WorldWideScience

Sample records for astrocytic mechanisms explaining

  1. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Astrocytes as an HIV Reservoir: Mechanism of HIV Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guan-Han; Henderson, Lisa; Nath, Avindra

    2016-01-01

    If we have any hope of achieving a cure for HIV infection, close attention to the cell types capable of getting infected with HIV is necessary. Of these cell types, astrocytes are the most ideal cell type for the formation of such a reservoir. These are long-lived cells with a very low turnover rate and are found in the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. Although astrocytes are evidently resistant to infection of cell-free HIV in vitro, these cells are efficiently infected via cell-tocell contact by which immature HIV virions bud off lymphocytes and have the ability to directly bind to CXCR4, triggering the process of fusion in the absence of CD4. In this review, we closely examine the evidence for HIV infection of astrocytes in the brain and the mechanisms for viral entry and regulation in this cell type, and discuss an approach for controlling this viral reservoir.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Atomic force microscopy study of the arrangement and mechanical properties of astrocytic cytoskeleton in growth medium

    OpenAIRE

    Efremov, Yu.; Dzyubenko, E.; Bagrov, D.; Maksimov, G.; Shram, S.; Shaitan, K.

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes are quite interesting to study because of their role in the development of various neurodegenerative disorders. The present work describes an examination of the arrangement and mechanical properties of cytoskeleton of living astrocytes using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The experiments were performed with an organotypic culture of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) obtained from a chicken embryo. The cells were cultivated on a gelatinous substrate and showed strong adhesion. AFM allows on...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    Glutamate signaling is achieved by an elaborate network involving neurons and astrocytes. Hence, it is critical to better understand how neurons and astrocytes interact to coordinate the cellular regulation of glutamate signaling. In these studies, we used rat cortical cell cultures to examine whether neurons or releasable neuronal factors were capable of regulating system xc (-) (Sxc), a glutamate-releasing mechanism that is expressed primarily by astrocytes and has been shown to regulate synaptic transmission. We found that astrocytes cultured with neurons or exposed to neuronal-conditioned media displayed significantly higher levels of Sxc activity. Next, we demonstrated that the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) may be a neuronal factor capable of regulating astrocytes. In support, we found that PACAP expression was restricted to neurons, and that PACAP receptors were expressed in astrocytes. Interestingly, blockade of PACAP receptors in cultures comprised of astrocytes and neurons significantly decreased Sxc activity to the level observed in purified astrocytes, whereas application of PACAP to purified astrocytes increased Sxc activity to the level observed in cultures comprised of neurons and astrocytes. Collectively, these data reveal that neurons coordinate the actions of glutamate-related mechanisms expressed by astrocytes, such as Sxc, a process that likely involves PACAP. A critical gap in modeling excitatory signaling is how distinct components of the glutamate system expressed by neurons and astrocytes are coordinated. In these studies, we found that system xc (-) (Sxc), a glutamate release mechanism expressed by astrocytes, is regulated by releasable neuronal factors including PACAP. This represents a novel form of neuron-astrocyte communication, and highlights the possibility that pathological changes involving astrocytic Sxc may stem from altered neuronal activity. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  7. Astrocyte glycogen and lactate: New insights into learning and memory mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberini, Cristina M; Cruz, Emmanuel; Descalzi, Giannina; Bessières, Benjamin; Gao, Virginia

    2017-10-27

    Memory, the ability to retain learned information, is necessary for survival. Thus far, molecular and cellular investigations of memory formation and storage have mainly focused on neuronal mechanisms. In addition to neurons, however, the brain comprises other types of cells and systems, including glia and vasculature. Accordingly, recent experimental work has begun to ask questions about the roles of non-neuronal cells in memory formation. These studies provide evidence that all types of glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia) make important contributions to the processing of encoded information and storing memories. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent findings on the critical role of astrocytes as providers of energy for the long-lasting neuronal changes that are necessary for long-term memory formation. We focus on three main findings: first, the role of glucose metabolism and the learning- and activity-dependent metabolic coupling between astrocytes and neurons in the service of long-term memory formation; second, the role of astrocytic glucose metabolism in arousal, a state that contributes to the formation of very long-lasting and detailed memories; and finally, in light of the high energy demands of the brain during early development, we will discuss the possible role of astrocytic and neuronal glucose metabolisms in the formation of early-life memories. We conclude by proposing future directions and discussing the implications of these findings for brain health and disease. Astrocyte glycogenolysis and lactate play a critical role in memory formation. Emotionally salient experiences form strong memories by recruiting astrocytic β2 adrenergic receptors and astrocyte-generated lactate. Glycogenolysis and astrocyte-neuron metabolic coupling may also play critical roles in memory formation during development, when the energy requirements of brain metabolism are at their peak. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Alcohol and breast cancer: the mechanisms explained.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Sader, Hassen; Abdul-Jabar, Hani; Allawi, Zahra; Haba, Yasser

    2009-08-01

    Breast cancer is a leading cause of death amongst women, several studies have shown significant association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. The aim of this overview is to highlight some of the mechanisms by which alcohol consumption could increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Using online Medline search engine, article containing details about mechanisms which explain the link between alcohol and breast cancer were examined. A number of mechanisms were found by which alcohol could increase the risk of breast cancer, alcohol's interaction and effect on oestrogen secretion; number of oestrogen receptors; the generation of acetaldehyde and hydroxyl free radicals; cells migration and metastasis; secretion of IGF1 and interaction with HRT and folate metabolism. In conclusion, it is essential for clinicians to understand these mechanisms and inform patients of the link between alcohol and breast cancer. Breast cancer; Alcohol; Mechanisms.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. Activated spinal astrocytes are involved in the maintenance of chronic widespread mechanical hyperalgesia after cast immobilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background In the present study, we examined spinal glial cell activation as a central nervous system mechanism of widespread mechanical hyperalgesia in rats that experienced chronic post-cast pain (CPCP) 2 weeks after cast immobilization. Activated spinal microglia and astrocytes were investigated immunohistologically in lumbar and coccygeal spinal cord segments 1 day, 5 weeks, and 13 weeks following cast removal. Results In the lumbar cord, astrocytes were activated after microglia. Astrocytes also were activated after microglia in the coccygeal cord, but with a delay that was longer than that observed in the lumbar cord. This activation pattern paralleled the observation that mechanical hyperalgesia occurred in the hindleg or the hindpaw before the tail. The activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) immune response in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) on the last day of cast immobilization suggested that nerve damage might not occur in CPCP rats. The neural activation assessed by the phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) immune response in DRG arose 1 day after cast removal. In addition, L-α-aminoadipate (L-α-AA), an inhibitor of astrocyte activation administered intrathecally 5 weeks after cast removal, inhibited mechanical hyperalgesia in several body parts including the lower leg skin and muscles bilaterally, hindpaws, and tail. Conclusions These findings suggest that activation of lumbar cord astrocytes is an important factor in widespread mechanical hyperalgesia in CPCP. PMID:24456903

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Brian Roland; MacAulay, Nanna

    2017-01-01

    .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 /pHo 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...

  12. Cytoskeleton of cortical astrocytes as a target to proline through oxidative stress mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loureiro, Samanta Oliveira; Heimfarth, Luana; Scherer, Emilene B S; da Cunha, Maira J; de Lima, Bárbara Ortiz; Biasibetti, Helena; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina; Wyse, Angela T S

    2013-02-01

    Hyperprolinemia is an inherited disorder of proline (Pro) metabolism and patients affected by this disease may present neurological manifestations. However, the mechanisms of neural excitotoxicity elicited by hyperprolinemia are far from being understood. Considering the pivotal role of cytoskeletal remodeling in several neurodegenerative pathologies and the potential links between cytoskeleton, reactive oxygen species production and cell death, the aim of the present work was to study the effects of Pro on astrocyte and neuron cytoskeletal remodeling and the possible oxidative stress involvement. Pro induced a shift of actin cytoskeleton in stress fibers together with increased RhoA immunocontent and ERK1/2 phosphorylation/activation in cortical astrocytes. Unlike astrocytes, results evidenced little susceptibility of neuron cytoskeleton remodeling, since Pro-treated neurons presented unaltered neuritogenesis. We observed increased hydrogen peroxide production characterizing oxidative stress together with decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities in cortical astrocytes after Pro treatment, while glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) activity remained unaltered. However, coincubation with Pro and Trolox/melatonin prevented decreased SOD and CAT activities in Pro-treated astrocytes. Accordingly, these antioxidants were able to prevent the remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton, RhoA increased levels and ERK1/2 phosphorylation in response to high Pro exposure. Taken together, these findings indicated that the cytoskeleton of cortical astrocytes, but not of neurons in culture, is a target to Pro and such effects could be mediated, at least in part, by redox imbalance, RhoA and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. The vulnerability of astrocyte cytoskeleton may have important implications for understanding the effects of Pro in the neurotoxicity linked to inborn errors of Pro metabolism. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  15. Glucocorticoid regulation of ATP release from spinal astrocytes underlies diurnal exacerbation of neuropathic mechanical allodynia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyanagi, Satoru; Kusunose, Naoki; Taniguchi, Marie; Akamine, Takahiro; Kanado, Yuki; Ozono, Yui; Masuda, Takahiro; Kohro, Yuta; Matsunaga, Naoya; Tsuda, Makoto; Salter, Michael W.; Inoue, Kazuhide; Ohdo, Shigehiro

    2016-01-01

    Diurnal variations in pain hypersensitivity are common in chronic pain disorders, but the underlying mechanisms are enigmatic. Here, we report that mechanical pain hypersensitivity in sciatic nerve-injured mice shows pronounced diurnal alterations, which critically depend on diurnal variations in glucocorticoids from the adrenal glands. Diurnal enhancement of pain hypersensitivity is mediated by glucocorticoid-induced enhancement of the extracellular release of ATP in the spinal cord, which stimulates purinergic receptors on microglia in the dorsal horn. We identify serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase-1 (SGK-1) as the key molecule responsible for the glucocorticoid-enhanced release of ATP from astrocytes. SGK-1 protein levels in spinal astrocytes are increased in response to glucocorticoid stimuli and enhanced ATP release by opening the pannexin-1 hemichannels. Our findings reveal an unappreciated circadian machinery affecting pain hypersensitivity caused by peripheral nerve injury, thus opening up novel approaches to the management of chronic pain. PMID:27739425

  16. Autophagy Constitutes a Protective Mechanism against Ethanol Toxicity in Mouse Astrocytes and Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    Ethanol induces brain damage and neurodegeneration by triggering inflammatory processes in glial cells through activation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling. Recent evidence indicates the role of protein degradation pathways in neurodegeneration and alcoholic liver disease, but how these processes affect the brain remains elusive. We have demonstrated that chronic ethanol consumption impairs proteolytic pathways in mouse brain, and the immune response mediated by TLR4 receptors participates in these dysfunctions. We evaluate the in vitro effects of an acute ethanol dose on the autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP) on WT and TLR4-/- mouse astrocytes and neurons in primary culture, and how these changes affect cell survival. Our results show that ethanol induces overexpression of several autophagy markers (ATG12, LC3-II, CTSB), and increases the number of lysosomes in WT astrocytes, effects accompanied by a basification of lysosomal pH and by lowered phosphorylation levels of autophagy inhibitor mTOR, along with activation of complexes beclin-1 and ULK1. Notably, we found only minor changes between control and ethanol-treated TLR4-/- mouse astroglial cells. Ethanol also triggers the expression of the inflammatory mediators iNOS and COX-2, but induces astroglial death only slightly. Blocking autophagy by using specific inhibitors increases both inflammation and cell death. Conversely, in neurons, ethanol down-regulates the autophagy pathway and triggers cell death, which is partially recovered by using autophagy enhancers. These results support the protective role of the ALP against ethanol-induced astroglial cell damage in a TLR4-dependent manner, and provide new insight into the mechanisms that underlie ethanol-induced brain damage and are neuronal sensitive to the ethanol effects. PMID:27070930

  17. Can the photosynthesis first step quantum mechanism be explained?

    CERN Document Server

    Sacilotti, Marco; Mota, Claudia C B O; Nunes, Frederico Dias; Gomes, Anderson S L

    2010-01-01

    Photosynthesis first step mechanism concerns the sunlight absorption and both negative and positive charges separation. Recent and important photosynthesis literature claims that this mechanism is quantum mechanics controlled, however without presenting qualitative or quantitative scientifically based mechanism. The present accepted and old-fashioned photosynthesis mechanism model suffers from few drawbacks and an important issue is the absence of driving force for negative and positive charges separation. This article presents a new qualitative model for this first step mechanism in natural catalytic systems such as photosynthesis in green leaves. The model uses a concept of semiconductor band gap engineering, such as the staggered energy band gap line-up in semiconductors. To explain the primary mechanism in natural photosynthesis the proposal is the following: incident light is absorbed inside the leaves causing charges separation. The only energetic configuration that allows charges separation under illum...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (43Gap26) 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.

  19. HIV increased the release of dickkopf-1 (DKK1) protein from human astrocytes by a Cx43 hemichannel-dependent mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orellana, Juan Andres; Sáez, Juan Carlos; Bennett, Michael Vander Lann; Berman, Joan Weinberger; Morgello, Susan; Eugenin, Eliseo Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV) is a public health issue and a major complication of the disease is NeuroAIDS. In vivo, microglia/macrophages are the main cells infected. However, a low but significant number of HIV infected astrocytes also has been detected, but their role in the pathogenesis of NeuroAIDS is not well understood. Our previous data indicates that gap junction channels amplify toxicity from few HIV infected into uninfected astrocytes. Now, we demonstrated that HIV infection of astrocytes results in opening of connexin43 hemichannels (Cx43 HCs). HIV induced opening of Cx43 HCs resulted in dysregulated secretion of dickkopf-1 protein (DKK1, a soluble wnt pathway inhibitor). Treatment of mixed cultures of neurons and astrocytes with DKK1, in the absence of HIV infection, resulted in collapse of neuronal processes. HIV infection of mixed cultures of human neurons and astrocytes also resulted in collapse of neuronal processes by a DKK1 dependent mechanism. In addition, dysregulated DKK1 expression in astrocytes was observed in human brain tissue sections of individuals with HIV encephalitis as compared to tissue sections from uninfected individuals. Thus, we demonstrated that HIV infection of astrocytes induces dysregulation of DKK1 by a HC-dependent mechanism that contributes to the brain pathogenesis observed in HIV infected individuals. PMID:24134157

  20. HIV-1 and IL-1β regulate astrocytic CD38 through mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear factor-κB signaling mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamik Manmeet K

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Infection with human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1 leads to some form of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND in approximately half of the cases. The mechanisms by which astrocytes contribute to HIV-1-associated dementia (HAD, the most severe form of HAND, still remain unresolved. HIV-1-encephalitis (HIVE, a pathological correlate of HAD, affects an estimated 9-11% of the HIV-1-infected population. Our laboratory has previously demonstrated that HIVE brain tissues show significant upregulation of CD38, an enzyme involved in calcium signaling, in astrocytes. We also reported an increase in CD38 expression in interleukin (IL-1β-activated astrocytes. In the present investigation, we studied regulatory mechanisms of CD38 gene expression in astrocytes activated with HIV-1-relevant stimuli. We also investigated the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs and nuclear factor (NF-κB in astrocyte CD38 regulation. Methods Cultured human astrocytes were transfected with HIV-1YU-2 proviral clone and levels of CD38 mRNA and protein were measured by real-time PCR gene expression assay, western blot analysis and immunostaining. Astrocyte activation by viral transfection was determined by analyzing proinflammatory chemokine levels using ELISA. To evaluate the roles of MAPKs and NF-κB in CD38 regulation, astrocytes were treated with MAPK inhibitors (SB203580, SP600125, U0126, NF-κB interfering peptide (SN50 or transfected with dominant negative IκBα mutant (IκBαM prior to IL-1β activation. CD38 gene expression and CD38 ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity assays were performed to analyze alterations in CD38 levels and function, respectively. Results HIV-1YU-2-transfection significantly increased CD38 mRNA and protein expression in astrocytes (p YU-2-transfected astrocytes significantly increased HIV-1 gene expression (p Conclusion The present findings demonstrate a direct involvement of HIV-1 and virus

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  2. Evaluation of cytotoxicity of propofol and its related mechanism in glioblastoma cells and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Shu-Shong; Jan, Chung-Ren; Liang, Wei-Zhe

    2017-12-01

    Propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol), one of the extensively and commonly used anesthetic agents, has been shown to affect the biological behavior of various models. Previous researches have shown that propofol-induced cytotoxicity might cause anticancer effect in different cells. However, the mechanisms underlying the effect of propofol on cytotoxicity is still elusive in human glioblastoma cells. The aims of this study were to evaluate effects of propofol on cytotoxicity, cell cycle distribution and ROS production, and establish the relationship between oxidative stress and cytotoxicity in GBM 8401 human glioblastoma cells and DI TNC1 rat astrocytes. Propofol (20-30 μM) concentration-dependently induced cytotoxicity, cell cycle arrest, and increased ROS production in GBM 8401 cells but not in DI TNC1 cells. In GBM 8401 cells, propofol induced G2/M phase cell arrest, which affected the CDK1, cyclin B1, p53, and p21 protein expression levels. Furthermore, propofol induced oxygen stresses by increasing O2- and H2 O2 levels but treatment with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) partially reversed propofol-regulated antioxidative enzyme levels (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase). Most significantly, propofol induced apoptotic effects by decreasing Bcl-2 but increasing Bax, cleaved caspase-9/caspase-3 levels, which were partially reversed by NAC. Moreover, the pancaspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK also partially prevented propofol-induced apoptosis. Together, in GBM 8401 cells but not in DI TNC1 cells, propofol activated ROS-associated apoptosis that involved cell cycle arrest and caspase activation. These findings indicate that propofol not only can be an anesthetic agent which reduces pain but also has the potential to be used for the treatment of human glioblastoma. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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.

  4. RNA Localization in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Rune

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

    2017-02-03

    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.

  6. Can the photosynthesis first step quantum mechanism be explained?

    OpenAIRE

    Sacilotti, Marco; Almeida, Euclides; Mota, Claudia C. B. O.; Nunes, Frederico Dias; Gomes,Anderson S. L.

    2010-01-01

    Photosynthesis first step mechanism concerns the sunlight absorption and both negative and positive charges separation. Recent and important photosynthesis literature claims that this mechanism is quantum mechanics controlled, however without presenting qualitative or quantitative scientifically based mechanism. The present accepted and old-fashioned photosynthesis mechanism model suffers from few drawbacks and an important issue is the absence of driving force for negative and positive charg...

  7. 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

  8. Can an electro-kinetic mechanism explain artificial earthquakes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cyr, Guillaume; Glover, Paul; Novikov, Victor

    2010-05-01

    Researchers of the Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences have carried out a large number of current injection experiments using a 4.2 km long dipole at the Bishkek Research Station in the Chu valley area of the Kyrgyz mountains (northern Tien Shan). The current is generated using Pulsed Magneto-Hydrodynamic (MHD) generators that can produce 2800 amperes at 1350 volts for up to 12.1 seconds. They have found that the number of earthquakes in the region within 150 km of the injection site increased by over 10 standard deviations of the background seismicity. The probability of this occurring by chance is only one in every thousand million million (10^15) measurements. It is certain, therefore, that we can generate earthquakes by current injection. However, no satisfactory physical mechanism for it currently exists. Paul Glover has suggested that an electro-kinetic mechanism may be the missing causal link. In his theory the injected current creates a three-dimensional electric field in the subsurface. The electro-kinetic mechanism uses the electric field to move the pore fluid at depth. If the pore fluid flows into a fault zone it may accumulate and transiently raise the pore fluid pressure within the fault zone. It is known that increases of pore fluid pressure within fault zones more than a critical pressure of 0.05 MPa are sufficient to trigger an earthquake if the fault has sufficient accumulated strain. Earthquakes are therefore possible while the pore fluid pressure is over the critical pressure. While the electro-kinetic drive has been well studied around the world, it is uncertain if the mechanism can provide fluid pressures sufficient to trigger earthquakes up to 150 km from the injection point. In this work we present two dimensional numerical modelling of the proposed coupled mechanism using a finite element approach and using the software package Comsol Multiphysics. The initial results are promising and indicate that (i

  9. Disorders of Astrocytes: Alexander Disease as a Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olabarria, Markel; Goldman, James E

    2017-01-24

    Astrocytes undergo important phenotypic changes in many neurological disorders, including strokes, trauma, inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. We have been studying the astrocytes of Alexander disease (AxD), which is caused by heterozygous mutations in the GFAP gene, which is the gene that encodes the major astrocyte intermediate filament protein. AxD is a primary astrocyte disease because GFAP expression is specific to astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). The accumulation of extremely large amounts of GFAP causes many molecular changes in astrocytes, including proteasome inhibition, stress kinase activation, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation, loss of glutamate and potassium buffering capacity, loss of astrocyte coupling, and changes in cell morphology. Many of these changes appear to be common to astrocyte reactions in other neurological disorders. Using AxD to illuminate common mechanisms, we discuss the molecular pathology of AxD astrocytes and compare that to astrocyte pathology in other disorders.

  10. 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

  11. Angiotensin II receptor subtypes are coupled with distinct signal-transduction mechanisms in neurons and astrocytes from rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sumners, C.; Wei Tang; Zelezna, B.; Raizada, M.K. (Univ. of Florida, Gainesville (United States))

    1991-09-01

    Both neurons and astrocytes contain specific receptors for angiotensin II (AII). The authors used selective ligands for the AT{sub 1} and AT{sub 2} types of AII receptors to investigate the expression of functional receptor subtypes in astrocyte cultures and neuron cultures from 1-day-old (neonatal) rat brain. In astrocyte cultures, competition of {sup 125}I-labeled AII ({sup 125}I-AII) specific binding with AT{sub 1} (DuP753) or AT{sub 2} {l brace}PD123177, CGP42112A, (Phe(p-NH{sub 2}){sup 6})AII{r brace} selective receptor ligands revealed a potency series of AII > DuP753 > > > CGP42112A > (Phe(p-NH{sub 2}){sup 6})AII > PD123177. These results suggest a predominance of the AT{sub 1} receptor subtype in neonatal astrocytes. {sup 125}I-AII specific binding to neonate neuronal cultures was reduced 73-84% by 1 {mu} MPD123177, and the residual {sup 125}I-AII specific binding was eliminated by DuP753. The results suggest that astrocyte cultures from neonatal rat brains contain predominantly AT{sub 1} receptors that are coupled to a stimulation of inositophospholipid hydrolysis. In contrast, neuron cultures from neonatal rat brain contain mostly AT{sub 2} receptors that are coupled to a reduction in basal cGMP levels, but a smaller population of AT{sub 1} receptors is also present in these neurons.

  12. Mechanism of ceftriaxone induction of excitatory amino acid transporter-2 expression and glutamate uptake in primary human astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seok-Geun; Su, Zhao-Zhong; Emdad, Luni; Gupta, Pankaj; Sarkar, Devanand; Borjabad, Alejandra; Volsky, David J; Fisher, Paul B

    2008-05-09

    Glutamate is an essential neurotransmitter regulating brain functions. Excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT)-2 is one of the major glutamate transporters primarily expressed in astroglial cells. Dysfunction of EAAT2 is implicated in acute and chronic neurological disorders, including stroke/ischemia, temporal lobe epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer disease, human immunodeficiency virus 1-associated dementia, and growth of malignant gliomas. Ceftriaxone, one of the beta-lactam antibiotics, is a stimulator of EAAT2 expression with neuroprotective effects in both in vitro and in vivo models based in part on its ability to inhibit neuronal cell death by glutamate excitotoxicity. Based on this consideration and its lack of toxicity, ceftriaxone has potential to manipulate glutamate transmission and ameliorate neurotoxicity. We investigated the mechanism by which ceftriaxone enhances EAAT2 expression in primary human fetal astrocytes (PHFA). Ceftriaxone elevated EAAT2 transcription in PHFA through the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) signaling pathway. The antibiotic promoted nuclear translocation of p65 and activation of NF-kappaB. The specific NF-kappaB binding site at the -272 position of the EAAT2 promoter was responsible for ceftriaxone-mediated EAAT2 induction. In addition, ceftriaxone increased glutamate uptake, a primary function of EAAT2, and EAAT2 small interference RNA completely inhibited ceftriaxone-induced glutamate uptake activity in PHFA. Taken together, our data indicate that ceftriaxone is a potent modulator of glutamate transport in PHFA through NF-kappaB-mediated EAAT2 promoter activation. These findings suggest a mechanism for ceftriaxone modulation of glutamate transport and for its potential effects on ameliorating specific neurodegenerative diseases through modulation of extracellular glutamate.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bender, A.S.; Hertz, L.

    1988-01-01

    The anticonvulsant drugs carbamazepine, phenobarbital, trimethadione, valproic acid and ethosuximide at pharmacologically relevant concentrations inhibit (/sup 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.

  14. 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.

  15. HIV-1 Tat Promotes Lysosomal Exocytosis in Astrocytes and Contributes to Astrocyte-mediated Tat Neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yan; He, Johnny J

    2016-10-21

    Tat interaction with astrocytes has been shown to be important for Tat neurotoxicity and HIV/neuroAIDS. We have recently shown that Tat expression leads to increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression and aggregation and activation of unfolded protein response/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in astrocytes and causes neurotoxicity. However, the exact molecular mechanism of astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity is not defined. In this study, we showed that neurotoxic factors other than Tat protein itself were present in the supernatant of Tat-expressing astrocytes. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry revealed significantly elevated lysosomal hydrolytic enzymes and plasma membrane-associated proteins in the supernatant of Tat-expressing astrocytes. We confirmed that Tat expression and infection of pseudotyped HIV.GFP led to increased lysosomal exocytosis from mouse astrocytes and human astrocytes. We found that Tat-induced lysosomal exocytosis was tightly coupled to astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity. In addition, we demonstrated that Tat-induced lysosomal exocytosis was astrocyte-specific and required GFAP expression and was mediated by ER stress. Taken together, these results show for the first time that Tat promotes lysosomal exocytosis in astrocytes and causes neurotoxicity through GFAP activation and ER stress induction in astrocytes and suggest a common cascade through which aberrant astrocytosis/GFAP up-regulation potentiates neurotoxicity and contributes to neurodegenerative diseases. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. HIV-1 Tat Promotes Lysosomal Exocytosis in Astrocytes and Contributes to Astrocyte-mediated Tat Neurotoxicity*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Tat interaction with astrocytes has been shown to be important for Tat neurotoxicity and HIV/neuroAIDS. We have recently shown that Tat expression leads to increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression and aggregation and activation of unfolded protein response/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in astrocytes and causes neurotoxicity. However, the exact molecular mechanism of astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity is not defined. In this study, we showed that neurotoxic factors other than Tat protein itself were present in the supernatant of Tat-expressing astrocytes. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry revealed significantly elevated lysosomal hydrolytic enzymes and plasma membrane-associated proteins in the supernatant of Tat-expressing astrocytes. We confirmed that Tat expression and infection of pseudotyped HIV.GFP led to increased lysosomal exocytosis from mouse astrocytes and human astrocytes. We found that Tat-induced lysosomal exocytosis was tightly coupled to astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity. In addition, we demonstrated that Tat-induced lysosomal exocytosis was astrocyte-specific and required GFAP expression and was mediated by ER stress. Taken together, these results show for the first time that Tat promotes lysosomal exocytosis in astrocytes and causes neurotoxicity through GFAP activation and ER stress induction in astrocytes and suggest a common cascade through which aberrant astrocytosis/GFAP up-regulation potentiates neurotoxicity and contributes to neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27609518

  17. The octadecaneuropeptide ODN protects astrocytes against hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis via a PKA/MAPK-dependent mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yosra Hamdi

    Full Text Available Astrocytes synthesize and release endozepines, a family of regulatory peptides, including the octadecaneuropeptide (ODN an endogenous ligand of both central-type benzodiazepine (CBR and metabotropic receptors. We have recently shown that ODN exerts a protective effect against hydrogen peroxide (H(2O(2-induced oxidative stress in astrocytes. The purpose of the present study was to determine the type of receptor and the transduction pathways involved in the protective effect of ODN in cultured rat astrocytes. We have first observed a protective activity of ODN at very low concentrations that was abrogated by the metabotropic ODN receptor antagonist cyclo(1-8[DLeu(5]OP, but not by the CBR antagonist flumazenil. We have also found that the metabotropic ODN receptor is positively coupled to adenylyl cyclase in astrocytes and that the glioprotective action of ODN upon H(2O(2-induced astrocyte death is PKA- and MEK-dependent, but PLC/PKC-independent. Downstream of PKA, ODN induced ERK phosphorylation, which in turn activated the expression of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2 and blocked the stimulation by H(2O(2 of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax. The effect of ODN on the Bax/Bcl-2 balance contributed to abolish the deleterious action of H(2O(2 on mitochondrial membrane integrity and caspase-3 activation. Finally, the inhibitory effect of ODN on caspase-3 activity was shown to be PKA and MEK-dependent. In conclusion, the present results demonstrate that the potent glioprotective action of ODN against oxidative stress involves the metabotropic ODN receptor coupled to the PKA/ERK-kinase pathway to inhibit caspase-3 activation.

  18. 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…

  19. Trafficking of astrocytic vesicles in hippocampal slices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Potokar, Maja; Kreft, Marko [Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology-Molecular Cell Physiology, Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Zaloska 4, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Celica Biomedical Center, Technology Park 24, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Lee, So-Young; Takano, Hajime; Haydon, Philip G. [Department of Neuroscience, Room 215, Stemmler Hall, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Zorec, Robert, E-mail: Robert.Zorec@mf.uni-lj.si [Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology-Molecular Cell Physiology, Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Zaloska 4, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Celica Biomedical Center, Technology Park 24, 1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)

    2009-12-25

    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.

  20. 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....

  1. 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.

  2. Activation of P2X(7) receptors decreases glutamate uptake and glutamine synthetase activity in RBA-2 astrocytes via distinct mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Jun-Chih; Huang, Wei-Chi; Chou, Yun-Chia; Tseng, Chun-Hsien; Lee, Wei-Li; Sun, Synthia H

    2008-04-01

    Glutamate clearance by astrocytes is critical for controlling excitatory neurotransmission and ATP is an important mediator for neuron-astrocyte interaction. However, the effect of ATP on glutamate clearance has never been examined. Here we report that treatment of RBA-2 cells, a type-2-like astrocyte cell line, with ATP and the P2X(7) receptor selective agonist 3'-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl) adenosine 5'-triphosphate (BzATP) decreased the Na+-dependent [3H]glutamate uptake within minutes. Mechanistic studies revealed that the decreases were augmented by removal of extracellular Mg2+ or Ca2+, and was restored by P2X7 selective antagonist , periodate-oxidized 2',3'-dialdehyde ATP (oATP), indicating that the decreases were mediated through P2X(7) receptors. Furthermore, stimulation of P2X7 receptors for 2 h inhibited both activity and protein expression of glutamine synthetase (GS), and oATP abolished the inhibition. In addition, removal of extracellular Ca(2+) and inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) restored the ATP-decreased GS expression but failed to restore the P2X(7)-decreased [3H]glutamate uptake. Therefore, P2X7-mediated intracellular signals play a role in the down-regulation of GS activity/expression. Activation of P2X7 receptors stimulated increases in intracellular Na+ concentration ([Na+](i)) suggesting that the P2X(7)-induced increases in [Na+](i) may affect the local Na+ gradient and decrease the Na+-dependent [3H]glutamate uptake. These findings demonstrate that the P2X7-mediated decreases in glutamate uptake and glutamine synthesis were mediated through distinct mechanisms in these cells.

  3. 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,…

  4. An instructional design process based on expert knowledge for teaching students how mechanisms are explained.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    In biology and physiology courses, students face many difficulties when learning to explain mechanisms, a topic that is demanding due to the immense complexity and abstract nature of molecular and cellular mechanisms. To overcome these difficulties, we asked the following question: how does an instructor transform their understanding of biological mechanisms and other difficult-to-learn topics so that students can comprehend them? To address this question, we first reviewed a model of the components used by biologists to explain molecular and cellular mechanisms: the MACH model, with the components of methods (M), analogies (A), context (C), and how (H). Next, instructional materials were developed and the teaching activities were piloted with a physical MACH model. Students who used the MACH model to guide their explanations of mechanisms exhibited both improvements and some new difficulties. Third, a series of design-based research cycles was applied to bring the activities with an improved physical MACH model into biology and biochemistry courses. Finally, a useful rubric was developed to address prevalent student difficulties. Here, we present, for physiology and biology instructors, the knowledge and resources for explaining molecular and cellular mechanisms in undergraduate courses with an instructional design process aimed at realizing pedagogical content knowledge for teaching. Our four-stage process could be adapted to advance instruction with a range of models in the life sciences. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.

  5. Functional Oxygen Sensitivity of Astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelova, Plamena R; Kasymov, Vitaliy; Christie, Isabel; Sheikhbahaei, Shahriar; Turovsky, Egor; Marina, Nephtali; Korsak, Alla; Zwicker, Jennifer; Teschemacher, Anja G; Ackland, Gareth L; Funk, Gregory D; Kasparov, Sergey; Abramov, Andrey Y; Gourine, Alexander V

    2015-07-22

    In terrestrial mammals, the oxygen storage capacity of the CNS is limited, and neuronal function is rapidly impaired if oxygen supply is interrupted even for a short period of time. However, oxygen tension monitored by the peripheral (arterial) chemoreceptors is not sensitive to regional CNS differences in partial pressure of oxygen (PO2 ) that reflect variable levels of neuronal activity or local tissue hypoxia, pointing to the necessity of a functional brain oxygen sensor. This experimental animal (rats and mice) study shows that astrocytes, the most numerous brain glial cells, are sensitive to physiological changes in PO2 . Astrocytes respond to decreases in PO2 a few millimeters of mercury below normal brain oxygenation with elevations in intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]i). The hypoxia sensor of astrocytes resides in the mitochondria in which oxygen is consumed. Physiological decrease in PO2 inhibits astroglial mitochondrial respiration, leading to mitochondrial depolarization, production of free radicals, lipid peroxidation, activation of phospholipase C, IP3 receptors, and release of Ca(2+) from the intracellular stores. Hypoxia-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases in astrocytes trigger fusion of vesicular compartments containing ATP. Blockade of astrocytic signaling by overexpression of ATP-degrading enzymes or targeted astrocyte-specific expression of tetanus toxin light chain (to interfere with vesicular release mechanisms) within the brainstem respiratory rhythm-generating circuits reveals the fundamental physiological role of astroglial oxygen sensitivity; in low-oxygen conditions (environmental hypoxia), this mechanism increases breathing activity even in the absence of peripheral chemoreceptor oxygen sensing. These results demonstrate that astrocytes are functionally specialized CNS oxygen sensors tuned for rapid detection of physiological changes in brain oxygenation. Significance statement: Most, if not all, animal cells possess mechanisms that allow them to

  6. Astrocytes: Orchestrating synaptic plasticity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Pittà, M; Brunel, N; Volterra, A

    2016-05-26

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity of a preexisting connection between two neurons to change in strength as a function of neural activity. Because synaptic plasticity is the major candidate mechanism for learning and memory, the elucidation of its constituting mechanisms is of crucial importance in many aspects of normal and pathological brain function. In particular, a prominent aspect that remains debated is how the plasticity mechanisms, that encompass a broad spectrum of temporal and spatial scales, come to play together in a concerted fashion. Here we review and discuss evidence that pinpoints to a possible non-neuronal, glial candidate for such orchestration: the regulation of synaptic plasticity by astrocytes. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Astrocyte dysfunction triggers neurodegeneration in a lysosomal storage disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Malta, Chiara; Fryer, John D; Settembre, Carmine; Ballabio, Andrea

    2012-08-28

    The role of astrocytes in neurodegenerative processes is increasingly appreciated. Here we investigated the contribution of astrocytes to neurodegeneration in multiple sulfatase deficiency (MSD), a severe lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the sulfatase modifying factor 1 (SUMF1) gene. Using Cre/Lox mouse models, we found that astrocyte-specific deletion of Sumf1 in vivo induced severe lysosomal storage and autophagy dysfunction with consequential cytoplasmic accumulation of autophagic substrates. Lysosomal storage in astrocytes was sufficient to induce degeneration of cortical neurons in vivo. Furthermore, in an ex vivo coculture assay, we observed that Sumf1(-/-) astrocytes failed to support the survival and function of wild-type cortical neurons, suggesting a non-cell autonomous mechanism for neurodegeneration. Compared with the astrocyte-specific deletion of Sumf1, the concomitant removal of Sumf1 in both neurons and glia in vivo induced a widespread neuronal loss and robust neuroinflammation. Finally, behavioral analysis of mice with astrocyte-specific deletion of Sumf1 compared with mice with Sumf1 deletion in both astrocytes and neurons allowed us to link a subset of neurological manifestations of MSD to astrocyte dysfunction. This study indicates that astrocytes are integral components of the neuropathology in MSD and that modulation of astrocyte function may impact disease course.

  10. 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. © 2015 C. M. Trujillo et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  11. Histamine and astrocyte function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurič, Damijana M; Kržan, Mojca; Lipnik-Stangelj, Metoda

    2016-09-01

    Astrocytes support the brain through numerous functional interactions in health and disease. The recent advances in our knowledge of astrocyte involvement in various neurological disorders raised up several questions about their role and functioning in the central nervous system. From the evidence discussed in this review, we show that histamine importantly influences the main astrocytic activities such as ion homeostasis, energy metabolism, neurotransmitter clearance, neurotrophic activity and immune response. These processes are mediated through at least three histamine receptor subtypes, H1, H2 and H3, expressed on the astrocyte surface. Thus, we recognize histamine as an important player in the modulation of astrocytic functions that deserves further considerations in exploring involvement of astrocytes in neurological disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Astrocyte elevated gene-1 regulates astrocyte responses to neural injury: implications for reactive astrogliosis and neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vartak-Sharma Neha

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reactive astrogliosis is a ubiquitous but poorly understood hallmark of central nervous system pathologies such as trauma and neurodegenerative diseases. In vitro and in vivo studies have identified proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines as mediators of astrogliosis during injury and disease; however, the molecular mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we identify astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1, a human immunodeficiency virus 1 or tumor necrosis factor α-inducible oncogene, as a novel modulator of reactive astrogliosis. AEG-1 has engendered tremendous interest in the field of cancer research as a therapeutic target for aggressive tumors. However, little is known of its role in astrocytes and astrocyte-mediated diseases. Based on its oncogenic role in several cancers, here we investigate the AEG-1-mediated regulation of astrocyte migration and proliferation during reactive astrogliosis. Methods An in vivo brain injury mouse model was utilized to show AEG-1 induction following reactive astrogliosis. In vitro wound healing and cell migration assays following AEG-1 knockdown were performed to analyze the role of AEG-1 in astrocyte migration. AEG-1-mediated regulation of astrocyte proliferation was assayed by quantifying the levels of cell proliferation markers, Ki67 and proliferation cell nuclear antigen, using immunocytochemistry. Confocal microscopy was used to evaluate nucleolar localization of AEG-1 in cultured astrocytes following injury. Results The in vivo mouse model for brain injury showed reactive astrocytes with increased glial fibrillary acidic protein and AEG-1 colocalization at the wound site. AEG-1 knockdown in cultured human astrocytes significantly reduced astrocyte migration into the wound site and cell proliferation. Confocal analysis showed colocalization of AEG-1 to the nucleolus of injured cultured human astrocytes. Conclusions The present findings report for the first time the novel role of AEG-1

  13. Distinct repertoires of microRNAs present in mouse astrocytes compared to astrocyte-secreted exosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovičić, Ana; Gitler, Aaron D

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system (CNS) and secrete various factors that regulate neuron development, function and connectivity. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs involved in posttranslational gene regulation. Recent findings showed that miRNAs are exchanged between cells via nanovesicles called exosomes. In this study, we sought to define which miRNAs are contained within exosomes secreted by astrocytes. We also explored whether astroglial miRNA secretion via exosomes is perturbed in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease where astrocytes play a crucial role in driving disease progression. By isolating and profiling the expression of miRNAs from primary mouse astrocytes and from the exosomes that astrocytes secrete, we compared miRNA expression in the cells and secreted vesicles. We established that miRNA expression profiles of astrocytes and their exosomes are vastly different. In addition, we determined that exosomal miRNA expression in astrocytes is not significantly perturbed in a mouse model of ALS. Astrocytes secrete numerous miRNAs via exosomes and miRNA species contained in exosomes are considerably different from miRNAs detectable in astrocytes, suggesting the existence of a mechanism to select certain miRNAs for inclusion or exclusion from exosomes. The exosomal miRNA profiling dataset we have generated will provide a resource to aid in the investigation of this selection mechanism. Finally, the miRNA expression profile in astrocyte-secreted exosomes is not perturbed by expression of mutant SOD1-G93A.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulcke, Felix; Dringen, Ralf

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klabonski, Lauren; Senthilkumar, Lakshana; Gidalevitz, Tali

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27926939

  17. 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.

  18. Mechanical cell-matrix feedback explains pairwise and collective endothelial cell behavior in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    René F M van Oers

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available In vitro cultures of endothelial cells are a widely used model system of the collective behavior of endothelial cells during vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. When seeded in an extracellular matrix, endothelial cells can form blood vessel-like structures, including vascular networks and sprouts. Endothelial morphogenesis depends on a large number of chemical and mechanical factors, including the compliancy of the extracellular matrix, the available growth factors, the adhesion of cells to the extracellular matrix, cell-cell signaling, etc. Although various computational models have been proposed to explain the role of each of these biochemical and biomechanical effects, the understanding of the mechanisms underlying in vitro angiogenesis is still incomplete. Most explanations focus on predicting the whole vascular network or sprout from the underlying cell behavior, and do not check if the same model also correctly captures the intermediate scale: the pairwise cell-cell interactions or single cell responses to ECM mechanics. Here we show, using a hybrid cellular Potts and finite element computational model, that a single set of biologically plausible rules describing (a the contractile forces that endothelial cells exert on the ECM, (b the resulting strains in the extracellular matrix, and (c the cellular response to the strains, suffices for reproducing the behavior of individual endothelial cells and the interactions of endothelial cell pairs in compliant matrices. With the same set of rules, the model also reproduces network formation from scattered cells, and sprouting from endothelial spheroids. Combining the present mechanical model with aspects of previously proposed mechanical and chemical models may lead to a more complete understanding of in vitro angiogenesis.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Do stars govern our actions? Astrocyte involvement in rodent behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, João Filipe; Sardinha, Vanessa Morais; Guerra-Gomes, Sónia; Araque, Alfonso; Sousa, Nuno

    2015-09-01

    Astrocytes have emerged as important partners of neurons in information processing. Important progress has been made in the past two decades in understanding the role of astrocytes in the generation of neuron-astrocyte network outputs resulting in behavior. We review evidence for astrocyte involvement across four different behavioral domains: cognition, emotion, motor, and sensory processing. Accumulating evidence from animal models has provided a wealth of data that largely supports a direct involvement of astrocytes on diverse aspects of behavior. The development of tools for selectively controlling the temporal and spatial properties of astrocyte activity will help to consolidate our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying this involvement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Epigenetic mechanisms might help explain environmental contributions to the pathogenesis of keratoconus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMonnies, Charles W

    2014-11-01

    The etiology of keratoconus (KC) seems to involve genetic and/or environmental factors such as rubbing and/or contact lens trauma and/or exposure to ultraviolet radiation. An examination of the possibility that epigenetic mechanisms could contribute to the tissue changes in KC has been considered in this review. The tissue changes in KC result in thinning and/or other forms of mechanical weakening of the cornea, which cause it to become more susceptible to the distending forces of intraocular pressure with associated development of a cone. Rather than being caused by a single gene mutation, a complex or multifactorial disease such as KC involves multiple genes plus lifestyle and environmental factors. The epigenome of a cell is highly dynamic, being governed by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. The full range of epigenetic marks is currently unknown but is potentially enormous. Although further elucidation of the genetic determinants of KC is important, there is now increasing interest in exploring how non-genetic variants, such as epigenetic factors, could influence complex disease etiology. Studies of epigenetic processes in KC may help explain the relationship between the genome and the environment and provide new clues for modifying these processes with the possibility of preventing the development of KC or stabilizing its progress. Epigenetic linking may be relevant to other complex ocular diseases that involve environmental factors including those that involve exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

  3. A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Explained by the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fearn, H.

    2016-01-01

    This paper explains the delayed choice quantum eraser of Kim et al. (A delayed choice quantum eraser, 1999) in terms of the transactional interpretation (TI) of quantum mechanics by Cramer (Rev Mod Phys 58:647, 1986, The quantum handshake, entanglement, nonlocality and transactions, 1986). It is kept deliberately mathematically simple to help explain the transactional technique. The emphasis is on a clear understanding of how the instantaneous "collapse" of the wave function due to a measurement at a specific time and place may be reinterpreted as a relativistically well-defined collapse over the entire path of the photon and over the entire transit time from slit to detector. This is made possible by the use of a retarded offer wave, which is thought to travel from the slits (or rather the small region within the parametric crystal where down-conversion takes place) to the detector and an advanced counter wave traveling backward in time from the detector to the slits. The point here is to make clear how simple the transactional picture is and how much more intuitive the collapse of the wave function becomes if viewed in this way. Also, any confusion about possible retro-causal signaling is put to rest. A delayed choice quantum eraser does not require any sort of backward in time communication. This paper makes the point that it is preferable to use the TI over the usual Copenhagen interpretation for a more intuitive understanding of the quantum eraser delayed choice experiment. Both methods give exactly the same end results and can be used interchangeably.

  4. 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.

  5. Targeting astrocytes in bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Liang; Li, Baoman; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2016-06-01

    Astrocytes are homeostatic cells of the central nervous system, which are critical for development and maintenance of synaptic transmission and hence of synaptically connected neuronal ensembles. Astrocytic densities are reduced in bipolar disorder, and therefore deficient astroglial function may contribute to overall disbalance in neurotransmission and to pathological evolution. Classical anti-bipolar drugs (lithium salts, valproic acid and carbamazepine) affect expression of astroglial genes and modify astroglial signalling and homeostatic cascades. Many effects of both antidepressant and anti-bipolar drugs are exerted through regulation of glutamate homeostasis and glutamatergic transmission, through K(+) buffering, through regulation of calcium-dependent phospholipase A2 (that controls metabolism of arachidonic acid) or through Ca(2+) homeostatic and signalling pathways. Sometimes anti-depressant and anti-bipolar drugs exert opposite effects, and some effects on gene expression in drug treated animals are opposite in neurones vs. astrocytes. Changes in the intracellular pH induced by anti-bipolar drugs affect uptake of myo-inositol and thereby signalling via inositoltrisphosphate (InsP3), this being in accord with one of the main theories of mechanism of action for these drugs.

  6. Reduced cAMP, Akt activation and p65-c-Rel dimerization: mechanisms involved in the protective effects of mGluR3 agonists in cultured astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Durand

    Full Text Available In recent decades, astrocytes have emerged as key pieces in the maintenance of normal functioning of the central nervous system. Any impairment in astroglial function can ultimately lead to generalized disturbance in the brain, thus pharmacological targets associated with prevention of astrocyte death are actually promising. Subtype 3 of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR3 is present in astrocytes, its activation exerting neuroprotective roles. In fact, we have previously demonstrated that mGluR3 selective agonists prevent nitric oxide (NO-induced astrocyte death. However, mechanisms responsible for that cytoprotective property are still subject to study. Although inhibition of adenylyl cyclase by mGluR3 activation was extensively reported, the involvement of reduced cAMP levels in the effects of mGluR3 agonists and the association between cAMP decrease and the downstream pathways activated by mGluR3 remain neglected. Thus, we studied intracellular signaling mediating anti-apoptotic actions of mGluR3 in cultured rat astrocytes exposed to NO. In the present work, we showed that the cytoprotective effect of mGluR3 agonists (LY379268 and LY404039 requires both the reduction of intracellular cAMP levels and activation of Akt, as assessed by MTT and TUNEL techniques. Moreover, dibutyryl-cAMP impairs Akt phosphorylation induced by LY404039, indicating a relationship between mGluR3-reduced cAMP levels and PI3K/Akt pathway activation. We also demonstrated, by co-immunoprecipitation followed by western-blot, that the mGluR3 agonists not only induce per se survival-linked interaction between members of the NF-κB family p65 and c-Rel, but also impede reduction of levels of p65-c-Rel dimers caused by NO, suggesting a possible anti-apoptotic role for p65-c-Rel. All together, these data suggest that mGluR3 agonists may regulate cAMP/Akt/p65-c-Rel pathway, which would contribute to the protective effect of mGluR3 against NO challenge in astrocytes. Our

  7. 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

  8. Glial Scar Borders Are Formed by Newly Proliferated, Elongated Astrocytes That Interact to Corral Inflammatory and Fibrotic Cells via STAT3-Dependent Mechanisms after Spinal Cord Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Mark A.; Song, Bingbing; Levine, Jaclynn; Fernandez, Ana; Gray-Thompson, Zachary; Ao, Yan

    2013-01-01

    Astroglial scars surround damaged tissue after trauma, stroke, infection, or autoimmune inflammation in the CNS. They are essential for wound repair, but also interfere with axonal regrowth. A better understanding of the cellular mechanisms, regulation, and functions of astroglial scar formation is fundamental to developing safe interventions for many CNS disorders. We used wild-type and transgenic mice to quantify and dissect these parameters. Adjacent to crush spinal cord injury (SCI), reactive astrocytes exhibited heterogeneous phenotypes as regards proliferation, morphology, and chemistry, which all varied with distance from lesions. Mature scar borders at 14 d after SCI consisted primarily of newly proliferated astroglia with elongated cell processes that surrounded large and small clusters of inflammatory, fibrotic, and other cells. During scar formation from 5 to 14 d after SCI, cell processes deriving from different astroglia associated into overlapping bundles that quantifiably reoriented and organized into dense mesh-like arrangements. Selective deletion of STAT3 from astroglia quantifiably disrupted the organization of elongated astroglia into scar borders, and caused a failure of astroglia to surround inflammatory cells, resulting in increased spread of these cells and neuronal loss. In cocultures, wild-type astroglia spontaneously corralled inflammatory or fibromeningeal cells into segregated clusters, whereas STAT3-deficient astroglia failed to do so. These findings demonstrate heterogeneity of reactive astroglia and show that scar borders are formed by newly proliferated, elongated astroglia, which organize via STAT3-dependent mechanisms to corral inflammatory and fibrotic cells into discrete areas separated from adjacent tissue that contains viable neurons. PMID:23904622

  9. Mechanisms explaining nursery habitat association: how do juvenile snapper (Chrysophrys auratus benefit from their nursery habitat?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren M Parsons

    Full Text Available Nursery habitats provide elevated survival and growth to the organisms that associate with them, and as such are a crucial early life-stage component for many fishes and invertebrates. The exact mechanisms by which these benefits are afforded to associated organisms, however, are often unclear. Here we assessed potential explanations of the nursery function of structurally complex habitats for post-settlement snapper, Chrysophrys auratus, in New Zealand. Specifically, we deployed Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs and used a combination of video observation, netting and diet analysis of associated post-settlement snapper as well describing potential prey within the micro-habitats surrounding ASUs. We did not observe any predation attempts and few potential predators, suggesting that for snapper the nursery value of structurally complex habitats is not as a predation refuge. The diet of post-settlement snapper mostly consisted of calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, which were most commonly sampled from within the water column. Nearly all suspected feeding events were also observed within the water column. When considering the velocity of water flow at each ASU, plankton sampling revealed a greater availability of copepods with increasing current strength, while netting and video observation demonstrated that the abundance of snapper was highest at sites with intermediate water velocity. This study highlights that the interaction between water flow and food availability may represent an important trade-off between energy expenditure and food intake for post-settlement snapper. Structurally complex habitats may mediate this relationship, allowing snapper to access sites with higher food availability while reducing swimming costs. This mechanism may have broader relevance, potentially explaining the importance of estuarine nursery habitats for other species.

  10. Mechanisms explaining nursery habitat association: how do juvenile snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) benefit from their nursery habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Darren M; Middleton, Crispin; Spong, Keren T; Mackay, Graeme; Smith, Matt D; Buckthought, Dane

    2015-01-01

    Nursery habitats provide elevated survival and growth to the organisms that associate with them, and as such are a crucial early life-stage component for many fishes and invertebrates. The exact mechanisms by which these benefits are afforded to associated organisms, however, are often unclear. Here we assessed potential explanations of the nursery function of structurally complex habitats for post-settlement snapper, Chrysophrys auratus, in New Zealand. Specifically, we deployed Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs) and used a combination of video observation, netting and diet analysis of associated post-settlement snapper as well describing potential prey within the micro-habitats surrounding ASUs. We did not observe any predation attempts and few potential predators, suggesting that for snapper the nursery value of structurally complex habitats is not as a predation refuge. The diet of post-settlement snapper mostly consisted of calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, which were most commonly sampled from within the water column. Nearly all suspected feeding events were also observed within the water column. When considering the velocity of water flow at each ASU, plankton sampling revealed a greater availability of copepods with increasing current strength, while netting and video observation demonstrated that the abundance of snapper was highest at sites with intermediate water velocity. This study highlights that the interaction between water flow and food availability may represent an important trade-off between energy expenditure and food intake for post-settlement snapper. Structurally complex habitats may mediate this relationship, allowing snapper to access sites with higher food availability while reducing swimming costs. This mechanism may have broader relevance, potentially explaining the importance of estuarine nursery habitats for other species.

  11. 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

  12. Maxwell stress to explain the mechanism for the anisotropic expansion in lithiated silicon nanowires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald C. Boone

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This computational research study attempts to explain the process that leads to volume expansion during insertion of lithium ions into a silicon nanowire. During lithiation, electrons flow through the nanowire in the opposing direction of lithium ions insertion. This causes an applied electromagnetic field which is described as being a quantum mechanical version of photon density wave theory. A series of events are calculated as the individual electrons and photons travels through the lithiated silicon nanowire. The hypothesis that will be presented employs the Maxwell stress tensor to calculate the refractive indices in three orthogonal directions during lithiation. The quantum harmonic oscillator and the electromagnetic intensity will be utilized in this presentation to calculate the energy of electrons and optical amplification of the electromagnetic field respectively. The main focus of this research study will use electron scattering theory, spontaneous and stimulated emission theory to model the breaking of cohesion bonds between silicon atoms that ultimately leads to excessive volume expansion that is witnessed during the lithiation process in Si nanowires.

  13. Possible mechanism for explaining the origin and size distribution of Martian hematite spherules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Anupam K.; Acosta-Maeda, Tayro E.; Scott, Edward R. D.; Sharma, Shiv K.

    2014-03-01

    Mysterious hematite spherules, also known as “blueberries”, observed at Meridiani Planum on Mars have been widely accepted as concretions which are formed by precipitation of aqueous fluids. One of the biggest mysteries is that all observed Martian blueberries are limited in size with maximum diameter of 6.2 mm. In contrast, terrestrial concretions are not size limited. In this article, we discuss significant differences between Martian blueberries and Earth concretion analogs. Puzzling observations from Mars Exploration Rovers Opportunity and Spirit suggest that the spherules may not be concretions but are cosmic spherules formed by ablation of meteorites. The perfect spherical shape of spherules, their observed size limit, and all other physical properties are easily explained by a meteorite ablation model. Evidence that some of these spherules are only few years old strongly constrains concretion and other growth mechanisms related to aqueous processes that require the existence of water on Mars in its recent history. The large number of hematite spherules in Meridiani Planum may be due to a big rare iron meteorite impact event in this region sometime in the past.

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ostrow, Lyle W., E-mail: lostrow1@jhmi.edu [Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205 (United States); Suchyna, Thomas M.; Sachs, Frederick [Department of Physiology and Biophysical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214 (United States)

    2011-06-24

    Highlights: {yields} Endothelin-1 expression by adult rat astrocytes correlates with cell proliferation. {yields} Stretch-induced ET-1 is inhibited by GsMtx-4, a specific inhibitor of Ca{sup 2+} permeant SACs. {yields} The less specific SAC inhibitor streptomycin also inhibits ET-1 secretion. {yields} Stretch-induced ET-1 production depends on a calcium influx. {yields} 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 (<20%) of a rubber substrate increased ET-1 secretion, and 4 {mu}M GsMTx-4 (a specific inhibitor of SACs) inhibited secretion by 30%. GsMTx-4 did not alter basal ET-1 levels in the absence of stretch. Decreasing the calcium influx by lowering extracellular calcium also inhibited stretch-induced ET-1 secretion without effecting ET-1 secretion in unstretched controls. Furthermore, inhibiting SACs with the less specific inhibitor streptomycin also inhibited stretch-induced ET-1 secretion. The data can be explained with a simple model in which ET-1 secretion depends on an internal Ca{sup 2+} threshold. This coupling of mechanical stress to the astrocyte endothelin system through SACs has treatment implications, since all pathology deforms the surrounding parenchyma.

  16. Niche-habitat mechanisms and biotic interactions explain the coexistence and abundance of congeneric sandgrouse species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez-López, Ana; Viñuela, Javier; Suárez, Francisco; Hervás, Israel; García, Jesús T

    2014-09-01

    Ascertaining which niche processes allow coexistence between closely related species is of special interest in ecology. We quantified variations in the environmental niches and densities of two congeneric species, the pin-tailed and the black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata and Pterocles orientalis) in allopatry and sympatry under similar abiotic, habitat and dispersal contexts to understand their coexistence. Using principal component analysis, we defined environmental gradients (niche dimensions) including abiotic, habitat and anthropogenic variables, and calculated niche breadth, position and overlap of both species in sympatry and allopatry. Additionally, sandgrouse density was modelled as a function of the niche dimensions and the density of the other species. We found evidence that each species occupies distinct environmental niches in sympatry and in allopatry. The black-bellied sandgrouse exploits a broader range of environmental conditions (wider niche breadth) while the pin-tailed sandgrouse reaches high densities where conditions seem to match its optimum. In sympatry, both species shift their niches to intermediate positions, indicating the importance of abiotic factors in setting coexistence areas. Environmental conditions determine regional densities of pin-tailed sandgrouse whereas biotic interactions explain the density of the black-bellied sandgrouse in areas with abiotic conditions similarly conducive for both species. Highly suitable areas for the pin-tailed sandgrouse fall beyond the upper thermal limit of the black-bellied sandgrouse, leading to niche segregation and low densities for the latter. Finally, local niche shift and expansion plus possible heterospecific aggregation allow the pin-tailed sandgrouse to thrive in a priori less favourable environments. This work provides insight into how different mechanisms allow species coexistence and how species densities vary in sympatry compared to allopatry as a result of environmental

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. The P2X7 Receptor Primes IL-1β and the NLRP3 Inflammasome in Astrocytes Exposed to Mechanical Strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farraj Albalawi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Inflammatory responses play a key role in many neural pathologies, with localized signaling from the non-immune cells making critical contributions. The NLRP3 inflammasome is an important component of innate immune signaling and can link neural insult to chronic inflammation. The NLRP3 inflammasome requires two stages to contribute: priming and activation. The priming stage involves upregulation of inflammasome components while the activation stage results in the assembly and activation of the inflammasome complex. The priming step can be rate limiting and can connect insult to chronic inflammation, but our knowledge of the signals that regulate NLRP3 inflammasome priming in sterile inflammation is limited. This study examined the link between mechanical strain and inflammasome priming in neural systems. Transient non-ischemic elevation of intraocular pressure increased mRNA for inflammasome components IL-1β, NLRP3, ASC, and CASP1 in rat and mouse retinas. The elevation was greater 1 day after the insult, with the rise in IL-1β most pronounced. The P2X7 receptor was implicated in the mechanosensitive priming of IL-1β mRNA in vivo, as the antagonist Brilliant Blue G (BBG blocked the increased expression, the agonist BzATP mimicked the pressure-dependent rise in IL-1β, and the rise was absent in P2X7 knockout mice. In vitro measurements from optic nerve head astrocytes demonstrated an increased expression of IL-1β following stretch or swelling. This increase in IL-1β was eliminated by degradation of extracellular ATP with apyrase, or by the block of pannexin hemichannels with carbenoxolone, probenecid, or 10panx1 peptide. The rise in IL-1β expression was also blocked by P2X7 receptor antagonists BBG, A839977 or A740003. The rise in IL-1β was prevented by blocking transcription factor NFκB with Bay 11-7082, while the swelling-dependent fall in NFκB inhibitor IκB-α was reduced by A839977 and in P2X7 knockout mice. In summary, mechanical

  20. 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.

  1. TREK-1 mediates isoflurane-induced cytotoxicity in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Haiyun; Peng, Zhengwu; Yang, Liu; Liu, Xue; Xie, Yaning; Cai, Yanhui; Xiong, Lize; Zeng, Yi

    2017-09-05

    There are growing concerns that anaesthetic exposure can cause extensive apoptotic degeneration of neurons and the impairment of normal synaptic development and remodelling. However, little attention has been paid to exploring the possible cytotoxicity of inhalation anaesthetics, such as isoflurane, in astrocytes. In this research, we determined that prolonged exposure to an inhalation anaesthetic caused cytotoxicity in astrocytes, and we identified the underlying molecular mechanism responsible for this process. Astrocytes were exposed to isoflurane, and astrocytic survival was then measured via LDH release assays, MTT assays, and TUNEL staining. TWIK-related potassium (K+) channel-1 (TREK-1) over-expression and knockdown models were also created using lentiviruses. The levels of TREK-1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were measured via Western blot and qRT-PCR. Prolonged exposure to isoflurane decreased primary astrocytic viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Moreover, with prolonged exposure to isoflurane, the TREK-1 level increased, and the BDNF level was reduced. TREK-1 knockdown promoted the survival of astrocytes and increased BDNF expression following isoflurane exposure. Overdoses of and prolonged exposure to isoflurane induce cytotoxicity in primary astrocytes. TREK-1 plays an important role in isoflurane-induced cultured astrocytic cytotoxicity by down-regulating the expression of BDNF.

  2. Form follows function: astrocyte morphology and immune dysfunction in SIV neuroAIDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kim M; Chiu, Kevin B; Renner, Nicole A; Sansing, Hope A; Didier, Peter J; MacLean, Andrew G

    2014-10-01

    Cortical function is disrupted in neuroinflammatory disorders, including HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Astrocyte dysfunction includes retraction of foot processes from the blood-brain barrier and decreased removal of neurotransmitters from synaptic clefts. Mechanisms of astrocyte activation, including innate immune function and the fine neuroanatomy of astrocytes, however, remain to be investigated. We quantified the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-labeled astrocytes per square millimeter and the proportion of astrocytes immunopositive for Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to examine innate immune activation in astrocytes. We also performed detailed morphometric analyses of gray and white matter astrocytes in the frontal and parietal lobes of rhesus macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), both with and without encephalitis, an established model of AIDS neuropathogenesis. Protoplasmic astrocytes (gray matter) and fibrous astrocytes (deep white matter) were imaged, and morphometric features were analyzed using Neurolucida. Gray matter and white matter astrocytes showed no change in cell body size in animals infected with SIV regardless of encephalitic status. In SIV-infected macaques, both gray and white matter astrocytes had shorter, less ramified processes, resulting in decreased cell arbor compared with controls. SIV-infected macaques with encephalitis showed decreases in arbor length in white matter astrocytes and reduced complexity in gray matter astrocytes compared to controls. These results provide the first evidence that innate immune activation of astrocytes is linked to altered cortical astrocyte morphology in SIV/HIV infection. Here, we demonstrate that astrocyte remodeling is correlated with infection. Perturbed neuron-glia signaling may be a driving factor in the development of HAND.

  3. Computational simulation: astrocyte-induced depolarization of neighboring neurons mediates synchronous UP states in a neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuriu, Takayuki; Kakimoto, Yuta; Araki, Osamu

    2015-09-01

    Although recent reports have suggested that synchronous neuronal UP states are mediated by astrocytic activity, the mechanism responsible for this remains unknown. Astrocytic glutamate release synchronously depolarizes adjacent neurons, while synaptic transmissions are blocked. The purpose of this study was to confirm that astrocytic depolarization, propagated through synaptic connections, can lead to synchronous neuronal UP states. We applied astrocytic currents to local neurons in a neural network consisting of model cortical neurons. Our results show that astrocytic depolarization may generate synchronous UP states for hundreds of milliseconds in neurons even if they do not directly receive glutamate release from the activated astrocyte.

  4. Serendipity as a mechanism of change and its potential for explaining change processes

    OpenAIRE

    Weisenfeld-Schenk, Ursula

    2009-01-01

    Serendipity plays an important role in science and technology development. This article investigates serendipity as a potential mechanism of change in management areas such as technology management, strategy and organization. The mechanism will be described and conditions that support or hinder the mechanism will be discussed.

  5. Sculpting the space of actions: explaining human action by integrating intentions and mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keestra, M.

    2014-01-01

    How can we explain the intentional nature of an expert’s actions, performed without immediate and conscious control, relying instead on automatic cognitive processes? How can we account for the differences and similarities with a novice’s performance of the same actions? Can a naturalist explanation

  6. 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......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...... and by confounding changes associated with genetically modified animal models. This review attempts to critically assess the gating, inhibition and permeability of astrocytic connexin hemichannels and proposes that connexins in their hemichannel configuration act as gated pores with isoform-specific permeant...

  7. 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

  8. Can the Chameleon mechanism explain cosmic acceleration while satisfying Solar System constraints ?

    CERN Document Server

    Hees, A

    2013-01-01

    The chameleon mechanism appearing in massive tensor-scalar theory of gravity can effectively reduce the nonminimal coupling between the scalar field and matter. This mechanism is invoked to reconcile cosmological data requiring introduction of Dark Energy with small-scale stringent constraints on General Relativity. In this communication, we present constraints on this mechanism obtained by a cosmological analysis (based on Supernovae Ia data) and by a Solar System analysis (based on PPN formalism).

  9. Functional- and Abundance-Based Mechanisms Explain Diversity Loss Due to N Fertilization

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Katharine N. Suding; Scott L. Collins; Laura Gough; Christopher Clark; Elsa E. Cleland; Katherine L. Gross; Daniel G. Milchunas; Steven Pennings; F. Stuart Chapin

    2005-01-01

    .... Based on an analysis of >900 species responses from 34 N-fertilization experiments across nine terrestrial ecosystems in North America, we show that both trait-neutral and trait-based mechanisms operate simultaneously...

  10. Coincident Generation of Pyramidal Neurons and Protoplasmic Astrocytes in Neocortical Columns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magavi, Sanjay; Friedmann, Drew; Banks, Garrett; Stolfi, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    Astrocytes, one of the most common cell types in the brain, are essential for processes ranging from neural development through potassium homeostasis to synaptic plasticity. Surprisingly, the developmental origins of astrocytes in the neocortex are still controversial. To investigate the patterns of astrocyte development in the neocortex we examined cortical development in a transgenic mouse in which a random, sparse subset of neural progenitors undergoes CRE/lox recombination, permanently labeling their progeny. We demonstrate that neural progenitors in neocortex generate discrete columnar structures that contain both projection neurons and protoplasmic astrocytes. Ninety-five percent of developmental cortical columns labeled in our system contained both astrocytes and neurons. The astrocyte to neuron ratio of labeled cells in a developmental column was 1:7.4, similar to the overall ratio of 1:8.4 across the entire gray matter of the neocortex, indicating that column-associated astrocytes account for the majority of protoplasmic astrocytes in neocortex. Most of the labeled columns contained multiple clusters of several astrocytes. Dividing cells were found at the base of neuronal columns at the beginning of gliogenesis, and later within the cortical layers, suggesting a mechanism by which astrocytes could be distributed within a column. These data indicate that radial glia are the source of both neurons and astrocytes in the neocortex, and that these two cell types are generated in a spatially restricted manner during cortical development. PMID:22492032

  11. 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.

  12. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. Explaining the Association between Early Adversity and Young Adults' Diabetes Outcomes: Physiological, Psychological, and Behavioral Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickrama, Kandauda A S; Bae, Dayoung; O'Neal, Catherine Walker

    2017-12-01

    Previous studies have documented that early adversity increases young adults' risk for diabetes resulting in morbidity and comorbidity with adverse health conditions. However, less is known about how inter-related physiological (e.g., body mass index [BMI]), psychological (e.g., depressive symptoms), and behavioral mechanisms (e.g., unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior) link early adversity to young adults' diabetes outcomes, although these mechanisms appear to stem from early stressful experiences. The current study tested the patterning of these longitudinal pathways leading to young adults' diabetes using a nationally representative sample of 13,286 adolescents (54% female) over a period of 13 years. The findings indicated that early adversity contributed to elevated BMI, depressive symptoms, and stress-related health behaviors. The impact of these linking mechanisms on hierarchical diabetes outcomes (i.e., prediabetes and diabetes) remained significant after taking their associations with each other into account, showing that these mechanisms operate concurrently. The findings emphasize the importance of early detection for risk factors of young adults' diabetes in order to minimize their detrimental health effects.

  14. The Work by Giulio Ceradini in Explaining the Mechanism of Semilunar Cardiac Valve Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troiani, Diana; Manni, Ermanno

    2011-01-01

    Using an excised pig heart preparation with tubes, a manometer, and a visualizing apparatus, Giulio Ceradini, an Italian physiologist working in the years of 1871-1872 in Carl Ludwig's famous laboratory in Leipzig, Germany, illustrated the mechanism of closure of the semilunar valves. He was the first to conceive that the closure of the heart…

  15. 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.

  16. A new mechanism to explain the near-IR variability of the transitional disk of GM Aur

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagel, E.; álvarez-Meraz, R.; Rendón, F.

    2017-10-01

    An ubiquitous feature of stellar systems, particularly of transitional disks, is their variability across the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The contribution to the near-infrared region of the spectrum comes mainly from the inner region of the disk, where gas and dust are heated to extremely high temperatures. We present a new physical mechanism that can explain the near-infrared variability of some transitional disks. The main process is the intermittent formation of a sublimation wall due to an instability between the magnetic field of the star and the innermost disk region. When the wall is present, it contributes to the spectrum but also shadows part of the material beyond its location. Using this mechanism, we present a model to explain the near-infrared variability of the transitional disk around GM Aur.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ge...

  18. 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 (R2=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.

  19. The LHC Incident in Sector 3-4: A Simplified Mechanical Model to Explain the Mechanical Damages

    CERN Document Server

    Fessia, P; Lackner, F; Regis, F

    2012-01-01

    On the 19th of September 2008 during powering tests of the LHC main dipole circuit in sector 3-4 an electrical fault occurred. A part of the most important resulting damages were caused by the displacements of cryostated cold masses due to the effect of an over pressurization in the insulation vacuum enclosure. The relative displacement of the interconnected units was resulting in mechanical and electrical damages. Main objects concerned were the mechanical interconnect and the magnet bus bar system. Furthermore electrical arcs induced open breaches in the helium enclosure. In this paper a simplified dynamic numerical model is described to reproduce the observed mechanical defects. In addition the analysis indicates that only a few parameters are dominating the physical quantities in this very complex event.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Working memory gating mechanisms explain developmental change in rule-guided behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unger, Kerstin; Ackerman, Laura; Chatham, Christopher H; Amso, Dima; Badre, David

    2016-10-01

    Cognitive control requires choosing contextual information to update into working memory (input gating), maintaining it there (maintenance) stable against distraction, and then choosing which subset of maintained information to use in guiding action (output gating). Recent work has raised the possibility that the development of rule-guided behavior, in the transition from childhood to adolescence, is linked specifically to changes in the gating components of working memory (Amso, Haas, McShane, & Badre, 2014). Given the importance of effective rule-guided behavior for decision making in this developmental transition, we used hierarchical rule tasks to probe the precise developmental dynamics of working memory gating. This mechanistic precision informs ongoing efforts to train cognitive control and working memory operations across typical and atypical development. The results of Experiment 1 verified that the development of rule-guided behavior is uniquely linked to increasing hierarchical complexity but not to increasing maintenance demands across 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order rule tasks. Experiment 2 then investigated whether this developmental trajectory in rule-guided behavior is best explained by change in input gating or output gating. Further, as input versus output gating also tend to correlate with a more proactive versus reactive control strategy in these tasks, we assessed developmental change in the degree to which these two processes were deployed efficiently given the task. Experiment 2 shows that the developmental change observed in Experiment 1 and in Amso et al. (2014) is likely a result of increased efficacy of output gating processes, as well as greater strategic efficiency in that adolescents opt for this costly process less often than children. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. A Monod-Wyman-Changeux mechanism can explain G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) allosteric modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canals, Meritxell; Lane, J Robert; Wen, Adriel; Scammells, Peter J; Sexton, Patrick M; Christopoulos, Arthur

    2012-01-02

    The Monod-Wyman-Changeux (MWC) model was initially proposed to describe the allosteric properties of regulatory enzymes and subsequently extended to receptors. Yet despite GPCRs representing the largest family of receptors and drug targets, no study has systematically evaluated the MWC mechanism as it applies to GPCR allosteric ligands. We reveal how the recently described allosteric modulator, benzyl quinolone carboxylic acid (BQCA), behaves according to a strict, two-state MWC mechanism at the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR). Despite having a low affinity for the M1 mAChR, BQCA demonstrated state dependence, exhibiting high positive cooperativity with orthosteric agonists in a manner that correlated with efficacy but negative cooperativity with inverse agonists. The activity of BQCA was significantly increased at a constitutively active M1 mAChR but abolished at an inactive mutant. Interestingly, BQCA possessed intrinsic signaling efficacy, ranging from near-quiescence to full agonism depending on the coupling efficiency of the chosen intracellular pathway. This latter cellular property also determined the difference in magnitude of positive cooperativity between BQCA and the orthosteric agonist, carbachol, across pathways. The lack of additional, pathway-biased, allosteric modulation by BQCA was confirmed in genetically engineered yeast strains expressing different chimeras between the endogenous yeast G(pa1) protein and human Gα subunits. These findings define a chemical biological framework that can be applied to the study and classification of allosteric modulators across different GPCR families.

  4. Dynamic disorder can explain non-exponential kinetics of fast protein mechanical unfolding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costescu, Bogdan I; Sturm, Sebastian; Gräter, Frauke

    2017-01-01

    Protein unfolding often does not obey a simple two-state behavior. Previous single molecule force spectroscopy studies demonstrated stretched exponential kinetics of protein unfolding under a constant pulling force, the molecular origin of which remains subject to debate. We here set out to extensively sample the mechanical unfolding of ubiquitin and NuG2 by Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. Both proteins show kinetics best fit by stretched exponentials, with stretching exponents similar to those found in experiments, even though static disorder is absent in our short MD simulations. Instead, we can ascribe non-exponential kinetics to dynamic disorder, due to conformational fluctuations on the nanosecond timescale. Our study highlights the general role of dynamic disorder in protein kinetics on a broad range of time scales even including those probed in MD simulations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Reduced neophobia: a potential mechanism explaining the emergence of self-medicative behavior in sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egea, A Vanina; Hall, Jeffery O; Miller, James; Spackman, Casey; Villalba, Juan J

    2014-08-01

    Gastrointestinal helminths challenge ruminants in ways that reduce their fitness. In turn, ruminants have evolved physiological and behavioral adaptations that counteract this challenge. For instance, emerging behavioral evidence suggests that ruminants self-select medicinal compounds and foods that reduce parasitic burdens. However, the mechanism/s leading to self-medicative behaviors in sick animals is still unknown. We hypothesized that when homeostasis is disturbed by a parasitic infection, consumers should respond by increasing the acceptability of novel foods relative to healthy individuals. Three groups of lambs (N=10) were dosed with 0 (Control-C), 5000 (Medium-M) and 15000 (High-H) L3 stage larvae of Haemonchus contortus. When parasites had reached the adult stage, all animals were offered novel foods and flavors in pens and then novel forages at pasture. Ingestive responses by parasitized lambs were different from non-parasitized Control animals and they varied with the type of food and flavor on offer. Parasitized lambs consumed initially more novel beet pulp and less novel beet pulp mixed with tannins than Control lambs, but the pattern reversed after 9d of exposure to these foods. Parasitized lambs ingested more novel umami-flavored food and less novel bitter-flavored food than Control lambs. When offered choices of novel unflavored and bitter-flavored foods or different forage species to graze, parasitized lambs selected a more diverse array of foods than Control lambs. Reductions in food neophobia or selection of a more diverse diet may enhance the likelihood of sick herbivores encountering novel medicinal plants and nutritious forages that contribute to restore health. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Spectacularly robust! Tensegrity principle explains the mechanical strength of the avian lung.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maina, J N

    2007-01-15

    Among the air-breathing vertebrates, the respiratory system of birds, the lung-air sac system, is remarkably complex and singularly efficient. The most perplexing structural property of the avian lung pertains to its exceptional mechanical strength, especially that of the minuscule terminal respiratory units, the air- and the blood capillaries. In different species of birds, the air capillaries range in diameter from 3 to 20 micro m: the blood capillaries are in all cases relatively smaller. Over and above their capacity to withstand enormous surface tension forces at the air-tissue interface, the air capillaries resist mechanical compression (parabronchial distending pressure) as high as 20 cm H(2)O (2 kPa). The blood capillaries tolerate a pulmonary arterial vascular pressure of 24.1 mmHg (3.2 kPa) and vascular resistance of 22.5 mmHg (3 kPa) without distending. The design of the avian respiratory system fundamentally stems from the rigidity (strength) of the lung. The gas exchanger (the lung) is uncoupled from the ventilator (the air sacs), allowing the lung (the paleopulmonic parabronchi) to be ventilated continuously and unidirectionally by synchronized bellows like action of the air sacs. Since during the ventilation of the lung the air capillaries do not have to be distended (dilated), i.e., surface tension force does not have to be overcome (as would be the case if the lung was compliant), extremely intense subdivision of the exchange tissue was possible. Minuscule terminal respiratory units developed, producing a vast respiratory surface area in a limited lung volume. I make a case that a firm (rigid) rib cage, a lung tightly held by the ribs and the horizontal septum, a lung directly attached to the trunk, specially formed and compactly arranged parabronchi, intertwined atrial muscles, and tightly set air capillaries and blood capillaries form an integrated hierarchy of discrete network system of tension and compression, a tensegrity (tensional integrity

  7. Changes in pattern completion--a key mechanism to explain age-related recognition memory deficits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieweg, Paula; Stangl, Matthias; Howard, Lorelei R; Wolbers, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Accurate memory retrieval from partial or degraded input requires the reactivation of memory traces, a hippocampal mechanism termed pattern completion. Age-related changes in hippocampal integrity have been hypothesized to shift the balance of memory processes in favor of the retrieval of already stored information (pattern completion), to the detriment of encoding new events (pattern separation). Using a novel behavioral paradigm, we investigated the impact of cognitive aging (1) on recognition performance across different levels of stimulus completeness, and (2) on potential response biases. Participants were required to identify previously learned scenes among new ones. Additionally, all stimuli were presented in gradually masked versions to alter stimulus completeness. Both young and older adults performed increasingly poorly as the scenes became less complete, and this decline in performance was more pronounced in elderly participants indicative of a pattern completion deficit. Intriguingly, when novel scenes were shown, only the older adults showed an increased tendency to identify these as familiar scenes. In line with theoretical models, we argue that this reflects an age-related bias towards pattern completion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Alterations in gait speed and age do not fully explain the changes in gait mechanics associated with healthy older women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcock, L; Vanicek, N; O'Brien, T D

    2013-04-01

    Older adults exhibit modified gait patterns compared to the young, adopting movement strategies in response to changes in musculoskeletal function. Investigating the functional mobility of older women is particularly important because of their increased life expectancy and greater falls risk compared to men. We explored the relationships between gait parameters and age in healthy older women whilst accounting for declining gait speeds. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected from thirty-nine women (60-83 years) whilst walking at a comfortable cadence. Regression analysis assessed the capacity of gait speed and age to explain the variance in gait associated with older age. Speed explained the majority of variance in many gait parameters. By including age in the regression, the total explained variance (R2) for foot clearance (70%), ankle plantarflexion angle (30%), peak ankle plantarflexor moment (58%), and hip power generation (56%) were significantly (polder age and other contributing factors must exist. Losses of 1.2%/year in gait speed were predicted by age, exceeding previous predictions of -0.7%/year. Furthermore, the accumulation of apparently small decreases of 0.2 cm/year in peak foot-to-ground clearance has clinical implications and offers insight into the mechanisms by which gait becomes hazardous in older age. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Reactive Astrocytes Protect Melanoma Cells from Chemotherapy by Sequestering Intracellular Calcium through Gap Junction Communication Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingtang Lin

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Brain metastases are highly resistant to chemotherapy. Metastatic tumor cells are known to exploit the host microenvironment for their growth and survival. We report here that melanoma brain metastases are surrounded and infiltrated by activated astrocytes, and we hypothesized that these astrocytes can play a role similar to their established ability to protect neurons from apoptosis. In coculture experiments, astrocytes, but not fibroblasts, reduced apoptosis in human melanoma cells treated with various chemotherapeutic drugs. This chemoprotective effect was dependent on physical contact and gap junctional communication between astrocytes and tumor cells. Moreover, the protective effect of astrocytes resulted from their sequestering calcium from the cytoplasm of tumor cells. These data suggest that brain tumors can, in principle, harness the neuroprotective effects of reactive astrocytes for their own survival and implicate a heretofore unrecognized mechanism for resistance in brain metastasis that might be of relevance in the clinic.

  14. Astrocytes and synaptic plasticity in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, A; Abraham, Wickliffe C

    2017-06-01

    Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity phenomena such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression are candidate mechanisms for storing information in the brain. Regulation of synaptic plasticity is critical for healthy cognition and learning and this is provided in part by metaplasticity, which can act to maintain synaptic transmission within a dynamic range and potentially prevent excitotoxicity. Metaplasticity mechanisms also allow neurons to integrate plasticity-associated signals over time. Interestingly, astrocytes appear to be critical for certain forms of synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity mechanisms. Synaptic dysfunction is increasingly viewed as an early feature of AD that is correlated with the severity of cognitive decline, and the development of these pathologies is correlated with a rise in reactive astrocytes. This review focuses on the contributions of astrocytes to synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity in normal tissue, and addresses whether astroglial pathology may lead to aberrant engagement of these mechanisms in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Structural and biochemical studies of sulphotransferase 18 from Arabidopsis thaliana explain its substrate specificity and reaction mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirschmann, Felix; Krause, Florian; Baruch, Petra; Chizhov, Igor; Mueller, Jonathan Wolf; Manstein, Dietmar J; Papenbrock, Jutta; Fedorov, Roman

    2017-06-23

    Sulphotransferases are a diverse group of enzymes catalysing the transfer of a sulfuryl group from 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulphate (PAPS) to a broad range of secondary metabolites. They exist in all kingdoms of life. In Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. twenty-two sulphotransferase (SOT) isoforms were identified. Three of those are involved in glucosinolate (Gl) biosynthesis, glycosylated sulphur-containing aldoximes containing chemically different side chains, whose break-down products are involved in stress response against herbivores, pathogens, and abiotic stress. To explain the differences in substrate specificity of desulpho (ds)-Gl SOTs and to understand the reaction mechanism of plant SOTs, we determined the first high-resolution crystal structure of the plant ds-Gl SOT AtSOT18 in complex with 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphate (PAP) alone and together with the Gl sinigrin. These new structural insights into the determination of substrate specificity were complemented by mutagenesis studies. The structure of AtSOT18 invigorates the similarity between plant and mammalian sulphotransferases, which illustrates the evolutionary conservation of this multifunctional enzyme family. We identified the essential residues for substrate binding and catalysis and demonstrated that the catalytic mechanism is conserved between human and plant enzymes. Our study indicates that the loop-gating mechanism is likely to be a source of the substrate specificity in plants.

  18. 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).

  19. Different mechanisms must be considered to explain the increase in hippocampal neural precursor cell proliferation by physical activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rupert W Overall

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The number of proliferating neural precursor cells in the adult hippocampus is strongly increased by physical activity. The mechanisms through which this behavioral stimulus induces cell proliferation, however, are not yet understood. In fact, even the mode of proliferation of the stem and progenitor cells is not exactly known. Evidence exists for several mechanisms including cell cycle shortening, reduced cell death and stem cell recruitment, but as yet no model can account for all observations. An appreciation of how the cells proliferate, however, is crucial to our ability to model the neurogenic process and predict its behavior in response to pro-neurogenic stimuli. In a recent study, we addressed modulation of the cell cycle length as one possible mode of regulation of precursor cell proliferation in running mice. Our results indicated that the observed increase in number of proliferating cells could not be explained through a shortening of the cell cycle. We must therefore consider other mechanisms by which physical activity leads to enhanced precursor cell proliferation. Here we review the evidence for and against several different hypotheses and discuss the implications for future research in the field.

  20. Live imaging of astrocyte responses to acute injury reveals selective juxtavascular proliferation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardehle, S.; Kruger, M.; Buggenthin, F.; Schwausch, J.; Ninkovic, J.; Clevers, H.; Snippert, H.J.G.; Theis, F.J.; Meyer-Luehmann, M.; Bechmann, I.; Dimou, L.; Gotz, M.

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are thought to have important roles after brain injury, but their behavior has largely been inferred from postmortem analysis. To examine the mechanisms that recruit astrocytes to sites of injury, we used in vivo two-photon laser-scanning microscopy to follow the response of GFP-labeled

  1. The energy components of stacked chromatin layers explain the morphology, dimensions and mechanical properties of metaphase chromosomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daban, Joan-Ramon

    2014-01-01

    The measurement of the dimensions of metaphase chromosomes in different animal and plant karyotypes prepared in different laboratories indicates that chromatids have a great variety of sizes which are dependent on the amount of DNA that they contain. However, all chromatids are elongated cylinders that have relatively similar shape proportions (length to diameter ratio approx. 13). To explain this geometry, it is considered that chromosomes are self-organizing structures formed by stacked layers of planar chromatin and that the energy of nucleosome–nucleosome interactions between chromatin layers inside the chromatid is approximately 3.6 × 10−20 J per nucleosome, which is the value reported by other authors for internucleosome interactions in chromatin fibres. Nucleosomes in the periphery of the chromatid are in contact with the medium; they cannot fully interact with bulk chromatin within layers and this generates a surface potential that destabilizes the structure. Chromatids are smooth cylinders because this morphology has a lower surface energy than structures having irregular surfaces. The elongated shape of chromatids can be explained if the destabilizing surface potential is higher in the telomeres (approx. 0.16 mJ m−2) than in the lateral surface (approx. 0.012 mJ m−2). The results obtained by other authors in experimental studies of chromosome mechanics have been used to test the proposed supramolecular structure. It is demonstrated quantitatively that internucleosome interactions between chromatin layers can justify the work required for elastic chromosome stretching (approx. 0.1 pJ for large chromosomes). The high amount of work (up to approx. 10 pJ) required for large chromosome extensions is probably absorbed by chromatin layers through a mechanism involving nucleosome unwrapping. PMID:24402918

  2. Neuronal Activity and Glutamate Uptake Decrease Mitochondrial Mobility in Astrocytes and Position Mitochondria Near Glutamate Transporters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Joshua G.; O'Donnell, John C.; Takano, Hajime; Coulter, Douglas A.

    2014-01-01

    Within neurons, mitochondria are nonuniformly distributed and are retained at sites of high activity and metabolic demand. Glutamate transport and the concomitant activation of the Na+/K+-ATPase represent a substantial energetic demand on astrocytes. We hypothesized that mitochondrial mobility within astrocytic processes might be regulated by neuronal activity and glutamate transport. We imaged organotypic hippocampal slice cultures of rat, in which astrocytes maintain their highly branched morphologies and express glutamate transporters. Using time-lapse confocal microscopy, the mobility of mitochondria within individual astrocytic processes and neuronal dendrites was tracked. Within neurons, a greater percentage of mitochondria were mobile than in astrocytes. Furthermore, they moved faster and farther than in astrocytes. Inhibiting neuronal activity with tetrodotoxin (TTX) increased the percentage of mobile mitochondria in astrocytes. Mitochondrial movement in astrocytes was inhibited by vinblastine and cytochalasin D, demonstrating that this mobility depends on both the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons. Inhibition of glutamate transport tripled the percentage of mobile mitochondria in astrocytes. Conversely, application of the transporter substrate d-aspartate reversed the TTX-induced increase in the percentage of mobile mitochondria. Inhibition of reversed Na+/Ca2+ exchange also increased the percentage of mitochondria that were mobile. Last, we demonstrated that neuronal activity increases the probability that mitochondria appose GLT-1 particles within astrocyte processes, without changing the proximity of GLT-1 particles to VGLUT1. These results imply that neuronal activity and the resulting clearance of glutamate by astrocytes regulate the movement of astrocytic mitochondria and suggest a mechanism by which glutamate transporters might retain mitochondria at sites of glutamate uptake. PMID:24478345

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Yutaka

    2015-01-01

    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 paper, 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.

  5. Intracellular Polyamines Enhance Astrocytic Coupling

    OpenAIRE

    Benedikt, Jan; Inyushin, Mikhail; Kucheryavykh, Yuriy V.; Rivera, Yomarie; Kucheryavykh, Lilia Y; Nichols, Colin G.; Misty J Eaton; Skatchkov, Serguei N.

    2012-01-01

    Spermine (SPM) and spermidine (SPD), endogenous polyamines (PA) with the ability to modulate various ion channels and receptors in the brain, exert neuroprotective, antidepressant, antioxidant and other effects in vivo such as increasing longevity. These PA are preferably accumulated in astrocytes, and we hypothesized that SPM increases glial intercellular communication by interacting with glial gap junctions. Results obtained in situ, using Lucifer yellow propagation in the astrocytic syncit...

  6. Assessment of C-phycocyanin effect on astrocytes-mediated neuroprotection against oxidative brain injury using 2D and 3D astrocyte tissue model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Seul Ki; Park, Jun Sang; Luo, Lidan; Kwon, Yeo Seon; Lee, Hoo Cheol; Shim, Hyun Jung; Kim, Il-Doo; Lee, Ja-Kyeong; Shin, Hwa Sung

    2015-09-24

    Drugs are currently being developed to attenuate oxidative stress as a treatment for brain injuries. C-phycocyanin (C-Pc) is an antioxidant protein of green microalgae known to exert neuroprotective effects against oxidative brain injury. Astrocytes, which compose many portions of the brain, exert various functions to overcome oxidative stress; however, little is known about how C-Pc mediates the antioxidative effects of astrocytes. In this study, we revealed that C-Pc intranasal administration to the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats ensures neuroprotection of ischemic brain by reducing infarct size and improving behavioral deficits. C-Pc also enhanced viability and proliferation but attenuated apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) of oxidized astrocytes, without cytotoxicity to normal astrocytes and neurons. To elucidate how C-Pc leads astrocytes to enhance neuroprotection and repair of ischemia brain, we firstly developed 3D oxidized astrocyte model. C-Pc had astrocytes upregulate antioxidant enzymes such as SOD and catalase and neurotrophic factors BDNF and NGF, while alleviating inflammatory factors IL-6 and IL-1β and glial scar. Additionally, C-Pc improved viability of 3D oxidized neurons. In summary, C-Pc was concluded to activate oxidized astrocytes to protect and repair the ischemic brain with the combinatorial effects of improved antioxidative, neurotrophic, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

  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. Early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by unblocked fleas as a mechanism explaining rapidly spreading plague epizootics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Bearden, Scott W; Wilder, Aryn P; Montenieri, John A; Antolin, Michael F; Gage, Kenneth L

    2006-10-17

    Plague is a highly virulent disease believed to have killed millions during three historic human pandemics. Worldwide, it remains a threat to humans and is a potential agent of bioterrorism. Dissemination of Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, by blocked fleas has been the accepted paradigm for flea-borne transmission. However, this mechanism, which requires a lengthy extrinsic incubation period before a short infectious window often followed by death of the flea, cannot sufficiently explain the rapid rate of spread that typifies plague epidemics and epizootics. Inconsistencies between the expected rate of spread by blocked rat fleas and that observed during the Black Death has even caused speculation that plague was not the cause of this medieval pandemic. We used the primary vector to humans in North America, Oropsylla montana, which rarely becomes blocked, as a model for studying alternative flea-borne transmission mechanisms. Our data revealed that, in contrast to the classical blocked flea model, O. montana is immediately infectious, transmits efficiently for at least 4 d postinfection (early phase) and may remain infectious for a long time because the fleas do not suffer block-induced mortality. These factors match the criteria required to drive plague epizootics as defined by recently published mathematical models. The scenario of efficient early-phase transmission by unblocked fleas described in our study calls for a paradigm shift in concepts of how Y. pestis is transmitted during rapidly spreading epizootics and epidemics, including, perhaps, the Black Death.

  9. 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

  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

    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

  12. New mechanisms to explain the effects of added lactose fines on the dispersion performance of adhesive mixtures for inhalation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Floris Grasmeijer

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna P Miller

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

  16. Uptake and metabolism of iron and iron oxide nanoparticles in brain astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hohnholt, Michaela C; Dringen, Ralf

    2013-12-01

    Astrocytes are considered key regulators of the iron metabolism of the brain. These cells are able to rapidly accumulate iron ions and various iron-containing compounds, store iron efficiently in ferritin and also export iron. The present short review summarizes our current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in the handling of iron by astrocytes. Cultured astrocytes efficiently take up iron as ferrous or ferric iron ions or as haem by specific iron transport proteins in their cell membrane. In addition, astrocytes accumulate large amounts of iron oxide nanoparticles by endocytotic mechanisms. Despite the rapid accumulation of high amounts of iron from various iron-containing sources, the viability of astrocytes is hardly affected. A rather slow liberation of iron from accumulated haem or iron oxide nanoparticles as well as the strong up-regulation of the synthesis of the iron storage protein ferritin are likely to contribute to the high resistance of astrocytes to iron toxicity. The efficient uptake of extracellular iron by cultured astrocytes as well as their strong up-regulation of ferritin after iron exposure also suggests that brain astrocytes deal well with an excess of iron and protect the brain against iron-mediated toxicity.

  17. Theophylline potentiates lipopolysaccharide-induced NO production in cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Mizue; Takano, Katsura; Kawabe, Kenji; Moriyama, Mitsuaki; Ihara, Hideshi; Nakamura, Yoichi

    2014-01-01

    Elucidation of the functions of astrocytes is important for understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of various neurodegenerative diseases. Theophylline is a common drug for bronchial asthma and occasionally develops side-effects, such as acute encephalopathy; although the pathogenic mechanism of the side-effects is unknown. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitricoxide (NO) production is generally used for an index of the activation of astrocyte in vitro. In this study, in order to elucidate the effect of theophylline on the astrocytic functions, we examined the LPS-induced NO production and the expression of iNOS in cultured rat cortex astrocytes.Theophylline alone could not induce the NO production; however, NO production induced by LPS was enhanced by theophylline in a dose-dependent manner; and by isobutylmethylxanthine, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. The theophylline enhancement of LPS-induced NO production was further increased by dibutyryl cyclic AMP, a membrane-permeable cAMP analog; and by forskolin, an adenylate cyclase activator. When the cells were preincubated with Rp-8-Br-cAMP, an inhibitor of protein kinase A, the theophylline enhancement of LPS-induced NO production was decreased. The extent of iNOS protein expression induced by LPS was also enhanced by theophylline.It is likely that phosphodiesterase inhibition is a major action mechanism for the theophylline enhancement of LPS-induced NO production in astrocytes. Theophylline-induced acute encephalopathy might be due to the hyper-activation of astrocytes via cAMP signaling to produce excess amount of NO.

  18. Species' life-history traits explain interspecific variation in reservoir competence: a possible mechanism underlying the dilution effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zheng Y X; de Boer, Willem F; van Langevelde, Frank; Olson, Valerie; Blackburn, Tim M; Prins, Herbert H T

    2013-01-01

    Hosts species for multi-host pathogens show considerable variation in the species' reservoir competence, which is usually used to measure species' potential to maintain and transmit these pathogens. Although accumulating research has proposed a trade-off between life-history strategies and immune defences, only a few studies extended this to host species' reservoir competence. Using a phylogenetic comparative approach, we studied the relationships between some species' life-history traits and reservoir competence in three emerging infectious vector-borne disease systems, namely Lyme disease, West Nile Encephalitis (WNE) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The results showed that interspecific variation in reservoir competence could be partly explained by the species' life histories. Species with larger body mass (for hosts of Lyme disease and WNE) or smaller clutch size (for hosts of EEE) had a lower reservoir competence [corrected]. Given that both larger body mass and smaller clutch size were linked to higher extinction risk of local populations, our study suggests that with decreasing biodiversity, species with a higher reservoir competence are more likely to remain in the community, and thereby increase the risk of transmitting these pathogens, which might be a possible mechanism underlying the dilution effect.

  19. Reactive astrocytes in Alzheimer's disease: A double-edged sword.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Heejung; Lee, C Justin

    2018-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic and fatal disease, in which neuronal damage at its late stage cannot be easily reversed. Because AD progression is caused by multiple factors including diverse cellular processes, studies on AD pathogenesis at the molecular and cellular level are challenging. Based on the lessons from unsuccessful neuron-focused research for an AD cure, non-cell autonomous mechanisms including brain inflammation and reactive astrocytes have recently been in the spotlight as potential therapeutic targets for AD. Studies have shown that reactive astrocytes are not only the result of inflammatory defense reactions, but also an active catabolic decomposer that acts by taking up amyloid beta toxins. Here, we give an overview of the characteristics of reactive astrocytes as pathological features of AD. Reactive astrocytes exert biphasic effects, that is, beneficial or detrimental depending on multiple factors. Many efforts have been put forth for defining and characterizing molecular signatures for the beneficial and detrimental reactive astrocytes. In the foreseeable future, manipulating and targeting each established molecular signature should have profound therapeutic implications for the treatment of AD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Astrocytic GABA transporter activity modulates excitatory neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are ideally placed to detect and respond to network activity. They express ionotropic and metabotropic receptors, and can release gliotransmitters. Astrocytes also express transporters that regulate the extracellular concentration of neurotransmitters. Here we report a previously unrec...

  3. Inhibitions of PKC and CaMK-II synergistically rescue ischemia-induced astrocytic dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhan; Huang, Ying; Liu, Lina; Zhang, Li

    2017-09-14

    Ischemic neuronal death is presumably caused by glutamate-induced excitotoxicity, in which the increased glutamate release and impaired glutamate reuptake lead to glutamate accumulation. Mechanisms underlying the ischemic deficiency of astrocytic glutamate reuptake remain unclear, which we have studied by analyzing the effect of calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK-II) and protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitions on astrocytic glutamate transporter during ischemia. Glutamate transporter current was recorded on the astrocytes in cortical slices. KN-62 (CaMK-II inhibitor) or chelerythrine (PKC inhibitor) partially reverses the ischemic deficiency of astrocytic glutamate transporter. A combined use of PKC and CaMK-II inhibitors synergistically reverses this deficiency. Thus, one of potential therapeutic strategies is to secure the ischemia-induced deficiency of astrocytic glutamate reuptake by inhibiting PKC and CaMK-II. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. 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.

  5. Control of the neurovascular coupling by nitric oxide-dependent regulation of astrocytic Ca2+ signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Francisco Muñoz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal activity must be tightly coordinated with blood flow to keep proper brain function, which is achieved by a mechanism known as neurovascular coupling. Then, an increase in synaptic activity leads to a dilation of local parenchymal arterioles that matches the enhanced metabolic demand. Neurovascular coupling is orchestrated by astrocytes. These glial cells are located between neurons and the microvasculature, with the astrocytic endfeet ensheathing the vessels, which allows fine intercellular communication. The neurotransmitters released during neuronal activity reach astrocytic receptors and trigger a Ca2+ signaling that propagates to the endfeet, activating the release of vasoactive factors and arteriolar dilation. The astrocyte Ca2+ signaling is coordinated by gap junction channels and hemichannels formed by connexins (Cx43 and Cx30 and channels formed by pannexins (Panx-1. The neuronal activity-initiated Ca2+ waves are propagated among neighboring astrocytes directly via gap junctions or through ATP release via connexin hemichannels or pannexin channels. In addition, Ca2+ entry via connexin hemichannels or pannexin channels may participate in the regulation of the astrocyte signaling-mediated neurovascular coupling. Interestingly, nitric oxide (NO can activate connexin hemichannel by S-nitrosylation and the Ca2+-dependent NO-synthesizing enzymes endothelial NO synthase (eNOS and neuronal NOS (nNOS are expressed in astrocytes. Therefore, the astrocytic Ca2+ signaling triggered in neurovascular coupling may activate NO production, which, in turn, may lead to Ca2+ influx through hemichannel activation. Furthermore, NO release from the hemichannels located at astrocytic endfeet may contribute to the vasodilation of parenchymal arterioles. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the astrocytic Ca2+ signaling that mediates neurovascular coupling, with a special emphasis in the possible participation of NO in

  6. Neuroimmunological Implications of AQP4 in Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroko Ikeshima-Kataoka

    2016-08-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Astrocytes pathology in ALS: A potential therapeutic target?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johann, Sonja

    2017-06-15

    The mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are multifactorial and include genetic and environmental factors. Nowadays, it is well accepted that neuronal loss is driven by non-cell autonomous toxicity. Non-neuronal cells, such as astrocytes, have been described to significantly contribute to motoneuron cell death and disease progression in cell culture experiments and animal models of ALS. Astrocytes are essential for neuronal survival and function by regulating neurotransmitter and ion homeostasis, immune response, blood flow and glucose uptake, antioxidant defence and growth factor release. Based on their significant functions in "housekeeping" the central nervous system (CNS), they are no longer thought to be passive bystanders but rather contributors to ALS pathogenesis. Findings from animal models have broadened our knowledge about different pathomechanisms in ALS, but therapeutic approaches to impede disease progression failed. So far, there is no cure for ALS and effective medication to slow down disease progression is limited. Targeting only a single aspect of this multifactorial disease may exhibit therapeutic limitations. Hence, novel cellular targets must be defined and new pharmaceutical strategies, such as combinatorial drug therapies are urgently needed. The present review discusses the physiological role of astrocytes and current hypotheses of astrocyte pathology in ALS. Furthermore, recent investigation of potential drug candidates in astrocyte cell culture systems and animal models, as well as data obtained from clinical trials, will be addressed. The central role of astrocytes in ALS pathogenesis makes them a promising target for pharmaceutical interventions. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  9. Isolation and culture of human astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharif, Ariane; Prevot, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    Although rodent models have been essential to unveil the emerging functions of astrocytes, the existence of interspecies differences calls for caution in extrapolating data from rodent to human astrocytes. We have developed highly enriched primary astrocyte cultures from human fetuses and adult cerebro-cortical biopsies from neurosurgery patients. Immunocytochemical characterization shows that cultures are composed of more than 95% of cells expressing in vitro astrocytic markers. Examination of the morphological and proliferative properties of cultures derived from the cerebral cortex and the hypothalamus both in untreated conditions and after treatment with EGF-related ligands illustrates the high plasticity of human astrocytes and their functional heterogeneity according to the cerebral region of origin. Our preparation offers the opportunity to characterize human astrocyte functions in vitro and also provides a valuable tool for studying the functional heterogeneity of human astrocytes isolated from distinct brain regions.

  10. Astrocytes Regulate GLP-1 Receptor-Mediated Effects on Energy Balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiner, David J; Mietlicki-Baase, Elizabeth G; McGrath, Lauren E; Zimmer, Derek J; Bence, Kendra K; Sousa, Gregory L; Konanur, Vaibhav R; Krawczyk, Joanna; Burk, David H; Kanoski, Scott E; Hermann, Gerlinda E; Rogers, Richard C; Hayes, Matthew R

    2016-03-23

    Astrocytes are well established modulators of extracellular glutamate, but their direct influence on energy balance-relevant behaviors is largely understudied. As the anorectic effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists are partly mediated by central modulation of glutamatergic signaling, we tested the hypothesis that astrocytic GLP-1R signaling regulates energy balance in rats. Central or peripheral administration of a fluorophore-labeled GLP-1R agonist, exendin-4, localizes within astrocytes and neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), a hindbrain nucleus critical for energy balance control. This effect is mediated by GLP-1R, as the uptake of systemically administered fluorophore-tagged exendin-4 was blocked by central pretreatment with the competitive GLP-1R antagonist exendin-(9-39). Ex vivo analyses show prolonged exendin-4-induced activation (live cell calcium signaling) of NTS astrocytes and neurons; these effects are also attenuated by exendin-(9-39), indicating mediation by the GLP-1R. In vitro analyses show that the application of GLP-1R agonists increases cAMP levels in astrocytes. Immunohistochemical analyses reveal that endogenous GLP-1 axons form close synaptic apposition with NTS astrocytes. Finally, pharmacological inhibition of NTS astrocytes attenuates the anorectic and body weight-suppressive effects of intra-NTS GLP-1R activation. Collectively, data demonstrate a role for NTS astrocytic GLP-1R signaling in energy balance control. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists reduce food intake and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of obesity, but the cellular mechanisms underlying the anorectic effects of GLP-1 require further investigation. Astrocytes represent a major cellular population in the CNS that regulates neurotransmission, yet the role of astrocytes in mediating energy balance is largely unstudied. The current data provide novel evidence that astrocytes within the NTS

  11. Intracellular polyamines enhance astrocytic coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benedikt, Jan; Inyushin, Mikhail; Kucheryavykh, Yuriy V; Rivera, Yomarie; Kucheryavykh, Lilia Y; Nichols, Colin G; Eaton, Misty J; Skatchkov, Serguei N

    2012-12-05

    Spermine (SPM) and spermidine, endogenous polyamines with the ability to modulate various ion channels and receptors in the brain, exert neuroprotective, antidepressant, antioxidant, and other effects in vivo such as increasing longevity. These polyamines are preferably accumulated in astrocytes, and we hypothesized that SPM increases glial intercellular communication by interacting with glial gap junctions. The results obtained in situ, using Lucifer yellow propagation in the astrocytic syncitium of 21-25-day-old rat CA1 hippocampal slices, showed reduced coupling when astrocytes were dialyzed with standard intracellular solutions without SPM. However, there was a robust increase in the spreading of Lucifer yellow through gap junctions to neighboring astrocytes when the cells were patched with intracellular solutions containing 1 mM SPM, a physiological concentration in glia. Lucifer yellow propagation was inhibited by gap junction blockers. Our findings show that the glial syncitium propagates SPM through gap junctions and further indicate a new role of polyamines in the regulation of the astroglial network under both normal and pathological conditions.

  12. Astrocyte, the star avatar: redefined

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... and has resulted in a new appreciation of astrocytes and their value in studying the neurobiology of human brain cells and their functions. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the role of glial cells in physiology, pathophysiology and, most importantly, in adult neurogenesis and “stemness”, with special emphasis ...

  13. 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.

  14. Reparative Effects of Poloxamer P188 in Astrocytes Exposed to Controlled Microcavitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanagaraj, Johnwesly; Chen, Bo; Xiao, Shu; Cho, Michael

    2017-11-06

    Blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) is a neurological dysfunction that can result from a sudden exposure to shockwave and lead to adverse health consequences. Currently, there are no preventive measures that specifically target bTBI. Several hypotheses have been formulated to explain such injuries, including the generation of microcavitation (e.g., microbubbles) in the brain that subsequently collapses with high pressure. This study was designed to explore and elucidate potential therapeutic effects of surfactants (poloxamers P188) to partially repair the damaged brain tissue due to bTBI. A controlled electrical discharge system was designed and validated to generate microbubbles of 20-30 μm in size. Using this system, we tested the hypothesis that the P188 can partially rescue astrocytes exposed to collapsing microbubbles. The immediate impact of the collapse of microbubbles created a crater-like region in which astrocytes detached from the substrate. Of those cells that survived the initial mechanical assault, the poloxamer P188 demonstrated reparative potential by partially restoring calcium spiking and minimizing the production of reactive oxygen species. The FDA-approved P188 may offer a potential therapeutic treatment for those exposed to a blast and suffered bTBI.

  15. [Astrocytes and microglia: active players in synaptic plasticity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronzano, Rémi

    2017-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity consists in a change in structure and composition of presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments. For a long time, synaptic plasticity had been thought as a neuronal mechanism only under the control of neural network activity. However, recently, with the growing knowledge about glial physiology, plasticity has been reviewed as a mechanism influenced by the synaptic environment. Thus, it appears that astrocytes and microglia modulate these mechanisms modifying neural environment by clearance of neurotransmitters, releasing essential factors and modulating inflammation. Moreover, glia can change its own activity and the expression pattern of many factors that modulate synaptic plasticity according to the environment. Hence, these populations of "non-neuronal" cells in the central nervous system seem to be active players in synaptic plasticity. This review discusses how glia modulates synaptic plasticity focusing on long-term potentiation and depression, and questions the role of the signaling processes between astrocytes and microglia in these mechanisms. © 2017 médecine/sciences – Inserm.

  16. New mechanisms to explain the effects of added lactose fines on the dispersion performance of adhesive mixtures for inhalation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  17. Probenecid protects against oxygen-glucose deprivation injury in primary astrocytes by regulating inflammasome activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jian, Zhihong; Ding, Shuai; Deng, Hongping; Wang, Jun; Yi, Wei; Wang, Lei; Zhu, Shengmei; Gu, Lijuan; Xiong, Xiaoxing

    2016-07-15

    Inflammation is extremely important in the development of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. Pannexin 1 (Panx1) channel has been reported to activate inflammasome in astrocytes and be involved in ischemic injury, but this damage effect is reversed by a Panx1 inhibitor-probenecid. However, the mechanism of probenecid protects against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury remains unclear. In present study, we hypothesized that probenecid protected astrocytes from ischemia/reperfusion injury in vitro by modulating the inflammasome. Primary cultured neocortical astrocytes were exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/RX) and probenecid was added in this model. Viability and nuclear morphology of astrocytes, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), protein expressions of NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor protein 3), caspase-1, and AQP4 (Aquaporins 4), as well as release of cellular HMGB1 and IL-1β were observed to evaluate the effect and mechanisms of probenecid on OGD/reoxygenated astrocytes. Probenecid did not affect cell viability at concentrations of 1, 5, 10, and 100μM but induced significant astrocytes death at 500μM. Probenecid inhibited cell death and ROS generation in astrocytes subjected to 6h of OGD and 24h of reoxygenation. The expression levels of NLRP3, caspase-1, and AQP4 increased after 6h of OGD, but probenecid treatment attenuated this increase. Moreover, the extracellular release of IL-1β and HMGB1 from OGD/reoxygenated astrocytes increased significantly. However, treatment by probenecid resulted in substantial reduction of these proteins levels in extracellular space. In conclusion, The Panx1 inhibitor, probenecid, which was administered before OGD, provided protective effects on the OGD/reoxygenation model of cultured astrocytes by modulating inflammasome activity and downregulating AQP4 expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 ...

  19. Neuroprotective effects of levetiracetam target xCT in astrocytes in parkinsonian mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Ikuko; Murakami, Shinki; Torigoe, Nao; Kitamura, Yoshihisa; Asanuma, Masato

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes but not neurons express cystine/glutamate exchange transporter (xCT), which takes up cystine, and consequently supplies the substrate for GSH synthesis in neurons. It is recognized that GSH synthesis in neurons is dependent on the expression of xCT in astrocytes. Previous studies reported that levetiracetam (LEV), an anti-epileptic drug, increased xCT expression in vivo. The purpose of this study was to examine neuroprotective effects of LEV in parkinsonian models and demonstrate xCT in astrocytes as a target of neuroprotection against dopaminergic neurodegeneration. We identified striatal astrocytes cultured with LEV showed significant increase in xCT expression and GSH levels. Preincubation of primary cultured mesencephalic dopamine neurons with conditioned media from LEV-treated astrocytes protected against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced neurotoxicity. These protective effects were canceled by xCT inhibitor. Furthermore, reduction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in 6-OHDA-lesioned parkinsonian mice was significantly abrogated by repeated injections of LEV. Treatment with LEV significantly increased the expression of xCT in striatal astrocytes in the hemi-parkinsonian mice. In conclusion, LEV exerts neuroprotective effects against neurodegeneration via up-regulation of xCT and GSH in astrocytes. Thus, xCT in astrocytes could be a potential target in novel neuroprotective approaches to prevent degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Glutathione (GSH) is the most potent intrinsic antioxidant. Since extracellular cysteine is readily oxidized to form cystine, cystine transport mechanisms are essential to provide cells with cysteine. Cystine uptake is mediated by cystine/glutamate exchange transporter (xCT), expressed primarily on astrocytes, but not on neurons. Astrocytes take up cystine via xCT and reduce it to cysteine to supply cysteine, the substrate for GSH synthesis in neurons. This study demonstrated that levetiracetam (LEV), an anti

  20. Homocysteine Induces Glial Reactivity in Adult Rat Astrocyte Cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longoni, Aline; Bellaver, Bruna; Bobermin, Larissa Daniele; Santos, Camila Leite; Nonose, Yasmine; Kolling, Janaina; Dos Santos, Tiago M; de Assis, Adriano M; Quincozes-Santos, André; Wyse, Angela T S

    2017-03-02

    Astrocytes are dynamic glial cells associated to neurotransmitter systems, metabolic functions, antioxidant defense, and inflammatory response, maintaining the brain homeostasis. Elevated concentrations of homocysteine (Hcy) are involved in the pathogenesis of age-related neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases. In line with this, our hypothesis was that Hcy could promote glial reactivity in a model of cortical primary astrocyte cultures from adult Wistar rats. Thus, cortical astrocytes were incubated with different concentrations of Hcy (10, 30, and 100 μM) during 24 h. After the treatment, we analyzed cell viability, morphological parameters, antioxidant defenses, and inflammatory response. Hcy did not induce any alteration in cell viability; however, it was able to induce cytoskeleton rearrangement. The treatment with Hcy also promoted a significant decrease in the activities of Na(+), K(+) ATPase, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), as well as in the glutathione (GSH) content. Additionally, Hcy induced an increase in the pro-inflammatory cytokine release. In an attempt to elucidate the putative mechanisms involved in the Hcy-induced glial reactivity, we measured the nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) transcriptional activity and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) expression, which were activated and inhibited by Hcy, respectively. In summary, our findings provide important evidences that Hcy modulates critical astrocyte parameters from adult rats, which might be associated to the aging process.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn eDallérac

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Binaural blood flow control by astrocytes: listening to synapses and the vasculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Anusha

    2017-03-15

    Astrocytes are the most common glial cells in the brain with fine processes and endfeet that intimately contact both neuronal synapses and the cerebral vasculature. They play an important role in mediating neurovascular coupling (NVC) via several astrocytic Ca2+ -dependent signalling pathways such as K+ release through BK channels, and the production and release of arachidonic acid metabolites. They are also involved in maintaining the resting tone of the cerebral vessels by releasing ATP and COX-1 derivatives. Evidence also supports a role for astrocytes in maintaining blood pressure-dependent change in cerebrovascular tone, and perhaps also in blood vessel-to-neuron signalling as posited by the 'hemo-neural hypothesis'. Thus, astrocytes are emerging as new stars in preserving the intricate balance between the high energy demand of active neurons and the supply of oxygen and nutrients from the blood by maintaining both resting blood flow and activity-evoked changes therein. Following neuropathology, astrocytes become reactive and many of their key signalling mechanisms are altered, including those involved in NVC. Furthermore, as they can respond to changes in vascular pressure, cardiovascular diseases might exert previously unknown effects on the central nervous system by altering astrocyte function. This review discusses the role of astrocytes in neurovascular signalling in both physiology and pathology, and the impact of these findings on understanding BOLD-fMRI signals. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2016 The Physiological Society.

  3. Electrophysiology and pharmacology of tandem domain potassium channel TREK-1 related BDNF synthesis in rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Li; Wang, Weiping; Peng, Ying; Li, Jiang; Wang, Ling; Wang, Xiaoliang

    2014-04-01

    In the present study, the functional properties and pharmacology of two-pore domain potassium channel (K2P) TREK-1 in primary cultured rat brain astrocytes were investigated. Western blot, patch clamping techniques, and ELISA were used to detect the distribution and function of TREK-1 as well as the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the primary cultured astrocytes. It was shown that TREK-1 protein expressed in astrocytes was 2.4-fold higher than it was expressed in microglia. Single channel recording via patch clamping showed that the TREK-1 outward currents in astrocytes could be activated by arachidonic acid (AA) or chloroform with the conductance of 113 ± 14 and 120 ± 13 pS, respectively. The current was also sensitive to mechanical stretch and intracellular acidification. Negative pressure (-30 cm H2O) and acidification of intracellular solution (pH 6.8 or 6.3) both enhanced TREK-1 channel open probability significantly. Further pharmacological studies showed that TREK-1 antagonist penfluridol inhibited AA-induced currents, and both penfluridol and methionine (TREK-1 blockers) significantly increased BDNF level in astrocytes by 50 %. These results indicated that TREK-1 channel current was a major component of K2P currents in astrocytes. TREK-1 channels might play important roles in regulating the function of astrocytes and might be used as a drug target for neuroprotection.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Accumulation of amyloid-? by astrocytes result in enlarged endosomes and microvesicle-induced apoptosis of neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Söllvander, Sofia; Nikitidou, Elisabeth; Brolin, Robin; Soderberg, Linda; Sehlin, Dag; Lannfelt, Lars; Erlandsson, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite the clear physical association between activated astrocytes and amyloid-? (A?) plaques, the importance of astrocytes and their therapeutic potential in Alzheimer?s disease remain elusive. Soluble A? aggregates, such as protofibrils, have been suggested to be responsible for the widespread neuronal cell death in Alzheimer?s disease, but the mechanisms behind this remain unclear. Moreover, ineffective degradation is of great interest when it comes to the development and progr...

  12. Astrocyte scar formation aids CNS axon regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Mark A.; Burda, Joshua E.; Ren, Yilong; Ao, Yan; O’Shea, Timothy M.; Kawaguchi, Riki; Coppola, Giovanni; Khakh, Baljit S.; Deming, Timothy J.; Sofroniew, Michael V.

    2017-01-01

    Summary Transected axons fail to regrow in the mature central nervous system (CNS). Astrocyte scars are widely regarded as causal in this failure. Here, using three genetically targeted loss-of-function manipulations in adult mice, we show that preventing astrocyte scar formation, attenuating scar-forming astrocytes, or deleting chronic astrocyte scars all failed to result in spontaneous regrowth of transected corticospinal, sensory or serotonergic axons through severe spinal cord injury (SCI) lesions. In striking contrast, sustained local delivery via hydrogel depots of required axon-specific growth factors not present in SCI lesions, plus growth-activating priming injuries, stimulated robust, laminin-dependent sensory axon regrowth past scar-forming astrocytes and inhibitory molecules in SCI lesions. Preventing astrocyte scar formation significantly reduced this stimulated axon regrowth. RNA sequencing revealed that astrocytes and non-astrocyte cells in SCI lesions express multiple axon-growth supporting molecules. Our findings show that contrary to prevailing dogma, astrocyte scar formation aids rather than prevents CNS axon regeneration. PMID:27027288

  13. 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.

  14. Astrocyte Autophagy Flux Protects Neurons Against Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation and Ischemic/Reperfusion Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xue; Tian, Fengfeng; Wang, Shiquan; Wang, Feng; Xiong, Lize

    2017-11-10

    The role of autophagy varies with the type of acute brain injury. In general, autophagy mediates a clear neuroprotective effect in intoxication caused by various psychoactive agents, subarachnoid hemorrhage and spinal cord injury. In contrast, autophagic cell death has also been reported to actively contribute to neuronal loss in neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. However, it still remains to be determined whether autophagy pays a cytoprotective or a cytotoxic role in stroke. Previous studies focused primarily on the role of neurons rather than the role of astrocytes in brain injury. Thus, it is unknown whether modulating the autophagy flux of astrocytes contributes to improving neuronal survival after stroke. In the current study, we investigated the time course of autophagy flux in vitro using co-cultured astrocytes and neurons exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation/re-oxygenation which mimicked the process of ischemia/reperfusion. Autophagy flux of astrocytes was regulated by treatment with the autophagy inducer rapamycin, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine, and the transduction of small interfering RNA against autophagy-related gene 5. In addition, AAV-GFAP-ATG7 was used to induce astrocyte autophagy flux in mice subjected to focal cerebral ischemia. We found that induction of autophagy flux of astrocytes in vitro enhanced the viability of neurons and decreased neuronal apoptosis. Furthermore, induction of astrocyte autophagy flux in mice improved neurological outcomes. In contrast, inhibition of autophagy flux in astrocytes decreased the viability of neurons and increased neuronal apoptosis. These results suggest that upregulation of autophagy flux in astrocytes may contribute to endogenous neuroprotective and neurorecovery mechanisms after stroke.

  15. Targeting Astrocytes for Treating Neurological Disorders: Carbon Monoxide and Noradrenaline-Induced Increase in Lactate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvat, Anemari; Vardjan, Nina; Zorec, Robert

    2017-06-22

    There are at least three reasons why brain astrocytes represent a new target for treating neurological disorders. First, although the human neocortex represents over 80% of brain mass, neurons are outnumbered by non-neuronal cells, including astrocytes, a neuroglial cell type. Second, as in neurons, vesicle-based release of transmitters is present in astrocytes, however with much slower kinetics than in neurons. Third, astrocytes contain glycogen, which can be transformed to L-lactate in glycolysis. L-lactate is considered to be a fuel and a signalling molecule involved in cognition and neuroprotection. The mechanisms of neuroprotection are unclear but may be linked to carbon monoxide, a product of the heme oxygenase, an evolutionarily conserved cellular cytoprotectant. Increased levels of local carbon monoxide arising from heme oxygenase activity may increase L-lactate, but direct measurements of cytosolic L-lactate are lacking. A fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based nanosensor selective for L-lactate was used to monitor cytosolic levels of L-lactate while cultured astrocytes were exposed to carbon monoxide. The results revealed that in astrocytes exposed to carbon monoxide there is no significant increase in L-lactate, however, when noradrenaline, a potent glycogenolytic agent, is applied, cytosolic levels of L-lactate are increased, but strongly attenuated in astrocytes pretreated with carbon monoxide. These first measurements of carbon monoxide-modulated L-lactate levels in astrocytes provide evidence that the L-lactate and heme oxygenase neuroprotective systems may interact. In conclusion, not only the abundance of astrocytes but their signalling capacity using vesicles and metabolites, such as L-lactate, are valid targets for neurological disorders. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovanesov, Mikhail V; Ayhan, Yavuz; Wolbert, Candie; Moldovan, Krisztina; Sauder, Christian; Pletnikov, Mikhail V

    2008-11-11

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in astrocytes through macroautophagy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-04-15

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

  19. 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.

  20. H1-antihistamines induce vacuolation in astrocytes through macroautophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei-Wei; Yang, Ying; Wang, Zhe; Shen, Zhe; Zhang, Xiang-Nan; Wang, Guang-Hui; Chen, Zhong

    2012-04-15

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

  1. 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

  2. Up-regulation of TREK-2 potassium channels in cultured astrocytes requires de novo protein synthesis: relevance to localization of TREK-2 channels in astrocytes after transient cerebral ischemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aixa F Rivera-Pagán

    Full Text Available Excitotoxicity due to glutamate receptor over-activation is one of the key mediators of neuronal death after an ischemic insult. Therefore, a major function of astrocytes is to maintain low extracellular levels of glutamate. The ability of astrocytic glutamate transporters to regulate the extracellular glutamate concentration depends upon the hyperpolarized membrane potential of astrocytes conferred by the presence of K+ channels in their membranes. We have previously shown that TREK-2 potassium channels in cultured astrocytes are up-regulated by ischemia and may support glutamate clearance by astrocytes during ischemia. Thus, herein we determine the mechanism leading to this up-regulation and assess the localization of TREK-2 channels in astrocytes after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. By using a cell surface biotinylation assay we confirmed that functional TREK-2 protein is up-regulated in the astrocytic membrane after ischemic conditions. Using real time RT-PCR, we determined that the levels of TREK-2 mRNA were not increased in response to ischemic conditions. By using Western blot and a variety of protein synthesis inhibitors, we demonstrated that the increase of TREK-2 protein expression requires De novo protein synthesis, while protein degradation pathways do not contribute to TREK-2 up-regulation after ischemic conditions. Immunohistochemical studies revealed TREK-2 localization in astrocytes together with increased expression of the selective glial marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, in brain 24 hours after transient middle cerebral occlusion. Our data indicate that functional TREK-2 channels are up-regulated in the astrocytic membrane during ischemia through a mechanism requiring De novo protein synthesis. This study provides important information about the mechanisms underlying TREK-2 regulation, which has profound implications in neurological diseases such as ischemia where astrocytes play an important role.

  3. Up-regulation of TREK-2 potassium channels in cultured astrocytes requires de novo protein synthesis: relevance to localization of TREK-2 channels in astrocytes after transient cerebral ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Pagán, Aixa F; Rivera-Aponte, David E; Melnik-Martínez, Katya V; Zayas-Santiago, Astrid; Kucheryavykh, Lilia Y; Martins, Antonio H; Cubano, Luis A; Skatchkov, Serguei N; Eaton, Misty J

    2015-01-01

    Excitotoxicity due to glutamate receptor over-activation is one of the key mediators of neuronal death after an ischemic insult. Therefore, a major function of astrocytes is to maintain low extracellular levels of glutamate. The ability of astrocytic glutamate transporters to regulate the extracellular glutamate concentration depends upon the hyperpolarized membrane potential of astrocytes conferred by the presence of K+ channels in their membranes. We have previously shown that TREK-2 potassium channels in cultured astrocytes are up-regulated by ischemia and may support glutamate clearance by astrocytes during ischemia. Thus, herein we determine the mechanism leading to this up-regulation and assess the localization of TREK-2 channels in astrocytes after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. By using a cell surface biotinylation assay we confirmed that functional TREK-2 protein is up-regulated in the astrocytic membrane after ischemic conditions. Using real time RT-PCR, we determined that the levels of TREK-2 mRNA were not increased in response to ischemic conditions. By using Western blot and a variety of protein synthesis inhibitors, we demonstrated that the increase of TREK-2 protein expression requires De novo protein synthesis, while protein degradation pathways do not contribute to TREK-2 up-regulation after ischemic conditions. Immunohistochemical studies revealed TREK-2 localization in astrocytes together with increased expression of the selective glial marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, in brain 24 hours after transient middle cerebral occlusion. Our data indicate that functional TREK-2 channels are up-regulated in the astrocytic membrane during ischemia through a mechanism requiring De novo protein synthesis. This study provides important information about the mechanisms underlying TREK-2 regulation, which has profound implications in neurological diseases such as ischemia where astrocytes play an important role.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-08-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Przemysław eKaczor

    2015-04-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Astrocyte loss and astrogliosis in neuroinflammatory disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Glutathione-Dependent Detoxification Processes in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dringen, Ralf; Brandmann, Maria; Hohnholt, Michaela C

    2015-01-01

    component in many of the astrocytic detoxification processes is the tripeptide glutathione (GSH) which serves as electron donor in the GSH peroxidase-catalyzed reduction of peroxides. In addition, GSH is substrate in the detoxification of xenobiotics and endogenous compounds by GSH-S-transferases which...... knowledge on the GSH metabolism of astrocytes with a special emphasis on GSH-dependent detoxification processes....

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 Ba2+ 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The BCL-2 family protein Bid is critical for pro-inflammatory signaling in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Hans-Georg; Coughlan, Karen S; Kinsella, Sinéad; Breen, Bridget A; Prehn, Jochen H M

    2014-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of motoneurons in the spinal cord, brainstem and motor cortex. Mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene represent a frequent genetic determinant and recapitulate a disease phenotype similar to ALS when expressed in mice. Previous studies using SOD1(G93A) transgenic mice have suggested a paracrine mechanism of neuronal loss, in which cytokines and other toxic factors released from astroglia or microglia trigger motoneuron degeneration. Several pro-inflammatory cytokines activate death receptors and may downstream from this activate the Bcl-2 family protein, Bid. We here sought to investigate the role of Bid in astrocyte activation and non-cell autonomous motoneuron degeneration. We found that spinal cord Bid protein levels increased significantly during disease progression in SOD1(G93A) mice. Subsequent experiments in vitro indicated that Bid was expressed at relatively low levels in motoneurons, but was enriched in astrocytes and microglia. Bid was strongly induced in astrocytes in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines or exposure to lipopolysaccharide. Experiments in bid-deficient astrocytes or astrocytes treated with a small molecule Bid inhibitor demonstrated that Bid was required for the efficient activation of transcription factor nuclear factor-κB in response to these pro-inflammatory stimuli. Finally, we found that conditioned medium from wild-type astrocytes, but not from bid-deficient astrocytes, was toxic when applied to primary motoneuron cultures. Collectively, our data demonstrate a new role for the Bcl-2 family protein Bid as a mediator of astrocyte activation during neuroinflammation, and suggest that Bid activation may contribute to non-cell autonomous motoneuron degeneration in ALS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losi, Gabriele; Mariotti, Letizia; Carmignoto, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25225102

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theparambil, Shefeeq M; Naoshin, Zinnia; Defren, Sabrina; Schmaelzle, Jana; Weber, Tobias; Schneider, Hans-Peter; Deitmer, Joachim W

    2017-04-15

    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. 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 astrocytes from wild-type (WT

  3. 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.

  4. Superantigen presenting capacity of human astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    We found that human fetal astrocytes (HFA) are able to support superantigen (SAG) staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1)-induced activation of immediately ex vivo allogenic human CD4 T cells. Using radiolabelled toxins, we demonstrate that both SEB and TSST-1...... bind with high affinity to MHC class II antigen expressing astrocytes; binding is displaceable with excess cold toxin. Competition experiments further indicate that TSST-1 and SEB at least partially compete with each other for binding to astrocytes suggesting they bind to the same HLA-DR region...

  5. In vitro α-synuclein neurotoxicity and spreading among neurons and astrocytes using Lewy body extracts from Parkinson disease brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavaliere, Fabio; Cerf, Loic; Dehay, Benjamin; Ramos-Gonzalez, Paula; De Giorgi, Francesca; Bourdenx, Mathieu; Bessede, Alban; Obeso, Jose A; Matute, Carlos; Ichas, François; Bezard, Erwan

    2017-07-01

    Synucleinopathies are a group of diseases characterized by the presence of intracellular protein aggregates containing α-synuclein (α-syn). While α-syn aggregates have been shown to induce multimodal cellular dysfunctions, uptake and transport mechanisms remain unclear. Using high-content imaging on cortical neurons and astrocytes, we here define the kinetics of neuronal and astrocytic abnormalities induced by human-derived α-syn aggregates grounding the use of such system to identify and test putative therapeutic compounds. We then aimed at characterizing uptake and transport mechanisms using primary cultures of cortical neurons and astrocytes either in single well or in microfluidic chambers allowing connection between cells and cell-types. We report that astrocytes take up α-syn-aggregates far more efficiently than neurons through an endocytic event. We also highlight that active α-syn transport occurs between cells and any cell-types. Of special interest regarding the disease, we also show that uptake and spreading of α-syn from astrocytes to neurons can lead to neuronal death. Altogether, we here show that patients-derived α-synuclein aggregates, which are taken up by neurons and astrocytes, induce a differential endogenous response in the two cell types including a peculiar astrocytic toxic gain-of-function that leads to neuronal death. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Metabolic Interplay between Astrocytes and Neurons Regulates Endocannabinoid Action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreu Viader

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG is a retrograde lipid messenger that modulates synaptic function, neurophysiology, and behavior. 2-AG signaling is terminated by enzymatic hydrolysis—a reaction that is principally performed by monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL. MAGL is broadly expressed throughout the nervous system, and the contributions of different brain cell types to the regulation of 2-AG activity in vivo remain poorly understood. Here, we genetically dissect the cellular anatomy of MAGL-mediated 2-AG metabolism in the brain and show that neurons and astrocytes coordinately regulate 2-AG content and endocannabinoid-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity and behavior. We also find that astrocytic MAGL is mainly responsible for converting 2-AG to neuroinflammatory prostaglandins via a mechanism that may involve transcellular shuttling of lipid substrates. Astrocytic-neuronal interplay thus provides distributed oversight of 2-AG metabolism and function and, through doing so, protects the nervous system from excessive CB1 receptor activation and promotes endocannabinoid crosstalk with other lipid transmitter systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Mechanisms to explain surfactant responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobe, Alan H

    2006-01-01

    Surfactant is now standard of care for infants with respiratory distress syndrome. Surfactant treatments are effective because of complex metabolic interactions between surfactant and the preterm lung. The large treatment dose functions as substrate; it is taken up by the preterm lung and is reprocessed and secreted with improved function. The components of the treatment surfactant remain in the preterm lung for days. If lung injury is avoided, then surfactant inhibition is minimized. Prenatal corticosteroids complement surfactant to further enhance lung function. The magic of surfactant therapy results from the multiple interactions between surfactant and the preterm lung. Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. 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.

  10. Excessive astrocyte-derived neurotrophin-3 contributes to the abnormal neuronal dendritic development in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Yang

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is a form of inherited mental retardation in humans that results from expansion of a CGG repeat in the Fmr1 gene. Recent studies suggest a role of astrocytes in neuronal development. However, the mechanisms involved in the regulation process of astrocytes from FXS remain unclear. In this study, we found that astrocytes derived from a Fragile X model, the Fmr1 knockout (KO mouse which lacks FMRP expression, inhibited the proper elaboration of dendritic processes of neurons in vitro. Furthermore, astrocytic conditioned medium (ACM from KO astrocytes inhibited proper dendritic growth of both wild-type (WT and KO neurons. Inducing expression of FMRP by transfection of FMRP vectors in KO astrocytes restored dendritic morphology and levels of synaptic proteins. Further experiments revealed elevated levels of the neurotrophin-3 (NT-3 in KO ACM and the prefrontal cortex of Fmr1 KO mice. However, the levels of nerve growth factor (NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF, and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF were normal. FMRP has multiple RNA-binding motifs and is involved in translational regulation. RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation (RIP showed the NT-3 mRNA interacted with FMRP in WT astrocytes. Addition of high concentrations of exogenous NT-3 to culture medium reduced the dendrites of neurons and synaptic protein levels, whereas these measures were ameliorated by neutralizing antibody to NT-3 or knockdown of NT-3 expression in KO astrocytes through short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs. Prefrontal cortex microinjection of WT astrocytes or NT-3 shRNA infected KO astrocytes rescued the deficit of trace fear memory in KO mice, concomitantly decreased the NT-3 levels in the prefrontal cortex. This study indicates that excessive NT-3 from astrocytes contributes to the abnormal neuronal dendritic development and that astrocytes could be a potential therapeutic target for FXS.

  11. Methodological limitations in determining astrocytic gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Liang; Guo, Chuang; Wang, Tao; Li, Baoman; Gu, Li; Wang, Zhanyou

    2013-11-25

    Traditionally, astrocytic mRNA and protein expression are studied by in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunohistochemically. This led to the concept that astrocytes lack aralar, a component of the malate-aspartate-shuttle. At least similar aralar mRNA and protein expression in astrocytes and neurons isolated by fluorescence-assisted cell sorting (FACS) reversed this opinion. Demonstration of expression of other astrocytic genes may also be erroneous. Literature data based on morphological methods were therefore compared with mRNA expression in cells obtained by recently developed methods for determination of cell-specific gene expression. All Na,K-ATPase-α subunits were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry (IHC), but there are problems with the cotransporter NKCC1. Glutamate and GABA transporter gene expression was well determined immunohistochemically. The same applies to expression of many genes of glucose metabolism, whereas a single study based on findings in bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic animals showed very low astrocytic expression of hexokinase. Gene expression of the equilibrative nucleoside transporters ENT1 and ENT2 was recognized by ISH, but ENT3 was not. The same applies to the concentrative transporters CNT2 and CNT3. All were clearly expressed in FACS-isolated cells, followed by biochemical analysis. ENT3 was enriched in astrocytes. Expression of many nucleoside transporter genes were shown by microarray analysis, whereas other important genes were not. Results in cultured astrocytes resembled those obtained by FACS. These findings call for reappraisal of cellular nucleoside transporter expression. FACS cell yield is small. Further development of cell separation methods to render methods more easily available and less animal and cost consuming and parallel studies of astrocytic mRNA and protein expression by ISH/IHC and other methods are necessary, but new methods also need to be thoroughly checked.

  12. 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.

  13. Protein interacting with C kinase 1 suppresses invasion and anchorage-independent growth of astrocytic tumor cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockbill, Louisa M. R.; Murk, Kai; Love, Seth; Hanley, Jonathan G.

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytic tumors are the most common form of primary brain tumor. Astrocytic tumor cells infiltrate the surrounding CNS tissue, allowing them to evade removal upon surgical resection of the primary tumor. Dynamic changes to the actin cytoskeleton are crucial to cancer cell invasion, but the specific mechanisms that underlie the particularly invasive phenotype of astrocytic tumor cells are unclear. Protein interacting with C kinase 1 (PICK1) is a PDZ and BAR domain–containing protein that inhibits actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3)-dependent actin polymerization and is involved in regulating the trafficking of a number of cell-surface receptors. Here we report that, in contrast to other cancers, PICK1 expression is down-regulated in grade IV astrocytic tumor cell lines and also in clinical cases of the disease in which grade IV tumors have progressed from lower-grade tumors. Exogenous expression of PICK1 in the grade IV astrocytic cell line U251 reduces their capacity for anchorage-independent growth, two-dimensional migration, and invasion through a three-dimensional matrix, strongly suggesting that low PICK1 expression plays an important role in astrocytic tumorigenesis. We propose that PICK1 negatively regulates neoplastic infiltration of astrocytic tumors and that manipulation of PICK1 is an attractive possibility for therapeutic intervention. PMID:26466675

  14. Gestational Hypothyroxinemia Imprints a Switch in the Capacity of Astrocytes and Microglial Cells of the Offspring to React in Inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opazo, María C; González, Pablo A; Flores, Betsi D; Venegas, Luis F; Albornoz, Eduardo A; Cisternas, Pablo; Bohmwald, Karen; Nieto, Pamela A; Bueno, Susan M; Kalergis, Alexis M; Riedel, Claudia A

    2017-06-27

    Hypothyroxinemia (Hpx) is a highly frequent condition characterized by low thyroxine (T4) and normal 3,3',5'-triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in the blood. Gestational Hpx is closely related to cognitive impairment in the human offspring. In animal models gestational Hpx causes impairment at glutamatergic synapsis, spatial learning, and the susceptibility to suffer strong autoimmune diseases like experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, the mechanisms underlying these phenotypes are unknown. On the other hand, it has been shown that astrocytes and microglia affect the outcome of EAE. In fact, the activation of astrocytes and microglia in the central nervous system (CNS) contributes to EAE progression. Thus, in this work, the reactivity of astrocytes and microglia from rats gestated in Hpx was evaluated aiming to understand whether these cells are targets of gestational Hpx. Interestingly, microglia derived from the offspring gestated in Hpx were less reactive compared to microglia derived from offspring gestated in euthyroidism. Instead, astrocytes derived from the offspring gestated in Hpx were significantly more reactive than the astrocytes from the offspring gestated in euthyroidism. This work contributes with novel information regarding the effects of gestational Hpx over astrocytes and microglia in the offspring. It suggests that astrocyte could react strongly to an inflammatory insult inducing neuronal death in the CNS.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Characterization of Subcellular Responses Induced by Exposure of Microbubbles to Astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shan; Kanagaraj, Johnwesly; Cho, Lindsey; Kang, Dongkoo; Xiao, Shu; Cho, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI) has now been identified to associate with adverse health consequences among combat veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder linked with explosive blasts, for example, may result from such brain injury. The fundamental questions about the nature, diagnosis, and long-term consequences of bTBI and causative relationship to post-traumatic stress disorder remain elusive, however. A better understanding of brain tissue injury requires elucidation of potential mechanisms. One such mechanism may be generation of microcavitation bubbles in the brain after an explosive blast and their subsequent interaction with brain cells. Using a controlled electrical discharge system, we have successfully generated shock waves (∼10 MPa) and microbubbles (20-30 μm) in the cell culture of mouse astrocytes. Detachment of astrocytes from the substrate after exposure to microbubbles was observed, and it depended on repetitive exposures. Of the cells that survived the initial assault, several subcellular changes were monitored and determined using fluorescent microscopy, including cell viability, cytoskeletal reorganization, changes in focal adhesion, membrane permeability, and potential onset of apoptosis. While the astrocytes impacted by the shock wave only demonstrated essentially unaltered cellular behavior, the astrocytes exposed to microbubbles exhibited significantly different responses, including production of reactive oxygen species by collapse of microbubbles. In the present study, we characterized and report for the first time the altered biophysical and subcellular properties in astrocytes in response to exposure to the combination of shock waves and microbubbles.

  18. Diversity of Evoked Astrocyte Ca2+ Dynamics Quantified through Experimental Measurements and Mathematical Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marsa Taheri

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are a major cell type in the mammalian brain. They are not electrically excitable, but generate prominent Ca2+ signals related to a wide variety of critical functions. The mechanisms driving these Ca2+ events remain incompletely understood. In this study, we integrate Ca2+ imaging, quantitative data analysis, and mechanistic computational modeling to study the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of cortical astrocyte Ca2+ transients evoked by focal application of ATP in mouse brain slices. Based on experimental results, we tune a single-compartment mathematical model of IP3-dependent Ca2+ responses in astrocytes and use that model to study response heterogeneity. Using information from the experimental data and the underlying bifurcation structure of our mathematical model, we categorize all astrocyte Ca2+ responses into four general types based on their temporal characteristics: Single-Peak, Multi-Peak, Plateau, and Long-Lasting responses. We find that the distribution of experimentally-recorded response types depends on the location within an astrocyte, with somatic responses dominated by Single-Peak (SP responses and large and small processes generating more Multi-Peak responses. On the other hand, response kinetics differ more between cells and trials than with location within a given astrocyte. We use the computational model to elucidate possible sources of Ca2+ response variability: (1 temporal dynamics of IP3, and (2 relative flux rates through Ca2+ channels and pumps. Our model also predicts the effects of blocking Ca2+ channels/pumps; for example, blocking store-operated Ca2+ (SOC channels in the model eliminates Plateau and Long-Lasting responses (consistent with previous experimental observations. Finally, we propose that observed differences in response type distributions between astrocyte somas and processes can be attributed to systematic differences in IP3 rise durations and Ca2+ flux rates.

  19. Metallothionein-3 modulates the amyloid β endocytosis of astrocytes through its effects on actin polymerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sook-Jeong; Seo, Bo-Ra; Koh, Jae-Young

    2015-12-04

    Astrocytes may play important roles in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) by clearing extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) through endocytosis and degradation. We recently showed that metallothionein 3 (Mt3), a zinc-binding metallothionein that is enriched in the central nervous system, contributes to actin polymerization in astrocytes. Because actin is likely involved in the endocytosis of Aβ, we investigated the possible role of Mt3 in Aβ endocytosis by cortical astrocytes in this study. To assess the route of Aβ uptake, we exposed cultured astrocytes to fluorescently labeled Aβ1-40 or Aβ1-42 together with chloropromazine (CP) or methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MβCD), inhibitors of clathrin- and caveolin-dependent endocytosis, respectively. CP treatment almost completely blocked Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 endocytosis, whereas exposure to MβCD had no significant effect. Actin disruption with cytochalasin D (CytD) or latrunculin B also completely blocked Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 endocytosis. Because the absence of Mt3 also results in actin disruption, we examined Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 uptake and expression in Mt3 (-/-) astrocytes. Compared with wild-type (WT) cells, Mt3 (-/-) cells exhibited markedly reduced Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 endocytosis and expression of Aβ1-42 monomers and oligomers. A similar reduction was observed in CytD-treated WT cells. Finally, actin disruption and Mt3 knockout each increased the overall levels of clathrin and the associated protein phosphatidylinositol-binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM) in astrocytes. Our results suggest that the absence of Mt3 reduces Aβ uptake in astrocytes through an abnormality in actin polymerization. In light of evidence that Mt3 is downregulated in AD, our findings indicate that this mechanism may contribute to the extracellular accumulation of Aβ in this disease.

  20. Interferon Lambda Inhibits Herpes Simplex Virus Type I Infection of Human Astrocytes and Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    LI, JIELIANG; HU, SHUXIAN; ZHOU, LIN; YE, LI; WANG, XU; HO, JIE; HO, WENZHE

    2010-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) is a neurotropic virus that is capable of infecting not only neurons, but also microglia and astrocytes and can establish latent infection in the central nervous system (CNS). We investigated whether IFN lambda (IFN-λ), a newly identified member of IFN family, has the ability to inhibit HSV-1 infection of primary human astrocytes and neurons. Both astrocytes and neurons were found to be highly susceptible to HSV-1 infection. However, upon IFN-λ treatment, HSV-1 replication in both astrocytes and neurons was significantly suppressed, which was evidenced by the reduced expression of HSV-1 DNA and proteins. This IFN-λ-mediated action on HSV-1 could be partially neutralized by antibody to IFN-λ receptor. Investigation of the mechanisms showed that IFN-λ treatment of astrocytes and neurons resulted in the upregulation of endogenous IFN-α/β and several IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). To block IFN-α/β receptor by a specific antibody could compromise the IFN-λ actions on HSV-1 inhibition and ISG induction. In addition, IFN-λ treatment induced the expression of IFN regulatory factors (IRFs) in astrocytes and neurons. Furthermore, IFN-λ treatment of astrocytes and neurons resulted in the suppression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS-1), a key negative regulator of IFN pathway. These data suggest that IFN-λ possesses the anti-HSV-1 function by promoting type I IFN-mediated innate antiviral immune response in the CNS cells. PMID:20878770

  1. 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.

  2. Reciprocal Regulation of Mitochondrial Dynamics and Calcium Signaling in Astrocyte Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Joshua G.

    2015-01-01

    to neuronal activity and glutamate uptake. Here, we demonstrate a mechanism by which mitochondria are immobilized in astrocytes subsequent to increases in intracellular [Ca2+] and provide evidence that mitochondria contribute to the compartmentalization of spontaneous Ca2+ signals in astrocyte processes. Immobilization of mitochondria at sites of glutamate uptake in astrocyte processes provides a mechanism to coordinate increases in activity with increases in mitochondrial metabolism. PMID:26558789

  3. Flavonoid Hesperidin Induces Synapse Formation and Improves Memory Performance through the Astrocytic TGF-β1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isadora Matias

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Synapse formation and function are critical events for the brain function and cognition. Astrocytes are active participants in the control of synapses during development and adulthood, but the mechanisms underlying astrocyte synaptogenic potential only began to be better understood recently. Currently, new drugs and molecules, including the flavonoids, have been studied as therapeutic alternatives for modulation of cognitive processes in physiological and pathological conditions. However, the cellular targets and mechanisms of actions of flavonoids remain poorly elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of hesperidin on memory and its cellular and molecular targets in vivo and in vitro, by using a short-term protocol of treatment. The novel object recognition test (NOR was used to evaluate memory performance of mice intraperitoneally treated with hesperidin 30 min before the training and again before the test phase. The direct effects of hesperidin on synapses and astrocytes were also investigated using in vitro approaches. Here, we described hesperidin as a new drug able to improve memory in healthy adult mice by two main mechanisms: directly, by inducing synapse formation and function between hippocampal and cortical neurons; and indirectly, by enhancing the synaptogenic ability of cortical astrocytes mainly due to increased secretion of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1 by these cells. Our data reinforces the known neuroprotective effect of hesperidin and, by the first time, characterizes its synaptogenic action on the central nervous system (CNS, pointing astrocytes and TGF-β1 signaling as new cellular and molecular targets of hesperidin. Our work provides not only new data regarding flavonoid’s actions on the CNS but also shed light on possible new therapeutic alternative based on astrocyte biology.

  4. Flavonoid Hesperidin Induces Synapse Formation and Improves Memory Performance through the Astrocytic TGF-β1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Isadora; Diniz, Luan P.; Buosi, Andrea; Neves, Gilda; Stipursky, Joice; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-01-01

    Synapse formation and function are critical events for the brain function and cognition. Astrocytes are active participants in the control of synapses during development and adulthood, but the mechanisms underlying astrocyte synaptogenic potential only began to be better understood recently. Currently, new drugs and molecules, including the flavonoids, have been studied as therapeutic alternatives for modulation of cognitive processes in physiological and pathological conditions. However, the cellular targets and mechanisms of actions of flavonoids remain poorly elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of hesperidin on memory and its cellular and molecular targets in vivo and in vitro, by using a short-term protocol of treatment. The novel object recognition test (NOR) was used to evaluate memory performance of mice intraperitoneally treated with hesperidin 30 min before the training and again before the test phase. The direct effects of hesperidin on synapses and astrocytes were also investigated using in vitro approaches. Here, we described hesperidin as a new drug able to improve memory in healthy adult mice by two main mechanisms: directly, by inducing synapse formation and function between hippocampal and cortical neurons; and indirectly, by enhancing the synaptogenic ability of cortical astrocytes mainly due to increased secretion of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) by these cells. Our data reinforces the known neuroprotective effect of hesperidin and, by the first time, characterizes its synaptogenic action on the central nervous system (CNS), pointing astrocytes and TGF-β1 signaling as new cellular and molecular targets of hesperidin. Our work provides not only new data regarding flavonoid’s actions on the CNS but also shed light on possible new therapeutic alternative based on astrocyte biology. PMID:28659786

  5. Transglutaminase-6 is an autoantigen in progressive multiple sclerosis and is upregulated in reactive astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristofanilli, Massimiliano; Gratch, Daniel; Pagano, Benjamin; McDermott, Kelsey; Huang, Jessie; Jian, Jeffrey; Bates, Deneb; Sadiq, Saud A

    2017-11-01

    Transglutaminase-6 (TGM6), a member of the transglutaminase enzyme family, is found predominantly in central nervous system (CNS) neurons under physiological conditions. It has been proposed as an autoimmune target in cerebral palsy, gluten-sensitive cerebellar ataxia, and schizophrenia. To investigate TGM6 involvement in multiple sclerosis (MS). Antibody levels against TGM6 (TGM6-IgG) were measured in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 62 primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), 85 secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), and 50 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients and 51 controls. TGM6 protein expression was analyzed in MS brain autopsy, murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), and cultured astrocytes. CSF levels of TGM6-IgG were significantly higher in PPMS and SPMS compared to RRMS and controls. Notably, patients with clinically active disease had the highest TGM6-IgG levels. Additionally, brain pathology revealed strong TGM6 expression by reactive astrocytes within MS plaques. In EAE, TGM6 expression in the spinal cord correlated with disease course and localized in reactive astrocytes infiltrating white matter lesions. Finally, knocking down TGM6 expression in cultured reactive astrocytes reduced their glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression. TGM6-IgG may be a candidate CSF biomarker to predict and monitor disease activity in progressive MS patients. Furthermore, TGM6 expression by reactive astrocytes within both human and mouse lesions suggests its involvement in the mechanisms of glial scar formation.

  6. Histone deacetylase inhibitors up-regulate astrocyte GDNF and BDNF gene transcription and protect dopaminergic neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xuefei; Chen, Po See; Dallas, Shannon; Wilson, Belinda; Block, Michelle L.; Wang, Chao-Chuan; Kinyamu, Harriet; Lu, Nick; Gao, Xi; Leng, Yan; Chuang, De-Maw; Zhang, Wanqin; Lu, Ru Band; Hong, Jau-Shyong

    2008-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the selective and progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the midbrain substantia nigra. Currently, available treatment is unable to alter PD progression. Previously, we demonstrated that valproic acid (VPA), a mood stabilizer, anticonvulsant and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, increases the expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in astrocytes to protect DA neurons in midbrain neuron-glia cultures. The present study investigated whether these effects are due to HDAC inhibition and histone acetylation. Here, we show that two additional HDAC inhibitors, sodium butyrate (SB) and trichostatin A (TSA), mimic the survival-promoting and protective effects of VPA on DA neurons in neuron-glia cultures. Similar to VPA, both SB and TSA increased GDNF and BDNF transcripts in astrocytes in a time-dependent manner. Furthermore, marked increases in GDNF promoter activity and promoter-associated histone H3 acetylation were noted in astrocytes treated with all three compounds, where the time-course for acetylation was similar to that for gene transcription. Taken together, our results indicate that HDAC inhibitors up-regulate GDNF and BDNF expression in astrocytes and protect DA neurons, at least in part, through HDAC inhibition. This study indicates that astrocytes may be a critical neuroprotective mechanism of HDAC inhibitors, revealing a novel target for the treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18611290

  7. 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.

  8. Beta-hydroxybutyrate alters GABA-transaminase activity in cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Yuka; Takahashi, Hisaaki; Fukuda, Mitsumasa; Hino, Hitomi; Kobayashi, Kana; Tanaka, Junya; Ishii, Eiichi

    2009-05-01

    The ketogenic diet has long been recognized as an effective treatment for medically refractory epilepsy. Despite nearly a century of use, the mechanisms underlying its clinical efficacy remain unknown. One of the proposed hypotheses for its anti-epileptic actions involves increased GABA concentration in the brain due to ketone bodies that become elevated with a ketogenic diet. In recent years, the notion that astrocytes could play a role in the evolution of abnormal cortical excitability in chronic neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, has received renewed attention. The present study examined the effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate, a ketone body, on GABA metabolism in rat primary cultured astrocytes. When beta-hydroxybutyrate was added to culture medium, GABA-transaminase (GABA-T) mRNA expression was significantly suppressed in time- and dose-dependent manners. GABA-T enzymatic activity in beta-hydroxybutyrate-treated astrocytes was also suppressed, in accordance with its gene expression. These effects were evident after 3 days of culture, which might coincide with depleted intracellular glycogen. GABA transporter, GAT-1, gene expression was strongly suppressed in cultured astrocytes after 5 days of culture with beta-hydroxybutyrate, although other type of GABA transporters did not display significant changes. These results suggest that beta-hydroxybutyrate induced by ketogenic diet may increase GABA concentration in the epileptic brain by suppressing astrocytic GABA degradation, leading to antiepileptic effects.

  9. 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.

  10. Astrocyte Activation in Locus Coeruleus Is Involved in Neuropathic Pain Exacerbation Mediated by Maternal Separation and Social Isolation Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuo Nakamoto

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Our previous studies demonstrated that emotional dysfunction associated with early life stress exacerbated nerve injury-induced mechanical allodynia. Sex differences were observed in several anxiety tests, but not in mechanical allodynia. To elucidate the mechanism underlying these findings, we have now investigated the involvement of astrocytes in emotional dysfunction and enhancement of nerve injury-induced mechanical allodynia in mice subjected to maternal separation combined with social isolation (MSSI as an early life stress. We measured expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, an astrocyte maker, in each brain area by immunohistochemistry. GFAP expression in the locus coeruleus (LC of female, but not of male mice, significantly increased after MSSI, corresponding to the behavioral changes at 7 and 12 weeks of age. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS-treated astrocyte-derived supernatant was administered to local brain regions, including LC. Intra-LC injection of conditioned medium from cultured astrocytes treated with LPS increased GFAP expression, anxiety-like behavior and mechanical allodynia in both male and female mice. Furthermore, increases in anxiety-like behavior correlated with increased mechanical allodynia. These findings demonstrate that emotional dysfunction and enhanced nerve injury-induced mechanical allodynia after exposure to MSSI are mediated, at least in part, by astrocyte activation in the LC. Male but not female mice may show resistance to MSSI stress during growth.

  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

  12. Genetic Deletion of TREK-1 or TWIK-1/TREK-1 Potassium Channels does not Alter the Basic Electrophysiological Properties of Mature Hippocampal Astrocytes In Situ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Yixing; Kiyoshi, Conrad M; Wang, Qi; Wang, Wei; Ma, Baofeng; Alford, Catherine C; Zhong, Shiying; Wan, Qi; Chen, Haijun; Lloyd, Eric E; Bryan, Robert M; Zhou, Min

    2016-01-01

    We have recently shown that a linear current-to-voltage (I-V) relationship of membrane conductance (passive conductance) reflects the intrinsic property of K(+) channels in mature astrocytes. While passive conductance is known to underpin a highly negative and stable membrane potential (V M) essential for the basic homeostatic function of astrocytes, a complete repertoire of the involved K(+) channels remains elusive. TREK-1 two-pore domain K(+) channel (K2P) is highly expressed in astrocytes, and covalent association of TREK-1 with TWIK-1, another highly expressed astrocytic K2P, has been reported as a mechanism underlying the trafficking of heterodimer TWIK-1/TREK-1 channel to the membrane and contributing to astrocyte passive conductance. To decipher the individual contribution of TREK-1 and address whether the appearance of passive conductance is conditional to the co-expression of TWIK-1/TREK-1 in astrocytes, TREK-1 single and TWIK-1/TREK-1 double gene knockout mice were used in the present study. The relative quantity of mRNA encoding other astrocyte K(+) channels, such as Kir4.1, Kir5.1, and TREK-2, was not altered in these gene knockout mice. Whole-cell recording from hippocampal astrocytes in situ revealed no detectable changes in astrocyte passive conductance, V M, or membrane input resistance (R in) in either kind of gene knockout mouse. Additionally, TREK-1 proteins were mainly located in the intracellular compartments of the hippocampus. Altogether, genetic deletion of TREK-1 alone or together with TWIK-1 produced no obvious alteration in the basic electrophysiological properties of hippocampal astrocytes. Thus, future research focusing on other K(+) channels may shed light on this long-standing and important question in astrocyte physiology.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    of astrocyte injury in NMO and the mechanisms by which toxicity spreads to axons are not understood. METHODS: Here, we establish in vivo imaging of the spinal cord, one of the main sites of NMO pathology, as a powerful tool to study the formation of experimental NMO-related lesions caused by human AQP4...... 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...... of NMO pathology beyond astrocytes, as well as in evaluating potential neuroprotective interventions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved....

  15. 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

    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...... for an association between structural brain injury and malignant astrocytic tumors within the first 5 years of follow-up. However, our study indicated a protective effect of astrogliosis-causing injuries 5 or more years after structural brain injury....... 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...

  16. Astrocytes: Tailored to Support the Demand of Neural Circuits?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Rune

    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....

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimori, Koki; Takaki, Junpei; Shigemoto-Mogami, Yukari; Sekino, Yuko; Suzuki, Takeshi; Sato, Kaoru

    2015-01-01

    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. Copyright © 2014 Japanese Pharmacological Society. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro eVillarreal

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Antioxidants and NOS inhibitors selectively targets manganese-induced cell volume via Na-K-Cl cotransporter-1 in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alahmari, Khalid A; Prabhakaran, Harini; Prabhakaran, Krishnan; Chandramoorthy, Harish C; Ramugounder, Ramakrishnan

    2015-06-12

    Manganese has shown to be involved in astrocyte swelling. Several factors such as transporters, exchangers and ion channels are attributed to astrocyte swelling as a result in the deregulation of cell volume. Products of oxidation and nitration have been implied to be involved in the pathophysiology of swelling; however, the direct link and mechanism of manganese induced astrocyte swelling has not been fully elucidated. In the current study, we used rat primary astrocyte cultures to investigate the activation of Na-K-Cl cotransporter-1 (NKCC1) a downstream mechanism for free radical induced astrocyte swelling as a result of manganese toxicity. Our results showed manganese, oxidants and NO donors as potent inducer of oxidation and nitration of NKCC1. Our results further confirmed that manganese (50 μM) increased the total protein, phosphorylation and activity of NKCC1 as well as cell volume (p manganese or oxidants and NO induced activation, oxidation/nitration of NKCC1 play an important role in the astrocyte swelling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. FM dyes enter via a store-operated calcium channel and modify calcium signaling of cultured astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dongdong; Hérault, Karine; Oheim, Martin; Ropert, Nicole

    2009-01-01

    The amphiphilic fluorescent styryl pyridinium dyes FM1-43 and FM4-64 are used to probe activity-dependent synaptic vesicle cycling in neurons. Cultured astrocytes can internalize FM1-43 and FM4-64 inside vesicles but their uptake is insensitive to the elevation of cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) concentration and the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here we used total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and pharmacological tools to study the mechanisms of FM4-64 uptake into cultured astrocytes from mouse neocortex. Our data show that: (i) endocytosis is not a major route for FM4-64 uptake into astrocytes; (ii) FM4-64 enters astrocytes through an aqueous pore and strongly affects Ca2+ homeostasis; (iii) partitioning of FM4-64 into the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane results in a facilitation of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) channel gating; (iv) FM4-64 permeates and competes with Ca2+ for entry through a SOCE channel; (v) intracellular FM4-64 mobilizes Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum stores, conveying a positive feedback to activate SOCE and to sustain dye uptake into astrocytes. Our study demonstrates that FM dyes are not markers of cycling vesicles in astrocytes and calls for a careful interpretation of FM fluorescence. PMID:20007370

  4. Altered microtubule dynamics in Mecp2-deficient astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nectoux, Juliette; Florian, Cedrick; Delepine, Chloe; Bahi-Buisson, Nadia; Khelfaoui, Malik; Reibel, Sophie; Chelly, Jamel; Bienvenu, Thierry

    2012-05-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene MECP2 encoding the methyl-CpG binding protein 2. This genetic disease affects predominantly girls and is characterized by a period of normal development that lasts for 8-18 months, followed by neurologic regression affecting both motor and mental abilities. Previous studies performed on brains from RTT subjects and Mecp2-deficient mice showed striking changes in neuronal maturation and dendritic arborization. Recently, we showed that expression of stathmin-like 2 (STMN2) was significantly reduced in fibroblasts from RTT patients, and similar results were obtained in the cerebellum of Mecp2-deficient mice. Because assembly and dynamics of microtubules are known to be modulated by STMN2, we studied microtubule dynamics in brain cells from Mecp2-deficient mice. We observed that Mecp2 deficiency affects microtubule dynamics in astrocytes from Mecp2-deficient mice. Our data reinforce the fact that the loss of Mecp2 in astrocytes may influence the onset and progression of RTT. These results imply that Mecp2 has a stabilizing role in microtubule dynamics and that Mecp2 deficiency, which is associated with STMN2 down-regulation, could lead to impaired microtubule stability, hence explaining the dendritic abnormalities observed in RTT brains. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Astrocyte-Derived CCL2 is Associated with M1 Activation and Recruitment of Cultured Microglial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingfeng He

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Microglia are an essential player in central nervous system inflammation. Recent studies have demonstrated that the astrocytic chemokine, CCL2, is associated with microglial activation in vivo. However, CCL2-induced microglial activation has not yet been studied in vitro. The purpose of the current study was to understand the role of astrocyte-derived CCL2 in microglial activation and to elucidate the underlying mechanism(s. Methods: Primary astrocytes were pre-treated with CCL2 siRNA and stimulated with TNF-α. The culture medium (CM was collected and added to cultures of microglia, which were incubated with and without CCR2 inhibitor. Microglial cells were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR to determine whether they polarized to the M1 or M2 state. Microglial migratory ability was assessed by transwell migration assay. Results: TNF-α stimulated the release of CCL2 from astrocytes, even if the culture media containing TNF-α was replaced with fresh media after 3 h. CM from TNF-α-stimulated astrocytes successfully induced microglial activation, which was ascertained by increased activation of M1 and enhanced migration ability. In contrast, CM from astrocytes pretreated with CCL2 siRNA showed no effect on microglial activation, compared to controls. Additionally, microglia pre-treated with RS102895, a CCR2 inhibitor, were resistant to activation by CM from TNF-α-stimulated astrocytes. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the CCL2/CCR2 pathway of astrocyte-induced microglial activation is associated with M1 polarization and enhanced migration ability, indicating that this pathway could be a useful target to ameliorate inflammation in the central nervous system.

  6. Astrocytic control of biosynthesis and turnover of the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Arne; Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2013-01-01

    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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanski, R.

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Miro1 Regulates Activity-Driven Positioning of Mitochondria within Astrocytic Processes Apposed to Synapses to Regulate Intracellular Calcium Signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, Terri-Leigh; Higgs, Nathalie F.; Sheehan, David F.; Al Awabdh, Sana; López-Doménech, Guillermo; Arancibia-Carcamo, I. Lorena

    2015-01-01

    It is fast emerging that maintaining mitochondrial function is important for regulating astrocyte function, although the specific mechanisms that govern astrocyte mitochondrial trafficking and positioning remain poorly understood. The mitochondrial Rho-GTPase 1 protein (Miro1) regulates mitochondrial trafficking and detachment from the microtubule transport network to control activity-dependent mitochondrial positioning in neurons. However, whether Miro proteins are important for regulating signaling-dependent mitochondrial dynamics in astrocytic processes remains unclear. Using live-cell confocal microscopy of rat organotypic hippocampal slices, we find that enhancing neuronal activity induces transient mitochondrial remodeling in astrocytes, with a concomitant, transient reduction in mitochondrial trafficking, mediated by elevations in intracellular Ca2+. Stimulating neuronal activity also induced mitochondrial confinement within astrocytic processes in close proximity to synapses. Furthermore, we show that the Ca2+-sensing EF-hand domains of Miro1 are important for regulating mitochondrial trafficking in astrocytes and required for activity-driven mitochondrial confinement near synapses. Additionally, activity-dependent mitochondrial positioning by Miro1 reciprocally regulates the levels of intracellular Ca2+ in astrocytic processes. Thus, the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ signaling, dependent on Miro1-mediated mitochondrial positioning, could have important consequences for astrocyte Ca2+ wave propagation, gliotransmission, and ultimately neuronal function. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Mitochondria are key cellular organelles that play important roles in providing cellular energy and buffering intracellular calcium ions. The mechanisms that control mitochondrial distribution within the processes of glial cells called astrocytes and the impact this may have on calcium signaling remains unclear. We show that activation of glutamate receptors or increased neuronal

  9. A novel fracture mechanics model explaining the axial penetration of bone-like porous, compressible solids by various orthopaedic implant tips.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulper, Sloan A; Sze, K Y; Fang, Christian X; Ren, Xiaodan; Guo, Margaret; Schneider, Kerstin; Leung, Frankie; Lu, William; Ngan, Alfonso

    2018-02-03

    Many features of orthopaedic implants have been previously examined regarding their influence on migration in trabecular bone under axial loading, with screw thread design being one of the most prominent examples. There has been comparatively little investigation, however, of the influence that implant tip design has on migration under axial loads. We present a novel fracture mechanics model that explains how differences in tip design affect the force required for axial penetration of porous, compressible solids similar to trabecular bone. Three tip designs were considered based on typical 5 mm diameter orthopaedic locking screws: flat and conical tip designs, as well as a novel elastomeric tip. Ten axial penetration trials were conducted for each tip design. In order to isolate the effect of tip design on axial migration from that of the threads, smooth steel rods were used. Tip designs were inserted into polyurethane foam commonly used to represent osteoporotic trabecular bone tissue (ASTM Type 10, 0.16 g/cc) to a depth of 10 mm at a rate of 2 mm/min, while force and position were recorded. At maximum depth, elastomeric tips were found to require the greatest force for axial migration (mean of 248.24 N, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 238.1-258.4 N), followed by conical tips (mean of 143.46 N, 95% CI: 142.1-144.9 N), and flat tips (mean of 113.88 N, 95% CI: 112.2-115.5 N). This experiment was repeated in cross-section while recording video of material compaction through a transparent window. Strain fields for each tip design were then generated from these videos using digital image correlation (DIC) software. A novel fracture mechanics model, combining the Griffith with porous material compaction, was developed to explain the performance differences observed between the three tip designs. This model predicted that steady-state stress would be roughly the same (~ 4 MPa) across all designs, a finding consistent with the experimental results. The

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena W. Adlaf

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Throughout development, neural stem cells (NSCs give rise to differentiated neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes which together modulate perception, memory, and behavior in the adult nervous system. To understand how NSCs contribute to postnatal/adult brain remodeling and repair after injury, the lateral ventricular (LV neurogenic niche in the rodent postnatal brain serves as an excellent model system. It is a specialized area containing self-renewing GFAP+ astrocytes functioning as NSCs generating new neurons throughout life. In addition to this now well-studied regenerative process, the LV niche also generates astrocytes, playing an important role for glial scar formation after cortical injury. While LV NSCs can be clearly distinguished from their neuroblast and oligodendrocyte progeny via molecular markers, the astrocytic identity of NSCs has complicated their distinction from terminally-differentiated astrocytes in the niche. Our current models of postnatal/adult LV neurogenesis do not take into account local astrogenesis, or the possibility that cellular markers may be similar between non-dividing GFAP+ NSCs and their differentiated astrocyte daughters. Postnatal LV neurogenesis is regulated by NSC-intrinsic mechanisms interacting with extracellular/niche-driven cues. It is generally believed that these local effects are responsible for sustaining neurogenesis, though behavioral paradigms and disease states have suggested possibilities for neural circuit-level modulation. With recent experimental findings that neuronal stimulation can directly evoke responses in LV NSCs, it is possible that this exciting property will add a new dimension to identifying postnatal/adult NSCs. Here, we put forth a notion that neural circuit-level input can be a distinct characteristic defining postnatal/adult NSCs from non-neurogenic astroglia.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

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

  18. Transient Oxygen/Glucose Deprivation Causes a Delayed Loss of Mitochondria and Increases Spontaneous Calcium Signaling in Astrocytic Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, John C; Jackson, Joshua G; Robinson, Michael B

    2016-07-06

    , are vital integrators of signaling and metabolism. Each astrocyte consists of many long, thin branches, called processes, which ensheathe vasculature and thousands of synapses. Mitochondria occupy the majority of each process. This occupancy is decreased by ∼50% 24 h after an in vitro model of ischemia/reperfusion injury, due to delayed fragmentation and mitophagy. The mechanism appears to be independent of neuropathology, instead involving an extended period of high glutamate uptake into astrocytes. Our data suggest that mitochondria serve as spatial buffers, and possibly even as a source of calcium signals in astrocytic processes. Loss of mitochondria resulted in drastically altered calcium signaling that could disrupt neurovascular coupling and gliotransmission. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/367110-19$15.00/0.

  19. Astrocyte calcium signalling orchestrates neuronal synchronization in organotypic hippocampal slices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Takuya; Ishikawa, Tomoe; Abe, Reimi; Nakayama, Ryota; Asada, Akiko; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are thought to detect neuronal activity in the form of intracellular calcium elevations; thereby, astrocytes can regulate neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. Little is known, however, about how the astrocyte calcium signal regulates the activity of neuronal populations. In this study, we addressed this issue using functional multineuron calcium imaging in hippocampal slice cultures. Under normal conditions, CA3 neuronal networks exhibited temporally correlated activity patterns, occasionally generating large synchronization among a subset of cells. The synchronized neuronal activity was correlated with astrocyte calcium events. Calcium buffering by an intracellular injection of a calcium chelator into multiple astrocytes reduced the synaptic strength of unitary transmission between pairs of surrounding pyramidal cells and caused desynchronization of the neuronal networks. Uncaging the calcium in the astrocytes increased the frequency of neuronal synchronization. These data suggest an essential role of the astrocyte calcium signal in the maintenance of basal neuronal function at the circuit level. PMID:24710057

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, Philip J; Palmer, Theo D

    2003-11-01

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

  1. The pathophysiological role of astrocytic endothelin-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    In the normal central nervous system, endothelin-1 (ET-1) is found in some types of neurons, epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, and endothelial cells of microvessels, but it is usually not detectable in glial cells. However, in different pathological conditions, astrocytes adapting a reactive

  2. Mitochondrial Calcium Sparkles Light Up Astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacVicar, Brian A; Ko, Rebecca W Y

    2017-02-27

    Discrete calcium signals in the fine processes of astrocytes are a recent discovery and a new mystery. In a recent issue of Neuron, Agarwal et al. (2017) report that calcium efflux from mitochondria during brief openings of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) contribute to calcium microdomains. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Genetic deletion of TREK-1 or TWIK-1/TREK-1 potassium channels does not alter the basic electrophysiological properties of mature hippocampal astrocytes in situ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixing eDu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We have recently shown that a linear current-to-voltage (I-V relationship of membrane conductance (passive conductance reflects the intrinsic property of K+ channels in mature astrocytes. While passive conductance is known to underpin a highly negative and stable membrane potential (VM essential for the basic homeostatic function of astrocytes, a complete repertoire of the involved K+ channels remains elusive. TREK-1 two-pore domain K+ channel (K2P is highly expressed in astrocytes, and covalent association of TREK-1 with TWIK-1, another highly expressed astrocytic K2P, has been reported as a mechanism underlying the trafficking of this heterodimer channel to the membrane and contributing to astrocytes’ passive conductance. To decipher the individual contribution of TREK-1 and address whether the appearance of passive conductance is conditional to the co-expression of TWIK-1/TREK-1 in astrocytes, TREK-1 single and TWIK-1/TREK-1 double gene knockout mice were used in the present study. The relative quantity of mRNA encoding other astrocyte K+ channels, such as Kir4.1, Kir5.1, and TREK-2, was not altered in these gene knockout mice. Whole-cell recording from hippocampal astrocytes in situ revealed no detectable changes in astrocyte passive conductance, VM, or membrane input resistance (Rin in either kind of gene knockout mouse. Additionally, TREK-1 proteins were mainly located in the intracellular compartments of the hippocampus. Altogether, genetic deletion of TREK-1 alone or together with TWIK-1 produced no obvious alteration in the basic electrophysiological properties of hippocampal astrocytes. Thus, future research focusing on other K+ channels may shed light on this long-standing and important question in astrocyte physiology.

  5. Phenotypic conversions of "protoplasmic" to "reactive" astrocytes in Alexander disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosunov, Alexander A; Guilfoyle, Eileen; Wu, Xiaoping; McKhann, Guy M; Goldman, James E

    2013-04-24

    Alexander Disease (AxD) is a primary disorder of astrocytes, caused by heterozygous mutations in GFAP, which encodes the major astrocyte intermediate filament protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Astrocytes in AxD display hypertrophy, massive increases in GFAP, and the accumulation of Rosenthal fibers, cytoplasmic protein inclusions containing GFAP, and small heat shock proteins. To study the effects of GFAP mutations on astrocyte morphology and physiology, we have examined hippocampal astrocytes in three mouse models of AxD, a transgenic line (GFAP(Tg)) in which the normal human GFAP is expressed in several copies, a knock-in line (Gfap(+/R236H)) in which one of the Gfap genes bears an R236H mutation, and a mouse derived from the mating of these two lines (GFAP(Tg); Gfap(+/R236H)). We report changes in astrocyte phenotype in all lines, with the most severe in the GFAP(Tg);Gfap(+/R236H), resulting in the conversion of protoplasmic astrocytes to cells that have lost their bushy-like morphology because of a reduction of distal fine processes, and become multinucleated and hypertrophic. Astrocytes activate the mTOR cascade, acquire CD44, and lose GLT-1. The altered astrocytes display a microheterogeneity in phenotypes, even neighboring cells. Astrocytes also show diminished glutamate transporter current, are significantly depolarized, and not coupled to adjacent astrocytes. Thus, the accumulation of GFAP in the AxD mouse astrocytes initiates a conversion of normal, protoplasmic astrocytes to astrocytes that display severely "reactive" characteristics, many of which may be detrimental to neighboring neurons and oligodendrocytes.

  6. Immunofluorescence characterization of spinal cord dorsal horn microglia and astrocytes in horses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constanza Stefania Meneses

    2017-10-01

    characterization of cell morphology and organizational aspects of horse spinal glia. Iba-1 and GFAP/Cx-43 can successfully immune-label microglia and astrocytes respectively in horse spinal cords, and thus reveal cell morphology and corresponding distribution within the dorsal horn laminae of healthy horses. The conventional hyper-ramified shape that is normally visible in resting microglial cells was not found in horses. Instead, horse microglial cells had an amoeboid spherical shape. Horse protoplasmic astroglia is significantly smaller and structurally less complex than human astrocytes, with fewer main GFAP processes. Instead, horse astrocytes tend to be similar to those found in rodent’s model, with small somas and large cell processes. Microglia and astrocytes were found in the more superficial regions of the dorsal horn, similarly to that previously observed in humans and rodents. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the molecular mechanisms involved in the neuron-glia interaction in horses.

  7. Immunofluorescence characterization of spinal cord dorsal horn microglia and astrocytes in horses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneses, Constanza Stefania; Müller, Heine Yacob; Herzberg, Daniel Eduardo; Uberti, Benjamín; Bustamante, Hedie Almagro; Werner, Marianne Patricia

    2017-01-01

    characterization of cell morphology and organizational aspects of horse spinal glia. Iba-1 and GFAP/Cx-43 can successfully immune-label microglia and astrocytes respectively in horse spinal cords, and thus reveal cell morphology and corresponding distribution within the dorsal horn laminae of healthy horses. The conventional hyper-ramified shape that is normally visible in resting microglial cells was not found in horses. Instead, horse microglial cells had an amoeboid spherical shape. Horse protoplasmic astroglia is significantly smaller and structurally less complex than human astrocytes, with fewer main GFAP processes. Instead, horse astrocytes tend to be similar to those found in rodent's model, with small somas and large cell processes. Microglia and astrocytes were found in the more superficial regions of the dorsal horn, similarly to that previously observed in humans and rodents. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the molecular mechanisms involved in the neuron-glia interaction in horses.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moshayedi, Pouria; Christ, Andreas; Guck, Jochen; Franze, Kristian [Department of Physics, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, J J Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE (United Kingdom); Da F Costa, Luciano [Instituto de Fisica de Sao Carlos, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Carlos (Brazil); Lacour, Stephanie P [Nanoscience Centre, University of Cambridge, 11 J J Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0FF (United Kingdom); Fawcett, James, E-mail: jg473@cam.ac.u [Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, ED Adrian Building, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0PY (United Kingdom)

    2010-05-19

    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 {mu}g ml{sup -1} PDL concentration. Our finding suggests that the compliance of the surrounding tissue in vivo may influence astrocyte morphology and behavior.

  9. Modeling the contributions of Ca2+ flows to spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations and cortical spreading depression-triggered Ca2+ waves in astrocyte networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing Li

    Full Text Available Astrocytes participate in brain functions through Ca(2+ signals, including Ca(2+ waves and Ca(2+ oscillations. Currently the mechanisms of Ca(2+ signals in astrocytes are not fully clear. Here, we present a computational model to specify the relative contributions of different Ca(2+ flows between the extracellular space, the cytoplasm and the endoplasmic reticulum of astrocytes to the generation of spontaneous Ca(2+ oscillations (CASs and cortical spreading depression (CSD-triggered Ca(2+ waves (CSDCWs in a one-dimensional astrocyte network. This model shows that CASs depend primarily on Ca(2+ released from internal stores of astrocytes, and CSDCWs depend mainly on voltage-gated Ca(2+ influx. It predicts that voltage-gated Ca(2+ influx is able to generate Ca(2+ waves during the process of CSD even after depleting internal Ca(2+ stores. Furthermore, the model investigates the interactions between CASs and CSDCWs and shows that the pass of CSDCWs suppresses CASs, whereas CASs do not prevent the generation of CSDCWs. This work quantitatively analyzes the generation of astrocytic Ca(2+ signals and indicates different mechanisms underlying CSDCWs and non-CSDCWs. Research on the different types of Ca(2+ signals might help to understand the ways by which astrocytes participate in information processing in brain functions.

  10. Proteomic and Metabolomic Analyses of Vanishing White Matter Mouse Astrocytes Reveal Deregulation of ER Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisanne E. Wisse

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Vanishing white matter (VWM is a leukodystrophy with predominantly early-childhood onset. Affected children display various neurological signs, including ataxia and spasticity, and die early. VWM patients have bi-allelic mutations in any of the five genes encoding the subunits of the eukaryotic translation factor 2B (eIF2B. eIF2B regulates protein synthesis rates under basal and cellular stress conditions. The underlying molecular mechanism of how mutations in eIF2B result in VWM is unknown. Previous studies suggest that brain white matter astrocytes are primarily affected in VWM. We hypothesized that the translation rate of certain astrocytic mRNAs is affected by the mutations, resulting in astrocytic dysfunction. Here we subjected primary astrocyte cultures of wild type (wt and VWM (2b5ho mice to pulsed labeling proteomics based on stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC with an L-azidohomoalanine (AHA pulse to select newly synthesized proteins. AHA was incorporated into newly synthesized proteins in wt and 2b5ho astrocytes with similar efficiency, without affecting cell viability. We quantified proteins synthesized in astrocytes of wt and 2b5ho mice. This proteomic profiling identified a total of 80 proteins that were regulated by the eIF2B mutation. We confirmed increased expression of PROS1 in 2b5ho astrocytes and brain. A DAVID enrichment analysis showed that approximately 50% of the eIF2B-regulated proteins used the secretory pathway. A small-scale metabolic screen further highlighted a significant change in the metabolite 6-phospho-gluconate, indicative of an altered flux through the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP. Some of the proteins migrating through the secretory pathway undergo oxidative folding reactions in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER, which produces reactive oxygen species (ROS. The PPP produces NADPH to remove ROS. The proteomic and metabolomics data together suggest a deregulation of ER function in 2b5

  11. Astrocyte Transcriptome from the Mecp2(308)-Truncated Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delépine, Chloé; Nectoux, Juliette; Letourneur, Franck; Baud, Véronique; Chelly, Jamel; Billuart, Pierre; Bienvenu, Thierry

    2015-12-01

    Mutations in the gene encoding the transcriptional modulator methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) are responsible for the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome which is one of the most frequent sources of intellectual disability in women. Recent studies showed that loss of Mecp2 in astrocytes contributes to Rett-like symptoms and restoration of Mecp2 can rescue some of these defects. The goal of this work is to compare gene expression profiles of wild-type and mutant astrocytes from Mecp2(308/y) mice (B6.129S-MeCP2/J) by using Affymetrix mouse 2.0 microarrays. Results were confirmed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR and by Western blot analysis. Gene set enrichment analysis utilizing Ingenuity Pathways was employed to identify pathways disrupted by Mecp2 deficiency. A total of 2152 genes were statistically differentially expressed between wild-type and mutated samples, including 1784 coding transcripts. However, only 257 showed fold changes >1.2. We confirmed our data by replicative studies in independent primary cultures of cortical astrocytes from Mecp2-deficient mice. Interestingly, two genes known to encode secreted proteins, chromogranin B and lipocalin-2, showed significant dysregulation. These proteins secreted from Mecp2-deficient glia may exert negative non-cell autonomous effects on neuronal properties, including dendritic morphology. Moreover, transcriptional profiling revealed altered Nr2f2 expression which may explain down- and upregulation of several target genes in astrocytes such as Ccl2, Lcn2 and Chgb. Unraveling Nr2f2 involvement in Mecp2-deficient astrocytes could pave the way for a better understanding of Rett syndrome pathophysiology and offers new therapeutic perspectives.

  12. Effects of Protons and HZE Particles on Glutamate Transport in Astrocytes, Neurons and Mixed Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Martha C.; Nelson, Gregory A.; Green, Lora M.

    2010-01-01

    Radiation-induced neurotoxicity is a well-characterized phenomenon. However, the underlying mechanism of this toxicity is poorly understood. In the central nervous system (CNS), excitotoxic mechanisms are implicated in many neurodegenerative disease processes. Pivotal to the excitotoxic pathway is dysfunction of glutamate signaling. We reported previously that exposure to low-LET γ radiation results in altered glutamate transport in neurons and astrocytes. In the present study, we sought to investigate the effects of various particle radiations of differing LET on glutamate transport as a measure of the neurochemical vulnerability of the CNS. NTera2-derived neurons and astrocytes isolated as pure and mixed cultures were exposed to doses of 10 cGy, 50 cGy or 2 Gy of 250 MeV protons, 290 MeV/nucleon carbon ions, or 1000 MeV/nucleon iron ions. Transporter function was assessed at 3 h, 2 days and 7days after exposure. Functional assessment of glutamate transport revealed that neurons and astrocytes respond in a reciprocal manner after exposure to particle radiation. Uptake activity in neurons increased after particle irradiation. This effect was evident as late as our last time (7 days) after exposure (P < 0.05). In astrocytes, transporter activity decreased after exposure. The decrease in uptake observed in astrocytes was evident 7 days after exposure to carbon and iron ions. Uptake in mixed cultures after exposure to all three forms of radiation revealed a muted interactive response suggestive of the individual responses of each cellular phenotype acting in opposition. PMID:21128790

  13. G-protein coupled receptor-evoked glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes: role of prostaglandins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cali, Corrado; Lopatar, Jan; Petrelli, Francesco; Pucci, Luca; Bezzi, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are highly secretory cells, participating in rapid brain communication by releasing glutamate. Recent evidences have suggested that this process is largely mediated by Ca(2+)-dependent regulated exocytosis of VGLUT-positive vesicles. Here by taking advantage of VGLUT1-pHluorin and TIRF illumination, we characterized mechanisms of glutamate exocytosis evoked by endogenous transmitters (glutamate and ATP), which are known to stimulate Ca(2+) elevations in astrocytes. At first we characterized the VGLUT1-pHluorin expressing vesicles and found that VGLUT1-positive vesicles were a specific population of small synaptic-like microvesicles containing glutamate but which do not express VGLUT2. Endogenous mediators evoked a burst of exocytosis through activation of G-protein coupled receptors. Subsequent glutamate exocytosis was reduced by about 80% upon pharmacological blockade of the prostaglandin-forming enzyme, cyclooxygenase. On the other hand, receptor stimulation was accompanied by extracellular release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Interestingly, administration of exogenous PGE2 produced per se rapid, store-dependent burst exocytosis of glutamatergic vesicles in astrocytes. Finally, when PGE2-neutralizing antibody was added to cell medium, transmitter-evoked exocytosis was again significantly reduced (by about 50%). Overall these data indicate that cyclooxygenase products are responsible for a major component of glutamate exocytosis in astrocytes and that large part of such component is sustained by autocrine/paracrine action of PGE2.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Striatal adenosine signaling regulates EAAT2 and astrocytic AQP4 expression and alcohol drinking in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Moonnoh R; Ruby, Christina L; Hinton, David J; Choi, Sun; Adams, Chelsea A; Young Kang, Na; Choi, Doo-Sup

    2013-02-01

    Adenosine signaling is implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including alcoholism. Among its diverse functions in the brain, adenosine regulates glutamate release and has an essential role in ethanol sensitivity and preference. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying adenosine-mediated glutamate signaling in neuroglial interaction remain elusive. We have previously shown that mice lacking the ethanol-sensitive adenosine transporter, type 1 equilibrative nucleoside transporter (ENT1), drink more ethanol compared with wild-type mice and have elevated striatal glutamate levels. In addition, ENT1 inhibition or knockdown reduces glutamate transporter expression in cultured astrocytes. Here, we examined how adenosine signaling in astrocytes contributes to ethanol drinking. Inhibition or deletion of ENT1 reduced the expression of type 2 excitatory amino-acid transporter (EAAT2) and the astrocyte-specific water channel, aquaporin 4 (AQP4). EAAT2 and AQP4 colocalization was also reduced in the striatum of ENT1 null mice. Ceftriaxone, an antibiotic compound known to increase EAAT2 expression and function, elevated not only EAAT2 but also AQP4 expression in the striatum. Furthermore, ceftriaxone reduced ethanol drinking, suggesting that ENT1-mediated downregulation of EAAT2 and AQP4 expression contributes to excessive ethanol consumption in our mouse model. Overall, our findings indicate that adenosine signaling regulates EAAT2 and astrocytic AQP4 expressions, which control ethanol drinking in mice.

  17. 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.

  18. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) interaction with astrocytes: nonproductive infection and induction of IL-18.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ziqing; Zhao, Fang; He, Johnny J

    2014-06-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes the central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities in more than 50 % of chronically infected subjects. However, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, we characterized the HCV interactions with astrocytes, one of the putative HCV target cells in the brain. We demonstrated that primary human astrocytes (PHA) were very inefficiently infected by HCV, either in the cell-free form or through cell-cell contact. We then determined the potential restriction steps of HCV infection and replication in these cells. PHA expressed all known HCV receptors but failed to support HCV entry. HCV IRES-mediated RNA translation was functional in PHA and further enhanced by miR122 expression. Nevertheless, PHA did not support HCV replication regardless of miR122 expression. To our great surprise, we found that HCV exposure induced robust IL-18 expression in PHA and exhibited direct neurotoxicity. Taken together, these results showed that astrocytes did not support productive HCV infection and replication, but HCV interactions with astrocytes and neurons alone might be sufficient to cause CNS dysfunction.

  19. G-Protein Coupled Receptor-Evoked Glutamate Exocytosis from Astrocytes: Role of Prostaglandins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corrado Cali

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are highly secretory cells, participating in rapid brain communication by releasing glutamate. Recent evidences have suggested that this process is largely mediated by Ca2+-dependent regulated exocytosis of VGLUT-positive vesicles. Here by taking advantage of VGLUT1-pHluorin and TIRF illumination, we characterized mechanisms of glutamate exocytosis evoked by endogenous transmitters (glutamate and ATP, which are known to stimulate Ca2+ elevations in astrocytes. At first we characterized the VGLUT1-pHluorin expressing vesicles and found that VGLUT1-positive vesicles were a specific population of small synaptic-like microvesicles containing glutamate but which do not express VGLUT2. Endogenous mediators evoked a burst of exocytosis through activation of G-protein coupled receptors. Subsequent glutamate exocytosis was reduced by about 80% upon pharmacological blockade of the prostaglandin-forming enzyme, cyclooxygenase. On the other hand, receptor stimulation was accompanied by extracellular release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2. Interestingly, administration of exogenous PGE2 produced per se rapid, store-dependent burst exocytosis of glutamatergic vesicles in astrocytes. Finally, when PGE2-neutralizing antibody was added to cell medium, transmitter-evoked exocytosis was again significantly reduced (by about 50%. Overall these data indicate that cyclooxygenase products are responsible for a major component of glutamate exocytosis in astrocytes and that large part of such component is sustained by autocrine/paracrine action of PGE2.

  20. Concise review: reactive astrocytes and stem cells in spinal cord injury: good guys or bad guys?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukovic, Dunja; Stojkovic, Miodrag; Moreno-Manzano, Victoria; Jendelova, Pavla; Sykova, Eva; Bhattacharya, Shomi S; Erceg, Slaven

    2015-04-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) usually results in long lasting locomotor and sensory neuron degeneration below the injury. Astrocytes normally play a decisive role in mechanical and metabolic support of neurons, but in the spinal cord they cause injury, exerting well-known detrimental effects that contribute to glial scar formation and inhibition of axon outgrowth. Cell transplantation is considered a promising approach for replacing damaged cells and promoting neuroprotective and neuroregenerative repair, but the effects of the grafted cells on local tissue and the regenerative properties of endogenous neural stem cells in the injured spinal cord are largely unknown. During the last 2 decades cumulative evidence from diverse animal models has indicated that reactive astrocytes in synergy with transplanted cells could be beneficial for injury in multiple ways, including neuroprotection and axonal growth. In this review, we specifically focus on the dual opposing roles of reactive astrocytes in SCI and how they contribute to the creation of a permissive environment when combined with transplanted cells as the influential components for a local regenerative niche. Modulation of reactive astrocyte function might represent an extremely attractive new therapy to enhance the functional outcomes in patients. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Motor neuron-astrocyte interactions and levels of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, S A; Roedica, J; Nagy, D; Hallewell, R A; Alderson, K; Marklund, S L; Kuby, J; Kushner, P D

    1995-02-01

    Copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is involved in neutralizing free radicals within cells, and mutant forms of the enzyme have recently been shown to occur in about 20% of familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To explore the mechanism of SOD1 involvement in ALS, we have analyzed SOD1 in sporadic ALS using activity assays and immunocyto-chemistry. Analyses of SOD1 activity in washed erythrocytes revealed no difference between 13 ALS cases and 4 controls. Spinal cord sections from 6 ALS cases, 1 primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) case, and 1 control case were stained using three different antibodies to SOD1. Since astrocytes are closely associated with motor neurons, antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin were used as independent monitors of astrocytes. The principal findings from localizations are: (1) normal motor neurons do not have higher levels of SOD1 than other neurons, (2) there was no detectable difference in SOD1 levels in motor neurons of ALS cases and controls, (3) ALS spinal cord displayed a reduction or absence of SOD1-reactive astrocytes compared to the control and PLS cases, and (4) examination of GFAP-stained sections and morphometry showed that the normal close association between astrocytic processes and motor neuron somata was decreased in the ALS and PLS cases. These results indicate the disease mechanism in sporadic ALS may involve alterations in spinal cord astrocytes.

  4. Nuclear factor-I regulates glial fibrillary acidic protein gene expression in astrocytes differentiated from cortical precursor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebolla, Beatriz; Vallejo, Mario

    2006-05-01

    The elucidation of the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) gene expression is important for the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control astrocyte differentiation during brain development. We investigated regulatory elements located in a proximal region of the GFAP promoter, important for expression in cortical precursor cells differentiating into astrocytes. One of these elements recognizes transcription factors of the nuclear factor-I family (NFI). We found that, in primary cultures of cortical cells, NFI occupies the GFAP promoter prior to the induction of astrocyte differentiation. In the developing cerebral cortex, the onset of expression of NFI coincides chronologically with the beginning of astrocytogenesis. Mutational analysis of the GFAP gene and transfections in primary cortical precursors show that inhibition of binding of NFI to the GFAP promoter results in decreased levels of transcriptional activity and is required for the synergistic stimulation of the GFAP promoter by the astrogenic agents, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide and ciliary neurotrophic factor, which in combination enhance astrocyte differentiation to generate astrocytes with longer processes. Thus, NFI appears to be an important factor for the integration of astrogenic stimuli in the developing central nervous system.

  5. Role of astrocytes in neurovascular coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petzold, Gabor C; Murthy, Venkatesh N

    2011-09-08

    Neural activity is intimately tied to blood flow in the brain. This coupling is specific enough in space and time that modern imaging methods use local hemodynamics as a measure of brain activity. In this review, we discuss recent evidence indicating that neuronal activity is coupled to local blood flow changes through an intermediary, the astrocyte. We highlight unresolved issues regarding the role of astrocytes and propose ways to address them using novel techniques. Our focus is on cellular level analysis in vivo, but we also relate mechanistic insights gained from ex vivo experiments to native tissue. We also review some strategies to harness advances in optical and genetic methods to study neurovascular coupling in the intact brain. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Astrocytes Resist HIV-1 Fusion but Engulf Infected Macrophage Material

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca A. Russell

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available HIV-1 disseminates to diverse tissues and establishes long-lived viral reservoirs. These reservoirs include the CNS, in which macrophage-lineage cells, and as suggested by many studies, astrocytes, may be infected. Here, we have investigated astrocyte infection by HIV-1. We confirm that astrocytes trap and internalize HIV-1 particles for subsequent release but find no evidence that these particles infect the cell. Astrocyte infection was not observed by cell-free or cell-to-cell routes using diverse approaches, including luciferase and GFP reporter viruses, fixed and live-cell fusion assays, multispectral flow cytometry, and super-resolution imaging. By contrast, we observed intimate interactions between HIV-1-infected macrophages and astrocytes leading to signals that might be mistaken for astrocyte infection using less stringent approaches. These results have implications for HIV-1 infection of the CNS, viral reservoir formation, and antiretroviral therapy.

  8. 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

  9. Imaging neurotransmitter uptake and depletion in astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, W. [Ames Laboratory-USDOE and Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011 (United States)]|[Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7200 (United States); Haydon, P.G. [Department of Zoology and Genetics, Laboratory of Cellular Signaling, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011 (United States); Yeung, E.S. [Ames Laboratory-USDOE and Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011 (United States)

    1997-08-01

    An ultraviolet (UV) laser-based optical microscope and charge-coupled device (CCD) detection system was used to obtain chemical images of biological cells. Subcellular structures can be easily seen in both optical and fluorescence images. Laser-induced native fluorescence detection provides high sensitivity and low limits of detection, and it does not require coupling to fluorescent dyes. We were able to quantitatively monitor serotonin that has been taken up into and released from individual astrocytes on the basis of its native fluorescence. Different regions of the cells took up different amounts of serotonin with a variety of uptake kinetics. Similarly, we observed different serotonin depletion dynamics in different astrocyte regions. There were also some astrocyte areas where no serotonin uptake or depletion was observed. Potential applications include the mapping of other biogenic species in cells as well as the ability to image their release from specific regions of cells in response to external stimuli. {copyright} {ital 1997} {ital Society for Applied Spectroscopy}

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

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

  11. Knockdown of Ski decreased the reactive astrocytes proliferation in vitro induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xin; Zhou, Kai-Sheng; Li, Zhong-Hao; Nan, Wei; Wang, Jing; Xia, Ya-Yi; Zhang, Hai-Hong

    2017-12-13

    Glia scar is a pathological marker in late phase of brain ischemia disease, which constitutes a major physical biochemical barrier to impede axonal regrowth. Astrocytes are known to be critically involved in the formation of glial scar. However, their response to ischemia and their role in neuroprotection after central nervous system (CNS) injury are not completely clear. Recently, we have demonstrated for the first time that Ski was up-regulated in reactive astrocytes after spinal cord injury in vivo and in vitro, which indicates Ski may be a new molecule that control astrocytes biologic properties after CNS injury. However, its role in the process of reactive astrogliosis after cerebral ischemia and its definite mechanism still remains unknown. This study is to elucidate the role of Ski in reactive astrocytes induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) model in vitro. The expression of Ski was proved to be up-regulated in OGD/R model. Meanwhile, Up-regulation of Ski was accompanied with high ratio of EdU (+) cells and up-expression of related proteins including GFAP, PCNA, CDK4 and CyclinD1, which demonstrated the distinct activation and proliferation of astrocytes after stimulation by OGD/R. Astrocytes were transfected with Ski-specific siRNA to knockdown Ski expression and subsequently attenuated OGD-induced astrocyte proliferation. Our results also showed that Ski down-regulation could suppress the activity of the Ras-Raf-ERK1/2 signaling pathway. Together, knockdown of Ski can effectively inhibit the proliferation of reactive astrogliosis via suppressing the Ras-Raf-ERK1/2 pathway. These findings indicated that maybe Ski is a promising therapeutic target for cerebral ischemic injury. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  12. TRAF6 upregulation in spinal astrocytes maintains neuropathic pain by integrating TNF-α and IL-1β signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ying; Jiang, Bao-Chun; Cao, De-Li; Zhang, Zhi-Jun; Zhang, Xin; Ji, Ru-Rong; Gao, Yong-Jing

    2014-01-01

    The proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β have been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain, but the intracellular signaling of these cytokines in glial cells are not fully understood. Tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor 6 (TRAF6) plays a key role in signal transduction in the TNF receptor superfamily and the interleukin-1 receptor superfamily. In this study, we investigated the role of TRAF6 in neuropathic pain in mice following spinal nerve ligation (SNL). SNL induced persistent TRAF6 upregulation in the spinal cord. Interestingly, TRAF6 was mainly colocalized with the astrocytic marker GFAP on SNL day 10 and partially expressed in microglia on SNL day 3. In cultured astrocytes, TRAF6 was up-regulated after exposure to TNF-α or IL-1β. TNF-α or IL-1β also increased CCL2 expression, which was suppressed by both siRNA and shRNA targeting TRAF6. TRAF6 siRNA treatment also inhibited the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in astrocytes induced by TNF-α or IL-1β. JNK inhibitor D-NKI-1 dose-dependently decreased IL-1β-induced CCL2 expression. Moreover, spinal injection of TRAF6 siRNA decreased intrathecal TNF-α-or IL-1β-induced allodynia and hyperalgesia. Spinal TRAF6 inhibition via TRAF6 siRNA, shRNA lentivirus, or antisense oligodeoxynucleotides partially reversed SNL-induced neuropathic pain and spinal CCL2 expression. Finally, intrathecal injection of TNF-α-activated astrocytes induced mechanical allodynia, which was attenuated by pretreatment of astrocytes with TRAF6 siRNA. Taken together, the results suggest that TRAF6, upregulated in spinal cord astrocytes in the late phase after nerve injury, maintains neuropathic pain by integrating TNF-α and IL-1β signaling and activating the JNK/CCL2 pathway in astrocytes. PMID:25267210

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Koji; Komine, Okiru

    2017-10-17

    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. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clark Robinson

    2016-01-01

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

  15. An immunoaffinity-based method for isolating ultrapure adult astrocytes based on ATP1B2 targeting by the ACSA-2 antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batiuk, Mykhailo Y; de Vin, Filip; Duqué, Sandra I; Li, Chen; Saito, Takashi; Saido, Takaomi; Fiers, Mark; Belgard, T Grant; Holt, Matthew G

    2017-05-26

    Astrocytes are a major cell type in the mammalian CNS. Astrocytes are now known to play a number of essential roles in processes including synapse formation and function, as well as blood-brain barrier formation and control of cerebral blood flow. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying astrocyte development and function is still rudimentary. This lack of knowledge is at least partly due to the lack of tools currently available for astrocyte biology. ACSA-2 is a commercially available antibody originally developed for the isolation of astrocytes from young postnatal mouse brain, using magnetic cell-sorting methods, but its utility in isolating cells from adult tissue has not yet been published. Using a modified protocol, we now show that this tool can also be used to isolate ultrapure astrocytes from the adult brain. Furthermore, using a variety of techniques (including single-cell sequencing, overexpression and knockdown assays, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry), we identify the ACSA-2 epitope for the first time as ATP1B2 and characterize its distribution in the CNS. Finally, we show that ATP1B2 is stably expressed in multiple models of CNS injury and disease. Hence, we show that the ACSA-2 antibody possesses the potential to be an extremely valuable tool for astrocyte research, allowing the purification and characterization of astrocytes (potentially including injury and disease models) without the need for any specialized and expensive equipment. In fact, our results suggest that ACSA-2 should be a first-choice method for astrocyte isolation and characterization. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Quality of Life and Functional Status Across the Life Course. Project 2: Investigating Mechanisms to Explain Age Associated Differences in Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-10-01

    cancer at a young age. 4.3.4 Reproductive History Participants will be asked questions about their age of menarche, past pregnancies and buths...LINE.) Does Not Apply No Yes Don’t know if she had breast cancer How old breas WM she when her first it cancer occurred? 3. Did this...Explain Age Associated Differences in Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Patients PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Michelle J. Naughton, Ph.D. Nancy E

  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. Spatial memory decline after masticatory deprivation and aging is associated with altered laminar distribution of CA1 astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frota de Almeida Marina

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chewing imbalances are associated with neurodegeneration and are risk factors for senile dementia in humans and memory deficits in experimental animals. We investigated the impact of long-term reduced mastication on spatial memory in young, mature and aged female albino Swiss mice by stereological analysis of the laminar distribution of CA1 astrocytes. A soft diet (SD was used to reduce mastication in the experimental group, whereas the control group was fed a hard diet (HD. Assays were performed in 3-, 6- and 18-month-old SD and HD mice. Results Eating a SD variably affected the number of astrocytes in the CA1 hippocampal field, and SD mice performed worse on water maze memory tests than HD mice. Three-month-old mice in both groups could remember/find a hidden platform in the water maze. However, 6-month-old SD mice, but not HD mice, exhibited significant spatial memory dysfunction. Both SD and HD 18-month-old mice showed spatial memory decline. Older SD mice had astrocyte hyperplasia in the strata pyramidale and oriens compared to 6-month-old mice. Aging induced astrocyte hypoplasia at 18 months in the lacunosum-moleculare layer of HD mice. Conclusions Taken together, these results suggest that the impaired spatial learning and memory induced by masticatory deprivation and aging may be associated with altered astrocyte laminar distribution and number in the CA1 hippocampal field. The underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown and merit further investigation.

  2. Importance of Autophagy in Mediating Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV and Morphine-Induced Metabolic Dysfunction and Inflammation in Human Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myosotys Rodriguez

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Under physiological conditions, the function of astrocytes in providing brain metabolic support is compromised under pathophysiological conditions caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV and opioids. Herein, we examined the role of autophagy, a lysosomal degradation pathway important for cellular homeostasis and survival, as a potential regulatory mechanism during pathophysiological conditions in primary human astrocytes. Blocking autophagy with small interfering RNA (siRNA targeting BECN1, but not the Autophagy-related 5 (ATG5 gene, caused a significant decrease in HIV and morphine-induced intracellular calcium release. On the contrary, inducing autophagy pharmacologically with rapamycin further enhanced calcium release and significantly reverted HIV and morphine-decreased glutamate uptake. Furthermore, siBeclin1 caused an increase in HIV-induced nitric oxide (NO release, while viral-induced NO in astrocytes exposed to rapamycin was decreased. HIV replication was significantly attenuated in astrocytes transfected with siRNA while significantly induced in astrocytes exposed to rapamycin. Silencing with siBeclin1, but not siATG5, caused a significant decrease in HIV and morphine-induced interleukin (IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α release, while secretion of IL-8 was significantly induced with rapamycin. Mechanistically, the effects of siBeclin1 in decreasing HIV-induced calcium release, viral replication, and viral-induced cytokine secretion were associated with a decrease in activation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB pathway.

  3. Antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation require astrocyte-dependent adenosine mediated signaling

    OpenAIRE

    Hines, D J; Schmitt, L I; Hines, R. M.; Moss, S.J.; Haydon, P.G.

    2013-01-01

    Major depressive disorder is a debilitating condition with a lifetime risk of ten percent. Most treatments take several weeks to achieve clinical efficacy, limiting the ability to bring instant relief needed in psychiatric emergencies. One intervention that rapidly alleviates depressive symptoms is sleep deprivation; however, its mechanism of action is unknown. Astrocytes regulate responses to sleep deprivation, raising the possibility that glial signaling mediates antidepressive-like actions...

  4. Astrocyte glycogenolysis is triggered by store-operated calcium entry and provides metabolic energy for cellular calcium homeostasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Margit S; Fox, Rebecca; Schousboe, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytic glycogen, the only storage form of glucose in the brain, has been shown to play a fundamental role in supporting learning and memory, an effect achieved by providing metabolic support for neurons. We have examined the interplay between glycogenolysis and the bioenergetics of astrocytic...... Ca(2+) homeostasis, by analyzing interdependency of glycogen and store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE), a mechanism in cellular signaling that maintains high endoplasmatic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) concentration and thus provides the basis for store-dependent Ca(2+) signaling. We stimulated SOCE in primary...

  5. Marked potentiation of cell swelling by cytokines in ammonia-sensitized cultured astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tong Xiaoying

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain edema leading to high intracranial pressure is a lethal complication of acute liver failure (ALF, which is believed to be cytotoxic due to swelling of astrocytes. In addition to the traditional view that elevated levels of blood and brain ammonia are involved in the mechanism of brain edema in ALF, emerging evidence suggests that inflammatory cytokines also contribute to this process. We earlier reported that treatment of astrocyte cultures with a pathophysiological concentration of ammonia (5 mM NH4Cl resulted in the activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB and that inhibition of such activation diminished astrocyte swelling, suggesting a key role of NF-κB in the mechanism of ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling. Since cytokines are also well-known to activate NF-κB, this study examined for additive/synergistic effects of ammonia and cytokines in the activation of NF-κB and their role in astrocyte swelling. Methods Primary cultures of astrocytes were treated with ammonia and cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, IFN-γ, each at 10 ng/ml, individually or in combination, and cell volume was determined by the [3H]-O-methylglucose equilibration method. The effect of ammonia and cytokines on the activation of NF-κB was determined by immunoblots. Results Cell swelling was increased by ammonia (43% and by cytokines (37% at 24 h. Simultaneous co-treatment with cytokines and ammonia showed no additional swelling. By contrast, cultures pretreated with ammonia for 24 h and then exposed to cytokines for an additional 24 h, showed a marked increase in astrocyte swelling (129%. Treatment of cultures with ammonia or cytokines alone also activated NF-κB (80-130%, while co-treatment had no additive effect. However, in cultures pre-treated with ammonia for 24 h, cytokines induced a marked activation of NF-κB (428%. BAY 11-7082, an inhibitor of NF-κB, completely blocked the astrocyte swelling in cultures pre-treated with ammonia and

  6. Amyloid-β1–42 Slows Clearance of Synaptically Released Glutamate by Mislocalizing Astrocytic GLT-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scimemi, Annalisa; Meabon, James S.; Woltjer, Randall L.; Sullivan, Jane M.; Diamond, Jeffrey S.

    2013-01-01

    GLT-1, the major glutamate transporter in the adult brain, is abundantly expressed in astrocytic processes enveloping synapses. By limiting glutamate escape into the surrounding neuropil, GLT-1 preserves the spatial specificity of synaptic signaling. Here we show that the amyloid-β peptide Aβ1–42 markedly prolongs the extracellular lifetime of synaptically released glutamate by reducing GLT-1 surface expression in mouse astrocytes and that this effect is prevented by the vitamin E derivative Trolox. These findings indicate that astrocytic glutamate transporter dysfunction may play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and suggest possible mechanisms by which several current treatment strategies could protect against the disease. PMID:23516295

  7. Astrocyte-Derived Tissue Transglutaminase Interacts with Fibronectin: A Role in Astrocyte Adhesion and Migration?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Strien, M.E.; Breve, J.J.P.; Fratantoni, S.; Schreurs, M.W.J.; Bol, J.G.J.M.; Jongenelen, C.A.M.; Drukarch, B.; van Dam, A.M.W.

    2011-01-01

    An important neuropathological feature of neuroinflammatory processes that occur during e.g. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the formation of an astroglial scar. Astroglial scar formation is facilitated by the interaction between astrocytes and extracellular matrix proteins (ECM) such as fibronectin.

  8. S-nitrosoglutathione induces ciliary neurotrophic factor expression in astrocytes, which has implications to protect the central nervous system under pathological conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paintlia, Manjeet K; Paintlia, Ajaib S; Singh, Avtar K; Singh, Inderjit

    2013-02-08

    Accumulating evidence suggests that reactive astrogliosis has beneficial and detrimental outcomes in various CNS disorders, but the mechanism behind this dichotomy is unclear. Recent advances in this direction suggested that NO signaling is critical to regulate the outcomes of reactive astrogliosis in vivo. Using biochemical and genetic approaches, we here investigated the effect of S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO; a physiological NO donor) in astrocytes in vitro settings. GSNO enhanced the expressions of glial fibrillary acidic protein and neurotrophic factors including ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) in astrocytes in a dose-dependent manner. The enhanced CNTF expression in GSNO-treated astrocytes was ascribed to NO-mediated sGC/cGMP/PKG signaling. It was associated with p38 MAPK-dependent increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ transactivation. In addition, the chromatin accessibility of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ accompanied with ATF2 and CREB (cAMP-response element-binding protein) was enhanced across the CNTF gene promoter in GSNO treated astrocytes. Interestingly, secreted CNTF was responsible for increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in GSNO-treated astrocytes in an autocrine manner via a JAK2- and STAT3-dependent mechanism. In addition, CNTF secreted by GSNO-treated astrocytes enhanced the differentiation of immature oligodendrocytes in vitro. These effects of GSNO were consistent with an endogenously produced NO in astrocytes stimulated with proinflammatory cytokines in vitro. We conclude that NO signaling induces CNTF expression in astrocytes that favors the beneficial outcomes of reactive astrogliosis in vivo. Our data suggest that the endogenously produced NO or its exogenous source has potential to modulate the outcomes of reactive astrogliosis to protect CNS under pathological conditions.

  9. S-Nitrosoglutathione Induces Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor Expression in Astrocytes, Which Has Implications to Protect the Central Nervous System under Pathological Conditions*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paintlia, Manjeet K.; Paintlia, Ajaib S.; Singh, Avtar K.; Singh, Inderjit

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that reactive astrogliosis has beneficial and detrimental outcomes in various CNS disorders, but the mechanism behind this dichotomy is unclear. Recent advances in this direction suggested that NO signaling is critical to regulate the outcomes of reactive astrogliosis in vivo. Using biochemical and genetic approaches, we here investigated the effect of S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO; a physiological NO donor) in astrocytes in vitro settings. GSNO enhanced the expressions of glial fibrillary acidic protein and neurotrophic factors including ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) in astrocytes in a dose-dependent manner. The enhanced CNTF expression in GSNO-treated astrocytes was ascribed to NO-mediated sGC/cGMP/PKG signaling. It was associated with p38 MAPK-dependent increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ transactivation. In addition, the chromatin accessibility of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ accompanied with ATF2 and CREB (cAMP-response element-binding protein) was enhanced across the CNTF gene promoter in GSNO treated astrocytes. Interestingly, secreted CNTF was responsible for increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in GSNO-treated astrocytes in an autocrine manner via a JAK2- and STAT3-dependent mechanism. In addition, CNTF secreted by GSNO-treated astrocytes enhanced the differentiation of immature oligodendrocytes in vitro. These effects of GSNO were consistent with an endogenously produced NO in astrocytes stimulated with proinflammatory cytokines in vitro. We conclude that NO signaling induces CNTF expression in astrocytes that favors the beneficial outcomes of reactive astrogliosis in vivo. Our data suggest that the endogenously produced NO or its exogenous source has potential to modulate the outcomes of reactive astrogliosis to protect CNS under pathological conditions. PMID:23264628

  10. 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...

  11. 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

    2017-08-24

    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 SOD1G93A 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 SOD1G93A 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.

  12. Probing astrocytes with carbon nanotubes and assessing their effects on astrocytic structural and functional properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottipati, Manoj K.

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes, chemically-functionalized with polyethylene glycol (SWCNT-PEG) have been shown to modulate the morphology and proliferation characteristics of astrocytes in culture, when applied to the cells as colloidal solutes or as films upon which the cells can attach and grow. These changes were associated with a change in the immunoreactivity of the astrocyte-specific protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP); the solutes and films caused an increase and a decrease in GFAP levels, respectively. To assess if these morpho-functional changes induced by the SWCNT-PEG modalities are dependent on GFAP or if the changes in GFAP levels are independent events, I used astrocytes isolated from GFAP knockout mice and found that selected changes induced by the SWCNT-PEG modalities are mediated by GFAP, namely the changes in perimeter, shape and cell death for colloidal solutes and the rate of proliferation for films. Since the loss GFAP has been shown to hamper the trafficking of glutamate transporters to the surface of astrocytes, which plays a vital role in the uptake of extracellular glutamate and maintaining homeostasis in the brain and spinal cord, in a subsequent study, I assessed if the SWCNT-PEG solute causes any change in the glutamate uptake characteristics of astrocytes. Using a radioactive glutamate uptake assay and immunolabeling, I found that SWCNT-PEG solute causes an increase in the uptake of glutamate from the extracellular space along with an increase in the immunoreactivity of the glutamate transporter, L-glutamate L-aspartate transporter (GLAST), on their cell surface, a likely consequence of the increase in GFAP levels induced by the SWCNT-PEG solute. These results imply that SWCNT-PEG could potentially be used as a viable candidate in neural prosthesis applications to prevent glutamate excitotoxicity, a pathological process observed in brain and spinal cord injuries, and alleviate the death toll of neurons surrounding the injury

  13. 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.

  14. Optical modulation of astrocyte network using ultrashort pulsed laser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Jonghee; Ku, Taeyun; Chong, Kyuha; Ryu, Seung-Wook; Choi, Chulhee

    2012-03-01

    Astrocyte, the most abundant cell type in the central nervous system, has been one of major topics in neuroscience. Even though many tools have been developed for the analysis of astrocyte function, there has been no adequate tool that can modulates astrocyte network without pharmaceutical or genetic interventions. Here we found that ultrashort pulsed laser stimulation can induce label-free activation of astrocytes as well as apoptotic-like cell death in a dose-dependent manner. Upon irradiation with high intensity pulsed lasers, the irradiated cells with short exposure time showed very rapid mitochondria fragmentation, membrane blebbing and cytoskeletal retraction. We applied this technique to investigate in vivo function of astrocyte network in the CNS: in the aspect of neurovascular coupling and blood-brain barrier. We propose that this noninvasive technique can be widely applied for in vivo study of complex cellular network.

  15. Hypothalamic lipid-laden astrocytes induce microglia migration and activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Yoon-Hee; Kim, Jiye; Kim, Chu-Sook; Tu, Thai Hien; Kim, Min-Seon; Suk, Kyoungho; Kim, Dong Hee; Lee, Byung Ju; Choi, Hye-Seon; Park, Taesun; Choi, Myung-Sook; Goto, Tsuyoshi; Kawada, Teruo; Ha, Tae Youl; Yu, Rina

    2017-06-01

    Obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation is closely associated with various metabolic complications and neurodegenerative disorders. Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the central nervous system, play a crucial role in pathological hypothalamic inflammatory processes. Here, we demonstrate that hypothalamic astrocytes accumulate lipid droplets under saturated fatty acid-rich conditions, such as obese environment, and that the lipid-laden astrocytes increase astrogliosis markers and inflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, MCP-1) at the transcript and/or protein level. Medium conditioned by the lipid-laden astrocytes stimulate microglial chemotactic activity and upregulate transcripts of the microglia activation marker Iba-1 and inflammatory cytokines. These findings indicate that the lipid-laden astrocytes formed in free fatty acid-rich obese condition may participate in obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation through promoting microglia migration and activation. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  16. 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

    is decreased and vasodilation triggered by astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i in vitro and by hypercapnia in vivo is inhibited.Astrocyte synthetic pathways, dependent on glutathione, are involved in cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2 Reductions in glutathione levels in ageing, stroke or schizophrenia could lead...... 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...... role for astrocytes in the regulation of CO2-evoked CBF responses. Furthermore, these results suggest that depleted glutathione levels, which occur in ageing and stroke, will give rise to dysfunctional cerebral blood flow regulation and may result in subsequent neuronal damage....

  17. Astrocytes Control Neuronal Excitability in the Nucleus Accumbens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommaso Fellin

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Multiple Oxygen Tension Environments Reveal Diverse Patterns of Transcriptional Regulation in Primary Astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yu; Wang, Liyun; Park, Sung-Soo; Martin, Bronwen; Wang, Rui; Becker, Kevin G.; Wood, William H.; Zhang, Yongqing; Peers, Chris; Maudsley, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    The central nervous system normally functions at O2 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 O2-dependent cellular adaptation. We analyzed the reactivity of astrocytes to 1, 4 and 9% O2 tensions compared to the cell culture standard of 20% O2, to investigate their ability to sense and translate this O2 information to transcriptional activity. Variance of ambient O2 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% O2 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 O2 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% O2 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. PMID:21738745

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Angiotensin II induces interleukin-6 expression in astrocytes: Role of reactive oxygen species and NF-κB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowrisankar, Yugandhar V; Clark, Michelle A

    2016-12-05

    Previously, we showed that the bio-peptide angiotensin (Ang) II induces interleukin-6 (IL-6) in cultured astrocytes; however, the mechanism(s) involved in this effect were unknown. In the current study, we determined in brainstem and cerebellum astrocytes from the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), the effect of Ang II to induce IL-6 as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Results from this study showed that Ang II significantly induced the differential expression of IL-6 mRNA and protein levels in astrocytes from both regions of Wistar and SHRs. There were differences in the ability of Ang II to induce IL-6 mRNA and protein levels, but these differences were not apparent at all time points examined. Ang II also induced ROS generation, but there were no significant differences between ROS generation in SHR samples as compared to the Wistar samples. Ang II-induced IL-6 levels were mediated via the AT 1 /Nuclear Factor Kappa beta/ROS pathway. Overall, our findings suggest that there may be dysregulation in IL-6 production from astrocytes, contributing to differences observed in SHRs versus its normotensive control. Elucidating the mechanisms involved in Ang II pro-inflammatory effects in the central nervous system may lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies that can be harnessed not just to treat hypertension, but other Ang II-mediated diseases as well. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation require astrocyte-dependent adenosine mediated signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, D J; Schmitt, L I; Hines, R M; Moss, S J; Haydon, P G

    2013-01-15

    Major depressive disorder is a debilitating condition with a lifetime risk of ten percent. Most treatments take several weeks to achieve clinical efficacy, limiting the ability to bring instant relief needed in psychiatric emergencies. One intervention that rapidly alleviates depressive symptoms is sleep deprivation; however, its mechanism of action is unknown. Astrocytes regulate responses to sleep deprivation, raising the possibility that glial signaling mediates antidepressive-like actions of sleep deprivation. Here, we found that astrocytic signaling to adenosine (A1) receptors was required for the robust reduction of depressive-like behaviors following 12 hours of sleep deprivation. As sleep deprivation activates synaptic A1 receptors, we mimicked the effect of sleep deprivation on depression phenotypes by administration of the A1 agonist CCPA. These results provide the first mechanistic insight into how sleep deprivation impacts mood, and provide a novel pathway for rapid antidepressant development by modulation of glial signaling in the brain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Phosphoinositide metabolism and adrenergic receptors in astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1986-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Increased in vitro glial fibrillary acidic protein expression, telomerase activity, and telomere length after productive human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection in murine astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Diego; López-Costa, Juan José; Sede, Mariano; López, Ester María; Berria, María Isabel; Quarleri, Jorge

    2014-02-01

    Although HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) result from injury and loss of neurons, productive infection routinely takes place in cells of macrophage lineage. In such a complex context, astrocytosis induced by local chemokines/cytokines is one of the hallmarks of HIV neuropathology. Whether this sustained astrocyte activation is able to alter telomere-aging process is unknown. We hypothesized that interaction of HIV with astrocytes may impact astrocyte telomerase activity (TA) and telomere length in a scenario of astrocytic activation measured by expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). To test this hypothesis, cultured murine astrocytes were challenged with pseudotyped HIV/vesicular stomatitis virus (HIV/VSV) to circumvent the absence of viral receptors; and GFAP, telomerase activity, and telomere length were quantified. As an early and transient event after HIV infection, both TA activity and telomere length were significantly augmented (P < 0.001). Later, a strong negative correlation (-0.8616, P < 0.0001) between virus production and telomerase activity was demonstrated. Once HIV production had reached a peak (7 dpi), the TA decreased, showing levels similar to those of noninfected cells. In contrast, the astrocyte became activated, exhibiting significantly increased levels of GFAP expression directly related to the level of HIV/VSV replication (P < 0.0001). Our results suggest that HIV-infected astrocytes exhibit early disturbance in their cellular functions, such as telomerase activity and telomere length, that may attenuate cell proliferation and enhance the astrocyte dysregulation, contributing to HIV neuropathogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms involved in HIV-mediated persistence by altering the telomere-related aging processes could aid in the development of therapeutic modalities for neurological complications of HIV infection. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. IL-1β and IL-6 activate inflammatory responses of astrocytes against Naegleria fowleri infection via the modulation of MAPKs and AP-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J-H; Song, A-R; Sohn, H-J; Lee, J; Yoo, J-K; Kwon, D; Shin, H-J

    2013-01-01

    Naegleria fowleri, a free-living amoeba, has been found in diverse habitats throughout the world. It causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis in children and young adults. The amoeba attaches to nasal mucosa, migrates along olfactory nerves and enters the brain. Astrocytes are involved in the defence against infection and produce inflammatory responses. In this study, we focus on the mechanism of immune responses in astrocytes. We showed, using RNase protection assay, RT-PCR and ELISA in an in vitro culture system, that N. fowleri lysates induce interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and IL-6 expression of astrocytes. In addition, cytokine levels of astrocytes gradually decreased due to extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 inhibitors. To determine the transcription factor, we used transcription inhibitor (AP-1 inhibitor), which downregulated IL-1β and IL-6 expression. These results show that AP-1 is related to IL-1β and IL-6 production. N. fowleri-mediated IL-1β and IL-6 expression requires ERK, JNK and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) activation in astrocytes. These findings show that N. fowleri-stimulated astrocytes in an in vitro culture system lead to AP-1 activation and the subsequent expressions of IL-1β and IL-6, which are dependent on ERK, JNK and p38 MAPKs activation. These results may imply that proinflammatory cytokines have important roles in inflammatory responses to N. fowleri infection. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. A novel mechanism and kinetic model to explain enhanced xylose yields from dilute sulfuric acid compared to hydrothermal pretreatment of corn stover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Jiacheng; Wyman, Charles E

    2011-10-01

    Pretreatment of corn stover in 0.5% sulfuric acid at 160 °C for 40 min realized a maximum monomeric plus oligomeric xylose yield of 93.1% compared to a maximum of only 71.5% for hydrothermal (no added mineral acid) pretreatment at 180 °C for 30 min. To explain differences in dilute acid and hydrothermal yields, a fast reacting xylan fraction (0.0889) was assumed to be able to directly form monomeric xylose while a slow reacting portion (0.9111) must first form oligomers during hydrothermal pretreatment. Two reactions to oligomers were proposed: reversible from fast reacting xylan and irreversible from slow reacting xylan. A kinetic model and its analytical solution simulated xylan removal data well for dilute acid and hydrothermal pretreatment of corn stover. These results suggested that autocatalytic reactions from xylan to furfural in hydrothermal pretreatment were controlled by oligomeric xylose decomposition, while acid-catalytic reactions in dilute acid pretreatment were controlled by monomeric xylose decomposition. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Mouse cerebellar astrocytes protect cerebellar granule neurons against toxicity of the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) mixture DE-71.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordano, Gennaro; Kavanagh, Terrance J; Costa, Lucio G

    2009-03-01

    A large body of evidence indicates that polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants have become widespread environmental pollutants. Body burden is particularly high in infants and toddlers, due to exposure through maternal milk and house dust. Animal studies suggest that PBDEs may exert developmental neurotoxicity, via mechanisms that are still elusive. PBDEs have been reported to cause oxidative stress and apoptotic cell death in neurons in vitro, when tested in mono-cultures. Here we report the results of experiments in which mouse cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) were co-cultured with cerebellar astrocytes. Astrocytes were found to protect neurons against the toxicity of the PBDE mixture DE-71. Astrocytes from Gclm (-/-) mice, which lack the modifier subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase and, as a consequence, have very low GSH levels, were much less effective at protecting CGNs from DE-71 toxicity. The protective effects were mostly due to the ability of Gclm (+/+) astrocytes to increase GSH levels in neurons. By increasing GSH, GSH ethylester provided a similar protective effect. In vivo, where both neurons and astrocytes would be either Gclm (+/+) or Gclm (-/-), the toxicity of DE-71 to CGNs is predicted to vary 16.8-fold, depending on genotype. Hence, in addition to being intrinsically more susceptible to DE-71 toxicity because of their low GSH content, CGNs in Gclm (-/-) mice would also lack the full protective effect provided by astrocytes. Since several polymorphisms, including some in the Gclm gene, cause very low levels of GSH, it may be speculated that such individuals might display a higher susceptibility to the neurotoxic effects of PBDEs.

  14. The Neuron-Astrocyte-Microglia Triad in Normal Brain Ageing and in a Model of Neuroinflammation in the Rat Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerbai, Francesca; Lana, Daniele; Nosi, Daniele; Petkova-Kirova, Polina; Zecchi, Sandra; Brothers, Holly M.; Wenk, Gary L.; Giovannini, Maria Grazia

    2012-01-01

    Ageing is accompanied by a decline in cognitive functions; along with a variety of neurobiological changes. The association between inflammation and ageing is based on complex molecular and cellular changes that we are only just beginning to understand. The hippocampus is one of the structures more closely related to electrophysiological, structural and morphological changes during ageing. In the present study we examined the effect of normal ageing and LPS-induced inflammation on astroglia-neuron interaction in the rat hippocampus of adult, normal aged and LPS-treated adult rats. Astrocytes were smaller, with thicker and shorter branches and less numerous in CA1 Str. radiatum of aged rats in comparison to adult and LPS-treated rats. Astrocyte branches infiltrated apoptotic neurons of aged and LPS-treated rats. Cellular debris, which were more numerous in CA1 of aged and LPS-treated rats, could be found apposed to astrocytes processes and were phagocytated by reactive microglia. Reactive microglia were present in the CA1 Str. Radiatum, often in association with apoptotic cells. Significant differences were found in the fraction of reactive microglia which was 40% of total in adult, 33% in aged and 50% in LPS-treated rats. Fractalkine (CX3CL1) increased significantly in hippocampus homogenates of aged and LPS-treated rats. The number of CA1 neurons decreased in aged rats. In the hippocampus of aged and LPS-treated rats astrocytes and microglia may help clearing apoptotic cellular debris possibly through CX3CL1 signalling. Our results indicate that astrocytes and microglia in the hippocampus of aged and LPS-infused rats possibly participate in the clearance of cellular debris associated with programmed cell death. The actions of astrocytes may represent either protective mechanisms to control inflammatory processes and the spread of further cellular damage to neighboring tissue, or they may contribute to neuronal damage in pathological conditions. PMID:23028880

  15. Curcumin inhibits glial scar formation by suppressing astrocyte-induced inflammation and fibrosis in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Jichao; Liu, Wei; Zhu, Haitao; Chen, Yaxing; Zhang, Xuan; Li, Lan; Chu, Weihua; Wen, Zexian; Feng, Hua; Lin, Jiangkai

    2017-01-15

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to glial scar formation by astrocytes, which severely hinders neural regeneration. Curcumin (cur) can inhibit glial scar formation, but the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. Using both in vivo and in vitro experiments, the current study investigated the phenotypic transformation of astrocytes following cur and siRNA intervention during the processes of inflammation and fibrosis and determined details of the relationship between cur treatment and the glial scar components GFAP and CSPG. We found that cur and NF-κb p65 siRNA could inhibit astrocyte activation through suppressing NF-κb signaling pathway, which led to down-regulate the expression of chemokines MCP-1, RANTES and CXCL10 released by astrocytes and decreased macrophage and T-cell infiltration, thus reducing the inflammation in the glial scar. In addition, silencing SOX-9 may reduce the deposition of extracellular matrix CSPG; whereas its over-expression could increase the CSPG expression. Cur suppressedSOX-9-inducedCSPG deposition, reduced α-SMA (an important symbol of fibrosis) expression in astrocytes, altered astrocyte phenotype, and inhibited glial scar formation by regulating fibrosis. This study confirmed that cur could regulate both the NF-κb and SOX9 signaling pathways and reduce the expression of intracellular and extracellular glial scar components through dual-target regulating both inflammation and fibrosis after SCI in the rat. This study provides an important hypothesis centered on the dual inhibition of intracellular and extracellular glial scar components as a treatment strategy for SCI. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Expressional analysis of the astrocytic Kir4.1 channel in a pilocarpine-induced temporal lobe epilepsy model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki eNagao

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The inwardly-rectifying potassium (Kir channel Kir4.1 in brain astrocytes mediates spatial K+ buffering and regulates neural activities. Recent studies have shown that loss-of-function mutations in the human gene KCNJ10 encoding Kir4.1 cause epileptic seizures, suggesting a close relationship between the Kir4.1 channel function and epileptogenesis. Here, we performed expressional analysis of Kir4.1 in a pilocarpine-induced rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE to explore the role of Kir4.1 channels in modifying TLE epileptogenesis. Treatment of rats with pilocarpine (350 mg/kg, i.p. induced acute status epilepticus, which subsequently caused spontaneous seizures 7–8 weeks after the pilocarpine treatment. Western blot analysis revealed that TLE rats (interictal condition showed significantly higher levels of Kir4.1 than the control animals in the cerebral cortex, striatum and hypothalamus. However, the expression of other Kir subunits, Kir5.1 and Kir2.1, remained unaltered. Immunohistochemical analysis illustrated that Kir4.1-immunoreactivity-positive astrocytes in the pilocarpine-induced TLE model were markedly increased in most of the brain regions examined, concomitant with an increase in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP-positive astrocytes. In addition, Kir4.1 expression ratios relative to the number of astrocytes (Kir4.1-positive cells/GFAP-positive cells were region-specifically elevated in the amygdala (i.e., medial and cortical amygdaloid nuclei and sensory cortex. The present study demonstrated for the first time that the expression of astrocytic Kir4.1 channels was elevated in a pilocarpine-induced TLE model, especially in the amygdala, suggesting that astrocytic Kir4.1 channels play a role in modifying TLE epileptogenesis, possibly by acting as an inhibitory compensatory mechanism.

  17. Risperidone-Induced Inactivation and Clozapine-Induced Reactivation of Rat Cortical Astrocyte 5-Hydroxytryptamine7 Receptors: Evidence for In Situ G Protein-Coupled Receptor Homodimer Protomer Cross-Talk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Carol; Toohey, Nicole; Knight, Jessica A.; Klein, Michael T.

    2011-01-01

    We have reported previously novel drug-induced inactivation and reactivation of human 5-hydroxytryptamine7 (5-HT7) receptors in a recombinant cell line. To explain these novel observations, a homodimer structure displaying protomer-protomer cross-talk was proposed. To determine whether these novel observations and interpretations are due to an artifactual G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) mechanism unique to the recombinant cell line, we explored the properties of r5-HT7 receptors expressed by cortical astrocytes in primary culture. As in the recombinant cell line, risperidone, 9-OH-risperidone, methiothepin, and bromocriptine were found to potently inactivate r5-HT7 receptors. As in the recombinant cell line, exposure of risperidone-inactivated astrocyte r5-HT7 receptors to competitive antagonists resulted in the reactivation of r5-HT7 receptors. The potencies of the reactivating drugs closely correlated with their affinities for h5-HT7 receptors. These results indicate the novel inactivating and reactivating property of drugs is not due to an artifact of the recombinant cell line expressing h5-HT7 receptors but is an intrinsic property of 5-HT7 receptors in vitro and ex vivo. This evidence suggests that a native (nonmutated) GPCR, in its native membrane environment (cortical astrocyte primary culture), can function as a homodimer with protomer-protomer cross-talk. Homodimers may be a common GPCR structure. The experimental design used in our studies can be used to explore the properties of other GPCRs in their native forms in recombinant cells, primary cultures expressing the endogenous GPCRs, and possibly in vivo. The homodimer structure and protomer-protomer cross-talk offer new avenues of research into receptor dysfunction in disease states and the development of novel drugs. PMID:21062995

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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-HT2a 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-HT2a 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.

  1. 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.

  2. PDGF-BB Preserves Mitochondrial Morphology, Attenuates ROS Production, and Upregulates Neuroglobin in an Astrocytic Model Under Rotenone Insult.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezas, Ricardo; Vega-Vela, Nelson E; González-Sanmiguel, Juliana; González, Janneth; Esquinas, Paula; Echeverria, Valentina; Barreto, George E

    2017-05-02

    Platelet-derived growth factor, subtype BB (PDGF-BB) is a mitogenic growth factor produced in different cell types such as platelets, fibroblasts, neurons, and astrocytes. Previous reports have shown that different PDGF isoforms exert a neuroprotective effect in neurons and astrocytes against multiple degenerative insults. Previously, we showed that pretreatment with PDGF-BB for 24 h increased cell viability, preserved nuclear morphology and mitochondrial membrane potential following stimulation with rotenone, and reduced free radical production nearly to control conditions. In the present study, we explored the potential mechanisms associated with PDGF-BB protection against oxidative damage. Our results showed that PDGF-BB protected astrocytic cells through multiple responses, including decrease in the expression of cytoskeleton proteins, attenuated free radicals (reactive oxygen species (ROS)) production, preservation of mitochondrial ultrastructure, and improved expression of neuroglobin (Ngb1). In summary, these findings point out that PDGF-BB protects astrocytic cells by a reduction in ROS production and activation of antioxidant mechanisms.

  3. Overexpression of Eg5 correlates with high grade astrocytic neoplasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liqiong; Liu, Xichun; Mare, Marcus; Dumont, Aaron S; Zhang, Haitao; Yan, Dong; Xiong, Zhenggang

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the relationship between Eg5 and histopathological grade of astrocytoma, Eg5 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical examination on 88 specimens including 25 cases of glioblastoma (WHO grade IV), 22 cases of anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO grade III), 20 cases of diffuse astrocytoma (WHO grade II), and 21 cases of pilocytic astrocytoma (WHO grade I). The histopathological characteristics and Eg5 expression level of each tumor were assessed and statistically analyzed. Astrocytic tumors exhibited significant correlation of expression of Eg5 with higher WHO histopathological grades (p neoplasm, and it may represent an independent diagnostic and prognostic factor in grading astrocytic tumors and predicting prognosis of astrocytic tumor patients.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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......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...

  5. Gender dimorphism in adipose tissue response to stress conditions: A plausible mechanism to explain the conflicting data regarding trauma and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diebel, Mark E; Diebel, Lawrence N; Liberati, David M

    2016-12-01

    results suggest a gender dimorphism in adipose tissue under stress conditions that may explain the conflicting data in the literature.

  6. Astrocytic Toll-Like Receptor 3 Is Associated with Ischemic Preconditioning- Induced Protection against Brain Ischemia in Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Xu, Xu-lin; Guo, Lian-jun; Lu, Qing; Wang, Jian

    2014-01-01

    Background Cerebral ischemic preconditioning (IPC) protects brain against ischemic injury. Activation of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) signaling can induce neuroprotective mediators, but whether astrocytic TLR3 signaling is involved in IPC-induced ischemic tolerance is not known. Methods IPC was modeled in mice with three brief episodes of bilateral carotid occlusion. In vitro, IPC was modeled in astrocytes by 1-h oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Injury and components of the TLR3 signaling pathway were measured after a subsequent protracted ischemic event. A neutralizing antibody against TLR3 was used to evaluate the role of TLR3 signaling in ischemic tolerance. Results IPC in vivo reduced brain damage from permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion in mice and increased expression of TLR3 in cortical astrocytes. IPC also reduced damage in isolated astrocytes after 12-h OGD. In astrocytes, IPC or 12-h OGD alone increased TLR3 expression, and 12-h OGD alone increased expression of phosphorylated NFκB (pNFκB). However, IPC or 12-h OGD alone did not alter the expression of Toll/interleukin receptor domain-containing adaptor-inducing IFNβ (TRIF) or phosphorylated interferon regulatory factor 3 (pIRF3). Exposure to IPC before OGD increased TRIF and pIRF3 expression but decreased pNFκB expression. Analysis of cytokines showed that 12-h OGD alone increased IFNβ and IL-6 secretion; 12-h OGD preceded by IPC further increased IFNβ secretion but decreased IL-6 secretion. Preconditioning with TLR3 ligand Poly I:C increased pIRF3 expression and protected astrocytes against ischemic injury; however, cells treated with a neutralizing antibody against TLR3 lacked the IPC- and Poly I:C-induced ischemic protection and augmentation of IFNβ. Conclusions The results suggest that IPC-induced ischemic tolerance is mediated by astrocytic TLR3 signaling. This reprogramming of TLR3 signaling by IPC in astrocytes may play an important role in suppression of the post

  7. Transport of BMAA into Neurons and Astrocytes by System xc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albano, Rebecca; Lobner, Doug

    2018-01-01

    The study of the mechanism of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) neurotoxicity originally focused on its effects at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. In recent years, it has become clear that its mechanism of action is more complicated. First, there are certain cell types, such as motor neurons and cholinergic neurons, where the dominate mechanism of toxicity is through action at AMPA receptors. Second, even in cortical neurons where the primary mechanism of toxicity appears to be activation of NMDA receptors, there are other mechanisms involved. We found that along with NMDA receptors, activation of mGLuR5 receptors and effects on the cystine/glutamate antiporter (system x c -) were involved in the toxicity. The effects on system x c - are of particular interest. System x c - mediates the transport of cystine into the cell in exchange for releasing glutamate into the extracellular fluid. By releasing glutamate, system x c - can potentially cause excitotoxicity. However, through providing cystine to the cell, it regulates the levels of cellular glutathione (GSH), the main endogenous intracellular antioxidant, and in this way may protect cells against oxidative stress. We have previously published that BMAA inhibits cystine uptake leading to GSH depletion and had indirect evidence that BMAA is transported into the cells by system x c -. We now present direct evidence that BMAA is transported into both astrocytes and neurons through system x c -. The fact that BMAA is transported by system x c - also provides a mechanism for BMAA to enter brain cells potentially leading to misincorporation into proteins and protein misfolding.

  8. Oxytocin Rapidly Changes Astrocytic GFAP Plasticity by Differentially Modulating the Expressions of pERK 1/2 and Protein Kinase A

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Wang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The importance of astrocytes to normal brain functions and neurological diseases has been extensively recognized; however, cellular mechanisms underlying functional and structural plasticities of astrocytes remain poorly understood. Oxytocin (OT is a neuropeptide that can rapidly change astrocytic plasticity in association with lactation, as indicated in the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP in the supraoptic nucleus (SON. Here, we used OT-evoked changes in GFAP expression in astrocytes of male rat SON as a model to explore the cellular mechanisms underlying GFAP plasticity. The results showed that OT significantly reduced the expression of GFAP filaments and proteins in SON astrocytes in brain slices. In lysates of the SON, OT receptors (OTRs were co-immunoprecipitated with GFAP; vasopressin (VP, a neuropeptide structurally similar to OT, did not significantly change GFAP protein level; OT-evoked depolarization of astrocyte membrane potential was sensitive to a selective OTR antagonist (OTRA but not to tetanus toxin, a blocker of synaptic transmission. The effects of OT on GFAP expression and on astrocyte uptake of Bauer-Peptide, an astrocyte-specific dye, were mimicked by isoproterenol (IPT; β-adrenoceptor agonist, U0126 or PD98059, inhibitors of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK 1/2 kinase and blocked by the OTRA or KT5720, a protein kinase A (PKA inhibitor. The effect of OT on GFAP expressions and its association with these kinases were simulated by mSIRK, an activator of Gβγ subunits. Finally, suckling increased astrocytic expression of the catalytic subunit of PKA (cPKA at astrocytic processes while increasing the molecular associations of GFAP with cPKA and phosphorylated ERK (pERK 1/2. Upon the occurrence of the milk-ejection reflex, spatial co-localization of the cPKA with GFAP filaments further increased, which was accompanied with increased molecular association of GFAP with pERK 1/2 but not with

  9. 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

  10. Radiation induction of the receptor tyrosine kinase gene Ptk-3 in normal rat astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakuma, S.; Hideyuki, S.; Akihiro, I. [Univ. of Texas, Houston, TX (United States)] [and others

    1995-07-01

    Radiation-induced gene expression was examined in rat astrocyte cultures using differential display of mRNA via reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. A 0.3-kb cDNA that was consistently observed in irradiated cultures but not in unirradiated cultures was cloned and sequenced. It was found to be identical to Ptk-3, a receptor tyrosine kinase gene identified recently. The protein encoded by Ptk-3 is a member of a novel class of receptor tyrosine kinases whose extracellular domain contains regions of homology with coagulation factors V and VIII and complement component C1. Northern blot analysis revealed that the expression of Ptk-3 was increased in rat astrocytes by 0.5 h after exposure to 10 Gy and remained at the same elevated level for at least 24 h. The maximum increase occurred after 5 Gy cloning studies indicated the presence of at least two Ptk-3 mRNA transcripts, which are probable the result of an alternative splicing mechanism. The short isoform lacks a 37 amino acid sequence in the glycine/proline-rich juxtamembrane region. The splicing pattern of the Ptk-3 gene was not altered by radiation. However, the ratios of the longer to the shorter mRNA transcripts differed between adult cortex, neonatal cortex and in vitro astrocyte cultures. 36 refs., 5 figs.

  11. Cocaine potentiates astrocyte toxicity mediated by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 protein gp120.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanjing Yang

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available It is becoming widely accepted that psychoactive drugs, often abused by HIV-I infected individuals, can significantly alter the progression of neuropathological changes observed in HIV-associated neurodegenerative diseases (HAND. The underlying mechanisms mediating these effects however, remain poorly understood. In the current study, we explored whether the psychostimulant drug cocaine could exacerbate toxicity mediated by gp120 in rat primary astrocytes. Exposure to both cocaine and gp120 resulted in increased cell toxicity compared to cells treated with either factor alone. The combinatorial toxicity of cocaine and gp120 was accompanied by an increase in caspase-3 activation. In addition, increased apoptosis of astrocytes in the presence of both the agents was associated with a concomitant increase in the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Signaling pathways including c-jun N-teminal kinase (JNK, p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK/mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK, and nuclear factor (NF-κB were identified to be major players in cocaine and gp120-mediated apoptosis of astrocytes. Our results demonstrated that cocaine-mediated potentiation of gp120 toxicity involved regulation of oxidative stress, mitochondrial membrane potential and MAPK signaling pathways.

  12. 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.

  13. Astrocyte control of fetal cortical neuron glutathione homeostasis: up-regulation by ethanol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathinam, Mary Latha; Watts, Lora Talley; Stark, Avishay A; Mahimainathan, Lenin; Stewart, Jennifer; Schenker, Steven; Henderson, George I

    2006-03-01

    Ethanol increases apoptotic neuron death in the developing brain and at least part of this may be mediated by oxidative stress. In cultured fetal rat cortical neurons, Ethanol increases levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within minutes of exposure and reduces total cellular glutathione (GSH) shortly thereafter. This is followed by onset of apoptotic cell death. These responses to Ethanol can be blocked by elevating neuron GSH with N-acetylcysteine or by co-culturing neurons with neonatal cortical astrocytes. We describe here mechanisms by which the astrocyte-neuron gamma-glutamyl cycle is up-regulated by Ethanol, enhancing control of neuron GSH in response to the pro-oxidant, Ethanol. Up to 6 days of Ethanol exposure had no consistent effects on activities of gamma-glutamyl cysteine ligase or glutathione synthetase, and GSH content remained unchanged (p glutathione reductase was increased with 1 and 2 day Ethanol exposures, 25% and 39% for 2.5 and 4.0 mg/mL Ethanol by 1 day, and 11% and 16% for 2.5 and 4.0 mg/mL at 2 days, respectively (p Ethanol increased GSH efflux from astrocyte up to 517% (p Ethanol increased both gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase expression and activity on astrocyte within 24 h of exposure (40%, p = 0.05 with 4.0 mg/mL) and this continued for at least 4 days of Ethanol treatment. Aminopeptidase N activity on neurons increased by 62% and 55% within 1 h of Ethanol for 2.5 and 4.0 mg/mL concentration, respectively (p Ethanol, the net effect being to enhance neuron GSH homeostasis, thereby protecting neurons from Ethanol-mediated oxidative stress and apoptotic death.

  14. microRNA Expression Profiling of Propofol-Treated Developing Rat Hippocampal Astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wenchong

    2015-01-01

    Although propofol exerts toxic effects on the developing central nervous system (CNS), it remains a first-choice anesthetic in the pediatric population. Astrocytes represent a major glial cell population whose role in CNS development is widely appreciated and that has been recently shown to be mediated in large part by microRNAs (miRNAs). In contrast, relatively little is known about the roles of miRNAs in developing astrocytes during propofol treatment. Here, miRNA microarray was used to profile fluctuations in miRNA expression in immature hippocampal astrocytes in response to propofol treatment, and results were subsequently validated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Predictive analysis of genes targeted by propofol-regulated miRNAs indicated enrichment of genes in the gene ontology (GO) nervous system development and differentiation category, and in the Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) apoptotic pathway category. A total of 24 (10 short-term dosage and 14 long-term dosage) miRNAs were significantly regulated, one of which was rno-miR-665. Ectopic overexpression and silencing of rno-miR-665 demonstrated its role in the neurotoxic effects of propofol on hippocampal immature astrocytes. We present evidence that the role of rno-miR-665 in anesthesia-induced disturbances in astroglia development may involve direct downregulation of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl2l1, and subsequent increased caspase-3-mediated apoptosis. Our results shed light on the anesthetic mechanism of propofol and have implications for its use in the clinical setting. PMID:26083276

  15. Heterogeneous chemistry: a mechanism missing in current models to explain secondary inorganic aerosol formation during the January 2013 haze episode in North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, B.; Zhang, Q.; Zhang, Y.; He, K. B.; Wang, K.; Zheng, G. J.; Duan, F. K.; Ma, Y. L.; Kimoto, T.

    2015-02-01

    Severe regional haze pollution events occurred in eastern and central China in January 2013, which had adverse effects on the environment and public health. Extremely high levels of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) with dominant components of sulfate and nitrate are responsible for the haze pollution. Although heterogeneous chemistry is thought to play an important role in the production of sulfate and nitrate during haze episodes, few studies have comprehensively evaluated the effect of heterogeneous chemistry on haze formation in China by using the 3-D models due to of a lack of treatments for heterogeneous reactions in most climate and chemical transport models. In this work, the WRF-CMAQ model with newly added heterogeneous reactions is applied to East Asia to evaluate the impacts of heterogeneous chemistry and the meteorological anomaly during January 2013 on regional haze formation. As the parameterization of heterogeneous reactions on different types of particles is not well established yet, we arbitrarily selected the uptake coefficients from reactions on dust particles and then conducted several sensitivity runs to find the value that can best match observations. The revised CMAQ with heterogeneous chemistry not only captures the magnitude and temporal variation of sulfate and nitrate, but also reproduces the enhancement of relative contribution of sulfate and nitrate to PM2.5 mass from clean days to polluted haze days. These results indicate the significant role of heterogeneous chemistry in regional haze formation and improve the understanding of the haze formation mechanisms during the January 2013 episode.

  16. Glutamate metabolism in the brain focusing on astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Metabolism of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter and precursor of GABA, is exceedingly complex and highly compartmentalized in brain. Maintenance of these neurotransmitter pools is strictly dependent on the de novo synthesis of glutamine in astrocytes which requires both the anaplero......Metabolism of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter and precursor of GABA, is exceedingly complex and highly compartmentalized in brain. Maintenance of these neurotransmitter pools is strictly dependent on the de novo synthesis of glutamine in astrocytes which requires both......, as well as in nitrogen trafficking and ammonia homeostasis in brain. The anatomical specialization of astrocytic endfeet enables these cells to rapidly and efficiently remove neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft to maintain homeostasis, and to provide glutamine to replenish neurotransmitter pools...... summarizes the evidence that astrocytes are essential and dynamic partners in both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in brain....

  17. Stavudine, an anti‑retroviral drug induces reactive astrocytes in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Stavudine, an anti‑retroviral drug induces reactive astrocytes in motor cortex of albino mice. Agnes A. Nwakanma, Theresa B. Ekanem, Moses B. Ekong, Mokutima A. Eluwa, Eme E. Osim, Terkula Kpela ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Barat

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. SIGNIFICANCE: 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Experimental evidence suggests that astrocytes play a crucial role in the physiology of the central nervous system (CNS) by modulating synaptic activity and plasticity. Based on what is currently known we postulate that astrocytes are fundamental, along with neurons, for the information processing that takes place within the CNS. On the other hand, experimental findings and human observations signal that some of the primary degenerative diseases of the CNS, like frontotemporal dement...

  20. Plagiarism explainer for students

    OpenAIRE

    Barba, Lorena A.

    2016-01-01

    A slide deck to serve as an explainer of plagiarism in academic settings, with a personal viewpoint. For my students.Also on SpeakerDeck:https://speakerdeck.com/labarba/plagiarism-explainer-for-students(The slide viewer on SpeakerDeck is much nicer.)

  1. An Efficient Platform for Astrocyte Differentiation from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Novel approaches in astrocytic protection following brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Barreto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes have gained a broad attention in the last years, as they exert multiple functions for brain maintenance and neuronal protection. Astrocytes are metabolic regulators of the brain, important for the preservation of blood–brain barrier characteristics, clearance of toxic substances and generation of antioxidant molecules and growth factors for neurons and other glial cells. For these reasons, the protection of astrocytes has become of primordial importance for the prevention of neuronal death during pathologies such as Parkinson, Alzheimer, Ischemia, and others. Currently, different approaches are being used for the protection of astrocytes diseases, including the use of growth factors, steroid molecules derivatives, mesenchymal stem cell factors, nicotine and others. Moreover, the combined use of experimental approaches with bioinformatics tools such as the ones obtained through system biology has allowed a broader knowledge in astrocytic protection both in normal and pathological conditions. In this work, we highlight some of these recent approaches in astrocytic protection, and how they could be used for the study of restorative therapies for the brain in pathological conditions.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Astrocyte functions in the copper homeostasis of the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheiber, Ivo F; Dringen, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Copper is an essential element that is required for a variety of important cellular functions. Since not only copper deficiency but also excess of copper can seriously affect cellular functions, the cellular copper metabolism is tightly regulated. In brain, astrocytes appear to play a pivotal role in the copper metabolism. With their strategically important localization between capillary endothelial cells and neuronal structures they are ideally positioned to transport copper from the blood-brain barrier to parenchymal brain cells. Accordingly, astrocytes have the capacity to efficiently take up, store and to export copper. Cultured astrocytes appear to be remarkably resistant against copper-induced toxicity. However, copper exposure can lead to profound alterations in the metabolism of these cells. This article will summarize the current knowledge on the copper metabolism of astrocytes, will describe copper-induced alterations in the glucose and glutathione metabolism of astrocytes and will address the potential role of astrocytes in the copper metabolism of the brain in diseases that have been connected with disturbances in brain copper homeostasis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. ROS detoxification and proinflammatory cytokines are linked by p38 MAPK signaling in a model of mature astrocyte activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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. 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.

  9. Controlled release of 6-aminonicotinamide from aligned, electrospun fibers alters astrocyte metabolism and dorsal root ganglia neurite outgrowth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaub, Nicholas J.; Gilbert, Ryan J.

    2011-08-01

    Following central nervous system (CNS) injury, activated astrocytes form a glial scar that inhibits the migration of axons ultimately leading to regeneration failure. Biomaterials developed for CNS repair can provide local delivery of therapeutics and/or guidance mechanisms to encourage cell migration into damaged regions of the brain or spinal cord. Electrospun fibers are a promising type of biomaterial for CNS injury since these fibers can direct cellular and axonal migration while slowly delivering therapy to the injury site. In this study, it was hypothesized that inclusion of an anti-metabolite, 6-aminonicotinamide (6AN), within poly-l-lactic acid electrospun fibers could attenuate astrocyte metabolic activity while still directing axonal outgrowth. Electrospinning parameters were varied to produce highly aligned electrospun fibers that contained 10% or 20% (w/w) 6AN. 6AN release from the fiber substrates occurred continuously over 2 weeks. Astrocytes placed onto drug-releasing fibers were less active than those cultured on scaffolds without 6AN. Dorsal root ganglia placed onto control and drug-releasing scaffolds were able to direct neurites along the aligned fibers. However, neurite outgrowth was stunted by fibers that contained 20% 6AN. These results show that 6AN release from aligned, electrospun fibers can decrease astrocyte activity while still directing axonal outgrowth.

  10. Reporting explained variance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, Ron; Fletcher, Harold J.

    The importance of reporting explained variance (sometimes referred to as magnitude of effects) in ANOVA designs is discussed in this paper. Explained variance is an estimate of the strength of the relationship between treatment (or other factors such as sex, grade level, etc.) and dependent variables of interest to the researcher(s). Three methods that can be used to obtain estimates of explained variance in ANOVA designs are described and applied to 16 studies that were reported in recent volumes of this journal. The results show that, while in most studies the treatment accounts for a relatively small proportion of the variance in dependent variable scores., in., some studies the magnitude of the treatment effect is respectable. The authors recommend that researchers in science education report explained variance in addition to the commonly reported tests of significance, since the latter are inadequate as the sole basis for making decisions about the practical importance of factors of interest to science education researchers.

  11. Transcriptional signatures of steroid hormones in the striatal neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piechota, Marcin; Korostynski, Michał; Golda, Slawomir; Ficek, Joanna; Jantas, Danuta; Barbara, Ziolkowska; Przewlocki, Ryszard

    2017-04-05

    The mechanisms of steroids actions in the brain mainly involve the binding and nuclear translocation of specific cytoplasmic receptors. These receptors can act as transcription factors and regulate gene expression. However, steroid-dependent transcriptional regulation in different types of neural cells is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare transcriptional alterations induced by various steroid receptor agonists in primary cultures of astrocytes and neurons from mouse brain. We utilized whole-genome microarrays (Illumina Mouse WG-6) and quantitative PCR analyses to measure mRNA abundance levels. To stimulate gene expression we treated neuronal and astroglial cultures with dexamethasone (100 nM), aldosterone (200 nM), progesterone (200 nM), 5α-dihydrotestosterone (200 nM) and β-Estradiol (200 nM) for 4 h. Neurons were found to exhibit higher levels of expression of mineralocorticoid receptor, progesterone receptor and estrogen receptor 2 than astrocytes. However, higher mRNA level of glucocorticoid receptor mRNA was observed in astrocytes. We identified 956 genes regulated by steroids. In astrocytes we found 381 genes altered by dexamethasone and 19 altered by aldosterone. Functional classification of the regulated genes indicated their putative involvement in multiple aspects of cell metabolism (up-regulated Slc2a1, Pdk4 and Slc45a3) and the inflammatory response (down-regulated Ccl3, Il1b and Tnf). Progesterone, dihydrotestosterone and estradiol did not change gene expression in astrocytes. We found no significant changes in gene expression in neurons. The obtained results indicate that glial cells might be the primary targets of transcriptional action of steroids in the central nervous system. Substantial changes in gene expression driven by the glucocorticoid receptor imply an important role for the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the hormone-dependent regulation of brain physiology. This is an in vitro

  12. 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.

  13. Targeted deletion of Aqp4 promotes the formation of astrocytic gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoozi, Shirin; Skauli, Nadia; Rahmani, Soulmaz; Camassa, Laura M A; Boldt, Henning B; Ottersen, Ole P; Amiry-Moghaddam, Mahmood

    2017-12-01

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the predominant water channel in the brain and is expressed in high density in astrocytes. By fluxing water along osmotic gradients, AQP4 contributes to brain volume and ion homeostasis. Here we ask whether deletion of Aqp4 leads to upregulation of the gap junctional proteins connexin-43 (Cx43) and connexin-30 (Cx30). These molecules couple adjacent astrocytes to each other and allow water and ions to redistribute within the astrocyte syncytium. Immunogold analysis of parietal cortex and hippocampus showed that the number of gap junctions per capillary profile is increased in AQP4 knockout (AQP4 KO) mice. The most pronounced changes were observed for Cx43 in hippocampus where the number of connexin labeled gap junctions increased by 100% following AQP4 KO. Western blot analysis of whole tissue homogenates showed no change in the amount of Cx43 or Cx30 protein after AQP4 KO. However, AQP4 KO led to a significant increase in the amount of Cx43 in a Triton X-100 insoluble fraction. This fraction is associated with connexin assembly into gap junctional plaques in the plasma membrane. In line with our immunoblot data, RT-qPCR showed no significant increase in Cx43 and Cx30 mRNA levels after AQP4 KO. Our findings suggest that AQP4 KO leads to increased aggregation of Cx43 into gap junctions and provide a putative mechanistic basis for the enhanced tracer coupling in hippocampi of AQP4 KO mice. The increased number of gap junctions in AQP4 deficient mice may explain why Aqp4 deletion has rather modest effects on brain volume and K+ homeostasis.

  14. Defensive Perimeter in the Central Nervous System: Predominance of Astrocytes and Astrogliosis during Recovery from Varicella-Zoster Virus Encephalitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, John E; Clayton, Amy C; Halling, Kevin C; Bonthius, Daniel J; Buckingham, Erin M; Jackson, Wallen; Dotzler, Steven M; Card, J Patrick; Enquist, Lynn W; Grose, Charles

    2015-10-21

    response by a human host to VZV infection. In this report, we examined both flash-frozen and paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed brain tissue of an otherwise healthy young male with focal VZV encephalitis, most likely acquired from VZV reactivation in the trigeminal ganglion. Of note, the cellular response to VZV infection mimicked the response to other causes of trauma to the brain, namely, an ingress of astrocytes and astrogliosis around an infectious focus. Many of the astrocytes themselves were infected; astrocytes aggregated in clusters. We postulate that astrogliosis represents a successful defense mechanism by an immunocompetent human host to eliminate VZV reactivation within neurons. Copyright © 2015 Carpenter et al.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis in astrocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Auestad, N.

    1988-01-01

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

  18. Early genetic changes involved in low-grade astrocytic tumor development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arjona, Dolores; Rey, Juan Antonio; Taylor, Shirley M

    2006-09-01

    Astrocytomas represent the most common form of glial tumors. The most malignant grade of these tumors, glioblastoma multiforme, may arise as a malignant progression from low-grade astrocytoma through anaplastic astrocytoma to secondary GBM, or else it may arise "de novo" as primary GBM. Both types of glioblastoma are usually histologically indistinguishable. However, distinct molecular alterations have been described between them that potentially allow differentiation between the two mechanisms of origin. Since malignant transformation is a multistep process, we summarize in this review the earliest genetic changes that seem to be involved in the appearance and development of low-grade astrocytic tumors, where early detection and treatment could be possible.

  19. Astrocyte-dependent protective effect of quetiapine on GABAergic neuron is associated with the prevention of anxiety-like behaviors in aging mice after long-term treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Junhui; Zhu, Shenghua; Wang, Hongxing; He, Jue; Zhang, Yanbo; Adilijiang, Abulimiti; Zhang, Handi; Hartle, Kelly; Guo, Huining; Kong, Jiming; Huang, Qingjun; Li, Xin-Min

    2014-09-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that quetiapine (QTP) may have neuroprotective properties; however, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we identified a novel mechanism by which QTP increased the synthesis of ATP in astrocytes and protected GABAergic neurons from aging-induced death. In 12-month-old mice, QTP significantly improved cell number of GABAegic neurons in the cortex and ameliorated anxiety-like behaviors compared to control group. Complimentary in vitro studies showed that QTP had no direct effect on the survival of aging GABAergic neurons in culture. Astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) pretreated with QTP (ACMQTP) for 24 h effectively protected GABAergic neurons against aging-induced spontaneous cell death. It was also found that QTP boosted the synthesis of ATP from cultured astrocytes after 24 h of treatment, which might be responsible for the protective effects on neurons. Consistent with the above findings, a Rhodamine 123 test showed that ACMQTP, not QTP itself, was able to prevent the decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential in the aging neurons. For the first time, our study has provided evidence that astrocytes may be the conduit through which QTP is able to exert its neuroprotective effects on GABAergic neurons. The neuroprotective properties of quetiapine (QTP) have not been fully understood. Here, we identify a novel mechanism by which QTP increases the synthesis of ATP in astrocytes and protects GABAergic neurons from aging-induced death in a primary cell culture model. In 12-month-old mice, QTP significantly improves cell number of GABAegic neurons and ameliorates anxiety-like behaviors. Our study indicates that astrocytes may be the conduit through which QTP exerts its neuroprotective effects on GABAergic neurons. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  20. An APC:WNT counter-current-like mechanism regulates cell division along the colonic crypt axis: a mechanism that explains how APC mutations induce proliferative abnormalities that drive colon cancer development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce M Boman

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available APC normally down-regulates WNT signaling in human colon, and APC mutations cause proliferative abnormalities in premalignant crypts leading to colon cancer, but the mechanisms are unclear at the level of spatial and functional organization of the crypt. Accordingly, we postulated a counter-current-like mechanism based on gradients of factors (APC;WNT that regulate colonocyte proliferation along the crypt axis. During crypt renewal, stem cells (SCs at the crypt bottom generate non-SC daughter cells that proliferate and differentiate while migrating upwards. The APC concentration is low at the crypt bottom and high at the top (where differentiated cells reside. WNT signaling, in contrast, is high at the bottom (where SCs reside and low at the top. Given that WNT and APC gradients are counter to one another, we hypothesized that a counter-current-like mechanism exists. Since both APC and WNT signaling components (e.g. survivin are required for mitosis, this mechanism establishes a zone in the lower crypt where conditions are optimal for maximal cell division and mitosis orientation (symmetric versus asymmetric. APC haploinsufficiency diminishes the APC gradient, shifts the proliferative zone upwards, and increases symmetric division, which causes SC overpopulation. In homozygote mutant crypts, these changes are exacerbated. Thus, APC-mutation-induced changes in the counter-current-like mechanism cause expansion of proliferative populations (SCs, rapidly-proliferating cells during tumorigenesis. We propose this mechanism also drives crypt fission, functions in the crypt cycle, and underlies adenoma development. Novel chemoprevention approaches designed to normalize the two gradients and readjust the proliferative zone downwards, might thwart progression of these premalignant changes.

  1. MeCP2 modulates gene expression pathways in astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasui Dag H

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutations in MECP2 encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2 cause the X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome patients exhibit neurological symptoms that include irregular breathing, impaired mobility, stereotypic hand movements, and loss of speech. MeCP2 protein epigenetically modulates gene expression through genome-wide binding to methylated CpG dinucleotides. While neurons have the highest level of MeCP2 expression, astrocytes and other cell types also express detectable levels of MeCP2. Recent studies suggest that astrocytes likely control the progression of Rett syndrome. Thus, the object of these studies was to identify gene targets that are affected by loss of MeCP2 binding in astrocytes. Methods To identify gene targets of MeCP2 in astrocytes, combined approaches of expression microarray and chromatin immunoprecipitation of MeCP2 followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq were compared between wild-type and MeCP2-deficient astrocytes. MeCP2 gene targets were compared with genes in the top 10% of MeCP2 binding levels in gene windows either within 2 kb upstream of the transcription start site, or the ‘gene body’ that extended from transcription start to end site, or 2 kb downstream of the transcription end site. Results A total of 118 gene transcripts surpassed the highly significant threshold (P 1.2 in expression microarray analysis from triplicate cultures. The top 10% of genes with the highest levels of MeCP2 binding were identified in two independent ChIP-seq experiments. Together this integrated, genome-wide screen for MeCP2 target genes provided an overlapping list of 19 high-confidence MeCP2-responsive gene transcripts in astrocytes. Validation of candidate target gene transcripts by RT-PCR revealed that expression of Apoc2, Cdon, Csrp and Nrep were consistently responsive to MeCP2 deficiency in astrocytes. Conclusions The first MeCP2 ChIP-seq and gene expression microarray analysis in

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Interferon-Gamma Promotes Infection of Astrocytes by Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Rafael Rodrigues; Mariante, Rafael M.; Silva, Andrea Alice; dos Santos, Ana Luiza Barbosa; Roffê, Ester; Santiago, Helton; Gazzinelli, Ricardo Tostes; Lannes-Vieira, Joseli

    2015-01-01

    The inflammatory cytokine interferon-gamma (IFNγ) is crucial for immunity against intracellular pathogens such as the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease (CD). IFNγ is a pleiotropic cytokine which regulates activation of immune and non-immune cells; however, the effect of IFNγ in the central nervous system (CNS) and astrocytes during CD is unknown. Here we show that parasite persists in the CNS of C3H/He mice chronically infected with the Colombian T. cruzi strain despite the increased expression of IFNγ mRNA. Furthermore, most of the T. cruzi-bearing cells were astrocytes located near IFNγ+ cells. Surprisingly, in vitro experiments revealed that pretreatment with IFNγ promoted the infection of astrocytes by T. cruzi increasing uptake and proliferation of intracellular forms, despite inducing increased production of nitric oxide (NO). Importantly, the effect of IFNγ on T. cruzi uptake and growth is completely blocked by the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibody Infliximab and partially blocked by the inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis L-NAME. These data support that IFNγ fuels astrocyte infection by T. cruzi and critically implicate IFNγ-stimulated T. cruzi-infected astrocytes as sources of TNF and NO, which may contribute to parasite persistence and CNS pathology in CD. PMID:25695249

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sotome, S; Shimizu, A [Department of Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis, Soka University, 1-326 Tangi-cho, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-8577 (Japan); Nakajima, K [Department of Bioinformatics, Soka University, 1-326 Tangi-cho, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-8577 (Japan); Yoshimura, Y, E-mail: sotome_shinichi@yahoo.co.j [Department of Applied Chemistry, National Defence Academy, 1-10-20 Hashirimizu, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-8686 (Japan)

    2010-03-01

    The effects of pressure on the survival rate of astrocytes in growth medium (DMEM) were investigated at room temperature and at 4{sup 0}C, in an effort to establish the best conditions for the preservation. Survival rate at 4{sup 0}C was found to be higher than that at room temperature. The survival rate of astrocytes preserved for 4 days at 4{sup 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{sup 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.

  6. Effects of Hydro Alcoholic Extraction of Valeriana on Astrocyte Raphe Magnus in Adult Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    sajad Hatami joni

    2014-12-01

    Conclusion: Oral administration of hydro alcoholic extract of valerian increases astrocytes number and decreases their size in nucleus of raphe Magna, which indicated the effect of this extraction on proliferation of astrocytes increasing.

  7. Control of excitatory CNS synaptogenesis by astrocyte-secreted proteins Hevin and SPARC

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hakan Kucukdereli; Nicola J. Allen; Anthony T. Lee; Ava Feng; M. Ilcim Ozlu; Laura M. Conatser; Chandrani Chakraborty; Gail Workman; Matthew Weaver; E. Helene Sage; Ben A. Barres; Cagla Eroglu

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes regulate synaptic connectivity in the CNS through secreted signals. Here we identified two astrocyte-secreted proteins, hevin and SPARC, as regulators of excitatory synaptogenesis in vitro and in vivo...

  8. Methylene Blue Protects Astrocytes against Glucose Oxygen Deprivation by Improving Cellular Respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy Choudhury, Gourav; Winters, Ali; Rich, Ryan M.; Ryou, Myoung-Gwi; Gryczynski, Zygmunt; Yuan, Fang; Yang, Shao-Hua; Liu, Ran

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes outnumber neurons and serve many metabolic and trophic functions in the mammalian brain. Preserving astrocytes is critical for normal brain function as well as for protecting the brain against various insults. Our previous studies have indicated that methylene blue (MB) functions as an alternative electron carrier and enhances brain metabolism. In addition, MB has been shown to be protective against neurodegeneration and brain injury. In the current study, we investigated the protective role of MB in astrocytes. Cell viability assays showed that MB treatment significantly protected primary astrocytes from oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) & reoxygenation induced cell death. We also studied the effect of MB on cellular oxygen and glucose metabolism in primary astrocytes following OGD-reoxygenation injury. MB treatment significantly increased cellular oxygen consumption, glucose uptake and ATP production in primary astrocytes. In conclusion our study demonstrated that MB protects astrocytes against OGD-reoxygenation injury by improving astrocyte cellular respiration. PMID:25848957

  9. Methylene blue protects astrocytes against glucose oxygen deprivation by improving cellular respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy Choudhury, Gourav; Winters, Ali; Rich, Ryan M; Ryou, Myoung-Gwi; Gryczynski, Zygmunt; Yuan, Fang; Yang, Shao-Hua; Liu, Ran

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes outnumber neurons and serve many metabolic and trophic functions in the mammalian brain. Preserving astrocytes is critical for normal brain function as well as for protecting the brain against various insults. Our previous studies have indicated that methylene blue (MB) functions as an alternative electron carrier and enhances brain metabolism. In addition, MB has been shown to be protective against neurodegeneration and brain injury. In the current study, we investigated the protective role of MB in astrocytes. Cell viability assays showed that MB treatment significantly protected primary astrocytes from oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) & reoxygenation induced cell death. We also studied the effect of MB on cellular oxygen and glucose metabolism in primary astrocytes following OGD-reoxygenation injury. MB treatment significantly increased cellular oxygen consumption, glucose uptake and ATP production in primary astrocytes. In conclusion our study demonstrated that MB protects astrocytes against OGD-reoxygenation injury by improving astrocyte cellular respiration.

  10. 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.

  11. Computer jargon explained

    CERN Document Server

    Enticknap, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    Computer Jargon Explained is a feature in Computer Weekly publications that discusses 68 of the most commonly used technical computing terms. The book explains what the terms mean and why the terms are important to computer professionals. The text also discusses how the terms relate to the trends and developments that are driving the information technology industry. Computer jargon irritates non-computer people and in turn causes problems for computer people. The technology and the industry are changing so rapidly; it is very hard even for professionals to keep updated. Computer people do not

  12. 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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    DiNuzzo, Mauro; Giove, Federico; Maraviglia, Bruno

    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...... 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...

  13. Ischemia preconditioning protects astrocytes from ischemic injury through 14-3-3γ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Ying; Chai, Chao Rui; Gao, Kai; Jia, Xi Hua; Kong, Jin Ge; Chen, Xiao Qian; Vatcher, Greg; Chen, Jian Guo; Yu, Albert Cheung Hoi

    2015-10-01

    Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability, and new strategies are required to reduce neuronal injury and improve prognosis. Ischemia preconditioning (IPC) is an intrinsic phenomenon that protects cells from subsequent ischemic injury and might provide promising mechanisms for clinical treatment. In this study, primary astrocytes exhibited significantly less cell death than control when exposed to different durations of IPC (15, 30, 60, or 120 min). A 15-min duration was the most effective IPC to protect astrocytes from 8-hr-ischemia injury. The protective mechanisms of IPC involve the upregulation of protective proteins, including 14-3-3γ, and attenuation of malondialdehyde (MDA) content and ATP depletion. 14-3-3γ is an antiapoptotic intracellular protein that was significantly upregulated for up to 84 hr after IPC. In addition, IPC promoted activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)-1/2, p38, and protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathways. When JNK was specifically inhibited with SP600125, the upregulation of 14-3-3γ induced by IPC was almost completely abolished; however, there was no effect on ATP or MDA levels. This suggests that, even though both energy preservation and 14-3-3γ up-regulation were turned on by IPC, they were controlled by different pathways. The ERK1/2, p38, and Akt signaling pathways were not involved in the 14-3-3γ upregulation and energy preservation. These results indicate that IPC could protect astrocytes from ischemia injury by inducing 14-3-3γ and by alleviating energy depletion through different pathways, suggesting multiple protection of IPC and providing new insights into potential stroke therapies. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Vitamin D Analogues with a p-Hydroxyphenyl Group at the C25 Position: Crystal Structure of Vitamin D Receptor Ligand-Binding Domain Complexed with the Ligand Explains the Mechanism Underlying Full Antagonistic Action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Akira; Yamao, Makiko; Hashihara, Yuta; Ishida, Hiroaki; Itoh, Toshimasa; Yamamoto, Keiko

    2017-10-26

    Vitamin D receptor (VDR) antagonists can be classified into two categories: the first category of VDR antagonists, which do not stabilize the helix 11-12, and the second category of antagonists, which destabilize the helix 6-7 region. To elucidate the mechanism underlying the first category antagonists by using the crystal structure, we designed and synthesized several VDR ligands with a p-hydroxyphenyl group at the C25-position. Of these, 22S-butyl-25-carbonyl analogue 5b and 25-di-p-hydoroxyphenyl analogues 6a,b showed strong antagonistic activity. We succeeded in cocrystallizing the ligand-binding domain of VDR complexed with 5b and found that the structure showed an alternative conformation of the helix 11-12 that explained the mechanism of the first category antagonists. Taking the present and previous studies together, we could elucidate the mechanisms underlying first and second categories antagonists based on individual crystal structures. This study provides significant insights into antagonism against not only VDR but also nuclear receptors.

  15. Explaining the Oxbridge Figures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Bronwyn; Harre, Rom

    1989-01-01

    Rejects sociobiological theories on female academic achievement and bases findings on social structure to explain why undergraduate women at Oxford University (England) achieve fewer first places and more second places in class honors. Bases theory on bipolarity of gender as an organizing principle of society. Claims that the double bind of social…

  16. The wireless internet explained

    CERN Document Server

    Rhoton, John

    2001-01-01

    The Wireless Internet Explained covers the full spectrum of wireless technologies from a wide range of vendors, including initiatives by Microsoft and Compaq. The Wireless Internet Explained takes a practical look at wireless technology. Rhoton explains the concepts behind the physics, and provides an overview that clarifies the convoluted set of standards heaped together under the umbrella of wireless. It then expands on these technical foundations to give a panorama of the increasingly crowded landscape of wireless product offerings. When it comes to actual implementation the book gives abundant down-to-earth advice on topics ranging from the selection and deployment of mobile devices to the extremely sensitive subject of security.Written by an expert on Internet messaging, the author of Digital Press''s successful Programmer''s Guide to Internet Mail and X.400 and SMTP: Battle of the E-mail Protocols, The Wireless Internet Explained describes and evaluates the current state of the fast-growing and crucial...

  17. Induction of functional dopamine neurons from human astrocytes in vitro and mouse astrocytes in a Parkinson's disease model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivetti di Val Cervo, Pia; Romanov, Roman A; Spigolon, Giada; Masini, Débora; Martín-Montañez, Elisa; Toledo, Enrique M; La Manno, Gioele; Feyder, Michael; Pifl, Christian; Ng, Yi-Han; Sánchez, Sara Padrell; Linnarsson, Sten; Wernig, Marius; Harkany, Tibor; Fisone, Gilberto; Arenas, Ernest

    2017-05-01

    Cell replacement therapies for neurodegenerative disease have focused on transplantation of the cell types affected by the pathological process. Here we describe an alternative strategy for Parkinson's disease in which dopamine neurons are generated by direct conversion of astrocytes. Using three transcription factors, NEUROD1, ASCL1 and LMX1A, and the microRNA miR218, collectively designated NeAL218, we reprogram human astrocytes in vitro, and mouse astrocytes in vivo, into induced dopamine neurons (iDANs). Reprogramming efficiency in vitro is improved by small molecules that promote chromatin remodeling and activate the TGFβ, Shh and Wnt signaling pathways. The reprogramming efficiency of human astrocytes reaches up to 16%, resulting in iDANs with appropriate midbrain markers and excitability. In a mouse model of Parkinson's disease, NeAL218 alone reprograms adult striatal astrocytes into iDANs that are excitable and correct some aspects of motor behavior in vivo, including gait impairments. With further optimization, this approach may enable clinical therapies for Parkinson's disease by delivery of genes rather than cells.

  18. Cell type-specific dependency on the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway for the endogenous Epo and VEGF induction by baicalein in neurons versus astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Yo Sun

    Full Text Available The neuroprotective effect of baicalein is generally attributed to inhibition of 12/15-lipoxygenase (12/15-LOX and suppression of oxidative stress, but recent studies showed that baicalein also activates hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIF1α through inhibition of prolyl hydrolase 2 (PHD2 and activation of the phosphatidylinositide-3 kinase (PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Yet, the significance and regulation of prosurvival cytokines erythropoietin (Epo and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, two transcriptional targets of HIF1α, in baicalein-mediated neuroprotection in neurons and astrocytes remains unknown. Here we investigated the causal relationship between the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and Epo/VEGF expression in baicalein-mediated neuroprotection in primary rat cortical neurons and astrocytes. Our results show that baicalein induced Epo and VEGF expression in a HIF1α- and PI3K/Akt-dependent manner in neurons. Baicalein also protected neurons against excitotoxicity in a PI3K- and Epo/VEGF-dependent manner without affecting neuronal excitability. In contrast, at least a 10-fold higher concentration of baicalein was needed to induce Epo/VEGF production and PI3K/Akt activity in astrocytes for protection of neurons. Moreover, only baicalein-induced astrocytic VEGF, but not Epo expression requires HIF1α, while PI3K/Akt signaling had little role in baicalein-induced astrocytic Epo/VEGF expression. These results suggest distinct mechanisms of baicalein-mediated Epo/VEGF production in neurons and astrocytes for neuroprotection, and provide new insights into the mechanisms and potential of baicalein in treating brain injury in vivo.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto E. Sica

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Autophagy in astrocytes: a novel culprit in lysosomal storage disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Malta, Chiara; Fryer, John D; Settembre, Carmine; Ballabio, Andrea

    2012-12-01

    Neurodegeneration is a prominent feature of lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). Emerging data identify autophagy dysfunction in neurons as a major component of the phenotype. However, the autophagy pathway in the CNS has been studied predominantly in neurons, whereas in other cell types it has been largely unexplored. We studied the lysosome-autophagic pathway in astrocytes from a murine model of multiple sulfatase deficiency (MSD), a severe form of LSD. Similar to what was observed in neurons, we found that lysosomal storage in astrocytes impairs autophagosome maturation and this, in turn, has an impact upon the survival of cortical neurons and accounts for some of the neurological features found in MSD. Thus, our data indicate that lysosomal/autophagic dysfunction in astrocytes is an important component of neurodegeneration in LSDs.

  1. Novel cell separation method for molecular analysis of neuron-astrocyte co-cultures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goudriaan, A.; Camargo, N.K.; Carney, K.E.; Oliet, S.H.R.; Smit, A.B.; Verheijen, M.H.G.

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. File list: Oth.Neu.50.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Neu.50.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 TFs and others Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX32621...2 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.Neu.50.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

  3. File list: Oth.Neu.05.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Neu.05.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 TFs and others Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX32621...2 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.Neu.05.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

  4. File list: ALL.Neu.05.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ALL.Neu.05.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 All antigens Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX326212,...SRX326211 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/ALL.Neu.05.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

  5. File list: ALL.Neu.50.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ALL.Neu.50.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 All antigens Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX326212,...SRX326211 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/ALL.Neu.50.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

  6. File list: ALL.Neu.10.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ALL.Neu.10.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 All antigens Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX326212,...SRX326211 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/ALL.Neu.10.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

  7. File list: ALL.Neu.20.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ALL.Neu.20.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 All antigens Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX326212,...SRX326211 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/ALL.Neu.20.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

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

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Neu.10.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 TFs and others Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX32621...2 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.Neu.10.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

  9. File list: Oth.Neu.20.AllAg.Astrocytes [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Neu.20.AllAg.Astrocytes mm9 TFs and others Neural Astrocytes SRX109474,SRX32621...2 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.Neu.20.AllAg.Astrocytes.bed ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Expression of neuronal antigens by astrocytes derived from EGF-generated neuroprogenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schinstine, M; Iacovitti, L

    1996-09-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that astrocytes reacting to CNS injury can express antigens normally associated with neurons. The origin of the reactive astrocytes, i.e., whether they are newly differentiated glial cells or preexisting astrocytes somehow triggered to express neuronal markers, remains difficult to determine using an in vivo model system. An in vitro model may prove more manageable. In the present study, primary brain cultures and EGF-generated neuroprogenitor cells were used to study the expression of neuronal antigens by established (primary) and nascent astrocytes, respectively. Astrocytes derived directly from dissociated mouse brains exhibited a flat morphology typical of type 1 astrocytes. These cells were nestin and GFAP positive and, in most cases, the antigens were colocalized. Primary astrocytes did not appear to express the putative neuronal markers GABA, Tau, or MAP2. Nascent astrocytes derived from EGF-generated progenitor cells showed a similar pattern of GFAP and nestin immunoreactivity. Contrary to primary astrocytes, many GFAP-intensive, stellate astrocytes exhibited Tau and MAP2. These cells also exhibited an intense nestin immunoreactivity. These data suggest that the reactive astrocytes expressing neuronal antigens in response to CNS trauma may be derived from neural progenitor cells rather than from previously differentiated astrocytes.

  12. Contributions of Glycogen to Astrocytic Energetics during Brain Activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A.; Cruz, Nancy F.

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Astrocytes in oligodendrocyte lineage development and white matter pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiasi eLi

    2016-05-01

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

  14. NT2 derived neuronal and astrocytic network signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J Hill

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

  15. Dysfunctional TCA-Cycle Metabolism in Glutamate Dehydrogenase Deficient Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nissen, Jakob D; Pajęcka, Kamilla; Stridh, Malin H

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antje Grosche

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

  17. PPAR-γ Impairment Alters Peroxisome Functionality in Primary Astrocyte Cell Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Di Cesare Mannelli

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Peroxisomes provide glial cells with protective functions against the harmful effects of H2O2 on neurons and peroxisome impairment results in nervous lesions. Agonists of the γ-subtype of the Peroxisome-Proliferator-Activated-Receptors (PPAR have been proposed as neuroprotective agents in neurodegenerative disorders. Nevertheless, the role of PPAR-γ alterations in pathophysiological mechanisms and the relevance of peroxisome functions in the PPAR-γ effects are not yet clear. In a primary cell culture of rat astrocytes, the irreversible PPAR-γ antagonist GW9662 concentration-dependently decreased the activity of catalase, the most important antioxidant defense enzyme in peroxisomes. Catalase functionality recovered in a few days and the PPAR-γ agonist rosiglitazone promoted reversal of enzymatic damage. The reversible antagonist G3335 reduced both the activity and expression of catalase in a rosiglitazone-prevented manner. G3335 reduced also the glutathione reductase expression, indicating that enzyme involved in glutathione regeneration was compromised. Neither the PPAR-α target gene Acyl-Coenzyme-A-oxidase-1 nor the mitochondrial detoxifying enzyme NADH:ubiquinone-oxidoreductase (NDFUS3 was altered by PPAR-γ inhibition. In conclusion, PPAR-γ inhibition induced impairment of catalase in astrocytes. A general decrease of the antioxidant defenses of the cell suggests that a PPAR-γ hypofunction could participate in neurodegenerative mechanisms through peroxisomal damage. This series of experiments could be a useful model for studying compounds able to restore peroxisome functionality.

  18. Plasma Albumin Induces Cytosolic Calcium Oscilations and DNA Synthesis in Human Cultured Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Vega-Zelaya

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available So far, a little is known about transition from normal to focal epileptic brain, although disruption in blood-brain barrier and albumin had recently involved. The main objective of this work is to characterize the response of cultured human astrocytes to plasma albumin, including induction of DNA synthesis. Cortical tissue was obtained from 9 patients operated from temporal lobe epilepsy. Astrocytes were cultured for 3-4 weeks and cytosolic calcium concentration (Ca2+c was measured. Bovine and human plasma albumin were used. We observed that low albumin concentration decreases Ca2+c, while higher concentration, induces increase in Ca2+c. It was shown that increase in Ca2+c was mediated by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and released from internal stores. Increase in Ca2+c was reduced to 19% by blocking the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-βR receptor. Albumin induces DNA synthesis in a dose-response manner. Finally, induction of DNA synthesis can be partially blocked by heparin and block of TGF-β; however, the combination of both incompletely inhibits DNA synthesis. Therefore, results suggest that mechanisms other than Ca2+ signals and TGF-β receptor activation might induce DNA synthesis in a lesser degree. These results may be important to further understand the mechanisms involved in the transition from normal to focal epileptic brain.

  19. Inhibiting spinal neuron-astrocytic activation correlates with synergistic analgesia of dexmedetomidine and ropivacaine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang-Hui Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: This study aims to identify that intrathecal (i.t. injection of dexmedetomidine (Dex and ropivacaine (Ropi induces synergistic analgesia on chronic inflammatory pain and is accompanied with corresponding "neuron-astrocytic" alterations. METHODS: Male, adult Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into sham, control and i.t. medication groups. The analgesia profiles of i.t. Dex, Ropi, and their combination detected by Hargreaves heat test were investigated on the subcutaneous (s.c. injection of complete Freund adjuvant (CFA induced chronic pain in rat and their synergistic analgesia was confirmed by using isobolographic analysis. During consecutive daily administration, pain behavior was daily recorded, and immunohistochemical staining was applied to investigate the number of Fos-immunoreactive (Fos-ir neurons on hour 2 and day 1, 3 and 7, and the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP within the spinal dorsal horn (SDH on day 1, 3, 5 and 7 after s.c. injection of CFA, respectively, and then Western blot to examine spinal GFAP and β-actin levels on day 3 and 7. RESULTS: i.t. Dex or Ropi displayed a short-term analgesia in a dose-dependent manner, and consecutive daily administrations of their combination showed synergistic analgesia and remarkably down-regulated neuronal and astrocytic activations indicated by decreases in the number of Fos-ir neurons and the GFAP expression within the SDH, respectively. CONCLUSION: i.t. co-delivery of Dex and Ropi shows synergistic analgesia on the chronic inflammatory pain, in which spinal "neuron-astrocytic activation" mechanism may play an important role.

  20. Sildenafil (Viagra(®)) prevents and restores LPS-induced inflammation in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Santana Nunes, Ana Karolina; Rapôso, Catarina; Björklund, Ulrika; da Cruz-Höfling, Maria Alice; Peixoto, Christina Alves; Hansson, Elisabeth

    2016-09-06

    Astrocytes are effectively involved in the pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system (CNS) and may contribute to or protect against development of inflammatory and degenerative diseases. Sildenafil is a potent and selective phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor, which induces cyclic GMP accumulation. However, the mechanisms of actions on glial cells are not clear. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the role of sildenafil in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated astrocytes. The cytoskeleton integrity and Ca(2+) waves were assessed as indicators of inflammatory state. Two main groups were done: (A) one prevention and (B) one restoration. Each of these groups: A1: control; A2: LPS for 24h; A3: sildenafil 1 or 10μM for 4h and then sildenafil 1 or 10μM+LPS for 24h. B1: control; B2: LPS for 24h; B3: LPS for 24h and then LPS+sildenafil 1 or 10μM for 24h. Cytoskeleton integrity was analyzed through GFAP immunolabeling and actin labeling with an Alexa 488-conjugated phalloidin probe. Calcium responses were assessed through a Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorophore Fura-2/AM. The results show that both preventive and restorative treatments with sildenafil (in both concentrations) reduced the Ca(2+) responses in intensity and induced a more organized actin fiber pattern, compared to LPS treated cells. This work demonstrated for the first time that astrocytes are a key part of the sildenafil protective effects in the CNS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Resveratrol protects C6 astrocyte cell line against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress through heme oxygenase 1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Quincozes-Santos

    Full Text Available Resveratrol, a polyphenol presents in grapes and wine, displays antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and cytoprotective effect in brain pathologies associated to oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. In previous work, we demonstrated that resveratrol exerts neuroglial modulation, improving glial functions, mainly related to glutamate metabolism. Astrocytes are a major class of glial cells and regulate neurotransmitter systems, synaptic processing, energy metabolism and defense against oxidative stress. This study sought to determine the protective effect of resveratrol against hydrogen peroxide (H2O2-induced cytotoxicity in C6 astrocyte cell line, an astrocytic lineage, on neurochemical parameters and their cellular and biochemical mechanisms. H2O2 exposure increased oxidative-nitrosative stress, iNOS expression, cytokine proinflammatory release (TNFα levels and mitochondrial membrane potential dysfunction and decreased antioxidant defenses, such as SOD, CAT and creatine kinase activity. Resveratrol strongly prevented C6 cells from H2O2-induced toxicity by modulating glial, oxidative and inflammatory responses. Resveratrol per se increased heme oxygenase 1 (HO1 expression and extracellular GSH content. In addition, HO1 signaling pathway is involved in the protective effect of resveratrol against H2O2-induced oxidative damage in astroglial cells. Taken together, these results show that resveratrol represents an important mechanism for protection of glial cells against oxidative stress.

  2. Explaining mirror-touch synesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jamie; Banissy, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Mirror-touch synesthesia (MTS) is the conscious experience of tactile sensations induced by seeing someone else touched. This paper considers two different, although not mutually exclusive, theoretical explanations and, in the final section, considers the relation between MTS and other forms of synesthesia and also other kinds of vicarious perception (e.g., contagious yawning). The Threshold Theory explains MTS in terms of hyper-activity within a mirror system for touch and/or pain. This offers a good account for some of the evidence (e.g., from fMRI) but fails to explain the whole pattern (e.g., structural brain differences outside of this system; performance on some tests of social cognition). The Self-Other Theory explains MTS in terms of disturbances in the ability to distinguish the self from others. This can be construed in terms of over-extension of the bodily self in to others, or as difficulties in the control of body-based self-other representations. In this account, MTS is a symptom of a broader cognitive profile. We suggest this meets the criteria for synesthesia, despite the proximal causal mechanisms remaining largely unknown, and that the tendency to localize vicarious sensory experiences distinguishes it from other kinds of seemingly related phenomena (e.g., non-localized affective responses to observing pain).

  3. The α2β2 isoform combination dominates the astrocytic Na+ /K+ -ATPase activity and is rendered nonfunctional by the α2.G301R familial hemiplegic migraine type 2-associated mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoica, Anca; Larsen, Brian Roland; Assentoft, Mette; Holm, Rikke; Holt, Leanne Melissa; Vilhardt, Frederik; Vilsen, Bente; Lykke-Hartmann, Karin; Olsen, Michelle Lynne; MacAulay, Nanna

    2017-11-01

    Synaptic activity results in transient elevations in extracellular K+ , clearance of which is critical for sustained function of the nervous system. The K+ clearance is, in part, accomplished by the neighboring astrocytes by mechanisms involving the Na+ /K+ -ATPase. The Na+ /K+ -ATPase consists of an α and a β subunit, each with several isoforms present in the central nervous system, of which the α2β2 and α2β1 isoform combinations are kinetically geared for astrocytic K+ clearance. While transcript analysis data designate α2β2 as predominantly astrocytic, the relative quantitative protein distribution and isoform pairing remain unknown. As cultured astrocytes altered their isoform expression in vitro, we isolated a pure astrocytic fraction from rat brain by a novel immunomagnetic separation approach in order to determine the expression levels of α and β isoforms by immunoblotting. In order to compare the abundance of isoforms in astrocytic samples, semi-quantification was carried out with polyhistidine-tagged Na+ /K+ -ATPase subunit isoforms expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes as standards to obtain an efficiency factor for each antibody. Proximity ligation assay illustrated that α2 paired efficiently with both β1 and β2 and the semi-quantification of the astrocytic fraction indicated that the astrocytic Na+ /K+ -ATPase is dominated by α2, paired with β1 or β2 (in a 1:9 ratio). We demonstrate that while the familial hemiplegic migraine-associated α2.G301R mutant was not functionally expressed at the plasma membrane in a heterologous expression system, α2+/G301R mice displayed normal protein levels of α2 and glutamate transporters and that the one functional allele suffices to manage the general K+ dynamics. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuken Boku

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

  5. Linear Algebra Thoroughly Explained

    CERN Document Server

    Vujičić, Milan

    2008-01-01

    Linear Algebra Thoroughly Explained provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject suitable for adoption as a self-contained text for courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The clear and comprehensive presentation of the basic theory is illustrated throughout with an abundance of worked examples. The book is written for teachers and students of linear algebra at all levels and across mathematics and the applied sciences, particularly physics and engineering. It will also be an invaluable addition to research libraries as a comprehensive resource book for the subject.

  6. Small RNA interference-mediated gene silencing of TREK-1 potassium channel in cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiao; Tang, Ronghua; Liu, Yang; Song, Jingjiao; Yu, Zhiyuan; Wang, Wei; Xie, Minjie

    2012-12-01

    This study was aimed to examine the effect of TREK-1 silencing on the function of astrocytes. Three 21-nucleotide small interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes (siT1, siT2, siT3) targeting TREK-1 were constructed. Cy3-labeled dsRNA oligmers were used to determine the transfection efficiency in cultured astrocytes. TREK-1-specific siRNA duplexes (siT1, siT2, siT3) at the optimal concentration were transfected into cultured astrocytes, and the most efficient siRNA was identified by the method of immunocytochemical staining and Western blotting. The proliferation of astrocytes tranfected with TREK-1-targeting siRNA under hypoxia condition was measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The results showed that TREK-1 was expressed in cultured astrocytes. The dsRNA oligmers targeting TREK-1 could be transfected efficiently in cultured astrocytes and down-regulate the expression of TREK-1 in astrocytes. Moreover, the down-regulation of TREK-1 in astrocytes contributed to the proliferation of astrocytes under hypoxia condition as determined by cell cycle analysis. It was concluded that siRNA is a powerful technique that can be used to knockdown the expression of TREK-1 in astrocytes, which helps further investigate the function of TREK-1 channel in astrocytes under physicological and pathological condition.

  7. Inhibition of the Mitochondrial Glutamate Carrier SLC25A22 in Astrocytes Leads to Intracellular Glutamate Accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuelle Goubert

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The solute carrier family 25 (SLC25 drives the import of a large diversity of metabolites into mitochondria, a key cellular structure involved in many metabolic functions. Mutations of the mitochondrial glutamate carrier SLC25A22 (also named GC1 have been identified in early epileptic encephalopathy (EEE and migrating partial seizures in infancy (MPSI but the pathophysiological mechanism of GC1 deficiency is still unknown, hampered by the absence of an in vivo model. This carrier is mainly expressed in astrocytes and is the principal gate for glutamate entry into mitochondria. A sufficient supply of energy is essential for the proper function of the brain and mitochondria have a pivotal role in maintaining energy homeostasis. In this work, we wanted to study the consequences of GC1 absence in an in vitro model in order to understand if glutamate catabolism and/or mitochondrial function could be affected. First, short hairpin RNA (shRNA designed to specifically silence GC1 were validated in rat C6 glioma cells. Silencing GC1 in C6 resulted in a reduction of the GC1 mRNA combined with a decrease of the mitochondrial glutamate carrier activity. Then, primary astrocyte cultures were prepared and transfected with shRNA-GC1 or mismatch-RNA (mmRNA constructs using the Neon® Transfection System in order to target a high number of primary astrocytes, more than 64%. Silencing GC1 in primary astrocytes resulted in a reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (Phosphate (NAD(PH formation upon glutamate stimulation. We also observed that the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC was functional after glucose stimulation but not activated by glutamate, resulting in a lower level of cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP in silenced astrocytes compared to control cells. Moreover, GC1 inactivation resulted in an intracellular glutamate accumulation. Our results show that mitochondrial glutamate transport via GC1 is important in sustaining glutamate homeostasis in

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middeldorp, J.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reemst, Kitty; Noctor, Stephen C.; Lucassen, Paul J.; Hol, Elly M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/F-1891-2013

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    The cellular distribution of transporters and enzymes related to glutamate metabolism led to the concept of the glutamate–glutamine cycle. Glutamate is released as a neurotransmitter and taken up primarily by astrocytes ensheathing the synapses. The glutamate carbon skeleton is transferred back t...

  12. Group B Streptococcus interactions with human meningeal cells and astrocytes in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalil Alkuwaity

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus, GBS is a leading cause of life-threatening neonatal meningitis and survivors often suffer permanent neurological damage. How this organism interacts with the meninges and subsequently with astrocytes that constitute the underlying cortical glia limitans superficialis is not known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this paper, we demonstrate dose-dependent adherence of GBS over time to human meningioma cells and fetal astrocytes in vitro, which was not influenced by expression of either β-haemolysin/cytolysin (β-h/c toxin, different capsule serotypes or by absence of capsule (p>0.05. Internalization of GBS by both cell types was, however, a slow and an infrequent event (only 0.02-0.4% of associated bacteria were internalised by 9 h. Expression of β-h/c toxin did not play a role in invasion (p>0.05, whereas capsule expression lead to a reduction (p<0.05 in the numbers of intracellular bacteria recovered. GBS strains induced cytotoxicity as demonstrated by the measurement of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH enzyme release by 9 h and by viable staining. Increasing levels of meningioma cell death correlated with bacterial growth and the phenotype of β-h/c toxin production, i.e. from weakly, to normo- to hyper-haemolytic. However, cytotoxicity was significantly greater (p<0.05 towards astrocytes, and infection with initial MOI≥0.003 induced 70-100% LDH release. By comparing wild-type (β-h/c(+ and mutant (ΔcylE β-h/c(- strains and β-h/c toxin extracts and by using the surfactant dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine in cytotoxicity inhibition experiments, β-h/c toxin was demonstrated as principally responsible for cell death. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study has described key events in the interactions of GBS with meningeal cells and astrocytes in vitro and a major virulence role for β-h/c toxin. Understanding the mechanisms involved will help to identify potential therapies for improving

  13. Calcium signals in the nucleus accumbens: Activation of astrocytes by ATP and succinate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emri Zsuzsa

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accumulating evidence suggests that glial signalling is activated by different brain functions. However, knowledge regarding molecular mechanisms of activation or their relation to neuronal activity is limited. The purpose of the present study is to identify the characteristics of ATP-evoked glial signalling in the brain reward area, the nucleus accumbens (NAc, and thereby to explore the action of citric acid cycle intermediate succinate (SUC. Results We described the burst-like propagation of Ca2+ transients evoked by ATP in acute NAc slices from rat brain. Co-localization of the ATP-evoked Ca2+ signalling with immunoreactivities of the astroglia-specific gap junction forming channel protein connexin43 (Cx43 and the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP indicated that the responsive cells were a subpopulation of Cx43 and GFAP immunoreactive astrocytes. The ATP-evoked Ca2+ transients were present under the blockade of neuronal activity, but were inhibited by Ca2+ store depletion and antagonism of the G protein coupled purinergic P2Y1 receptor subtype-specific antagonist MRS2179. Similarly, Ca2+ transients evoked by the P2Y1 receptor subtype-specific agonist 2-(Methylthioadenosine 5'-diphosphate were also blocked by MRS2179. These characteristics implied that intercellular Ca2+ signalling originated from the release of Ca2+ from internal stores, triggered by the activation of P2Y1 receptors. Inhibition by the gap junction blockers carbenoxolone and flufenamic acid and by an antibody raised against the gating-associated segment of Cx43 suggested that intercellular Ca2+ signalling proceeded through gap junctions. We demonstrated for the first time that extracellular SUC also evoked Ca2+ transients (EC50 = 50-60 μM in about 15% of the ATP-responsive NAc astrocytes. By contrast to glial cells, electrophysiologically identified NAc neurons surrounded by ATP-responsive astrocytes were not activated simultaneously. Conclusions We

  14. Astrocyte-specific regulation of hMeCP2 expression in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L. Hess-Homeier

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in the expression of Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2 either by mutations or gene duplication leads to a wide spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders including Rett Syndrome and MeCP2 duplication disorder. Common features of Rett Syndrome (RTT, MeCP2 duplication disorder, and neuropsychiatric disorders indicate that even moderate changes in MeCP2 protein levels result in functional and structural cell abnormalities. In this study, we investigated two areas of MeCP2 pathophysiology using Drosophila as a model system: the effects of MeCP2 glial gain-of-function activity on circuits controlling sleep behavior, and the cell-type specific regulation of MeCP2 expression. In this study, we first examined the effects of elevated MeCP2 levels on microcircuits by expressing human MeCP2 (hMeCP2 in astrocytes and distinct subsets of amine neurons including dopamine and octopamine (OA neurons. Depending on the cell-type, hMeCP2 expression reduced sleep levels, altered daytime/nighttime sleep patterns, and generated sleep maintenance deficits. Second, we identified a 498 base pair region of the MeCP2e2 isoform that is targeted for regulation in distinct subsets of astrocytes. Levels of the full-length hMeCP2e2 and mutant RTT R106W protein decreased in astrocytes in a temporally and spatially regulated manner. In contrast, expression of the deletion Δ166 hMeCP2 protein was not altered in the entire astrocyte population. qPCR experiments revealed a reduction in full-length hMeCP2e2 transcript levels suggesting transgenic hMeCP2 expression is regulated at the transcriptional level. Given the phenotypic complexities that are caused by alterations in MeCP2 levels, our results provide insight into distinct cellular mechanisms that control MeCP2 expression and link microcircuit abnormalities with defined behavioral deficits.

  15. Explaining embodied cognition results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakoff, George

    2012-10-01

    From the late 1950s until 1975, cognition was understood mainly as disembodied symbol manipulation in cognitive psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and the nascent field of Cognitive Science. The idea of embodied cognition entered the field of Cognitive Linguistics at its beginning in 1975. Since then, cognitive linguists, working with neuroscientists, computer scientists, and experimental psychologists, have been developing a neural theory of thought and language (NTTL). Central to NTTL are the following ideas: (a) we think with our brains, that is, thought is physical and is carried out by functional neural circuitry; (b) what makes thought meaningful are the ways those neural circuits are connected to the body and characterize embodied experience; (c) so-called abstract ideas are embodied in this way as well, as is language. Experimental results in embodied cognition are seen not only as confirming NTTL but also explained via NTTL, mostly via the neural theory of conceptual metaphor. Left behind more than three decades ago is the old idea that cognition uses the abstract manipulation of disembodied symbols that are meaningless in themselves but that somehow constitute internal "representations of external reality" without serious mediation by the body and brain. This article uniquely explains the connections between embodied cognition results since that time and results from cognitive linguistics, experimental psychology, computational modeling, and neuroscience. Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  16. Decreased functions of astrocytes on carbon nanofiber materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, Janice L; Waid, Michael C; Shi, Riyi; Webster, Thomas J

    2004-01-01

    Carbon nanofibers possess excellent conductivity properties, which may be beneficial in the design of more effective neural prostheses; however, limited evidence on their cytocompatibility properties currently exists. The objective of the present in vitro study was to determine cytocompatibility properties of formulations containing carbon nanofibers pertinent to neural implant applications. Substrates were prepared from four different types of carbon fibers, two with nanoscale diameters (nanophase, or less than or equal to 100 nm) and two with conventional diameters (or greater than 100 nm). Within these two categories, both a high and a low surface energy fiber were investigated and tested. Carbon fibers were compacted in a manual hydraulic press via a uniaxial loading cycle. Astrocytes (glial scar tissue-forming cells) were seeded onto the substrates for adhesion, proliferation, and long-term function studies (such as total intracellular protein and alkaline phosphatase activity). Results provided the first evidence that astrocytes preferentially adhered and proliferated on carbon fibers that had the largest diameter and the lowest surface energy. Based on these results, composite substrates were also formed using different weight percentages (0-25 wt%) of the nanophase, high surface energy fibers in a polycarbonate urethane matrix. Results provided the first evidence of decreased adhesion of astrocytes with increasing weight percents of the high surface energy carbon nanofibers in the polymer composite; this further demonstrates that formulations containing carbon fibers in the nanometer regime may limit astrocyte functions leading to decreased glial scar tissue formation. Positive interactions with neurons, and, at the same time, limited astrocyte functions leading to decreased gliotic scar tissue formation are essential for increased neuronal implant efficacy.

  17. Astrocyte uncoupling as a cause of human temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedner, Peter; Dupper, Alexander; Hüttmann, Kerstin; Müller, Julia; Herde, Michel K; Dublin, Pavel; Deshpande, Tushar; Schramm, Johannes; Häussler, Ute; Haas, Carola A; Henneberger, Christian; Theis, Martin; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2015-05-01

    Glial cells are now recognized as active communication partners in the central nervous system, and this new perspective has rekindled the question of their role in pathology. In the present study we analysed functional properties of astrocytes in hippocampal specimens from patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy without (n = 44) and with sclerosis (n = 75) combining patch clamp recording, K(+) concentration analysis, electroencephalography/video-monitoring, and fate mapping analysis. We found that the hippocampus of patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis is completely devoid of bona fide astrocytes and gap junction coupling, whereas coupled astrocytes were abundantly present in non-sclerotic specimens. To decide whether these glial changes represent cause or effect of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis, we developed a mouse model that reproduced key features of human mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis. In this model, uncoupling impaired K(+) buffering and temporally preceded apoptotic neuronal death and the generation of spontaneous seizures. Uncoupling was induced through intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide, prevented in Toll-like receptor4 knockout mice and reproduced in situ through acute cytokine or lipopolysaccharide incubation. Fate mapping confirmed that in the course of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis, astrocytes acquire an atypical functional phenotype and lose coupling. These data suggest that astrocyte dysfunction might be a prime cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with sclerosis and identify novel targets for anti-epileptogenic therapeutic intervention. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Synergistic cooperation between methamphetamine and HIV-1 gsp120 through the P13K/Akt pathway induces IL-6 but not IL-8 expression in astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ankit Shah

    Full Text Available HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 has been extensively studied for neurotoxic effects that have been attributed to the increased expression of various proinflammatory cytokines in the CNS. Recently we have shown that methamphetamine (MA also increases expression of proinflammatory cytokines in astrocytes. However, combined effect of gp120 and MA is not known. The present study was undertaken to determine cumulative effect and the mechanism(s/pathways involved in the functional interaction between gp120 and MA in SVGA astrocytes. Our results clearly suggest that gp120 and MA affect IL-6 but not IL-8 in a synergistic manner and this synergy was mediated by PI3K/Akt and NF-κB pathways. Inhibition of either of these pathways could abrogate the increased expression of IL-6 due to MA or gp120 alone, as well as the increased expression of IL-6 when the astrocytes were treated with both gp120 and MA. These results were confirmed by both, using chemical inhibitors/siRNA as well as western blotting. This study therefore provides novel information regarding the interaction between MA and gp120 in terms of the expression of IL-6 and the mechanisms underlying potential synergy between MA and gp120 in astrocytes.

  19. Matlab for engineers explained

    CERN Document Server

    Gustafsson, Fredrik

    2003-01-01

    This book is written for students at bachelor and master programs and has four different purposes, which split the book into four parts: 1. To teach first or early year undergraduate engineering students basic knowledge in technical computations and programming using MATLAB. The first part starts from first principles and is therefore well suited both for readers with prior exposure to MATLAB but lacking a solid foundational knowledge of the capabilities of the system and readers not having any previous experience with MATLAB. The foundational knowledge gained from these interactive guided tours of the system will hopefully be sufficient for an effective utilization of MATLAB in the engineering profession, in education and in research. 2. To explain the foundations of more advanced use of MATLAB using the facilities added the last couple of years, such as extended data structures, object orientation and advanced graphics. 3. To give an introduction to the use of MATLAB in typical undergraduate courses in elec...

  20. Explaining wartime rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottschall, Jonathan

    2004-05-01

    In the years since the first reports of mass rapes in the Yugoslavian wars of secession and the genocidal massacres in Rwanda, feminist activists and scholars, human rights organizations, journalists, and social scientists have dedicated unprecedented efforts to document, explain, and seek solutions for the phenomenon of wartime rape. While contributors to this literature agree on much, there is no consensus on causal factors. This paper provides a brief overview of the literature on wartime rape in historical and ethnographical societies and a critical analysis of the four leading explanations for its root causes: the feminist theory, the cultural pathology theory, the strategic rape theory, and the biosocial theory. The paper concludes that the biosocial theory is the only one capable of bringing all the phenomena associated with wartime rape into a single explanatory context.

  1. Does Viewing Explain Doing?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hald, Gert Martin; Kuyper, Lisette; Adam, Philippe C G

    2013-01-01

    that, when controlling for important other factors, SEM consumption influences sexual behaviors. The small to moderate associations that emerged between SEM consumption and sexual behavior after controlling for other variables suggest that SEM is just one factor among many that may influence youth...... hierarchical multiple regression analyses to control for other factors, the association between SEM consumption and a variety of sexual behaviors was found to be significant, accounting for between 0.3% and 4% of the total explained variance in investigated sexual behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests......INTRODUCTION: Concerns have been voiced that the use of sexually explicit materials (SEMs) may adversely affect sexual behaviors, particularly in young people. Previous studies have generally found significant associations between SEM consumption and the sexual behaviors investigated. However, most...

  2. Explaining religiosity: towards a unified theoretical model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolz, Jörg

    2009-06-01

    The article presents a unified theoretical model, explaining differences in Christian and 'alternative' religiosity at individual and collective levels. The model reconstructs and integrates the most important theories explaining religiosity (deprivation, regulation, socialization, cultural production, and ethnicity) as complementary causal mechanisms in a rational-action based framework. It is maintained that the mechanisms of the various theories are not exclusive, but complementary, and that integration into the general model is both theoretically and empirically beneficial. The model is tested on representative data from Switzerland. Substantively, I find for the Swiss case that Christian religiosity can be best explained by a religious socialization mechanism. The most important mechanisms accounting for alternative religiosity involve deprivation, gender, and age.

  3. Functions of flavonoids in the central nervous system: Astrocytes as targets for natural compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Isadora; Buosi, Andrea Schmidt; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2016-05-01

    In the last decade, there have been major advances in the understanding of the role of glial cells as key elements in the formation, maintenance and refinement of synapses. Recently, the discovery of natural compounds capable of modulating nervous system function has revealed new perspectives on the restoration of the injured brain. Among these compounds, flavonoids stand out as molecules easily obtainable in the diet that have remarkable effects on cognitive performance and behavior. Nevertheless, little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the actions of flavonoids in the nervous system. The present review presents recent advances in the effects of natural compounds, particularly flavonoids, in the nervous system. We shed light on astrocytes as targets of flavonoids and discuss how this interaction might contribute to the effects of flavonoids on neuronal survival, differentiation and function. Finally, we discuss how the effects of flavonoids on astrocytes might contribute to the development of alternative therapeutic approaches to the treatment of neural diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Confocal microscopy for astrocyte in vivo imaging: Recycle and reuse in microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Alvarez, Alberto; Araque, Alfonso; Martín, Eduardo D.

    2013-01-01

    In vivo imaging is one of the ultimate and fundamental approaches for the study of the brain. Two-photon laser scanning microscopy (2PLSM) constitutes the state-of-the-art technique in current neuroscience to address questions regarding brain cell structure, development and function, blood flow regulation and metabolism. This technique evolved from laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM), which impacted the field with a major improvement in image resolution of live tissues in the 1980s compared to widefield microscopy. While nowadays some of the unparalleled features of 2PLSM make it the tool of choice for brain studies in vivo, such as the possibility to image deep within a tissue, LSCM can still be useful in this matter. Here we discuss the validity and limitations of LSCM and provide a guide to perform high-resolution in vivo imaging of the brain of live rodents with minimal mechanical disruption employing LSCM. We describe the surgical procedure and experimental setup that allowed us to record intracellular calcium variations in astrocytes evoked by sensory stimulation, and to monitor intact neuronal dendritic spines and astrocytic processes as well as blood vessel dynamics. Therefore, in spite of certain limitations that need to be carefully considered, LSCM constitutes a useful, convenient, and affordable tool for brain studies in vivo. PMID:23658537

  5. Up-regulation of Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor in Astrocytes by Aspirin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modi, Khushbu K.; Sendtner, Michael; Pahan, Kalipada

    2013-01-01

    Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is a promyelinating trophic factor, and the mechanisms by which CNTF expression could be increased in the brain are poorly understood. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is one of the most widely used analgesics. Interestingly, aspirin increased mRNA and protein expression of CNTF in primary mouse and human astrocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Aspirin induced the activation of protein kinase A (PKA) but not protein kinase C (PKC). H-89, an inhibitor of PKA, abrogated aspirin-induced expression of CNTF. The activation of cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB), but not NF-κB, by aspirin, the abrogation of aspirin-induced expression of CNTF by siRNA knockdown of CREB, the presence of a consensus cAMP-response element in the promoter of CNTF, and the recruitment of CREB and CREB-binding protein to the CNTF promoter by aspirin suggest that aspirin increases the expression of the Cntf gene via the activation of CREB. Furthermore, we demonstrate that aspirin-induced astroglial CNTF was also functionally active and that supernatants of aspirin-treated astrocytes of wild type, but not Cntf null, mice increased myelin-associated proteins in oligodendrocytes and protected oligodendrocytes from TNF-α insult. These results highlight a new and novel myelinogenic property of aspirin, which may be of benefit for multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating disorders. PMID:23653362

  6. High glucose alters retinal astrocytes phenotype through increased production of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eui Seok Shin

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are macroglial cells that have a crucial role in development of the retinal vasculature and maintenance of the blood-retina-barrier (BRB. Diabetes affects the physiology and function of retinal vascular cells including astrocytes (AC leading to breakdown of BRB. However, the detailed cellular mechanisms leading to retinal AC dysfunction under high glucose conditions remain unclear. Here we show that high glucose conditions did not induce the apoptosis of retinal AC, but instead increased their rate of DNA synthesis and adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins. These alterations were associated with changes in intracellular signaling pathways involved in cell survival, migration and proliferation. High glucose conditions also affected the expression of inflammatory cytokines in retinal AC, activated NF-κB, and prevented their network formation on Matrigel. In addition, we showed that the attenuation of retinal AC migration under high glucose conditions, and capillary morphogenesis of retinal endothelial cells on Matrigel, was mediated through increased oxidative stress. Antioxidant proteins including heme oxygenase-1 and peroxiredoxin-2 levels were also increased in retinal AC under high glucose conditions through nuclear localization of transcription factor nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2. Together our results demonstrated that high glucose conditions alter the function of retinal AC by increased production of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress with significant impact on their proliferation, adhesion, and migration.

  7. Transcriptional regulation of Nfix by NFIB drives astrocytic maturation within the developing spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matuzelski, Elise; Bunt, Jens; Harkins, Danyon; Lim, Jonathan W C; Gronostajski, Richard M; Richards, Linda J; Harris, Lachlan; Piper, Michael

    2017-12-15

    During mouse spinal cord development, ventricular zone progenitor cells transition from producing neurons to producing glia at approximately embryonic day 11.5, a process known as the gliogenic switch. The transcription factors Nuclear Factor I (NFI) A and B initiate this developmental transition, but the contribution of a third NFI member, NFIX, remains unknown. Here, we reveal that ventricular zone progenitor cells within the spinal cord express NFIX after the onset of NFIA and NFIB expression, and after the gliogenic switch has occurred. Mice lacking NFIX exhibit normal neurogenesis within the spinal cord, and, while early astrocytic differentiation proceeds normally, aspects of terminal astrocytic differentiation are impaired. Finally, we report that, in the absence of Nfia or Nfib, there is a marked reduction in the spinal cord expression of NFIX, and that NFIB can transcriptionally activate Nfix expression in vitro. These data demonstrate that NFIX is part of the downstream transcriptional program through which NFIA and NFIB coordinate gliogenesis within the spinal cord. This hierarchical organisation of NFI protein expression and function during spinal cord gliogenesis reveals a previously unrecognised auto-regulatory mechanism within this gene family. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Differentiation of Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells from Sox10-Venus Mice to Oligodendrocytes and Astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Nobuharu; Sekimoto, Kaori; Hayashi, Chikako; Mabuchi, Yo; Nakamura, Tetsuya; Akazawa, Chihiro

    2017-10-26

    Oligodendrocytes are well known as myelin-forming cells in the central nervous system (CNS). However, detailed mechanisms of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination are poorly understood, particularly due to the difficulty of the purification of murine oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). We have recently established a transgenic mouse line that expresses a fluorescent protein Venus under the promoter of Sox10, whose expression is restricted to OPCs and oligodendrocytes in the CNS. Here, we have characterized Venus-positive cells from the Sox10-Venus mouse brain for analyzing oligodendrocyte differentiation. We first purified Venus-positive cells from the postnatal day 0-2 brain by flow cytometry. Most of the Venus-positive cells expressed NG2, an OPC marker. After induction of differentiation, an increased population of galactocerebroside-positive oligodendrocytes and decrease of OPCs were observed in the Venus-positive culture. Furthermore, a time-lapse analysis showed that Venus-positive oligodendrocytes dynamically changed their morphology with highly branched cell processes during differentiation. In addition, we found that Venus-positive OPCs were able to differentiate to type II astrocytes. In vivo, OPCs and oligodendrocytes express Venus, and some of astrocytes were positive for Venus in the ventral cortex. Taken together, the Sox10-Venus mouse system is useful for analyzing differentiation and multipotency of murine OPCs.

  9. Mania and depression explained

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    BD is highly heritable and genome-wide association studies. (GWAS) have uncovered significant insights into the biological mechanisms involved in its development. Potential genetic variants implicated in disease aetiology include CACNA1C that encodes the alpha subunit of brain L-type voltage-gated calcium.

  10. CEND1 and NEUROGENIN2 Reprogram Mouse Astrocytes and Embryonic Fibroblasts to Induced Neural Precursors and Differentiated Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katerina Aravantinou-Fatorou

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies demonstrate that astroglia from non-neurogenic brain regions can be reprogrammed into functional neurons through forced expression of neurogenic factors. Here we explored the effect of CEND1 and NEUROG2 on reprogramming of mouse cortical astrocytes and embryonic fibroblasts. Forced expression of CEND1, NEUROG2, or both resulted in acquisition of induced neuronal cells expressing subtype-specific markers, while long-term live-cell imaging highlighted the existence of two different modes of neuronal trans-differentiation. Of note, a subpopulation of CEND1 and NEUROG2 double-transduced astrocytes formed spheres exhibiting neural stem cell properties. mRNA and protein expression studies revealed a reciprocal feedback loop existing between the two molecules, while knockdown of endogenous CEND1 demonstrated that it is a key mediator of NEUROG2-driven neuronal reprogramming. Our data suggest that common reprogramming mechanisms exist driving the conversion of lineage-distant somatic cell types to neurons and reveal a critical role for CEND1 in NEUROG2-driven astrocytic reprogramming.

  11. Amitriptyline up-regulates connexin43-gap junction in rat cultured cortical astrocytes via activation of the p38 and c-Fos/AP-1 signalling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morioka, N; Suekama, K; Zhang, F F; Kajitani, N; Hisaoka-Nakashima, K; Takebayashi, M; Nakata, Y

    2014-06-01

    Intercellular communication via gap junctions, comprised of connexin (Cx) proteins, allow for communication between astrocytes, which in turn is crucial for maintaining CNS homeostasis. The expression of Cx43 is decreased in post-mortem brains from patients with major depression. A potentially novel mechanism of tricyclic antidepressants is to increase the expression and functioning of gap junctions in astrocytes. The effect of amitriptyline on the expression of Cx43 and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in rat primary cultured cortical astrocytes was investigated. We also investigated the role of p38 MAPK intracellular signalling pathway in the amitriptyline-induced expression of Cx43 and GJIC. Treatment with amitriptyline for 48 h significantly up-regulated Cx43 mRNA, protein and GJIC. The up-regulation of Cx43 was not monoamine-related since noradrenaline, 5-HT and dopamine did not induce Cx43 expression and pretreatment with α- and β-adrenoceptor antagonists had no effect. Intracellular signalling involved p38 MAPK, as amitriptyline significantly increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation and Cx43 expression and GJIC were significantly blocked by the p38 inhibitor SB 202190. Furthermore, amitriptyline-induced Cx43 expression and GJIC were markedly reduced by transcription factor AP-1 inhibitors (curcumin and tanshinone IIA). The translocation of c-Fos from the cytosol and the nucleus of cortical astrocytes was increased by amitriptyline, and this response was dependent on p38 activity. These findings indicate a novel mechanism of action of amitriptyline through cortical astrocytes, and further suggest that targeting this mechanism could lead to the development of a new class of antidepressants. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  12. Glycogenolysis, an Astrocyte-Specific Reaction, is Essential for Both Astrocytic and Neuronal Activities Involved in Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Chen, Ye

    2018-02-01

    In brain glycogen, formed from glucose, is degraded (glycogenolysis) in astrocytes but not in neurons. Although most of the degradation follows the same pathway as glucose, its breakdown product, l-lactate, is released from astrocytes in larger amounts than glucose when glycogenolysis is activated by noradrenaline. However, this is not the case when glycogenolysis is activated by high potassium ion (K + ) concentrations - possibly because noradrenaline in contrast to high K + stimulates glycogenolysis by an increase not only in free cytosolic Ca 2+ concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) but also in cyclic AMP (c-AMP), which may increase the expression of the monocarboxylate transporter through which it is released. Several transmitters activate glycogenolysis in astrocytes and do so at different time points after training. This stimulation is essential for memory consolidation because glycogenolysis is necessary for uptake of K + and stimulates formation of glutamate from glucose, and therefore is needed both for removal of increased extracellular K + following neuronal excitation (which initially occurs into astrocytes) and for formation of transmitter glutamate and GABA. In addition the released l-lactate has effects on neurons which are essential for learning and for learning-related long-term potentiation (LTP), including induction of the neuronal gene Arc/Arg3.1 and activation of gene cascades mediated by CREB and cofilin. Inhibition of glycogenolysis blocks learning, LTP and all related molecular events, but all changes can be reversed by injection of l-lactate. The effect of extracellular l-lactate is due to both astrocyte-mediated signaling which activates noradrenergic activity on all brain cells and to a minor uptake, possibly into dendritic spines. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Role of astrocytic leptin receptor subtypes on leptin permeation across hCMEC/D3 human brain endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsuchou, Hung; Kastin, Abba J; Tu, Hong; Joan Abbott, N; Couraud, Pierre-Olivier; Pan, Weihong

    2010-12-01

    Astrocytic leptin receptors (ObR) can be up-regulated in conditions such as adult-onset obesity. To determine whether the levels and subtypes of astrocytic ObR modulate leptin transport, we co-cultured hCMEC/D3 human brain endothelial cells and C6 astrocytoma cells in the Transwell system, and tested leptin permeation from apical to basolateral chambers. In comparison with hCMEC alone, co-culture of C6 cells reduced the permeability of paracellular markers and leptin. Unexpectedly, ObRb over-expression in C6 cells increased leptin permeation whereas ObRa over-expression showed no effect when compared with the control group of pcDNA-transfected C6 cells. By contrast, the paracellular permeability to the sodium fluorescein control was unchanged by over-expression of ObR subtypes. Leptin remained intact after crossing the monolayer as shown by HPLC and acid precipitation, and this was not affected by C6 cell co-culture or the over-expression of different ObR subtypes. Thus, increased expression of ObRb (and to a lesser extent ObRe) in C6 cells specifically increased the permeation of leptin across the hCMEC monolayer. Consistent with the evidence that the most apparent regulatory changes of ObR during obesity and inflammation occur in astrocytes, the results indicate that astrocytes actively regulate leptin transport across the blood-brain barrier, a mechanism independent of reduction of paracellular permeability. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2010 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  14. Activation of phagocytic activity in astrocytes by reduced expression of the inflammasome component ASC and its implication in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couturier, Julien; Stancu, Ilie-Cosmin; Schakman, Olivier; Pierrot, Nathalie; Huaux, François; Kienlen-Campard, Pascal; Dewachter, Ilse; Octave, Jean-Noël

    2016-01-27

    +/- astrocytes displayed a higher phagocytic activity as compared to ASC+/+ and ASC -/- cells, resulting from a higher release of the chemokine CCL3. A significant decrease in amyloid load was measured in the brain of 7-8-month-old 5xFAD mice carrying the ASC +/- genotype, correlated with an increase in CCL3 gene expression. In addition, the ASC +/- genotype rescued spatial reference memory deficits observed in 5xFAD mice. Our results demonstrate that Aβ is able to activate astrocytic inflammasome. Downregulation of inflammasome activity increases phagocytosis in astrocytes due to the release of CCL3. This could explain why downregulation of inflammasome activity decreases amyloid load and rescues memory deficits in a mouse model of AD.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Martin, Jean Luc

    2013-09-01

    There is growing evidence that astrocytes are involved in the neuropathology of major depression. In particular, decreases in glial cell density observed in the cerebral cortex of individuals with major depressive disorder are accompanied by a reduction of several astrocytic markers suggesting that astrocyte