conditions. Steroid hormones, such as oestrogen, are well-known to fulfil a protective role in the brain during ischaemic and degenerative processes. Because astrocytes function as the major energy supplier in the CNS, we have analysed oestrogen effects on the mitochondrial respiratory chain of this cell type. In our studies, we applied semi- and quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of gene expression and polarographic measurements of the respiratory chain activity of mitochondria. We observed that structural and functional properties were regulated dependent on the oestrogen exposure time and the brain region, but independent of the nuclear oestrogen receptors. We could demonstrate that long-term oestrogen exposure increases the subunit gene expression of respiratory chain complexes and the mitochondrial DNA content, thereby indicating an up-regulation of the amount of mitochondria per cell together with an increase of mitochondrial energy production. This could represent an important indirect mechanism by which long-term oestrogen exposure protects neurones from cell death under neurotoxic conditions. On the other hand, we observed short-term effects of oestrogen on the activity of mitochondrial, proton-pumping respiratory chain complexes. In astrocytes from the cortex, respiratory chain activity was decreased, whereas it was increased in astrocytes from the mesencephalon. An increased production of reactive oxygen species would be the consequence of an increased respiratory chain activity in mesencephalic astrocytes. This could explain the different efficiencies of oestrogen-mediated short-term protection in distinct brain

  10. Investigation of the mechanism of soft tissue conduction explains several perplexing auditory phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adelman, Cahtia; Chordekar, Shai; Perez, Ronen; Sohmer, Haim

    2014-09-01

    Soft tissue conduction (STC) is a recently expounded mode of auditory stimulation in which the clinical bone vibrator delivers auditory frequency vibratory stimuli to skin sites on the head, neck, and thorax. Investigation of the mechanism of STC stimulation has served as a platform for the elucidation of the mechanics of cochlear activation, in general, and to a better understanding of several perplexing auditory phenomena. This review demonstrates that it is likely that the cochlear hair cells can be directly activated at low sound intensities by the fluid pressures initiated in the cochlea; that the fetus in utero, completely enveloped in amniotic fluid, hears by STC; that a speaker hears his/her own voice by air conduction and by STC; and that pulsatile tinnitus is likely due to pulsatile turbulent blood flow producing fluid pressures that reach the cochlea through the soft tissues.

  11. Damping forces-a friend or a foe in explaining mechanical motion?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartos, JirI; Musilova, Jana

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents simple, cheap, easily accessible and, for students, impressive demonstration experiments for three typical examples of physical systems for which damping forces ought to be involved in the equations of motion: a body falling in air, a damped mechanical oscillator, and Foucault currents. The various models of such forces are studied using an elementary physical and mathematical approach. It appears, maybe as a slightly surprising result, that a commonly used model of damping forces in mechanics-air drag force linearly depending on velocity-is not realistic in many typical situations. Equations of motion are solved numerically with standard software packages, even in cases where an analytical solution exists. Thus, the explanation of solved problems is on a level corresponding to an undergraduate university course in general physics. The results of these demonstration experiments are compared with the graphical outputs of numerical solutions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A

    2017-11-01

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

  13. Muscle-tendon mechanics explain unexpected effects of exoskeleton assistance on metabolic rate during walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Rachel W; Dembia, Christopher L; Delp, Scott L; Collins, Steven H

    2017-06-01

    The goal of this study was to gain insight into how ankle exoskeletons affect the behavior of the plantarflexor muscles during walking. Using data from previous experiments, we performed electromyography-driven simulations of musculoskeletal dynamics to explore how changes in exoskeleton assistance affected plantarflexor muscle-tendon mechanics, particularly for the soleus. We used a model of muscle energy consumption to estimate individual muscle metabolic rate. As average exoskeleton torque was increased, while no net exoskeleton work was provided, a reduction in tendon recoil led to an increase in positive mechanical work performed by the soleus muscle fibers. As net exoskeleton work was increased, both soleus muscle fiber force and positive mechanical work decreased. Trends in the sum of the metabolic rates of the simulated muscles correlated well with trends in experimentally observed whole-body metabolic rate ( R 2 =0.9), providing confidence in our model estimates. Our simulation results suggest that different exoskeleton behaviors can alter the functioning of the muscles and tendons acting at the assisted joint. Furthermore, our results support the idea that the series tendon helps reduce positive work done by the muscle fibers by storing and returning energy elastically. We expect the results from this study to promote the use of electromyography-driven simulations to gain insight into the operation of muscle-tendon units and to guide the design and control of assistive devices. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Boric acid inhibits embryonic histone deacetylases: A suggested mechanism to explain boric acid-related teratogenicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Renzo, Francesca; Cappelletti, Graziella; Broccia, Maria L.; Giavini, Erminio; Menegola, Elena

    2007-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDAC) control gene expression by changing histonic as well as non histonic protein conformation. HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) are considered to be among the most promising drugs for epigenetic treatment for cancer. Recently a strict relationship between histone hyperacetylation in specific tissues of mouse embryos exposed to two HDACi (valproic acid and trichostatin A) and specific axial skeleton malformations has been demonstrated. The aim of this study is to verify if boric acid (BA), that induces in rodents malformations similar to those valproic acid and trichostatin A-related, acts through similar mechanisms: HDAC inhibition and histone hyperacetylation. Pregnant mice were treated intraperitoneally with a teratogenic dose of BA (1000 mg/kg, day 8 of gestation). Western blot analysis and immunostaining were performed with anti hyperacetylated histone 4 (H4) antibody on embryos explanted 1, 3 or 4 h after treatment and revealed H4 hyperacetylation at the level of somites. HDAC enzyme assay was performed on embryonic nuclear extracts. A significant HDAC inhibition activity (compatible with a mixed type partial inhibition mechanism) was evident with BA. Kinetic analyses indicate that BA modifies substrate affinity by a factor α = 0.51 and maximum velocity by a factor β = 0.70. This work provides the first evidence for HDAC inhibition by BA and suggests such a molecular mechanism for the induction of BA-related malformations

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberger, Christian

    2017-03-15

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

  16. Sexual conflict explains the extraordinary diversity of mechanisms regulating mitochondrial inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radzvilavicius, Arunas L; Lane, Nick; Pomiankowski, Andrew

    2017-10-26

    Mitochondria are predominantly inherited from the maternal gamete, even in unicellular organisms. Yet an extraordinary array of mechanisms enforce uniparental inheritance, which implies shifting selection pressures and multiple origins. We consider how this high turnover in mechanisms controlling uniparental inheritance arises using a novel evolutionary model in which control of mitochondrial transmission occurs either during spermatogenesis (by paternal nuclear genes) or at/after fertilization (by maternal nuclear genes). The model treats paternal leakage as an evolvable trait. Our evolutionary analysis shows that maternal control consistently favours strict uniparental inheritance with complete exclusion of sperm mitochondria, whereas some degree of paternal leakage of mitochondria is an expected outcome under paternal control. This difference arises because mito-nuclear linkage builds up with maternal control, allowing the greater variance created by asymmetric inheritance to boost the efficiency of purifying selection and bring benefits in the long term. In contrast, under paternal control, mito-nuclear linkage tends to be much weaker, giving greater advantage to the mixing of cytotypes, which improves mean fitness in the short term, even though it imposes a fitness cost to both mating types in the long term. Sexual conflict is an inevitable outcome when there is competition between maternal and paternal control of mitochondrial inheritance. If evolution has led to complete uniparental inheritance through maternal control, it creates selective pressure on the paternal nucleus in favour of subversion through paternal leakage, and vice versa. This selective divergence provides a reason for the repeated evolution of novel mechanisms that regulate the transmission of paternal mitochondria, both in the fertilized egg and spermatogenesis. Our analysis suggests that the widespread occurrence of paternal leakage and prevalence of heteroplasmy are natural outcomes of

  17. Distinct Neuropsychological Mechanisms May Explain Delayed- Versus Rapid-Onset Antidepressant Efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Sarah A; Butler, Paul; Munafò, Marcus R; Nutt, David J; Robinson, Emma SJ

    2015-01-01

    The biochemical targets for antidepressants are relatively well established, but we lack a clear understanding of how actions at these proteins translate to clinical benefits. This study used a novel rodent assay to investigate how different antidepressant drugs act to modify affective biases that have been implicated in depression. In this bowl-digging task, rats encounter two equal value learning experiences on separate days (one during an affective manipulation and the other during control conditions). This induces an affective bias that is quantified using a preference test in which both digging substrates are presented together and the individual rats’ choices recorded. The assay can be used to measure affective biases associated with learning (when the treatment is given at the time of the experience) or examine the modification of previously acquired biases (when the treatment is administered before the preference test). The rapid-onset antidepressant ketamine, but not the delayed-onset antidepressant, venlafaxine, attenuated the previously acquired FG7142-induced negative bias following systemic administration. Venlafaxine but not ketamine induced a positive bias when administered before learning. We then used local drug infusions and excitotoxic lesions to localize the effects of ketamine to the medial prefrontal cortex and venlafaxine to the amygdala. Using a modified protocol we also showed that positive and negative biases amplified further when the numbers of substrate–reinforcer associations are increased. We propose that this pattern of results could explain the delayed onset of action of venlafaxine and the rapid onset of action but lack of long-term efficacy seen with ketamine. PMID:25740288

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eWiese

    2012-06-01

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

  19. Astrocytic GABA Transporters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Arne; Wellendorph, Petrine; Frølund, Bente

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Damping forces—a friend or a foe in explaining mechanical motion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartos, Jirí; Musilová, Jana

    2006-03-01

    This paper presents simple, cheap, easily accessible and, for students, impressive demonstration experiments for three typical examples of physical systems for which damping forces ought to be involved in the equations of motion: a body falling in air, a damped mechanical oscillator, and Foucault currents. The various models of such forces are studied using an elementary physical and mathematical approach. It appears, maybe as a slightly surprising result, that a commonly used model of damping forces in mechanics—air drag force linearly depending on velocity—is not realistic in many typical situations. Equations of motion are solved numerically with standard software packages, even in cases where an analytical solution exists. Thus, the explanation of solved problems is on a level corresponding to an undergraduate university course in general physics. The results of these demonstration experiments are compared with the graphical outputs of numerical solutions.

  1. Anisotropic p-f mixing mechanism explaining anomalous magnetic properties in Ce monopnictides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, H.; Kasuya, T.

    1985-01-01

    The crystal-field splittings in CeP, PrP and NdP are calculated by considering the point-charge Coulomb interaction, the intra-atomic d-f Coulomb interaction, and the p-f and d-f mixings. The p-f mixing mechanisms, not only between the occupied 4f states and the conduction bands, but also between the unoccupied 4f states and the valence bands make an important contribution to the crystal-field splitting. The fact that the crystal-field potential in CeP is smaller than those in PrP and NdP is due to the occupied 4f level in CeP being shallower. The values of the Slater-Koster integrals, (pfσ) and (pfπ), are determined uniquely from the crystal-field fitting for PrP and NdP. (author)

  2. Mosquitoes drink with a burst in reserve: explaining pumping behavior with a fluid mechanics model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Souvick; Socha, Jake; Stremler, Mark

    2014-11-01

    Mosquitoes drink using a pair of in-line pumps in the head that draw liquid food through the proboscis. Experimental observations with synchrotron x-ray imaging indicate two modes of drinking: a predominantly occurring continuous mode, in which the cibarial and pharyngeal pumps expand cyclically at a constant phase difference, and an occasional, isolated burst mode, in which the pharyngeal pump expansion is 10 to 30 times larger than in the continuous mode. We have used a reduced order model of the fluid mechanics to hypothesize an explanation of this variation in drinking behavior. Our model results show that the continuous mode is more energetically efficient, whereas the burst mode creates a large pressure drop across the proboscis, which could potentially be used to clear blockages. Comparisons with pump knock-out configurations demonstrate different functional roles of the pumps in mosquito feeding. This material is based upon work supported by the NSF under Grant No. #0938047.

  3. Astrocyte, the star avatar: redefined

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Srinivas

    LIF, leukaemia inhibitory factor; LTP, long-term potentiation; MBP, myelin basic protein; MCP, ... In short, astrocytes are multifunctional, efficient housekeeping cells that help neurons become ..... memory, synaptic plasticity and induction of LTP.

  4. Mosquito drinking with a burst in reserve: explaining behavior with a fluid mechanics model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Souvick; Socha, Jake; Stremler, Mark

    2014-03-01

    Mosquitoes drink using a pair of in-line pumps in the head that draw liquid food through a long drinking channel, or proboscis. Experimental observations indicate two modes of drinking: a predominantly occurring continuous mode, in which the cibarial and pharyngeal pumps expand cyclically at a constant phase difference, and an isolated burst mode, in which the pharyngeal pump expansion is several orders of magnitude larger than in the continuous mode. We use a reduced order model of the fluid mechanics to hypothesize an explanation of this naturally occurring drinking behavior. Our model results show that the continuous mode is the more efficient mode in terms of energy expenditure, and the burst mode creates a large pressure difference across the proboscis. We speculate that the mosquito uses this pressure drop to clear blockages in the proboscis. We compared the two-pump system with one-pump configurations, as found in some other insects like butterflies, and show that the two pumps have unique roles in mosquito feeding.

  5. Pathogen dynamics during invasion and establishment of white-nose syndrome explain mechanisms of host persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Winifred F; Cheng, Tina L; Langwig, Kate E; Hoyt, Joseph R; Janicki, Amanda F; Parise, Katy L; Foster, Jeffrey T; Kilpatrick, A Marm

    2017-03-01

    Disease dynamics during pathogen invasion and establishment determine the impacts of disease on host populations and determine the mechanisms of host persistence. Temporal progression of prevalence and infection intensity illustrate whether tolerance, resistance, reduced transmission, or demographic compensation allow initially declining populations to persist. We measured infection dynamics of the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans that causes white-nose syndrome in bats by estimating pathogen prevalence and load in seven bat species at 167 hibernacula over a decade as the pathogen invaded, became established, and some host populations stabilized. Fungal loads increased rapidly and prevalence rose to nearly 100% at most sites within 2 yr of invasion in six of seven species. Prevalence and loads did not decline over time despite huge reductions in colony sizes, likely due to an extensive environmental reservoir. However, there was substantial variation in fungal load among sites with persisting colonies, suggesting that both tolerance and resistance developed at different sites in the same species. In contrast, one species disappeared from hibernacula within 3 yr of pathogen invasion. Variable host responses to pathogen invasion require different management strategies to prevent disease-induced extinction and to facilitate evolution of tolerance or resistance in persisting populations. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yutaka eKoyama

    2015-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Astrocyte Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Protects Synapses against Aβ Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Luan Pereira; Tortelli, Vanessa; Matias, Isadora; Morgado, Juliana; Bérgamo Araujo, Ana Paula; Melo, Helen M; Seixas da Silva, Gisele S; Alves-Leon, Soniza V; de Souza, Jorge M; Ferreira, Sergio T; De Felice, Fernanda G; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-07-12

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, increasingly attributed to neuronal dysfunction induced by amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Although the impact of AβOs on neurons has been extensively studied, only recently have the possible effects of AβOs on astrocytes begun to be investigated. Given the key roles of astrocytes in synapse formation, plasticity, and function, we sought to investigate the impact of AβOs on astrocytes, and to determine whether this impact is related to the deleterious actions of AβOs on synapses. We found that AβOs interact with astrocytes, cause astrocyte activation and trigger abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species, which is accompanied by impairment of astrocyte neuroprotective potential in vitro We further show that both murine and human astrocyte conditioned media (CM) increase synapse density, reduce AβOs binding, and prevent AβO-induced synapse loss in cultured hippocampal neurons. Both a neutralizing anti-transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) antibody and siRNA-mediated knockdown of TGF-β1, previously identified as an important synaptogenic factor secreted by astrocytes, abrogated the protective action of astrocyte CM against AβO-induced synapse loss. Notably, TGF-β1 prevented hippocampal dendritic spine loss and memory impairment in mice that received an intracerebroventricular infusion of AβOs. Results suggest that astrocyte-derived TGF-β1 is part of an endogenous mechanism that protects synapses against AβOs. By demonstrating that AβOs decrease astrocyte ability to protect synapses, our results unravel a new mechanism underlying the synaptotoxic action of AβOs in AD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alzheimer's disease is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, mainly attributed to synaptotoxicity of the amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Here, we investigated the impact of AβOs in astrocytes, a less known subject. We show that astrocytes prevent synapse loss induced by A

  9. Astrocytes promote myelination in response to electrical impulses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, Tomoko; Dakin, Kelly A; Stevens, Beth; Lee, Philip R; Kozlov, Serguei V; Stewart, Colin L; Fields, R Douglas

    2006-03-16

    Myelin, the insulating layers of membrane wrapped around axons by oligodendrocytes, is essential for normal impulse conduction. It forms during late stages of fetal development but continues into early adult life. Myelination correlates with cognitive development and can be regulated by impulse activity through unknown molecular mechanisms. Astrocytes do not form myelin, but these nonneuronal cells can promote myelination in ways that are not understood. Here, we identify a link between myelination, astrocytes, and electrical impulse activity in axons that is mediated by the cytokine leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). These findings show that LIF is released by astrocytes in response to ATP liberated from axons firing action potentials, and LIF promotes myelination by mature oligodendrocytes. This activity-dependent mechanism promoting myelination could regulate myelination according to functional activity or environmental experience and may offer new approaches to treating demyelinating diseases.

  10. A digital implementation of neuron-astrocyte interaction for neuromorphic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazari, Soheila; Faez, Karim; Amiri, Mahmood; Karami, Ehsan

    2015-06-01

    Recent neurophysiologic findings have shown that astrocytes play important roles in information processing and modulation of neuronal activity. Motivated by these findings, in the present research, a digital neuromorphic circuit to study neuron-astrocyte interaction is proposed. In this digital circuit, the firing dynamics of the neuron is described by Izhikevich model and the calcium dynamics of a single astrocyte is explained by a functional model introduced by Postnov and colleagues. For digital implementation of the neuron-astrocyte signaling, Single Constant Multiply (SCM) technique and several linear approximations are used for efficient low-cost hardware implementation on digital platforms. Using the proposed neuron-astrocyte circuit and based on the results of MATLAB simulations, hardware synthesis and FPGA implementation, it is demonstrated that the proposed digital astrocyte is able to change the firing patterns of the neuron through bidirectional communication. Utilizing the proposed digital circuit, it will be illustrated that information processing in synaptic clefts is strongly regulated by astrocyte. Moreover, our results suggest that the digital circuit of neuron-astrocyte crosstalk produces diverse neural responses and therefore enhances the information processing capabilities of the neuromorphic circuits. This is suitable for applications in reconfigurable neuromorphic devices which implement biologically brain circuits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pizzurro, Daniella M.; Dao, Khoi; Costa, Lucio G.

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. Disappearance of beta(2)-adrenergic receptors on astrocytes in canine distemper encephalitis : possible implications for the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Keyser, J; Wilczak, N; Zurbriggen, A

    2001-01-01

    It has been reported that astrocytes in the white matter of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) lack beta (2)-adrenergic receptors. This abnormality might explain why astrocytes in active MS plaques aberrantly express major histocompatibility (MHC) class II molecules, which play an important role

  14. Electrodiffusive model for astrocytic and neuronal ion concentration dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geir Halnes

    Full Text Available The cable equation is a proper framework for modeling electrical neural signalling that takes place at a timescale at which the ionic concentrations vary little. However, in neural tissue there are also key dynamic processes that occur at longer timescales. For example, endured periods of intense neural signaling may cause the local extracellular K(+-concentration to increase by several millimolars. The clearance of this excess K(+ depends partly on diffusion in the extracellular space, partly on local uptake by astrocytes, and partly on intracellular transport (spatial buffering within astrocytes. These processes, that take place at the time scale of seconds, demand a mathematical description able to account for the spatiotemporal variations in ion concentrations as well as the subsequent effects of these variations on the membrane potential. Here, we present a general electrodiffusive formalism for modeling of ion concentration dynamics in a one-dimensional geometry, including both the intra- and extracellular domains. Based on the Nernst-Planck equations, this formalism ensures that the membrane potential and ion concentrations are in consistency, it ensures global particle/charge conservation and it accounts for diffusion and concentration dependent variations in resistivity. We apply the formalism to a model of astrocytes exchanging ions with the extracellular space. The simulations show that K(+-removal from high-concentration regions is driven by a local depolarization of the astrocyte membrane, which concertedly (i increases the local astrocytic uptake of K(+, (ii suppresses extracellular transport of K(+, (iii increases axial transport of K(+ within astrocytes, and (iv facilitates astrocytic relase of K(+ in regions where the extracellular concentration is low. Together, these mechanisms seem to provide a robust regulatory scheme for shielding the extracellular space from excess K(+.

  15. Two Mechanisms: The Role of Social Capital and Industrial Pollution Exposure in Explaining Racial Disparities in Self-Rated Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ard, Kerry; Colen, Cynthia; Becerra, Marisol; Velez, Thelma

    2016-10-19

    This study provides an empirical test of two mechanisms (social capital and exposure to air pollution) that are theorized to mediate the effect of neighborhood on health and contribute to racial disparities in health outcomes. To this end, we utilize the Social Capital Benchmark Study, a national survey of individuals nested within communities in the United States, to estimate how multiple dimensions of social capital and exposure to air pollution, explain racial disparities in self-rated health. Our main findings show that when controlling for individual-confounders, and nesting within communities, our indicator of cognitive bridging, generalized trust, decreases the gap in self-rated health between African Americans and Whites by 84%, and the gap between Hispanics and Whites by 54%. Our other indicator of cognitive social capital, cognitive linking as represented by engagement in politics, decreases the gap in health between Hispanics and Whites by 32%, but has little impact on African Americans. We also assessed whether the gap in health was explained by respondents' estimated exposure to toxicity-weighted air pollutants from large industrial facilities over the previous year. Our results show that accounting for exposure to these toxins has no effect on the racial gap in self-rated health in these data. This paper contributes to the neighborhood effects literature by examining the impact that estimated annual industrial air pollution, and multiple measures of social capital, have on explaining the racial gap in health in a sample of individuals nested within communities across the United States.

  16. Advection of Potential Temperature in the Atmosphere of Irradiated Exoplanets: A Robust Mechanism to Explain Radius Inflation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblin, P.; Chabrier, G.; Mayne, N. J.; Amundsen, D. S.; Baraffe, I.; Debras, F.; Drummond, B.; Manners, J.; Fromang, S.

    2017-01-01

    The anomalously large radii of strongly irradiated exoplanets have remained a major puzzle in astronomy. Based on a two-dimensional steady-state atmospheric circulation model, the validity of which is assessed by comparison to three-dimensional calculations, we reveal a new mechanism, namely the advection of the potential temperature due to mass and longitudinal momentum conservation, a process occurring in the Earth's atmosphere or oceans. In the deep atmosphere, the vanishing heating flux forces the atmospheric structure to converge to a hotter adiabat than the one obtained with 1D calculations, implying a larger radius for the planet. Not only do the calculations reproduce the observed radius of HD 209458b, but also reproduce the observed correlation between radius inflation and irradiation for transiting planets. Vertical advection of potential temperature induced by non-uniform atmospheric heating thus provides a robust mechanism to explain the inflated radii of irradiated hot Jupiters.

  17. Advection of Potential Temperature in the Atmosphere of Irradiated Exoplanets: A Robust Mechanism to Explain Radius Inflation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tremblin, P.; Chabrier, G.; Mayne, N. J.; Baraffe, I.; Debras, F.; Drummond, B.; Manners, J.; Amundsen, D. S.; Fromang, S.

    2017-01-01

    The anomalously large radii of strongly irradiated exoplanets have remained a major puzzle in astronomy. Based on a two-dimensional steady-state atmospheric circulation model, the validity of which is assessed by comparison to three-dimensional calculations, we reveal a new mechanism, namely the advection of the potential temperature due to mass and longitudinal momentum conservation, a process occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere or oceans. In the deep atmosphere, the vanishing heating flux forces the atmospheric structure to converge to a hotter adiabat than the one obtained with 1D calculations, implying a larger radius for the planet. Not only do the calculations reproduce the observed radius of HD 209458b, but also reproduce the observed correlation between radius inflation and irradiation for transiting planets. Vertical advection of potential temperature induced by non-uniform atmospheric heating thus provides a robust mechanism to explain the inflated radii of irradiated hot Jupiters.

  18. Advection of Potential Temperature in the Atmosphere of Irradiated Exoplanets: A Robust Mechanism to Explain Radius Inflation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tremblin, P. [Maison de la Simulation, CEA-CNRS-INRIA-UPS-UVSQ, USR 3441, CEA Paris-Saclay, F-91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette (France); Chabrier, G.; Mayne, N. J.; Baraffe, I.; Debras, F.; Drummond, B.; Manners, J. [Astrophysics Group, University of Exeter, EX4 4QL Exeter (United Kingdom); Amundsen, D. S. [Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025 (United States); Fromang, S., E-mail: pascal.tremblin@cea.fr [Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM-CNRS-Université Paris 7, Irfu/Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Paris-Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette (France)

    2017-05-20

    The anomalously large radii of strongly irradiated exoplanets have remained a major puzzle in astronomy. Based on a two-dimensional steady-state atmospheric circulation model, the validity of which is assessed by comparison to three-dimensional calculations, we reveal a new mechanism, namely the advection of the potential temperature due to mass and longitudinal momentum conservation, a process occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere or oceans. In the deep atmosphere, the vanishing heating flux forces the atmospheric structure to converge to a hotter adiabat than the one obtained with 1D calculations, implying a larger radius for the planet. Not only do the calculations reproduce the observed radius of HD 209458b, but also reproduce the observed correlation between radius inflation and irradiation for transiting planets. Vertical advection of potential temperature induced by non-uniform atmospheric heating thus provides a robust mechanism to explain the inflated radii of irradiated hot Jupiters.

  19. Coadsorbed species explain the mechanism of methanol temperature-desorption on CeO2(111)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sutton, Jonathan E. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Overbury, Steven H. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Beste, Ariana [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2016-03-24

    Here, we have used density functional theory calculations to investigate the temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) of methanol from CeO2(111). For the first time, low-temperature water formation and high-temperature methanol desorption are explained by our calculations. High coverages of methanol, which correspond to experimental conditions, are required to properly describe these features of the TPD spectrum. We identify a mechanism for the low-temperature formation of water involving the dissociation of two methanol molecules on the same surface O atom and filling of the resulting surface vacancy with one of the methoxy products. After water desorption, methoxy groups are stabilized on the surface and react at higher temperatures to form methanol and formaldehyde by a disproportionation mechanism. Alternatively, the stabilized methoxy groups undergo sequential C–H scission reactions to produce formaldehyde. Calculated energy requirements and methanol/formaldehyde selectivity agree with the experimental data.

  20. Explaining through causal mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Biesbroek, Robbert; Dupuis, Johann; Wellstead, Adam

    2017-01-01

    This paper synthesizes and builds on recent critiques of the resilience literature; namely that the field has largely been unsuccessful in capturing the complexity of governance processes, in particular cause–effects relationships. We demonstrate that absence of a causal model is reflected in the

  1. Loss of Local Astrocyte Support Disrupts Action Potential Propagation and Glutamate Release Synchrony from Unmyelinated Hippocampal Axon Terminals In Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobieski, Courtney; Jiang, Xiaoping; Crawford, Devon C; Mennerick, Steven

    2015-08-05

    Neuron-astrocyte interactions are critical for proper CNS development and function. Astrocytes secrete factors that are pivotal for synaptic development and function, neuronal metabolism, and neuronal survival. Our understanding of this relationship, however, remains incomplete due to technical hurdles that have prevented the removal of astrocytes from neuronal circuits without changing other important conditions. Here we overcame this obstacle by growing solitary rat hippocampal neurons on microcultures that were comprised of either an astrocyte bed (+astrocyte) or a collagen bed (-astrocyte) within the same culture dish. -Astrocyte autaptic evoked EPSCs, but not IPSCs, displayed an altered temporal profile, which included increased synaptic delay, increased time to peak, and severe glutamate release asynchrony, distinct from previously described quantal asynchrony. Although we observed minimal alteration of the somatically recorded action potential waveform, action potential propagation was altered. We observed a longer latency between somatic initiation and arrival at distal locations, which likely explains asynchronous EPSC peaks, and we observed broadening of the axonal spike, which likely underlies changes to evoked EPSC onset. No apparent changes in axon structure were observed, suggesting altered axonal excitability. In conclusion, we propose that local astrocyte support has an unappreciated role in maintaining glutamate release synchrony by disturbing axonal signal propagation. Certain glial cell types (oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells) facilitate the propagation of neuronal electrical signals, but a role for astrocytes has not been identified despite many other functions of astrocytes in supporting and modulating neuronal signaling. Under identical global conditions, we cultured neurons with or without local astrocyte support. Without local astrocytes, glutamate transmission was desynchronized by an alteration of the waveform and arrival time of axonal

  2. Memory in astrocytes: a hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caudle Robert M

    2006-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Staurosporine induces different cell death forms in cultured rat astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simenc, Janez; Lipnik-Stangelj, Metoda

    2012-01-01

    Astroglial cells are frequently involved in malignant transformation. Besides apoptosis, necroptosis, a different form of regulated cell death, seems to be related with glioblastoma genesis, proliferation, angiogenesis and invasion. In the present work we elucidated mechanisms of necroptosis in cultured astrocytes, and compared them with apoptosis, caused by staurosporine. Cultured rat cortical astrocytes were used for a cell death studies. Cell death was induced by different concentrations of staurosporine, and modified by inhibitors of apoptosis (z-vad-fmk) and necroptosis (nec-1). Different forms of a cell death were detected using flow cytometry. We showed that staurosporine, depending on concentration, induces both, apoptosis as well as necroptosis. Treatment with 10 −7 M staurosporine increased apoptosis of astrocytes after the regeneration in a staurosporine free medium. When caspases were inhibited, apoptosis was attenuated, while necroptosis was slightly increased. Treatment with 10 −6 M staurosporine induced necroptosis that occurred after the regeneration of astrocytes in a staurosporine free medium, as well as without regeneration period. Necroptosis was significantly attenuated by nec-1 which inhibits RIP1 kinase. On the other hand, the inhibition of caspases had no effect on necroptosis. Furthermore, staurosporine activated RIP1 kinase increased the production of reactive oxygen species, while an antioxidant BHA significantly attenuated necroptosis. Staurosporine can induce apoptosis and/or necroptosis in cultured astrocytes via different signalling pathways. Distinction between different forms of cell death is crucial in the studies of therapy-induced necroptosis

  5. Prostaglandin E2 released from activated microglia enhances astrocyte proliferation in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Dan; Hu Xiaoming; Qian Li; Wilson, Belinda; Lee, Christopher; Flood, Patrick; Langenbach, Robert; Hong, J.-S.

    2009-01-01

    Microglial activation has been implicated in many astrogliosis-related pathological conditions including astroglioma; however, the detailed mechanism is not clear. In this study, we used primary enriched microglia and astrocyte cultures to determine the role of microglial prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ) in the proliferation of astrocytes. The proliferation of astrocytes was measured by BrdU incorporation. The level of PGE 2 was measured by ELISA method. Pharmacological inhibition or genetic ablation of COX-2 in microglia were also applied in this study. We found that proliferation of astrocytes increased following lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment in the presence of microglia. Furthermore, increased proliferation of astrocytes was observed in the presence of conditioned media from LPS-treated microglia. The potential involvement of microglial PGE 2 in enhanced astrocyte proliferation was suggested by the findings that PGE 2 production and COX-2 expression in microglia were increased by LPS treatment. In addition, activated microglia-induced increases in astrocyte proliferation were blocked by the PGE 2 antagonist AH6809, COX-2 selective inhibitor DuP-697 or by genetic knockout of microglial COX-2. These findings were further supported by the finding that addition of PGE 2 to the media significantly induced astrocyte proliferation. These results indicate that microglial PGE 2 plays an important role in astrocyte proliferation, identifying PGE 2 as a key neuroinflammatory molecule that triggers the pathological response related to uncontrollable astrocyte proliferation. These findings are important in elucidating the role of activated microglia and PGE 2 in astrocyte proliferation and in suggesting a potential avenue in the use of anti-inflammatory agents for the therapy of astroglioma.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Konopka

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Anna; Zeug, Andre; Skupien, Anna; Kaza, Beata; Mueller, Franziska; Chwedorowicz, Agnieszka; Ponimaskin, Evgeni; Wilczynski, Grzegorz M; Dzwonek, Joanna

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Paracrine effect of carbon monoxide - astrocytes promote neuroprotection through purinergic signaling in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queiroga, Cláudia S F; Alves, Raquel M A; Conde, Sílvia V; Alves, Paula M; Vieira, Helena L A

    2016-08-15

    The neuroprotective role of carbon monoxide (CO) has been studied in a cell-autonomous mode. Herein, a new concept is disclosed - CO affects astrocyte-neuron communication in a paracrine manner to promote neuroprotection. Neuronal survival was assessed when co-cultured with astrocytes that had been pre-treated or not with CO. The CO-pre-treated astrocytes reduced neuronal cell death, and the cellular mechanisms were investigated, focusing on purinergic signaling. CO modulates astrocytic metabolism and extracellular ATP content in the co-culture medium. Moreover, several antagonists of P1 adenosine and P2 ATP receptors partially reverted CO-induced neuroprotection through astrocytes. Likewise, knocking down expression of the neuronal P1 adenosine receptor A2A-R (encoded by Adora2a) reverted the neuroprotective effects of CO-exposed astrocytes. The neuroprotection of CO-treated astrocytes also decreased following prevention of ATP or adenosine release from astrocytic cells and inhibition of extracellular ATP metabolism into adenosine. Finally, the neuronal downstream event involves TrkB (also known as NTRK2) receptors and BDNF. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of TrkB receptors reverts neuroprotection triggered by CO-treated astrocytes. Furthermore, the neuronal ratio of BDNF to pro-BDNF increased in the presence of CO-treated astrocytes and decreased whenever A2A-R expression was silenced. In summary, CO prevents neuronal cell death in a paracrine manner by targeting astrocytic metabolism through purinergic signaling. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. CPEB1 modulates lipopolysaccharide-mediated iNOS induction in rat primary astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Ki Chan; Hyun Joo, So; Shin, Chan Young

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Expression and phosphorylation of CPEB1 is increased by LPS stimulation in rat primary astrocytes. → JNK regulates expression and phosphorylation of CPEB1 in reactive astrocytes. → Down-regulation of CPEB1 using siRNA inhibits oxidative stress and iNOS induction by LPS stimulation. → CPEB1 may play an important role in regulating inflammatory responses in reactive astrocytes induced by LPS. -- Abstract: Upon CNS damage, astrocytes undergo a series of biological changes including increased proliferation, production of inflammatory mediators and morphological changes, in a response collectively called reactive gliosis. This process is an essential part of the brains response to injury, yet much is unknown about the molecular mechanism(s) that induce these changes. In this study, we investigated the role of cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein 1 (CPEB1) in the regulation of inflammatory responses in a model of reactive gliosis, lipopolysaccharide-stimulated astrocytes. CPEB1 is an mRNA-binding protein recently shown to be expressed in astrocytes that may play a role in astrocytes migration. After LPS stimulation, the expression and phosphorylation of CPEB1 was increased in rat primary astrocytes in a JNK-dependent process. siRNA-induced knockdown of CPEB1 expression inhibited the LPS-induced up-regulation of iNOS as well as NO and ROS production, a hallmark of immunological activation of astrocytes. The results from the study suggest that CPEB1 is actively involved in the regulation of inflammatory responses in astrocytes, which might provide new insights into the regulatory mechanism after brain injury.

  10. Astrocytes protect neurons against methylmercury via ATP/P2Y(1) receptor-mediated pathways in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Yusuke; Shinozaki, Youichi; Fujishita, Kayoko; Shibata, Keisuke; Imura, Yoshio; Morizawa, Yosuke; Gachet, Christian; Koizumi, Schuichi

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a well known environmental pollutant that induces serious neuronal damage. Although MeHg readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, and should affect both neurons and glial cells, how it affects glia or neuron-to-glia interactions has received only limited attention. Here, we report that MeHg triggers ATP/P2Y1 receptor signals in astrocytes, thereby protecting neurons against MeHg via interleukin-6 (IL-6)-mediated pathways. MeHg increased several mRNAs in astrocytes, among which IL-6 was the highest. For this, ATP/P2Y1 receptor-mediated mechanisms were required because the IL-6 production was (i) inhibited by a P2Y1 receptor antagonist, MRS2179, (ii) abolished in astrocytes obtained from P2Y1 receptor-knockout mice, and (iii) mimicked by exogenously applied ATP. In addition, (iv) MeHg released ATP by exocytosis from astrocytes. As for the intracellular mechanisms responsible for IL-6 production, p38 MAP kinase was involved. MeHg-treated astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) showed neuro-protective effects against MeHg, which was blocked by anti-IL-6 antibody and was mimicked by the application of recombinant IL-6. As for the mechanism of neuro-protection by IL-6, an adenosine A1 receptor-mediated pathway in neurons seems to be involved. Taken together, when astrocytes sense MeHg, they release ATP that autostimulates P2Y1 receptors to upregulate IL-6, thereby leading to A1 receptor-mediated neuro-protection against MeHg.

  11. Mechanisms of social avoidance learning can explain the emergence of adaptive and arbitrary behavioral traditions in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Björn; Olsson, Andreas

    2015-06-01

    Many nonhuman animals preferentially copy the actions of others when the environment contains predation risk or other types of danger. In humans, the role of social learning in avoidance of danger is still unknown, despite the fundamental importance of social learning for complex social behaviors. Critically, many social behaviors, such as cooperation and adherence to religious taboos, are maintained by threat of punishment. However, the psychological mechanisms allowing threat of punishment to generate such behaviors, even when actual punishment is rare or absent, are largely unknown. To address this, we used both computer simulations and behavioral experiments. First, we constructed a model where simulated agents interacted under threat of punishment and showed that mechanisms' (a) tendency to copy the actions of others through social learning, together with (b) the rewarding properties of avoiding a threatening punishment, could explain the emergence, maintenance, and transmission of large-scale behavioral traditions, both when punishment is common and when it is rare or nonexistent. To provide empirical support for our model, including the 2 mechanisms, we conducted 4 experiments, showing that humans, if threatened with punishment, are exceptionally prone to copy and transmit the behavior observed in others. Our results show that humans, similar to many nonhuman animals, use social learning if the environment is perceived as dangerous. We provide a novel psychological and computational basis for a range of human behaviors characterized by the threat of punishment, such as the adherence to cultural norms and religious taboos. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Wildtype motoneurons, ALS-Linked SOD1 mutation and glutamate profoundly modify astrocyte metabolism and lactate shuttling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madji Hounoum, Blandine; Mavel, Sylvie; Coque, Emmanuelle; Patin, Franck; Vourc'h, Patrick; Marouillat, Sylviane; Nadal-Desbarats, Lydie; Emond, Patrick; Corcia, Philippe; Andres, Christian R; Raoul, Cédric; Blasco, Hélène

    2017-04-01

    The selective degeneration of motoneuron that typifies amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) implicates non-cell-autonomous effects of astrocytes. However, mechanisms underlying astrocyte-mediated neurotoxicity remain largely unknown. According to the determinant role of astrocyte metabolism in supporting neuronal function, we propose to explore the metabolic status of astrocytes exposed to ALS-associated conditions. We found a significant metabolic dysregulation including purine, pyrimidine, lysine, and glycerophospholipid metabolism pathways in astrocytes expressing an ALS-causing mutated superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) when co-cultured with motoneurons. SOD1 astrocytes exposed to glutamate revealed a significant modification of the astrocyte metabolic fingerprint. More importantly, we observed that SOD1 mutation and glutamate impact the cellular shuttling of lactate between astrocytes and motoneurons with a decreased in extra- and intra-cellular lactate levels in astrocytes. Based on the emergent strategy of metabolomics, this work provides novel insight for understanding metabolic dysfunction of astrocytes in ALS conditions and opens the perspective of therapeutics targets through focusing on these metabolic pathways. GLIA 2017 GLIA 2017;65:592-605. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Exercise counteracts aging-related memory impairment: a potential role for the astrocytic metabolic shuttle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng-Feng eTsai

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Age-related cognitive impairment has become one of the most common health threats in many countries. The biological substrate of cognition is the interconnection of neurons to form complex information processing networks. Experience-based alterations in the activities of these information processing networks lead to neuroadaptation, which is physically represented at the cellular level as synaptic plasticity. Although synaptic plasticity is known to be affected by aging, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well described. Astrocytes, a glial cell type that is infrequently investigated in cognitive science, have emerged as energy suppliers which are necessary for meeting the abundant energy demand resulting from glutamatergic synaptic activity. Moreover, the concerted action of an astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle is essential for cognitive function; whereas, energetic incoordination between astrocytes and neurons may contribute to cognitive impairment. Whether altered function of the astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle links aging to reduced synaptic plasticity is unexplored. However, accumulated evidence documents significant beneficial effects of long-term, regular exercise on cognition and synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, exercise increases the effectiveness of astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle by upregulation of astrocytic lactate transporter levels. This review summarizes previous findings related to the neuronal activity-dependent astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle. Moreover, we discuss how aging and exercise may shape the astrocyte-neuron metabolic shuttle in cognition-associated brain areas.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coiret, Guyllaume; Ster, Jeanne; Grewe, Benjamin; Wendling, Fabrice; Helmchen, Fritjof; Gerber, Urs; Benquet, Pascal

    2012-01-01

    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.

  16. The RNA helicase DDX1 is involved in restricted HIV-1 Rev function in human astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang Jianhua; Acheampong, Edward; Dave, Rajnish; Wang Fengxiang; Mukhtar, Muhammad; Pomerantz, Roger J.

    2005-01-01

    cytoplasmic, as input of exogenous DDX1 significantly altered both Rev sub-cellular localization from cytoplasmic to nuclear predominance and concomitantly increased HIV-1 viral production in these human astrocytes. We conclude that altered DDX1 expression in human astrocytes is, at least in part, responsible for the unfavorable cellular microenvironment for Rev function in these CNS-based cells. Thus, these data suggest a molecular mechanism(s) for restricted replication in astrocytes as a potential low-level site of residual HIV-1 in vivo

  17. 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

  18. Angiogenin induces modifications in the astrocyte secretome: relevance to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skorupa, Alexandra; Urbach, Serge; Vigy, Oana; King, Matthew A; Chaumont-Dubel, Séverine; Prehn, Jochen H M; Marin, Philippe

    2013-10-08

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting lower and upper motoneurons. Recent studies have shown that both motor neurons and non-neuronal neighbouring cells such as astrocytes and microglia contribute to disease pathology. Loss-of-function mutations in the angiogenin (ANG) gene have been identified in ALS patients. Angiogenin is enriched in motor neurons and exerts neuroprotective effects in vitro and in vivo. We have recently shown that motoneurons secrete angiogenin, and that secreted angiogenin is exclusively taken up by astrocytes, suggesting a paracrine mechanism of neuroprotection. To gain insights into astrocyte effectors of angiogenin-induced neuroprotection, we examined alterations in the astrocyte secretome induced by angiogenin treatment using quantitative proteomics based on Stable Isotope Labelling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC). We identified 2128 proteins in conditioned media from primary cultured mouse astrocytes, including 1247 putative secreted proteins. Of these, 60 proteins showed significant regulation of secretion in response to angiogenin stimulation. Regulated proteins include chemokines and cytokines, proteases and protease inhibitors as well as proteins involved in reorganising the extracellular matrix. In conclusion, this proteomic analysis increases our knowledge of the astrocyte secretome and reveals potential molecular substrates underlying the paracrine, neuroprotective effects of angiogenin. This study provides the most extensive list of astrocyte-secreted proteins available and reveals novel potential molecular substrates of astrocyte-neuron communication. It also identifies a set of astrocyte-derived proteins that might slow down ALS disease progression. It should be relevant to a large readership of neuroscientists and clinicians, in particular those with an interest in the physiological and pathological roles of astrocytes and in the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Octavio Garcia

    2010-12-01

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

  20. ROCK inhibition with Y27632 promotes the proliferation and cell cycle progression of cultured astrocyte from spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhiyuan; Liu, Miao; Fu, Peicai; Xie, Minjie; Wang, Wei; Luo, Xiang

    2012-12-01

    Rho-associated Kinase (ROCK) has been identified as an important regulator of proliferation and cell cycle progression in a number of cell types. Although its effects on astrocyte proliferation have not been well characterized, ROCK has been reported to play important roles in gap junction formation, morphology, and migration of astrocytes. In the present study, our aim was to investigate the effect of ROCK inhibition by [(+)-(R)-trans-4-(1-aminoethyl)-N-(4-pyridyl) cyclohexanecarboxamide dihydrochloride] (Y27632) on proliferation and DNA synthesis in cultured astrocytes from rat spinal cord and the possible mechanism involved. Western blots showed that treatment of astrocytes with Y27632 increased their expression of cyclin D1, CDK4, and cyclin E, thereby causing cell cycle progression. Furthermore, Y27632-induced astrocyte proliferation was mediated through the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase signaling cascade. These results indicate the importance of ROCK in astrocyte proliferation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Changes in the Proliferative Program Limit Astrocyte Homeostasis in the Aged Post-Traumatic Murine Cerebral Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimann, Gábor; Canhos, Luisa L; Frik, Jesica; Jäger, Gabriele; Lepko, Tjasa; Ninkovic, Jovica; Götz, Magdalena; Sirko, Swetlana

    2017-08-01

    Aging leads to adverse outcomes after traumatic brain injury. The mechanisms underlying these defects, however, are not yet clear. In this study, we found that astrocytes in the aged post-traumatic cerebral cortex develop a significantly reduced proliferative response, resulting in reduced astrocyte numbers in the penumbra. Moreover, experiments of reactive astrocytes in vitro reveal that their diminished proliferation is due to an age-related switch in the division mode with reduced cell-cycle re-entry rather than changes in cell-cycle length. Notably, reactive astrocytes in vivo and in vitro become refractory to stimuli increasing their proliferation during aging, such as Sonic hedgehog signaling. These data demonstrate for the first time that age-dependent, most likely intrinsic changes in the proliferative program of reactive astrocytes result in their severely hampered proliferative response to traumatic injury thereby affecting astrocyte homeostasis. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  2. 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.

  3. Astrocyte, the star avatar: redefined

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  4. New Mechanisms to Explain the Effects of Added Lactose Fines on the Dispersion Performance of Adhesive Mixtures for Inhalation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grasmeijer, Floris; Lexmond, Anne J.; van den Noort, Maarten; Hagedoorn, Paul; Hickey, Anthony J.; Frijlink, Henderik W.; de Boer, Anne H.

    2014-01-01

    Fine excipient particles or ‘fines’ have been shown to improve the dispersion performance of carrier-based formulations for dry powder inhalation. Mechanistic formulation studies have focussed mainly on explaining this positive effect. Previous studies have shown that higher drug contents may cause a decrease in dispersion performance, and there is no reason why this should not be true for fines with a similar shape, size and cohesiveness as drug particles. Therefore, the effects on drug detachment of ‘fine lactose fines’ (FLF, X50 = 1.95 µm) with a similar size and shape as micronised budesonide were studied and compared to those of ‘coarse lactose fines’ (CLF, X50 = 3.94 µm). Furthermore, interactions with the inhalation flow rate, the drug content and the mixing order were taken into account. The observed effects of FLF are comparable to drug content effects in that the detached drug fraction was decreased at low drug content and low flow rates but increased at higher flow rates. At high drug content the effects of added FLF were negligible. In contrast, CLF resulted in higher detached drug fractions at all flow rates and drug contents. The results from this study suggest that the effects of fines may be explained by two new mechanisms in addition to those previously proposed. Firstly, fines below a certain size may increase the effectiveness of press-on forces or cause the formation of strongly coherent fine particle networks on the carrier surface containing the drug particles. Secondly, when coarse enough, fines may prevent the formation of, or disrupt such fine particle networks, possibly through a lowering of their tensile strength. It is recommended that future mechanistic studies are based on the recognition that added fines may have any effect on dispersion performance, which is determined by the formulation and dispersion conditions. PMID:24489969

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Astrocytes Can Adopt Endothelial Cell Fates in a p53-Dependent Manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumm, Andrew J; Nunez, Stefanie; Doroudchi, Mehdi M; Kawaguchi, Riki; Duan, Jinhzu; Pellegrini, Matteo; Lam, Larry; Carmichael, S Thomas; Deb, Arjun; Hinman, Jason D

    2017-08-01

    Astrocytes respond to a variety of CNS injuries by cellular enlargement, process outgrowth, and upregulation of extracellular matrix proteins that function to prevent expansion of the injured region. This astrocytic response, though critical to the acute injury response, results in the formation of a glial scar that inhibits neural repair. Scar-forming cells (fibroblasts) in the heart can undergo mesenchymal-endothelial transition into endothelial cell fates following cardiac injury in a process dependent on p53 that can be modulated to augment cardiac repair. Here, we sought to determine whether astrocytes, as the primary scar-forming cell of the CNS, are able to undergo a similar cellular phenotypic transition and adopt endothelial cell fates. Serum deprivation of differentiated astrocytes resulted in a change in cellular morphology and upregulation of endothelial cell marker genes. In a tube formation assay, serum-deprived astrocytes showed a substantial increase in vessel-like morphology that was comparable to human umbilical vein endothelial cells and dependent on p53. RNA sequencing of serum-deprived astrocytes demonstrated an expression profile that mimicked an endothelial rather than astrocyte transcriptome and identified p53 and angiogenic pathways as specifically upregulated. Inhibition of p53 with genetic or pharmacologic strategies inhibited astrocyte-endothelial transition. Astrocyte-endothelial cell transition could also be modulated by miR-194, a microRNA downstream of p53 that affects expression of genes regulating angiogenesis. Together, these studies demonstrate that differentiated astrocytes retain a stimulus-dependent mechanism for cellular transition into an endothelial phenotype that may modulate formation of the glial scar and promote injury-induced angiogenesis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushmita Lakshmi Allam

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decades, our view of astrocytes has switched from passive support cells to active processing elements in the brain. The current view is that astrocytes shape neuronal communication and also play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the growing awareness of the importance of astrocytes, the exact mechanisms underlying neuron-astrocyte communication and the physiological consequences of astrocytic-neuronal interactions remain largely unclear. In this work, we define a modeling framework that will permit to address unanswered questions regarding the role of astrocytes. Our computational model of a detailed glutamatergic synapse facilitates the analysis of neural system responses to various stimuli and conditions that are otherwise difficult to obtain experimentally, in particular the readouts at the sub-cellular level. In this paper, we extend a detailed glutamatergic synaptic model, to include astrocytic glutamate transporters. We demonstrate how these glial transporters, responsible for the majority of glutamate uptake, modulate synaptic transmission mediated by ionotropic AMPA and NMDA receptors at glutamatergic synapses. Furthermore, we investigate how these local signaling effects at the synaptic level are translated into varying spatio-temporal patterns of neuron firing. Paired pulse stimulation results reveal that the effect of astrocytic glutamate uptake is more apparent when the input inter-spike interval is sufficiently long to allow the receptors to recover from desensitization. These results suggest an important functional role of astrocytes in spike timing dependent processes and demand further investigation of the molecular basis of certain neurological diseases specifically related to alterations in astrocytic glutamate uptake, such as epilepsy.

  8. “Triple M” Effect: A Proposed Mechanism to Explain Increased Dental Amalgam Microleakage after Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortazavi, Gh.; Mortazavi, S.A.R.; Mehdizadeh, A.R.

    2018-01-01

    A large body of evidence now indicates that the amount of mercury released from dental amalgam fillings can be significantly accelerated by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) such as common mobile phones and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Studies performed on the increased microleakage of dental amalgam restorations after exposure to RF-EMFs have further supported these findings. Although the accelerated microleakage induced by RF-EMFs is clinically significant, the entire mechanisms of this phenomenon are not clearly understood. In this paper, we introduce “Triple M” effect, a new evidence-based theory which can explain the accelerated microleakage of dental amalgam fillings after exposure to different sources of electromagnetic radiation. Based on this theory, there are saliva-filled tiny spaces between amalgam and the tooth. Exposure of the oral cavity to RF-EMFs increases the energy of these small amounts of saliva. Due to the small mass of saliva in these tiny spaces, a small amount of energy will be required for heating. Moreover, reflection of the radiofrequency radiation on the inner walls of the tiny spaces causes interference which in turn produces some “hot spots” in these spaces. Finally, formation of gas bubbles in response to increased temperature and very rapid expansion of these bubbles will accelerate the microleakage of amalgam. Experiments that confirm the validity of this theory are discussed. PMID:29732349

  9. "Triple M" Effect: A Proposed Mechanism to Explain Increased Dental Amalgam Microleakage after Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortazavi, Gh; Mortazavi, S A R; Mehdizadeh, A R

    2018-03-01

    A large body of evidence now indicates that the amount of mercury released from dental amalgam fillings can be significantly accelerated by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) such as common mobile phones and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Studies performed on the increased microleakage of dental amalgam restorations after exposure to RF-EMFs have further supported these findings. Although the accelerated microleakage induced by RF-EMFs is clinically significant, the entire mechanisms of this phenomenon are not clearly understood. In this paper, we introduce "Triple M" effect, a new evidence-based theory which can explain the accelerated microleakage of dental amalgam fillings after exposure to different sources of electromagnetic radiation. Based on this theory, there are saliva-filled tiny spaces between amalgam and the tooth. Exposure of the oral cavity to RF-EMFs increases the energy of these small amounts of saliva. Due to the small mass of saliva in these tiny spaces, a small amount of energy will be required for heating. Moreover, reflection of the radiofrequency radiation on the inner walls of the tiny spaces causes interference which in turn produces some "hot spots" in these spaces. Finally, formation of gas bubbles in response to increased temperature and very rapid expansion of these bubbles will accelerate the microleakage of amalgam. Experiments that confirm the validity of this theory are discussed.

  10. Astrocyte-neuron interaction in diphenyl ditelluride toxicity directed to the cytoskeleton

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heimfarth, Luana; Silva Ferreira, Fernanda da; Pierozan, Paula; Mingori, Moara Rodrigues; Moreira, José Cláudio Fonseca; Batista Teixeira da Rocha, João; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Diphenyl ditelluride is toxic to the cytoskeleton of neural cells in vitro. • Hypophosphorylation disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis and causes cell dysfunction. • Calcium signaling underlies hypophosphorylation of intermediate filaments. • Actin disorganization causes altered astrocyte morphology. • Astrocyte cytoskeleton is more susceptible than neuronal cytoskeleton. - Abstract: Diphenylditelluride (PhTe) 2 is a neurotoxin that disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis. We are showing that different concentrations of (PhTe) 2 caused hypophosphorylation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin and neurofilament subunits (NFL, NFM and NFH) and altered actin organization in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons from cerebral cortex of rats. These mechanisms were mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors without participation of either L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (L-VDCC) or metabotropic glutamate receptors. Upregulated Ca 2+ influx downstream of NMDA receptors activated Ca 2+ -dependent protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B) causing hypophosphorylation of astrocyte and neuron IFs. Immunocytochemistry showed that hypophosphorylated intermediate filaments (IF) failed to disrupt their organization into the cytoskeleton. However, phalloidin-actin-FITC stained cytoskeleton evidenced misregulation of actin distribution, cell spreading and increased stress fibers in astrocytes. βIII tubulin staining showed that neurite meshworks are not altered by (PhTe) 2 , suggesting greater susceptibility of astrocytes than neurons to (PheTe) 2 toxicity. These findings indicate that signals leading to IF hypophosphorylation fail to disrupt the cytoskeletal IF meshwork of interacting astrocytes and neurons in vitro however astrocyte actin network seems more susceptible. Our findings support that intracellular Ca 2+ is one of the crucial signals that modulate the action of (PhTe) 2 in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons and highlights the cytoskeleton

  11. Probabilistic encoding of stimulus strength in astrocyte global calcium signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croft, Wayne; Reusch, Katharina; Tilunaite, Agne; Russell, Noah A; Thul, Rüdiger; Bellamy, Tomas C

    2016-04-01

    Astrocyte calcium signals can range in size from subcellular microdomains to waves that spread through the whole cell (and into connected cells). The differential roles of such local or global calcium signaling are under intense investigation, but the mechanisms by which local signals evolve into global signals in astrocytes are not well understood, nor are the computational rules by which physiological stimuli are transduced into a global signal. To investigate these questions, we transiently applied receptor agonists linked to calcium signaling to primary cultures of cerebellar astrocytes. Astrocytes repetitively tested with the same stimulus responded with global signals intermittently, indicating that each stimulus had a defined probability for triggering a response. The response probability varied between agonists, increased with agonist concentration, and could be positively and negatively modulated by crosstalk with other signaling pathways. To better understand the processes determining the evolution of a global signal, we recorded subcellular calcium "puffs" throughout the whole cell during stimulation. The key requirement for puffs to trigger a global calcium wave following receptor activation appeared to be the synchronous release of calcium from three or more sites, rather than an increasing calcium load accumulating in the cytosol due to increased puff size, amplitude, or frequency. These results suggest that the concentration of transient stimuli will be encoded into a probability of generating a global calcium response, determined by the likelihood of synchronous release from multiple subcellular sites. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 regulates inflammatory tolerance in astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beurel, Eléonore; Jope, Richard S.

    2010-01-01

    Inflammatory tolerance is the down-regulation of inflammation upon repeated stimuli, which is well-established to occur in peripheral immune cells. However, less is known about inflammatory tolerance in the brain although it may provide an important protective mechanism from detrimental consequences of prolonged inflammation, which appears to occur in many psychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions. Array analysis of 308 inflammatory molecules produced by mouse primary astrocytes after two sequential stimulations with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) distinguished three classes, tolerant, sensitized and unaltered groups. For many of these inflammatory molecules, inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) increased tolerance and reduced sensitization. Focusing on LPS-tolerance in interleukin-6 (IL-6) production, we found that microglia exhibited a strong tolerance response that matched that of macrophages, whereas astrocytes exhibited only partial tolerance. The astrocyte semi-tolerance was found to be regulated by GSK3. GSK3 inhibitors or knocking down GSK3 levels promoted LPS-tolerance and astrocytes expressing constitutively active GSK3 did not develop LPS-tolerance. These findings identify the critical role of GSK3 in counteracting IL-6 inflammatory tolerance in cells of the CNS, supporting the therapeutic potential of GSK3 inhibitors to reduce neuroinflammation by promoting tolerance. PMID:20553816

  13. Involvement of astrocytes in neurovascular communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuriya, M; Hirase, H

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Gu

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

  16. Methanol ice co-desorption as a mechanism to explain cold methanol in the gas-phase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligterink, N. F. W.; Walsh, C.; Bhuin, R. G.; Vissapragada, S.; van Scheltinga, J. Terwisscha; Linnartz, H.

    2018-05-01

    Context. Methanol is formed via surface reactions on icy dust grains. Methanol is also detected in the gas-phase at temperatures below its thermal desorption temperature and at levels higher than can be explained by pure gas-phase chemistry. The process that controls the transition from solid state to gas-phase methanol in cold environments is not understood. Aims: The goal of this work is to investigate whether thermal CO desorption provides an indirect pathway for methanol to co-desorb at low temperatures. Methods: Mixed CH3OH:CO/CH4 ices were heated under ultra-high vacuum conditions and ice contents are traced using RAIRS (reflection absorption IR spectroscopy), while desorbing species were detected mass spectrometrically. An updated gas-grain chemical network was used to test the impact of the results of these experiments. The physical model used is applicable for TW Hya, a protoplanetary disk in which cold gas-phase methanol has recently been detected. Results: Methanol release together with thermal CO desorption is found to be an ineffective process in the experiments, resulting in an upper limit of ≤ 7.3 × 10-7 CH3OH molecules per CO molecule over all ice mixtures considered. Chemical modelling based on the upper limits shows that co-desorption rates as low as 10-6 CH3OH molecules per CO molecule are high enough to release substantial amounts of methanol to the gas-phase at and around the location of the CO thermal desorption front in a protoplanetary disk. The impact of thermal co-desorption of CH3OH with CO as a grain-gas bridge mechanism is compared with that of UV induced photodesorption and chemisorption.

  17. 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.

  18. Regulation of neuron-astrocyte metabolic coupling across the sleep-wake cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, J-M; Magistretti, P J

    2016-05-26

    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 energy production to 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 the firing rate such as during the sleep/wake transitions. Investigations into brain energy metabolism during the sleep/wake cycle have been mainly focused on glucose (Gluc) consumption and on glycogen metabolism. However, the recent development of substrate-specific biosensors allowed measurements of the variation in extracellular levels of glutamate, Gluc and lactate (Lac) with a time resolution compatible with sleep stage duration. Together with gene expression data these experiments allowed to better define the variations of energy metabolite regulation across the sleep/wake cycle. The aim of this review is to bring into perspective the role of astrocytes and NMC 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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Lycopene ameliorates neuropathic pain by upregulating spinal astrocytic connexin 43 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Fujii, Shiori; Miyauchi, Kazuki; Nakamura, Yoki; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2016-06-15

    Peripheral nerve injury upregulates tumor necrosis factor (TNF) expression. In turn, connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in spinal astrocytes is downregulated by TNF. Therefore, restoration of spinal astrocyte Cx43 expression to normal level could lead to the reduction of nerve injury-induced pain. While the non-provitaminic carotenoid lycopene reverses thermal hyperalgesia in mice with painful diabetic neuropathy, the antinociceptive mechanism is not entirely clear. The current study evaluated whether the antinociceptive effect of lycopene is mediated through the modulation of Cx43 expression in spinal astrocytes. The effect of lycopene on Cx43 expression was examined in cultured rat spinal astrocytes. The effect of intrathecal lycopene on Cx43 expression and neuropathic pain were evaluated in mice with partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). Treatment of cultured rat spinal astrocytes with lycopene reversed TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression through a transcription-independent mechanism. By contrast, treatment of cultured spinal astrocytes with either pro-vitamin A carotenoid β-carotene or antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine had no effect on TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression. In addition, repeated, but not single, intrathecal treatment with lycopene of mice with a partial sciatic nerve ligation significantly prevented not only the downregulation of Cx43 expression in spinal dorsal horn but mechanical hypersensitivity as well. The current findings suggest a significant spinal mechanism that mediates the analgesic effect of lycopene, through the restoration of normal spinal Cx43 expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Reactive Astrocytes in Brain Metastasis

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    David Wasilewski

    2017-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Endocannabinoids mediate neuron-astrocyte communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2008-03-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. WAP explained

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaiser, M.J.; Pulsipher, A.G.

    2004-01-01

    The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a federal block grant program administered by all 50 states and the District of Columbia through community action agencies, state energy offices, local government, and other nonprofit organizations to provide weatherization services to eligible households. The WAP was established in 1976 to increase the energy efficiency, reduce the energy expenditures, and improve the health and safety of low-income households, especially those households that are particularly vulnerable such as families with children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. The manner in which WAP funds have been allocated to states, however, has been a contentious issue since the inception of the program. Southern states have argued that too much of the federal funding goes to cold-climate and rural states. Northern states disagree. In 1990, Congress amended the Energy Conservation and Production Act and required the Department of Energy to develop a new funding formula. The Department of Energy currently uses a three-factor formula developed in 1995 in conjunction with a two-factor formula developed in 1977 and a hold-harmless provision to allocate WAP funding. The purpose of this paper is to explain the WAP allocation mechanism and the assumptions associated with the 1977 and the 1995 funding formula. The factors that compose each funding formula are critically assessed and various implementation issues are reviewed, including the selection of the trigger point and program capacity levels. It is not possible to define the need for weatherization assistance objectively and in a unique manner, and this ambiguity is the main reason why the WAP allocation mechanism is expected to remain a lively topic of debate and contention

  7. Astrocytes play a key role in activation of microglia by persistent Borna disease virus infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sauder Christian

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV infection of the rat brain is associated with microglial activation and damage to certain neuronal populations. Since persistent BDV infection of neurons is nonlytic in vitro, activated microglia have been suggested to be responsible for neuronal cell death in vivo. However, the mechanisms of activation of microglia in neonatally BDV-infected rat brains remain unclear. Our previous studies have shown that activation of microglia by BDV in culture requires the presence of astrocytes as neither the virus nor BDV-infected neurons alone activate microglia. Here, we evaluated the mechanisms whereby astrocytes can contribute to activation of microglia in neuron-glia-microglia mixed cultures. We found that persistent infection of neuronal cells leads to activation of uninfected astrocytes as measured by elevated expression of RANTES. Activation of astrocytes then produces activation of microglia as evidenced by increased formation of round-shaped, MHCI-, MHCII- and IL-6-positive microglia cells. Our analysis of possible molecular mechanisms of activation of astrocytes and/or microglia in culture indicates that the mediators of activation may be soluble heat-resistant, low molecular weight factors. The findings indicate that astrocytes may mediate activation of microglia by BDV-infected neurons. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that microglia activation in the absence of neuronal damage may represent initial steps in the gradual neurodegeneration observed in brains of neonatally BDV-infected rats.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  11. From in silico astrocyte cell models to neuron-astrocyte network models: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oschmann, Franziska; Berry, Hugues; Obermayer, Klaus; Lenk, Kerstin

    2018-01-01

    The idea that astrocytes may be active partners in synaptic information processing has recently emerged from abundant experimental reports. Because of their spatial proximity to neurons and their bidirectional communication with them, astrocytes are now considered as an important third element of the synapse. Astrocytes integrate and process synaptic information and by doing so generate cytosolic calcium signals that are believed to reflect neuronal transmitter release. Moreover, they regulate neuronal information transmission by releasing gliotransmitters into the synaptic cleft affecting both pre- and postsynaptic receptors. Concurrent with the first experimental reports of the astrocytic impact on neural network dynamics, computational models describing astrocytic functions have been developed. In this review, we give an overview over the published computational models of astrocytic functions, from single-cell dynamics to the tripartite synapse level and network models of astrocytes and neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Ketogenic diet and astrocyte/neuron metabolic interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Vamecq Joseph; Maurois Pierre; Bac Pierre; Delplanque Bernadette; Pages Nicole

    2007-01-01

    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 ac...

  13. Key Metabolic Enzymes Underlying Astrocytic Upregulation of GABAergic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Przemysław T. Kaczor

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available GABAergic plasticity is recognized as a key mechanism of shaping the activity of the neuronal networks. However, its description is challenging because of numerous neuron-specific mechanisms. In particular, while essential role of glial cells in the excitatory plasticity is well established, their involvement in GABAergic plasticity only starts to emerge. To address this problem, we used two models: neuronal cell culture (NC and astrocyte-neuronal co-culture (ANCC, where we chemically induced long-term potentiation at inhibitory synapses (iLTP. iLTP could be induced both in NC and ANCC but in ANCC its extent was larger. Importantly, this functional iLTP manifestation was accompanied by an increase in gephyrin puncta size. Furthermore, blocking astrocyte Krebs cycle with fluoroacetate (FA in ANCC prevented enhancement of both mIPSC amplitude and gephyrin puncta size but this effect was not observed in NC, indicating a key role in neuron-astrocyte cross-talk. Blockade of monocarboxylate transport with α-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (4CIN abolished iLTP both in NC and ANCC and in the latter model prevented also enlargement of gephyrin puncta. Similarly, blockade of glycogen phosphorylase with BAYU6751 prevented enlargement of gephyrin puncta upon iLTP induction. Finally, block of glutamine synthetase with methionine sulfoxide (MSO nearly abolished mIPSC increase in both NMDA stimulated cell groups but did not prevent enlargement of gephyrin puncta. In conclusion, we provide further evidence that GABAergic plasticity is strongly regulated by astrocytes and the underlying mechanisms involve key metabolic enzymes. Considering the strategic role of GABAergic interneurons, the plasticity described here indicates possible mechanism whereby metabolism regulates the network activity.

  14. Hypoxia Epigenetically Confers Astrocytic Differentiation Potential on Human Pluripotent Cell-Derived Neural Precursor Cells

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    Tetsuro Yasui

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human neural precursor cells (hNPCs derived from pluripotent stem cells display a high propensity for neuronal differentiation, but they require long-term culturing to differentiate efficiently into astrocytes. The mechanisms underlying this biased fate specification of hNPCs remain elusive. Here, we show that hypoxia confers astrocytic differentiation potential on hNPCs through epigenetic gene regulation, and that this was achieved by cooperation between hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and Notch signaling, accompanied by a reduction of DNA methylation level in the promoter region of a typical astrocyte-specific gene, Glial fibrillary acidic protein. Furthermore, we found that this hypoxic culture condition could be applied to rapid generation of astrocytes from Rett syndrome patient-derived hNPCs, and that these astrocytes impaired neuronal development. Thus, our findings shed further light on the molecular mechanisms regulating hNPC differentiation and provide attractive tools for the development of therapeutic strategies for treating astrocyte-mediated neurological disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. In vivo imaging reveals rapid astrocyte depletion and axon damage in a model of neuromyelitis optica-related pathology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herwerth, Marina; Kalluri, Sudhakar Reddy; Srivastava, Rajneesh

    2016-01-01

    IgG autoantibodies against aquaporin-4 (AQP4), an astrocytic water channel. Antibodies against AQP4 can damage astrocytes via complement, but NMO histopathology also shows demyelination, and - importantly - axon injury, which may determine permanent deficits following NMO relapses. The dynamics...... antibodies in mice. RESULTS: We found that human AQP4 antibodies caused acute astrocyte depletion with initial oligodendrocyte survival. Within two hours of antibody application, we observed secondary axon injury in the form of progressive swellings. Astrocyte toxicity and axon damage were dependent on AQP4...... antibody concentration and complement, specifically C1q. INTERPRETATION: In vivo imaging of the spinal cord reveals the swift development of NMO-related acute axon injury following AQP4 antibody-mediated astrocyte depletion. This approach will be useful in studying the mechanisms underlying the spread...

  18. Large-scale recording of astrocyte activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmerjahn, Axel; Bergles, Dwight E.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Podocalyxin expression in malignant astrocytic tumors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayatsu, Norihito; Kaneko, Mika Kato; Mishima, Kazuhiko; Nishikawa, Ryo; Matsutani, Masao; Price, Janet E.; Kato, Yukinari

    2008-01-01

    Podocalyxin is an anti-adhesive mucin-like transmembrane sialoglycoprotein that has been implicated in the development of aggressive forms of cancer. Podocalyxin is also known as keratan sulfate (KS) proteoglycan. Recently, we revealed that highly sulfated KS or another mucin-like transmembrane sialoglycoprotein podoplanin/aggrus is upregulated in malignant astrocytic tumors. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between podocalyxin expression and malignant progression of astrocytic tumors. In this study, 51 astrocytic tumors were investigated for podocalyxin expression using immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR. Immunohistochemistry detected podocalyxin on the surface of tumor cells in six of 14 anaplastic astrocytomas (42.9%) and in 17 of 31 glioblastomas (54.8%), especially around proliferating endothelial cells. In diffuse astrocytoma, podocalyxin expression was observed only in vascular endothelial cells. Podocalyxin might be associated with the malignant progression of astrocytic tumors, and be a useful prognostic marker for astrocytic tumors

  20. Micropatterned substrates for studying astrocytes in culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Lee

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies of the physiological roles of astrocytes have ignited renewed interest in the functional significance of these glial cells in the central nervous system. Many of the newly discovered astrocytic functions were initially demonstrated and characterized in cell culture systems. We discuss the use of microculture techniques and micropatterning of cell-adhesive substrates in studies of astrocytic Ca2+ excitability and bidirectional neuron-astrocyte signaling. This culturing approach aims to reduce the level of complexity of the system by limiting the interacting partners and by controlling the localization of cells. It provides tight control over experimental conditions allowing detailed characterization of cellular functions and intercellular communication. Although such a reductionist approach yields some difference in observations between astrocytic properties in culture and in situ, general phenomena discovered in cell culture systems, however, have also been found in vivo.

  1. Tight coupling of astrocyte energy metabolism to synaptic activity revealed by genetically encoded FRET nanosensors in hippocampal tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruminot, Iván; Schmälzle, Jana; Leyton, Belén; Barros, L Felipe; Deitmer, Joachim W

    2017-01-01

    The potassium ion, K + , a neuronal signal that is released during excitatory synaptic activity, produces acute activation of glucose consumption in cultured astrocytes, a phenomenon mediated by the sodium bicarbonate cotransporter NBCe1 ( SLC4A4). We have explored here the relevance of this mechanism in brain tissue by imaging the effect of neuronal activity on pH, glucose, pyruvate and lactate dynamics in hippocampal astrocytes using BCECF and FRET nanosensors. Electrical stimulation of Schaffer collaterals produced fast activation of glucose consumption in astrocytes with a parallel increase in intracellular pyruvate and biphasic changes in lactate . These responses were blocked by TTX and were absent in tissue slices prepared from NBCe1-KO mice. Direct depolarization of astrocytes with elevated extracellular K + or Ba 2+ mimicked the metabolic effects of electrical stimulation. We conclude that the glycolytic pathway of astrocytes in situ is acutely sensitive to neuronal activity, and that extracellular K + and the NBCe1 cotransporter are involved in metabolic crosstalk between neurons and astrocytes. Glycolytic activation of astrocytes in response to neuronal K + helps to provide an adequate supply of lactate, a metabolite that is released by astrocytes and which acts as neuronal fuel and an intercellular signal.

  2. Gambling-Related Distortions and Problem Gambling in Adolescents: A Model to Explain Mechanisms and Develop Interventions

    OpenAIRE

    Donati, Maria Anna; Chiesi, Francesca; Iozzi, Adriana; Manfredi, Antonella; Fagni, Fabrizio; Primi, Caterina

    2018-01-01

    Although a number of gambling preventive initiatives have been realized with adolescents, many of them have been developed in absence of a clear and explicitly described theoretical model. The present work was aimed to analyze the adequacy of a model to explain gambling behavior referring to gambling-related cognitive distortions (Study 1), and to verify the effectiveness of a preventive intervention developed on the basis of this model (Study 2). Following dual-process theories on cognitive ...

  3. Complexity explained

    CERN Document Server

    Erdi, Peter

    2008-01-01

    This book explains why complex systems research is important in understanding the structure, function and dynamics of complex natural and social phenomena. Readers will learn the basic concepts and methods of complex system research.

  4. 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.

  5. Biomechanical and proteomic analysis of INF- β-treated astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vergara, Daniele; Leporatti, Stefano; Maruccio, Giuseppe; Cingolani, Roberto; Rinaldi, Ross; Martignago, Roberta; Nuccio, Franco De; Nicolardi, Giuseppe; Maffia, Michele; Bonsegna, Stefania; Santino, Angelo

    2009-01-01

    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- β (IFN-β) treatment. Our results indicated that IFN-β 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.

  6. Glycine Receptor Activation Impairs ATP-Induced Calcium Transients in Cultured Cortical Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana P. Morais

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In central nervous system, glycine receptor (GlyR is mostly expressed in the spinal cord and brainstem, but glycinergic transmission related elements have also been identified in the brain. Astrocytes are active elements at the tripartite synapse, being responsible for the maintenance of brain homeostasis and for the fine-tuning of synaptic activity. These cells communicate, spontaneously or in response to a stimulus, by elevations in their cytosolic calcium (calcium transients, Ca2+T that can be propagated to other cells. How these Ca2+T are negatively modulated is yet poorly understood. In this work, we evaluated GlyR expression and its role on calcium signaling modulation in rat brain astrocytes. We first proved that GlyR, predominantly subunits α2 and β, was expressed in brain astrocytes and its localization was confirmed in the cytoplasm and astrocytic processes by immunohistochemistry assays. Calcium imaging experiments in cultured astrocytes showed that glycine (500 μM, a GlyR agonist, caused a concentration-dependent reduction in ATP-induced Ca2+T, an effect abolished by the GlyR antagonist, strychnine (0.8 μM, as well as by nocodazole (1 μM, known to impair GlyR anchorage to the plasma membrane. This effect was mimicked by activation of GABAAR, another Cl--permeable channel. In summary, we demonstrated that GlyR activation in astrocytes mediates an inhibitory effect upon ATP induced Ca2+T, which most probably involves changes in membrane permeability to Cl- and requires GlyR anchorage at the plasma membrane. GlyR in astrocytes may thus be part of a mechanism to modulate astrocyte-to-neuron communication.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Computational model of neuron-astrocyte interactions during focal seizure generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide eReato

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Empirical research in the last decade revealed that astrocytes can respond to neurotransmitters with Ca2+ elevations and generate feedback signals to neurons which modulate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. This discovery changed our basic understanding of brain function and provided new perspectives for how astrocytes can participate not only to information processing, but also to the genesis of brain disorders, such as epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that can arise focally at restricted areas and propagate throughout the brain. Studies in brain slice models suggest that astrocytes contribute to epileptiform activity by increasing neuronal excitability through a Ca2+-dependent release of glutamate. The underlying mechanism remains, however, unclear. In this study, we implemented a parsimonious network model of neurons and astrocytes. The model consists of excitatory and inhibitory neurons described by Izhikevich's neuron dynamics. The experimentally observed Ca2+ change in astrocytes in response to neuronal activity was modeled with linear equations. We considered that glutamate is released from astrocytes above certain intracellular Ca2+ concentrations thus providing a non-linear positive feedback signal to neurons. Propagating seizure-like ictal discharges (IDs were reliably evoked in our computational model by repeatedly exciting a small area of the network, which replicates experimental results in a slice model of focal ID in entorhinal cortex. We found that the threshold of focal ID generation was lowered when an excitatory feedback-loop between astrocytes and neurons was included. Simulations show that astrocytes can contribute to ID generation by directly affecting the excitatory/inhibitory balance of the neuronal network. Our model can be used to obtain mechanistic insights into the distinct contributions of the different signaling pathways to the generation and

  9. Exocytosis of ATP From Astrocytes Modulates Phasic and Tonic Inhibition in the Neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Andrew, Jemma; Haydon, Philip G.; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-01-01

    Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for many brain functions. Astrocytes can modulate synaptic strength via Ca2+-stimulated release of various gliotransmitters, including glutamate and ATP. A physiological role of ATP release from astrocytes was suggested by its contribution to glial Ca2+-waves and purinergic modulation of neuronal activity and sleep homeostasis. The mechanisms underlying release of gliotransmitters remain uncertain, and exocytosis is the most intriguing and debated pathway. We investigated release of ATP from acutely dissociated cortical astrocytes using “sniff-cell” approach and demonstrated that release is vesicular in nature and can be triggered by elevation of intracellular Ca2+ via metabotropic and ionotropic receptors or direct UV-uncaging. The exocytosis of ATP from neocortical astrocytes occurred in the millisecond time scale contrasting with much slower nonvesicular release of gliotransmitters via Best1 and TREK-1 channels, reported recently in hippocampus. Furthermore, we discovered that elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ in cortical astrocytes triggered the release of ATP that directly activated quantal purinergic currents in the pyramidal neurons. The glia-driven burst of purinergic currents in neurons was followed by significant attenuation of both synaptic and tonic inhibition. The Ca2+-entry through the neuronal P2X purinoreceptors led to phosphorylation-dependent down-regulation of GABAA receptors. The negative purinergic modulation of postsynaptic GABA receptors was accompanied by small presynaptic enhancement of GABA release. Glia-driven purinergic modulation of inhibitory transmission was not observed in neurons when astrocytes expressed dn-SNARE to impair exocytosis. The astrocyte-driven purinergic currents and glia-driven modulation of GABA receptors were significantly reduced in the P2X4 KO mice. Our data provide a key evidence to support the physiological importance of exocytosis of ATP from astrocytes

  10. Exocytosis of ATP from astrocytes modulates phasic and tonic inhibition in the neocortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulyana Lalo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for many brain functions. Astrocytes can modulate synaptic strength via Ca(2+-stimulated release of various gliotransmitters, including glutamate and ATP. A physiological role of ATP release from astrocytes was suggested by its contribution to glial Ca(2+-waves and purinergic modulation of neuronal activity and sleep homeostasis. The mechanisms underlying release of gliotransmitters remain uncertain, and exocytosis is the most intriguing and debated pathway. We investigated release of ATP from acutely dissociated cortical astrocytes using "sniff-cell" approach and demonstrated that release is vesicular in nature and can be triggered by elevation of intracellular Ca(2+ via metabotropic and ionotropic receptors or direct UV-uncaging. The exocytosis of ATP from neocortical astrocytes occurred in the millisecond time scale contrasting with much slower nonvesicular release of gliotransmitters via Best1 and TREK-1 channels, reported recently in hippocampus. Furthermore, we discovered that elevation of cytosolic Ca(2+ in cortical astrocytes triggered the release of ATP that directly activated quantal purinergic currents in the pyramidal neurons. The glia-driven burst of purinergic currents in neurons was followed by significant attenuation of both synaptic and tonic inhibition. The Ca(2+-entry through the neuronal P2X purinoreceptors led to phosphorylation-dependent down-regulation of GABAA receptors. The negative purinergic modulation of postsynaptic GABA receptors was accompanied by small presynaptic enhancement of GABA release. Glia-driven purinergic modulation of inhibitory transmission was not observed in neurons when astrocytes expressed dn-SNARE to impair exocytosis. The astrocyte-driven purinergic currents and glia-driven modulation of GABA receptors were significantly reduced in the P2X4 KO mice. Our data provide a key evidence to support the physiological importance of exocytosis of

  11. The contribution of astrocytes to the regulation of cerebral blood flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare eHowarth

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In order to maintain normal brain function, it is critical that cerebral blood flow (CBF is matched to neuronal metabolic needs. Accordingly, blood flow is increased to areas where neurons are more active (a response termed functional hyperemia. The tight relationships between neuronal activation, glial cell activity, cerebral energy metabolism and the cerebral vasculature, known as neurometabolic and neurovascular coupling, underpin functional MRI (fMRI signals but are incompletely understood. As functional imaging techniques, particularly BOLD fMRI, become more widely used, their utility hinges on our ability to accurately and reliably interpret the findings. A growing body of data demonstrates that astrocytes can serve as a ‘bridge’, relaying information on the level of neural activity to blood vessels in order to coordinate oxygen and glucose delivery with the energy demands of the tissue. It is widely assumed that calcium-dependent release of vasoactive substances by astrocytes results in arteriole dilation and the increased blood flow which accompanies neuronal activity. However, the signaling molecules responsible for this communication between astrocytes and blood vessels are yet to be definitively confirmed. Indeed, there is controversy over whether activity-induced changes in astrocyte calcium are widespread and fast enough to elicit such functional hyperemia responses. In this review, I will summarise the evidence which has convincingly demonstrated that astrocytes are able to modify the diameter of cerebral arterioles. I will discuss the prevalence, presence and timing of stimulus-induced astrocyte calcium transients and describe the evidence for and against the role of calcium-dependent formation and release of vasoactive substances by astrocytes. I will also review alternative mechanisms of astrocyte-evoked changes in arteriole diameter and consider the questions which remain to be answered in this exciting area of research.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Jean-Marie; Gyger, Joël; Burlet-Godinot, Sophie; Fiumelli, Hubert; Martin, Jean-Luc; Magistretti, Pierre J

    2013-10-01

    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 specifically in astrocytes following sleep deprivation. Astrocytes were purified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting from transgenic mice expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of the human astrocytic GFAP-promoter. 6-hour instrumental sleep deprivation (TSD). Animal sleep research laboratory. 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. Basal sleep recordings and sleep deprivation achieved using a modified cage where animals were gently forced to move. 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, α-2-Na/K pump, Glt1, and Ldha mRNAs were significantly increased following TSD in GFP-positive cells. In GFP-negative cells, a tendency to increase, although not significant, was observed for Ldha, Mct2, and α-3-Na/K pump mRNAs. This study shows that TSD induces the expression of genes associated with ANLS specifically in astrocytes, underlying the important role of astrocytes in the maintenance of the neuro-metabolic coupling across the sleep-wake cycle.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-08

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

  15. Effect of Huperzine A on Aβ-induced p65 of astrocyte in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Lushuang; Jiang, Cen; Wang, Zhang; Yi, Xiaohong; Gong, Yuanyuan; Chen, Yunhui; Fu, Yan

    2016-12-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Its pathology often accompanies inflammatory action, and astrocytes play important roles in such procedure. Rela(p65) is one of significant message factors in NF-κB pathway which has been reported high expression in astrocyte treated by Aβ. HupA, an alkaloid isolated from Chinese herb Huperzia serrata, has been widely used to treat AD and observations reflected that it improves memory and cognitive capacity of AD patients. To reveal its molecular mechanisms on p65, we cultured astrocytes, built Aβ-induced AD model, treated astrocytes with HupA at different concentrations, assayed cell viability with MTT, and detected p65 expression by immunohistochemistry and PCR. Our results revealed that treatment with 10 μM Aβ1-42 for 24 h induced a significant increase of NF-κB in astrocytes; HupA significantly down-regulated p65 expression induced by Aβ in astrocytes. This study infers that HupA can regulate NF-κB pathway to treat AD.

  16. Cyclic AMP signaling restricts activation and promotes maturation and antioxidant defenses in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paco, Sonia; Hummel, Manuela; Plá, Virginia; Sumoy, Lauro; Aguado, Fernando

    2016-04-23

    cAMP signaling produces dramatic changes in astrocyte morphology and physiology. However, its involvement in phenotype acquisition and the transcriptionally mediated mechanisms of action are largely unknown. Here we analyzed the global transcriptome of cultured astroglial cells incubated with activators of cAMP pathways. A bulk of astroglial transcripts, 6221 annotated genes, were differentially regulated by cAMP signaling. cAMP analogs strongly upregulated genes involved in typical functions of mature astrocytes, such as homeostatic control, metabolic and structural support to neurons, antioxidant defense and communication, whereas they downregulated a considerable number of proliferating and immaturity-related transcripts. Moreover, numerous genes typically activated in reactive cells, such as scar components and immunological mediators, were repressed by cAMP. GSEA analysis contrasting gene expression profiles with transcriptome signatures of acutely isolated astrocytes and in situ evaluation of protein levels in these cells showed that cAMP signaling conferred mature and in vivo-like transcriptional features to cultured astrocytes. These results indicate that cAMP signaling is a key pathway promoting astrocyte maturation and restricting their developmental and activation features. Therefore, a positive modulation of cAMP signaling may promote the normal state of differentiated astrocytes and favor the protection and function of neuronal networks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losi, Gabriele; Mariotti, Letizia; Carmignoto, Giorgio

    2014-10-19

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

  18. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

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

  20. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-19

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

  1. Loose excitation-secretion coupling in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vardjan, Nina; Parpura, Vladimir; Zorec, Robert

    2016-05-01

    Astrocytes play an important housekeeping role in the central nervous system. Additionally, as secretory cells, they actively participate in cell-to-cell communication, which can be mediated by membrane-bound vesicles. The gliosignaling molecules stored in these vesicles are discharged into the extracellular space after the vesicle membrane fuses with the plasma membrane. This process is termed exocytosis, regulated by SNARE proteins, and triggered by elevations in cytosolic calcium levels, which are necessary and sufficient for exocytosis in astrocytes. For astrocytic exocytosis, calcium is sourced from the intracellular endoplasmic reticulum store, although its entry from the extracellular space contributes to cytosolic calcium dynamics in astrocytes. Here, we discuss calcium management in astrocytic exocytosis and the properties of the membrane-bound vesicles that store gliosignaling molecules, including the vesicle fusion machinery and kinetics of vesicle content discharge. In astrocytes, the delay between the increase in cytosolic calcium activity and the discharge of secretions from the vesicular lumen is orders of magnitude longer than that in neurons. This relatively loose excitation-secretion coupling is likely tailored to the participation of astrocytes in modulating neural network processing. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Bicarbonate sensing in mouse cortical astrocytes during extracellular acid/base disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naoshin, Zinnia; Defren, Sabrina; Schmaelzle, Jana; Weber, Tobias; Schneider, Hans‐Peter

    2017-01-01

    Key points The present study suggests that the electrogenic sodium–bicarbonate cotransporter, NBCe1, supported by carbonic anhydrase II, CAII, provides an efficient mechanism of bicarbonate sensing in cortical astrocytes. This mechanism is proposed to play a major role in setting the pHi responses to extracellular acid/base challenges in astrocytes.A decrease in extracellular [HCO3 −] during isocapnic acidosis and isohydric hypocapnia, or an increase in intracellular [HCO3 −] during hypercapnic acidosis, was effectively sensed by NBCe1, which carried bicarbonate out of the cells under these conditions, and caused an acidification and sodium fall in WT astrocytes, but not in NBCe1‐knockout astrocytes.Isocapnic acidosis, hypercapnic acidosis and isohydric hypocapnia evoked inward currents in NBCe1‐ and CAII‐expressing Xenopus laevis oocytes, but not in native oocytes, suggesting that NBCe1 operates in the outwardly directed mode under these conditions consistent with our findings in astrocytes.We propose that bicarbonate sensing of astrocytes may have functional significance during extracellular acid/base disturbances in the brain, as it not only alters intracellular pH/[HCO3 −]‐dependent functions of astrocytes, but also modulates the extracellular pH/[HCO3 −] in brain tissue. Abstract Extracellular acid/base status of the mammalian brain undergoes dynamic changes during many physiological and pathological events. Although intracellular pH (pHi) of astrocytes responds to extracellular acid/base changes, the mechanisms mediating these changes have remained unresolved. We have previously shown that the electrogenic sodium–bicarbonate cotransporter, NBCe1, is a high‐affinity bicarbonate carrier in cortical astrocytes. In the present study, we investigated whether NBCe1 plays a role in bicarbonate sensing in astrocytes, and in determining the pHi responses to extracellular acid/base challenges. We measured changes in intracellular H+ and Na+ in

  3. Excitatory amino acid-stimulated uptake of 22Na+ in primary astrocyte cultures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kimelberg, H.K.; Pang, S.; Treble, D.H.

    1989-01-01

    In this study we have found that L-glutamic acid, as well as being taken up by a Na+-dependent mechanism, will stimulate the uptake of 22Na+ by primary astrocyte cultures from rat brain in the presence of ouabain. By simultaneously measuring the uptake of 22Na+ and L-3H-glutamate a stoichiometry of 2-3 Na+ per glutamate was measured, implying electrogenic uptake. Increasing the medium K+ concentration to depolarize the cells inhibited L-3H-glutamate uptake, while calculations of the energetics of the observed L-3H-glutamate accumulation also supported an electrogenic mechanism of at least 2 Na+:1 glutamate. In contrast, kinetic analysis of the Na+ dependence of L-3H-glutamate uptake indicated a stoichiometry of Na+ to glutamate of 1:1, but further analysis showed that the stoichiometry cannot be resolved by purely kinetic studies. Studies with glutamate analogs, however, showed that kainic acid was a very effective stimulant of 22Na+ uptake, but 3H-kainic acid showed no Na+ -dependent uptake. Furthermore, while L-3H-glutamate uptake was very sensitive to lowered temperatures, glutamate-stimulated 22Na+ uptake was relatively insensitive. These results indicate that glutamate-stimulated uptake of 22Na+ in primary astrocytes cultures cannot be explained solely by cotransport of Na+ with glutamate, and they suggest that direct kainic acid-type receptor induced stimulation of Na+ uptake also occurs. Since both receptor and uptake effects involve transport of Na+, accurate measurements of the Na+ :glutamate stoichiometry for uptake can only be done using completely specific inhibitors of these 2 systems

  4. HIV and drug abuse mediate astrocyte senescence in a β-catenin-dependent manner leading to neuronal toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chunjiang; Narasipura, Srinivas D; Richards, Maureen H; Hu, Xiu-Ti; Yamamoto, Bryan; Al-Harthi, Lena

    2017-10-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that cell senescence plays an important role in aging-associated diseases including neurodegenerative diseases. HIV leads to a spectrum of neurologic diseases collectively termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Drug abuse, particularly methamphetamine (meth), is a frequently abused psychostimulant among HIV+ individuals and its abuse exacerbates HAND. The mechanism by which HIV and meth lead to brain cell dysregulation is not entirely clear. In this study, we evaluated the impact of HIV and meth on astrocyte senescence using in vitro and several animal models. Astrocytes constitute up to 50% of brain cells and play a pivotal role in marinating brain homeostasis. We show here that HIV and meth induce significant senescence of primary human fetal astrocytes, as evaluated by induction of senescence markers (β-galactosidase and p16 INK 4A ), senescence-associated morphologic changes, and cell cycle arrest. HIV- and meth-mediated astrocyte senescence was also demonstrated in three small animal models (humanized mouse model of HIV/NSG-huPBMCs, HIV-transgenic rats, and in a meth administration rat model). Senescent astrocytes in turn mediated neuronal toxicity. Further, we show that β-catenin, a pro-survival/proliferation transcriptional co-activator, is downregulated by HIV and meth in human astrocytes and this downregulation promotes astrocyte senescence while induction of β-catenin blocks HIV- and meth-mediated astrocyte senescence. These studies, for the first time, demonstrate that HIV and meth induce astrocyte senescence and implicate the β-catenin pathway as potential therapeutic target to overcome astrocyte senescence. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Zinc is released by cultured astrocytes as a gliotransmitter under hypoosmotic stress-loaded conditions and regulates microglial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segawa, Shohei; Nishiura, Takeshi; Furuta, Takahiro; Ohsato, Yuki; Tani, Misaki; Nishida, Kentaro; Nagasawa, Kazuki

    2014-01-17

    Astrocytes contribute to the maintenance of brain homeostasis via the release of gliotransmitters such as ATP and glutamate. Here we examined whether zinc was released from astrocytes under stress-loaded conditions, and was involved in the regulation of microglial activity as a gliotransmitter. Hypoosmotic stress was loaded to astrocytes using balanced salt solution prepared to 214-314 mOsmol/L, and then intra- and extra-cellular zinc levels were assessed using Newport Green DCF diacetate (NG) and ICP-MS, respectively. Microglial activation by the astrocytic supernatant was assessed by their morphological changes and poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymer accumulation. Exposure of astrocytes to hypoosmotic buffer, increased the extracellular ATP level in osmolarity-dependent manners, indicating a load of hypoosmotic stress. In hypoosmotic stress-loaded astrocytes, there were apparent increases in the intra- and extra-cellular zinc levels. Incubation of microglia in the astrocytic conditioned medium transformed them into the activated "amoeboid" form and induced PAR formation. Administration of an extracellular zinc chelator, CaEDTA, to the astrocytic conditioned medium almost completely prevented the microglial activation. Treatment of astrocytes with an intracellular zinc chelator, TPEN, suppressed the hypoosmotic stress-increased intracellular, but not the extracellular, zinc level, and the increase in the intracellular zinc level was blocked partially by a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, but not by CaEDTA, indicating that the mechanisms underlying the increases in the intra- and extra-cellular zinc levels might be different. These findings suggest that under hypoosmotic stress-loaded conditions, zinc is released from astrocytes and then plays a primary role in microglial activation as a gliotransmitter. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Mechanisms which help explain implementation of evidence-based practice in residential aged care facilities: a grounded theory study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masso, Malcolm; McCarthy, Grace; Kitson, Alison

    2014-07-01

    The context for the study was a nation-wide programme in Australia to implement evidence-based practice in residential aged care, in nine areas of practice, using a wide range of implementation strategies and involving 108 facilities. The study drew on the experiences of those involved in the programme to answer the question: what mechanisms influence the implementation of evidence-based practice in residential aged care and how do those mechanisms interact? The methodology used grounded theory from a critical realist perspective, informed by a conceptual framework that differentiates between the context, process and content of change. People were purposively sampled and invited to participate in semi-structured interviews, resulting in 44 interviews involving 51 people during 2009 and 2010. Participants had direct experience of implementation in 87 facilities, across nine areas of practice, in diverse locations. Sampling continued until data saturation was reached. The quality of the research was assessed using four criteria for judging trustworthiness: credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability. Data analysis resulted in the identification of four mechanisms that accounted for what took place and participants' experiences. The core category that provided the greatest understanding of the data was the mechanism On Common Ground, comprising several constructs that formed a 'common ground' for change to occur. The mechanism Learning by Connecting recognised the ability to connect new knowledge with existing practice and knowledge, and make connections between actions and outcomes. Reconciling Competing Priorities was an ongoing mechanism whereby new practices had to compete with an existing set of constantly shifting priorities. Strategies for reconciling priorities ranged from structured approaches such as care planning to more informal arrangements such as conversations during daily work. The mechanism Exercising Agency bridged the gap between

  7. Diclofenac enhances proinflammatory cytokine-induced nitric oxide production through NF-κB signaling in cultured astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kakita, Hiroki; Aoyama, Mineyoshi; Hussein, Mohamed Hamed; Kato, Shin; Suzuki, Satoshi; Ito, Tetsuya; Togari, Hajime; Asai, Kiyofumi

    2009-01-01

    Recently, the number of reports of encephalitis/encephalopathy associated with influenza virus has increased. In addition, the use of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac sodium (DCF), is associated with a significant increase in the mortality rate of influenza-associated encephalopathy. Activated astrocytes are a source of nitric oxide (NO), which is largely produced by inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in response to proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, we investigated whether DCF enhances nitric oxide production in astrocytes stimulated with proinflammatory cytokines. We stimulated cultured rat astrocytes with three cytokines, interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ, and then treated the astrocytes with DCF or acetaminophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol: APAP). iNOS and NO production in astrocyte cultures were induced by proinflammatory cytokines. The addition of DCF augmented NO production, but the addition of APAP did not. NF-κB inhibitors SN50 and MG132 inhibited iNOS gene expression in cytokine-stimulated astrocytes with or without DCF. Similarly, NF-κB p65 Stealth small interfering RNA suppressed iNOS gene expression in cytokine-stimulated astrocytes with or without DCF. LDH activity and DAPI staining showed that DCF induces cell damage in cytokine-stimulated astrocytes. An iNOS inhibitor, L-NMMA, inhibited the cytokine- and DCF-induced cell damage. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that iNOS and NO are induced in astrocyte cultures by proinflammatory cytokines. Addition of DCF further augments NO production. This effect is mediated via NF-κB signaling and leads to cell damage. The enhancement of DCF on NO production may explain the significant increase in the mortality rate of influenza-associated encephalopathy in patients treated with DCF.

  8. Glucose and hypothalamic astrocytes: More than a fueling role?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leloup, C; Allard, C; Carneiro, L; Fioramonti, X; Collins, S; Pénicaud, L

    2016-05-26

    Brain plays a central role in energy homeostasis continuously integrating numerous peripheral signals such as circulating nutrients, and in particular blood glucose level, a variable that must be highly regulated. Then, the brain orchestrates adaptive responses to modulate food intake and peripheral organs activity in order to achieve the fine tuning of glycemia. More than fifty years ago, the presence of glucose-sensitive neurons was discovered in the hypothalamus, but what makes them specific and identifiable still remains disconnected from their electrophysiological signature. On the other hand, astrocytes represent the major class of macroglial cells and are now recognized to support an increasing number of neuronal functions. One of these functions consists in the regulation of energy homeostasis through neuronal fueling and nutrient sensing. Twenty years ago, we discovered that the glucose transporter GLUT2, the canonical "glucosensor" of the pancreatic beta-cell together with the glucokinase, was also present in astrocytes and participated in hypothalamic glucose sensing. Since then, many studies have identified other actors and emphasized the astroglial participation in this mechanism. Growing evidence suggest that astrocytes form a complex network and have to be considered as spatially coordinated and regulated metabolic units. In this review we aim to provide an updated view of the molecular and respective cellular pathways involved in hypothalamic glucose sensing, and their relevance in physiological and pathological states. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. The role of astrocytic glycogen in supporting the energetics of neuronal activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

    Energy homeostasis in the brain is maintained by oxidative metabolism of glucose, primarily to fulfil the energy demand associated with ionic movements in neurons and astrocytes. In this contribution we review the experimental evidence that grounds a specific role of glycogen metabolism in supporting the functional energetic needs of astrocytes during the removal of extracellular potassium. Based on theoretical considerations, we further discuss the hypothesis that the mobilization of glycogen in astrocytes serves the purpose to enhance the availability of glucose for neuronal glycolytic and oxidative metabolism at the onset of stimulation. Finally, we provide an evolutionary perspective for explaining the selection of glycogen as carbohydrate reserve in the energy-sensing machinery of cell metabolism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-09-01

    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.

  13. Astrocyte-neuron interaction in diphenyl ditelluride toxicity directed to the cytoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimfarth, Luana; da Silva Ferreira, Fernanda; Pierozan, Paula; Mingori, Moara Rodrigues; Moreira, José Cláudio Fonseca; da Rocha, João Batista Teixeira; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2017-03-15

    Diphenylditelluride (PhTe) 2 is a neurotoxin that disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis. We are showing that different concentrations of (PhTe) 2 caused hypophosphorylation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin and neurofilament subunits (NFL, NFM and NFH) and altered actin organization in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons from cerebral cortex of rats. These mechanisms were mediated by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors without participation of either L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (L-VDCC) or metabotropic glutamate receptors. Upregulated Ca 2+ influx downstream of NMDA receptors activated Ca 2+ -dependent protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B) causing hypophosphorylation of astrocyte and neuron IFs. Immunocytochemistry showed that hypophosphorylated intermediate filaments (IF) failed to disrupt their organization into the cytoskeleton. However, phalloidin-actin-FITC stained cytoskeleton evidenced misregulation of actin distribution, cell spreading and increased stress fibers in astrocytes. βIII tubulin staining showed that neurite meshworks are not altered by (PhTe) 2 , suggesting greater susceptibility of astrocytes than neurons to (PheTe) 2 toxicity. These findings indicate that signals leading to IF hypophosphorylation fail to disrupt the cytoskeletal IF meshwork of interacting astrocytes and neurons in vitro however astrocyte actin network seems more susceptible. Our findings support that intracellular Ca 2+ is one of the crucial signals that modulate the action of (PhTe) 2 in co-cultured astrocytes and neurons and highlights the cytoskeleton as an end-point of the neurotoxicity of this compound. Cytoskeletal misregulation is associated with cell dysfunction, therefore, the understanding of the molecular mechanisms mediating the neurotoxicity of this compound is a matter of increasing interest since tellurium compounds are increasingly released in the environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Astrocyte Ca2+ signalling: an unexpected complexity

    OpenAIRE

    Volterra, Andrea; Liaudet, Nicolas; Savtchouk, Iaroslav

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Bypassing the 'rapid-clearance-in-males-buffer': A fourth mechanism to explain how concurrency enhances STI spread.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Chris R

    2017-12-01

    A number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) persist for a considerably shorter period in the male urethra than the vagina. If the gap between sequential partnerships is longer than the duration of STI colonization in males, then this would protect future female partners from this STI in a setting of serial monogamy. If, however, males have more than one partner at a time (concurrency), then this would enable the STI to bypass this gap/buffer. We therefore propose bypassing the rapid-clearance-in-males-buffer as a fourth mechanism, whereby concurrency could enhance the spread of STIs.

  16. Gambling-Related Distortions and Problem Gambling in Adolescents: A Model to Explain Mechanisms and Develop Interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Anna Donati

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Although a number of gambling preventive initiatives have been realized with adolescents, many of them have been developed in absence of a clear and explicitly described theoretical model. The present work was aimed to analyze the adequacy of a model to explain gambling behavior referring to gambling-related cognitive distortions (Study 1, and to verify the effectiveness of a preventive intervention developed on the basis of this model (Study 2. Following dual-process theories on cognitive functioning, in Study 1 we tested a model in which mindware gap, i.e., susceptibility to the gambler’s fallacy, and contaminated mindware, i.e., superstitious thinking, were the antecedents of gambling-related cognitive distortions that, in turn, affect gambling frequency and problem gambling. Participants were 306 male adolescents (Mage = 17.2 years. A path analysis indicated that cognitive distortions have a mediating role in the relationship that links probabilistic reasoning fallacy and superstitious thinking with problem gambling. Following these findings, in Study 2 we developed a school-based intervention aimed to reduce gambling-related cognitive distortions acting on the above cited mindware problems. A pre- and post-test design – with a 6 months follow-up – was performed with 34 male adolescents (Mage = 16.8, randomly assigned to two groups (Training and No Training, and their baseline equivalence was verified. A Mixed 2 × 2 ANOVA attested a significant Time X Group interaction, indicating a significant reduction of the cognitive distortions from pre-test to post-test only in the Training group. The follow-up attested to the stability of the training effects and the reduction of gambling frequency over time. These findings suggest that prevention strategies should address mindware problems, which can be considered as predictors of gambling-related cognitive distortions.

  17. Gambling-Related Distortions and Problem Gambling in Adolescents: A Model to Explain Mechanisms and Develop Interventions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donati, Maria Anna; Chiesi, Francesca; Iozzi, Adriana; Manfredi, Antonella; Fagni, Fabrizio; Primi, Caterina

    2018-01-01

    Although a number of gambling preventive initiatives have been realized with adolescents, many of them have been developed in absence of a clear and explicitly described theoretical model. The present work was aimed to analyze the adequacy of a model to explain gambling behavior referring to gambling-related cognitive distortions (Study 1), and to verify the effectiveness of a preventive intervention developed on the basis of this model (Study 2). Following dual-process theories on cognitive functioning, in Study 1 we tested a model in which mindware gap, i.e., susceptibility to the gambler’s fallacy, and contaminated mindware, i.e., superstitious thinking, were the antecedents of gambling-related cognitive distortions that, in turn, affect gambling frequency and problem gambling. Participants were 306 male adolescents (Mage = 17.2 years). A path analysis indicated that cognitive distortions have a mediating role in the relationship that links probabilistic reasoning fallacy and superstitious thinking with problem gambling. Following these findings, in Study 2 we developed a school-based intervention aimed to reduce gambling-related cognitive distortions acting on the above cited mindware problems. A pre- and post-test design – with a 6 months follow-up – was performed with 34 male adolescents (Mage = 16.8), randomly assigned to two groups (Training and No Training), and their baseline equivalence was verified. A Mixed 2 × 2 ANOVA attested a significant Time X Group interaction, indicating a significant reduction of the cognitive distortions from pre-test to post-test only in the Training group. The follow-up attested to the stability of the training effects and the reduction of gambling frequency over time. These findings suggest that prevention strategies should address mindware problems, which can be considered as predictors of gambling-related cognitive distortions. PMID:29354081

  18. Scanning patterns of faces do not explain impaired emotion recognition in Huntington Disease: Evidence for a high level mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke evan Asselen

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies in patients with amygdala lesions suggested that deficits in emotion recognition might be mediated by impaired scanning patterns of faces. Here we investigated whether scanning patterns also contribute to the selective impairment in recognition of disgust in Huntington disease (HD. To achieve this goal, we recorded eye movements during a two-alternative forced choice emotion recognition task. HD patients in presymptomatic (n=16 and symptomatic (n=9 disease stages were tested and their performance was compared to a control group (n=22. In our emotion recognition task, participants had to indicate whether a face reflected one of six basic emotions. In addition, and in order to define whether emotion recognition was altered when the participants were forced to look at a specific component of the face, we used a second task where only limited facial information was provided (eyes/mouth in partially masked faces. Behavioural results showed no differences in the ability to recognize emotions between presymptomatic gene carriers and controls. However, an emotion recognition deficit was found for all 6 basic emotion categories in early stage HD. Analysis of eye movement patterns showed that patient and controls used similar scanning strategies. Patterns of deficits were similar regardless of whether parts of the faces were masked or not, thereby confirming that selective attention to particular face parts is not underlying the deficits. These results suggest that the emotion recognition deficits in symptomatic HD patients cannot be explained by impaired scanning patterns of faces. Furthermore, no selective deficit for recognition of disgust was found in presymptomatic HD patients.

  19. 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.

  20. Glucocorticoid regulation of astrocytic fate and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuang Yu

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

  1. Astrocyte glycogen and brain energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Angus M; Ransom, Bruce R

    2007-09-01

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

  2. Exposure to high glutamate concentration activates aerobic glycolysis but inhibits ATP-linked respiration in cultured cortical astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yao; Tian, Yueyang; Shi, Xiaojie; Yang, Jianbo; Ouyang, Li; Gao, Jieqiong; Lu, Jianxin

    2014-08-01

    Astrocytes play a key role in removing the synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space and maintaining the glutamate below neurotoxic level in the brain. However, high concentration of glutamate leads to toxicity in astrocytes, and the underlying mechanisms are unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether energy metabolism disorder, especially impairment of mitochondrial respiration, is involved in the glutamate-induced gliotoxicity. Exposure to 10-mM glutamate for 48 h stimulated glycolysis and respiration in astrocytes. However, the increased oxygen consumption was used for proton leak and non-mitochondrial respiration, but not for oxidative phosphorylation and ATP generation. When the exposure time extended to 72 h, glycolysis was still activated for ATP generation, but the mitochondrial ATP-linked respiration of astrocytes was reduced. The glutamate-induced astrocyte damage can be mimicked by the non-metabolized substrate d-aspartate but reversed by the non-selective glutamate transporter inhibitor TBOA. In addition, the glutamate toxicity can be partially reversed by vitamin E. These findings demonstrate that changes of bioenergetic profile occur in cultured cortical astrocytes exposed to high concentration of glutamate and highlight the role of mitochondria respiration in glutamate-induced gliotoxicity in cortical astrocytes. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. SPSS explained

    CERN Document Server

    Hinton, Perry R; Brownlow, Charlotte

    2014-01-01

    SPSS Explained provides the student with all that they need to undertake statistical analysis using SPSS. It combines a step-by-step approach to each procedure with easy to follow screenshots at each stage of the process. A number of other helpful features are provided: regular advice boxes with tips specific to each test explanations divided into 'essential' and 'advanced' sections to suit readers at different levels frequently asked questions at the end of each chapter. The first edition of this popular book has been fully updated for IBM SPSS version 21 and also includes: chapters that expl

  5. BMP7 and SHH regulate Pax2 in mouse retinal astrocytes by relieving TLX repression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, Rachna; Sheibani, Nader; Rhodes, Simon J; Belecky Adams, Teri L

    2009-08-15

    Pax2 is essential for development of the neural tube, urogenital system, optic vesicle, optic cup and optic tract. In the eye, Pax2 deficiency is associated with coloboma, a loss of astrocytes in the optic nerve and retina, and abnormal axonal pathfinding of the ganglion cell axons at the optic chiasm. Thus, appropriate expression of Pax2 is essential for astrocyte determination and differentiation. Although BMP7 and SHH have been shown to regulate Pax2 expression, the molecular mechanism by which this regulation occurs is not well understood. In this study, we determined that BMP7 and SHH activate Pax2 expression in mouse retinal astrocyte precursors in vitro. SHH appeared to play a dual role in Pax2 regulation; 1) SHH may regulate BMP7 expression, and 2) the SHH pathway cooperates with the BMP pathway to regulate Pax2 expression. BMP and SHH pathway members can interact separately or together with TLX, a repressor protein in the tailless transcription factor family. Here we show that the interaction of both pathways with TLX relieves the repression of Pax2 expression in mouse retinal astrocytes. Together these data reveal a new mechanism for the cooperative actions of signaling pathways in astrocyte determination and differentiation and suggest interactions of regulatory pathways that are applicable to other developmental programs.

  6. Astrocytes protect glioma cells from chemotherapy and upregulate survival genes via gap junctional communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qingtang; Liu, Zhao; Ling, Feng; Xu, Geng

    2016-02-01

    Gliomas are the most common type of primary brain tumor. Using current standard treatment regimens, the prognosis of patients with gliomas remains poor, which is predominantly due to the resistance of glioma cells to chemotherapy. The organ microenvironment has been implicated in the pathogenesis and survival of tumor cells. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that astrocytes (the housekeeping cells of the brain microenvironment) may protect glioma cells from chemotherapy and to investigate the underlying mechanism. Immunofluorescent and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that glioma cells were surrounded and infiltrated by activated astrocytes. In vitro co-culture of glioma cells with astrocytes significantly reduced the cytotoxic effects on glioma cells caused by various chemotherapeutic agents, as demonstrated by fluorescein isothiocyanate-propidium iodide flow cytometry. Transwell experiments indicated that this protective effect was dependent on physical contact and the gap junctional communication (GJC) between astrocytes and glioma cells. Microarray expression profiling further revealed that astrocytes upregulated the expression levels of various critical survival genes in the glioma cells via GJC. The results of the present study indicated that the organ microenvironment may affect the biological behavior of tumor cells and suggest a novel mechanism of resistance in glioma cells, which may be of therapeutic relevance clinically.

  7. Filtering fens: mechanisms explaining phosphorus-limited hotspots of biodiversity in wetlands adjacent to heavily fertilized areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusell, Casper; Kooijman, Annemieke; Fernandez, Filippo; van Wirdum, Geert; Geurts, Jeroen J M; van Loon, E Emiel; Kalbitz, Karsten; Lamers, Leon P M

    2014-05-15

    The conservation of biodiverse wetland vegetation, including that of rich fens, has a high priority at a global scale. Although P-eutrophication may strongly decrease biodiversity in rich fens, some well-developed habitats do still survive in highly fertilized regions due to nutrient filtering services of large wetlands. The occurrence of such nutrient gradients is well-known, but the biogeochemical mechanisms that determine these patterns are often unclear. We therefore analyzed chemical speciation and binding of relevant nutrients and minerals in surface waters, soils and plants along such gradients in the large Ramsar nature reserve Weerribben-Wieden in the Netherlands. P-availability was lowest in relatively isolated floating rich fens, where plant N:P ratios indicated P-limitation. P-limitation can persist here despite high P-concentrations in surface waters near the peripheral entry locations, because only a small part of the P-input reaches the more isolated waters and fens. This pattern in P-availability appears to be primarily due to precipitation of Fe-phosphates, which mainly occurs close to entry locations as indicated by decreasing concentrations of Fe- and Al-bound P in the sub-aquatic sediments along this gradient. A further decrease of P-availability is caused by biological sequestration, which occurs throughout the wetland as indicated by equal concentrations of organic P in all sub-aquatic sediments. Our results clearly show that the periphery of large wetlands does indeed act as an efficient P-filter, sustaining the necessary P-limitation in more isolated parts. However, this filtering function does harm the ecological quality of the peripheral parts of the reserve. The filtering mechanisms, such as precipitation of Fe-phosphates and biological uptake of P, are crucial for the conservation and restoration of biodiverse rich fens in wetlands that receive eutrophic water from their surroundings. This seems to implicate that biodiverse wetland

  8. Evidence of vanillin binding to CAMKIV explains the anti-cancer mechanism in human hepatic carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naz, Huma; Tarique, Mohd; Khan, Parvez; Luqman, Suaib; Ahamad, Shahzaib; Islam, Asimul; Ahmad, Faizan; Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz

    2018-01-01

    Human calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMKIV) is a member of Ser/Thr kinase family, and is associated with different types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Vanillin is a natural compound, a primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean which possesses varieties of pharmacological features including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-tumor. Here, we have investigated the binding mechanism and affinity of vanillin to the CAMKIV which is being considered as a potential drug target for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. We found that vanillin binds strongly to the active site cavity of CAMKIV and stabilized by a large number of non-covalent interactions. We explored the utility of vanillin as anti-cancer agent and found that it inhibits the proliferation of human hepatocyte carcinoma (HepG2) and neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, vanillin treatment resulted into the significant reduction in the mitochondrial membrane depolarization and ROS production that eventually leads to apoptosis in HepG2 and SH-SY5Y cancer cells. These findings may offer a novel therapeutic approach by targeting the CAMKIV using natural product and its derivative with a minimal side effect.

  9. Exocytosis of gliotransmitters from cortical astrocytes: implications for synaptic plasticity and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalo, Ulyana; Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining brain function during aging is very important for mental and physical health. Recent studies showed a crucial importance of communication between two major types of brain cells: neurons transmitting electrical signals, and glial cells, which maintain the well-being and function of neurons. Still, the study of age-related changes in neuron-glia signalling is far from complete. We have shown previously that cortical astrocytes are capable of releasing ATP by a quantal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex-dependent mechanism. Release of ATP from cortical astrocytes can be activated via various pathways, including direct UV-uncaging of intracellular Ca²⁺ or G-protein-coupled receptors. Importantly, release of both ATP and glutamate from neocortical astrocytes was not observed in brain slices of dominant-negative SNARE (dnSNARE) mice, expressing dnSNARE domain selectively in astrocytes. We also discovered that astrocyte-driven ATP can cause significant attenuation of synaptic inhibition in the pyramidal neurons via Ca²⁺-interaction between the neuronal ATP and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Furthermore, we showed that astrocyte-derived ATP can facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex. Our recent data have shown that an age-related decrease in the astroglial Ca²⁺ signalling can cause a substantial decrease in the exocytosis of gliotransmitters, in particular ATP. Age-related impairment of ATP release from cortical astrocytes can cause a decrease in the extent of astroglial modulation of synaptic transmission in the neocortex and can therefore contribute to the age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive decline. Combined, our results strongly support the physiological relevance of glial exocytosis for glia-neuron communications and brain function.

  10. Direct evidence for activity-dependent glucose phosphorylation in neurons with implications for the astrocyte-to-neuron lactate shuttle

    OpenAIRE

    Patel, Anant B.; Lai, James C. K.; Chowdhury, Golam M. I.; Hyder, Fahmeed; Rothman, Douglas L.; Shulman, Robert G.; Behar, Kevin L.

    2014-01-01

    A near one-to-one relationship had previously been observed between increments in the fluxes of the glutamate−glutamine neurotransmitter cycle and neuronal glucose oxidation in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. This flux relationship was consistent with a hypothesized mechanism involving glycolytic ATP in astrocytes and astrocyte-to-neuron lactate shuttling. Here, 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose was used to evaluate the glucose flux through glycolysis and the TCA cycle in nerve terminals isolate...

  11. Abnormal sympathetic nerve activity in women exposed to cigarette smoke: a potential mechanism to explain increased cardiac risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middlekauff, Holly R; Park, Jeanie; Agrawal, Harsh; Gornbein, Jeffrey A

    2013-11-15

    In women, cardiac deaths attributable to tobacco exposure have reached the same high levels as men. Normally, sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) fluctuates according to the menstrual phase, but in habitual smokers, SNA levels remain constant. Our purpose is to extend these observations to other groups of women exposed to tobacco smoke and to explore potential mechanisms. We hypothesize that women exposed to secondhand smoke, but not former smokers, have nonfluctuating SNA compared with never smokers, and that impaired baroreflex suppression of SNA, and/or heightened central SNA responses, underlie this nonfluctuating SNA. We also hypothesize that female smokers have impaired nocturnal blood pressure dipping, normally mediated by modulation of SNA. In 49 females (19 never, 12 current, 9 former, 9 passive smokers), SNA was recorded (microneurography) during high- and low-hormone ovarian phases at rest, during pharmacological baroreflex testing, and during the cold pressor test (CPT). Twenty-four hour blood pressure (BP) monitoring was performed. Current and passive smokers, but not former smokers, had a nonfluctuating pattern of SNA, unlike never smokers in whom SNA varied with the menstrual phase. Baroreflex control of SNA was significantly blunted in current smokers, independent of menstrual phase. In passive smokers, SNA response to CPT was markedly increased. Nondipping was unexpectedly high in all groups. SNA does not vary during the menstrual cycle in active and passive smokers, unlike never and former smokers. Baroreflex control of SNA is blunted in current smokers, whereas SNA response to CPT is heightened in passive smokers. Smoking cessation is associated with return of the altered SNA pattern to normal.

  12. Production of bioactive substances by intestinal bacteria as a basis for explaining probiotic mechanisms: bacteriocins and conjugated linoleic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Shea, Eileen F; Cotter, Paul D; Stanton, Catherine; Ross, R Paul; Hill, Colin

    2012-01-16

    The mechanisms by which intestinal bacteria achieve their associated health benefits can be complex and multifaceted. In this respect, the diverse microbial composition of the human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) provides an almost unlimited potential source of bioactive substances (pharmabiotics) which can directly or indirectly affect human health. Bacteriocins and fatty acids are just two examples of pharmabiotic substances which may contribute to probiotic functionality within the mammalian GIT. Bacteriocin production is believed to confer producing strains with a competitive advantage within complex microbial environments as a consequence of their associated antimicrobial activity. This has the potential to enable the establishment and prevalence of producing strains as well as directly inhibiting pathogens within the GIT. Consequently, these antimicrobial peptides and the associated intestinal producing strains may be exploited to beneficially influence microbial populations. Intestinal bacteria are also known to produce a diverse array of health-promoting fatty acids. Indeed, certain strains of intestinal bifidobacteria have been shown to produce conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid which has been associated with a variety of systemic health-promoting effects. Recently, the ability to modulate the fatty acid composition of the liver and adipose tissue of the host upon oral administration of CLA-producing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli was demonstrated in a murine model. Importantly, this implies a potential therapeutic role for probiotics in the treatment of certain metabolic and immunoinflammatory disorders. Such examples serve to highlight the potential contribution of pharmabiotic production to probiotic functionality in relation to human health maintenance. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Astronomy Explained

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Gerald

    Every year large numbers of people take up the study of astronomy, mostly at amateur level. There are plenty of elementary books on the market, full of colourful photographs, but lacking in proper explanations of how and why things are as they are. Many people eventually wish to go beyond the 'coffee-table book' stage and study this fascinating subject in greater depth. This book is written for them. In addition, many people sit for public examinations in this subject each year and this book is also intended to be of use to them. All the topics from the GCSE syllabus are covered here, with sample questions at the end of each chapter. Astronomy Explained provides a comprehensive treatment of the subject in more depth than is usually found in elementary works, and will be of interest to both amateur astronomers and students of astronomy.

  14. α7 Nicotinic receptor-mediated astrocytic gliotransmitter release: Aβ effects in a preclinical Alzheimer's mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiina Maria Pirttimaki

    Full Text Available It is now recognized that astrocytes participate in synaptic communication through intimate interactions with neurons. A principal mechanism is through the release of gliotransmitters (GTs such as ATP, D-serine and most notably, glutamate, in response to astrocytic calcium elevations. We and others have shown that amyloid-β (Aβ, the toxic trigger for Alzheimer's disease (AD, interacts with hippocampal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs. Since α7nAChRs are highly permeable to calcium and are expressed on hippocampal astrocytes, we investigated whether Aβ could activate astrocytic α7nAChRs in hippocampal slices and induce GT glutamate release. We found that biologically-relevant concentrations of Aβ1-42 elicited α7nAChR-dependent calcium elevations in hippocampal CA1 astrocytes and induced NMDAR-mediated slow inward currents (SICs in CA1 neurons. In the Tg2576 AD mouse model for Aβ over-production and accumulation, we found that spontaneous astrocytic calcium elevations were of higher frequency compared to wildtype (WT. The frequency and kinetic parameters of AD mice SICs indicated enhanced gliotransmission, possibly due to increased endogenous Aβ observed in this model. Activation of α7nAChRs on WT astrocytes increased spontaneous inward currents on pyramidal neurons while α7nAChRs on astrocytes of AD mice were abrogated. These findings suggest that, at an age that far precedes the emergence of cognitive deficits and plaque deposition, this mouse model for AD-like amyloidosis exhibits augmented astrocytic activity and glutamate GT release suggesting possible repercussions for preclinical AD hippocampal neural networks that contribute to subsequent cognitive decline.

  15. Gap junction intercellular communication mediated by connexin43 in astrocytes is essential for their resistance to oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Hoa T; Sin, Wun Chey; Lozinsky, Shannon; Bechberger, John; Vega, José Luis; Guo, Xu Qiu; Sáez, Juan C; Naus, Christian C

    2014-01-17

    Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is associated with various neurological disorders including aging, neurodegenerative diseases, as well as traumatic and ischemic insults. Astrocytes have an important role in the anti-oxidative defense in the brain. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) forms intercellular channels as well as hemichannels in astrocytes. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of Cx43 to astrocytic death induced by the ROS hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the mechanism by which Cx43 exerts its effects. Lack of Cx43 expression or blockage of Cx43 channels resulted in increased ROS-induced astrocytic death, supporting a cell protective effect of functional Cx43 channels. H2O2 transiently increased hemichannel activity, but reduced gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). GJIC in wild-type astrocytes recovered after 7 h, but was absent in Cx43 knock-out astrocytes. Blockage of Cx43 hemichannels incompletely inhibited H2O2-induced hemichannel activity, indicating the presence of other hemichannel proteins. Panx1, which is predicted to be a major hemichannel contributor in astrocytes, did not appear to have any cell protective effect from H2O2 insults. Our data suggest that GJIC is important for Cx43-mediated ROS resistance. In contrast to hypoxia/reoxygenation, H2O2 treatment decreased the ratio of the hypophosphorylated isoform to total Cx43 level. Cx43 has been reported to promote astrocytic death induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation. We therefore speculate the increase in Cx43 dephosphorylation may account for the facilitation of astrocytic death. Our findings suggest that the role of Cx43 in response to cellular stress is dependent on the activation of signaling pathways leading to alteration of Cx43 phosphorylation states.

  16. Astrocyte galectin-9 potentiates microglial TNF secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steelman, Andrew J; Li, Jianrong

    2014-08-27

    Aberrant neuroinflammation is suspected to contribute to the pathogenesis of myriad neurological diseases. As such, determining the pathways that promote or inhibit glial activation is of interest. Activation of the surface glycoprotein T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain containing protein 3 (Tim-3) by the lectin galectin-9 has been implicated in promoting innate immune cell activation by potentiating or synergizing toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling. In the present study we examined the role of the Tim-3/galectin-9 pathway in glial activation in vitro. Primary monocultures of microglia or astrocytes, co-cultures containing microglia and astrocytes, and mixed glial cultures consisting of microglia, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes were stimulated with poly(I:C) or LPS, and galectin-9 up-regulation was determined. The effect of endogenous galectin-9 production on microglial activation was examined using cultures from wild-type and Lgals9 null mice. The ability for recombinant galectin-9 to promote microglia activation was also assessed. Tim-3 expression on microglia and BV2 cells was examined by qPCR and flow cytometry and its necessity in transducing the galectin-9 signal was determined using a Tim-3 specific neutralizing antibody or recombinant soluble Tim-3. Astrocytes potentiated TNF production from microglia following TLR stimulation. Poly(I:C) stimulation increased galectin-9 expression in microglia and microglial-derived factors promoted galectin-9 up-regulation in astrocytes. Astrocyte-derived galectin-9 in turn enhanced microglial TNF production. Similarly, recombinant galectin-9 enhanced poly(I:C)-induced microglial TNF and IL-6 production. Inhibition of Tim-3 did not alter TNF production in mixed glial cultures stimulated with poly(I:C). Galectin-9 functions as an astrocyte-microglia communication signal and promotes cytokine production from microglia in a Tim-3 independent manner. Activation of CNS galectin-9 likely modulates neuroinflammatory

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  19. Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate activates the Nrf2 pathway in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddell, Jeffrey R; Lehtonen, Sarka; Duncan, Clare; Keksa-Goldsteine, Velta; Levonen, Anna-Liisa; Goldsteins, Gundars; Malm, Tarja; White, Anthony R; Koistinaho, Jari; Kanninen, Katja M

    2016-02-26

    Endogenous defense against oxidative stress is controlled by nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). The normal compensatory mechanisms to combat oxidative stress appear to be insufficient to protect against the prolonged exposure to reactive oxygen species during disease. Counterbalancing the effects of oxidative stress by up-regulation of Nrf2 signaling has been shown to be effective in various disease models where oxidative stress is implicated, including Alzheimer's disease. Stimulation of Nrf2 signaling by small-molecule activators is an appealing strategy to up-regulate the endogenous defense mechanisms of cells. Here, we investigate Nrf2 induction by the metal chelator and known nuclear factor-κB inhibitor pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) in cultured astrocytes and neurons, and mouse brain. Nrf2 induction is further examined in cultures co-treated with PDTC and kinase inhibitors or amyloid-beta, and in Nrf2-deficient cultures. We show that PDTC is a potent inducer of Nrf2 signaling specifically in astrocytes and demonstrate the critical role of Nrf2 in PDTC-mediated protection against oxidative stress. This induction appears to be regulated by both Keap1 and glycogen synthase kinase 3β. Furthermore, the presence of amyloid-beta magnifies PDTC-mediated induction of endogenous protective mechanisms, therefore suggesting that PDTC may be an effective Nrf2 inducer in the context of Alzheimer's disease. Finally, we show that PDTC increases brain copper content and glial expression of heme oxygenase-1, and decreases lipid peroxidation in vivo, promoting a more antioxidative environment. PDTC activates Nrf2 and its antioxidative targets in astrocytes but not neurons. These effects may contribute to the neuroprotection observed for PDTC in models of Alzheimer's disease.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Glucocorticoids inhibit glucose transport and glutamate uptake in hippocampal astrocytes: implications for glucocorticoid neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgin, C E; Ha, T P; Packan, D R; Tombaugh, G C; Yang, S H; Horner, H C; Sapolsky, R M

    1991-10-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs), the adrenal steroid hormones secreted during stress, can damage the hippocampus and impair its capacity to survive coincident neurological insults. This GC endangerment of the hippocampus is energetic in nature, as it can be prevented when neurons are supplemented with additional energy substrates. This energetic endangerment might arise from the ability of GCs to inhibit glucose transport into both hippocampal neurons and astrocytes. The present study explores the GC inhibition in astrocytes. (1) GCs inhibited glucose transport approximately 15-30% in both primary and secondary hippocampal astrocyte cultures. (2) The parameters of inhibition agreed with the mechanisms of GC inhibition of glucose transport in peripheral tissues: A minimum of 4 h of GC exposure were required, and the effect was steroid specific (i.e., it was not triggered by estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone) and tissue specific (i.e., it was not triggered by GCs in cerebellar or cortical cultures). (3) Similar GC treatment caused a decrease in astrocyte survival during hypoglycemia and a decrease in the affinity of glutamate uptake. This latter observation suggests that GCs might impair the ability of astrocytes to aid neurons during times of neurologic crisis (i.e., by impairing their ability to remove damaging glutamate from the synapse).

  2. 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.

  3. Astrocytes and endoplasmic reticulum stress: A bridge between obesity and neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Jiménez, Cynthia A; García-Vega, Ángela; Cabezas, Ricardo; Aliev, Gjumrakch; Echeverria, Valentina; González, Janneth; Barreto, George E

    2017-11-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a subcellular organelle involved in protein folding and processing. ER stress constitutes a cellular process characterized by accumulation of misfolded proteins, impaired lipid metabolism and induction of inflammatory responses. ER stress has been suggested to be involved in several human pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases and obesity. Different studies have shown that both neurodegenerative diseases and obesity trigger similar cellular responses to ER stress. Moreover, both diseases are assessed in astrocytes as evidences suggest these cells as key regulators of brain homeostasis. However, the exact contributions to the effects of ER stress in astrocytes in the various neurodegenerative diseases and its relation with obesity are not well known. Here, we discuss recent advances in the understanding of molecular mechanisms that regulate ER stress-related disorders in astrocytes such as obesity and neurodegeneration. Moreover, we outline the correlation between the activated proteins of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in these pathological conditions in order to identify possible therapeutic targets for ER stress in astrocytes. We show that ER stress in astrocytes shares UPR activation pathways during both obesity and neurodegenerative diseases, demonstrating that UPR related proteins like ER chaperone GRP 78/Bip, PERK pathway and other exogenous molecules ameliorate UPR response and promote neuroprotection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-11

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-26

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Disentangling the role of astrocytes in alcohol use disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adermark, Louise; Bowers, M. Scott

    2016-01-01

    Several laboratories recently identified that astrocytes are critical regulators of addiction machinery. It is now known that astrocyte pathology is a common feature of ethanol exposure in both humans and animal models, as even brief ethanol exposure is sufficient to elicit long-lasting perturbations in astrocyte gene expression, activity, and proliferation. Astrocytes were also recently shown to modulate the motivational properties of ethanol and other strongly reinforcing stimuli. Given the role of astrocytes in regulating glutamate homeostasis, a crucial component of alcohol use disorder, astrocytes might be an important target for the development of next generation alcoholism treatments. This review will outline some of the more prominent features displayed by astrocytes, how these properties are influenced by acute and long term ethanol exposure, and future directions that may help to disentangle astrocytic from neuronal functions in the etiology of alcohol use disorder. PMID:27476876

  11. Computational Flux Balance Analysis Predicts that Stimulation of Energy Metabolism in Astrocytes and their Metabolic Interactions with Neurons Depend on Uptake of K+ Rather than Glutamate.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Brain activity involves essential functional and metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes. The importance of astrocytic functions to neuronal signaling is supported by many experiments reporting high rates of energy consumption and oxidative metabolism in these glial cells. In the brain, almost all energy is consumed by the Na + /K + ATPase, which hydrolyzes 1 ATP to move 3 Na + outside and 2 K + inside the cells. Astrocytes are commonly thought to be primarily involved in transmitter glutamate cycling, a mechanism that however only accounts for few % of brain energy utilization. In order to examine the participation of astrocytic energy metabolism in brain ion homeostasis, here we attempted to devise a simple stoichiometric relation linking glutamatergic neurotransmission to Na + and K + ionic currents. To this end, we took into account ion pumps and voltage/ligand-gated channels using the stoichiometry derived from available energy budget for neocortical signaling and incorporated this stoichiometric relation into a computational metabolic model of neuron-astrocyte interactions. We aimed at reproducing the experimental observations about rates of metabolic pathways obtained by 13 C-NMR spectroscopy in rodent brain. When simulated data matched experiments as well as biophysical calculations, the stoichiometry for voltage/ligand-gated Na + and K + fluxes generated by neuronal activity was close to a 1:1 relationship, and specifically 63/58 Na + /K + ions per glutamate released. We found that astrocytes are stimulated by the extracellular K + exiting neurons in excess of the 3/2 Na + /K + ratio underlying Na + /K + ATPase-catalyzed reaction. Analysis of correlations between neuronal and astrocytic processes indicated that astrocytic K + uptake, but not astrocytic Na + -coupled glutamate uptake, is instrumental for the establishment of neuron-astrocytic metabolic partnership. Our results emphasize the importance of K + in stimulating the activation of

  12. Paroxetine prevented the down-regulation of astrocytic L-Glu transporters in neuroinflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koki Fujimori

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular L-glutamate (L-Glu concentration is elevated in neuroinflammation, thereby causing excitotoxicity. One of the mechanisms is down-regulation of astrocyte L-Glu transporters. Some antidepressants have anti-inflammatory effects. We therefore investigated effects of various antidepressants on the down-regulation of astrocyte L-Glu transporters in the in vitro neuroinflammation model. Among these antidepressants, only paroxetine was effective. We previously demonstrated that the down-regulation of astrocyte L-Glu transporters was caused by L-Glu released from activated microglia. We here clarified that only paroxetine inhibited L-Glu release from microglia. This is the novel action of paroxetine, which may bring advantages on the therapy of neuroinflammation.

  13. AMPK Activation Affects Glutamate Metabolism in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...... skeleton into the TCA cycle was reduced. On the other hand, glutamate uptake into the astrocytes as well as its conversion to glutamine catalyzed by glutamine synthetase was not affected by AMPK activation. Interestingly, synthesis and release of citrate, which are hallmarks of astrocytic function, were...

  14. Minocycline attenuates bone cancer pain in rats by inhibiting NF-κB in spinal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhen-Peng; Xiong, Bing-Rui; Guan, Xue-Hai; Cao, Fei; Manyande, Anne; Zhou, Ya-Qun; Zheng, Hua; Tian, Yu-Ke

    2016-06-01

    To investigate the mechanisms underlying the anti-nociceptive effect of minocycline on bone cancer pain (BCP) in rats. A rat model of BCP was established by inoculating Walker 256 mammary carcinoma cells into tibial medullary canal. Two weeks later, the rats were injected with minocycline (50, 100 μg, intrathecally; or 40, 80 mg/kg, ip) twice daily for 3 consecutive days. Mechanical paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) was used to assess pain behavior. After the rats were euthanized, spinal cords were harvested for immunoblotting analyses. The effects of minocycline on NF-κB activation were also examined in primary rat astrocytes stimulated with IL-1β in vitro. BCP rats had marked bone destruction, and showed mechanical tactile allodynia on d 7 and d 14 after the operation. Intrathecal injection of minocycline (100 μg) or intraperitoneal injection of minocycline (80 mg/kg) reversed BCP-induced mechanical tactile allodynia. Furthermore, intraperitoneal injection of minocycline (80 mg/kg) reversed BCP-induced upregulation of GFAP (astrocyte marker) and PSD95 in spinal cord. Moreover, intraperitoneal injection of minocycline (80 mg/kg) reversed BCP-induced upregulation of NF-κB, p-IKKα and IκBα in spinal cord. In IL-1β-stimulated primary rat astrocytes, pretreatment with minocycline (75, 100 μmol/L) significantly inhibited the translocation of NF-κB to nucleus. Minocycline effectively alleviates BCP by inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway in spinal astrocytes.

  15. Evidence for a novel functional role of astrocytes in the acute homeostatic response to high-fat diet intake in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckman, Laura B.; Thompson, Misty M.; Lippert, Rachel N.; Blackwell, Timothy S.; Yull, Fiona E.; Ellacott, Kate L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Introduction of a high-fat diet to mice results in a period of voracious feeding, known as hyperphagia, before homeostatic mechanisms prevail to restore energy intake to an isocaloric level. Acute high-fat diet hyperphagia induces astrocyte activation in the rodent hypothalamus, suggesting a potential role of these cells in the homeostatic response to the diet. The objective of this study was to determine physiologic role of astrocytes in the acute homeostatic response to high-fat feeding. Methods We bred a transgenic mouse model with doxycycline-inducible inhibition of NFkappaB (NFκB) signaling in astrocytes to determine the effect of loss of NFκB-mediated astrocyte activation on acute high-fat hyperphagia. ELISA was used to measure the levels of markers of astrocyte activation, glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and S100B, in the medial basal hypothalamus. Results Inhibition of NFκB signaling in astrocytes prevented acute high-fat diet-induced astrocyte activation and resulted in a 15% increase in caloric intake (P < 0.01) in the first 24 h after introduction of the diet. Conclusions These data reveal a novel homeostatic role for astrocytes in the acute physiologic regulation of food intake in response to high-fat feeding. PMID:25685690

  16. Thyroid hormones upregulate apolipoprotein E gene expression in astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roman, Corina; Fuior, Elena V.; Trusca, Violeta G. [Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology “Nicolae Simionescu”, Bucharest (Romania); Kardassis, Dimitris [University of Crete Medical School and Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology of Hellas, Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Simionescu, Maya [Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology “Nicolae Simionescu”, Bucharest (Romania); Gafencu, Anca V., E-mail: anca.gafencu@icbp.ro [Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology “Nicolae Simionescu”, Bucharest (Romania)

    2015-12-04

    Apolipoprotein E (apoE), a protein mainly involved in lipid metabolism, is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Despite numerous attempts to elucidate apoE gene regulation in the brain, the exact mechanism is still uncovered. The mechanism of apoE gene regulation in the brain involves the proximal promoter and multienhancers ME.1 and ME.2, which evolved by gene duplication. Herein we questioned whether thyroid hormones and their nuclear receptors have a role in apoE gene regulation in astrocytes. Our data showed that thyroid hormones increase apoE gene expression in HTB14 astrocytes in a dose-dependent manner. This effect can be intermediated by the thyroid receptor β (TRβ) which is expressed in these cells. In the presence of triiodothyronine (T3) and 9-cis retinoic acid, in astrocytes transfected to overexpress TRβ and retinoid X receptor α (RXRα), apoE promoter was indirectly activated through the interaction with ME.2. To determine the location of TRβ/RXRα binding site on ME.2, we performed DNA pull down assays and found that TRβ/RXRα complex bound to the region 341–488 of ME.2. This result was confirmed by transient transfection experiments in which a series of 5′- and 3′-deletion mutants of ME.2 were used. These data support the existence of a biologically active TRβ binding site starting at 409 in ME.2. In conclusion, our data revealed that ligand-activated TRβ/RXRα heterodimers bind with high efficiency on tissue-specific distal regulatory element ME.2 and thus modulate apoE gene expression in the brain. - Highlights: • T3 induce a dose-dependent increase of apoE expression in astrocytes. • Thyroid hormones activate apoE promoter in a cell specific manner. • Ligand activated TRβ/RXRα bind on the distal regulatory element ME.2 to modulate apoE. • The binding site of TRβ/RXRα heterodimer is located at 409 bp on ME.2.

  17. Thyroid hormones upregulate apolipoprotein E gene expression in astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roman, Corina; Fuior, Elena V.; Trusca, Violeta G.; Kardassis, Dimitris; Simionescu, Maya; Gafencu, Anca V.

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (apoE), a protein mainly involved in lipid metabolism, is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Despite numerous attempts to elucidate apoE gene regulation in the brain, the exact mechanism is still uncovered. The mechanism of apoE gene regulation in the brain involves the proximal promoter and multienhancers ME.1 and ME.2, which evolved by gene duplication. Herein we questioned whether thyroid hormones and their nuclear receptors have a role in apoE gene regulation in astrocytes. Our data showed that thyroid hormones increase apoE gene expression in HTB14 astrocytes in a dose-dependent manner. This effect can be intermediated by the thyroid receptor β (TRβ) which is expressed in these cells. In the presence of triiodothyronine (T3) and 9-cis retinoic acid, in astrocytes transfected to overexpress TRβ and retinoid X receptor α (RXRα), apoE promoter was indirectly activated through the interaction with ME.2. To determine the location of TRβ/RXRα binding site on ME.2, we performed DNA pull down assays and found that TRβ/RXRα complex bound to the region 341–488 of ME.2. This result was confirmed by transient transfection experiments in which a series of 5′- and 3′-deletion mutants of ME.2 were used. These data support the existence of a biologically active TRβ binding site starting at 409 in ME.2. In conclusion, our data revealed that ligand-activated TRβ/RXRα heterodimers bind with high efficiency on tissue-specific distal regulatory element ME.2 and thus modulate apoE gene expression in the brain. - Highlights: • T3 induce a dose-dependent increase of apoE expression in astrocytes. • Thyroid hormones activate apoE promoter in a cell specific manner. • Ligand activated TRβ/RXRα bind on the distal regulatory element ME.2 to modulate apoE. • The binding site of TRβ/RXRα heterodimer is located at 409 bp on ME.2.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Giovanna M; Peterson, Daniel A

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-11-25

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

  2. Arrays of microLEDs and astrocytes: biological amplifiers to optogenetically modulate neuronal networks reducing light requirement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolando Berlinguer-Palmini

    Full Text Available In the modern view of synaptic transmission, astrocytes are no longer confined to the role of merely supportive cells. Although they do not generate action potentials, they nonetheless exhibit electrical activity and can influence surrounding neurons through gliotransmitter release. In this work, we explored whether optogenetic activation of glial cells could act as an amplification mechanism to optical neural stimulation via gliotransmission to the neural network. We studied the modulation of gliotransmission by selective photo-activation of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 and by means of a matrix of individually addressable super-bright microLEDs (μLEDs with an excitation peak at 470 nm. We combined Ca2+ imaging techniques and concurrent patch-clamp electrophysiology to obtain subsequent glia/neural activity. First, we tested the μLEDs efficacy in stimulating ChR2-transfected astrocyte. ChR2-induced astrocytic current did not desensitize overtime, and was linearly increased and prolonged by increasing μLED irradiance in terms of intensity and surface illumination. Subsequently, ChR2 astrocytic stimulation by broad-field LED illumination with the same spectral profile, increased both glial cells and neuronal calcium transient frequency and sEPSCs suggesting that few ChR2-transfected astrocytes were able to excite surrounding not-ChR2-transfected astrocytes and neurons. Finally, by using the μLEDs array to selectively light stimulate ChR2 positive astrocytes we were able to increase the synaptic activity of single neurons surrounding it. In conclusion, ChR2-transfected astrocytes and μLEDs system were shown to be an amplifier of synaptic activity in mixed corticalneuronal and glial cells culture.

  3. Arrays of microLEDs and astrocytes: biological amplifiers to optogenetically modulate neuronal networks reducing light requirement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlinguer-Palmini, Rolando; Narducci, Roberto; Merhan, Kamyar; Dilaghi, Arianna; Moroni, Flavio; Masi, Alessio; Scartabelli, Tania; Landucci, Elisa; Sili, Maria; Schettini, Antonio; McGovern, Brian; Maskaant, Pleun; Degenaar, Patrick; Mannaioni, Guido

    2014-01-01

    In the modern view of synaptic transmission, astrocytes are no longer confined to the role of merely supportive cells. Although they do not generate action potentials, they nonetheless exhibit electrical activity and can influence surrounding neurons through gliotransmitter release. In this work, we explored whether optogenetic activation of glial cells could act as an amplification mechanism to optical neural stimulation via gliotransmission to the neural network. We studied the modulation of gliotransmission by selective photo-activation of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and by means of a matrix of individually addressable super-bright microLEDs (μLEDs) with an excitation peak at 470 nm. We combined Ca2+ imaging techniques and concurrent patch-clamp electrophysiology to obtain subsequent glia/neural activity. First, we tested the μLEDs efficacy in stimulating ChR2-transfected astrocyte. ChR2-induced astrocytic current did not desensitize overtime, and was linearly increased and prolonged by increasing μLED irradiance in terms of intensity and surface illumination. Subsequently, ChR2 astrocytic stimulation by broad-field LED illumination with the same spectral profile, increased both glial cells and neuronal calcium transient frequency and sEPSCs suggesting that few ChR2-transfected astrocytes were able to excite surrounding not-ChR2-transfected astrocytes and neurons. Finally, by using the μLEDs array to selectively light stimulate ChR2 positive astrocytes we were able to increase the synaptic activity of single neurons surrounding it. In conclusion, ChR2-transfected astrocytes and μLEDs system were shown to be an amplifier of synaptic activity in mixed corticalneuronal and glial cells culture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Coculture with astrocytes reduces the radiosensitivity of glioblastoma stem-like cells and identifies additional targets for radiosensitization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rath, Barbara H; Wahba, Amy; Camphausen, Kevin; Tofilon, Philip J

    2015-01-01

    Toward developing a model system for investigating the role of the microenvironment in the radioresistance of glioblastoma (GBM), human glioblastoma stem-like cells (GSCs) were grown in coculture with human astrocytes. Using a trans-well assay, survival analyses showed that astrocytes significantly decreased the radiosensitivity of GSCs compared to standard culture conditions. In addition, when irradiated in coculture, the initial level of radiation-induced γH2AX foci in GSCs was reduced and foci dispersal was enhanced suggesting that the presence of astrocytes influenced the induction and repair of DNA double-strand breaks. These data indicate that astrocytes can decrease the radiosensitivity of GSCs in vitro via a paracrine-based mechanism and further support a role for the microenvironment as a determinant of GBM radioresponse. Chemokine profiling of coculture media identified a number of bioactive molecules not present under standard culture conditions. The gene expression profiles of GSCs grown in coculture were significantly different as compared to GSCs grown alone. These analyses were consistent with an astrocyte-mediated modification in GSC phenotype and, moreover, suggested a number of potential targets for GSC radiosensitization that were unique to coculture conditions. Along these lines, STAT3 was activated in GSCs grown with astrocytes; the JAK/STAT3 inhibitor WP1066 enhanced the radiosensitivity of GSCs under coculture conditions and when grown as orthotopic xenografts. Further, this coculture system may also provide an approach for identifying additional targets for GBM radiosensitization

  6. Evidence for a role of proline and hypothalamic astrocytes in the regulation of glucose metabolism in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrieta-Cruz, Isabel; Su, Ya; Knight, Colette M; Lam, Tony K T; Gutiérrez-Juárez, Roger

    2013-04-01

    The metabolism of lactate to pyruvate in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) regulates hepatic glucose production. Because astrocytes and neurons are functionally linked by metabolic coupling through lactate transfer via the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS), we reasoned that astrocytes might be involved in the hypothalamic regulation of glucose metabolism. To examine this possibility, we used the gluconeogenic amino acid proline, which is metabolized to pyruvate in astrocytes. Our results showed that increasing the availability of proline in rats either centrally (MBH) or systemically acutely lowered blood glucose. Pancreatic clamp studies revealed that this hypoglycemic effect was due to a decrease of hepatic glucose production secondary to an inhibition of glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, and glucose-6-phosphatase flux. The effect of proline was mimicked by glutamate, an intermediary of proline metabolism. Interestingly, proline's action was markedly blunted by pharmacological inhibition of hypothalamic lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) suggesting that metabolic flux through LDH was required. Furthermore, short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of hypothalamic LDH-A, an astrocytic component of the ANLS, also blunted the glucoregulatory action of proline. Thus our studies suggest not only a new role for proline in the regulation of hepatic glucose production but also indicate that hypothalamic astrocytes are involved in the regulatory mechanism as well.

  7. 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

  8. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

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    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.

  9. NMDA receptors mediate neuron-to-glia signaling in mouse cortical astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalo, Ulyana; Pankratov, Yuri; Kirchhoff, Frank; North, R Alan; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2006-03-08

    Chemical transmission between neurons and glial cells is an important element of integration in the CNS. Here, we describe currents activated by NMDA in cortical astrocytes, identified in transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein under control of the human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter. Astrocytes were studied by whole-cell voltage clamp either in slices or after gentle nonenzymatic mechanical dissociation. Acutely isolated astrocytes showed a three-component response to glutamate. The initial rapid component was blocked by 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-nitro-2,3-dioxo-benzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide (NBQX), which is an antagonist of AMPA receptors (IC50, 2 microM), and the NMDA receptor antagonist D-AP-5 blocked the later sustained component (IC50, 0.6 microM). The third component of glutamate application response was sensitive to D,L-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate, a glutamate transporter blocker. Fast application of NMDA evoked concentration-dependent inward currents (EC50, 0.3 microM); these showed use-dependent block by (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo [a,d] cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801). These NMDA-evoked currents were linearly dependent on membrane potential and were not affected by extracellular magnesium at concentrations up to 10 mM. Electrical stimulation of axons in layer IV-VI induced a complex inward current in astrocytes situated in the cortical layer II, part of which was sensitive to MK-801 at holding potential -80 mV and was not affected by the AMPA glutamate receptor antagonist NBQX. The fast miniature spontaneous currents were observed in cortical astrocytes in slices as well. These currents exhibited both AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated components. We conclude that cortical astrocytes express functional NMDA receptors that are devoid of Mg2+ block, and these receptors are involved in neuronal-glial signal transmission.

  10. Astrocyte physiopathology: At the crossroads of intercellular networking, inflammation and cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Daniela

    2015-07-01

    Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience have led to the awareness that we should revise our traditional mode of thinking and studying the CNS, i.e. by isolating the privileged network of "intelligent" synaptic contacts. We may instead need to contemplate all the variegate communications occurring between the different neural cell types, and centrally involving the astrocytes. Basically, it appears that a single astrocyte should be considered as a core that receives and integrates information from thousands of synapses, other glial cells and the blood vessels. In turn, it generates complex outputs that control the neural circuitry and coordinate it with the local microcirculation. Astrocytes thus emerge as the possible fulcrum of the functional homeostasis of the healthy CNS. Yet, evidence indicates that the bridging properties of the astrocytes can change in parallel with, or as a result of, the morphological, biochemical and functional alterations these cells undergo upon injury or disease. As a consequence, they have the potential to transform from supportive friends and interactive partners for neurons into noxious foes. In this review, we summarize the currently available knowledge on the contribution of astrocytes to the functioning of the CNS and what goes wrong in various pathological conditions, with a particular focus on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alzheimer's Disease and ischemia. The observations described convincingly demonstrate that the development and progression of several neurological disorders involve the de-regulation of a finely tuned interplay between multiple cell populations. Thus, it seems that a better understanding of the mechanisms governing the integrated communication and detrimental responses of the astrocytes as well as their impact towards the homeostasis and performance of the CNS is fundamental to open novel therapeutic perspectives. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Fluoxetin Upregulates Connexin 43 Expression in Astrocyte

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Mostafavi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Recent studies have shown that astrocytes play major roles in normal and disease condition of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis (MS. Molecular target therapy studies in MS have revealed that connexin-43 (Cx43 and Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 contents of astrocytes undergo expression alteration. Fluoxetine had some effects in MS patients unrelated to its known antidepressant effects. Some of fluoxetine effects were attributed to its capability of cAMP signaling pathway stimulation. This study aimed to investigate possible acute effects of fluoxetine on Cx43 and AQP4 expression in astrocyte.  Methods: Astrocytoma cells were treated for 24 hours with fluoxetine (10 and 20 &mug/ml with or without adenyl cyclase (AC and protein kinase A (PKA inhibition. Cx43 expression at both mRNA and protein levels and AQP4 expression at mRNA level were evaluated.  Results: Acquired results showed that fluoxetine with and without AC and PKA inhibition resulted in Cx43 up-regulation both in mRNA and protein levels, whereas AQP4 expression have not changed.  Discussion: In conclusion, data showed that fluoxetine alone and in the absence of serotonin acutely up-regulated Cx43 expression in astrocytes that can be assumed in molecular target therapy of MS patients. It seems that cAMP involvement in fluoxetine effects need more researches.

  12. Astrocytes in Alzheimer’s disease

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Immune Players in the CNS : The Astrocyte

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jensen, Cathy J.; Massie, Ann; De Keyser, Jacques

    In the finely balanced environment of the central nervous system astrocytes, the most numerous cell type, play a role in regulating almost every physiological system. First found to regulate extracellular ions and pH, they have since been shown to regulate neurotransmitter levels, cerebral blood

  14. 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.

  15. Mechanosensitivity of astrocytes on optimized polyacrylamide gels analyzed by quantitative morphometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moshayedi, Pouria; Christ, Andreas; Guck, Jochen; Franze, Kristian; Da F Costa, Luciano; Lacour, Stephanie P; Fawcett, James

    2010-01-01

    Cells are able to detect and respond to mechanical cues from their environment. Previous studies have investigated this mechanosensitivity on various cell types, including neural cells such as astrocytes. In this study, we have carefully optimized polyacrylamide gels, commonly used as compliant growth substrates, considering their homogeneity in surface topography, mechanical properties, and coating density, and identified several potential pitfalls for the purpose of mechanosensitivity studies. The resulting astrocyte response to growth on substrates with shear storage moduli of G' 100 Pa and G' = 10 kPa was then evaluated as a function of coating density of poly-D-lysine using quantitative morphometric analysis. Astrocytes cultured on stiff substrates showed significantly increased perimeter, area, diameter, elongation, number of extremities and overall complexity if compared to those cultured on compliant substrates. A statistically significant difference in the overall morphological score was confirmed with an artificial intelligence-based shape analysis. The dependence of the cells' morphology on PDL coating density seemed to be weak compared to the effect of the substrate stiffness and was slightly biphasic, with a maximum at 10-100 μg ml -1 PDL concentration. Our finding suggests that the compliance of the surrounding tissue in vivo may influence astrocyte morphology and behavior.

  16. Chronological changes in astrocytes induced by chronic electrical sensorimotor cortex stimulation in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morishita, Takashi; Yamashita, Akiko; Katayama, Yoichi; Oshima, Hideki; Nishizaki, Yuji; Shijo, Katsunori; Fukaya, Chikashi; Yamamoto, Takamitsu

    2011-01-01

    Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is a treatment option for various disorders such as medically refractory pain, poststroke hemiplegia, and movement disorders. However, the exact mechanisms underlying its effects remain unknown. In this study, the effects of long-term chronic MCS were investigated by observing changes in astrocytes. A quadripolar stimulation electrode was implanted on the dura over the sensorimotor cortex of adult rats, and the cortex was continuously stimulated for 3 hours, 1 week, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. Immunohistochemical staining of microglia (ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 [Iba1] staining) and astrocytes (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP] staining), and neuronal degeneration histochemistry (Fluoro-Jade B staining) were carried out to investigate the morphological changes following long-term chronic MCS. Iba1 staining and Fluoro-Jade B staining showed no evidence of Iba1-positive microglial changes or neurodegeneration. Following continuous MCS, GFAP-positive astrocytes were enlarged and their number increased in the cortex and the thalamus of the stimulated hemisphere. These findings indicate that chronic electrical stimulation can continuously activate astrocytes and result in morphological and quantitative changes. These changes may be involved in the mechanisms underlying the neuroplasticity effect induced by MCS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasile, Flora; Dossi, Elena; Rouach, Nathalie

    2017-07-01

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

  19. Proinflammatory cytokines downregulate connexin 43-gap junctions via the ubiquitin-proteasome system in rat spinal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2015-09-04

    Astrocytic gap junctions formed by connexin 43 (Cx43) are crucial for intercellular communication between spinal cord astrocytes. Various neurological disorders are associated with dysfunctional Cx43-gap junctions. However, the mechanism modulating Cx43-gap junctions in spinal astrocytes under pathological conditions is not entirely clear. A previous study showed that treatment of spinal astrocytes in culture with pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) decreased both Cx43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) via a c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent pathway. The current study further elaborates the intracellular mechanism that decreases Cx43 under an inflammatory condition. Cycloheximide chase analysis revealed that TNF-α (10 ng/ml) alone or in combination with IFN-γ (5 ng/ml) accelerated the degradation of Cx43 protein in cultured spinal astrocytes. The reduction of both Cx43 expression and GJIC induced by a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ were blocked by pretreatment with proteasome inhibitors MG132 (0.5 μM) and epoxomicin (25 nM), a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ significantly increased proteasome activity and Cx43 ubiquitination. In addition, TNF-α and IFN-γ-induced activation of ubiquitin-proteasome systems was prevented by SP600125, a JNK inhibitor. Together, these results indicate that a JNK-dependent ubiquitin-proteasome system is induced under an inflammatory condition that disrupts astrocytic gap junction expression and function, leading to astrocytic dysfunction and the maintenance of the neuroinflammatory state. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Class I HDAC inhibition is a novel pathway for regulating astrocytic apoE secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresselhaus, Erica; Duerr, James M; Vincent, Fabien; Sylvain, Emily K; Beyna, Mercedes; Lanyon, Lorraine F; LaChapelle, Erik; Pettersson, Martin; Bales, Kelly R; Ramaswamy, Gayathri

    2018-01-01

    Despite the important role of apolipoprotein E (apoE) secretion from astrocytes in brain lipid metabolism and the strong association of apoE4, one of the human apoE isoforms, with sporadic and late onset forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) little is known about the regulation of astrocytic apoE. Utilizing annotated chemical libraries and a phenotypic screening strategy that measured apoE secretion from a human astrocytoma cell line, inhibition of pan class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) was identified as a mechanism to increase apoE secretion. Knocking down select HDAC family members alone or in combination revealed that inhibition of the class I HDAC family was responsible for enhancing apoE secretion. Knocking down LXRα and LXRβ genes revealed that the increase in astrocytic apoE in response to HDAC inhibition occurred via an LXR-independent pathway. Collectively, these data suggest that pan class I HDAC inhibition is a novel pathway for regulating astrocytic apoE secretion.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Interdependence of laminin-mediated clustering of lipid rafts and the dystrophin complex in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Geoffroy; Tham, Daniel Kai Long; Moukhles, Hakima

    2009-07-17

    Astrocyte endfeet surrounding blood vessels are active domains involved in water and potassium ion transport crucial to the maintenance of water and potassium ion homeostasis in brain. A growing body of evidence points to a role for dystroglycan and its interaction with perivascular laminin in the targeting of the dystrophin complex and the water-permeable channel, aquaporin 4 (AQP4), at astrocyte endfeet. However, the mechanisms underlying such compartmentalization remain poorly understood. In the present study we found that AQP4 resided in Triton X-100-insoluble fraction, whereas dystroglycan was recovered in the soluble fraction in astrocytes. Cholesterol depletion resulted in the translocation of a pool of AQP4 to the soluble fraction indicating that its distribution is indeed associated with cholesterol-rich membrane domains. Upon laminin treatment AQP4 and the dystrophin complex, including dystroglycan, reorganized into laminin-associated clusters enriched for the lipid raft markers GM1 and flotillin-1 but not caveolin-1. Reduced diffusion rates of GM1 in the laminin-induced clusters were indicative of the reorganization of raft components in these domains. In addition, both cholesterol depletion and dystroglycan silencing reduced the number and area of laminin-induced clusters of GM1, AQP4, and dystroglycan. These findings demonstrate the interdependence between laminin binding to dystroglycan and GM1-containing lipid raft reorganization and provide novel insight into the dystrophin complex regulation of AQP4 polarization in astrocytes.

  4. MIRNAS in Astrocyte-Derived Exosomes as Possible Mediators of Neuronal Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Lafourcade

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes use gliotransmitters to modulate neuronal function and plasticity. However, the role of small extracellular vesicles, called exosomes, in astrocyte-to-neuron signaling is mostly unknown. Exosomes originate in multivesicular bodies of parent cells and are secreted by fusion of the multivesicular body limiting membrane with the plasma membrane. Their molecular cargo, consisting of RNA species, proteins, and lipids, is in part cell type and cell state specific. Among the RNA species transported by exosomes, microRNAs (miRNAs are able to modify gene expression in recipient cells. Several miRNAs present in astrocytes are regulated under pathological conditions, and this may have far-reaching consequences if they are loaded in exosomes. We propose that astrocyte-derived miRNA-loaded exosomes, such as miR-26a, are dysregulated in several central nervous system diseases; thus potentially controlling neuronal morphology and synaptic transmission through validated and predicted targets. Unraveling the contribution of this new signaling mechanism to the maintenance and plasticity of neuronal networks will impact our understanding on the physiology and pathophysiology of the central nervous system.

  5. Aquaporin 4 in Astrocytes is a Target for Therapy in Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Yu-Long; Chen, Jian-Jiao; Hu, Gang; Xu, Jun; Xiao, Ming; Li, Shao

    2017-01-01

    Current experimental evidence points to the conclusion that aquaporin 4 (AQP4), which is an important water-channel membrane protein found in the brain, could play major roles in various brain conditions pathologically including pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this paper, we review how AQP4 and altered astrocyte functions interact in AD, and provide experimental evidence highlighting the importance of this topic for the future investigations. The interactions of AQP4 are as follows: (i) AQP4 could influence astrocytic calcium signaling and potassium homeostasis. (ii) AQP4 is linked with the removal of interstitial β-amyloid and glutamate transmission. (iii) Furthermore, AQP4 modulates the reactive astrogliosis and neuroinflammation mechanisms. (iv) To add to this, AQP4 could participate in the AD pathogenesis through affecting neurotrophic factor production. It is therefore possible to identify certain functional molecules that regulate astrocyte make-up and functions. However, making crucial efforts to develop specific agents or drugs that target AQP4 function and test their therapeutic efficiency will be a breakthrough for addressing AD in that AQP4 controls the various physiological as well as pathophysiological features of astrocytes. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  6. Isoform-selective regulation of glycogen phosphorylase by energy deprivation and phosphorylation in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Margit S; Pedersen, Sofie E; Walls, Anne B; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Bak, Lasse K

    2015-01-01

    Glycogen phosphorylase (GP) is activated to degrade glycogen in response to different stimuli, to support both the astrocyte's own metabolic demand and the metabolic needs of neurons. The regulatory mechanism allowing such a glycogenolytic response to distinct triggers remains incompletely understood. In the present study, we used siRNA-mediated differential knockdown of the two isoforms of GP expressed in astrocytes, muscle isoform (GPMM), and brain isoform (GPBB), to analyze isoform-specific regulatory characteristics in a cellular setting. Subsequently, we tested the response of each isoform to phosphorylation, triggered by incubation with norepinephrine (NE), and to AMP, increased by glucose deprivation in cells in which expression of one GP isoform had been silenced. Successful knockdown was demonstrated on the protein level by Western blot, and on a functional level 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, with glycogen levels significantly reduced only after 60 min. In contrast, allosteric activation of GP by AMP, induced by glucose deprivation, seemed to mainly affect GPBB, as only knockdown of GPBB, but not of GPMM, delayed the glycogenolytic response to glucose deprivation. Our results indicate that the two GP isoforms expressed in astrocytes respond to different physiological triggers, therefore conferring distinct metabolic functions of brain glycogen. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    B), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), were also changed in adult and aged astrocytes and are probably related to the changes observed in senescence marker, glutamatergic metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative/nitrosative stress, antioxidant defenses, inflammatory response, and trophic factors release. Together, our results reinforce the role of hippocampal astrocytes as a target for understanding the mechanisms involved in aging and provide an innovative tool for studies of astrocyte roles in physiological and pathological aging brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitterauer, Bernhard J

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Evidence for a novel functional role of astrocytes in the acute homeostatic response to high-fat diet intake in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckman, Laura B; Thompson, Misty M; Lippert, Rachel N; Blackwell, Timothy S; Yull, Fiona E; Ellacott, Kate L J

    2015-01-01

    Introduction of a high-fat diet to mice results in a period of voracious feeding, known as hyperphagia, before homeostatic mechanisms prevail to restore energy intake to an isocaloric level. Acute high-fat diet hyperphagia induces astrocyte activation in the rodent hypothalamus, suggesting a potential role of these cells in the homeostatic response to the diet. The objective of this study was to determine physiologic role of astrocytes in the acute homeostatic response to high-fat feeding. We bred a transgenic mouse model with doxycycline-inducible inhibition of NFkappaB (NFκB) signaling in astrocytes to determine the effect of loss of NFκB-mediated astrocyte activation on acute high-fat hyperphagia. ELISA was used to measure the levels of markers of astrocyte activation, glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and S100B, in the medial basal hypothalamus. Inhibition of NFκB signaling in astrocytes prevented acute high-fat diet-induced astrocyte activation and resulted in a 15% increase in caloric intake (P fat feeding.

  10. Astrocytes in the nucleus of the solitary tract are activated by low glucose or glucoprivation: evidence for glial involvement in glucose homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougal, David H; Hermann, Gerlinda E; Rogers, Richard C

    2013-01-01

    Glucose homeostasis is maintained through interplay between central and peripheral control mechanisms which are aimed at storing excess glucose following meals and mobilizing these same stores during periods of fasting. The nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) in the dorsal medulla has long been associated with the central detection of glucose availability and the control of glucose homeostasis. Recent evidence has emerged which supports the involvement of astrocytes in glucose homeostasis. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether NST-astrocytes respond to physiologically relevant decreases in glucose availability, in vitro, as well as to the presence of the glucoprivic compound 2-deoxy-D-Glucose. This report demonstrates that some NST-astrocytes are capable of responding to low glucose or glucoprivation by increasing cytoplasmic calcium; a change that reverses with restoration of normal glucose availability. While some NST-neurons also demonstrate an increase in calcium signaling during low glucose availability, this effect is smaller and somewhat delayed compared to those observed in adjacent astrocytes. TTX did not abolish these hypoglycemia mediated responses of astrocytes, suggesting that NST-astrocytes may be directly sensing low glucose levels as opposed to responding to neuronal detection of hypoglycemia. Thus, chemodetection of low glucose by NST-astrocytes may play an important role in the autonomic regulation of glucose homeostasis.

  11. Astrocytes in the nucleus of the solitary tract are activated by low glucose or glucoprivation: evidence for glial involvement in glucose homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Harry McDougal

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Glucose homeostasis is maintained through interplay between central and peripheral control mechanisms which are aimed at storing excess glucose following meals and mobilizing these same stores during periods of fasting. The nucleus of the solitary tract (NST in the dorsal medulla has long been associated with the central detection of glucose availability and the control of glucose homeostasis. Recent evidence has emerged which supports the involvement of astrocytes in glucose homeostasis. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether NST-astrocytes respond to physiologically relevant decreases in glucose availability, in vitro, as well as to the presence of the glucoprivic compound 2-deoxy-D-Glucose. This report demonstrates that some NST-astrocytes are capable of responding to low glucose or glucoprivation by increasing cytoplasmic calcium; a change that reverses with restoration of normal glucose availability. While some NST-neurons also demonstrate an increase in calcium signaling during low glucose availability, this effect is smaller and somewhat delayed compared to those observed in adjacent astrocytes. TTX did not abolish these hypoglycemia mediated responses of astrocytes, suggesting that NST-astrocytes may be directly sensing low glucose levels as opposed to responding to neuronal detection of hypoglycemia. Thus, chemodetection of low glucose by NST-astrocytes may play an important role in the autonomic regulation of glucose homeostasis.

  12. Mechanisms Explaining Muscle Fatigue and Muscle Pain in Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): a Review of Recent Findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerwyn, Morris; Maes, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Here, we review potential causes of muscle dysfunction seen in many patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) such as the effects of oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS) and mitochondrial impairments together with reduced heat shock protein production and a range of metabolic abnormalities. Several studies published in the last few years have highlighted the existence of chronic O&NS, inflammation, impaired mitochondrial function and reduced heat shock protein production in many patients with ME/CFS. These studies have also highlighted the detrimental effects of chronically elevated O&NS on muscle functions such as reducing the time to muscle fatigue during exercise and impairing muscle contractility. Mechanisms have also been revealed by which chronic O&NS and or impaired heat shock production may impair muscle repair following exercise and indeed the adaptive responses in the striated muscle to acute and chronic increases in physical activity. The presence of chronic O&NS, low-grade inflammation and impaired heat shock protein production may well explain the objective findings of increased muscle fatigue, impaired contractility and multiple dimensions of exercise intolerance in many patients with ME/CFS.

  13. Astrocyte-neuronal interactions in epileptogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  14. Manganese activates the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in rat astrocytes by modulating the expression of proteins of the Bcl-2 family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Laura E; Juknat, A Ana; Venosa, Andrea J; Verrengia, Noemi; Kotler, Mónica L

    2008-12-01

    Manganese induces the central nervous system injury leading to manganism, by mechanisms not completely understood. Chronic exposure to manganese generates oxidative stress and induces the mitochondrial permeability transition. In the present study, we characterized apoptotic cell death mechanisms associated with manganese toxicity in rat cortical astrocytes and demonstrated that (i) Mn treatment targets the mitochondria and induces mitochondrial membrane depolarization followed by cytochrome c release to the cytoplasm, (ii) Mn induces both effector caspases 3/7 and 6 as well as PARP-1 cleavage and (iii) Mn shifts the balance of cell death/survival of Bcl-2 family proteins to favor the apoptotic demise of astrocytes. Our model system using cortical rat astrocytes treated with Mn would emerge as a good tool for investigations aimed to elucidate the role of apoptosis in manganism.

  15. Taurine Biosynthesis by Neurons and Astrocytes*

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Albumin induces upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 in astrocytes via MAPK and reactive oxygen species-dependent pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranaivo Hantamalala

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Astrocytes are an integral component of the blood–brain barrier (BBB which may be compromised by ischemic or traumatic brain injury. In response to trauma, astrocytes increase expression of the endopeptidase matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-9. Compromise of the BBB leads to the infiltration of fluid and blood-derived proteins including albumin into the brain parenchyma. Albumin has been previously shown to activate astrocytes and induce the production of inflammatory mediators. The effect of albumin on MMP-9 activation in astrocytes is not known. We investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the production of MMP-9 by albumin in astrocytes. Methods Primary enriched astrocyte cultures were used to investigate the effects of exposure to albumin on the release of MMP-9. MMP-9 expression was analyzed by zymography. The involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK, reactive oxygen species (ROS and the TGF-β receptor-dependent pathways were investigated using pharmacological inhibitors. The production of ROS was observed by dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate fluorescence. The level of the MMP-9 inhibitor tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1 produced by astrocytes was measured by ELISA. Results We found that albumin induces a time-dependent release of MMP-9 via the activation of p38 MAPK and extracellular signal regulated kinase, but not Jun kinase. Albumin-induced MMP-9 production also involves ROS production upstream of the MAPK pathways. However, albumin-induced increase in MMP-9 is independent of the TGF-β receptor, previously described as a receptor for albumin. Albumin also induces an increase in TIMP-1 via an undetermined mechanism. Conclusions These results link albumin (acting through ROS and the p38 MAPK to the activation of MMP-9 in astrocytes. Numerous studies identify a role for MMP-9 in the mechanisms of compromise of the BBB, epileptogenesis, or synaptic remodeling after ischemia or

  17. Role of astrocytic transport processes in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, A; Sarup, A; Bak, L K

    2004-01-01

    The fine tuning of both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission is to a large extent dependent upon optimal function of astrocytic transport processes. Thus, glutamate transport in astrocytes is mandatory to maintain extrasynaptic glutamate levels sufficiently low to prevent excitotoxic...... neuronal damage. In GABA synapses hyperactivity of astroglial GABA uptake may lead to diminished GABAergic inhibitory activity resulting in seizures. As a consequence of this the expression and functional activity of astrocytic glutamate and GABA transport is regulated in a number of ways...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  19. Fisetin regulates astrocyte migration and proliferation in vitro

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    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 m...

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  2. Differential induction of heme oxygenase and other stress proteins in cultured hippocampal astrocytes and neurons by inorganic lead

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cabell, Leigh; Ferguson, Charles; Luginbill, Deana; Kern, Marcey; Weingart, Adam; Audesirk, Gerald

    2004-01-01

    We examined the effects of exposure to inorganic lead (Pb 2+ ) on the induction of stress proteins in cultured hippocampal neurons and astrocytes, with particular emphasis on the induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). In radiolabeled neuronal cultures, Pb 2+ exposure had no significant effect on the synthesis of any protein at any concentration (up to 250 μM) or duration of exposure (up to 4 days). In radiolabeled astrocyte cultures, however, Pb 2+ exposure (100 nM to 100 μM; 1-4 days) increased synthesis of proteins with approximate molecular weights of 23, 32, 45, 57, 72, and 90 kDa. Immunoblot experiments showed that Pb 2+ exposure (100 nM to 10 μM, 1-14 days) induces HO-1 synthesis in astrocytes, but not in neurons; this is probably the 32-kDa protein. The other heme oxygenase isoform, HO-2, is present in both neurons and astrocytes, but is not inducible by Pb 2+ at concentrations up to 100 μM. HO-1 can be induced by a variety of stimuli. We found that HO-1 induction in astrocytes is increased by combined exposure to Pb 2+ and many other stresses, including heat, nitric oxide, H 2 O 2 , and superoxide. One of the stimuli that may induce HO-1 is oxidative stress. Lead exposure causes oxidative stress in many cell types, including astrocytes. Induction of HO-1 by Pb 2+ is reduced by the hydroxyl radical scavengers dimethylthiourea (DMTU) and mannitol, but not by inhibitors of calmodulin, calmodulin-dependent protein kinases, protein kinase C, or extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK). Therefore, we conclude that oxidative stress is an important mechanism by which Pb 2+ induces HO-1 synthesis in astrocytes

  3. Quinolinic acid neurotoxicity: Differential roles of astrocytes and microglia via FGF-2-mediated signaling in redox-linked cytoskeletal changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierozan, Paula; Biasibetti, Helena; Schmitz, Felipe; Ávila, Helena; Parisi, Mariana M; Barbe-Tuana, Florencia; Wyse, Angela T S; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2016-12-01

    QUIN is a glutamate agonist playing a role in the misregulation of the cytoskeleton, which is associated with neurodegeneration in rats. In this study, we focused on microglial activation, FGF2/Erk signaling, gap junctions (GJs), inflammatory parameters and redox imbalance acting on cytoskeletal dynamics of the in QUIN-treated neural cells of rat striatum. FGF-2/Erk signaling was not altered in QUIN-treated primary astrocytes or neurons, however cytoskeleton was disrupted. In co-cultured astrocytes and neurons, QUIN-activated FGF2/Erk signaling prevented the cytoskeleton from remodeling. In mixed cultures (astrocyte, neuron, microglia), QUIN-induced FGF-2 increased level failed to activate Erk and promoted cytoskeletal destabilization. The effects of QUIN in mixed cultures involved redox imbalance upstream of Erk activation. Decreased connexin 43 (Cx43) immunocontent and functional GJs, was also coincident with disruption of the cytoskeleton in primary astrocytes and mixed cultures. We postulate that in interacting astrocytes and neurons the cytoskeleton is preserved against the insult of QUIN by activation of FGF-2/Erk signaling and proper cell-cell interaction through GJs. In mixed cultures, the FGF-2/Erk signaling is blocked by the redox imbalance associated with microglial activation and disturbed cell communication, disrupting the cytoskeleton. Thus, QUIN signal activates differential mechanisms that could stabilize or destabilize the cytoskeleton of striatal astrocytes and neurons in culture, and glial cells play a pivotal role in these responses preserving or disrupting a combination of signaling pathways and cell-cell interactions. Taken together, our findings shed light into the complex role of the active interaction of astrocytes, neurons and microglia in the neurotoxicity of QUIN. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, Milena; aschner, michael; hidalgo, juan

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhongwu; Chopp, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Koji; Komine, Okiru

    2018-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Microglia P2Y13 Receptors Prevent Astrocyte Proliferation Mediated by P2Y1 Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara Quintas

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Cerebral inflammation is a common feature of several neurodegenerative diseases that requires a fine interplay between astrocytes and microglia to acquire appropriate phenotypes for an efficient response to neuronal damage. During brain inflammation, ATP is massively released into the extracellular medium and converted into ADP. Both nucleotides acting on P2 receptors, modulate astrogliosis through mechanisms involving microglia-astrocytes communication. In previous studies, primary cultures of astrocytes and co-cultures of astrocytes and microglia were used to investigate the influence of microglia on astroglial proliferation induced by ADPβS, a stable ADP analog. In astrocyte cultures, ADPβS increased cell proliferation through activation of P2Y1 and P2Y12 receptors, an effect abolished in co-cultures (of astrocytes with ∼12.5% microglia. The possibility that the loss of the ADPβS-mediated effect could have been caused by a microglia-induced degradation of ADPβS or by a preferential microglial localization of P2Y1 or P2Y12 receptors was excluded. Since ADPβS also activates P2Y13 receptors, the contribution of microglial P2Y13 receptors to prevent the proliferative effect of ADPβS in co-cultures was investigated. The results obtained indicate that P2Y13 receptors are low expressed in astrocytes and mainly expressed in microglia. Furthermore, in co-cultures, ADPβS induced astroglial proliferation in the presence of the selective P2Y13 antagonist MRS 2211 (3 μM and of the selective P2Y12 antagonist AR-C66096 (0.1 μM, suggesting that activation of microglial P2Y12 and P2Y13 receptors may induce the release of messengers that inhibit astroglial proliferation mediated by P2Y1,12 receptors. In this microglia-astrocyte paracrine communication, P2Y12 receptors exert opposite effects in astroglial proliferation as a result of its cellular localization: cooperating in astrocytes with P2Y1 receptors to directly stimulate proliferation and in

  9. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Dimethyl Fumarate in Astrocytes Involve Glutathione and Haem Oxygenase-1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shao Xia Lin

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available DMF (dimethyl fumarate exerts anti-inflammatory and prometabolic effects in a variety of cell types, and a formulation (BG-12 is being evaluated for monotherapy in multiple sclerosis patients. DMF modifies glutathione (GSH levels that can induce expression of the anti-inflammatory protein HO-1 (haem oxygenase-1. In primary astrocytes and C6 glioma cells, BG-12 dose-dependently suppressed nitrite production induced by either LI [LPS (lipopolysaccharide at 1 μg/ml plus IFNγ (interferon γ at 20 units/ml] or a mixture of proinflammatory cytokines, with greater efficacy in C6 cells. BG-12 reduced NOS2 (nitric oxide synthase 2 mRNA levels and activation of a NOS2 promoter, reduced nuclear levels of NF-κB (nuclear factor κB p65 subunit and attenuated loss of |κBα (inhibitory κBα in both cell types, although with greater effects in astrocytes. In astrocytes, LI decreased mRNA levels for GSHr (GSH reductase and GCL (c-glutamylcysteine synthetase, and slightly suppressed GSHs (GSH synthetase mRNAs. Co-treatment with BG-12 prevented those decreased and increased levels above control values. In contrast, LI reduced GSHp (GSH peroxidase and GCL in C6 cells, and BG-12 had no effect on those levels. BG-12 increased nuclear levels of Nrf2 (nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45 subunit-related factor 2, an inducer of GSH-related enzymes, in astrocytes but not C6 cells. In astrocytes, GSH was decreased by BG-12 at 2 h and increased at 24 h. Prior depletion of GSH using buthionine-sulfoximine increased the ability of BG-12 to reduce nitrites. In astrocytes, BG-12 increased HO-1 mRNA levels and effects on nitrite levels were blocked by an HO-1 inhibitor. These results demonstrate that BG-12 suppresses inflammatory activation in astrocytes and C6 glioma cells, but with distinct mechanisms, different dependence on GSH and different effects on transcription factor activation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Fatty acid-induced astrocyte ketone production and the control of food intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Foll, Christelle; Levin, Barry E

    2016-06-01

    Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are major worldwide public health issues today. A relationship between total fat intake and obesity has been found. In addition, the mechanisms of long-term and excessive high-fat diet (HFD) intake in the development of obesity still need to be elucidated. The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) is a major site involved in the regulation of glucose and energy homeostasis where "metabolic sensing neurons" integrate metabolic signals from the periphery. Among these signals, fatty acids (FA) modulate the activity of VMH neurons using the FA translocator/CD36, which plays a critical role in the regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis. During low-fat diet (LFD) intake, FA are oxidized by VMH astrocytes to fuel their ongoing metabolic needs. However, HFD intake causes VMH astrocytes to use FA to generate ketone bodies. We postulate that these astrocyte-derived ketone bodies are exported to neurons where they produce excess ATP and reactive oxygen species, which override CD36-mediated FA sensing and act as a signal to decrease short-term food intake. On a HFD, VMH astrocyte-produced ketones reduce elevated caloric intake to LFD levels after 3 days in rats genetically predisposed to resist (DR) diet-induced obesity (DIO), but not leptin-resistant DIO rats. This suggests that, while VMH ketone production on a HFD can contribute to protection from obesity, the inherent leptin resistance overrides this inhibitory action of ketone bodies on food intake. Thus, astrocytes and neurons form a tight metabolic unit that is able to monitor circulating nutrients to alter food intake and energy homeostasis. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Andrographolide protects mouse astrocytes against hypoxia injury by promoting autophagy and S100B expression

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    Juan Du

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Andrographolide (ANDRO has been studied for its immunomodulation, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotection effects. Because brain hypoxia is the most common factor of secondary brain injury after traumatic brain injury, we studied the role and possible mechanism of ANDRO in this process using hypoxia-injured astrocytes. Mouse cortical astrocytes C8-D1A (astrocyte type I clone from C57/BL6 strains were subjected to 3 and 21% of O2 for various times (0–12 h to establish an astrocyte hypoxia injury model in vitro. After hypoxia and ANDRO administration, the changes in cell viability and apoptosis were assessed using CCK-8 and flow cytometry. Expression changes in apoptosis-related proteins, autophagy-related proteins, main factors of JNK pathway, ATG5, and S100B were determined by western blot. Hypoxia remarkably damaged C8-D1A cells evidenced by reduction of cell viability and induction of apoptosis. Hypoxia also induced autophagy and overproduction of S100B. ANDRO reduced cell apoptosis and promoted cell autophagy and S100B expression. After ANDRO administration, autophagy-related proteins, S-100B, JNK pathway proteins, and ATG5 were all upregulated, while autophagy-related proteins and s100b were downregulated when the jnk pathway was inhibited or ATG5 was knocked down. ANDRO conferred a survival advantage to hypoxia-injured astrocytes by reducing cell apoptosis and promoting autophagy and s100b expression. Furthermore, the promotion of autophagy and s100b expression by ANDRO was via activation of jnk pathway and regulation of ATG5.

  13. GABAergic inhibition through synergistic astrocytic neuronal interaction transiently decreases vasopressin neuronal activity during hypoosmotic challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yu-Feng; Sun, Min-Yu; Hou, Qiuling; Hamilton, Kathryn A

    2013-04-01

    The neuropeptide vasopressin is crucial to mammalian osmotic regulation. Local hypoosmotic challenge transiently decreases and then increases vasopressin secretion. To investigate mechanisms underlying this transient response, we examined the effects of hypoosmotic challenge on the electrical activity of rat hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus (SON) vasopressin neurons using patch-clamp recordings. We found that 5 min exposure of hypothalamic slices to hypoosmotic solution transiently increased inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) frequency and reduced the firing rate of vasopressin neurons. Recovery occurred by 10 min of exposure, even though the osmolality remained low. The γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor blocker, gabazine, blocked the IPSCs and the hypoosmotic suppression of firing. The gliotoxin l-aminoadipic acid blocked the increase in IPSC frequency at 5 min and the recovery of firing at 10 min, indicating astrocytic involvement in hypoosmotic modulation of vasopressin neuronal activity. Moreover, β-alanine, an osmolyte of astrocytes and GABA transporter (GAT) inhibitor, blocked the increase in IPSC frequency at 5 min of hypoosmotic challenge. Confocal microscopy of immunostained SON sections revealed that astrocytes and magnocellular neurons both showed positive staining of vesicular GATs (VGAT). Hypoosmotic stimulation in vivo reduced the number of VGAT-expressing neurons, and increased co-localisation and molecular association of VGAT with glial fibrillary acidic protein that increased significantly by 10 min. By 30 min, neuronal VGAT labelling was partially restored, and astrocytic VGAT was relocated to the ventral portion while it decreased in the somatic zone of the SON. Thus, synergistic astrocytic and neuronal GABAergic inhibition could ensure that vasopressin neuron firing is only transiently suppressed under hypoosmotic conditions. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. THYROID HORMONE TREATED ASTROCYTES INDUCE MATURATION OF CEREBRAL CORTICAL NEURONS THROUGH MODULATION OF PROTEOGLYCAN LEVELS

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    Romulo Sperduto Dezonne

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Proper brain neuronal circuitry formation and synapse development is dependent on specific cues, either genetic or epigenetic, provided by the surrounding neural environment. Within these signals, thyroid hormones (T3 and T4 play crucial role in several steps of brain morphogenesis including proliferation of progenitor cells, neuronal differentiation, maturation, migration, and synapse formation. The lack of thyroid hormones during childhood is associated with several impair neuronal connections, cognitive deficits, and mental disorders. Many of the thyroid hormones effects are mediated by astrocytes, although the mechanisms underlying these events are still unknown. In this work, we investigated the effect of 3, 5, 3’-triiodothyronine-treated (T3-treated astrocytes on cerebral cortex neuronal differentiation. Culture of neural progenitors from embryonic cerebral cortex mice onto T3-treated astrocyte monolayers yielded an increment in neuronal population, followed by enhancement of neuronal maturation, arborization and neurite outgrowth. In addition, real time PCR assays revealed an increase in the levels of the heparan sulfate proteoglycans, Glypican 1 (GPC-1 and Syndecans 3 e 4 (SDC-3 e SDC-4, followed by a decrease in the levels of the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, Versican. Disruption of glycosaminoglycan chains by chondroitinase AC or heparanase III completely abolished the effects of T3-treated astrocytes on neuronal morphogenesis. Our work provides evidence that astrocytes are key mediators of T3 actions on cerebral cortex neuronal development and identified potential molecules and pathways involved in neurite extension; which might eventually contribute to a better understanding of axonal regeneration, synapse formation and neuronal circuitry recover.

  15. Influence of drugs on gap junctions in glioma cell lines and primary astrocytes in vitro

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    Zahra eMoinfar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions (GJs are hemichannels on cell membrane. Once they are intercellulary connected to the neighboring cells, they build a functional syncytium which allows rapid transfer of ions and molecules between cells. This characteristic makes GJs a potential modulator in proliferation, migration and development of the cells. So far, several types of GJs are recognized on different brain cells as well as in glioma. Astrocytes, as one of the major cells that maintain neuronal homeostasis, express different types of GJs that let them communicate with neurons, oligodendrocytes and endothelial cells of the blood brain barrier; however, the main GJ in astrocytes is connexin 43. There are different cerebral diseases in which astrocyte GJs might play a role. Several drugs have been reported to modulate gap junctional communication in the brain which can consequently have beneficial or detrimental effects on the course of treatment in certain diseases. However, the exact cellular mechanism behind those pharmaceutical efficacies on GJs is not well-understood. Accordingly, how specific drugs would affect GJs and what some consequent specific brain diseases would be are the interests of the authors of this chapter. We would focus on pharmaceutical effects on GJs on astrocytes in specific diseases where GJs could possibly play a role including: 1 migraine and a novel therapy for migraine with aura, 2 neuroautoimmune diseases and immunomodulatory drugs in the treatment of demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, 3 glioma and antineoplastic and anti-inflammatory agents that are used in treating brain tumors and 4 epilepsy and anticonvulsants that are widely used for seizures therapy. All of the above-mentioned therapeutic categories can possibly affect GJs expression of astrocytes and the role is discussed in the upcoming chapter.

  16. Non-Cell Autonomous Influence of the Astrocyte System xc − on Hypoglycaemic Neuronal Cell Death

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    Nicole A Jackman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite longstanding evidence that hypoglycaemic neuronal injury is mediated by glutamate excitotoxicity, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved remain incompletely defined. Here, we demonstrate that the excitotoxic neuronal death that follows GD (glucose deprivation is initiated by glutamate extruded from astrocytes via system xc −– – an amino acid transporter that imports L-cystine and exports L-glutamate. Specifically, we find that depriving mixed cortical cell cultures of glucose for up to 8 h injures neurons, but not astrocytes. Neuronal death is prevented by ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonism and is partially sensitive to tetanus toxin. Removal of amino acids during the deprivation period prevents – whereas addition of L-cystine restores – GD-induced neuronal death, implicating the cystine/glutamate antiporter, system xc−–. Indeed, drugs known to inhibit system xc −– ameliorate GD-induced neuronal death. Further, a dramatic reduction in neuronal death is observed in chimaeric cultures consisting of neurons derived from WT (wild-type mice plated on top of astrocytes derived from sut mice, which harbour a naturally occurring null mutation in the gene (Slc7a11 that encodes the substrate-specific light chain of system xc −– (xCT. Finally, enhancement of astrocytic system xc −– expression and function via IL-1β (interleukin-1β exposure potentiates hypoglycaemic neuronal death, the process of which is prevented by removal of L-cystine and/or addition of system xc −– inhibitors. Thus, under the conditions of GD, our studies demonstrate that astrocytes, via system xc −–, have a direct, non-cell autonomous effect on cortical neuron survival.

  17. Liposomal clodronate selectively eliminates microglia from primary astrocyte cultures

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    Kumamaru Hiromi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is increasing interest in astrocyte biology because astrocytes have been demonstrated to play prominent roles in physiological and pathological conditions of the central nervous system, including neuroinflammation. To understand astrocyte biology, primary astrocyte cultures are most commonly used because of the direct accessibility of astrocytes in this system. However, this advantage can be hindered by microglial contamination. Although several authors have warned regarding microglial contamination in this system, complete microglial elimination has never been achieved. Methods The number and proliferative potential of contaminating microglia in primary astrocyte cultures were quantitatively assessed by immunocytologic and flow cytometric analyses. To examine the utility of clodronate for microglial elimination, primary astrocyte cultures or MG-5 cells were exposed to liposomal or free clodronate, and then immunocytologic, flow cytometric, and gene expression analyses were performed. The gene expression profiles of microglia-eliminated and microglia-contaminated cultures were compared after interleukin-6 (IL-6 stimulation. Results The percentage of contaminating microglia exceeded 15% and continued to increase because of their high proliferative activity in conventional primary astrocyte cultures. These contaminating microglia were selectively eliminated low concentration of liposomal clodronate. Although primary microglia and MG-5 cells were killed by both liposomal and free clodronate, free clodronate significantly affected the viability of astrocytes. In contrast, liposomal clodronate selectively eliminated microglia without affecting the viability, proliferation or activation of astrocytes. The efficacy of liposomal clodronate was much higher than that of previously reported methods used for decreasing microglial contamination. Furthermore, we observed rapid tumor necrosis factor-α and IL-1b gene induction in

  18. Transcriptomic analyses of primary astrocytes under TNFα treatment

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    Cindy Birck

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Lactate release from astrocytes to neurons contributes to cocaine memory formation

    KAUST Repository

    Boury-Jamot, Benjamin; Halfon, Olivier; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Boutrel, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    The identification of neural substrates underlying the long lasting debilitating impact of drug cues is critical for developing novel therapeutic tools. Metabolic coupling has long been considered a key mechanism through which astrocytes and neurons actively interact in response of neuronal activity, but recent findings suggested that disrupting metabolic coupling may represent an innovative approach to prevent memory formation, in particular drug-related memories. Here, we review converging evidence illustrating how memory and addiction share neural circuitry and molecular mechanisms implicating lactate-mediated metabolic coupling between astrocytes and neurons. With several aspects of addiction depending on mnemonic processes elicited by drug experience, disrupting lactate transport involved in the formation of a pathological learning, linking the incentive, and motivational effects of drugs with drug-conditioned stimuli represent a promising approach to encourage abstinence.

  20. Lactate release from astrocytes to neurons contributes to cocaine memory formation

    KAUST Repository

    Boury-Jamot, Benjamin

    2016-10-12

    The identification of neural substrates underlying the long lasting debilitating impact of drug cues is critical for developing novel therapeutic tools. Metabolic coupling has long been considered a key mechanism through which astrocytes and neurons actively interact in response of neuronal activity, but recent findings suggested that disrupting metabolic coupling may represent an innovative approach to prevent memory formation, in particular drug-related memories. Here, we review converging evidence illustrating how memory and addiction share neural circuitry and molecular mechanisms implicating lactate-mediated metabolic coupling between astrocytes and neurons. With several aspects of addiction depending on mnemonic processes elicited by drug experience, disrupting lactate transport involved in the formation of a pathological learning, linking the incentive, and motivational effects of drugs with drug-conditioned stimuli represent a promising approach to encourage abstinence.

  1. A neuroprotective astrocyte state is induced by neuronal signal EphB1 but fails in ALS models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyzack, Giulia E; Hall, Claire E; Sibley, Christopher R; Cymes, Tomasz; Forostyak, Serhiy; Carlino, Giulia; Meyer, Ione F; Schiavo, Giampietro; Zhang, Su-Chun; Gibbons, George M; Newcombe, Jia; Patani, Rickie; Lakatos, András

    2017-10-27

    Astrocyte responses to neuronal injury may be beneficial or detrimental to neuronal recovery, but the mechanisms that determine these different responses are poorly understood. Here we show that ephrin type-B receptor 1 (EphB1) is upregulated in injured motor neurons, which in turn can activate astrocytes through ephrin-B1-mediated stimulation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3). Transcriptional analysis shows that EphB1 induces a protective and anti-inflammatory signature in astrocytes, partially linked to the STAT3 network. This is distinct from the response evoked by interleukin (IL)-6 that is known to induce both pro inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes. Finally, we demonstrate that the EphB1-ephrin-B1 pathway is disrupted in human stem cell derived astrocyte and mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Our work identifies an early neuronal help-me signal that activates a neuroprotective astrocytic response, which fails in ALS, and therefore represents an attractive therapeutic target.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Deciphering the Astrocyte Reaction in Alzheimer’s Disease

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    Beatriz G. Perez-Nievas

    2018-04-01

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

  4. The temporal profile of the reaction of microglia, astrocytes, and macrophages in the delayed onset paraplegia after transient spinal cord ischemia in rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Satoshi; Matsumoto, Mishiya; Yamashita, Atsuo; Ohtake, Kazunobu; Ishida, Kazuyoshi; Morimoto, Yasuhiro; Sakabe, Takefumi

    2003-06-01

    In the present study, we sought to elucidate the temporal profile of the reaction of microglia, astrocytes, and macrophages in the progression of delayed onset motor dysfunction after spinal cord ischemia (15 min) in rabbits. At 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 h after reperfusion (9 animals in each), hind limb motor function was assessed, and the lumbar spinal cord was histologically examined. Delayed motor dysfunction was observed in most animals at 48 h after ischemia, which could be predicted by a poor recovery of segmental spinal cord evoked potentials at 15 min of reperfusion. In the gray matter of the lumbar spinal cord, both microglia and astrocytes were activated early (2 h) after reperfusion. Microglia were diffusely activated and engulfed motor neurons irrespective of the recovery of segmental spinal cord evoked potentials. In contrast, early astrocytic activation was confined to the area where neurons started to show degeneration. Macrophages were first detected at 8 h after reperfusion and mainly surrounded the infarction area later. Although the precise roles of the activation of microglia, astrocytes, and macrophages are to be further determined, the results indicate that understanding functional changes of astrocytes may be important in the mechanism of delayed onset motor dysfunction including paraplegia. Microglia and macrophages play a role in removing tissue debris after transient spinal cord ischemia. Disturbance of astrocytic defense mechanism, breakdown of the blood-spinal cord barrier, or both seemed to be involved in the development of delayed motor dysfunction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  6. DREAM-Dependent Activation of Astrocytes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larrodé, Pilar; Calvo, Ana Cristina; Moreno-Martínez, Laura; de la Torre, Miriam; Moreno-García, Leticia; Molina, Nora; Castiella, Tomás; Iñiguez, Cristina; Pascual, Luis Fernando; Mena, Francisco Javier Miana; Zaragoza, Pilar; Y Cajal, Santiago Ramón; Osta, Rosario

    2018-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of unknown origin and characterized by a relentless loss of motor neurons that causes a progressive muscle weakness until death. Among the several pathogenic mechanisms that have been related to ALS, a dysregulation of calcium-buffering proteins in motor neurons of the brain and spinal cord can make these neurons more vulnerable to disease progression. Downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM) is a neuronal calcium-binding protein that plays multiple roles in the nucleus and cytosol. The main aim of this study was focused on the characterization of DREAM and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) in the brain and spinal cord tissues from transgenic SOD1 G93A mice and ALS patients to unravel its potential role under neurodegenerative conditions. The DREAM and GFAP levels in the spinal cord and different brain areas from transgenic SOD1 G93A mice and ALS patients were analyzed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Our findings suggest that the calcium-dependent excitotoxicity progressively enhanced in the CNS in ALS could modulate the multifunctional nature of DREAM, strengthening its apoptotic way of action in both motor neurons and astrocytes, which could act as an additional factor to increase neuronal damage. The direct crosstalk between astrocytes and motor neurons can become vulnerable under neurodegenerative conditions, and DREAM could act as an additional switch to enhance motor neuron loss. Together, these findings could pave the way to further study the molecular targets of DREAM to find novel therapeutic strategies to fight ALS.

  7. Astrocytes Control Neuronal Excitability in the Nucleus Accumbens

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  9. Investigation on the suitable pressure for the preservation of astrocyte

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sotome, S; Shimizu, A; Nakajima, K; Yoshimura, Y

    2010-01-01

    The effects of pressure on the survival rate of astrocytes in growth medium (DMEM) were investigated at room temperature and at 4 0 C, in an effort to establish the best conditions for the preservation. Survival rate at 4 0 C was found to be higher than that at room temperature. The survival rate of astrocytes preserved for 4 days at 4 0 C increased with increasing pressure up to 1.6 MPa, but decreased with increasing pressure above 1.6 MPa. At 10 MPa, all astrocytes died. The survival rate of cultured astrocytes decreased significantly following pressurization for 2 hours and the subsequent preservation for 2 days at atmospheric pressure. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain pressure when preserving astrocytes. These results indicate that the cells can be stored at 4 0 C under pressurization without freezing and without adding cryoprotective agents. Moreover, it may be possible to use this procedure as a new preservation method when cryopreservation is impractical.

  10. Phagocytic response of astrocytes to damaged neighboring cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole M Wakida

    Full Text Available This study aims to understand the phagocytic response of astrocytes to the injury of neurons or other astrocytes at the single cell level. Laser nanosurgery was used to damage individual cells in both primary mouse cortical astrocytes and an established astrocyte cell line. In both cases, the release of material/substances from laser-irradiated astrocytes or neurons induced a phagocytic response in near-by astrocytes. Propidium iodide stained DNA originating from irradiated cells was visible in vesicles of neighboring cells, confirming phagocytosis of material from damaged cortical cells. In the presence of an intracellular pH indicator dye, newly formed vesicles correspond to acidic pH fluorescence, thus suggesting lysosome bound degradation of cellular debris. Cells with shared membrane connections prior to laser damage had a significantly higher frequency of induced phagocytosis compared to isolated cells with no shared membrane. The increase in phagocytic response of cells with a shared membrane occurred regardless of the extent of shared membrane (a thin filopodial connection vs. a cell cluster with significant shared membrane. In addition to the presence (or lack of a membrane connection, variation in phagocytic ability was also observed with differences in injury location within the cell and distance separating isolated astrocytes. These results demonstrate the ability of an astrocyte to respond to the damage of a single cell, be it another astrocyte, or a neuron. This single-cell level of analysis results in a better understanding of the role of astrocytes to maintain homeostasis in the CNS, particularly in the sensing and removal of debris in damaged or pathologic nervous tissue.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpuk, Nikolay; Burkovetskaya, Maria; Kielian, Tammy

    2012-07-01

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

  12. Multiple oxygen tension environments reveal diverse patterns of transcriptional regulation in primary astrocytes.

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    Wayne Chadwick

    Full Text Available The central nervous system normally functions at O(2 levels which would be regarded as hypoxic by most other tissues. However, most in vitro studies of neurons and astrocytes are conducted under hyperoxic conditions without consideration of O(2-dependent cellular adaptation. We analyzed the reactivity of astrocytes to 1, 4 and 9% O(2 tensions compared to the cell culture standard of 20% O(2, to investigate their ability to sense and translate this O(2 information to transcriptional activity. Variance of ambient O(2 tension for rat astrocytes resulted in profound changes in ribosomal activity, cytoskeletal and energy-regulatory mechanisms and cytokine-related signaling. Clustering of transcriptional regulation patterns revealed four distinct response pattern groups that directionally pivoted around the 4% O(2 tension, or demonstrated coherent ascending/decreasing gene expression patterns in response to diverse oxygen tensions. Immune response and cell cycle/cancer-related signaling pathway transcriptomic subsets were significantly activated with increasing hypoxia, whilst hemostatic and cardiovascular signaling mechanisms were attenuated with increasing hypoxia. Our data indicate that variant O(2 tensions induce specific and physiologically-focused transcript regulation patterns that may underpin important physiological mechanisms that connect higher neurological activity to astrocytic function and ambient oxygen environments. These strongly defined patterns demonstrate a strong bias for physiological transcript programs to pivot around the 4% O(2 tension, while uni-modal programs that do not, appear more related to pathological actions. The functional interaction of these transcriptional 'programs' may serve to regulate the dynamic vascular responsivity of the central nervous system during periods of stress or heightened activity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  14. Phosphoinositide metabolism and adrenergic receptors in astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    Agonist-induced phosphoinositide (PI) breakdown functions as a signal generating system. Diacylglycerol, one breakdown product of phosphotidylinositol-4,5-diphosphate hydrolysis, can stimulate protein kinase C, whereas inositol triphosphate, the other product, has been proposed to be a second messenger for Ca ++ mobilization. Using purified astrocyte cultures from neonatal rat brain, the effects of adrenergic agonists and antagonists at 10 -5 M were measured on PI breakdown. Astrocytes grown in culture were prelabeled with ( 3 H)inositol, and basal ( 3 H) inositol phosphate (IP 1 ) accumulation was measured in the presence of Li + . Epinephrine > norepinephrine (NE) were the most active stimulants of IP 1 production. The α 1 adrenoreceptor blockers, phentolamine and phenoxybenzamine, added alone had no effect on IP 1 production was reduced below basal levels. Propranolol partially blocked the effects of NE. Clonidine and isoproterenol, separately added, reduced IP 1 below basal levels and when added together diminished IP 1 accumulation even further. The role of adrenergic stimulation in the production of c-AMP

  15. Thyroid hormone action: Astrocyte-neuron communication.

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    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.

  16. 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.

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

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    Nancy F Cruz

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-17

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

  19. ATP Modifies the Proteome of Extracellular Vesicles Released by Microglia and Influences Their Action on Astrocytes

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    Francesco Drago

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular ATP is among molecules promoting microglia activation and inducing the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs, which are potent mediators of intercellular communication between microglia and the microenvironment. We previously showed that EVs produced under ATP stimulation (ATP-EVs propagate a robust inflammatory reaction among astrocytes and microglia in vitro and in mice with subclinical neuroinflammation (Verderio et al., 2012. However, the proteome of EVs released upon ATP stimulation has not yet been elucidated. In this study we applied a label free proteomic approach to characterize the proteome of EVs released constitutively and during microglia activation with ATP. We show that ATP drives sorting in EVs of a set of proteins implicated in cell adhesion/extracellular matrix organization, autophagy-lysosomal pathway and cellular metabolism, that may influence the response of recipient astrocytes to EVs. These data provide new clues to molecular mechanisms involved in microglia response to ATP and in microglia signaling to the environment via EVs.

  20. Astrocytic β2-adrenergic receptors mediate hippocampal long-term memory consolidation

    KAUST Repository

    Gao, Virginia; Suzuki, Akinobu; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Lengacher, Sylvain; Pollonini, Gabriella; Steinman, Michael Q.; Alberini, Cristina M.

    2016-01-01

    Emotionally relevant experiences form strong and long-lasting memories by critically engaging the stress hormone/neurotransmitter noradrenaline, which mediates and modulates the consolidation of these memories. Noradrenaline acts through adrenergic receptors (ARs), of which β2- Adrenergic receptors (βARs) are of particular importance. The differential anatomical and cellular distribution of βAR subtypes in the brain suggests that they play distinct roles in memory processing, although much about their specific contributions and mechanisms of action remains to be understood. Here we show that astrocytic rather than neuronal β2ARs in the hippocampus play a key role in the consolidation of a fear-based contextual memory. These hippocampal β2ARs, but not β1ARs, are coupled to the training-dependent release of lactate from astrocytes, which is necessary for long- Term memory formation and for underlying molecular changes. This key metabolic role of astrocytic β2ARs may represent a novel target mechanism for stress-related psychopathologies and neurodegeneration.

  1. Astrocytic β2-adrenergic receptors mediate hippocampal long-term memory consolidation

    KAUST Repository

    Gao, Virginia

    2016-07-12

    Emotionally relevant experiences form strong and long-lasting memories by critically engaging the stress hormone/neurotransmitter noradrenaline, which mediates and modulates the consolidation of these memories. Noradrenaline acts through adrenergic receptors (ARs), of which β2- Adrenergic receptors (βARs) are of particular importance. The differential anatomical and cellular distribution of βAR subtypes in the brain suggests that they play distinct roles in memory processing, although much about their specific contributions and mechanisms of action remains to be understood. Here we show that astrocytic rather than neuronal β2ARs in the hippocampus play a key role in the consolidation of a fear-based contextual memory. These hippocampal β2ARs, but not β1ARs, are coupled to the training-dependent release of lactate from astrocytes, which is necessary for long- Term memory formation and for underlying molecular changes. This key metabolic role of astrocytic β2ARs may represent a novel target mechanism for stress-related psychopathologies and neurodegeneration.

  2. Metabolic gene expression changes in astrocytes in Multiple Sclerosis cerebral cortex are indicative of immune-mediated signaling

    KAUST Repository

    Zeis, T.

    2015-04-01

    Emerging as an important correlate of neurological dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), extended focal and diffuse gray matter abnormalities have been found and linked to clinical manifestations such as seizures, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. To investigate possible underlying mechanisms we analyzed the molecular alterations in histopathological normal appearing cortical gray matter (NAGM) in MS. By performing a differential gene expression analysis of NAGM of control and MS cases we identified reduced transcription of astrocyte specific genes involved in the astrocyte–neuron lactate shuttle (ANLS) and the glutamate–glutamine cycle (GGC). Additional quantitative immunohistochemical analysis demonstrating a CX43 loss in MS NAGM confirmed a crucial involvement of astrocytes and emphasizes their importance in MS pathogenesis. Concurrently, a Toll-like/IL-1β signaling expression signature was detected in MS NAGM, indicating that immune-related signaling might be responsible for the downregulation of ANLS and GGC gene expression in MS NAGM. Indeed, challenging astrocytes with immune stimuli such as IL-1β and LPS reduced their ANLS and GGC gene expression in vitro. The detected upregulation of IL1B in MS NAGM suggests inflammasome priming. For this reason, astrocyte cultures were treated with ATP and ATP/LPS as for inflammasome activation. This treatment led to a reduction of ANLS and GGC gene expression in a comparable manner. To investigate potential sources for ANLS and GGC downregulation in MS NAGM, we first performed an adjuvant-driven stimulation of the peripheral immune system in C57Bl/6 mice in vivo. This led to similar gene expression changes in spinal cord demonstrating that peripheral immune signals might be one source for astrocytic gene expression changes in the brain. IL1B upregulation in MS NAGM itself points to a possible endogenous signaling process leading to ANLS and GGC downregulation. This is supported by our findings that, among others

  3. Explaining the enjoyment of negative emotions evoked by the arts: The need to consider empathy and other underlying mechanisms of emotion induction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuoskoski, Jonna K; Eerola, Tuomas

    2017-01-01

    Any model aiming to explain the enjoyment of negative emotions in the context of the arts should consider how works of art are able to induce emotional responses in the first place. For instance, research on empathy and the arts suggests that the psychological processes that mediate the enjoyment of sadness and horror may be fundamentally different.

  4. Astrocytes require insulin-like growth factor I to protect neurons against oxidative injury [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/2lf

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    Laura Genis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available 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. The protection mediated by IGF-I against oxidative stress (H2O2 in astrocytes is probably needed for these cells to provide adequate neuroprotection. Indeed, in astrocytes but not in neurons, IGF-I helps decrease 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 H2O2 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.

  5. Astrocytes require insulin-like growth factor I to protect neurons against oxidative injury [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/38u

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Genis

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 (H2O2. 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 H2O2 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.

  6. Curcumin Protects against 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium Ion- and Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Cytotoxicities in the Mouse Mesencephalic Astrocyte via Inhibiting the Cytochrome P450 2E1

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    Hai-Yan Gui

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Curcumin is extracted from the rhizomes of the ginger family plant Curcuma longa L., which has a good protection for liver, kidney, and immune system. However, there is little information about its contribution in protection of astrocytes recently. The present study was undertaken to elucidate the protective effect of curcumin, an herbal antioxidant, on 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion- (MPP+- and lipopolysaccharide- (LPS- induced cytotoxicities, as well as the underlying mechanisms by using primary mouse mesencephalic astrocytes. The results showed that curcumin protected the mesencephalic astrocytes from MPP+- and LPS-induced toxicities along with reducing reactive oxygen species (P<0.05 and maleic dialdehyde (P<0.05 sufficiently. Moreover, curcumin significantly inhibited the cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1 expression (P<0.01 at mRNA level, P<0.05 at protein level and its activity (P<0.05 sufficiently induced by MPP+ and LPS in the mouse mesencephalic astrocytes. And curcumin as well as diallyl sulphide, a CYP2E1 positive inhibitor, ameliorated MPP+- and LPS-induced mouse mesencephalic astrocytes damage. Accordingly, curcumin protects against MPP+- and LPS-induced cytotoxicities in the mouse mesencephalic astrocyte via inhibiting the CYP2E1 expression and activity.

  7. ASTROCYTIC CONTROL OF BIOSYNTHESIS AND TURNOVER OF THE NEUROTRANSMITTERS GLUTAMATE AND GABA

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    Arne eSchousboe

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Glutamate and GABA are the quantitatively major neurotransmitters in the brain mediating excitatory and inhibitory signaling, respectively. These amino acids are metabolically interrelated and at the same time they are tightly coupled to the intermediary metabolism including energy homeostasis. Astrocytes play a pivotal role in the maintenance of the neurotransmitter pools of glutamate and GABA since only these cells express pyruvate carboxylase (PC, 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 related to oxidative metabolism when the amino acids are used as energy substrates. This, in turn, is influenced by the extent to which the cycling of the amino acids between neurons and astrocytes may occur. This cycling is brought about by the glutamate/GABA – glutamine cycle the operation of which involves the enzymes glutamine synthetase (GS and glutaminase (PAG together with the plasma membrane transporters for glutamate, GABA and glutamine. The distribution of these proteins between neurons and astrocytes determines the efficacy of the cycle and it is of particular importance 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 processes and to discuss quantitatively their relative importance in the homeostatic mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of optimal conditions for the respective neurotransmission processes to operate.

  8. Methylmercury-induced alterations in astrocyte functions are attenuated by ebselen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Zhaobao; Lee, Eunsook; Ni, Mingwei; Jiang, Haiyan; Milatovic, Dejan; Rongzhu, Lu; Farina, Marcelo; Rocha, Joao B T; Aschner, Michael

    2011-06-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) preferentially accumulates in glia of the central nervous system (CNS), but its toxic mechanisms have yet to be fully recognized. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that MeHg induces neurotoxicity via oxidative stress mechanisms, and that these effects are attenuated by the antioxidant, ebselen. Rat neonatal primary cortical astrocytes were pretreated with or without 10 μM ebselen for 2h followed by MeHg (0, 1, 5, and 10 μM) treatments. MeHg-induced changes in astrocytic [(3)H]-glutamine uptake were assessed along with changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ(m)), using the potentiometric dye tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester (TMRE). Western blot analysis was used to detect MeHg-induced ERK (extracellular-signal related kinase) phosphorylation and caspase-3 activation. MeHg treatment significantly decreased (pEbselen fully reversed MeHg's (1 μM) effect on [(3)H]-glutamine uptake at 1 min. At higher MeHg concentrations, ebselen partially reversed the MeHg-induced astrocytic inhibition of [(3)H]-glutamine uptake [at 1 min (5 and 10 μM) (pEbselen fully reversed the effect of 1 μM MeHg treatment for 1h on astrocytic ΔΨ(m) and partially reversed the effect of 5 and 10 μM MeHg treatments for 1h on ΔΨ(m). In addition, ebselen inhibited MeHg-induced phosphorylation of ERK (pebselen reinforce the idea that organic selenocompounds represent promising strategies to counteract MeHg-induced neurotoxicity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. SLAM- and nectin-4-independent noncytolytic spread of canine distemper virus in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Lisa; Khosravi, Mojtaba; Avila, Mislay; Ader-Ebert, Nadine; Bringolf, Fanny; Zurbriggen, Andreas; Vandevelde, Marc; Plattet, Philippe

    2015-05-01

    Measles and canine distemper viruses (MeV and CDV, respectively) first replicate in lymphatic and epithelial tissues by using SLAM and nectin-4 as entry receptors, respectively. The viruses may also invade the brain to establish persistent infections, triggering fatal complications, such as subacute sclerosis pan-encephalitis (SSPE) in MeV infection or chronic, multiple sclerosis-like, multifocal demyelinating lesions in the case of CDV infection. In both diseases, persistence is mediated by viral nucleocapsids that do not require packaging into particles for infectivity but are directly transmitted from cell to cell (neurons in SSPE or astrocytes in distemper encephalitis), presumably by relying on restricted microfusion events. Indeed, although morphological evidence of fusion remained undetectable, viral fusion machineries and, thus, a putative cellular receptor, were shown to contribute to persistent infections. Here, we first showed that nectin-4-dependent cell-cell fusion in Vero cells, triggered by a demyelinating CDV strain, remained extremely limited, thereby supporting a potential role of nectin-4 in mediating persistent infections in astrocytes. However, nectin-4 could not be detected in either primary cultured astrocytes or the white matter of tissue sections. In addition, a bioengineered "nectin-4-blind" recombinant CDV retained full cell-to-cell transmission efficacy in primary astrocytes. Combined with our previous report demonstrating the absence of SLAM expression in astrocytes, these findings are suggestive for the existence of a hitherto unrecognized third CDV receptor expressed by glial cells that contributes to the induction of noncytolytic cell-to-cell viral transmission in astrocytes. While persistent measles virus (MeV) infection induces SSPE in humans, persistent canine distemper virus (CDV) infection causes chronic progressive or relapsing demyelination in carnivores. Common to both central nervous system (CNS) infections is that

  10. 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.

  11. Electric field-induced astrocyte alignment directs neurite outgrowth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, John K; Fuss, Babette; Colello, Raymond J

    2006-05-01

    The extension and directionality of neurite outgrowth are key to achieving successful target connections during both CNS development and during the re-establishment of connections lost after neural trauma. The degree of axonal elongation depends, in large part, on the spatial arrangement of astrocytic processes rich in growth-promoting proteins. Because astrocytes in culture align their processes on exposure to an electrical field of physiological strength, we sought to determine the extent to which aligned astrocytes affect neurite outgrowth. To this end, dorsal root ganglia cells were seeded onto cultured rat astrocytes that were pre-aligned by exposure to an electric field of physiological strength (500 mV mm(-1)). Using confocal microscopy and digital image analysis, we found that neurite outgrowth at 24 hours and at 48 hours is enhanced significantly and directed consistently along the aligned astrocyte processes. Moreover, this directed neurite outgrowth is maintained when grown on fixed, aligned astrocytes. Collectively, these results indicate that endogenous electric fields present within the developing CNS might act to align astrocyte processes, which can promote and direct neurite growth. Furthermore, these results demonstrate a simple method to produce an aligned cellular substrate, which might be used to direct regenerating neurites.

  12. 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.

  13. Simultaneous neuron- and astrocyte-specific fluorescent marking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The synaptic cell adhesion molecule, SynCAM1, mediates astrocyte-to-astrocyte and astrocyte-to-GnRH neuron adhesiveness in the mouse hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandau, Ursula S; Mungenast, Alison E; McCarthy, Jack; Biederer, Thomas; Corfas, Gabriel; Ojeda, Sergio R

    2011-06-01

    We previously identified synaptic cell adhesion molecule 1 (SynCAM1) as a component of a genetic network involved in the hypothalamic control of female puberty. Although it is well established that SynCAM1 is a synaptic adhesion molecule, its contribution to hypothalamic function is unknown. Here we show that, in addition to the expected neuronal localization illustrated by its presence in GnRH neurons, SynCAM1 is expressed in hypothalamic astrocytes. Cell adhesion assays indicated that SynCAM is recognized by both GnRH neurons and astrocytes as an adhesive partner and promotes cell-cell adhesiveness via homophilic, extracellular domain-mediated interactions. Alternative splicing of the SynCAM1 primary mRNA transcript yields four mRNAs encoding membrane-spanning SynCAM1 isoforms. Variants 1 and 4 are predicted to be both N and O glycosylated. Hypothalamic astrocytes and GnRH-producing GT1-7 cells express mainly isoform 4 mRNA, and sequential N- and O-deglycosylation of proteins extracted from these cells yields progressively smaller SynCAM1 species, indicating that isoform 4 is the predominant SynCAM1 variant expressed in astrocytes and GT1-7 cells. Neither cell type expresses the products of two other SynCAM genes (SynCAM2 and SynCAM3), suggesting that SynCAM-mediated astrocyte-astrocyte and astrocyte-GnRH neuron adhesiveness is mostly mediated by SynCAM1 homophilic interactions. When erbB4 receptor function is disrupted in astrocytes, via transgenic expression of a dominant-negative erbB4 receptor form, SynCAM1-mediated adhesiveness is severely compromised. Conversely, SynCAM1 adhesive behavior is rapidly, but transiently, enhanced in astrocytes by ligand-dependent activation of erbB4 receptors, suggesting that erbB4-mediated events affecting SynCAM1 function contribute to regulate astrocyte adhesive communication.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán, M; Blázquez, C

    2001-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Inhibition of spinal astrocytic c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK activation correlates with the analgesic effects of ketamine in neuropathic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Wen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have previously reported that inhibition of astrocytic activation contributes to the analgesic effects of intrathecal ketamine on spinal nerve ligation (SNL-induced neuropathic pain. However, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK, a member of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK family, has been reported to be critical for spinal astrocytic activation and neuropathic pain development after SNL. Ketamine can decrease lipopolysaccharide (LPS-induced phosphorylated JNK (pJNK expression and could thus exert its anti-inflammatory effect. We hypothesized that inhibition of astrocytic JNK activation might be involved in the suppressive effect of ketamine on SNL-induced spinal astrocytic activation. Methods Immunofluorescence histochemical staining was used to detect SNL-induced spinal pJNK expression and localization. The effects of ketamine on SNL-induced mechanical allodynia were confirmed by behavioral testing. Immunofluorescence histochemistry and Western blot were used to quantify the SNL-induced spinal pJNK expression after ketamine administration. Results The present study showed that SNL induced ipsilateral pJNK up-regulation in astrocytes but not microglia or neurons within the spinal dorsal horn. Intrathecal ketamine relieved SNL-induced mechanical allodynia without interfering with motor performance. Additionally, intrathecal administration of ketamine attenuated SNL-induced spinal astrocytic JNK activation in a dose-dependent manner, but not JNK protein expression. Conclusions The present results suggest that inhibition of JNK activation may be involved in the suppressive effects of ketamine on SNL-induced spinal astrocyte activation. Therefore, inhibition of spinal JNK activation may be involved in the analgesic effects of ketamine on SNL-induced neuropathic pain.

  19. Inhibition of spinal astrocytic c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation correlates with the analgesic effects of ketamine in neuropathic pain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background We have previously reported that inhibition of astrocytic activation contributes to the analgesic effects of intrathecal ketamine on spinal nerve ligation (SNL)-induced neuropathic pain. However, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), a member of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, has been reported to be critical for spinal astrocytic activation and neuropathic pain development after SNL. Ketamine can decrease lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced phosphorylated JNK (pJNK) expression and could thus exert its anti-inflammatory effect. We hypothesized that inhibition of astrocytic JNK activation might be involved in the suppressive effect of ketamine on SNL-induced spinal astrocytic activation. Methods Immunofluorescence histochemical staining was used to detect SNL-induced spinal pJNK expression and localization. The effects of ketamine on SNL-induced mechanical allodynia were confirmed by behavioral testing. Immunofluorescence histochemistry and Western blot were used to quantify the SNL-induced spinal pJNK expression after ketamine administration. Results The present study showed that SNL induced ipsilateral pJNK up-regulation in astrocytes but not microglia or neurons within the spinal dorsal horn. Intrathecal ketamine relieved SNL-induced mechanical allodynia without interfering with motor performance. Additionally, intrathecal administration of ketamine attenuated SNL-induced spinal astrocytic JNK activation in a dose-dependent manner, but not JNK protein expression. Conclusions The present results suggest that inhibition of JNK activation may be involved in the suppressive effects of ketamine on SNL-induced spinal astrocyte activation. Therefore, inhibition of spinal JNK activation may be involved in the analgesic effects of ketamine on SNL-induced neuropathic pain. PMID:21255465

  20. Nerve Root Compression Increases Spinal Astrocytic Vimentin in Parallel With Sustained Pain and Endothelial Vimentin in Association With Spinal Vascular Reestablishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jenell R; Lee, Jasmine; Winkelstein, Beth A

    2017-10-01

    Temporal immunohistochemistry analysis of spinal cord tissue from a rat model of cervical radiculopathy. The goal was to measure spinal endothelial and astrocytic vimentin expression after a painful nerve root compression to define spinal cellular expression of vimentin in the context of pain. The intermediate filament, vimentin, is expressed in a variety of cell types in the spinal cord and is modulated in response to neural pathologies. Early after nerve root compression spinal astrocytes become activated and blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) breakdown occurs in parallel with development of pain-related behaviors; these spinal responses remain activated as does the presence of pain. In addition to vimentin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression is a hallmark of astrocyte activation. In contrast, vascular endothelial cells down-regulate vimentin expression in parallel with vascular breakdown. It is not known whether spinal astrocytes and endothelial cells modulate their expression of vimentin in response to a painful neural injury. Mechanical hyperalgesia was measured and spinal cord tissue was harvested at days 1 and 7 after a unilateral nerve root compression in rats. Vimentin was coimmunolabeled with GFAP to label astrocytes and von Willebrand factor (VWF) for endothelial cells in the spinal cord on the side of injury. Spinal astrocytic vimentin increases by day 7 after nerve root compression, corresponding to when mechanical hyperalgesia is maintained. Spinal endothelial vimentin increases as early as day 1 after a painful compression and is even more robust at day 7. The delayed elevation in spinal astrocytic vimentin corresponding to sustained mechanical hyperalgesia supports its having a relationship with pain maintenance. Further, since BSCB integrity has been shown to be reestablished by day 7 after a painful compression, endothelial expressed vimentin may help to fortify spinal vasculature contributing to BSCB stability. N/A.

  1. Cytoplasmic vacuolation in cultured rat astrocytes induced by an organophosphorus agent requires extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isobe, Ichiro; Maeno, Yoshitaka; Nagao, Masataka; Iwasa, Mineo; Koyama, Hiroyoshi; Seko-Nakamura, Yoshimi; Monma-Ohtaki, Jun

    2003-01-01

    There are various toxic chemicals that cause cell death. However, in certain cases deleterious agents elicit various cellular responses prior to cell death. To determine the cellular mechanisms by which such cellular responses are induced is important, but sufficient attention has not been paid to this issue to date. In this study, we showed the characteristic effects of an organophosphorus (OP) agent, bis(pinacolyl methyl)phosphonate (BPMP), which we synthesized for the study of OP nerve agents, on cultured rat astrocytes. Morphologically, BPMP induced cytoplasmic vacuolation and stellation in the rat astrocytes. Cytoplasmic vacuolation is a cell pathological change observed, for example, in vacuolar degeneration, and stellation has been reported in astrocytic reactions against various stimuli. By pretreatment with cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor, stellation was inhibited, although vacuolation was not. Cell staining with a mitochondrion-selective dye indicated that the vacuolation probably occurs in the mitochondria that are swollen and vacuolatred in the center. Interestingly, the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) cascade inhibitor inhibited vacuolation and, to some extent, stellation. These results suggest that the ERK signaling cascade is important for the induction of mitochondrial vacuolation. We expect that a detailed study of these astrocytic reactions will provide us new perspectives regarding the variation and pathological significance of cell morphological changes, such as vacuolar degeneration, and also the mechanisms underlying various neurological disorders

  2. Nanoparticle-induced neuronal toxicity across placental barriers is mediated by autophagy and dependent on astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Simon J.; Crompton, Lucy A.; Sood, Aman; Saunders, Margaret; Boyle, Noreen T.; Buckley, Amy; Minogue, Aedín M.; McComish, Sarah F.; Jiménez-Moreno, Natalia; Cordero-Llana, Oscar; Stathakos, Petros; Gilmore, Catherine E.; Kelly, Stephen; Lane, Jon D.; Case, C. Patrick; Caldwell, Maeve A.

    2018-05-01

    The potential for maternal nanoparticle (NP) exposures to cause developmental toxicity in the fetus without the direct passage of NPs has previously been shown, but the mechanism remained elusive. We now demonstrate that exposure of cobalt and chromium NPs to BeWo cell barriers, an in vitro model of the human placenta, triggers impairment of the autophagic flux and release of interleukin-6. This contributes to the altered differentiation of human neural progenitor cells and DNA damage in the derived neurons and astrocytes. Crucially, neuronal DNA damage is mediated by astrocytes. Inhibiting the autophagic degradation in the BeWo barrier by overexpression of the dominant-negative human ATG4BC74A significantly reduces the levels of DNA damage in astrocytes. In vivo, indirect NP toxicity in mice results in neurodevelopmental abnormalities with reactive astrogliosis and increased DNA damage in the fetal hippocampus. Our results demonstrate the potential importance of autophagy to elicit NP toxicity and the risk of indirect developmental neurotoxicity after maternal NP exposure.

  3. Human microglia and astrocytes express cGAS-STING viral sensing components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffries, Austin M; Marriott, Ian

    2017-09-29

    While microglia and astrocytes are known to produce key inflammatory and anti-viral mediators following infection with replicative DNA viruses, the mechanisms by which these cell types perceive such threats are poorly understood. Recently, cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) has been identified as an important cytosolic sensor for DNA viruses and retroviruses in peripheral leukocytes. Here we confirm the ability of human microglial and astrocytic cell lines and primary human glia to respond to foreign intracellular double stranded DNA. Importantly, we provide the first demonstration that human microglia and astrocytes show robust levels of cGAS protein expression at rest and following activation. Furthermore, we show these cell types also constitutively express the critical downstream cGAS adaptor protein, stimulator of interferon genes (STING). The present finding that human glia express the principle components of the cGAS-STING pathway provides a foundation for future studies to investigate the relative importance of these molecules in clinically relevant viral CNS infections. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Protective Effect of Edaravone against Carbon Monoxide Induced Apoptosis in Rat Primary Cultured Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaodan Xu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To observe the protective effect of edaravone (Eda on astrocytes after prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide (CO and further to investigate the potential mechanisms of Eda against CO-induced apoptosis. Methods. The rat primary cultured astrocytes were cultured in vitro and exposed to 1% CO for 24 h after being cultured with different concentrations of Eda. MTT assay was used to detect the cytotoxicity of CO. Flow cytometry was used to detect the apoptosis rate, membrane potential of mitochondria, and ROS level. The mRNA and protein expressions of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 were assessed by real-time PCR and Western blotting analysis, respectively. Results. Eda can significantly suppress cytotoxicity of CO, and it can significantly increase membrane potential of mitochondria and Bcl-2 expressions and significantly suppress the apoptosis rate, ROS level, Bax, and caspase-3 expressions. Conclusion. Eda protects against CO-induced apoptosis in rat primary cultured astrocytes through decreasing ROS production and subsequently inhibiting mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.

  5. The established and emerging roles of astrocytes and microglia in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan Andrew Warren Radford

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD are two progressive, fatal neurodegenerative syndromes with considerable clinical, genetic and pathological overlap. Clinical symptoms of FTD can be seen in ALS patients and vice versa, recent genetic discoveries conclusive link the two diseases, and several common molecular players have been identified (TDP-43, FUS, C9ORF72.The definitive aetiologies of ALS and FTD are currently unknown and both disorders lack a cure. Glia, specifically astrocytes and microglia are heavily implicated in the onset and progression of neurodegeneration witnessed in ALS and FTD. In this review, we summarise the current understanding of the role of microglia and astrocytes involved in ALS and FTD, highlighting their recent implications in neuroinflammation, alterations in waste clearance involving phagocytosis and the newly described glymphatic system, and vascular abnormalities. Elucidating the precise mechanisms of how astrocytes and microglia are involved in ALS and FTD will be crucial in characterising these two disorders and may represent more effective interventions for disease progression and treatment options in the future.

  6. The established and emerging roles of astrocytes and microglia in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Rowan A; Morsch, Marco; Rayner, Stephanie L; Cole, Nicholas J; Pountney, Dean L; Chung, Roger S

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two progressive, fatal neurodegenerative syndromes with considerable clinical, genetic and pathological overlap. Clinical symptoms of FTD can be seen in ALS patients and vice versa. Recent genetic discoveries conclusively link the two diseases, and several common molecular players have been identified (TDP-43, FUS, C9ORF72). The definitive etiologies of ALS and FTD are currently unknown and both disorders lack a cure. Glia, specifically astrocytes and microglia are heavily implicated in the onset and progression of neurodegeneration witnessed in ALS and FTD. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the role of microglia and astrocytes involved in ALS and FTD, highlighting their recent implications in neuroinflammation, alterations in waste clearance involving phagocytosis and the newly described glymphatic system, and vascular abnormalities. Elucidating the precise mechanisms of how astrocytes and microglia are involved in ALS and FTD will be crucial in characterizing these two disorders and may represent more effective interventions for disease progression and treatment options in the future.

  7. Astrocyte and Oligodendrocyte Connexins of the Glial Syncytium in Relation to Astrocyte Anatomical Domains and Spatial Buffering

    OpenAIRE

    NAGY, JAMES I.; RASH, JOHN E.

    2003-01-01

    Astroctyes express a set of three connexins (Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43) that are contained in astrocyte-to-astrocyte (A/A) gap junctions; oligodendrocytes express a different set of three connexins (Cx29, Cx32, and Cx47) that are contained in the oligodendrocyte side of necessarily heterotypic astrocyte-to-oligodendrocyte (A/O) gap junctions, and there is little ultrastructural evidence for gap junction formation between individual oligodendrocytes. In addition, primarily Cx29 and Cx32 are contain...

  8. Quinolinic acid induces disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis in striatal neurons. Protective role of astrocyte-neuron interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierozan, Paula; Ferreira, Fernanda; de Lima, Bárbara Ortiz; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2015-02-01

    Quinolinic acid (QUIN) is an endogenous metabolite of the kynurenine pathway involved in several neurological disorders. Among the several mechanisms involved in QUIN-mediated toxicity, disruption of the cytoskeleton has been demonstrated in striatally injected rats and in striatal slices. The present work searched for the actions of QUIN in primary striatal neurons. Neurons exposed to 10 µM QUIN presented hyperphosphorylated neurofilament (NF) subunits (NFL, NFM, and NFH). Hyperphosphorylation was abrogated in the presence of protein kinase A and protein kinase C inhibitors H89 (20 μM) and staurosporine (10 nM), respectively, as well as by specific antagonists to N-methyl-D-aspartate (50 µM DL-AP5) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (100 µM MPEP). Also, intra- and extracellular Ca(2+) chelators (10 µM BAPTA-AM and 1 mM EGTA, respectively) and Ca(2+) influx through L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel (10 µM verapamil) are implicated in QUIN-mediated effects. Cells immunostained for the neuronal markers βIII-tubulin and microtubule-associated protein 2 showed altered neurite/neuron ratios and neurite outgrowth. NF hyperphosphorylation and morphological alterations were totally prevented by conditioned medium from QUIN-treated astrocytes. Cocultured astrocytes and neurons interacted with one another reciprocally, protecting them against QUIN injury. Cocultured cells preserved their cytoskeletal organization and cell morphology together with unaltered activity of the phosphorylating system associated with the cytoskeleton. This article describes cytoskeletal disruption as one of the most relevant actions of QUIN toxicity in striatal neurons in culture with soluble factors secreted by astrocytes, with neuron-astrocyte interaction playing a role in neuroprotection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Progressive paralysis associated with diffuse astrocyte anaplasia in delta 202 mice homozygous for a transgene encoding the SV40 T antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Revilla, Rubén; Soto-Zárate, Carlos; Ridaura, Cecilia; Chávez-Dueñas, Lucía; Paul, Dieter

    2004-03-01

    A convenient transgenic astrocytoma model in delta202 mice, homozygous for a construct encoding the early region of the SV40 virus genome, is described. In the offspring of crosses between delta202 mice heterozygous for the transgene nearly 60% were transgenic; one third of these developed progressive paralysis starting in the hindlimbs at approximately 35 days of age and died at 90 +/- 30 days of age. In affected mice proliferating-non-neuronal cells immunostained with antibodies to the GFAP, an astrocyte marker, whose number increased with age were found in the white matter of the brain, cerebellum and spinal cord, and progressive degeneration and necrosis of spinal motoneurons was observed that-may explain the paralysis. The early onset and reproducible time course of the neurological disease suggest that homozygous delta202 mice, whose proliferating astrocytes appear to damage spinal motoneurons, are a useful model to study astrocyte differentiation, function and tumorigenesis.

  10. Activity of the lactate-alanine shuttle is independent of glutamate-glutamine cycle activity in cerebellar neuronal-astrocytic cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse K; Sickmann, Helle M; Schousboe, Arne

    2004-01-01

    The glutamate-glutamine cycle describes the neuronal release of glutamate into the synaptic cleft, astrocytic uptake, and conversion into glutamine, followed by release for use as a neuronal glutamate precursor. This only explains the fate of the carbon atoms, however, and not that of the ammonia....... Recently, a role for alanine has been proposed in transfer of ammonia between glutamatergic neurons and astrocytes, denoted the lactate-alanine shuttle (Waagepetersen et al. [ 2000] J. Neurochem. 75:471-479). The role of alanine in this context has been studied further using cerebellar neuronal cultures...... and corresponding neuronal-astrocytic cocultures. A superfusion paradigm was used to induce repetitively vesicular glutamate release by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) in the neurons, allowing the relative activity dependency of the lactate-alanine shuttle to be assessed. [(15)N]Alanine (0.2 mM), [2-(15)N]/[5-(15)N...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Sotelo-Hitschfeld, T.; Niemeyer, M. I.; Machler, P.; Ruminot, I.; Lerchundi, R.; Wyss, M. T.; Stobart, J.; Fernandez-Moncada, I.; Valdebenito, R.; Garrido-Gerter, P.; Contreras-Baeza, Y.; Schneider, B. L.; Aebischer, P.; Lengacher, S.; San Martin, A.; Le Douce, J.; Bonvento, G.; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Sepulveda, F. V.; Weber, B.; Barros, L. F.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. 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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  14. Patterning of functional human astrocytes onto parylene-C/SiO2 substrates for the study of Ca2+ dynamics in astrocytic networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raos, B. J.; Simpson, M. C.; Doyle, C. S.; Murray, A. F.; Graham, E. S.; Unsworth, C. P.

    2018-06-01

    Objective. Recent literature suggests that astrocytes form organized functional networks and communicate through transient changes in cytosolic Ca2+. Traditional techniques to investigate network activity, such as pharmacological blocking or genetic knockout, are difficult to restrict to individual cells. The objective of this work is to develop cell-patterning techniques to physically manipulate astrocytic interactions to enable the study of Ca2+ in astrocytic networks. Approach. We investigate how an in vitro cell-patterning platform that utilizes geometric patterns of parylene-C on SiO2 can be used to physically isolate single astrocytes and small astrocytic networks. Main results. We report that single astrocytes are effectively isolated on 75  ×  75 µm square parylene nodes, whereas multi-cellular astrocytic networks are isolated on larger nodes, with the mean number of astrocytes per cluster increasing as a function of node size. Additionally, we report that astrocytes in small multi-cellular clusters exhibit spatio-temporal clustering of Ca2+ transients. Finally, we report that the frequency and regularity of Ca2+ transients was positively correlated with astrocyte connectivity. Significance. The significance of this work is to demonstrate how patterning hNT astrocytes replicates spatio-temporal clustering of Ca2+ signalling that is observed in vivo but not in dissociated in vitro cultures. We therefore highlight the importance of the structure of astrocytic networks in determining ensemble Ca2+ behaviour.

  15. Electric field-induced astrocyte alignment directs neurite outgrowth

    OpenAIRE

    ALEXANDER, JOHN K.; FUSS, BABETTE; COLELLO, RAYMOND J.

    2006-01-01

    The extension and directionality of neurite outgrowth are key to achieving successful target connections during both CNS development and during the re-establishment of connections lost after neural trauma. The degree of axonal elongation depends, in large part, on the spatial arrangement of astrocytic processes rich in growth-promoting proteins. Because astrocytes in culture align their processes on exposure to an electrical field of physiological strength, we sought to determine the extent t...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Barat

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Fassler

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. An Efficient Platform for Astrocyte Differentiation from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

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    Julia TCW

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Growing evidence implicates the importance of glia, particularly astrocytes, in neurological and psychiatric diseases. Here, we describe a rapid and robust method for the differentiation of highly pure populations of replicative astrocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs, via a neural progenitor cell (NPC intermediate. We evaluated this protocol across 42 NPC lines (derived from 30 individuals. Transcriptomic analysis demonstrated that hiPSC-astrocytes from four individuals are highly similar to primary human fetal astrocytes and characteristic of a non-reactive state. hiPSC-astrocytes respond to inflammatory stimulants, display phagocytic capacity, and enhance microglial phagocytosis. hiPSC-astrocytes also possess spontaneous calcium transient activity. Our protocol is a reproducible, straightforward (single medium, and rapid (<30 days method to generate populations of hiPSC-astrocytes that can be used for neuron-astrocyte and microglia-astrocyte co-cultures for the study of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  4. Explaining Away Intuitions

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    Jonathan Ichikawa

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available What is it to explain away an intuition? Philosophers regularly attempt to explain intuitions away, but it is often unclear what the success conditions for their project consist in. I attempt to articulate some of these conditions, taking philosophical case studies as guides, and arguing that many attempts to explain away intuitions underestimate the challenge the project of explaining away involves. I will conclude, therefore, that explaining away intuitions is a more difficult task than has sometimes been appreciated; I also suggest, however, that the importance of explaining away intuitions has often been exaggerated.

  5. Plant physiological responses to hydrologically mediated changes in nitrogen supply on a boreal forest floodplain: a mechanism explaining the discrepancy in nitrogen demand and supply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lina Koyama; Knut. Kielland

    2011-01-01

    A discrepancy between plant demand and soil supply of nitrogen (N) has been observed in early successional stages of riparian vegetation in interior Alaska. We hypothesized that a hydrologically mediated N supply serves as a mechanism to balance this apparent deficiency of plant N supply. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a tracer experiment and measured the...

  6. Possible Mechanisms Explaining the Association Between Physical Activity and Mental Health. Findings From the 2001 Dutch Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Monshouwer, K.; ten Have, M.; van Poppel, M.N.M.; Kemper, H.C.G.; Vollebergh, W.A.M.

    2013-01-01

    More physical activity is associated with fewer mental health problems among adolescents, but the underlying mechanisms are not clear. The aim of this article is to investigate whether the association between physical activity and mental health is mediated by body-weight perception (self-image) or

  7. A2A-D2 receptor-receptor interaction modulates gliotransmitter release from striatal astrocyte processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervetto, Chiara; Venturini, Arianna; Passalacqua, Mario; Guidolin, Diego; Genedani, Susanna; Fuxe, Kjell; Borroto-Esquela, Dasiel O; Cortelli, Pietro; Woods, Amina; Maura, Guido; Marcoli, Manuela; Agnati, Luigi F

    2017-01-01

    Evidence for striatal A2A-D2 heterodimers has led to a new perspective on molecular mechanisms involved in schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. Despite the increasing recognition of astrocytes' participation in neuropsychiatric disease vulnerability, involvement of striatal astrocytes in A2A and D2 receptor signal transmission has never been explored. Here, we investigated the presence of D2 and A2A receptors in isolated astrocyte processes prepared from adult rat striatum by confocal imaging; the effects of receptor activation were measured on the 4-aminopyridine-evoked release of glutamate from the processes. Confocal analysis showed that A2A and D2 receptors were co-expressed on the same astrocyte processes. Evidence for A2A-D2 receptor-receptor interactions was obtained by measuring the release of the gliotransmitter glutamate: D2 receptors inhibited the glutamate release, while activation of A2A receptors, per se ineffective, abolished the effect of D2 receptor activation. The synthetic D2 peptide VLRRRRKRVN corresponding to the receptor region involved in electrostatic interaction underlying A2A-D2 heteromerization abolished the ability of the A2A receptor to antagonize the D2 receptor-mediated effect. Together, the findings are consistent with heteromerization of native striatal astrocytic A2A-D2 receptors that via allosteric receptor-receptor interactions could play a role in the control of striatal glutamatergic transmission. These new findings suggest possible new pathogenic mechanisms and/or therapeutic approaches to neuropsychiatric disorders. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. ROS detoxification and proinflammatory cytokines are linked by p38 MAPK signaling in a model of mature astrocyte activation.

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    Adrian Nahirnyj

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cell in the retinal nerve fiber layer (NFL and optic nerve head (ONH, and perform essential roles in maintaining retinal ganglion cell (RGC detoxification and homeostasis. Mature astrocytes are relatively quiescent, but rapidly undergo a phenotypic switch in response to insult, characterized by upregulation of intermediate filament proteins, loss of glutamate buffering, secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and increased antioxidant production. These changes result in both positive and negative influences on RGCs. However, the mechanism regulating these responses is still unclear, and pharmacologic strategies to modulate select aspects of this switch have not been thoroughly explored. Here we describe a system for rapid culture of mature astrocytes from the adult rat retina that remain relatively quiescent, but respond robustly when challenged with oxidative damage, a key pathogenic stress associated with inner retinal injury. When primary astrocytes were exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS we consistently observed characteristic changes in activation markers, along with increased expression of detoxifying genes, and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. This in vitro model was then used for a pilot chemical screen to target specific aspects of this switch. Increased activity of p38α and β Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs were identified as a necessary signal regulating expression of MnSOD, and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1, with consequent changes in ROS-mediated injury. Additionally, multiplex cytokine profiling detected p38 MAPK-dependent secretion of IL-6, MCP-1, and MIP-2α, which are proinflammatory signals recently implicated in damage to the inner retina. These data provide a mechanism to link increased oxidative stress to proinflammatory signaling by astrocytes, and establish this assay as a useful model to further dissect factors regulating the reactive switch.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-17

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Onset of Spinal Cord Astrocyte Precursor Emigration from the Ventricular Zone Involves the Zeb1 Transcription Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ohayon

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available During spinal cord development, astrocyte precursors arise from neuroepithelial progenitors, delaminate from the ventricular zone, and migrate toward their final locations where they differentiate. Although the mechanisms underlying their early specification and late differentiation are being deciphered, less is known about the temporal control of their migration. Here, we show that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulator Zeb1 is expressed in glial precursors and report that loss of Zeb1 function specifically delays the onset of astrocyte precursor delamination from the ventricular zone, correlating with transient deregulation of the adhesion protein Cadherin-1. Consequently, astrocyte precursor invasion into the Zeb1−/− mutant white matter is delayed, and induction of their differentiation is postponed. These findings illustrate how fine regulation of adhesive properties influences the onset of neural precursor migration and further support the notion that duration of exposure of migrating astrocyte precursors to environmental cues and/or their correct positioning influence the timing of their differentiation.

  12. Glucose Regulates Hypothalamic Long-chain Fatty Acid Metabolism via AMP-activated Kinase (AMPK) in Neurons and Astrocytes*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taïb, Bouchra; Bouyakdan, Khalil; Hryhorczuk, Cécile; Rodaros, Demetra; Fulton, Stephanie; Alquier, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Hypothalamic controls of energy balance rely on the detection of circulating nutrients such as glucose and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) by the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH). LCFA metabolism in the MBH plays a key role in the control of food intake and glucose homeostasis, yet it is not known if glucose regulates LCFA oxidation and esterification in the MBH and, if so, which hypothalamic cell type(s) and intracellular signaling mechanisms are involved. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of glucose on LCFA metabolism, assess the role of AMP-activated Kinase (AMPK), and to establish if changes in LCFA metabolism and its regulation by glucose vary as a function of the kind of LCFA, cell type, and brain region. We show that glucose inhibits palmitate oxidation via AMPK in hypothalamic neuronal cell lines, primary hypothalamic astrocyte cultures, and MBH slices ex vivo but not in cortical astrocytes and slice preparations. In contrast, oleate oxidation was not affected by glucose or AMPK inhibition in MBH slices. In addition, our results show that glucose increases palmitate, but not oleate, esterification into neutral lipids in neurons and MBH slices but not in hypothalamic astrocytes. These findings reveal for the first time the metabolic fate of different LCFA in the MBH, demonstrate AMPK-dependent glucose regulation of LCFA oxidation in both astrocytes and neurons, and establish metabolic coupling of glucose and LCFA as a distinguishing feature of hypothalamic nuclei critical for the control of energy balance. PMID:24240094

  13. Glucose regulates hypothalamic long-chain fatty acid metabolism via AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) in neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taïb, Bouchra; Bouyakdan, Khalil; Hryhorczuk, Cécile; Rodaros, Demetra; Fulton, Stephanie; Alquier, Thierry

    2013-12-27

    Hypothalamic controls of energy balance rely on the detection of circulating nutrients such as glucose and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) by the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH). LCFA metabolism in the MBH plays a key role in the control of food intake and glucose homeostasis, yet it is not known if glucose regulates LCFA oxidation and esterification in the MBH and, if so, which hypothalamic cell type(s) and intracellular signaling mechanisms are involved. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of glucose on LCFA metabolism, assess the role of AMP-activated Kinase (AMPK), and to establish if changes in LCFA metabolism and its regulation by glucose vary as a function of the kind of LCFA, cell type, and brain region. We show that glucose inhibits palmitate oxidation via AMPK in hypothalamic neuronal cell lines, primary hypothalamic astrocyte cultures, and MBH slices ex vivo but not in cortical astrocytes and slice preparations. In contrast, oleate oxidation was not affected by glucose or AMPK inhibition in MBH slices. In addition, our results show that glucose increases palmitate, but not oleate, esterification into neutral lipids in neurons and MBH slices but not in hypothalamic astrocytes. These findings reveal for the first time the metabolic fate of different LCFA in the MBH, demonstrate AMPK-dependent glucose regulation of LCFA oxidation in both astrocytes and neurons, and establish metabolic coupling of glucose and LCFA as a distinguishing feature of hypothalamic nuclei critical for the control of energy balance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu L

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Lifeguard inhibition of Fas-mediated apoptosis: A possible mechanism for explaining the cisplatin resistance of triple-negative breast cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radin, Daniel; Lippa, Arnold; Patel, Parth; Leonardi, Donna

    2016-02-01

    Triple-negative breast cancer does not express estrogen receptor-α, progesterone or the HER2 receptor making hormone or antibody therapy ineffective. Cisplatin may initiate p73-dependent apoptosis in p53 mutant cell lines through Fas trimerization and Caspase-8 activation and Bax up regulation and subsequent Caspase-9 activation. The triple-negative breast cancer, MDA-MB-231, overexpresses the protein Lifeguard, which inhibits Fas-mediated apoptosis by inhibiting Caspase-8 activation after Fas trimerization. The relationship between Fas, Lifeguard and cisplatin is investigated by down regulating Lifeguard via shRNA. Results demonstrate that cisplatin's efficacy increases when Lifeguard is down regulated. Lifeguard Knockdown MDA-MB-231 continue to decrease in cell viability from 24 to 48h after cisplatin treatment while no additional decrease in viability is observed in the Wild-Type MDA over the same period. Higher Caspase-8 activity in the Lifeguard knockdown MDA after cisplatin administration could explain the significant decrease in cell viability from 24 to 48h. This cell type is also more sensitive to Fas ligand-mediated reductions in cell viability, confirming Lifeguard's anti-apoptotic function through the Fas receptor. This research suggests that the efficacy of chemotherapy acting through the Fas pathway would increase if Lifeguard were not overexpressed to inhibit Fas-mediated apoptosis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Extensibility of the hamstrings is best explained by mechanical components of muscle contraction, not behavioral measures in individuals with chronic low back pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Paul W M; Mannion, Jamie; Murphy, Bernadette A

    2009-08-01

    To examine the relationship between hamstring extensibility by use of the instrumented straight leg raise; mechanical components of muscle contraction, including muscle recruitment, passive torque measures of tissue stiffness, and eccentric strength; and self-reported measures of pain and disability. Cross-sectional study. University laboratory. Twenty-one individuals with chronic nonspecific axial lower back pain and 15 healthy control subjects. Instrumented straight leg raise, concentric and eccentric hamstring strength, self-reported measures of pain, disability, fear avoidance, general health and well-being Objective measures included hamstring extensibility, hamstring muscle stiffness, absolute and relative concentric/eccentric strength, concentric/eccentric strength ratios. Self-reported measures included Oswestry disability index, visual analog pain scale, fear avoidance beliefs, and general health and well being. Patients with lower back pain had lower range of motion, greater changes in muscle stiffness, and impaired concentric-to-eccentric strength levels. Stepwise regression identified measures of stiffness as significantly predicting hamstring extensibility (adjusted r(2) = 0.58, F = 23.76, P hamstrings also was associated with greater hamstring extensibility. Decreased extensibility of the hamstrings was associated with increased passive stiffness during the common range of motion (20 to 50 degrees ). Impaired stretch tolerance is associated with actual mechanical restriction, not behavioral measures indicating increased pain or fear-avoidant behavior. With no relationship to actual disability and contradictory findings in the literature for the relationship of the hamstrings to the mechanics of the low back, it is unclear whether decreased hamstring extensibility should be targeted in rehabilitation programs for axial lower back pain.

  17. Disrupted integration of sensory stimuli with information about the movement of the body as a mechanism explaining LSD-induced experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juszczak, Grzegorz R

    2017-03-01

    LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a model psychedelic drug used to study mechanism underlying the effects induced by hallucinogens. However, despite advanced knowledge about molecular mechanism responsible for the effects induced by LSD and other related substances acting at serotonergic 5-HT 2a receptors, we still do not understand how these drugs trigger specific sensory experiences. LSD-induced experience is characterised by perception of movement in the environment and by presence of various bodily sensations such as floating in space, merging into surroundings and movement out of the physical body (the out-of-body experience). It means that a large part of the experience induced by the LSD can be simplified to the illusory movement that can be attributed to the self or to external objects. The phenomenology of the LSD-induced experience has been combined with the fact that serotonergic neurons provide all major parts of the brain with information about the level of tonic motor activity, occurrence of external stimuli and the execution of orienting responses. Therefore, it has been proposed that LSD-induced stimulation of 5-HT 2a receptors disrupts the integration of the sensory stimuli with information about the movement of the body leading to perception of illusory movement. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Dysfunctional TCA-Cycle Metabolism in Glutamate Dehydrogenase Deficient Astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissen, Jakob D; Pajęcka, Kamilla; Stridh, Malin H; Skytt, Dorte M; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2015-12-01

    Astrocytes take up glutamate in the synaptic area subsequent to glutamatergic transmission by the aid of high affinity glutamate transporters. Glutamate is converted to glutamine or metabolized to support intermediary metabolism and energy production. Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) catalyze the reversible reaction between glutamate and α-ketoglutarate, which is the initial step for glutamate to enter TCA cycle metabolism. In contrast to GDH, AAT requires a concomitant interconversion of oxaloacetate and aspartate. We have investigated the role of GDH in astrocyte glutamate and glucose metabolism employing siRNA mediated knock down (KD) of GDH in cultured astrocytes using stable and radioactive isotopes for metabolic mapping. An increased level of aspartate was observed upon exposure to [U-(13) C]glutamate in astrocytes exhibiting reduced GDH activity. (13) C Labeling of aspartate and TCA cycle intermediates confirmed that the increased amount of aspartate is associated with elevated TCA cycle flux from α-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate, i.e. truncated TCA cycle. (13) C Glucose metabolism was elevated in GDH deficient astrocytes as observed by increased de novo synthesis of aspartate via pyruvate carboxylation. In the absence of glucose, lactate production from glutamate via malic enzyme was lower in GDH deficient astrocytes. In conclusions, our studies reveal that metabolism via GDH serves an important anaplerotic role by adding net carbon to the TCA cycle. A reduction in GDH activity seems to cause the astrocytes to up-regulate activity in pathways involved in maintaining the amount of TCA cycle intermediates such as pyruvate carboxylation as well as utilization of alternate substrates such as branched chain amino acids. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dario Carvalho-Paulo

    2018-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-15

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

  3. Fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis in astrocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 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 2 and labeled ketone bodies were produced from the oxidation of fatty acids labeled at carboxy- and ω-terminal carbons, indicating that fatty acids were oxidized by β-oxidation. The results from the radiolabeled tracer studies also indicated that a substantial proportion of the ω-terminal 4-carbon unit of the fatty acids bypassed the β-ketothiolase step of the β-oxidation pathway. The [ 14 C]acetoacetate formed from the [1- 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 [ 14 C]acetoacetate formed from the (ω-1)labeled fatty acids contained 90% of the label at carbon 3 and 10% at carbon 1

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. Voluntary Exercise Promotes Glymphatic Clearance of Amyloid Beta and Reduces the Activation of Astrocytes and Microglia in Aged Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Dong-Xu; Zhang, Qun; Liang, Feng-Ying; Dai, Guang-Yan; Zeng, Jin-Sheng; Pei, Zhong; Xu, Guang-Qing; Lan, Yue

    2017-01-01

    Age is characterized by chronic inflammation, leading to synaptic dysfunction and dementia because the clearance of protein waste is reduced. The clearance of proteins depends partly on the permeation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or on the exchange of water and soluble contents between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the interstitial fluid (ISF). A wealth of evidence indicates that physical exercise improves memory and cognition in neurodegenerative diseases during aging, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the influence of physical training on glymphatic clearance, BBB permeability and neuroinflammation remains unclear. In this study, glymphatic clearance and BBB permeability were evaluated in aged mice using in vivo two-photon imaging. The mice performed voluntary wheel running exercise and their water-maze cognition was assessed; the expression of the astrocytic water channel aquaporin 4 (AQP4), astrocyte and microglial activation, and the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) were evaluated with immunofluorescence or an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); synaptic function was investigated with Thy1 -green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice and immunofluorescent staining. Voluntary wheel running significantly improved water-maze cognition in the aged mice, accelerated the efficiency of glymphatic clearance, but which did not affect BBB permeability. The numbers of activated astrocytes and microglia decreased, AQP4 expression increased, and the distribution of astrocytic AQP4 was rearranged. Aβ accumulation decreased, whereas dendrites, dendritic spines and postsynaptic density protein (PSD95) increased. Our study suggests that voluntary wheel running accelerated glymphatic clearance but not BBB permeation, improved astrocytic AQP4 expression and polarization, attenuated the accumulation of amyloid plaques and neuroinflammation, and ultimately protected mice against synaptic dysfunction and a decline in spatial cognition. These data suggest

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masato Kinboshi

    2017-12-01

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

  8. Voluntary Exercise Promotes Glymphatic Clearance of Amyloid Beta and Reduces the Activation of Astrocytes and Microglia in Aged Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-fei He

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Age is characterized by chronic inflammation, leading to synaptic dysfunction and dementia because the clearance of protein waste is reduced. The clearance of proteins depends partly on the permeation of the blood–brain barrier (BBB or on the exchange of water and soluble contents between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and the interstitial fluid (ISF. A wealth of evidence indicates that physical exercise improves memory and cognition in neurodegenerative diseases during aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD, but the influence of physical training on glymphatic clearance, BBB permeability and neuroinflammation remains unclear. In this study, glymphatic clearance and BBB permeability were evaluated in aged mice using in vivo two-photon imaging. The mice performed voluntary wheel running exercise and their water-maze cognition was assessed; the expression of the astrocytic water channel aquaporin 4 (AQP4, astrocyte and microglial activation, and the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ were evaluated with immunofluorescence or an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA; synaptic function was investigated with Thy1–green fluorescent protein (GFP transgenic mice and immunofluorescent staining. Voluntary wheel running significantly improved water-maze cognition in the aged mice, accelerated the efficiency of glymphatic clearance, but which did not affect BBB permeability. The numbers of activated astrocytes and microglia decreased, AQP4 expression increased, and the distribution of astrocytic AQP4 was rearranged. Aβ accumulation decreased, whereas dendrites, dendritic spines and postsynaptic density protein (PSD95 increased. Our study suggests that voluntary wheel running accelerated glymphatic clearance but not BBB permeation, improved astrocytic AQP4 expression and polarization, attenuated the accumulation of amyloid plaques and neuroinflammation, and ultimately protected mice against synaptic dysfunction and a decline in spatial cognition

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  10. Glucose replaces glutamate as energy substrate to fuel glutamate uptake in glutamate dehydrogenase-deficient astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pajęcka, Kamilla; Nissen, Jakob D; Stridh, Malin H

    2015-01-01

    -500 µM) in the presence or in the absence of glucose, the metabolism of these substrates was studied by using tritiated glutamate or 2-deoxyglucose as tracers. In addition, the cellular contents of glutamate and ATP were determined. The astrocytes were able to maintain physiological levels of ATP...... regardless of the expression level of GDH and the incubation condition, indicating a high degree of flexibility with regard to regulatory mechanisms involved in maintaining an adequate energy level in the cells. Glutamate uptake was found to be increased in these cells when exposed to increasing levels...

  11. Explaining the mechanisms through which regional atmospheric circulation variability drives summer temperatures and glacial melt in western High Mountain Asia (HMA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsythe, Nathan; Fowler, Hayley; Blenkinsop, Stephen; Li, Xiaofeng; Pritchard, David

    2017-04-01

    Comprehension of mechanisms by which atmospheric circulation influences sub-regional temperature and water resources variability in high-elevation mountainous catchments is of great scientific urgency due to the dependency of large downstream populations on the river flows these basins provide. In this work we quantify a regional atmospheric pattern, the Karakoram Zonal Shear (KZS), with a very pronounced annual cycle which we standardise into a dimensionless (seasonal) circulation metric the Karakoram Zonal Index (KZI). Going beyond previous regional circulation metrics such as the "middle-upper tropospheric temperature index" (MUTTI) or the Webster and Yang Monsoonal Index (WYMI) which have focused solely on the South Asian Summer Monsoon (June to September) season, the KZS/KZI provides an indicator which captures the influence and interactions of the westerly jet throughout the entire annual cycle. Use of the KZS and KZI have led us to identify a further regional atmospheric system, the Karakoram Vortex, which propagates "warm high" (anticyclonic postitive temperature anomaly) and "cold low" (cyclonic negative temperature anomaly) patterns across a very broad swath of Central and South Asia in winter but over a much more constrained area of western HMA in summer. The KV exerts this temperature influence through a combination of adiabatic effects and large-scale advection. Quantify KV influence, the KZI shows strong and statistically significantly near surface (2m) air temperatures both across western HMA both as observed through local meteorological stations and as estimated by an ensemble of global meteorological reanalyses. We show that this strong influence on temperature translates to important consequences for meltwater generation from highly glaciated Indus river tributaries which is logical given that previous studies have established the role of air temperature in modulating glacially-derived river flows in western HMA. By improving the understanding of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  13. Synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents in Spinal Dorsal Horn Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Removing and sequestering synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space is carried out by specific plasma membrane transporters that are primarily located in astrocytes. Glial glutamate transporter function can be monitored by recording the currents that are produced by co-transportation of Na+ ions with the uptake of glutamate. The goal of this study was to characterize glutamate transporter function in astrocytes of the spinal cord dorsal horn in real time by recording synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents. Results Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained from astrocytes in the spinal substantia gelatinosa (SG area in spinal slices of young adult rats. Glutamate transporter currents were evoked in these cells by electrical stimulation at the spinal dorsal root entry zone in the presence of bicuculline, strychnine, DNQX and D-AP5. Transporter currents were abolished when synaptic transmission was blocked by TTX or Cd2+. Pharmacological studies identified two subtypes of glutamate transporters in spinal astrocytes, GLAST and GLT-1. Glutamate transporter currents were graded with stimulus intensity, reaching peak responses at 4 to 5 times activation threshold, but were reduced following low-frequency (0.1 – 1 Hz repetitive stimulation. Conclusion These results suggest that glutamate transporters of spinal astrocytes could be activated by synaptic activation, and recording glutamate transporter currents may provide a means of examining the real time physiological responses of glial cells in spinal sensory processing, sensitization, hyperalgesia and chronic pain.

  14. Accumulation of silver nanoparticles by cultured primary brain astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  16. Cell adhesion and matricellular support by astrocytes of the tripartite synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hillen, Anne E J; Burbach, J Peter H; Hol, Elly M

    2018-01-01

    Astrocytes contribute to the formation, function, and plasticity of synapses. Their processes enwrap the neuronal components of the tripartite synapse, and due to this close interaction they are perfectly positioned to modulate neuronal communication. The interaction between astrocytes and synapses

  17. Modulation of Signal Proteins: A Plausible Mechanism to Explain How a Potentized Drug Secale Cor 30C Diluted beyond Avogadro's Limit Combats Skin Papilloma in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khuda-Bukhsh, Anisur Rahman; Bhattacharyya, Soumya Sundar; Paul, Saili; Dutta, Suman; Boujedaini, Naoual; Belon, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    In homeopathy, ability of ultra-high diluted drugs at or above potency 12C (diluted beyond Avogadro's limit) in ameliorating/curing various diseases is often questioned, particularly because the mechanism of action is not precisely known. We tested the hypothesis if suitable modulations of signal proteins could be one of the possible pathways of action of a highly diluted homeopathic drug, Secale cornutum 30C (diluted 10(60) times; Sec cor 30). It could successfully combat DMBA + croton oil-induced skin papilloma in mice as evidenced by histological, cytogenetical, immunofluorescence, ELISA and immunoblot findings. Critical analysis of several signal proteins like AhR, PCNA, Akt, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, NF-κB and IL-6 and of pro-apoptotic proteins like cytochrome c, Bax, Bad, Apaf, caspase-3 and -9 revealed that Sec cor 30 suitably modulated their expression levels along with amelioration of skin papilloma. FACS data also suggested an increase of cell population at S and G2 phases and decrease in sub-G1 and G1 phages in carcinogen-treated drug-unfed mice, but these were found to be near normal in the Sec cor 30-fed mice. There was reduction in genotoxic and DNA damages in bone marrow cells of Sec Cor 30-fed mice, as revealed from cytogenetic and Comet assays. Changes in histological features of skin papilloma were noted. Immunofluorescence studies of AhR and PCNA also suggested reduced expression of these proteins in Sec cor 30-fed mice, thereby showing its anti-cancer potentials against skin papilloma. Furthermore, this study also supports the hypothesis that potentized homeopathic drugs act at gene regulatory level.

  18. Modulation of Signal Proteins: A Plausible Mechanism to Explain How a Potentized Drug Secale Cor 30C Diluted beyond Avogadro's Limit Combats Skin Papilloma in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In homeopathy, ability of ultra-high diluted drugs at or above potency 12C (diluted beyond Avogadro's limit in ameliorating/curing various diseases is often questioned, particularly because the mechanism of action is not precisely known. We tested the hypothesis if suitable modulations of signal proteins could be one of the possible pathways of action of a highly diluted homeopathic drug, Secale cornutum 30C (diluted 1060 times; Sec cor 30. It could successfully combat DMBA + croton oil-induced skin papilloma in mice as evidenced by histological, cytogenetical, immunofluorescence, ELISA and immunoblot findings. Critical analysis of several signal proteins like AhR, PCNA, Akt, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, NF-κB and IL-6 and of pro-apoptotic proteins like cytochrome c, Bax, Bad, Apaf, caspase-3 and -9 revealed that Sec cor 30 suitably modulated their expression levels along with amelioration of skin papilloma. FACS data also suggested an increase of cell population at S and G2 phases and decrease in sub-G1 and G1 phages in carcinogen-treated drug-unfed mice, but these were found to be near normal in the Sec cor 30-fed mice. There was reduction in genotoxic and DNA damages in bone marrow cells of Sec Cor 30-fed mice, as revealed from cytogenetic and Comet assays. Changes in histological features of skin papilloma were noted. Immunofluorescence studies of AhR and PCNA also suggested reduced expression of these proteins in Sec cor 30-fed mice, thereby showing its anti-cancer potentials against skin papilloma. Furthermore, this study also supports the hypothesis that potentized homeopathic drugs act at gene regulatory level.

  19. 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.

  20. Evidence that spinal astrocytes but not microglia contribute to the pathogenesis of paclitaxel-induced painful neuropathy

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Haijun; Yoon, Seo-Yeon; Zhang, Hongmei; Dougherty, Patrick M.

    2012-01-01

    Paclitaxel often induces persistent painful neuropathy as its most common treatment limiting side effect. Little is known concerning the underlying mechanisms. Given the prominent role of glial cells in many types of neuropathic pain, we investigated here the morphological and functional changes of spinal astrocytes and microglia in a rat model of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. Immunohistochemistry, western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) were performed with samples ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    The posterodorsal portion of the medial amygdala (MePD) is sexually dimorphic in several rodent species. In several other brain nuclei, astrocytes change morphology in response to steroid hormones. We visualized MePD astrocytes using glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunocytochemistry. We compared the number and process complexity of MePD astrocytes in adult wildtype male and female rats and testicular feminized mutant (TFM) male rats that lack functional androgen receptors (ARs) to determine whether MePD astrocytes are sexually differentiated and whether ARs have a role. Unbiased stereological methods revealed laterality and sex differences in MePD astrocyte number and complexity. The right MePD contained more astrocytes than the left in all three genotypes, and the number of astrocytes was also sexually differentiated in the right MePD, with males having more astrocytes than females. In contrast, the left MePD contained more complex astrocytes than did the right MePD in all three genotypes, and males had more complex astrocytes than females in this hem