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Sample records for human brain astrocytes

  1. Astrocytes and the evolution of the human brain.

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    Robertson, James M

    2014-02-01

    Cells within the astroglial lineage are proposed as the origin of human brain evolution. It is now widely accepted that they direct mammalian fetal neurogenesis, gliogenesis, laminar cytoarchitectonics, synaptic connectivity and neuronal network formation. Furthermore, genetic, anatomical and functional studies have recently identified multiple astrocyte exaptations that strongly suggest a direct relation to the increased size and complexity of the human brain. Copyright © 2013 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2009-04-01

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

  3. Decreased expression of glutamate transporters in astrocytes after human traumatic brain injury.

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    van Landeghem, Frank K H; Weiss, Thorsten; Oehmichen, Manfred; von Deimling, Andreas

    2006-10-01

    The primary mechanism for eliminating synaptically released glutamate is uptake by astrocytes. In the present study, we examined whether traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects the cellular expression of glutamate transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2. Morphometrical immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated a predominant expression of EAAT1 and EAAT2 in astrocytes of normal human neocortex (n = 10). Following traumatic injury of human brain (n = 55), the number of EAAT2-positive cells was decreased for a prolonged survival period within the traumatized neocortex and the pericontusional region. GFAP-positive astrocytes decreased in number within the first 24 h. Thereafter, the number of GFAP-positive astrocytes increased again, indicating formation of reactive gliosis. Double immunofluorescence examinations revealed a reduction in absolute numbers of GFAP-positive astrocytes coexpressing EAAT1 or EAAT2 at survival times up to 7 days. In addition, the relative fractions of astrocytes coexpressing glutamate transporters decreased following TBI. We conclude that the posttraumatic reduction in cellular EAAT 1 and EAAT2 expression is predominantly due to degeneration of astrocytes and to downregulation in surviving astrocytes. Our results support the view that reduced glutamate uptake by astrocytes contributes to posttraumatic elevation of extracellular glutamate in humans.

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

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

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    Radka Gromnicova

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

  6. Overexpression of the human major vault protein in astrocytic brain tumor cells.

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    Berger, W; Spiegl-Kreinecker, S; Buchroithner, J; Elbling, L; Pirker, C; Fischer, J; Micksche, M

    2001-11-01

    Evidence has shown that the major human vault protein (MVP), which is identical to lung resistance-related protein (LRP), may be causally involved in a special type of multidrug resistance (MDR). The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression and cellular localization of MVP in cells derived from brain tumors and other tumors of neuroectodermal origin. Using both established cell lines (n = 22) and primary explants (n = 30), we show that a distinct overexpression of the MVP gene at the mRNA (RT-PCR) and protein (Western blot) levels is a characteristic feature of cells derived from astrocytic brain tumors. Primary cultures obtained from meningioma specimens also expressed high MVP levels, in contrast to neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma cells, which rarely contained detectable amounts of MVP. Normal human astrocytes cultured in vitro expressed MVP, although at low amounts compared with most malignant cell types. Basal MVP expression correlated with resistance against diverse antineoplastic drugs including anthracyclins, cisplatin and etoposide. By Western blot, MVP was also detected in all tumor samples taken from 7 glioma and 3 meningioma patients. Taken together, these data suggest overexpression of MVP as one explanation for the low efficacy of chemotherapeutic treatment of astrocytic brain tumors. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Stages of restricted HIV-1 infection in astrocyte cultures derived from human fetal brain tissue.

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    Messam, C A; Major, E O

    2000-05-01

    The predominant cell types infected by HIV-1 in AIDS associated encephalopathy are cells of the macrophage/microglial lineage. There has been consistent evidence, however, that astrocytes also become infected although not at the same frequency or level of multiplication as microglial cells. HIV-1 antigens and/or nucleic acid have been identified in astrocytes in brain autopsy tissue from both adult and pediatric AIDS cases. In cell cultures, HIV-1 infection of astrocytes results in an initial productive but non-cytopathogenic infection that diminishes to a viral persistence or latent state. Understanding the nature of HIV-1 infection of astrocytes, which represents the largest population of cells in the brain, will contribute to the understanding of AIDS encephalopathy and the dementia that occurs in nearly one-quarter of all AIDS patients.

  8. An isogenic blood-brain barrier model comprising brain endothelial cells, astrocytes, and neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

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    Canfield, Scott G; Stebbins, Matthew J; Morales, Bethsymarie Soto; Asai, Shusaku W; Vatine, Gad D; Svendsen, Clive N; Palecek, Sean P; Shusta, Eric V

    2017-03-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical in maintaining a physical and metabolic barrier between the blood and the brain. The BBB consists of brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) that line the brain vasculature and combine with astrocytes, neurons and pericytes to form the neurovascular unit. We hypothesized that astrocytes and neurons generated from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could induce BBB phenotypes in iPSC-derived BMECs, creating a robust multicellular human BBB model. To this end, iPSCs were used to form neural progenitor-like EZ-spheres, which were in turn differentiated to neurons and astrocytes, enabling facile neural cell generation. The iPSC-derived astrocytes and neurons induced barrier tightening in primary rat BMECs indicating their BBB inductive capacity. When co-cultured with human iPSC-derived BMECs, the iPSC-derived neurons and astrocytes significantly elevated trans-endothelial electrical resistance, reduced passive permeability, and improved tight junction continuity in the BMEC cell population, while p-glycoprotein efflux transporter activity was unchanged. A physiologically relevant neural cell mixture of one neuron: three astrocytes yielded optimal BMEC induction properties. Finally, an isogenic multicellular BBB model was successfully demonstrated employing BMECs, astrocytes, and neurons from the same donor iPSC source. It is anticipated that such an isogenic facsimile of the human BBB could have applications in furthering understanding the cellular interplay of the neurovascular unit in both healthy and diseased humans. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on page 843. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  9. Gene expression Analysis of Neurons and Astrocytes Isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection from Frozen Human Brain Tissues.

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    Lidia Tagliafierro

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Different cell types and multiple cellular connections characterize the human brain. Gene expression analysis using a specific population of cells is more accurate than conducting analysis of the whole tissue homogenate, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative diseases, where a specific subset of cells is affected by the different pathology. Due to the difficulty to obtain homogenous cell populations, gene expression in specific cell-types (neurons, astrocytes, etc. has been understudied. To leverage the use of archive resources of frozen human brains in studies of neurodegenerative diseases, we developed and calibrated a method to quantify cell-type specific – neuronal, astrocytes – expression profiles of genes implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Archive human frozen brain tissues were used to prepare slides for rapid immunostaining using cell-specific antibodies. The immunoreactive-cells were isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM. The enrichment for a particular cell-type of interest was validated in post-analysis stage by the expression of cell-specific markers. We optimized the technique to preserve the RNA integrity, so that the RNA was suitable for downstream expression analyses. Following RNA extraction, the expression levels were determined digitally using nCounter Single Cell Gene Expression assay (NanoString Technologies®. The results demonstrated that using our optimized technique we successfully isolated single neurons and astrocytes from human frozen brain tissues and obtained RNA of a good quality that was suitable for mRNA expression analysis. We present here new advancements compared to previous reported methods, which improve the method’s feasibility and its applicability for a variety of downstream molecular analyses. Our new developed method can be implemented in genetic and functional genomic research of neurodegenerative diseases and has the

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

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

    2013-01-01

    in human hydrocephalic cortex relative to controls was quantified by western blotting (n=28). A second biopsy (n=13) was processed for immunohistochemistry (GFAP, CD68, CD34 and aquaporin-4) and double immunofluorescence (aquaporin-4+GFAP and aquaporin-4+CD34). Brain tissue from human controls and kaolin...

  11. Distinct Contributions of Astrocytes and Pericytes to Neuroinflammation Identified in a 3D Human Blood-Brain Barrier on a Chip.

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    Herland, Anna; van der Meer, Andries D; FitzGerald, Edward A; Park, Tae-Eun; Sleeboom, Jelle J F; Ingber, Donald E

    2016-01-01

    Neurovascular inflammation is a major contributor to many neurological disorders, but modeling these processes in vitro has proven to be difficult. Here, we microengineered a three-dimensional (3D) model of the human blood-brain barrier (BBB) within a microfluidic chip by creating a cylindrical collagen gel containing a central hollow lumen inside a microchannel, culturing primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells on the gel's inner surface, and flowing medium through the lumen. Studies were carried out with the engineered microvessel containing endothelium in the presence or absence of either primary human brain pericytes beneath the endothelium or primary human brain astrocytes within the surrounding collagen gel to explore the ability of this simplified model to identify distinct contributions of these supporting cells to the neuroinflammatory response. This human 3D BBB-on-a-chip exhibited barrier permeability similar to that observed in other in vitro BBB models created with non-human cells, and when stimulated with the inflammatory trigger, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), different secretion profiles for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were observed depending on the presence of astrocytes or pericytes. Importantly, the levels of these responses detected in the 3D BBB chip were significantly greater than when the same cells were co-cultured in static Transwell plates. Thus, as G-CSF and IL-6 have been reported to play important roles in neuroprotection and neuroactivation in vivo, this 3D BBB chip potentially offers a new method to study human neurovascular function and inflammation in vitro, and to identify physiological contributions of individual cell types.

  12. Distinct Contributions of Astrocytes and Pericytes to Neuroinflammation Identified in a 3D Human Blood-Brain Barrier on a Chip

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    FitzGerald, Edward A.; Park, Tae-Eun; Sleeboom, Jelle J. F.; Ingber, Donald E.

    2016-01-01

    Neurovascular inflammation is a major contributor to many neurological disorders, but modeling these processes in vitro has proven to be difficult. Here, we microengineered a three-dimensional (3D) model of the human blood-brain barrier (BBB) within a microfluidic chip by creating a cylindrical collagen gel containing a central hollow lumen inside a microchannel, culturing primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells on the gel’s inner surface, and flowing medium through the lumen. Studies were carried out with the engineered microvessel containing endothelium in the presence or absence of either primary human brain pericytes beneath the endothelium or primary human brain astrocytes within the surrounding collagen gel to explore the ability of this simplified model to identify distinct contributions of these supporting cells to the neuroinflammatory response. This human 3D BBB-on-a-chip exhibited barrier permeability similar to that observed in other in vitro BBB models created with non-human cells, and when stimulated with the inflammatory trigger, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), different secretion profiles for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were observed depending on the presence of astrocytes or pericytes. Importantly, the levels of these responses detected in the 3D BBB chip were significantly greater than when the same cells were co-cultured in static Transwell plates. Thus, as G-CSF and IL-6 have been reported to play important roles in neuroprotection and neuroactivation in vivo, this 3D BBB chip potentially offers a new method to study human neurovascular function and inflammation in vitro, and to identify physiological contributions of individual cell types. PMID:26930059

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

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    Sung S Choi

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

  14. Superantigen presenting capacity of human astrocytes

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    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...

  15. Expression and functional activity of the ABC-transporter proteins P-glycoprotein and multidrug-resistance protein 1 in human brain tumor cells and astrocytes.

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    Spiegl-Kreinecker, Sabine; Buchroithner, Johanna; Elbling, Leonilla; Steiner, Elisabeth; Wurm, Gabriele; Bodenteich, Angelika; Fischer, Johannes; Micksche, Michael; Berger, Walter

    2002-03-01

    The poor prognosis of glioma patients is partly based on the minor success obtained from chemotherapeutic treatments. Resistance mechanisms at the tumor cell level may be, in addition to the blood-brain barrier, involved in the intrinsic chemo-insensitivity of brain tumors. We investigated the expression of the drug-transporter proteins P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and multidrug-resistance protein 1 (MRP1) in cell lines (N = 24) and primary cell cultures (N = 36) from neuroectodermal tumors, as well as in brain tumor extracts (N = 18) and normal human astrocytes (N = 1). We found that a considerable expression of P-gp was relatively rare in glioma cells, in contrast to MRP1, which was constitutively overexpressed in cells derived from astrocytomas as well as glioblastomas. Also, normal astrocytes cultured in vitro expressed high amounts of MRPI but no detectable P-gp. Meningioma cells frequently co-expressed P-gp and MRP1, while, most of the neuroblastoma cell lines express higher P-gp but lower MRP1 levels as compared to the other tumor types. Both, a drug-exporting and a chemoprotective function of P-gp as well as MRP1 could be demonstrated in selected tumor cells by a significant upregulation of cellular 3H-daunomycin accumulation and daunomycin cytotoxicity via administration of transporter antagonists. Summing up, our data suggest that P-gp contributes to cellular resistance merely in a small subgroup of gliomas, but frequently in neuroblastomas and meningiomas. In contrast, MRP1 is demonstrated to play a constitutive role in the intrinsic chemoresistance of gliomas and their normal cell counterpart.

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

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

    2016-01-01

    The functional and molecular similarities and distinctions between human and murine astrocytes are poorly understood. Here, we report the development of an immunopanning method to acutely purify astrocytes from fetal, juvenile, and adult human brains and to maintain these cells in serum-free cultures. We found that human astrocytes have abilities similar to those of murine astrocytes in promoting neuronal survival, inducing functional synapse formation, and engulfing synaptosomes. In contrast to existing observations in mice, we found that mature human astrocytes respond robustly to glutamate. Next, we performed RNA sequencing of healthy human astrocytes along with astrocytes from epileptic and tumor foci and compared these to human neurons, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and endothelial cells (available at http://www.brainrnaseq.org). With these profiles, we identified novel human-specific astrocyte genes and discovered a transcriptome-wide transformation between astrocyte precursor cells and mature post-mitotic astrocytes. These data represent some of the first cell-type-specific molecular profiles of the healthy and diseased human brain.

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

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    Kohei Yamamizu

    2017-03-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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

    2017-01-01

    increases in astrocyte calcium signaling which in turn stimulates COX-1 activity and generates downstream PgE2 production. We demonstrate that astrocyte calcium-evoked production of the vasodilator, PgE2, is critically dependent on brain levels of the antioxidant, glutathione. These data suggest a novel...

  20. The contribution of astrocytes and microglia to traumatic brain injury.

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    Karve, Ila P; Taylor, Juliet M; Crack, Peter J

    2016-02-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents a major cause of death and disability in developed countries. Brain injuries are highly heterogeneous and can also trigger other neurological complications, including epilepsy, depression and dementia. The initial injury often leads to the development of secondary sequelae; cellular hyperexcitability, vasogenic and cytotoxic oedema, hypoxia-ischaemia, oxidative stress and inflammation, all of which influence expansion of the primary lesion. It is widely known that inflammatory events in the brain following TBI contribute to the widespread cell death and chronic tissue degeneration. Neuroinflammation is a multifaceted response involving a number of cell types, both within the CNS and in the peripheral circulation. Astrocytes and microglia, cells of the CNS, are considered key players in initiating an inflammatory response after injury. These cells are capable of secreting various cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, and following injury to the CNS, undergo changes in morphology. Ultimately, these changes can influence the local microenvironment and thus determine the extent of damage and subsequent repair. This review will focus on the roles of microglia and astrocytes following TBI, highlighting some of the key processes, pathways and mediators involved in this response. Additionally, both the beneficial and the detrimental aspects of these cellular responses will be examined using evidence from animal models and human post-mortem TBI studies. © 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.

  1. 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...

  2. Human Stem Cell-Derived Spinal Cord Astrocytes with Defined Mature or Reactive Phenotypes

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    Laurent Roybon

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Differentiation of astrocytes from human stem cells has significant potential for analysis of their role in normal brain function and disease, but existing protocols generate only immature astrocytes. Using early neuralization, we generated spinal cord astrocytes from mouse or human embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells with high efficiency. Remarkably, short exposure to fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1 or FGF2 was sufficient to direct these astrocytes selectively toward a mature quiescent phenotype, as judged by both marker expression and functional analysis. In contrast, tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1β, but not FGFs, induced multiple elements of a reactive inflammatory phenotype but did not affect maturation. These phenotypically defined, scalable populations of spinal cord astrocytes will be important both for studying normal astrocyte function and for modeling human pathological processes in vitro.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Katari Venkatesh

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Kitty Reemst

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Glia are essential for brain functioning during development and in the adult brain. Here, we discuss the various roles of both microglia and astrocytes, and their interactions during brain development. Although both cells are fundamentally different in origin and function, they often affect the same developmental processes such as neuro-/gliogenesis, angiogenesis, axonal outgrowth, synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning. Due to their important instructive roles in these processes, dysfunction of microglia or astrocytes during brain development could contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders and potentially even late-onset neuropathology. A better understanding of the origin, differentiation process and developmental functions of microglia and astrocytes will help to fully appreciate their role both in the developing as well as in the adult brain, in health and disease.

  6. Novel approaches in astrocytic protection following brain injury

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    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.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Luis Miguel Garcia-Segura

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Analysis of p53- immunoreactivity in astrocytic brain tumors

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    Shinkarenko T.V.

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dienel, Gerald A; Cruz, Nancy F

    2015-02-01

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

  11. Small ubiquitin-like modifier 1-3 conjugation [corrected] is activated in human astrocytic brain tumors and is required for glioblastoma cell survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wei; Wang, Liangli; Roehn, Gabriele; Pearlstein, Robert D; Ali-Osman, Francis; Pan, Hongjie; Goldbrunner, Roland; Krantz, Matthew; Harms, Christoph; Paschen, Wulf

    2013-01-01

    Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO1-3) constitutes a group of proteins that conjugate to lysine residues of target proteins thereby modifying their activity, stability, and subcellular localization. A large number of SUMO target proteins are transcription factors and other nuclear proteins involved in gene expression. Furthermore, SUMO conjugation plays key roles in genome stability, quality control of newly synthesized proteins, proteasomal degradation of proteins, and DNA damage repair. Any marked increase in levels of SUMO-conjugated proteins is therefore expected to have a major impact on the fate of cells. We show here that SUMO conjugation is activated in human astrocytic brain tumors. Levels of both SUMO1- and SUMO2/3-conjugated proteins were markedly increased in tumor samples. The effect was least pronounced in low-grade astrocytoma (WHO Grade II) and most pronounced in glioblastoma multiforme (WHO Grade IV). We also found a marked rise in levels of Ubc9, the only SUMO conjugation enzyme identified so far. Blocking SUMO1-3 conjugation in glioblastoma cells by silencing their expression blocked DNA synthesis, cell growth, and clonogenic survival of cells. It also resulted in DNA-dependent protein kinase-induced phosphorylation of H2AX, indicative of DNA double-strand damage, and G(2) /M cell cycle arrest. Collectively, these findings highlight the pivotal role of SUMO conjugation in DNA damage repair processes and imply that the SUMO conjugation pathway could be a new target of therapeutic intervention aimed at increasing the sensitivity of glioblastomas to radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

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

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    Robert eKrencik

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2006-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is controlled by arterial blood pressure, arterial CO2, arterial O2, and brain activity and is largely constant in the awake state. Although small changes in arterial CO2 are particularly potent to change CBF (1 mmHg variation in arterial CO2 changes CBF by 3%–4%), the coupling mechanism is incompletely understood. We tested the hypothesis that astrocytic prostaglandin E2 (PgE2) plays a key role for cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity, and that preserved synthesis of glutathione is essential for the full development of this response. We combined two-photon imaging microscopy in brain slices with in vivo work in rats and C57BL/6J mice to examine the hemodynamic responses to CO2 and somatosensory stimulation before and after inhibition of astrocytic glutathione and PgE2 synthesis. We demonstrate that hypercapnia (increased CO2) evokes an increase in astrocyte [Ca2+]i and stimulates COX-1 activity. The enzyme downstream of COX-1 that synthesizes PgE2 (microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1) depends critically for its vasodilator activity on the level of glutathione in the brain. We show that, when glutathione levels are reduced, astrocyte calcium-evoked release of PgE2 is decreased and vasodilation triggered by increased astrocyte [Ca2+]i in vitro and by hypercapnia in vivo is inhibited. Astrocyte synthetic pathways, dependent on glutathione, are involved in cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2. Reductions in glutathione levels in aging, stroke, or schizophrenia could lead to dysfunctional regulation of CBF and subsequent neuronal damage. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neuronal activity leads to the generation of CO2, which has previously been shown to evoke cerebral blood flow (CBF) increases via the release of the vasodilator PgE2. We demonstrate that hypercapnia (increased CO2) evokes increases in astrocyte calcium signaling, which in turn stimulates COX-1 activity and generates downstream PgE2 production. We demonstrate that astrocyte calcium

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

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    Masoud Fereidoni

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  18. Direct Generation of Human Neuronal Cells from Adult Astrocytes by Small Molecules

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    Longfei Gao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes, due to the proximity to neuronal lineage and capability to proliferate, are ideal starting cells to regenerate neurons. Human fetal astrocytes have been successfully converted into neuronal cells by small molecules, which offered a broader range of further applications than transcription factor-mediated neuronal reprogramming. Here we report that human adult astrocytes could also be converted into neuronal cells by a different set of small molecules. These induced cells exhibited typical neuronal morphologies, expressed neuronal markers, and displayed neuronal electrophysiological properties. Genome-wide RNA-sequencing analysis showed that the global gene expression profile of induced neuronal cells resembled that of human embryonic stem cell-differentiated neurons. When transplanted into post-natal mouse brains, these induced neuronal cells could survive and become electrophysiologically mature. Altogether, our study provides a strategy to directly generate transgene-free neuronal cells from human adult astrocytes by small molecules.

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

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    Abinaya Chandrasekaran

    2016-09-01

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

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

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedergaard, Maiken

    1994-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is controlled by arterial blood pressure, arterial CO2, arterial O2, and brain activity and is largely constant in the awake state. Although small changes in arterial CO2 are particularly potent to change CBF (1 mmHg variation in arterial CO2 changes CBF by 3-4%), the co......Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is controlled by arterial blood pressure, arterial CO2, arterial O2, and brain activity and is largely constant in the awake state. Although small changes in arterial CO2 are particularly potent to change CBF (1 mmHg variation in arterial CO2 changes CBF by 3...... in brain slices with in vivo work in rats and C57Bl/6J mice to examine the hemodynamic responses to CO2 and somatosensory stimulation before and after inhibition of astrocytic glutathione and PgE2 synthesis. We demonstrate that hypercapnia (increased CO2) evokes an increase in astrocyte [Ca(2+)]i...... and stimulates COX-1 activity. The enzyme downstream of COX-1 that synthesizes PgE2 (microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1) depends critically for its vasodilator activity on the level of glutathione in the brain. We show that when glutathione levels are reduced, astrocyte calcium-evoked release of PgE2...

  3. Glutamate metabolism in the brain focusing on astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Metabolism of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter and precursor of GABA, is exceedingly complex and highly compartmentalized in brain. Maintenance of these neurotransmitter pools is strictly dependent on the de novo synthesis of glutamine in astrocytes which requires both the anaplero......Metabolism of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter and precursor of GABA, is exceedingly complex and highly compartmentalized in brain. Maintenance of these neurotransmitter pools is strictly dependent on the de novo synthesis of glutamine in astrocytes which requires both...... the anaplerotic enzyme pyruvate carboxylase and glutamine synthetase. Glutamate is formed directly from glutamine by deamidation via phosphate activated glutaminase a reaction that also yields ammonia. Glutamate plays key roles linking carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism via the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle......, as well as in nitrogen trafficking and ammonia homeostasis in brain. The anatomical specialization of astrocytic endfeet enables these cells to rapidly and efficiently remove neurotransmitters from the synaptic cleft to maintain homeostasis, and to provide glutamine to replenish neurotransmitter pools...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Chen, Ye; Song, Dan

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Elizabeth P. Crowe

    2016-08-01

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

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

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

    2014-03-28

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

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

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    Martin Heni

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iverson Linda E

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P M Abdul Muneer

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

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

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    Ming-Chak Lee

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaerby, Celia; Rasmussen, Rune; Andersen, Mie

    2017-01-01

    We continuously need to adapt to changing conditions within our surrounding environment, and our brain needs to quickly shift between resting and working activity states in order to allow appropriate behaviors. These global state shifts are intimately linked to the brain-wide release...... of the neuromodulators, noradrenaline and acetylcholine. Astrocytes have emerged as a new player participating in the regulation of brain activity, and have recently been implicated in brain state shifts. Astrocytes display global Ca2+ signaling in response to activation of the noradrenergic system, but whether...... astrocytic Ca2+ signaling is causative or correlative for shifts in brain state and neural activity patterns is not known. Here we review the current available literature on astrocytic Ca2+ signaling in awake animals in order to explore the role of astrocytic signaling in brain state shifts. Furthermore, we...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Lily

    2005-07-01

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

  17. Distinct Contributions of Astrocytes and Pericytes to Neuroinflammation Identified in a 3D Human Blood-Brain Barrier on a Chip

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Herland, Anna; van der Meer, Andries Dirk; Fitzgerald, Edward A.; Park, Tae-Eun; Sleeboom, Jelle J.F.; Ingber, Donald E.

    2016-01-01

    Neurovascular inflammation is a major contributor to many neurological disorders, but modeling these processes in vitro has proven to be difficult. Here, we microengineered a three-dimensional (3D) model of the human blood-brain barrier (BBB) within a microfluidic chip by creating a cylindrical

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-16

    We continuously need to adapt to changing conditions within our surrounding environment, and our brain needs to quickly shift between resting and working activity states in order to allow appropriate behaviors. These global state shifts are intimately linked to the brain-wide release of the neuromodulators, noradrenaline and acetylcholine. Astrocytes have emerged as a new player participating in the regulation of brain activity, and have recently been implicated in brain state shifts. Astrocytes display global Ca(2+) signaling in response to activation of the noradrenergic system, but whether astrocytic Ca(2+) signaling is causative or correlative for shifts in brain state and neural activity patterns is not known. Here we review the current available literature on astrocytic Ca(2+) signaling in awake animals in order to explore the role of astrocytic signaling in brain state shifts. Furthermore, we look at the development and availability of innovative new methodological tools that are opening up for new ways of visualizing and perturbing astrocyte activity in awake behaving animals. With these new tools at hand, the field of astrocyte research will likely be able to elucidate the causal and mechanistic roles of astrocytes in complex behaviors within a very near future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Activated astrocytes enhance the dopaminergic differentiation of stem cells and promote brain repair through bFGF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fan; Liu, Yunhui; Tu, Jie; Wan, Jun; Zhang, Jie; Wu, Bifeng; Chen, Shanping; Zhou, Jiawei; Mu, Yangling; Wang, Liping

    2014-12-17

    Astrocytes provide neuroprotective effects against degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons and play a fundamental role in DA differentiation of neural stem cells. Here we show that light illumination of astrocytes expressing engineered channelrhodopsin variant (ChETA) can remarkably enhance the release of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and significantly promote the DA differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in vitro. Light activation of transplanted astrocytes in the substantia nigra (SN) also upregulates bFGF levels in vivo and promotes the regenerative effects of co-transplanted stem cells. Importantly, upregulation of bFGF levels, by specific light activation of endogenous astrocytes in the SN, enhances the DA differentiation of transplanted stem cells and promotes brain repair in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Our study indicates that astrocyte-derived bFGF is required for regulation of DA differentiation of the stem cells and may provide a strategy targeting astrocytes for treatment of PD.

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

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    Yu-Feng eWang

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-29

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

  6. Astrocytes promote progression of breast cancer metastases to the brain via a KISS1-mediated autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaverina, Natalya; Borovjagin, Anton V; Kadagidze, Zaira; Baryshnikov, Anatoly; Baryshnikova, Maria; Malin, Dmitry; Ghosh, Dhimankrishhna; Shah, Nameeta; Welch, Danny R; Gabikian, Patrik; Karseladze, Apollon; Cobbs, Charles; Ulasov, Ilya V

    2017-10-05

    Formation of metastases, also known as cancer dissemination, is an important stage of breast cancer (BrCa) development. KISS1 expression is associated with inhibition of metastases development. Recently we have demonstrated that BrCa metastases to the brain exhibit low levels of KISS1 expression at both mRNA and protein levels. By using multicolor immunofluorescence and coculture techniques here we show that normal adult astrocytes in the brain are capable of promoting metastatic transformation of circulating breast cancer cells localized to the brain through secretion of chemokine CXCL12. The latter was found in this study to downregulate KISS1 expression at the post-transcriptional level via induction of microRNA-345 (MIR345). Furthermore, we demonstrated that ectopic expression of KISS1 downregulates ATG5 and ATG7, 2 key modulators of autophagy, and works concurrently with autophagy inhibitors, thereby implicating autophagy in the mechanism of KISS1-mediated BrCa metastatic transformation. We also found that expression of KISS1 in human breast tumor specimens inversely correlates with that of MMP9 and IL8, implicated in the mechanism of metastatic invasion, thereby supporting the role of KISS1 as a potential regulator of BrCa metastatic invasion in the brain. This conclusion is further supported by the ability of KISS1, ectopically overexpressed from an adenoviral vector in MDA-MB-231Br cells with silenced expression of the endogenous gene, to revert invasive phenotype of those cells. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that human adult astrocytes can promote brain invasion of the brain-localized circulating breast cancer cells by upregulating autophagy signaling pathways via the CXCL12-MIR345- KISS1 axis.

  7. Identification of gene products suppressed by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection or gp120 exposure of primary human astrocytes by rapid subtraction hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Zao-Zhong; Kang, Dong-Chul; Chen, Yinming; Pekarskaya, Olga; Chao, Wei; Volsky, David J; Fisher, Paul B

    2003-06-01

    Neurodegeneration and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-associated dementia (HAD) are the major disease manifestations of HIV-1 colonization of the central nervous system (CNS). In the brain, HIV-1 replicates in microglial cells and infiltrating macrophages and it persists in a low-productive, noncytolytic state in astrocytes. Astrocytes play critical roles in the maintenance of the brain microenvironment, responses to injury, and in neuronal signal transmission, and disruption of these functions by HIV-1 could contribute to HAD. To better understand the potential effects of HIV-1 on astrocyte biology, the authors investigated changes in gene expression using an efficient and sensitive rapid subtraction hybridization approach, RaSH. Primary human astrocytes were isolated from abortus brain tissue, low-passage cells were infected with HIV-1 or mock infected, and total cellular RNAs were isolated at multiple time points over a period of 1 week. This approach is designed to identify gene products modulated early and late after HIV-1 infection and limits the cloning of genes displaying normal cell-cycle fluctuations in astrocytes. By subtracting temporal cDNAs derived from HIV-1-infected astrocytes from temporal cDNAs made from uninfected cells, 10 genes displaying reduced expression in infected cells, termed astrocyte suppressed genes (ASGs), were identified and their suppression was confirmed by Northern blot hybridization. Both known and novel ASGs, not reported in current DNA databases, that are down-regulated by HIV-1 infection are described. Northern blotting confirms suppression of the same panel of ASGs by treatment of astrocytes with recombinant HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein, gp120. These results extend our previous analysis of astrocyte genes induced or enhanced by HIV-1 infection and together they suggest that HIV-1 and viral proteins have profound effects on astrocyte physiology, which may influence their function in the CNS.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly regulated interface in the Central Nervous System (CNS) that regulates the exchange of molecules in and out from the brain thus maintaining the CNS homeostasis. It is mainly composed of endothelial cells (ECs), pericytes and astrocytes that create a neurovascular unit (NVU) with the adjacent neurons. Astrocytes are essential for the formation and maintenance of the BBB by providing secreted factors that lead to the adequate association between the ce...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-17

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

  10. GFAP isoforms in adult mouse brain with a focus on neurogenic astrocytes and reactive astrogliosis in mouse models of Alzheimer disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willem Kamphuis

    Full Text Available Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP is the main astrocytic intermediate filament (IF. GFAP splice isoforms show differential expression patterns in the human brain. GFAPδ is preferentially expressed by neurogenic astrocytes in the subventricular zone (SVZ, whereas GFAP(+1 is found in a subset of astrocytes throughout the brain. In addition, the expression of these isoforms in human brain material of epilepsy, Alzheimer and glioma patients has been reported. Here, for the first time, we present a comprehensive study of GFAP isoform expression in both wild-type and Alzheimer Disease (AD mouse models. In cortex, cerebellum, and striatum of wild-type mice, transcripts for Gfap-α, Gfap-β, Gfap-γ, Gfap-δ, Gfap-κ, and a newly identified isoform Gfap-ζ, were detected. Their relative expression levels were similar in all regions studied. GFAPα showed a widespread expression whilst GFAPδ distribution was prominent in the SVZ, rostral migratory stream (RMS, neurogenic astrocytes of the subgranular zone (SGZ, and subpial astrocytes. In contrast to the human SVZ, we could not establish an unambiguous GFAPδ localization in proliferating cells of the mouse SVZ. In APPswePS1dE9 and 3xTgAD mice, plaque-associated reactive astrocytes had increased transcript levels of all detectable GFAP isoforms and low levels of a new GFAP isoform, Gfap-ΔEx7. Reactive astrocytes in AD mice showed enhanced GFAPα and GFAPδ immunolabeling, less frequently increased vimentin and nestin, but no GFAPκ or GFAP(+1 staining. In conclusion, GFAPδ protein is present in SVZ, RMS, and neurogenic astrocytes of the SGZ, but also outside neurogenic niches. Furthermore, differential GFAP isoform expression is not linked with aging or reactive gliosis. This evidence points to the conclusion that differential regulation of GFAP isoforms is not involved in the reorganization of the IF network in reactive gliosis or in neurogenesis in the mouse brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-08

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-18

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

  14. Influence of basement membrane proteins and endothelial cell-derived factors on the morphology of human fetal-derived astrocytes in 2D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda F Levy

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are the most prevalent type of glial cell in the brain, participating in a variety of diverse functions from regulating cerebral blood flow to controlling synapse formation. Astrocytes and astrocyte-conditioned media are widely used in models of the blood-brain barrier (BBB, however, very little is known about astrocyte culture in 2D. To test the hypothesis that surface coating and soluble factors influence astrocyte morphology in 2D, we quantitatively analyzed the morphology of human fetal derived astrocytes on glass, matrigel, fibronectin, collagen IV, and collagen I, and after the addition soluble factors including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF, laminin, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF. Matrigel surface coatings, as well as addition of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF to the media, were found to have the strongest effects on 2D astrocyte morphology, and may be important in improving existing BBB models. In addition, the novel set of quantitative parameters proposed in this paper provide a test for determining the influence of compounds on astrocyte morphology, both to screen for new endothelial cell-secreted factors that influence astrocytes, and to determine in a high-throughput way which factors are important for translation to more complex, 3D BBB models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 efficiently binds to human fetal astrocytes and induces neuroinflammatory responses independent of infection

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    Potash Mary

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV-1 infects human astrocytes in vitro and in vivo but the frequency of infected cells is low and its biological significance is unknown. In studies in vitro, recombinant gp120 alone can induce profound effects on astrocyte biology, suggesting that HIV-1 interaction with astrocytes and its functional consequences extend beyond the limited levels of infection in these cells. Here we determined the relative efficiencies of HIV-1 binding and infection in human fetal astrocytes (HFA, mainly at the single cell level, using HIV-1 tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP-Vpr fusion proteins, termed HIV-GFP, to detect virus binding and HIV-1 expressing Rev and NefGFP fusion proteins to detect productive infection. Results Essentially all HFA in a population bound HIV-GFP specifically and independently of CCR5 and CXCR4. The dynamics of this binding at 37°C resembled binding of an HIV fusion mutant to CD4-positive cells, indicating that most of HIV-GFP arrested infection of HFA at the stage of virus-cell fusion. Despite extensive binding, only about 1% of HFA were detectably infected by HIV-RevGFP or HIV-NefGFP, but this proportion increased to the majority of HFA when the viruses were pseudotyped with vesicular stomatitis virus envelope glycoprotein G, confirming that HFA impose a restriction upon HIV-1 entry. Exposure of HFA to HIV-1 through its native proteins rapidly induced synthesis of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 with increased mRNA detected within 3 h and increased protein detected within 18 h of exposure. Conclusion Our results indicate that HIV-1 binding to human astrocytes, although extensive, is not generally followed by virus entry and replication. Astrocytes respond to HIV-1 binding by rapidly increased cytokine production suggesting a role of this virus-brain cell interaction in HIV-1 neuropathogenesis.

  17. Insights into Human Astrocyte Response to H5N1 Infection by Microarray Analysis

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    Xian Lin

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Influenza virus infects not only the respiratory system but also the central nervous system (CNS, leading to influenza-associated encephalopathy and encephalitis. Astrocytes are essential for brain homeostasis and neuronal function. These cells can also be infected by influenza virus. However, genome-wide changes in response to influenza viral infection in astrocytes have not been defined. In this study, we performed gene profiling of human astrocytes in response to H5N1. Innate immune and pro-inflammatory responses were strongly activated at 24 h post-infection (hpi. Antiviral genes, as well as several cytokines and chemokines, including CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11, were robustly induced. Phosphorylation of p65 and p38 can be activated by viral infection, suggesting their potential critical roles in H5N1-induced pro-inflammatory response. Moreover, H5N1 infection significantly upregulated the gene expressions related to the neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction pathway at 24 hpi, such as MC2R, CHRNG, P2RY13, GABRA1, and HRH2, which participant in synaptic transmission and may take part in CNS disorders induced by H5N1 infection. Targeting key components of innate immune response and the neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction pathway may provide a strategy to control H5N1-induced encephalopathy and encephalitis. This research can contribute to the understanding of H5N1 pathogenesis in astrocytes.

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

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    Ricardo eCabezas

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly regulated interface in the Central Nervous System (CNS) that regulates the exchange of molecules in and out from the brain thus maintaining the CNS homeostasis. It is mainly composed of endothelial cells (ECs), pericytes and astrocytes that create a neurovascular unit (NVU) with the adjacent neurons. Astrocytes are essential for the formation and maintenance of the BBB by providing secreted factors that lead to the adequate association between the cells of the BBB and the formation of strong tight junctions. Under neurological disorders, such as chronic cerebral ischemia, brain trauma, Epilepsy, Alzheimer and Parkinson’s Diseases, a disruption of the BBB takes place, involving a lost in the permeability of the barrier and phenotypical changes in both the ECs and astrocytes. In this aspect, it has been established that the process of reactive gliosis is a common feature of astrocytes during BBB disruption, which has a detrimental effect on the barrier function and a subsequent damage in neuronal survival. In this review we discuss the implications of astrocyte functions in the protection of the BBB, and in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related disorders. Additionally, we highlight the current and future strategies in astrocyte protection aimed at the development of restorative therapies for the BBB in pathological conditions. PMID:25136294

  20. Aralar mRNA and protein levels in neurons and astrocytes freshly isolated from young and adult mouse brain and in maturing cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Baoman; Hertz, Leif; Peng, Liang

    2012-12-01

    Intense glucose-based energy metabolism and glutamate synthesis by astrocytes require malate-aspartate-shuttle (MAS) activity to regenerate NAD⁺ from NADH formed during glycolysis, since brain lacks significant glycerophosphate shuttle activity. Aralar is a necessary aspartate/glutamate exchanger for MAS function in brain. Based on cytochemical immunoassays the absence of aralar in adult astrocytes was repeatedly reported. This would mean that adult astrocytes must regenerate NAD⁺ by producing lactate from pyruvate, eliminating its use by oxidative and biosynthetic pathways. We alternatively used astrocytes and neurons from adult brain, freshly isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, to determine aralar protein by a specific antibody and its mRNA by real-time PCR. Both protein and mRNA expressions were identical in adult neurons and astrocytes and similar to whole brain levels. The same level of aralar expression was reached in well-differentiated astrocyte cultures, but not until late development, coinciding with the late-maturing brain capability for glutamate formation and degradation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue Wang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

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    George E. Barreto

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J A Davies

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-02

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

  8. Generation of human pluripotent stem cell reporter lines for the isolation of and reporting on astrocytes generated from ventral midbrain and ventral spinal cord neural progenitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Staffan Holmqvist

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes play a critical role during the development and the maintenance of the CNS in health and disease. Yet, their lack of accessibility from fetuses and from the brain of diseased patients has hindered our understanding of their full implication in developmental and pathogenic processes. Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs are an alternative source to obtain large quantities of astrocytes in vitro, for mechanistic studies of development and disease. However, these studies often require highly pure populations of astrocytes, which are not always achieved, depending on the PSC lines and protocols used. Here, we describe the generation and characterization of human PSC reporter lines expressing TagRFP driven by the ABC1D region of the human GFAP promoter, as new cellular model for generating homogenous population of astrocytes generated from CNS regionally defined PSC-derived neural progenitors. GFAABC1D::TagRFP-expressing astrocytes can be purified by fluorescent-activated cell sorting and maintain a bright expression for several additional weeks. These express canonical astrocyte markers NF1A, S100β, CX43, GLAST, GS and CD44. These new cellular models, from which highly pure populations of fluorescence-expressing astrocytes can be obtained, provide a new platform for studies where pure or fluorescently labeled astrocyte populations are necessary, for example to assess pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine release in response to specific treatment, and uptake and degradation of fluorescently labeled pathogenic proteins, as reported in this study.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helms, Hans C; Brodin, Birger

    2014-01-01

    In vitro models of the blood-brain barrier are useful tools to study blood-brain barrier function as well as drug permeation from the systemic circulation to the brain parenchyma. However, a large number of the available in vitro models fail to reflect the tightness of the in vivo blood-brain...... barrier. The present protocol describes the setup of an in vitro coculture model based on primary cultures of endothelial cells from bovine brain microvessels and primary cultures of rat astrocytes. The model displays a high electrical tightness and expresses blood-brain barrier marker proteins....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Astrocytes from the brain microenvironment alter migration and morphology of metastatic breast cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shumakovich, Marina A; Mencio, Caitlin P; Siglin, Jonathan S; Moriarty, Rebecca A; Geller, Herbert M; Stroka, Kimberly M

    2017-08-09

    Tumor cell metastasis to the brain involves cell migration through biochemically and physically complex microenvironments at the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The current understanding of tumor cell migration across the BBB is limited. We hypothesize that an interplay between biochemical cues and physical cues at the BBB affects the mechanisms of brain metastasis. We found that astrocyte conditioned medium (ACM) applied directly to tumor cells increased tumor cell velocity, induced elongation, and promoted actin stress fiber organization. Notably, treatment of the extracellular matrix with ACM led to even more significant increases in tumor cell velocity in comparison with ACM treatment of cells directly. Furthermore, inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases in ACM reversed ACM's effect on tumor cells. The effects of ACM on tumor cell morphology and migration also depended on astrocytes' activation state. Finally, using a microfluidic device, we found that the effects of ACM were abrogated in confinement. Overall, our work demonstrates that astrocyte-secreted factors alter migration and morphology of metastatic breast tumor cells, and this effect depends on the cells' mechanical microenvironment.-Shumakovich, M. A., Mencio, C. P., Siglin, J. S., Moriarty, R. A., Geller, H. M., Stroka, K. M. Astrocytes from the brain microenvironment alter migration and morphology of metastatic breast cancer cells. © FASEB.

  12. Welcoming Treat: Astrocyte-Derived Exosomes Induce PTEN Suppression to Foster Brain Metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alečković, Maša; Kang, Yibin

    2015-11-09

    Metastasis to distant organs depends on pathological crosstalk between tumor cells and various tissue-specific stromal components. Zhang and colleagues recently demonstrated that astrocyte-derived exosomal miR-19a reversibly downregulated PTEN expression in cancer cells, thereby increasing their CCL2 secretion and recruitment of myeloid cell to promote brain metastasis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, C R; Chatton, J-Y

    2016-05-26

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

  17. A novel gliotic P2 receptor mediating cyclooxygenase-2 induction in rat and human astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brambilla, R; Ceruti, S; Malorni, W; Cattabeni, F; Abbracchio, M P

    2000-07-01

    In astrocytic cultures maintained in vitro, a brief challenge with the ATP analog alpha,beta methyleneATP (alpha,betameATP) results, 3 days later, in marked elongation of astrocytic processes, an event that resembles the astrocytic hypertrophy known to occur in vivo during reactive astrogliosis. alpha,beta meATP-induced effects were observed in primary astrocytes obtained from both rat striatum and cortex (a brain area highly involved in chronic neurodegenerative pathologies), as well as in human astrocytoma cells (ADF cells). Purine-induced gliosis could be reversed by the non-selective P2X/P2Y receptor antagonist pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2', 4'-disulphonic acid (PPADS), but not by oxidized ATP (an antagonist of the P2X(7) receptor), in line with previous studies of our laboratory suggesting the involvement of a P2Y receptor subtype. Induction of reactive gliosis was preceded by increased expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme whose excessive activation has been implicated in both acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases. The selective COX-2 inhibitor NS-398 prevented both purine-induced astrogliosis and the associated COX-2 induction, suggesting that inhibition of the transcription of the COX-2 gene may also contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of this agent. Significant blockade of both alpha,beta meATP-mediated reactive gliosis and COX-2 induction was also observed with PPADS. These data suggest that COX-2 mediates P2Y receptor-induced reactive astrogliosis, and that antagonists selective for this receptor subtype may represent a novel class of anti-inflammatory agents of potential interest in acute and chronic neurological disorders characterized by an inflammatory component and reactive gliosis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anat Elmann

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Rare mutations of the DMBT1 gene in human astrocytic gliomas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller, Wolf; Mollenhauer, Jan; Stockhammer, Florian

    2002-01-01

    The Deleted in Malignant Brain Tumors 1 gene (DMBT1) has been proposed as a tumor suppressor gene candidate in human brain tumors, based on the observation of homozygous deletions affecting the DMBT1 region or part of the gene. In order to support this hypothesis, we performed a mutational analysis...... of the entire coding region of DMBT1, employing SSCP analysis and direct DNA sequencing in a series of 79 astrocytic gliomas. Five somatic mutations were detected. Two mutations, one of which resulted in an amino acid exchange, occurred in glioblastomas. One pilocytic astrocytoma carried two missense mutations...... and another pilocytic astrocytoma contained a somatic mutation, not affecting the presumed protein. In addition, 21 of the 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms identified in this study have not been recognized previously. The data indicate, that small mutations are not a frequent finding in gliomas....

  1. The histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid attenuates human astrocyte neurotoxicity induced by interferon-γ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hashioka Sadayuki

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Backgrounds Increasing evidence shows that the histone deacetylase inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA possesses potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. It is tempting to evaluate the potential of SAHA as a therapeutic agent in various neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Methods We examined the effects of SAHA on interferon (IFN-γ-induced neurotoxicity of human astrocytes and on IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT 3 in human astrocytes. We also studied the effects of SAHA on the astrocytic production of two representative IFN-γ-inducible inflammatory molecules, namely IFN-γ-inducible T cell α chemoattractant (I-TAC and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1. Results SAHA significantly attenuated the toxicity of astrocytes activated by IFN-γ towards SH-SY5Y human neuronal cells. In the IFN-γ-activated astrocytes, SAHA reduced the STAT3 phosphorylation. SAHA also inhibited the IFN-γ-induced astrocytic production of I-TAC, but not ICAM-1. These results indicate that SAHA suppresses IFN-γ-induced neurotoxicity of human astrocytes through inhibition of the STAT3 signaling pathway. Conclusion Due to its anti-neurotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties, SAHA appears to have the therapeutic or preventive potential for a wide range of neuroinflammatory disorders associated with activated astrocytes.

  2. Hydrogel scaffolds promote neural gene expression and structural reorganization in human astrocyte cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Bleu Knight

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Biomaterial scaffolds have the potential to enhance neuronal development and regeneration. Understanding the genetic responses of astrocytes and neurons to biomaterials could facilitate the development of synthetic environments that enable the specification of neural tissue organization with engineered scaffolds. In this study, we used high throughput transcriptomic and imaging methods to determine the impact of a hydrogel, PuraMatrix™, on human glial cells in vitro. Parallel studies were undertaken with cells grown in a monolayer environment on tissue culture polystyrene. When the Normal Human Astrocyte (NHA cell line is grown in a hydrogel matrix environment, the glial cells adopt a structural organization that resembles that of neuronal-glial cocultures, where neurons form clusters that are distinct from the surrounding glia. Statistical analysis of next generation RNA sequencing data uncovered a set of genes that are differentially expressed in the monolayer and matrix hydrogel environments. Functional analysis demonstrated that hydrogel-upregulated genes can be grouped into three broad categories: neuronal differentiation and/or neural plasticity, response to neural insult, and sensory perception. Our results demonstrate that hydrogel biomaterials have the potential to transform human glial cell identity, and may have applications in the repair of damaged brain tissue.

  3. Hydrogel scaffolds promote neural gene expression and structural reorganization in human astrocyte cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, V. Bleu

    2017-01-01

    Biomaterial scaffolds have the potential to enhance neuronal development and regeneration. Understanding the genetic responses of astrocytes and neurons to biomaterials could facilitate the development of synthetic environments that enable the specification of neural tissue organization with engineered scaffolds. In this study, we used high throughput transcriptomic and imaging methods to determine the impact of a hydrogel, PuraMatrix™, on human glial cells in vitro. Parallel studies were undertaken with cells grown in a monolayer environment on tissue culture polystyrene. When the Normal Human Astrocyte (NHA) cell line is grown in a hydrogel matrix environment, the glial cells adopt a structural organization that resembles that of neuronal-glial cocultures, where neurons form clusters that are distinct from the surrounding glia. Statistical analysis of next generation RNA sequencing data uncovered a set of genes that are differentially expressed in the monolayer and matrix hydrogel environments. Functional analysis demonstrated that hydrogel-upregulated genes can be grouped into three broad categories: neuronal differentiation and/or neural plasticity, response to neural insult, and sensory perception. Our results demonstrate that hydrogel biomaterials have the potential to transform human glial cell identity, and may have applications in the repair of damaged brain tissue.

  4. Drowning stars: Reassessing the role of astrocytes in brain edema

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Edema formation frequently complicates brain infarction, tumors and trauma. Despite the significant mortality of this condition, current treatment options are often ineffective or incompletely understood. Recent studies have revealed the existence of a brain-wide paravascular pathway for cerebrospinal (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange. The current review critically examines the contribution of this ‘glymphatic’ system to the main types of brain edema. We propose that in cytotoxic ed...

  5. Astrocytes in Migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. 几种激素和IL-1β对人脑星形胶质细胞IL-6 、TNF-α分泌的影响%Effect of Some Hormones and IL-1β on the Production of IL-6 and TNF-α in Astrocytes from Human Fetal Brain in Vitro

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李兰英; 孙云; 庞智玲

    2001-01-01

    目的 观察T3等因素对体外培养人胎大脑星形胶质细胞分泌IL-6、TNF-α的调节作用。方法 纯化培养人胎大脑星形胶质细胞,应用酶联免疫分析(ELISA)方法检测培养上清液中IL-6、TNF-α的水平。结果 (1)星形胶质细胞(AC)在体外培养条件下可自发分泌IL-6,而TNF-α则几乎检测不到。(2)LPS(0.1μg/mL)即可诱导AC产生IL-6和TNF-α。(3)IL-1β是IL-6分泌的主要诱导剂,但不诱导TNF-α分泌。(4)氢化可的松可明显抑制AC分泌IL-6、TNF-α。(5)T3在72h可刺激IL-6的分泌。(6)胰岛素对IL-6的分泌没有明显的调节作用。结论 AC可通过分泌细胞因子参与炎症反应等病理过程并维持中枢神经系统的正常发育、内环境的稳定,且受多种因素的调节。在中枢神经系统中T3、胰岛素主要参与调节发育和代谢,可能不直接参与炎症和免疫机制调节。%Objective Studing the effect of some hormons and IL-6 on theproduction of IL-6 and TNF-α in astrocytes from human fetal brain. Methods The purified cultures of astrocytes were prepared from second-trimester human fetal brain. The levels of IL-6 and TNF-α were detected by ELISA before and after stimulation with IL- 1β,LPS , insulin, triiodothyronine(T3)and hydrocortisone. Results (1)Before stimulated the level of IL-6 in medium was (73.60±9.14)pg/mL at 24 h and(68.46±22.60)pg/mL at 72 h respectively and few TNF-α were detected. (2)LPS(0.1 μg/mL) could induce the production of IL- 6 and TNF-α in astrocytes (P <0.001).(3)IL-1β was a strong stimulus for production of IL-6 in a dose-dependent fashion and the level of IL-6 induced by IL-1β(100 U/mL) is 30 fold more than the base level . IL-1β could not stimulate TNF-α secretion . (4) T3 (10-8 mol/L)could increase the level of IL-6 at 72 h(P<0.05) . (5) Hydrocortisone suppress the production of IL-6 and TNF-α before and after stimulation with IL-1β and LPS . (6)Insulin failed to

  7. Expression of the Astrocyte Water Channel Aquaporin-4 in the Mouse Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline A. Hubbard

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 is a bidirectional water channel that is found on astrocytes throughout the central nervous system. Expression is particularly high around areas in contact with cerebrospinal fluid, suggesting that AQP4 plays a role in fluid exchange between the cerebrospinal fluid compartments and the brain. Despite its significant role in the brain, the overall spatial and region-specific distribution of AQP4 has yet to be fully characterized. In this study, we used Western blotting and immunohistochemical techniques to characterize AQP4 expression and localization throughout the mouse brain. We observed AQP4 expression throughout the forebrain, subcortical areas, and brainstem. AQP4 protein levels were highest in the cerebellum with lower expression in the cortex and hippocampus. We found that AQP4 immunoreactivity was profuse on glial cells bordering ventricles, blood vessels, and subarachnoid space. Throughout the brain, AQP4 was expressed on astrocytic end-feet surrounding blood vessels but was also heterogeneously expressed in brain tissue parenchyma and neuropil, often with striking laminar specificity. In the cerebellum, we showed that AQP4 colocalized with the proteoglycan brevican, which is synthesized by and expressed on cerebellar astrocytes. Despite the high abundance of AQP4 in the cerebellum, its functional significance has yet to be investigated. Given the known role of AQP4 in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, the widespread and region-specific expression pattern of AQP4 suggests involvement not only in fluid balance and ion homeostasis but also local synaptic plasticity and function in distinct brain circuits.

  8. Expression of the Astrocyte Water Channel Aquaporin-4 in the Mouse Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Jacqueline A.; Hsu, Mike S.; Seldin, Marcus M.

    2015-01-01

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is a bidirectional water channel that is found on astrocytes throughout the central nervous system. Expression is particularly high around areas in contact with cerebrospinal fluid, suggesting that AQP4 plays a role in fluid exchange between the cerebrospinal fluid compartments and the brain. Despite its significant role in the brain, the overall spatial and region-specific distribution of AQP4 has yet to be fully characterized. In this study, we used Western blotting and immunohistochemical techniques to characterize AQP4 expression and localization throughout the mouse brain. We observed AQP4 expression throughout the forebrain, subcortical areas, and brainstem. AQP4 protein levels were highest in the cerebellum with lower expression in the cortex and hippocampus. We found that AQP4 immunoreactivity was profuse on glial cells bordering ventricles, blood vessels, and subarachnoid space. Throughout the brain, AQP4 was expressed on astrocytic end-feet surrounding blood vessels but was also heterogeneously expressed in brain tissue parenchyma and neuropil, often with striking laminar specificity. In the cerebellum, we showed that AQP4 colocalized with the proteoglycan brevican, which is synthesized by and expressed on cerebellar astrocytes. Despite the high abundance of AQP4 in the cerebellum, its functional significance has yet to be investigated. Given the known role of AQP4 in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, the widespread and region-specific expression pattern of AQP4 suggests involvement not only in fluid balance and ion homeostasis but also local synaptic plasticity and function in distinct brain circuits. PMID:26489685

  9. Drowning stars: Reassessing the role of astrocytes in brain edema

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Edema formation frequently complicates brain infarction, tumors and trauma. Despite the significant mortality of this condition, current treatment options are often ineffective or incompletely understood. Recent studies have revealed the existence of a brain-wide paravascular pathway for cerebrospinal (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange. The current review critically examines the contribution of this ‘glymphatic’ system to the main types of brain edema. We propose that in cytotoxic edema, energy depletion enhances glymphatic CSF influx, whilst suppressing ISF efflux. We also argue that paravascular inflammation or ‘paravasculitis’ plays a critical role in vasogenic edema. Finally, recent advances in diagnostic imaging of glymphatic function may hold the key to defining the edema profile of individual patients and thus enable more targeted therapy. PMID:25236348

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  11. Imipramine induces brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA expression in cultured astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takano, Katsura; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Kawabe, Kenji; Moriyama, Mitsuaki; Nakamura, Yoichi

    2012-01-01

    Depression is one of the most prevalent and livelihood-threatening forms of mental illnesses and the neural circuitry underlying depression remains incompletely understood. Recent studies suggest that the neuronal plasticity involved with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in the recovery from depression. Some antidepressants are reported to induce BDNF expression in vivo; however, the mechanisms have been considered solely in neurons and not fully elucidated. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of imipramine, a classic tricyclic antidepressant drug, on BDNF expression in cultured rat brain astrocytes. Imipramine dose-dependently increased BDNF mRNA expression in astrocytes. The imipramine-induced BDNF increase was suppressed with inhibitors for protein kinase A (PKA) or MEK/ERK. Moreover, imipramine exposure activated transcription factor cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggested that imipramine induced BDNF expression through CREB activation via PKA and/or ERK pathways. Imipramine treatment in depression might exert antidepressant action through BDNF production from astrocytes, and glial BDNF expression might be a target of developing novel antidepressants.

  12. Porosome in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  13. Specific expression profile and prognostic significance of peroxiredoxins in grade II-IV astrocytic brain tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kinnula Vuokko L

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Peroxiredoxins (Prxs have recently been suggested to have a role in tumorigenesis. Methods We studied the expression of Prx I-VI and their relationship to patient survival in 383 grade II-IV diffuse astrocytic brain tumors. Results Prx I positivity was found in 68%, Prx II in 84%, Prx III in 90%, Prx IV in 5%, Prx V in 4% and Prx VI in 47% of the tumors. Prx I and Prx II expression decreased significantly with increasing malignancy grade (p Conclusion The expression of Prx I and Prx II correlates with astrocytic tumor features, such as grade and patient age and proliferation activity (Prx I, and accordingly with patient survival.

  14. Neurosphere Based Differentiation of Human iPSC Improves Astrocyte Differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, Shuling; Szczesna, Karolina; Ochalek, Anna;

    2016-01-01

    of brain tissue. In this study, we determined that culturing iPSC-derived NPCs as three-dimensional (3D) floating neurospheres resulted in increased expression of the neural progenitor cell (NPC) markers, PAX6 and NESTIN. Expansion of NPCs in 3D culture methods also resulted in a more homogenous PAX6...... expression when compared to 2D culture methods. Furthermore, the 3D propagation method for NPCs resulted in a significant higher expression of the astrocyte markers  GFAP and aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in the differentiated cells. Thus, our 3D propagation method could constitute a useful tool to promote NPC......Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are traditionally maintained and proliferated utilizing two-dimensional (2D) adherent monolayer culture systems. However, NPCs cultured using this system hardly reflect the intrinsic spatial development...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-15

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

  16. Mini-ruby is rapidly taken up by neurons and astrocytes in organotypic brain slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullrich, Celine; Humpel, Christian

    2011-10-01

    Cholinergic neurons are intensively studied, because they degenerate in Alzheimer's disease. Although neurotracer techniques are widely used to study axonal transport, guidance, regeneration or sprouting it is not clear if cholinergic neurons can be stained by tracer techniques and studied in brain slices. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the characteristics of the neurotracer Mini-ruby in organotypic brain slices of the basal nucleus of Meynert (nBM), focusing on cholinergic neurons. Mini-ruby is a biotinylated dextran amine and is taken up very fast by a variety of cells. When 2-week old nerve growth factor-incubated brain slices of the nBM were treated with Mini-ruby crystals for 1 h, only a few (2-3%) cholinergic neurons were clearly labeled as shown by co-localization with choline acetyltransferase. The staining was found in neuN-positive neurons and microtubule associated protein-2 (MAP-2)-positive nerve fibers. A very rapid dynamic change was observed in these labeled varicosities within seconds. However, Mini-ruby was taken up also by many glutamine synthethase-positive astrocytes. At the site of Mini-ruby application an intense CD11b-positive microglial staining was evident. In conclusion, neurons and astrocytes in organotypic brain slices can be labeled very fast with the fluorescent dye Mini-ruby which undergoes dynamic processes.

  17. Astrocyte reactivity in related brain regions in a mouse model of MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhijun Zhang; Chunlin Xia; Yulin Dong; Guangming Lü; Juan Liu; Lin Ding; Hengjian Ni

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Severe injury to dopaminergic neuronal cell bodies and their axon terminals in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) has been observed in both Parkinson's disease (PD) patients or in 1-methy-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyrindine(MPTP)-induced PD animal models, but only slight injury occurs in the adjacent ventral tegmental area (VTA). The mechanisms underlying this selective injury remain poorly understood.OBJECTIVE: To comparatively observe astrocyte reactivity in the SNC, caudate putamen (Cpu), VTA, and frontal association cortex (FrA).DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: A cellular and molecular biology, randomized, controlled experiment was performed at the Institute of Neurobiology, Department of Human Anatomy, Medical School of Nantong University, between December 2006 and September 2008.MATERIALS: A total of 80 healthy adult male C57BL/6 mice were included in this study. MPTP was purchased from Sigma, USA.METHODS: Mice were randomly divided into a model group (n = 64) and a sham-operated group (n = 16). PD was induced in the mice from the model group by intraperitoneal injection of 20 mg/kg MPTP, once every three hours, for a total of 4 times.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive neurons and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive astrocytes were examined by dual immunofluorescence labeling. GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes in the Cpu and FrA were determined by immunofluorescent staining. GFAP mRNA expression in the SNC, Cpu, VTA, and FrA was detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction. TH protein levels in the TH-immunoreactive axon terminals of the Cpu and FrA were detected by Western blotting.RESULTS: Numbers of TH-immunoreactive neurons in the SNC, and TH protein level in the Cpu, markedly decreased (by approximately 68%) 1 day after MPTP injection, and gradually increased at 3 days. Simultaneously, astrocyte reactivity was strengthened, in particular at 7 days. However, after MPTP injection, decreases in

  18. The expression of CAP1 after traumatic brain injury and its role in astrocyte proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Haiyan; Liu, Yonghua; Li, Yao; Zhou, Ying; Chen, Dongjian; Shen, Jianhong; Yan, Yaohua; Yan, Song; Wu, Xinmin; Li, Aihong; Guo, Aisong; Cheng, Chun

    2014-12-01

    Adenylate cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1), a member of cyclase-associated proteins involved in the regulation of actin filaments, was recently reported to play a role in the pathology of sciatic nerves injury. However, the distribution and function of CAP1 in the central nervous system (CNS) remain unclear. To investigate whether CAP1 is involved in CNS injury and repair, we used an acute traumatic brain injury (TBI) model in adult rats. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry showed a significant upregulation of CAP1 in ipsilateral peritrauma cortex compared with the contralateral and sham-operated ones. Double immunofluorescence staining showed that CAP1 was co-expressed with glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In addition, we detected that Ki-67 had colocalization with GFAP and CAP1 after TBI. In vitro, during the process of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced primary astrocyte proliferation, we observed enhanced expression of CAP1. Specially, CAP1-specific siRNA-transfected primary astrocytes show significantly decreased ability for proliferation. Together, all these data indicated that the change of CAP1 protein expression was associated with astrocyte proliferation after the trauma of the central nervous system (CNS).

  19. Astroglial CB1 cannabinoid receptors regulate leptin signaling in mouse brain astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosier, Barbara; Bellocchio, Luigi; Metna-Laurent, Mathilde; Soria-Gomez, Edgar; Matias, Isabelle; Hebert-Chatelain, Etienne; Cannich, Astrid; Maitre, Marlène; Leste-Lasserre, Thierry; Cardinal, Pierre; Mendizabal-Zubiaga, Juan; Canduela, Miren Josune; Reguero, Leire; Hermans, Emmanuel; Grandes, Pedro; Cota, Daniela; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    Type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) and leptin (ObR) receptors regulate metabolic and astroglial functions, but the potential links between the two systems in astrocytes were not investigated so far. Genetic and pharmacological manipulations of CB1 receptor expression and activity in cultured cortical and hypothalamic astrocytes demonstrated that cannabinoid signaling controls the levels of ObR expression. Lack of CB1 receptors also markedly impaired leptin-mediated activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 and 5 (STAT3 and STAT5) in astrocytes. In particular, CB1 deletion determined a basal overactivation of STAT5, thereby leading to the downregulation of ObR expression, and leptin failed to regulate STAT5-dependent glycogen storage in the absence of CB1 receptors. These results show that CB1 receptors directly interfere with leptin signaling and its ability to regulate glycogen storage, thereby representing a novel mechanism linking endocannabinoid and leptin signaling in the regulation of brain energy storage and neuronal functions.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Truncated N-terminal huntingtin fragment with expanded-polyglutamine (htt552-100Q)suppresses brain-derived neurotrophic factor transcription in astrocytes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Linhui Wang; Fang Lin; Jin Wang; Junchao Wu; Rong Han; Lujia Zhu; Guoxing Zhang; Marian DiFiglia; Zhenghong Qin

    2012-01-01

    Although huntingtin (htt) can be cleaved at many sites by caspases,calpains,and aspartyl proteases,amino acid (aa) 552 was defined as a preferred site for cleavage in human Huntington disease (HD) brains in vivo.To date,the normal function of wild-type N-terminal htt fragment 1-552 aa (htt552) and its pathological roles of mutant htt552 are still unknown.Although mutant htt (mhtt) is also expressed in astrocytes,whether and how mhtt contributes to the neurodegeneration through astrocytes in HD remains largely unknown.In this study,a glia HD model,using an adenoviral vector to express wild-type htt552 (htt552-18Q) and its mutation (htt552-100Q) in rat primary cortical astrocytes,was generated to investigate the influence of htt552 on the transcription of brainderived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Results from enzyme linked immunosorbent assay showed that the level of BDNF in astrocyte-conditioned medium was decreased in the astrocytes expressing htt552-100Q.Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that htt552-100Q reduced the transcripts of the BDNF Ⅲ and Ⅳ, hence, repressed the transcription of BDNF.Furthermore,immunofluorescence showed that aggregates formed by htt552-100Q entrapped transcription factors cAMP-response element-binding protein and stimulatory protein 1,which might account for the reduction of BDNF transcription.These findings suggest that mhtt552 reduces BDNF transcription in astrocytes,which might contribute to the neuronal dysfunction in HD.

  2. Dynamic reactive astrocytes after focal ischemia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shinghua Ding

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Specific expression profile and prognostic significance of peroxiredoxins in grade II-IV astrocytic brain tumors

    OpenAIRE

    Kinnula Vuokko L; Parkkila Seppo; Kallio Heini; Rodriguez Alejandra; Rantala Immo; Järvelä Sally; Soini Ylermi; Haapasalo Hannu

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) have recently been suggested to have a role in tumorigenesis. Methods We studied the expression of Prx I-VI and their relationship to patient survival in 383 grade II-IV diffuse astrocytic brain tumors. Results Prx I positivity was found in 68%, Prx II in 84%, Prx III in 90%, Prx IV in 5%, Prx V in 4% and Prx VI in 47% of the tumors. Prx I and Prx II expression decreased significantly with increasing malignancy grade (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001). Patient...

  4. Nanosecond UV lasers stimulate transient Ca2+ elevations in human hNT astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raos, B. J.; Graham, E. S.; Unsworth, C. P.

    2017-06-01

    Objective. Astrocytes respond to various stimuli resulting in intracellular Ca2+ signals that can propagate through organized functional networks. Recent literature calls for the development of techniques that can stimulate astrocytes in a fast and highly localized manner to emulate more closely the characteristics of astrocytic Ca2+ signals in vivo. Approach. In this article we demonstrate, for the first time, how nanosecond UV lasers are capable of reproducibly stimulating Ca2+ transients in human hNT astrocytes. Main results. We report that laser pulses with a beam energy of 4-29 µJ generate transient increases in cytosolic Ca2+. These Ca2+ transients then propagate to adjacent astrocytes as intercellular Ca2+ waves. Significance. We propose that nanosecond laser stimulation provides a valuable tool for enabling the study of Ca2+ dynamics in human astrocytes at both a single cell and network level. Compared to previously developed techniques nanosecond laser stimulation has the advantage of not requiring loading of photo-caged or -sensitising agents, is non-contact, enables stimulation with a high spatiotemporal resolution and is comparatively cost effective.

  5. Interactions between Sirt1 and MAPKs regulate astrocyte activation induced by brain injury in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dan; Liu, Nan; Zhao, Hai-Hua; Zhang, Xu; Kawano, Hitoshi; Liu, Lu; Zhao, Liang; Li, Hong-Peng

    2017-03-29

    Astrocyte activation is a hallmark of traumatic brain injury resulting in neurological dysfunction or death for an overproduction of inflammatory cytokines and glial scar formation. Both the silent mating type information (Sirt1) expression and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal pathway activation represent a promising therapeutic target for several models of neurodegenerative diseases. We investigated the potential effects of Sirt1 upregulation and MAPK pathway pharmacological inhibition on astrocyte activation in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we attempted to confirm the underlying interactions between Sirt1 and MAPK pathways in astrocyte activation after brain injury. The present study employs an interleukin-1β (IL-1β) stimulated primary cortical astrocyte model in vitro and a nigrostriatal pathway injury model in vivo to mimic the astrocyte activation induced by traumatic brain injury. The activation of GFAP, Sirt1, and MAPK pathways were detected by Western blot; astrocyte morphological hypertrophy was assessed using immunofluorescence staining; in order to explore the neuroprotective effect of regulation Sirt1 expression and MAPK pathway activation, the motor and neurological function tests were assessed after injury. GFAP level and morphological hypertrophy of astrocytes are elevated after injury in vitro or in vivo. Furthermore, the expressions of phosphorylated extracellular regulated protein kinases (p-ERK), phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (p-JNK), and phosphorylated p38 activation (p-p38) are upregulated, but the Sirt1 expression is downregulated. Overexpression of Sirt1 significantly increases the p-ERK expression and reduces the p-JNK and p-p38 expressions. Inhibition of ERK, JNK, or p38 activation respectively with their inhibitors significantly elevated the Sirt1 expression and attenuated the astrocyte activation. Both the overproduction of Sirt1 and inhibition of ERK, JNK, or p38 activation can alleviate the astrocyte activation

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  7. Network analysis of human glaucomatous optic nerve head astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhattacharya Sanjoy K

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley S. Carter

    2013-08-01

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

  9. 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

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

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of Kynurenine Pathway Metabolites on Intracellular NAD+ Synthesis and Cell Death in Human Primary Astrocytes and Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nady Braidy

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The kynurenine pathway (KP is a major route of L-tryptophan catabolism resulting in the production of the essential pyridine nucleotide nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, (NAD+. Up-regulation of the KP during inflammation leads to the release of a number of biologically active metabolites into the brain. We hypothesised that while some of the extracellular KP metabolites may be beneficial for intracellular NAD+ synthesis and cell survival at physiological concentrations, they may contribute to neuronal and astroglial dysfunction and cell death at pathophysiological concentrations. In this study, we found that treatment of human primary neurons and astrocytes with 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid (3-HAA, 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK, quinolinic acid (QUIN, and picolinic acid (PIC at concentrations below 100 nM significantly increased intracellular NAD+ levels compared to non-treated cells. However, a dose dependent decrease in intracellular NAD+ levels and increased extracellular LDH activity was observed in human astrocytes and neurons treated with 3-HAA, 3-HK, QUIN and PIC at concentrations 100 nM and kynurenine (KYN, at concentrations above 1 μM. Intracellular NAD+ levels were unchanged in the presence of the neuroprotectant, kynurenic acid (KYNA, and a dose dependent increase in intracellular NAD+ levels was observed for TRP up to 1 mM. While anthranilic acid (AA increased intracellular NAD+ levels at concentration below 10 μM in astrocytes. NAD+ depletion and cell death was observed in AA treated neurons at concentrations above 500 nM. Therefore, the differing responses of astrocytes and neurons to an increase in KP metabolites should be considered when assessing KP toxicity during neuroinflammation.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geppert, Mark; Petters, Charlotte [University of Bremen, Centre for Biomolecular Interactions Bremen (Germany); Thiel, Karsten [Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (Germany); Dringen, Ralf, E-mail: ralf.dringen@uni-bremen.de [University of Bremen, Centre for Biomolecular Interactions Bremen (Germany)

    2013-01-15

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Neoplastic transformation of damaged astrocytes has been proposed as a possible pathological mechanism behind malignant astrocytic tumors. This study investigated the association between structural brain injuries causing reactive astrogliosis and long-term risk for malignant astrocytic...... tumors. METHODS: The cohort consisted of all individuals living in Denmark between 1978 and 2011. The personal identification number assigned to all individuals allowed retrieval of diagnoses of traumatic brain injury, cerebral ischemic infarction, and intracerebral hemorrhage from the National Patient...... Discharge Register. Diagnoses of anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme (World Health Organization grades III and IV) were retrieved from the Danish Cancer Registry. Rate ratios (RR's) were estimated using log-linear Poisson regression. RESULTS: In a cohort of 8.2 million individuals, 404 812...

  14. Furin mediates brain-derived neurotrophic factor upregulation in cultured rat astrocytes exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yan; Zhang, Junjian; Deng, Min

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and the role of furin in BDNF maturation in reactive astrocytes from rats exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Furin, a proprotein convertase, is upregulated and cleaves certain substrates during hypoxia in cancer cells. In addition, during hypoxia in the central nervous system, astrocytes become reactive and release BDNF to protect neurons. Maturation of BDNF in astrocytes requires furin-mediated endoproteolytic processing of the precursor protein pro-BDNF to BDNF. To expand our knowledge about the role of furin in BDNF maturation in astrocytes, these cells were exposed to OGD, and expression of furin and BDNF was detected by Western blot analysis. Changes in BDNF expression were observed when furin activity was inhibited by furin prosegment. We found that protein expression of BDNF and furin was upregulated, and this upregulation correlated with OGD stimulation. Furin inhibition reduced BDNF maturation and secretion. These results indicate that furin mediates the upregulation of BDNF in reactive astrocytes exposed to OGD and that furin may impact the biological effect of reactive astrocytes.

  15. GABA uptake into astrocytes is not associated with significant metabolic cost: implications for brain imaging of inhibitory transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatton, Jean-Yves; Pellerin, Luc; Magistretti, Pierre J

    2003-10-14

    Synaptically released glutamate has been identified as a signal coupling excitatory neuronal activity to increased glucose utilization. The proposed mechanism of this coupling involves glutamate uptake into astrocytes resulting in increased intracellular Na+ (Nai+) and activation of the Na+/K+-ATPase. Increased metabolic demand linked to disruption of Nai+ homeostasis activates glucose uptake and glycolysis in astrocytes. Here, we have examined whether a similar neurometabolic coupling could operate for the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), also taken up by Na+-dependent transporters into astrocytes. Thus, we have compared the Nai+ response to GABA and glutamate in mouse astrocytes by microspectrofluorimetry. The Nai+ response to GABA consisted of a rapid rise of 4-6 mM followed by a plateau that did not, however, significantly activate the pump. Indeed, the GABA transporter-evoked Na+ influxes are transient in nature, almost totally shutting off within approximately 30 sec of GABA application. The metabolic consequences of the GABA-induced Nai+ response were evaluated by monitoring cellular ATP changes indirectly in single cells and measuring 2-deoxyglucose uptake in astrocyte populations. Both approaches showed that, whereas glutamate induced a robust metabolic response in astrocytes (decreased ATP levels and glucose uptake stimulation), GABA did not cause any measurable metabolic response, consistent with the Nai+ measurements. Results indicate that GABA does not couple inhibitory neuronal activity with glucose utilization, as does glutamate for excitatory neurotransmission, and suggest that GABA-mediated synaptic transmission does not contribute directly to brain imaging signals based on deoxyglucose.

  16. The pivotal role of astrocytes in an in-vitro stroke model of the blood-brain barrier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winfried eNeuhaus

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Stabilization of the blood-brain barrier during and after stroke can lead to less adverse outcome. For elucidation of underlying mechanisms and development of novel therapeutic strategies validated in-vitro disease models of the blood-brain barrier could be very helpful. To mimic in-vitro stroke conditions we have established a blood-brain barrier in-vitro model based on mouse cell line cerebEND and applied oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD. The role of astrocytes in this disease model was investigated by using cell line C6. Transwell studies pointed out that addition of astrocytes during OGD increased the barrier damage significantly in comparison to the endothelial monoculture shown by changes of transendothelial electrical resistance as well as fluorescein permeability data. Analysis on mRNA and protein levels by qPCR, western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy of tight junction molecules claudin-3,-5,-12, occludin and ZO-1 revealed that their regulation and localisation is associated with the functional barrier breakdown. Furthermore, soluble factors of astrocytes, OGD and their combination were able to induce changes of functionality and expression of ABC-transporters Abcb1a (P-gp, Abcg2 (bcrp and Abcc4 (mrp4. Moreover, the expression of proteases (matrixmetalloproteinases MMP-2, MMP-3 and MMP-9 and t-PA as well as of their endogenous inhibitors (TIMP-1, TIMP-3, PAI-1 was altered by astrocyte factors and OGD which resulted in significant changes of total MMP and t-PA activity. Morphological rearrangements induced by OGD and treatment with astrocyte factors were confirmed at a nanometer scale using atomic force microscopy. In conclusion, astrocytes play a major role in blood-brain barrier breakdown during OGD in vitro.

  17. Expression of the human isoform of glutamate dehydrogenase, hGDH2, augments TCA cycle capacity and oxidative metabolism of glutamate during glucose deprivation in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissen, Jakob D; Lykke, Kasper; Bryk, Jaroslaw; Stridh, Malin H; Zaganas, Ioannis; Skytt, Dorte M; Schousboe, Arne; Bak, Lasse K; Enard, Wolfgang; Pääbo, Svante; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2017-03-01

    A key enzyme in brain glutamate homeostasis is glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) which links carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism mediating glutamate degradation to CO2 and expanding tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle capacity with intermediates, i.e. anaplerosis. Humans express two GDH isoforms, GDH1 and 2, whereas most other mammals express only GDH1. hGDH1 is widely expressed in human brain while hGDH2 is confined to astrocytes. The two isoforms display different enzymatic properties and the nature of these supports that hGDH2 expression in astrocytes potentially increases glutamate oxidation and supports the TCA cycle during energy-demanding processes such as high intensity glutamatergic signaling. However, little is known about how expression of hGDH2 affects the handling of glutamate and TCA cycle metabolism in astrocytes. Therefore, we cultured astrocytes from cerebral cortical tissue of hGDH2-expressing transgenic mice. We measured glutamate uptake and metabolism using [(3) H]glutamate, while the effect on metabolic pathways of glutamate and glucose was evaluated by use of (13) C and (14) C substrates and analysis by mass spectrometry and determination of radioactively labeled metabolites including CO2 , respectively. We conclude that hGDH2 expression increases capacity for uptake and oxidative metabolism of glutamate, particularly during increased workload and aglycemia. Additionally, hGDH2 expression increased utilization of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) during aglycemia and caused a general decrease in oxidative glucose metabolism. We speculate, that expression of hGDH2 allows astrocytes to spare glucose and utilize BCAAs during substrate shortages. These findings support the proposed role of hGDH2 in astrocytes as an important fail-safe during situations of intense glutamatergic activity. GLIA 2017;65:474-488.

  18. Vasodilation by in vivo activation of astrocyte endfeet via two-photon calcium uncaging as a strategy to prevent brain ischemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yuanxin; Mancuso, James; Zhao, Zhen; Li, Xuping; Cheng, Jie; Roman, Gustavo; Wong, Stephen T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Decreased cerebral blood flow causes brain ischemia and plays an important role in the pathophysiology of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. In this study, we photomodulated astrocytes in the live animal by a combination of two-photon calcium uncaging in the astrocyte endfoot and in vivo imaging of neurovasculature and astrocytes by intravital two-photon microscopy after labeling with cell type specific fluorescent dyes. Our study demonstrates that photomodulation at the endfoot of a single astrocyte led to a 25% increase in the diameter of a neighboring arteriole, which is a crucial factor regulating cerebral microcirculation in downstream capillaries. Two-photon uncaging in the astrocyte soma or endfoot near veins does not show the same effect on microcirculation. These experimental results suggest that infrared photomodulation on astrocyte endfeet may be a strategy to increase cerebral local microcirculation and thus prevent brain ischemia.

  19. Inflammation stimulates thrombopoietin (Tpo) expression in rat brain-derived microvascular endothelial cells, but suppresses Tpo in astrocytes and microglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Juan; Freyer, Dorette; Rung, Olga; Im, Ae-Rie; Hoffmann, Olaf; Dame, Christof

    2010-07-01

    Thrombopoietin (Tpo) and its receptor (c-Mpl; TpoR), which primary regulate megakaryopoiesis and platelet production, are also expressed in the central nervous system (CNS). Increased Tpo concentrations are present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of some patients with bacterial or viral meningitis. Since previous data implicated a proapoptotic role of Tpo on newly generated neuronal cells, we herein elucidated the regulation of Tpo in primary rat neurons (e17), astrocytes, and microglia (p0-p3), as well as in brain-derived vascular endothelial cells of 3-week-old rats after exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS inhibited Tpo gene expression in astrocytes and microglia, but not in neurons, most likely due to absence of Toll-like receptor 4 in neurons. While Tpo mRNA expression recovered in astrocytes after 24 h, it remained suppressed in microglia. Furthermore, we detected Tpo mRNA expression in primary brain-derived vascular endothelial cells, which also express the TpoR. In these cells, LPS significantly up-regulated Tpo mRNA expression. TpoR mRNA and protein expression remained constitutive in all cell types. Thus, our data provide evidence for a cell-type-specific modulation of Tpo mRNA expression by inflammation in brain-derived cells. Transient down-regulation of Tpo expression in astrocytes and microglia may limit Tpo-induced neuronal cell death in inflammatory brain disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brew Bruce J

    2009-12-01

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

  1. Reactive Astrocytes Expressing Intense Estrogen Receptor-alpha Immunoreactivities Have Much Elongated Cytoplasmic Processes: An Autopsy Case of Human Cerebellar Tissue with Multiple Genitourinary and Gastrointestinal Anomalies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eo-Jin; Oh, Chang Seok; Kim, Jaehyup; Kim, Wu Ho; Chung, Yoon Hee

    2007-01-01

    We performed an immunohistochemical study on the estrogen receptor alpha (ER-α) distribution in the cerebellum of a human neonate with multiple congenital anomalies, that had been acquired during autopsy. Although the exact pathology in the brain was not clearly elucidated in this study, an unidentified stressful condition might have induced the astrocytes into reactive states. In this immunohistochemical study on the neonatal cerebellum with multiple congenital anomalies, intense ER-α immunoreactivities (IRs) were localized mainly within the white matter even though ER-α IRs were known to be mainly localized in neurons. Double immunohistochemical staining showed that ER-α IR cells were reactive astrocytes, but not neurons. Interestingly, there were differences in the process length among the reactive astrocytes showing ER-α IRs. Our quantitative data confirmed that among the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing reactive astrocytes, the cells exhibiting intense ER-α IRs have much longer cytoplasmic processes and relatively weaker GFAP IRs. Taken together, the elongated processes of reactive astrocytes might be due to decreased expression of GFAP, which might be induced by elevated expression of ER-α even though the elucidation of the exact mechanism needs further studies. PMID:17982251

  2. Expression and prognostic value of Oct-4 in astrocytic brain tumors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh Petersen, Jeanette; Jensen, Per; Sørensen, M. D.

    2016-01-01

    suggested to have promising potentials as prognostic markers in gliomas. Methodology/Principal Findings: The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression and prognostic impact of the TSC-related marker Oct-4 in astrocytic brain tumors of increasing grade. In total 114 grade II, III and IV.......045). There was no association between survival and Oct-4 positive cell fraction, neither when combining all tumor grades nor in analysis of individual grades. Oct-4 intensity was not associated with grade, but taking IDH1 status into account we found a tendency for high Oct-4 intensity to be associated with poor prognosis...... was associated with tumor malignancy, but seemed to be without independent prognostic influence in glioblastomas. Identification of a potential prognostic value in anaplastic astrocytomas requires additional studies using larger patient cohorts. © 2016 Krogh Petersen et al. This is an open access article...

  3. Reactive astrocytes promote the metastatic growth of breast cancer stem-like cells by activating Notch signalling in brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Fei; Kobayashi, Aya; Okuda, Hiroshi; Watabe, Misako; Pai, Sudha K; Pandey, Puspa R; Hirota, Shigeru; Wilber, Andrew; Mo, Yin-Yuan; Moore, Brian E; Liu, Wen; Fukuda, Koji; Iiizumi, Megumi; Sharma, Sambad; Liu, Yin; Wu, Kerui; Peralta, Elizabeth; Watabe, Kounosuke

    2013-03-01

    Brain metastasis of breast cancer profoundly affects the cognitive and sensory functions as well as morbidity of patients, and the 1 year survival rate among these patients remains less than 20%. However, the pathological mechanism of brain metastasis is as yet poorly understood. In this report, we found that metastatic breast tumour cells in the brain highly expressed IL-1β which then 'activated' surrounding astrocytes. This activation significantly augmented the expression of JAG1 in the astrocytes, and the direct interaction of the reactivated astrocytes and cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) significantly stimulated Notch signalling in CSCs. We also found that the activated Notch signalling in CSCs up-regulated HES5 followed by promoting self-renewal of CSCs. Furthermore, we have shown that the blood-brain barrier permeable Notch inhibitor, Compound E, can significantly suppress the brain metastasis in vivo. These results represent a novel paradigm for the understanding of how metastatic breast CSCs re-establish their niche for their self-renewal in a totally different microenvironment, which opens a new avenue to identify a novel and specific target for the brain metastatic disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  5. Neuroprotection elicited by nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor released from astrocytes in response to methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemoto, Takuya; Ishihara, Yasuhiro; Ishida, Atsuhiko; Yamazaki, Takeshi

    2015-07-01

    The protective roles of astrocytes in neurotoxicity induced by environmental chemicals, such as methylmercury (MeHg), are largely unknown. We found that conditioned medium of MeHg-treated astrocytes (MCM) attenuated neuronal cell death induced by MeHg, suggesting that astrocytes-released factors can protect neuronal cells. The increased expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was observed in MeHg-treated astrocytes. NGF and BDNF were detected in culture media as homodimers, which are able to bind specific tyrosine kinase receptors, tropomyosin related kinase (Trk) A and TrkB, respectively. The TrkA antagonist and TrkB antagonist abolished the protective effects of MCM in neuronal cell death induced by MeHg. Taken together, astrocytes synthesize and release NGF and BDNF in response to MeHg to protect neurons from MeHg toxicity. This study is considered to show a novel defense mechanism against MeHg-induced neurotoxicity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  7. Blood-Brain Barrier Dysfunction, TGFβ Signaling, and Astrocyte Dysfunction in Epilepsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    HEINEMANN, UWE; KAUFER, DANIELA; FRIEDMAN, ALON

    2013-01-01

    Brain insults, including traumatic and ischemic injuries, are frequently followed by acute seizures and delayed development of epilepsy. Dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a hallmark of brain insults and is usually surrounding the core lesion. Recent studies from several laboratories confirmed that vascular pathology is involved in the development of epilepsy and demonstrate a key role for astroglia in this process. In this review, we focus on glia-related mechanisms linking vascular pathology, and specifically BBB dysfunction, to seizures and epilepsy. We summarize molecular and physiological experimental data demonstrating that the function of astrocytes is altered due to direct exposure to serum albumin, mediated by transforming growth factor beta signaling. We discuss the reported changes and their potential role in the observed hyperexcitability as well as potential implications of these findings for the future development of new diagnostic modalities and treatments to allow a full implementation of the gained knowledge for the benefit of patients with epilepsy. PMID:22378298

  8. RNAseq profiling of primary microglia and astrocyte cultures in near-term ovine fetus: A glial in vivo-in vitro multi-hit paradigm in large mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes, M; Cao, M; Liu, H L; Burns, P; Moore, C; Fecteau, G; Desrochers, A; Barreiro, L B; Antel, J P; Frasch, M G

    2017-01-30

    The chronically instrumented fetal sheep is a widely used animal model to study fetal brain development in health and disease, but no methods exist yet to interrogate dedicated brain cell populations to identify their molecular and genomic phenotype. For example, the molecular mechanisms whereby microglia or astrocytes contribute to inflammation in the brain remain incompletely understood. Here we present a protocol to derive primary pure microglial or astrocyte cultures from near-term fetal sheep brain, after the animals have been chronically instrumented and studied in vivo. Next, we present the implementation of whole transcriptome sequencing (RNAseq) pipeline to deeper elucidate the phenotype of such primary sheep brain glial cultures. We validate the new primary cultures method for cell purity and test the function of the glial cells on protein (IL-1β) and transcriptome (RNAseq) levels in response to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge in vitro. This method represents the first implementation of pure microglial or astrocytes cultures in fetal sheep brain. The presented approach opens new possibilities for testing not only supernatant protein levels in response to an in vitro challenge, but also to evaluate changes in the transcriptome of glial cells derived from a large mammalian brain bearing high resemblance to the human brain. Moreover, the presented approach lends itself to modeling the complex multi-hit paradigms of antenatal and perinatal cerebral insults in vivo and in vitro. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Gene expression profiling of human neural progenitor cells following the serum-induced astrocyte differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obayashi, Shinya; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Kim, Seung U; Satoh, Jun-ichi

    2009-05-01

    Neural stem cells (NSC) with self-renewal and multipotent properties could provide an ideal cell source for transplantation to treat spinal cord injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the majority of transplanted NSC and neural progenitor cells (NPC) differentiate into astrocytes in vivo under pathological environments in the central nervous system, which potentially cause reactive gliosis. Because the serum is a potent inducer of astrocyte differentiation of rodent NPC in culture, we studied the effect of the serum on gene expression profile of cultured human NPC to identify the gene signature of astrocyte differentiation of human NPC. Human NPC spheres maintained in the serum-free culture medium were exposed to 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) for 72 h, and processed for analyzing on a Whole Human Genome Microarray of 41,000 genes, and the microarray data were validated by real-time RT-PCR. The serum elevated the levels of expression of 45 genes, including ID1, ID2, ID3, CTGF, TGFA, METRN, GFAP, CRYAB and CSPG3, whereas it reduced the expression of 23 genes, such as DLL1, DLL3, PDGFRA, SOX4, CSPG4, GAS1 and HES5. Thus, the serum-induced astrocyte differentiation of human NPC is characterized by a counteraction of ID family genes on Delta family genes. Coimmunoprecipitation analysis identified ID1 as a direct binding partner of a proneural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor MASH1. Luciferase assay indicated that activation of the DLL1 promoter by MASH1 was counteracted by ID1. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) elevated the levels of ID1 and GFAP expression in NPC under the serum-free culture conditions. Because the serum contains BMP4, these results suggest that the serum factor(s), most probably BMP4, induces astrocyte differentiation by upregulating the expression of ID family genes that repress the proneural bHLH protein-mediated Delta expression in human NPC.

  10. Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae infection of human astrocytes and microglia in culture displays an active, rather than a persistent, phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreses-Werringloer, Ute; Gérard, Hervé C; Whittum-Hudson, Judith A; Hudson, Alan P

    2006-10-01

    The intracellular pathogen Chlamydia pneumoniae can cause persistent infections during which its morphologic, molecular, and pathogenic characteristics differ importantly from those of active infection. This bacterium was identified within astrocytes and microglia in the brain of late-onset Alzheimer disease patients. We investigated whether infection of these two host cell types displays an active or persistent growth phenotype. The human astrocytoma and microglioma cell lines U-87 MG and CHME-5 (respectively) and the human epithelial cell line HEp-2 were infected by the standard method with C pneumoniae strain AR-39. Cultures were harvested at 24, 48, and 72 hours postinfection and subjected to analysis of inclusion morphology. DNA and RNA were prepared from portions of each infected culture sample and analyzed for relative chromosome accumulation and presence or absence of several specific bacterial mRNAs. Astrocytes and microglial cells infected in vitro with C pneumoniae displayed inclusions that were indistinguishable from those characteristic of active infection of the standard HEp-2 host cell line. Real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that the relative accumulation of chlamydial chromosome over time during infection of these two cell lines also was virtually identical to that in actively infected HEp-2 cells. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) analyses showed that mRNA from ftsK, pyk, and other chlamydial genes whose expression is abrogated during persistent infection were easily identifiable in infected CHME-5 and U-87 MG cells. In cultured human astrocytes and microglia, C pneumoniae displays an active, not a persistent, growth phenotype. This indicates normal passage through the developmental cycle with its probable concomitant destruction by lysis of some portion of host cells at the termination of that cycle.

  11. Adult human brain cell culture for neuroscience research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbons, Hannah M; Dragunow, Mike

    2010-06-01

    Studies of the brain have progressed enormously through the use of in vivo and in vitro non-human models. However, it is unlikely such studies alone will unravel the complexities of the human brain and so far no neuroprotective treatment developed in animals has worked in humans. In this review we discuss the use of adult human brain cell culture methods in brain research to unravel the biology of the normal and diseased human brain. The advantages of using adult human brain cells as tools to study human brain function from both historical and future perspectives are discussed. In particular, studies using dissociated cultures of adult human microglia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and neurons are described and the applications of these types of study are evaluated. Alternative sources of human brain cells such as adult neural stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells and slice cultures of adult human brain tissue are also reviewed. These adult human brain cell culture methods could benefit basic research and more importantly, facilitate the translation of basic neuroscience research to the clinic for the treatment of brain disorders. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Astrocytic Toll-like receptor 3 is associated with ischemic preconditioning-induced protection against brain ischemia in rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin-na Pan

    Full Text Available 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu L

    2015-09-01

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

  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. MicroRNA Expression Patterns in Human Astrocytes in Relation to Anatomical Location and Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Vijayaraghava T S; Ludwin, Samuel K; Fuh, Shih-Chieh; Sawaya, Robin; Moore, Craig S; Ho, Ming-Kai; Bedell, Barry J; Sarnat, Harvey B; Bar-Or, Amit; Antel, Jack P

    2016-02-01

    Anatomic distribution and age are variables linked to functions of astrocytes under physiologic and pathologic conditions. We measured the relative expression of a panel of microRNAs (miRNAs) in astrocytes captured by laser micro-dissection from normal human adult white and grey matter, human fetal white matter and germinal matrix samples. Although expression of most miRNAs was comparable between adult and fetal samples, regional differences were observed. In the adult cerebral cortex, expression of miRNAs in morphologically distinct inter-laminar astrocytes underlying the glial limitans differed from those in deeper cortical layers, suggesting functional specialization possibly related to structural stability and defense from potentially harmful factors in the cerebrospinal fluid. Differences between adult white and grey matter miRNA expression included higher expression of pro-inflammatory miRNAs in the former, potentially contributing to differences in inflammation between grey and white matter plaques in multiple sclerosis. Lower expression of miRNAs in fetal versus adult white matter astrocytes likely reflects the immaturity of these migrating cells. Highly expressed miRNAs in the fetal germinal matrix are probably relevant in development and also recapitulate some responses to injury. Future studies can address regional alterations of miRNA expression in pathological conditions.

  16. Specific human astrocyte subtype revealed by affinity purified GFAP antibody; unpurified serum cross-reacts with neurofilament-L in Alzheimer.

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    Jinte Middeldorp

    Full Text Available The human GFAP splice variants GFAPDelta164 and GFAPDeltaexon6 both result in a GFAP protein isoform with a unique out-of-frame carboxy-terminus that can be detected by the GFAP+1 antibody. We previously reported that GFAP+1 was expressed in astrocytes and in degenerating neurons in Alzheimer's disease brains. In this study we aimed at further investigating the neuronal GFAP+1 expression and we started by affinity purifying the GFAP+1 antibody. The purified antibody resulted in a loss of neuronal GFAP+1 signal, although other antibodies directed against the amino- and carboxy-terminus of GFAPalpha still revealed GFAP-immunopositive neurons, as described before. With an in-depth analysis of a western blot, followed by mass spectrometry we discovered that the previously detected neuronal GFAP+1 expression was due to cross-reactivity of the antibody with neurofilament-L (NF-L. This was confirmed by double-label fluorescent immunohistochemistry and western blotting with the unpurified GFAP+1 antibody and an antibody against NF-L. Our data imply that NF-L can accumulate in some tangle-like structures in Alzheimer brains. More importantly, the purified GFAP+1 antibody clearly revealed a specific subtype of astrocytes in the adult human brain. These large astrocytes are present throughout the brain, e.g., along the subventricular zone, in the hippocampus, in the striatum and in the spinal cord of controls, Alzheimer, and Parkinson patients. The presence of a specific GFAP-isoform suggests a specialized function of these astrocytes.

  17. Specific Human Astrocyte Subtype Revealed by Affinity Purified GFAP+1 Antibody; Unpurified Serum Cross-Reacts with Neurofilament-L in Alzheimer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middeldorp, Jinte; van den Berge, Simone A.; Aronica, Eleonora; Speijer, Dave; Hol, Elly M.

    2009-01-01

    The human GFAP splice variants GFAPΔ164 and GFAPΔexon6 both result in a GFAP protein isoform with a unique out-of-frame carboxy-terminus that can be detected by the GFAP+1 antibody. We previously reported that GFAP+1 was expressed in astrocytes and in degenerating neurons in Alzheimer's disease brains. In this study we aimed at further investigating the neuronal GFAP+1 expression and we started by affinity purifying the GFAP+1 antibody. The purified antibody resulted in a loss of neuronal GFAP+1 signal, although other antibodies directed against the amino- and carboxy-terminus of GFAPα still revealed GFAP-immunopositive neurons, as described before. With an in-depth analysis of a western blot, followed by mass spectrometry we discovered that the previously detected neuronal GFAP+1 expression was due to cross-reactivity of the antibody with neurofilament-L (NF-L). This was confirmed by double-label fluorescent immunohistochemistry and western blotting with the unpurified GFAP+1 antibody and an antibody against NF-L. Our data imply that NF-L can accumulate in some tangle-like structures in Alzheimer brains. More importantly, the purified GFAP+1 antibody clearly revealed a specific subtype of astrocytes in the adult human brain. These large astrocytes are present throughout the brain, e.g., along the subventricular zone, in the hippocampus, in the striatum and in the spinal cord of controls, Alzheimer, and Parkinson patients. The presence of a specific GFAP-isoform suggests a specialized function of these astrocytes. PMID:19888461

  18. Astrocytic TRPV1 ion channels detect blood-borne signals in the sensory circumventricular organs of adult mouse brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannari, Tetsuya; Morita, Shoko; Furube, Eriko; Tominaga, Makoto; Miyata, Seiji

    2013-06-01

    The circumventricular organs (CVOs), including the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT), subfornical organ (SFO), and area postrema (AP) sense a variety of blood-borne molecules because they lack typical blood-brain barrier. Though a few signaling pathways are known, it is not known how endogenous ligands for transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 ion channel (TRPV1) are sensed in the CVOs. In this study, we aimed to examine whether or not astrocytic TRPV1 senses directly blood-borne molecules in the OVLT, SFO, and AP of adult mice. The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western analysis revealed the expression of TRPV1 in the CVOs. Confocal microscopic immunohistochemistry further showed that TRPV1 was localized prominently at thick cellular processes of astrocytes rather than fine cellular processes and cell bodies. TRPV1-expressing cellular processes of astrocytes surrounded the vasculature to constitute dense networks. The expression of TRPV1 was also found at neuronal dendrites but not somata in the CVOs. The intravenous administration of a TRPV1 agonist resiniferatoxin (RTX) prominently induced Fos expression at astrocytes in the OVLT, SFO, and AP and neurons in adjacent related nuclei of the median preoptic nuclei (MnPO) and nucleus of the solitary tract (Sol) of wild-type but not TRPV1-knockout mice. The intracerebroventricular infusion of RTX induced Fos expression at both astrocytes and neurons in the CVOs, MnPO, and Sol. Thus, this study demonstrates that blood-borne molecules are sensed directly by astrocytic TRPV1 of the CVOs in adult mammalians.

  19. Characterizing and Targeting Bone Marrow-Derived Inflammatory Cells in Driving the Malignancy and Progression of Childhood Astrocytic Brain Tumors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-11-01

    Progression of Childhood Astrocytic Brain Tumors PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Yujie Huang Ph.D. CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: Cornell University Weill Cornell... Brain Tumors 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Yujie Huang 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER E-Mail:yuh2005@med.cornell.edu & yhuangthu...27 11. Training & Professional Development …………………..………..28 12. Appendices …………………………………………………………...29 2 1. Introduction Brain

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    on cerebral metabolism and particularly that associated with astrocytes. We investigated astrocytic and neuronal metabolism in the cerebral cortex of adult mice after treatment with saline (controls), a subconvulsive or a mildly convulsive dose of kainate. A combination of [1,2-(13)C]acetate and [1-(13)C......]glutamine and an increase in the calculated astrocytic TCA cycle activity. In contrast, the convulsive dose led to decrements in the cortical content and (13)C labeling of glutamate, glutamine, GABA, and aspartate. Evidence is provided that astrocytic metabolism is affected by a subconvulsive dose of kainate, whereas...

  2. Interleukin-4 and interleukin-10 modulate nuclear factor kappaB activity and nitric oxide synthase-2 expression in Theiler's virus-infected brain astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Holgado, Eduardo; Arévalo-Martín, Angel; Castrillo, Antonio; Boscá, Lisardo; Vela, José M; Guaza, Carmen

    2002-06-01

    In brain astrocytes, nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) is activated by stimuli that produce cellular stress causing the expression of genes involved in defence, including the inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS-2). Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) induces a persistent CNS infection and chronic immune-mediated demyelination, similar to human multiple sclerosis. The cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 inhibit the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, counteracting the inflammatory process. Our study reports that infection of cultured astrocytes with TMEV resulted in a time-dependent phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha, degradation of IkappaBalpha and IkappaBbeta, activation of NF-kappaB and expression of NOS-2. The proteasome inhibitor MG-132 blocked TMEV-induced nitrite accumulation, NOS-2 mRNA expression and phospho-IkappaBalpha degradation, suggesting NF-kappaB-dependent NOS-2 expression. Pretreatment of astrocytes with IL-4 or IL-10 decreased p65 nuclear translocation, NF-kappaB binding activity and NOS-2 transcription. IL-4 and IL-10 caused an accumulation of IkappaBalpha in TMEV-infected astrocytes without affecting IkappaBbeta levels. The IkappaB kinase activity and the degradation rate of both IkappaBs were not modified by either cytokine, suggesting de novo synthesis of IkappaBalpha. Indeed, IL-4 or IL-10 up-regulated IkappaBalpha mRNA levels after TMEV infection. Therefore, the accumulation of IkappaBalpha might impair the translocation of the NF-kappaB to the nucleus, mediating the inhibition of NF-kappaB activity. Overall, these data suggest a novel mechanism of action of IL-4 and IL-10, which abrogates NOS-2 expression in viral-infected glial cells.

  3. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB-mediated induction of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 in human astrocytes: implications for HIV-associated neuroinflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethel-Brown Crystal

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Chemokine (C-C motif ligand 2, also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1 is an important factor for the pathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND. The mechanisms of MCP-1-mediated neuropathogenesis, in part, revolve around its neuroinflammatory role and the recruitment of monocytes into the central nervous system (CNS via the disrupted blood-brain barrier (BBB. We have previously demonstrated that HIV-1/HIV-1 Tat upregulate platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB, a known cerebrovascular permeant; subsequently, the present study was aimed at exploring the regulation of MCP-1 by PDGF-BB in astrocytes with implications in HAND. Specifically, the data herein demonstrate that exposure of human astrocytes to HIV-1 LAI elevated PDGF-B and MCP-1 levels. Furthermore, treating astrocytes with the human recombinant PDGF-BB protein significantly increased the production and release of MCP-1 at both the RNA and protein levels. MCP-1 induction was regulated by activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinases and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K/Akt pathways and the downstream transcription factor, nuclear factor κB (NFκB. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP assays demonstrated increased binding of NFκB to the human MCP-1 promoter following PDGF-BB exposure. Conditioned media from PDGF-BB-treated astrocytes increased monocyte transmigration through human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs, an effect that was blocked by STI-571, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (PDGF receptor (PDGF-R blocker. PDGF-BB-mediated release of MCP-1 was critical for increased permeability in an in vitro BBB model as evidenced by blocking antibody assays. Since MCP-1 is linked to disease severity, understanding its modulation by PDGF-BB could aid in understanding the proinflammatory responses in HAND. These results suggest that astrocyte

  4. Human astrocytes derived from glial restricted progenitors support regeneration of the injured spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Christopher; Fischer, Itzhak

    2013-06-15

    Cellular transplantation using neural stem cells and progenitors is a promising therapeutic strategy that has the potential to replace lost cells, modulate the injury environment, and create a permissive environment for the regeneration of injured host axons. Our research has focused on the use of human glial restricted progenitors (hGRP) and derived astrocytes. In the current study, we examined the morphological and phenotypic properties of hGRP prepared from the fetal central nervous system by clinically-approved protocols, compared with astrocytes derived from hGRP prepared by treatment with ciliary neurotrophic factor or bone morphogenetic protein 4. These differentiation protocols generated astrocytes that showed morphological differences and could be classified along an immature to mature spectrum, respectively. Despite these differences, the cells retained morphological and phenotypic plasticity upon a challenge with an alternate differentiation protocol. Importantly, when hGRP and derived astrocytes were transplanted acutely into a cervical dorsal column lesion, they survived and promoted regeneration of long ascending host sensory axons into the graft/lesion site, with no differences among the groups. Further, hGRP taken directly from frozen stocks behaved similarly and also supported regeneration of host axons into the lesion. Our results underscore the dynamic and permissive properties of human fetal astrocytes to promote axonal regeneration. They also suggest that a time-consuming process of pre-differentiation may not be necessary for therapeutic efficacy, and that the banking of large quantities of readily available hGRP can be an appropriate source of permissive cells for transplantation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  6. Neuron enriched nuclear proteome isolated from human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dammer, Eric B; Duong, Duc M; Diner, Ian; Gearing, Marla; Feng, Yue; Lah, James J; Levey, Allan I; Seyfried, Nicholas T

    2013-07-05

    The brain consists of diverse cell types including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. The isolation of nuclei from these distinct cell populations provides an opportunity to identify cell-type-specific nuclear proteins, histone modifications, and regulation networks that are altered with normal brain aging or neurodegenerative disease. In this study, we used a method by which intact neuronal and non-neuronal nuclei were purified from human post-mortem brain employing a modification of fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) termed fluorescence activated nuclei sorting (FANS). An antibody against NeuN, a neuron specific splicing factor, was used to isolate neuronal nuclei. Utilizing mass spectrometry (MS) based label-free quantitative proteomics, we identified 1755 proteins from sorted NeuN-positive and negative nuclear extracts. Approximately 20% of these proteins were significantly enriched or depleted in neuronal versus non-neuronal populations. Immunoblots of primary cultured rat neuron, astrocyte, and oligodendrocyte extracts confirmed that distinct members of the major nucleocytoplasmic structural linkage complex (LINC), nesprin-1 and nesprin-3, were differentially enriched in neurons and astrocytes, respectively. These comparative proteomic data sets also reveal a number of transcription and splicing factors that are selectively enriched in a cell-type-specific manner in human brain.

  7. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lipoxygenase and Cyclo-Oxygenase Inhibitors in Inflammation-Induced Human Fetal Glia Cells and the Aβ Degradation Capacity of Human Fetal Astrocytes in an Ex vivo Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rea Pihlaja

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Chronic inflammation is a common phenomenon present in the background of multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD. The arachidonic acid pathway overproduces proinflammatory eicosanoids during these states and glial cells in the brain gradually lose their vital functions of protecting and supporting neurons. In this study, the role of different key enzymes of the eicosanoid pathway mediating inflammatory responses was examined in vitro and ex vivo using human fetal glial cells. Astrocytes and microglia were exposed to proinflammatory agents i.e., cytokines interleukin 1-β (IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α. ELISA assays were used to examine the effects of inhibitors of key enzymes in the eicosanoid pathway. Inhibitors for 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX and cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2 in both cell types and 5-, 12-, and 15-LOX-inhibitor in astrocytes reduced significantly IL-6 secretion, compared to exposed glial cells without inhibitors. The cytokine antibody array showed that especially treatments with 5, -12, and -15 LOX inhibitor in astrocytes, 5-LOX inhibitor in microglia and COX-2 inhibitor in both glial cell types significantly reduced the expression of multiple proinflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, human fetal astrocytes and microglia were cultured on top of AD-affected and control human brain sections for 30 h. According to the immunochemical evaluation of the level of total Aβ, astrocytes were very efficient at degrading Aβ from AD-affected brain sections ex vivo; simultaneously added enzyme inhibitors did not increase their Aβ degradation capabilities. Microglia were not able to reduce the level of total Aβ during the 30 h incubation time.

  8. Astrocyte, the star avatar: redefined

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Pankaj Seth; Nitin Koul

    2008-09-01

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

  9. Human iPS cell-derived astrocyte transplants preserve respiratory function after spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ke; Javed, Elham; Scura, Daniel; Hala, Tamara J; Seetharam, Suneil; Falnikar, Aditi; Richard, Jean-Philippe; Chorath, Ashley; Maragakis, Nicholas J; Wright, Megan C; Lepore, Angelo C

    2015-09-01

    Transplantation-based replacement of lost and/or dysfunctional astrocytes is a promising therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI) that has not been extensively explored, despite the integral roles played by astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are a clinically-relevant source of pluripotent cells that both avoid ethical issues of embryonic stem cells and allow for homogeneous derivation of mature cell types in large quantities, potentially in an autologous fashion. Despite their promise, the iPS cell field is in its infancy with respect to evaluating in vivo graft integration and therapeutic efficacy in SCI models. Astrocytes express the major glutamate transporter, GLT1, which is responsible for the vast majority of glutamate uptake in spinal cord. Following SCI, compromised GLT1 expression/function can increase susceptibility to excitotoxicity. We therefore evaluated intraspinal transplantation of human iPS cell-derived astrocytes (hIPSAs) following cervical contusion SCI as a novel strategy for reconstituting GLT1 expression and for protecting diaphragmatic respiratory neural circuitry. Transplant-derived cells showed robust long-term survival post-injection and efficiently differentiated into astrocytes in injured spinal cord of both immunesuppressed mice and rats. However, the majority of transplant-derived astrocytes did not express high levels of GLT1, particularly at early times post-injection. To enhance their ability to modulate extracellular glutamate levels, we engineered hIPSAs with lentivirus to constitutively express GLT1. Overexpression significantly increased GLT1 protein and functional GLT1-mediated glutamate uptake levels in hIPSAs both in vitro and in vivo post-transplantation. Compared to human fibroblast control and unmodified hIPSA transplantation, GLT1-overexpressing hIPSAs reduced (1) lesion size within the injured cervical spinal cord, (2) morphological denervation by respiratory phrenic motor

  10. Divide and conquer: functional segregation of synaptic inputs by astrocytic microdomains could alleviate paroxysmal activity following brain trauma.

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    Vladislav Volman

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury often leads to epileptic seizures. Among other factors, homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP mediates posttraumatic epileptogenesis through unbalanced synaptic scaling, partially compensating for the trauma-incurred loss of neural excitability. HSP is mediated in part by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα, which is released locally from reactive astrocytes early after trauma in response to chronic neuronal inactivity. During this early period, TNFα is likely to be constrained to its glial sources; however, the contribution of glia-mediated spatially localized HSP to post-traumatic epileptogenesis remains poorly understood. We used computational model to investigate the reorganization of collective neural activity early after trauma. Trauma and synaptic scaling transformed asynchronous spiking into paroxysmal discharges. The rate of paroxysms could be reduced by functional segregation of synaptic input into astrocytic microdomains. Thus, we propose that trauma-triggered reactive gliosis could exert both beneficial and deleterious effects on neural activity.

  11. QKI-7 regulates expression of interferon-related genes in human astrocyte glioma cells.

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    Lin Jiang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The human QKI gene, called quaking homolog, KH domain RNA binding (mouse, is a candidate gene for schizophrenia encoding an RNA-binding protein. This gene was shown to be essential for myelination in oligodendrocytes. QKI is also highly expressed in astrocytes, but its function in these cells is not known. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied the effect of small interference RNA (siRNA-mediated QKI depletion on global gene expression in human astrocyte glioma cells. Microarray measurements were confirmed with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR. The presence of QKI binding sites (QRE was assessed by a bioinformatic approach. Viability and cell morphology were also studied. The most significant alteration after QKI silencing was the decreased expression of genes involved in interferon (IFN induction (P = 6.3E-10, including IFIT1, IFIT2, MX1, MX2, G1P2, G1P3, GBP1 and IFIH1. All eight genes were down-regulated after silencing of the splice variant QKI-7, but were not affected by QKI-5 silencing. Interestingly, four of them were up-regulated after treatment with the antipsychotic agent haloperidol that also resulted in increased QKI-7 mRNA levels. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The coordinated expression of QKI-7 splice variant and IFN-related genes supports the idea that this particular splice variant has specific functions in astrocytes. Furthermore, a role of QKI-7 as a regulator of an inflammatory gene pathway in astrocytes is suggested. This hypothesis is well in line with growing experimental evidence on the role of inflammatory components in schizophrenia.

  12. Mutant ubiquitin attenuates interleukin-1β- and tumor necrosis factor-α-induced pro-inflammatory signaling in human astrocytic cells.

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    Kyungsun Choi

    Full Text Available A frameshift mutation of ubiquitin called ubiquitin(+1 (UBB(+1 was found in the aging and Alzheimer's disease brains and thought to be associated with neuronal dysfuction and degeneration. Even though ubiquitylation has been known to regulate vital cellular functions mainly through proteasome-dependent degradation of polyubiquitinated substrates, proteolysis-independent roles of ubiquitylation have emerged as key mechanisms in various signaling cascades. In this study, we have investigated the effect of UBB(+1 on proinflammatory signaling such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α in human astrocytes. Treatment with TNF-α and IL-1β induced expression of CCL2 and CXCL8 by human astrocytic cells; while ectopic expression of UBB(+1 significantly abrogated the proinflammatory cytokine-induced expression of chemokines. Ectopic expression of UBB(+1 suppressed TNF-α- and IL-1β-induced activation of NF-κB and JNK signaling pathway. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that polyubiquitylation of TRAFs and subsequent phosphorylation of TAK1 were significantly inhibited by stable expression of UBB(+1. Collectively, these results suggest that UBB(+1 may affect proinflammatory signaling in the central nervous system via inhibitory mechanisms of ubiquitin-dependent signaling in human astrocytes.

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

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    Valiante S

    2015-03-01

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

  14. GFAP expression in astrocytes of suprachiasmatic nucleus and medial preoptic area are differentially affected by malnutrition during rat brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendonça, João Esmeraldo Frota; Vilela, Maria Cristina Ramos; Bittencourt, Heitor; Lapa, Raíssa Maria; Oliveira, Francisco Gilberto; Alessio, Maria Luíza Martins; Guedes, Rubem Carlos Araújo; De Oliveira Costa, Miriam Stela Maris; Da Costa, Belmira Lara da Silveira Andrade

    2004-08-01

    The aim of the present study was investigate, in young rats, the effects of malnutrition on astrocyte distribution of two hypothalamic regions, the circadian pacemaker suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and the medial preoptic area (MPA). Control rats were born from mothers fed on commercial diet since gestation and malnourished rats from mothers fed on multideficient diet, from the beginning of gestation (GLA group) or from the onset of lactation (LA group). After weaning, pups received ad libitum the same diet as their mothers, and were maintained under a 12/12 h light/dark cycle. The animals were analyzed either at 30-33, or 60-63 days of life. Brain coronal sections (50 microm) were processed to visualize glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity. Compared to control rats, both malnourished groups of 30 and 60 days exhibited a reduced number of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes in the SCN. The total GFAP-immunoreactive area in the SCN of the GLA group differed from the control group at both age ranges analyzed. The GFAP expression as measured by the relative optical density (ROD) exhibited a 50-60% reduction in the MPA in both malnourished groups, compared to controls. The results suggest that malnutrition early in life leads to alterations in gliogenesis or glial cell proliferation in both nuclei, being these alterations greater in the MPA. Compensatory plasticity mechanisms in the GFAP-expression seem to be developed in the astrocyte differentiation process in the SCN, especially when the malnutrition is installed from the lactation.

  15. Interleukin-1 beta down-regulates the expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 in cultured human astrocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aronica, E.; Gorter, J.A.; Rozemuller, A.J.M.; Yankaya, B.; Troost, D.

    2005-01-01

    Expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) protein is known to be plastic and to depend critically on the astrocytes' microenvironment. In the present study we investigated whether interleukins, which are involved in the immune response following brain injury, could contribute to the

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

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    Yiyu Deng

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Min XU; Hui-ling ZHANG

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Hemin inhibits NO production by IL-1β-stimulated human astrocytes through induction of heme oxygenase-1 and reduction of p38 MAPK activation

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    Sheng Wen S

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Heme oxygenase (HO-1 has been shown to attenuate oxidative injury and reduce apoptosis. HO-1 can be induced by various stimuli released during cellular injury, such as heme. Deleterious free heme is degraded by HO-1 to carbon monoxide, iron and biliverdin, which have potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that upregulation of HO-1 would inhibit production of the free radical (NO by interlukin (IL-1β-activated human astrocytes. Methods To measure NO production, inducible NO synthase (iNOS, HO-1 expression and mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinase activation we used hemin as an HO-1 inducer and tin protoporphyrin (SnPP IX as an inhibitor of HO-1 activity in human astrocyte cultures prior to IL-1β exposure. Transfection of astrocyte cultures was performed using a pLEX expression vector carrying the human HO-1 sequence prior to IL-1β treatment. Supernatants of astrocyte cultures pretreated with inhibitors of p38 MAPK or MEK1/2 prior to IL-1β exposure were collected for NO assay. Results IL-1β treatment of astrocytes alone induced undetectable amounts of HO-1 protein by western blot. However, HO-1 mRNA expression was modestly up-regulated in response to IL-1β stimulation. Pretreatment with hemin alone substantially induced both HO-1 mRNA and protein expression, and HO-1 mRNA expression was further enhanced when hemin was combined with IL-1β treatment. In contrast, IL-1β-induced iNOS mRNA expression and NO production were markedly inhibited by hemin treatment. When pretreated with SnPP, the inhibitory effect of hemin on IL-1β-induced NO production and iNOS expression was reversed, suggesting the involvement of HO-1. IL-1β-induced p38 MAPK activation, which is known to be required for NO production, was also down-regulated by hemin. Conclusion These findings support the hypothesis that up-regulation of HO-1 in astrocytes is associated with down-regulation of i

  19. Ischemia Alters the Expression of Connexins in the Aged Human Brain

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    Taizen Nakase

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the function of astrocytic gap junctions under ischemia is still under debate, increased expression of connexin 43 (Cx43 has been observed in ischemic brain lesions, suggesting that astrocytic gap junctions could provide neuronal protection against ischemic insult. Moreover, different connexin subtypes may play different roles in pathological conditions. We used immunohistochemical analysis to investigate alterations in the expression of connexin subtypes in human stroke brains. Seven samples, sectioned after brain embolic stroke, were used for the analysis. Data, evaluated semiquantitatively by computer-assisted densitometry, was compared between the intact hemisphere and ischemic lesions. The results showed that the coexpression of Cx32 and Cx45 with neuronal markers was significantly increased in ischemic lesions. Cx43 expression was significantly increased in the colocalization with astrocytes and relatively increased in the colocalization with neuronal marker in ischemic lesions. Therefore, Cx32, Cx43, and Cx45 may respond differently to ischemic insult in terms of neuroprotection.

  20. Insufficient Astrocyte-Derived Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Contributes to Propofol-Induced Neuron Death Through Akt/Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β/Mitochondrial Fission Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanan; Yan, Yasheng; Inagaki, Yasuyoshi; Logan, Sarah; Bosnjak, Zeljko J; Bai, Xiaowen

    2017-07-01

    Growing animal evidence demonstrates that prolonged exposure to propofol during brain development induces widespread neuronal cell death, but there is little information on the role of astrocytes. Astrocytes can release neurotrophic growth factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which can exert the protective effect on neurons in paracrine fashion. We hypothesize that during propofol anesthesia, BDNF released from developing astrocytes may not be sufficient to prevent propofol-induced neurotoxicity. Hippocampal astrocytes and neurons isolated from neonatal Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to propofol at a clinically relevant dose of 30 μM or dimethyl sulfoxide as control for 6 hours. Propofol-induced cell death was determined by propidium iodide (PI) staining in astrocyte-alone cultures, neuron-alone cultures, or cocultures containing either low or high density of astrocytes (1:9 or 1:1 ratio of astrocytes to neurons ratio [ANR], respectively). The astrocyte-conditioned medium was collected 12 hours after propofol exposure and measured by protein array assay. BDNF concentration in astrocyte-conditioned medium was quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Neuron-alone cultures were treated with BDNF, tyrosine receptor kinase B inhibitor cyclotraxin-B, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) inhibitor CHIR99021, or mitochondrial fission inhibitor Mdivi-1 before propofol exposure. Western blot was performed for quantification of the level of protein kinase B and GSK3β. Mitochondrial shape was visualized through translocase of the outer membrane 20 staining. Propofol increased cell death in neurons by 1.8-fold (% of PI-positive cells [PI%] = 18.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 15.2-21.9, P .05]). Astrocytes secreted BDNF in a cell density-dependent way and propofol decreased BDNF secretion from astrocytes. Administration of BDNF, CHIR99021, or Mdivi-1 significantly attenuated the propofol-induced neuronal death and aberrant mitochondria in

  1. Memory in astrocytes: a hypothesis

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    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. Astrocyte pathology in a human neural stem cell model of frontotemporal dementia caused by mutant TAU protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallmann, Anna-Lena; Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J.; Mavrommatis, Lampros; Ehrlich, Marc; Röpke, Albrecht; Brockhaus, Johannes; Missler, Markus; Sterneckert, Jared; Schöler, Hans R.; Kuhlmann, Tanja; Zaehres, Holm; Hargus, Gunnar

    2017-01-01

    Astroglial pathology is seen in various neurodegenerative diseases including frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which can be caused by mutations in the gene encoding the microtubule-associated protein TAU (MAPT). Here, we applied a stem cell model of FTD to examine if FTD astrocytes carry an intrinsic propensity to degeneration and to determine if they can induce non-cell-autonomous effects in neighboring neurons. We utilized CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs) to repair the FTD-associated N279K MAPT mutation. While astrocytic differentiation was not impaired in FTD NPCs derived from one patient carrying the N279K MAPT mutation, FTD astrocytes appeared larger, expressed increased levels of 4R-TAU isoforms, demonstrated increased vulnerability to oxidative stress and elevated protein ubiquitination and exhibited disease-associated changes in transcriptome profiles when compared to astrocytes derived from one control individual and to the isogenic control. Interestingly, co-culture experiments with FTD astrocytes revealed increased oxidative stress and robust changes in whole genome expression in previously healthy neurons. Our study highlights the utility of iPS cell-derived NPCs to elucidate the role of astrocytes in the pathogenesis of FTD. PMID:28256506

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khakh, Baljit S; Beaumont, Vahri; Cachope, Roger; Munoz-Sanjuan, Ignacio; Goldman, Steven A; Grantyn, Rosemarie

    2017-07-01

    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 clearance, as well as on the use of transplanted astrocytes to produce therapeutic benefit in mouse models of HD. Overall, the data suggest that astrocyte dysfunction is an important contributor to the onset and progression of some HD symptoms in mice. Additional exploration of astrocytes in HD mouse models and humans is needed and may provide new therapeutic opportunities to explore in conjunction with neuronal rescue and repair strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beppu, Kaoru; Matsui, Ko

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Injury Response of Resected Human Brain Tissue In Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verwer, Ronald W H; Sluiter, Arja A; Balesar, Rawien A; Baaijen, Johannes C; de Witt Hamer, Philip C; Speijer, Dave; Li, Yichen; Swaab, Dick F

    2015-07-01

    Brain injury affects a significant number of people each year. Organotypic cultures from resected normal neocortical tissue provide unique opportunities to study the cellular and neuropathological consequences of severe injury of adult human brain tissue in vitro. The in vitro injuries caused by resection (interruption of the circulation) and aggravated by the preparation of slices (severed neuronal and glial processes and blood vessels) reflect the reaction of human brain tissue to severe injury. We investigated this process using immunocytochemical markers, reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. Essential features were rapid shrinkage of neurons, loss of neuronal marker expression and proliferation of reactive cells that expressed Nestin and Vimentin. Also, microglia generally responded strongly, whereas the response of glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes appeared to be more variable. Importantly, some reactive cells also expressed both microglia and astrocytic markers, thus confounding their origin. Comparison with post-mortem human brain tissue obtained at rapid autopsies suggested that the reactive process is not a consequence of epilepsy. © 2014 International Society of Neuropathology.

  7. Molecular scaffolds underpinning macroglial polarization: an analysis of retinal Müller cells and brain astrocytes in mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enger, Rune; Gundersen, Georg Andreas; Haj-Yasein, Nadia Nabil; Eilert-Olsen, Martine; Thoren, Anna Elisabeth; Vindedal, Gry Fluge; Petersen, Pétur Henry; Skare, Øivind; Nedergaard, Maiken; Ottersen, Ole Petter; Nagelhus, Erlend A

    2012-12-01

    Key roles of macroglia are inextricably coupled to specialized membrane domains. The perivascular endfoot membrane has drawn particular attention, as this domain contains a unique complement of aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and other channel proteins that distinguishes it from perisynaptic membranes. Recent studies indicate that the polarization of macroglia is lost in a number of diseases, including temporal lobe epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. A better understanding is required of the molecular underpinning of astroglial polarization, particularly when it comes to the significance of the dystrophin associated protein complex (DAPC). Here, we employ immunofluorescence and immunogold cytochemistry to analyze the molecular scaffolding in perivascular endfeet in macroglia of retina and three regions of brain (cortex, dentate gyrus, and cerebellum), using AQP4 as a marker. Compared with brain astrocytes, Müller cells (a class of retinal macroglia) exhibit lower densities of the scaffold proteins dystrophin and α-syntrophin (a DAPC protein), but higher levels of AQP4. In agreement, depletion of dystrophin or α-syntrophin--while causing a dramatic loss of AQP4 from endfoot membranes of brain astrocytes--had only modest or insignificant effect, respectively, on the AQP4 pool in endfoot membranes of Müller cells. In addition, while polarization of brain macroglia was less affected by dystrophin depletion than by targeted deletion of α-syntrophin, the reverse was true for retinal macroglia. These data indicate that the molecular scaffolding in perivascular endfeet is more complex than previously assumed and that macroglia are heterogeneous with respect to the mechanisms that dictate their polarization.

  8. Glutamine-Glutamate Cycle Flux Is Similar in Cultured Astrocytes and Brain and Both Glutamate Production and Oxidation Are Mainly Catalyzed by Aspartate Aminotransferase

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    Leif Hertz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The glutamine-glutamate cycle provides neurons with astrocyte-generated glutamate/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA and oxidizes glutamate in astrocytes, and it returns released transmitter glutamate/GABA to neurons after astrocytic uptake. This review deals primarily with the glutamate/GABA generation/oxidation, although it also shows similarity between metabolic rates in cultured astrocytes and intact brain. A key point is identification of the enzyme(s converting astrocytic α-ketoglutarate to glutamate and vice versa. Most experiments in cultured astrocytes, including those by one of us, suggest that glutamate formation is catalyzed by aspartate aminotransferase (AAT and its degradation by glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH. Strongly supported by results shown in Table 1 we now propose that both reactions are primarily catalyzed by AAT. This is possible because the formation occurs in the cytosol and the degradation in mitochondria and they are temporally separate. High glutamate/glutamine concentrations abolish the need for glutamate production from α-ketoglutarate and due to metabolic coupling between glutamate synthesis and oxidation these high concentrations render AAT-mediated glutamate oxidation impossible. This necessitates the use of GDH under these conditions, shown by insensitivity of the oxidation to the transamination inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid (AOAA. Experiments using lower glutamate/glutamine concentration show inhibition of glutamate oxidation by AOAA, consistent with the coupled transamination reactions described here.

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

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    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

  10. Significance of MDR1 and multiple drug resistance in refractory human epileptic brain

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    Dini Gabriele

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The multiple drug resistance protein (MDR1/P-glycoprotein is overexpressed in glia and blood-brain barrier (BBB endothelium in drug refractory human epileptic tissue. Since various antiepileptic drugs (AEDs can act as substrates for MDR1, the enhanced expression/function of this protein may increase their active extrusion from the brain, resulting in decreased responsiveness to AEDs. Methods Human drug resistant epileptic brain tissues were collected after surgical resection. Astrocyte cell cultures were established from these tissues, and commercially available normal human astrocytes were used as controls. Uptake of fluorescent doxorubicin and radioactive-labeled Phenytoin was measured in the two cell populations, and the effect of MDR1 blockers was evaluated. Frozen human epileptic brain tissue slices were double immunostained to locate MDR1 in neurons and glia. Other slices were exposed to toxic concentrations of Phenytoin to study cell viability in the presence or absence of a specific MDR1 blocker. Results MDR1 was overexpressed in blood vessels, astrocytes and neurons in human epileptic drug-resistant brain. In addition, MDR1-mediated cellular drug extrusion was increased in human 'epileptic' astrocytes compared to 'normal' ones. Concomitantly, cell viability in the presence of cytotoxic compounds was increased. Conclusions Overexpression of MDR1 in different cell types in drug-resistant epileptic human brain leads to functional alterations, not all of which are linked to drug pharmacokinetics. In particular, the modulation of glioneuronal MDR1 function in epileptic brain in the presence of toxic concentrations of xenobiotics may constitute a novel cytoprotective mechanism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valiante, Salvatore; Falanga, Annarita; Cigliano, Luisa; Iachetta, Giuseppina; Busiello, Rosa Anna; La Marca, Valeria; Galdiero, Massimiliano; Lombardi, Assunta; Galdiero, Stefania

    2015-01-01

    Peptide gH625, derived from glycoprotein H of herpes simplex virus type 1, can enter cells efficiently and deliver a cargo. Nanoparticles armed with gH625 are able to cross an in vitro model of the blood–brain barrier (BBB). In the present study, in vitro experiments were performed to investigate whether gH625 can enter and accumulate in neuron and astrocyte cell lines. The ability of gH625 to cross the BBB in vivo was also evaluated. gH625 was administered in vivo to rats and its presence in the liver and in the brain was detected. Within 3.5 hours of intravenous administration, gH625 can be found beyond the BBB in proximity to cell neurites. gH625 has no toxic effects in vivo, since it does not affect the maximal oxidative capacity of the brain or the mitochondrial respiration rate. Our data suggest that gH625, with its ability to cross the BBB, represents a novel nanocarrier system for drug delivery to the central nervous system. These results open up new possibilities for direct delivery of drugs into patients in the field of theranostics and might address the treatment of several human diseases. PMID:25792823

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valiante, Salvatore; Falanga, Annarita; Cigliano, Luisa; Iachetta, Giuseppina; Busiello, Rosa Anna; La Marca, Valeria; Galdiero, Massimiliano; Lombardi, Assunta; Galdiero, Stefania

    2015-01-01

    Peptide gH625, derived from glycoprotein H of herpes simplex virus type 1, can enter cells efficiently and deliver a cargo. Nanoparticles armed with gH625 are able to cross an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In the present study, in vitro experiments were performed to investigate whether gH625 can enter and accumulate in neuron and astrocyte cell lines. The ability of gH625 to cross the BBB in vivo was also evaluated. gH625 was administered in vivo to rats and its presence in the liver and in the brain was detected. Within 3.5 hours of intravenous administration, gH625 can be found beyond the BBB in proximity to cell neurites. gH625 has no toxic effects in vivo, since it does not affect the maximal oxidative capacity of the brain or the mitochondrial respiration rate. Our data suggest that gH625, with its ability to cross the BBB, represents a novel nanocarrier system for drug delivery to the central nervous system. These results open up new possibilities for direct delivery of drugs into patients in the field of theranostics and might address the treatment of several human diseases.

  13. TSPO PIGA Ligands Promote Neurosteroidogenesis and Human Astrocyte Well-Being

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    Eleonora Da Pozzo

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The steroidogenic 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO is an emerging, attractive therapeutic tool for several pathological conditions of the nervous system. Here, 13 high affinity TSPO ligands belonging to our previously described N,N-dialkyl-2-phenylindol-3-ylglyoxylamide (PIGA class were evaluated for their potential ability to affect the cellular Oxidative Metabolism Activity/Proliferation index, which is used as a measure of astrocyte well-being. The most active PIGA ligands were also assessed for steroidogenic activity in terms of pregnenolone production, and the values were related to the metabolic index in rat and human models. The results showed a positive correlation between the increase in the Oxidative Metabolism Activity/Proliferation index and the pharmacologically induced stimulation of steroidogenesis. The specific involvement of steroid molecules in mediating the metabolic effects of the PIGA ligands was demonstrated using aminoglutethimide, a specific inhibitor of the first step of steroid biosynthesis. The most promising steroidogenic PIGA ligands were the 2-naphthyl derivatives that showed a long residence time to the target, in agreement with our previous data. In conclusion, TSPO ligand-induced neurosteroidogenesis was involved in astrocyte well-being.

  14. Albumin induces excitatory synaptogenesis through astrocytic TGF-β/ALK5 signaling in a model of acquired epilepsy following blood-brain barrier dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weissberg, Itai; Wood, Lydia; Kamintsky, Lyn; Vazquez, Oscar; Milikovsky, Dan Z; Alexander, Allyson; Oppenheim, Hannah; Ardizzone, Carolyn; Becker, Albert; Frigerio, Federica; Vezzani, Annamaria; Buckwalter, Marion S; Huguenard, John R; Friedman, Alon; Kaufer, Daniela

    2015-06-01

    Post-injury epilepsy (PIE) is a common complication following brain insults, including ischemic, and traumatic brain injuries. At present, there are no means to identify the patients at risk to develop PIE or to prevent its development. Seizures can occur months or years after the insult, do not respond to anti-seizure medications in over third of the patients, and are often associated with significant neuropsychiatric morbidities. We have previously established the critical role of blood-brain barrier dysfunction in PIE, demonstrating that exposure of brain tissue to extravasated serum albumin induces activation of inflammatory transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling in astrocytes and eventually seizures. However, the link between the acute astrocytic inflammatory responses and reorganization of neural networks that underlie recurrent spontaneous seizures remains unknown. Here we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that activation of the astrocytic ALK5/TGF-β-pathway induces excitatory, but not inhibitory, synaptogenesis that precedes the appearance of seizures. Moreover, we show that treatment with SJN2511, a specific ALK5/TGF-β inhibitor, prevents synaptogenesis and epilepsy. Our findings point to astrocyte-mediated synaptogenesis as a key epileptogenic process and highlight the manipulation of the TGF-β-pathway as a potential strategy for the prevention of PIE. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Effect of brain-derived neurotropic factor released from hypoxic astrocytes on gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor function in normal hippocampal neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hongliang Liu; Tijun Dai

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes can release increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor during cerebral ischemia, but it is unclear whether brain-derived neurotrophic factor affects γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor function in normal neurons. Results from this study demonstrated that γ-aminobutyric acid at 100 μmol/L concentration raised the intracellular calcium level in neurons treated with medium from cultured hypoxic astrocytes, and the rise in calcium level could be inhibited by γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor antagonist bicuculline or brain-derived neurotrophic factor receptor antagonist k252a. Γ-aminobutyric acid type A-gated current induced by 100 μmol/L γ-aminobutyric acid was in an inward direction in physiological conditions, but shifted to the outward direction in neurons when treated with the medium from cultured hypoxic astrocytes, and this effect could be inhibited by k252a. The reverse potential was shifted leftward to -93 Mv, which could be inhibited by k252a and Na+-K+-Cl- cotransporter inhibitor bumetanide. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor was released from hypoxic astrocytes at a high level. It shifted the reverse potential of γ-aminobutyric acid type A-gated currents leftward in normal neurons by enhancing the function of Na+-K+-Cl- cotransporter, and caused γ-aminobutyric acid to exert an excitatory effect by activating γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    A number of intracellular proteins that are protective after brain injury are classically thought to exert their effect within the expressing cell. The astrocytic metallothioneins (MT) are one example and are thought to act via intracellular free radical scavenging and heavy metal regulation, and...

  17. Cultured human embryonic neocortical cells survive and grow in infarcted cavities of adult rat brains and interconnect with host brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZENG Jin-sheng; YU Jian; CUI Chun-mei; ZHAO Zhan; HONG Hua; SHENG Wen-li; TAO Yu-qian; LI Ling; HUANG Ru-xun

    2005-01-01

    Background There are no reports on exnografting cultured human fetal neocortical cells in this infracted cavities of adult rat brains. This study was undertaken to observe whether cultured human cortical neurons and astrocytes can survive and grow in the infarcted cavities of adult rat brains and whether they interconnect with host brains.Methods The right middle cerebral artery was ligated distal to the striatal branches in 16 adult stroke-prone renovascular hypertensive rats. One week later, cultured cells from human embryonic cerebral cortexes were stereotaxically transferred to the infarcted cavity of 11 rats. The other 5 rats receiving sham transplants served as controls. For immunosuppression, all transplanted rats received intraperitoneal injection of cyclosporine A daily starting on the day of grafting. Immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), synaptophysin, neurofilament, and microtubule associated protein-2 (MAP-2) was performed on brain sections perfused in situ 8 weeks after transplantation.Results Grafts in the infarcted cavities of 6 of 10 surviving rats consisted of bands of neurons with an immature appearance, bundles of fibers, and GFAP-immunopositive astrocytes, which were unevenly distributed. The grafts were rich in synaptophysin, neurofilament, and MAP2-positive neurons with long processes. The graft/host border was diffuse with dendrites apparently bridging over to the host brain, into which neurofilament immunopositive fibers protruded. Conclusion Cultured human fetal brain cells can survive and grow in the infarcted cavities of immunodepressed rats and integrate with the host brain.

  18. Astrocytic TLR4 expression and LPS-induced nuclear translocation of STAT3 in the sensory circumventricular organs of adult mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Yousuke; Furube, Eriko; Morita, Shoko; Wanaka, Akio; Nakashima, Toshihiro; Miyata, Seiji

    2015-01-15

    The sensory circumventricular organs (CVOs) comprise the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT), subfornical organ (SFO), and area postrema (AP) and lack the blood-brain barrier. The expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) was seen at astrocytes throughout the sensory CVOs and at microglia in the AP and solitary nucleus around the central canal. The peripheral and central administration of lipopolysaccharide induced a similar pattern of nuclear translocation of STAT3. A microglia inhibitor minocycline largely suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced astrocytic nuclear translocation of STAT3 in the OVLT and AP, but its effect was less in the SFO.

  19. miR-21 and 221 upregulation and miR-181b downregulation in human grade II-IV astrocytic tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, Alfredo; Aguennouz, M'Hammed; La Torre, Domenico; Tomasello, Chiara; Cardali, Salvatore; Angileri, Filippo F; Maio, Francesca; Cama, Annamaria; Germanò, Antonino; Vita, Giuseppe; Tomasello, Francesco

    2009-07-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding regulatory RNAs that reduce stability and/or translation of fully or partially sequence-complementary target mRNAs. Recent evidence indicates that miRNAs can function both as tumor suppressors and as oncogenes. It has been demonstrated that in glioblastoma multiforme miR-21 and 221 are upregulated whereas miR-128 and 181 are downregulated. Expression of miR-21, 221, 128a, 128b, 128c, 181a, 181b, 181c was studied using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and northern blotting for human astrocytic tumors with different grade of malignancy. miR-21 and 221 were overexpressed in glioma samples, whereas miRNA 181b was downregulated compared with normal brain tissue. miRNA-21 was hyperexpressed in all tumor samples whereas higher levels of miRNA-221 were found in high-grade gliomas. This study is the first analysis of miRNAs in astrocytic tumor at different stages of malignancy. The different expression pattern observed in tumors at different stages of malignancy is probably dependent on the cell-specific repertoire of target genes of tumors sharing different molecular pathways activity and suggests miRNAs may have also a place in diagnosis and staging of brain tumors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Sandra H; Jørgensen, Trine N; Cristóvão-Ferreira, Sofia; Duflot, Sylvie; Ribeiro, Joaquim A; Gether, Ulrik; Sebastião, Ana M

    2011-11-25

    The γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporters (GATs) are located in the plasma membrane of neurons and astrocytes and are responsible for termination of GABAergic transmission. It has previously been shown that brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates GAT-1-mediated GABA transport in nerve terminals and neuronal cultures. We now report that BDNF enhances GAT-1-mediated GABA transport in cultured astrocytes, an effect mostly due to an increase in the V(max) kinetic constant. This action involves the truncated form of the TrkB receptor (TrkB-t) coupled to a non-classic PLC-γ/PKC-δ and ERK/MAPK pathway and requires active adenosine A(2A) receptors. Transport through GAT-3 is not affected by BDNF. To elucidate if BDNF affects trafficking of GAT-1 in astrocytes, we generated and infected astrocytes with a functional mutant of the rat GAT-1 (rGAT-1) in which the hemagglutinin (HA) epitope was incorporated into the second extracellular loop. An increase in plasma membrane of HA-rGAT-1 as well as of rGAT-1 was observed when both HA-GAT-1-transduced astrocytes and rGAT-1-overexpressing astrocytes were treated with BDNF. The effect of BDNF results from inhibition of dynamin/clathrin-dependent constitutive internalization of GAT-1 rather than from facilitation of the monensin-sensitive recycling of GAT-1 molecules back to the plasma membrane. We therefore conclude that BDNF enhances the time span of GAT-1 molecules at the plasma membrane of astrocytes. BDNF may thus play an active role in the clearance of GABA from synaptic and extrasynaptic sites and in this way influence neuronal excitability.

  1. High-efficient generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from human astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Sergio; Brennand, Kristen; Panopoulos, Athanasia D; Herrerías, Aída; Gage, Fred H; Izpisua-Belmonte, Juan Carlos

    2010-12-09

    The reprogramming of human somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells enables the possibility of generating patient-specific autologous cells for regenerative medicine. A number of human somatic cell types have been reported to generate hiPS cells, including fibroblasts, keratinocytes and peripheral blood cells, with variable reprogramming efficiencies and kinetics. Here, we show that human astrocytes can also be reprogrammed into hiPS (ASThiPS) cells, with similar efficiencies to keratinocytes, which are currently reported to have one of the highest somatic reprogramming efficiencies. ASThiPS lines were indistinguishable from human embryonic stem (ES) cells based on the expression of pluripotent markers and the ability to differentiate into the three embryonic germ layers in vitro by embryoid body generation and in vivo by teratoma formation after injection into immunodeficient mice. Our data demonstrates that a human differentiated neural cell type can be reprogrammed to pluripotency and is consistent with the universality of the somatic reprogramming procedure.

  2. High-efficient generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from human astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Ruiz

    Full Text Available The reprogramming of human somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem (hiPS cells enables the possibility of generating patient-specific autologous cells for regenerative medicine. A number of human somatic cell types have been reported to generate hiPS cells, including fibroblasts, keratinocytes and peripheral blood cells, with variable reprogramming efficiencies and kinetics. Here, we show that human astrocytes can also be reprogrammed into hiPS (ASThiPS cells, with similar efficiencies to keratinocytes, which are currently reported to have one of the highest somatic reprogramming efficiencies. ASThiPS lines were indistinguishable from human embryonic stem (ES cells based on the expression of pluripotent markers and the ability to differentiate into the three embryonic germ layers in vitro by embryoid body generation and in vivo by teratoma formation after injection into immunodeficient mice. Our data demonstrates that a human differentiated neural cell type can be reprogrammed to pluripotency and is consistent with the universality of the somatic reprogramming procedure.

  3. Effect of treadmill exercise on Purkinje cell loss and astrocytic reaction in the cerebellum after traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Tae-Beom; Kim, Bo-Kyun; Ko, Il-Gyu; Kim, Dong-Hyun; Shin, Mal-Soon; Kim, Chang-Ju; Yoon, Jin-Hwan; Kim, Hong

    2010-09-13

    The cerebellum is one of the brain areas, which is selectively vulnerable to forebrain traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Physical exercise in animals is known to promote cell survival and functional recovery after brain injuries. However, the detailed pathologic and functional alterations by exercise following an indirect cerebellar injury induced by a TBI are largely unknown. We determined the effects of treadmill exercise on survival of Purkinje neurons and on a population of reactive astrocytes in the gyrus of lobules VIII and IX of the cerebellum after TBI. The rats were divided into four groups: the sham-operation group, the sham-operation with exercise group, the TBI-induction group, and the TBI-induction with exercise group. Cell biological changes of Purkinje neurons following indirect cerebellar injury were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. TBI-induced loss of calbindin-stained Purkinje neurons in the posterior region of the cerebellum and TBI also increased formation of reactive astroyctes in both the granular and molecular layers of the cerebellar posterior region. Treadmill exercise for 10 days after TBI increased the number of calbindin-stained Purkinje neurons and suppressed formation of reactive astroyctes. The present study provides the possibility that treadmill exercise may be an important mediator to enhance survival of Purkinje neurons in TBI-induced indirect cerebellar injury.

  4. Expression of iron-related genes in human brain and brain tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britton Robert S

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Defective iron homeostasis may be involved in the development of some diseases within the central nervous system. Although the expression of genes involved in normal iron balance has been intensively studied in other tissues, little is known about their expression in the brain. We investigated the mRNA levels of hepcidin (HAMP, HFE, neogenin (NEO1, transferrin receptor 1 (TFRC, transferrin receptor 2 (TFR2, and hemojuvelin (HFE2 in normal human brain, brain tumors, and astrocytoma cell lines. The specimens included 5 normal brain tissue samples, 4 meningiomas, one medulloblastoma, 3 oligodendrocytic gliomas, 2 oligoastrocytic gliomas, 8 astrocytic gliomas, and 3 astrocytoma cell lines. Results Except for hemojuvelin, all genes studied had detectable levels of mRNA. In most tumor types, the pattern of gene expression was diverse. Notable findings include high expression of transferrin receptor 1 in the hippocampus and medulla oblongata compared to other brain regions, low expression of HFE in normal brain with elevated HFE expression in meningiomas, and absence of hepcidin mRNA in astrocytoma cell lines despite expression in normal brain and tumor specimens. Conclusion These results indicate that several iron-related genes are expressed in normal brain, and that their expression may be dysregulated in brain tumors.

  5. Extracellular signal regulated kinases 1/2 signal pathway and responses of astrocytes after diffuse brain injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jinxing Li; Haimei Zhao; Yu Li; Chong Wang; Jiashan Zhao; Xianli Zhu

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The treatment of diffuse brain injury during an acute period is focused on relieving degrees of secondary brain injury. Generation and development of pathological changes of secondary brain injury depend on signal conduction, so down-regulating over response of astrocyte through interfering a key link of signal conduction pathway may bring a new thinking for the treatment of diffuse brain injury. OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of over activity of extracellular signal regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) signal pathway on the response of astrocyte during an acute period of diffuse brain injury. DESIGN: Completely randomized grouping and controlled animal study.SETTINGS: Department of Neurosurgery, the Third Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang University; Department of Neurosurgery, Union Hospital Affiliated to Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.MATERIALS: A total of 158 healthy male SD rats, of 11 weeks old, weighing 320 - 370 g, were provided by Experimental Animal Faulty, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Rabbit-anti-phosphorylated ERK1/2 (pERKl/2) polyclonal antibody was provided by R&D Company; rabbit-anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) polyclonal antibody, SP immunohistochemical kit and horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled goat-anti-rabbit IgG by Santa Cruz Company; specific inhibitor U0126 of ERK1/2 signal pathway by Alexis Company. METHODS: The experiment was carried out in the Laboratory of Neurosurgery, Union Hospital Affiliated to Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology from September 2004 to March 2006. ①Detection of pERKl/2 expression: A total of 110 rats were randomly divided into sham operation group (n =5), model group (n =35), high-dosage U0126 group (n =35) and low-dosage U0126 group (n =35). Rats in the sham operation group were only treated with incision of epicranium and fixation of backup plate, but not hit. Rats in the model group

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Educating the Human Brain. Human Brain Development Series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posner, Michael I.; Rothbart, Mary K.

    2006-01-01

    "Educating the Human Brain" is the product of a quarter century of research. This book provides an empirical account of the early development of attention and self regulation in infants and young children. It examines the brain areas involved in regulatory networks, their connectivity, and how their development is influenced by genes and…

  9. Educating the Human Brain. Human Brain Development Series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posner, Michael I.; Rothbart, Mary K.

    2006-01-01

    "Educating the Human Brain" is the product of a quarter century of research. This book provides an empirical account of the early development of attention and self regulation in infants and young children. It examines the brain areas involved in regulatory networks, their connectivity, and how their development is influenced by genes and…

  10. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor protects neurons from GdCl3-induced impairment in neuron-astrocyte co-cultures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Gadolinium (Gd3+) complexes are important contrast agents in medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and of great potential value in brain research. In order to better understand the mechanisms of the action of Gd3+ on neurons in the complex central nervous system (CNS), the neurotoxic actions of GdCl3 have been investigated in both neuron monoculture and astrocyte-neuron co-culture systems. Measurements of lactate dehydrogenase release showed that GdCl3 causes significant cell death of monocultured neurons as a result of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and down-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, GdCl3 does not affect the viability and BDNF expression of astrocytes. Both co-culturing of neurons with astrocytes and addition of BDNF ameliorated GdCl3-induced neurotoxicity by decreasing ROS generation and facilitating recovery of BDNF levels. The results obtained suggest that astrocytes in the CNS may protect neurons from GdCl3-induced impairment through secreting BDNF and thus up-regulating BDNF expression and interfering with Gd3+-induced cell signaling in neurons. A possible molecular mechanism is suggested which should be helpful in understand- ing the neurotoxic actions of gadolinium probes .

  11. Human Brain and Its Size

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邹国如

    2006-01-01

    @@ Two studies suggest that the human brain continues to change through the process of evolution.The findings conflict with a common belief that the brain has evolved about as much as it ever will.Scientists say modern humans developed about two hundred thousand years ago.Bruce Lahn of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Chicago led the studies.The findings appeared in Science magazine.

  12. Human Brain Chemokine and Cytokine Expression in Sepsis: A Report of Three Cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warford, Jordan; Lamport, Anna-Claire; Kennedy, Barry; Easton, Alexander S

    2017-01-01

    Sepsis is a systemic response to infection that can affect brain function by inducing resident cells (including astrocytes and microglia) to generate brain chemokines and cytokines. However, there are few studies on the human brain. Since this information may shed further light on pathogenesis, our study objective was to measure the expression of 36 chemokines and cytokines in autopsied brain from 3 cases of sepsis and 10 controls, and to relate this to astrocyte and microglial activation. The right frontal pole was removed at autopsy and chemokine and cytokine expression measured by multiplexed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Immunohistochemistry and image analysis were carried out to determine the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a marker of activated astrocytes, and CD68 and CD45, markers of activated microglial cells. Concentrations of the chemokines CXCL8, CXCL10, CXCL12, CCL13 and CCL22 were increased in pooled data from the three cases of sepsis (psepsis cases. Additionally, individual sepsis cases showed increases in mRNA expression for HDAC (histone deacetylase) 6 and EIF (eukaryotic translation initiation factor) 4A2. Brain GFAP expression was significantly increased (psepsis cases. Individual sepsis cases showed increases in CD68 or CD45 expression. These expression patterns add to our understanding of the pathogenesis of sepsis and its effects on the brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Walker S; Krost, Clemens; Borkowski, Andrew W; Kaczmarczyk, Lech

    2014-01-01

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

  14. In vivo expression of neuroglobin in reactive astrocytes during neuropathology in murine models of traumatic brain injury, cerebral malaria, and autoimmune encephalitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    DellaValle, Brian; Hempel, Casper; Kurtzhals, Jørgen AL;

    2010-01-01

    Neuroglobin (Ngb) is proposed to be a neuron-specific, hypoxia-responsive, neuroprotective protein. However, results are conflicting concerning both Ngb's physiological and pathological significance. This study was designed to investigate the in vivo localization and regulation of Ngb in different...... knowledge, have not been studied in the context of Ngb. In control mice Ngb was expressed exclusively in neurons. In all pathological models except KA, in addition to neurons Ngb was present in reactive astrocytes. Ngb positive astrocytes were found within regions associated with most severe pathology...... and the astroglial scar. This is the first report of Ngb present in reactive astroglia and in scar-forming astrocytes in response to different pathological conditions relevant to human disease. In light of previously reported cyto-protective properties of Ngb, further insight may result in therapeutic ramifications....

  15. Downregulation of an astrocyte-derived inflammatory protein, S100B, reduces vascular inflammatory responses in brains persistently infected with Borna disease virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohtaki, Naohiro; Kamitani, Wataru; Watanabe, Yohei; Hayashi, Yohei; Yanai, Hideyuki; Ikuta, Kazuyoshi; Tomonaga, Keizo

    2007-06-01

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic virus that causes a persistent infection in the central nervous system (CNS) of many vertebrate species. Although a severe reactive gliosis is observed in experimentally BDV-infected rat brains, little is known about the glial reactions contributing to the viral persistence and immune modulation in the CNS. In this regard, we examined the expression of an astrocyte-derived factor, S100B, in the brains of Lewis rats persistently infected with BDV. S100B is a Ca(2+)-binding protein produced mainly by astrocytes. A prominent role of this protein appears to be the promotion of vascular inflammatory responses through interaction with the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). Here we show that the expression of S100B is significantly reduced in BDV-infected brains despite severe astrocytosis with increased glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity. Interestingly, no upregulation of the expression of S100B, or RAGE, was observed in the persistently infected brains even when incited with several inflammatory stimuli, including lipopolysaccharide. In addition, expression of the vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), as well as the infiltration of encephalitogenic T cells, was significantly reduced in persistently infected brains in which an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis was induced by immunization with myelin-basic protein. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the continuous activation of S100B in the brain may be necessary for the progression of vascular immune responses in neonatally infected rat brains. Our results suggested that BDV infection may impair astrocyte functions via a downregulation of S100B expression, leading to the maintenance of a persistent infection.

  16. In vitro growth environment produces lipidomic and electron transport chain abnormalities in mitochondria from non-tumorigenic astrocytes and brain tumours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas N Seyfried

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available The mitochondrial lipidome influences ETC (electron transport chain and cellular bioenergetic efficiency. Brain tumours are largely dependent on glycolysis for energy due to defects in mitochondria and oxidative phosphorylation. In the present study, we used shotgun lipidomics to compare the lipidome in highly purified mitochondria isolated from normal brain, from brain tumour tissue, from cultured tumour cells and from non-tumorigenic astrocytes. The tumours included the CT-2A astrocytoma and an EPEN (ependymoblastoma, both syngeneic with the C57BL/6J (B6 mouse strain. The mitochondrial lipidome in cultured CT-2A and EPEN tumour cells were compared with those in cultured astrocytes and in solid tumours grown in vivo. Major differences were found between normal tissue and tumour tissue and between in vivo and in vitro growth environments for the content or composition of ethanolamine glycerophospholipids, phosphatidylglycerol and cardiolipin. The mitochondrial lipid abnormalities in solid tumours and in cultured cells were associated with reductions in multiple ETC activities, especially Complex I. The in vitro growth environment produced lipid and ETC abnormalities in cultured non-tumorigenic astrocytes that were similar to those associated with tumorigenicity. It appears that the culture environment obscures the boundaries of the Crabtree and the Warburg effects. These results indicate that in vitro growth environments can produce abnormalities in mitochondrial lipids and ETC activities, thus contributing to a dependency on glycolysis for ATP production.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona F Spampinato

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

  19. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate induces oxidative phosphorylation by activating cytochrome c oxidase in human cultured neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano-González, Gloria; Pichaud, Nicolas; Ballard, J William O; Bessede, Alban; Marcal, Helder; Guillemin, Gilles J

    2016-02-16

    Mitochondrial dysfunction and resulting energy impairment have been identified as features of many neurodegenerative diseases. Whether this energy impairment is the cause of the disease or the consequence of preceding impairment(s) is still under discussion, however a recovery of cellular bioenergetics would plausibly prevent or improve the pathology. In this study, we screened different natural molecules for their ability to increase intracellular adenine triphosphate purine (ATP). Among them, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol from green tea, presented the most striking results. We found that it increases ATP production in both human cultured astrocytes and neurons with different kinetic parameters and without toxicity. Specifically, we showed that oxidative phosphorylation in human cultured astrocytes and neurons increased at the level of the routine respiration on the cells pre-treated with the natural molecule. Furthermore, EGCG-induced ATP production was only blocked by sodium azide (NaN3) and oligomycin, inhibitors of cytochrome c oxidase (CcO; complex IV) and ATP synthase (complex V) respectively. These findings suggest that the EGCG modulates CcO activity, as confirmed by its enzymatic activity. CcO is known to be regulated differently in neurons and astrocytes. Accordingly, EGCG treatment is acting differently on the kinetic parameters of the two cell types. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that EGCG promotes CcO activity in human cultured neurons and astrocytes. Considering that CcO dysfunction has been reported in patients having neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), we therefore suggest that EGCG could restore mitochondrial function and prevent subsequent loss of synaptic function.

  20. Growth enhancement effect of BzATP on primary cultured astrocytes from rat brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hua-Zheng LIANG; Ying LIU; Zhu-Rong YE

    2006-01-01

    Objective To explore whether BzATP could promote the growth of primary cultured astrocytes (AS) of rat and its possible mechanism, and whether TGF-β1 was involved in the event. Methods The primary cultured AS were derived from new born Sprague-Dawley rats.Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunofluorescent stain was used to check the purity of cultured AS. Morphometry was used to detect the changes of AS. The proliferation index of AS was detected by BrdU incorporation assay. Western blot was used to detect the changes of GFAP under different conditions. Changes of TGF-β1 gene transcription were detected by RT-PCR. ELISA was utilized to detect the variation of TGF-β1 protein in the supernate. Results The purity of primary cultured AS reached to 99%. BzATP promoted the hypertrophy of AS including the elongation of AS processes and the enlargement of cell bodies, BzATP also promoted the expression of GFAP in existence of Ca2+, but had no effect on cell proliferation. BzATP increased the transcription of TGF-β1 mRNA and the release of TGF-β1 protein in existence of Ca2+. TGF-β1 neutralizing antibody partially inhibited the expression of GFAP induced by BzATP, but had no effect on AS proliferation and cell morphology. Conclusion BzATP enhanced the hypertrophy of primary cultured AS, increased the expression of GFAP partially through TGF-β1. Mechanisms of the enhancement of AS growth induced by BzATP other than TGF-51 pathway remains to be elucidated.

  1. Neuroprotective effect of suppression of astrocytic activation by arundic acid on brain injuries in rats with acute subdural hematomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wajima, Daisuke; Nakagawa, Ichiro; Nakase, Hiroyuki; Yonezawa, Taiji

    2013-06-26

    Acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) can cause massive ischemic cerebral blood flow (CBF) underneath the hematoma, but early surgical evacuation of the mass reduces mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether arundic acid improves the secondary ischemic damage induced by ASDH. Our results confirmed that arundic acid decreases the expression of S100 protein produced by activated astrocytes around ischemic lesions due to cytotoxic edema after ASDH as well as reducing infarction volumes and numbers of apoptotic cells around the ischemic lesions. In this study, we also evaluate the relationship of brain edema and the expression of Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in an ASDH model. The expression of AQP4 was decreased in the acute phase after ASDH. Cytotoxic edema, assumed to be the main cause of ASDH, could also cause ischemic lesions around the edema area. Arundic acid decreased the infarction volume and number of apoptotic cells via suppression of S100 protein expression in ischemic lesions without changing the expression of AQP4.

  2. Ischemic brain extract increases SDF-1 expression in astrocytes through the CXCR2/miR-223/miR-27b pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jin Hee; Park, Young Mi; Kim, Dong Hee; Moon, Gyeong Joon; Bang, Oh Young; Ohn, Takbum; Kim, Hyeon Ho

    2014-09-01

    Ischemic cerebral stroke is one of the leading global causes of mortality and morbidity. Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) refers to a sublethal ischemia and resulting in tolerance to subsequent severe ischemic injury. Although several pathways are reportedly involved in IPC-mediated neuroprotection, the functional role of astrocytes is not fully understood. Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), a CXC chemokine produced mainly in astrocytes, is a ligand for chemokine receptor CXCR4. SDF-1 is reported to play a critical role in neuroprotection after stroke by mediating the migration of neuronal progenitor cells. We hypothesized that stimuli derived from ischemic brain were involved in the protective effects of IPC. To investigate this hypothesis, the mechanism in which ischemic brain extract (IBE) induced SDF-1 expression was investigated in C6 astrocytoma cells. IBE treatment of C6 cells increased SDF-1 expression compared to that in untreated or normal brain extract (NBE)-treated cells by downregulating SDF-1 targeting miRNA, miR-27b. MiR-223 was inversely upregulated in IBE-treated cells; overexpression of miR-223 decreased the expression of miR-27b by suppressing IKKα expression. Analysis of cytokine array data revealed an IBE associated enhanced expression of CINC-1 (CXCL1) and LIX1 (CXCL5). Knockdown or inhibition of their receptor, CXCR2, abolished IBE-mediated increased expression of SDF-1. These results were confirmed in primary cultured astrocytes. Taken together, the data demonstrate that IBE-elicited signals increase SDF-1 expression through the CXCR2/miR-223/miR-27b pathway in C6 astrocytoma cells and primary astrocytes, supporting the view that increased expression of SDF-1 by ischemic insults is a possible mechanism underlying therapeutic application of IPC.

  3. Melanocortin 4 receptor activates ERK-cFos pathway to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in rat astrocytes and hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, D; Saba, J; Carniglia, L; Durand, D; Lasaga, M; Caruso, C

    2015-08-15

    Melanocortins are neuropeptides with well recognized anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects in the brain. Of the five melanocortin receptors (MCR), MC4R is abundantly expressed in the brain and is the only MCR present in astrocytes. We have previously shown that MC4R activation by the α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) analog, NDP-MSH, increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression through the classic cAMP-Protein kinase A-cAMP responsive element binding protein pathway in rat astrocytes. Now, we examined the participation of the mitogen activated protein kinases pathway in MC4R signaling. Rat cultured astrocytes treated with NDP-MSH 1 µM for 1 h showed increased BDNF expression. Inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and ribosomal p90 S6 kinase (RSK), an ERK substrate, but not of p38 or JNK, prevented the increase in BDNF expression induced by NDP-MSH. Activation of MC4R increased cFos expression, a target of both ERK and RSK. ERK activation by MC4R involves cAMP, phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) and the non receptor tyrosine kinase, Src. Both PI3K and Src inhibition abolished NDP-MSH-induced BDNF expression. Moreover, we found that intraperitoneal injection of α-MSH induces BDNF and MC4R expression and activates ERK and cFos in male rat hypothalamus. Our results show for the first time that MC4R-induced BDNF expression in astrocytes involves ERK-RSK-cFos pathway which is dependent on PI3K and Src, and that melanocortins induce BDNF expression and ERK-cFos activation in rat hypothalamus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Mature astrocytes in the adult human neocortex express the early neuronal marker doublecortin.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwer, R.W.H.; Sluiter, A.A.; Balesar, R.A.; Baayen, J.C.; Noske, D.P.; Dirven, C.M.; Wouda, J.; van Dam, A.M.; Lucassen, P.J.; Swaab, D.F.

    2007-01-01

    Doublecortin (DCX) is a microtubule-associated protein expressed by migrating neuroblasts and is considered to be a reliable marker of neurogenesis. DCX has been used to study the relation between neurogenesis in adult human brain and neurological and neurodegenerative disease processes in the searc

  5. BK Induces cPLA2 Expression via an Autocrine Loop Involving COX-2-Derived PGE2 in Rat Brain Astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chih-Chung; Hsieh, Hsi-Lung; Liu, Shiau-Wen; Tseng, Hui-Ching; Hsiao, Li-Der; Yang, Chuen-Mao

    2015-01-01

    Bradykinin (BK) is a proinflammatory mediator and elevated in several brain injury and inflammatory diseases. The deleterious effects of BK on brain astrocytes may aggravate brain inflammation mediated through the upregulation of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2)/cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. However, the signaling mechanisms underlying BK-induced cPLA2 expression in brain astrocytes remain unclear. Herein, we investigated the effects of activation of cPLA2/COX-2 system on BK-induced cPLA2 upregulation in rat brain astrocytes (RBA-1). The data obtained with Western blotting, RT-PCR, and immunofluorescent staining analyses showed that BK-induced de novo cPLA2 expression was mediated through activation of cPLA2/COX-2 system. Upregulation of native cPLA2/COX-2 system by BK through activation of PKCδ, c-Src, MAPKs (ERK1/2 and JNK1/2) cascades led to PGE2 biosynthesis and release. Subsequently, the released PGE2 induced cPLA2 expression via the same signaling pathways (PKCδ, c-Src, ERK1/2, and JNK1/2) and then activated the cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) via B2 BK receptor-mediated cPLA2/COX-2 system-derived PGE2/EP-dependent manner. Finally, upregulation of cPLA2 by BK may promote more PGE2 production. These results demonstrated that in RBA-1, activation of CREB by PGE2/EP-mediated PKCδ/c-Src/MAPK cascades is essential for BK-induced de novo cPLA2 protein. More importantly, upregulation of cPLA2 by BK through native cPLA2/COX-2 system may be a positive feedback mechanism that enhances prolonged brain inflammatory responses. Understanding the mechanisms of cPLA2/COX-2 system upregulated by BK on brain astrocytes may provide rational therapeutic interventions for brain injury and inflammatory diseases.

  6. 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.

  7. Ischemic brain cell-derived conditioned medium protects astrocytes against ischemia through GDNF/ERK/NF-kB signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Lan-Feng; Wang, Wei-Ti; Ghanta, Vithal K; Lin, Chi-Hsin; Chiang, Yung-Yen; Hsueh, Chi-Mei

    2008-11-06

    Conditioned medium (CM) collected from cultures of ischemic microglia, astrocytes, and neurons were protective to astrocytes under the in vitro ischemic condition (deprivation of oxygen, glucose and serum). Molecular and signaling pathway(s) responsible for the CMs protective activity were investigated. Results showed that CMs from the ischemic microglia (MCM), astrocytes (ACM) and neurons (NCM) contained glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which protects astrocytes against the in vitro ischemia. Expression of extra cellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) by GDNF led to the inhibition of apoptosis of the ischemic astrocytes in a caspase 3-independent manner. However, CMs- and GDNF-mediated protection of the ischemic astrocytes was protein kinase B (Akt) independent. These results provided mechanistic data regarding how GDNF- and CMs-mediated protection of the ischemic astrocytes is taking place. These observations provide information for the use of GDNF and GDNF containing CMs in the control of cerebral ischemia.

  8. Importance of astrocytes for potassium ion (K(+)) homeostasis in brain and glial effects of K(+) and its transporters on learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Leif; Chen, Ye

    2016-12-01

    Initial clearance of extracellular K(+) ([K(+)]o) following neuronal excitation occurs by astrocytic uptake, because elevated [K(+)]o activates astrocytic but not neuronal Na(+),K(+)-ATPases. Subsequently, astrocytic K(+) is re-released via Kir4.1 channels after distribution in the astrocytic functional syncytium via gap junctions. The dispersal ensures widespread release, preventing renewed [K(+)]o increase and allowing neuronal Na(+),K(+)-ATPase-mediated re-uptake. Na(+),K(+)-ATPase operation creates extracellular hypertonicity and cell shrinkage which is reversed by the astrocytic cotransporter NKCC1. Inhibition of Kir channels by activation of specific PKC isotypes may decrease syncytial distribution and enable physiologically occurring [K(+)]o increases to open L-channels for Ca(2+), activating [K(+)]o-stimulated gliotransmitter release and regulating gap junctions. Learning is impaired when [K(+)]o is decreased to levels mainly affecting astrocytic membrane potential or Na(+),K(+)-ATPase or by abnormalities in its α2 subunit. It is enhanced by NKCC1-mediated ion and water uptake during the undershoot, reversing neuronal inactivity, but impaired in migraine with aura in which [K(+)]o is highly increased. Vasopressin augments NKCC1 effects and facilitates learning. Enhanced myelination, facilitated by astrocytic-oligodendrocytic gap junctions also promotes learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Extensive nuclear sphere generation in the human Alzheimer's brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolbe, Katharina; Bukhari, Hassan; Loosse, Christina; Leonhardt, Gregor; Glotzbach, Annika; Pawlas, Magdalena; Hess, Katharina; Theiss, Carsten; Müller, Thorsten

    2016-12-01

    Nuclear spheres are protein aggregates consisting of FE65, TIP60, BLM, and other yet unknown proteins. Generation of these structures in the cellular nucleus is putatively modulated by the amyloid precursor protein (APP), either by its cleavage or its phosphorylation. Nuclear spheres were preferentially studied in cell culture models and their existence in the human brain had not been known. Existence of nuclear spheres in the human brain was studied using immunohistochemistry. Cell culture experiments were used to study regulative mechanisms of nuclear sphere generation. The comparison of human frontal cortex brain samples from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients to age-matched controls revealed a dramatically and highly significant enrichment of nuclear spheres in the AD brain. Costaining demonstrated that neurons are distinctly affected by nuclear spheres, but astrocytes never are. Nuclear spheres were predominantly found in neurons that were negative for threonine 668 residue in APP phosphorylation. Cell culture experiments revealed that JNK3-mediated APP phosphorylation reduces the amount of sphere-positive cells. The study suggests that nuclear spheres are a new APP-derived central hallmark of AD, which might be of crucial relevance for the molecular mechanisms in neurodegeneration.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cao Fujiang

    2012-09-01

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

  12. From reverse transcription to human brain tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitrenko V. V.

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Reverse transcriptase from avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV was the subject of the study, from which the investi- gations of the Department of biosynthesis of nucleic acids were started. Production of AMV in grams quantities and isolation of AMV reverse transcriptase were established in the laboratory during the seventies of the past cen- tury and this initiated research on the cDNA synthesis, cloning and investigation of the structure and functions of the eukaryotic genes. Structures of salmon insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF family genes and their transcripts were determined during long-term investigations. Results of two modern techniques, microarray-ba- sed hybridization and SAGE, were used for the identification of the genes differentially expressed in astrocytic gliomas and human normal brain. Comparison of SAGE results on the genes overexpressed in glioblastoma with the results of microarray analysis revealed a limited number of common genes. 105 differentially expressed genes, common to both methods, can be included in the list of candidates for the molecular typing of glioblastoma. The first experiments on the classification of glioblastomas based on the data of the 20 genes expression were conducted by using of artificial neural network analysis. The results of these experiments showed that the expression profiles of these genes in 224 glioblastoma samples and 74 normal brain samples could be according to the Koho- nen’s maps. The CHI3L1 and CHI3L2 genes of chitinase-like cartilage protein were revealed among the most overexpressed genes in glioblastoma, which could have prognostic and diagnostic potential. Results of in vitro experiments demonstrated that both proteins, CHI3L1 and CHI3L2, may initiate the phosphorylation of ERK1/ ERK2 and AKT kinases leading to the activation of MAPK/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT signaling cascades in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, human glioblastoma U87MG, and U373 cells. The new human cell line

  13. Intermediate filament transcription in astrocytes is repressed by proteasome inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middeldorp, Jinte; Kamphuis, Willem; Sluijs, Jacqueline A.; Achoui, Dalila; Leenaars, Cathalijn H. C.; Feenstra, Matthijs G. P.; van Tijn, Paula; Fischer, David F.; Berkers, Celia; Ovaa, Huib; Quinlan, Roy A.; Hol, Elly M.

    2009-01-01

    Increased expression of the astrocytic intermediate filament protein glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a characteristic of astrogliosis. This process occurs in the brain during aging and neurodegeneration and coincides with impairment of the ubiquitin proteasome system. Inhibition of the proteasome impairs protein degradation; therefore, we hypothesized that the increase in GFAP may be the result of impaired proteasomal activity in astrocytes. We investigated the effect of proteasome inhibitors on GFAP expression and other intermediate filament proteins in human astrocytoma cells and in a rat brain model for astrogliosis. Extensive quantitative RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, and Western blot analysis resulted unexpectedly in a strong decrease of GFAP mRNA to Hol, E. M. Intermediate filament transcription in astrocytes is repressed by proteasome inhibition. PMID:19332645

  14. A predictive in vitro model of the impact of drugs with anticholinergic properties on human neuronal and astrocytic systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth K Woehrling

    Full Text Available The link between off-target anticholinergic effects of medications and acute cognitive impairment in older adults requires urgent investigation. We aimed to determine whether a relevant in vitro model may aid the identification of anticholinergic responses to drugs and the prediction of anticholinergic risk during polypharmacy. In this preliminary study we employed a co-culture of human-derived neurons and astrocytes (NT2.N/A derived from the NT2 cell line. NT2.N/A cells possess much of the functionality of mature neurons and astrocytes, key cholinergic phenotypic markers and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs. The cholinergic response of NT2 astrocytes to the mAChR agonist oxotremorine was examined using the fluorescent dye fluo-4 to quantitate increases in intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i. Inhibition of this response by drugs classified as severe (dicycloverine, amitriptyline, moderate (cyclobenzaprine and possible (cimetidine on the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB scale, was examined after exposure to individual and pairs of compounds. Individually, dicycloverine had the most significant effect regarding inhibition of the astrocytic cholinergic response to oxotremorine, followed by amitriptyline then cyclobenzaprine and cimetidine, in agreement with the ACB scale. In combination, dicycloverine with cyclobenzaprine had the most significant effect, followed by dicycloverine with amitriptyline. The order of potency of the drugs in combination frequently disagreed with predicted ACB scores derived from summation of the individual drug scores, suggesting current scales may underestimate the effect of polypharmacy. Overall, this NT2.N/A model may be appropriate for further investigation of adverse anticholinergic effects of multiple medications, in order to inform clinical choices of suitable drug use in the elderly.

  15. Osteopontin is induced by TGF-β2 and regulates metabolic cell activity in cultured human optic nerve head astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Neumann

    Full Text Available The aqueous humor (AH component transforming growth factor (TGF-β2 is strongly correlated to primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG, and was shown to up-regulate glaucoma-associated extracellular matrix (ECM components, members of the ECM degradation system and heat shock proteins (HSP in primary ocular cells. Here we present osteopontin (OPN as a new TGF-β2 responsive factor in cultured human optic nerve head (ONH astrocytes. Activation was initially demonstrated by Oligo GEArray microarray and confirmed by semiquantitative (sq RT-PCR, realtime RT-PCR and western blot. Expressions of most prevalent OPN receptors CD44 and integrin receptor subunits αV, α4, α 5, α6, α9, β1, β3 and β5 by ONH astrocytes were shown by sqRT-PCR and immunofluorescence labeling. TGF-β2 treatment did not affect their expression levels. OPN did not regulate gene expression of described TGF-β2 targets shown by sqRT-PCR. In MTS-assays, OPN had a time- and dose-dependent stimulating effect on the metabolic activity of ONH astrocytes, whereas TGF-β2 significantly reduced metabolism. OPN signaling via CD44 mediated a repressive outcome on metabolic activity, whereas signaling via integrin receptors resulted in a pro-metabolic effect. In summary, our findings characterize OPN as a TGF-β2 responsive factor that is not involved in TGF-β2 mediated ECM and HSP modulation, but affects the metabolic activity of astrocytes. A potential involvement in a protective response to TGF-β2 triggered damage is indicated, but requires further investigation.

  16. Expression and activation by Epstein Barr virus of human endogenous retroviruses-W in blood cells and astrocytes: inference for multiple sclerosis.

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    Giuseppe Mameli

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Proposed co-factors triggering the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS are the Epstein Barr virus (EBV, and the potentially neuropathogenic MSRV (MS-associated retrovirus and syncytin-1, of the W family of human endogenous retroviruses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In search of links, the expression of HERV-W/MSRV/syncytin-1, with/without exposure to EBV or to EBV glycoprotein350 (EBVgp350, was studied on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC from healthy volunteers and MS patients, and on astrocytes, by discriminatory env-specific RT-PCR assays, and by flow cytometry. Basal expression of HERV-W/MSRV/syncytin-1 occurs in astrocytes and in monocytes, NK, and B, but not in T cells. This uneven expression is amplified in untreated MS patients, and dramatically reduced during therapy. In astrocytes, EBVgp350 stimulates the expression of HERV-W/MSRV/syncytin-1, with requirement of the NF-κB pathway. In EBVgp350-treated PBMC, MSRVenv and syncytin-1 transcription is activated in B cells and monocytes, but not in T cells, nor in the highly expressing NK cells. The latter cells, but not the T cells, are activated by proinflammatory cytokines. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In vitro EBV activates the potentially immunopathogenic and neuropathogenic HERV-W/MSRV/syncytin-1, in cells deriving from blood and brain. In vivo, pathogenic outcomes would depend on abnormal situations, as in late EBV primary infection, that is often symptomatic, or/and in the presence of particular host genetic backgrounds. In the blood, HERV-Wenv activation might induce immunopathogenic phenomena linked to its superantigenic properties. In the brain, toxic mechanisms against oligodendrocytes could be established, inducing inflammation, demyelination and axonal damage. Local stimulation by proinflammatory cytokines and other factors might activate further HERV-Ws, contributing to the neuropathogenity. In MS pathogenesis, a possible model could include EBV as

  17. Genetic basis of human brain evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Vallender, Eric J.; Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Lahn, Bruce T

    2008-01-01

    Human evolution is characterized by a rapid increase in brain size and complexity. Decades of research have made important strides in identifying anatomical and physiological substrates underlying the unique features of the human brain. By contrast, it has become possible only very recently to examine the genetic basis of human brain evolution. Through comparative genomics, tantalizing insights regarding human brain evolution have emerged. The genetic changes that potentially underlie human b...

  18. Could astrocytes be the primary target of an offending agent causing the primary degenerative diseases of the human central nervous system? A hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sica, Roberto E

    2015-05-01

    Most of the named primary degenerative diseases of the human central nervous system have been attributed to a direct, primary damage of some particular population of neurons. Within the spectrum of these illnesses there are disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, fronto-temporal dementia, Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's dementia and cerebellar ataxias affecting exclusively the human species. In the last years it has been shown that non-neural cells, mainly astrocytes, have a crucial role in the starting and development of these diseases. We suggest that the causative agent of these illnesses gets home first within the astrocytes, rather than the neurons, making them sick by modifying the structure of some proteins; from these cells the abnormal process would start a trip to other astrocytes having the same genetic, metabolic, structural and functional profiles that the originally affected astrocytes have, going through the gap junctions which connect that particular population devoted to a particular set of neurons. This appears to be a likely hypothesis because the astrocytes related to a defined population of neurons have their own, private properties and characteristics needed to support one particular set of neurons performing a defined function, making them a different and unique population, a fact which would limit the spreading of the disease to those astrocytes, sparing other astrocyte populations which do not share those characteristics. If this were the mechanism underlying these illnesses, the neurons, which their health depends on those astrocytes, would be deprived of their patronage and would start all the changes that characterizes a programmed cell death, and the clinical manifestations of a defined pathology would consequently appear. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Why are astrocytes important?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verkhratsky, Alexei; Nedergaard, Maiken; Hertz, Leif

    2015-02-01

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

  20. Disruption of IP₃R2-mediated Ca²⁺ signaling pathway in astrocytes ameliorates neuronal death and brain damage while reducing behavioral deficits after focal ischemic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hailong; Xie, Yicheng; Zhang, Nannan; Yu, Yang; Zhang, Qiao; Ding, Shinghua

    2015-12-01

    Inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R)-mediated intracellular Ca(2+) increase is the major Ca(2+) signaling pathway in astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). Ca(2+) increases in astrocytes have been found to modulate neuronal function through gliotransmitter release. We previously demonstrated that astrocytes exhibit enhanced Ca(2+) signaling in vivo after photothrombosis (PT)-induced ischemia, which is largely due to the activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). The aim of this study is to investigate the role of astrocytic IP3R-mediated Ca(2+) signaling in neuronal death, brain damage and behavior outcomes after PT. For this purpose, we conducted experiments using homozygous type 2 IP3R (IP3R2) knockout (KO) mice. Histological and immunostaining studies showed that IP3R2 KO mice were indeed deficient in IP3R2 in astrocytes and exhibited normal brain cytoarchitecture. IP3R2 KO mice also had the same densities of S100β+ astrocytes and NeuN+ neurons in the cortices, and exhibited the same glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and glial glutamate transporter (GLT-1) levels in the cortices and hippocampi as compared with wild type (WT) mice. Two-photon (2-P) imaging showed that IP3R2 KO mice did not exhibit ATP-induced Ca(2+) waves in vivo in the astrocytic network, which verified the disruption of IP3R-mediated Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytes of these mice. When subject to PT, IP3R2 KO mice had smaller infarction than WT mice in acute and chronic phases of ischemia. IP3R2 KO mice also exhibited less neuronal apoptosis, reactive astrogliosis, and tissue loss than WT mice. Behavioral tests, including cylinder, hanging wire, pole and adhesive tests, showed that IP3R2 KO mice exhibited reduced functional deficits after PT. Collectively, our study demonstrates that disruption of astrocytic Ca(2+) signaling by deleting IP3R2s has beneficial effects on neuronal and brain protection and functional deficits after stroke. These findings reveal a novel non

  1. Temporal dynamics of cerebral blood flow, cortical damage, apoptosis, astrocyte-vasculature interaction and astrogliosis in the pericontusional region after traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia eVillapol

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI results in a loss of brain tissue at the moment of impact in the cerebral cortex. Subsequent secondary injury involves the release of molecular signals with dramatic consequences for the integrity of damaged tissue, leading to the evolution of a pericontusional-damaged area minutes to days after in the initial injury. The mechanisms behind the progression of tissue loss remain under investigation. In this study, we analyzed the spatial-temporal profile of blood flow, apoptotic and astrocytic-vascular events in the cortical regions around the impact site at time points ranging from 5 hours to 2 months after TBI. We performed a mild-moderate controlled cortical impact injury in young adult mice and analyzed the glial and vascular response to injury. We observed a dramatic decrease in perilesional cerebral blood flow (CBF immediately following the cortical impact that lasted until days later. CBF finally returned to baseline levels by 30 days post-injury (dpi. The initial impact also resulted in an immediate loss of tissue and cavity formation that gradually increased in size until 3 dpi. An increase in dying cells localized in the pericontusional region and a robust astrogliosis were also observed at 3 dpi. A strong vasculature interaction with astrocytes was established at 7 dpi. Glial scar formation began at 7 dpi and seemed to be compact by 60 dpi. Altogether, these results suggest that TBI results in a progression from acute neurodegeneration that precedes astrocytic activation, reformation of the neurovascular unit to glial scar formation. Understanding the multiple processes occurring after TBI is critical to the ability to develop neuroprotective therapeutics to ameliorate the short and long-term consequences of brain injury.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-06

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

  3. Ecdysterone protects gerbil brain from temporal global cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury via preventing neuron apoptosis and deactivating astrocytes and microglia cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Wang, Tao; Feng, Wan-Yu; Wang, Zhan-You; Cheng, Mao-Sheng; Wang, Yun-Jie

    2014-01-01

    Ecdysterone (EDS), a common derivative of ecdysteroid, has shown its effects on alleviating cognitive impairment and improving the cognition and memory. However, the mechanisms remain unknown. Using temporal global forebrain ischemia and reperfusion-induced brain injury as a model system, we investigated the roles of EDS in improving cognitive impairment in gerbil. Our results demonstrated that intraperitoneal injection of EDS obviously increased the number of surviving neuron cells by Nissl and neuronal nuclei (NeuN) staining. Indeed, the protecting effects of EDS are because of its ability to prevent the apoptosis of neuron cells as evidenced by TUNEL staining and caspase-3 deactivation in the brain of temporal global forebrain ischemia/reperfusion-treated gerbil. Moreover, EDS administration suppressed the ischemia stimulated activity of astrocytes and microglia cells by inhibiting the production of tumor necrosis alpha (TNF-α) in the brain of gerbil. More importantly, these actions of neurons and astrocytes/microglia cells in response to EDS treatment played pivotal roles in ameliorating the cognitive impairment in the ischemia/reperfusion-injured gerbil. In view of these observations, we not only decipher the mechanisms of EDS in reducing the syndrome of ischemia, but also provide novel perspectives to combat ischemic stroke.

  4. Repression of GW/P body components and the RNAi microprocessor impacts primary ciliogenesis in human astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rattner Jerome B

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In most cells, the centriolar component of the centrosome can function as a basal body supporting the formation of a primary cilium, a non-motile sensory organelle that monitors information from the extracellular matrix and relays stimuli into the cell via associated signaling pathways. Defects in the formation and function of primary cilia underlie multiple human diseases and are hallmarks of malignancy. The RNA silencing pathway is involved in the post-transcriptional silencing of > 50% of mRNA that occurs within GW/P bodies. GW/P bodies are found throughout the cytoplasm and previously published live cell imaging data suggested that in a malignant cell type (U2OS, two GW/P bodies reside at the centrosome during interphase. This led us to investigate if a similar relationship exists in primary cells and if the inhibition of the miRNA pathway impairs primary cilium formation. Results Two GW/P bodies as marked by GW182 and hAgo2 colocalized to the basal body of primary human astrocytes as well as human synoviocytes during interphase and specifically with the distal end of the basal body in the pericentriolar region. Since it is technically challenging to examine the two centrosomal GW/P bodies in isolation, we investigated the potential relationship between the global population of GW/P bodies and primary ciliogenesis. Astrocytes were transfected with siRNA directed to GW182 and hAgo2 and unlike control astrocytes, a primary cilium was no longer associated with the centrosome as detected in indirect immunofluorescence assays. Ultrastructural analysis of siRNA transfected astrocytes revealed that knock down of GW182, hAgo2, Drosha and DGCR8 mRNA did not affect the appearance of the earliest stage of ciliogenesis but did prevent the formation and elongation of the ciliary axoneme. Conclusions This study confirms and extends a previously published report that GW/P bodies reside at the centrosome in U2OS cells and documents that

  5. Astrocytic expression of the Alzheimer's disease beta-secretase (BACE1) is stimulus-dependent

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartlage-Rübsamen, Maike; Zeitschel, Ulrike; Apelt, Jenny

    2003-01-01

    The beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme (BACE1) is a prerequisite for the generation of beta-amyloid peptides, which give rise to cerebrovascular and parenchymal beta-amyloid deposits in the brain of Alzheimer's disease patients. BACE1 is neuronally expressed in the brains of humans and experimental...... paradigms studied. In contrast, BACE1 expression by reactive astrocytes was evident in chronic but not in acute models of gliosis. Additionally, we observed BACE1-immunoreactive astrocytes in proximity to beta-amyloid plaques in the brains of aged Tg2576 mice and Alzheimer's disease patients....

  6. Adenosine A2A receptor and ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 are upregulated in hippocampal astrocytes of human patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros-Barbosa, Aurora R; Ferreirinha, Fátima; Oliveira, Ângela; Mendes, Marina; Lobo, M Graça; Santos, Agostinho; Rangel, Rui; Pelletier, Julie; Sévigny, Jean; Cordeiro, J Miguel; Correia-de-Sá, Paulo

    2016-12-01

    Refractoriness to existing medications of up to 80 % of the patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) prompts for finding new antiepileptic drug targets. The adenosine A2A receptor emerges as an interesting pharmacological target since its excitatory nature partially counteracts the dominant antiepileptic role of endogenous adenosine acting via inhibitory A1 receptors. Gain of function of the excitatory A2A receptor has been implicated in a significant number of brain pathologies commonly characterized by neuronal excitotoxicity. Here, we investigated changes in the expression and cellular localization of the A2A receptor and of the adenosine-generating enzyme, ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73, in the hippocampus of control individuals and MTLE human patients. Western blot analysis indicates that the A2A receptor is more abundant in the hippocampus of MTLE patients compared to control individuals. Immunoreactivity against the A2A receptor predominates in astrocytes staining positively for the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). No co-localization was observed between the A2A receptor and neuronal cell markers, like synaptotagmin 1/2 (nerve terminals) and neurofilament 200 (axon fibers). Hippocampal astrogliosis observed in MTLE patients was accompanied by a proportionate increase in A2A receptor and ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 immunoreactivities. Given our data, we hypothesize that selective blockade of excessive activation of astrocytic A2A receptors and/or inhibition of surplus adenosine formation by membrane-bound ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 may reduce neuronal excitability, thus providing a novel therapeutic target for drug-refractory seizures in MTLE patients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Transcriptional profiling of human brain endothelial cells reveals key properties crucial for predictive in vitro blood-brain barrier models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduard Urich

    Full Text Available Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BEC constitute the blood-brain barrier (BBB which forms a dynamic interface between the blood and the central nervous system (CNS. This highly specialized interface restricts paracellular diffusion of fluids and solutes including chemicals, toxins and drugs from entering the brain. In this study we compared the transcriptome profiles of the human immortalized brain endothelial cell line hCMEC/D3 and human primary BEC. We identified transcriptional differences in immune response genes which are directly related to the immortalization procedure of the hCMEC/D3 cells. Interestingly, astrocytic co-culturing reduced cell adhesion and migration molecules in both BECs, which possibly could be related to regulation of immune surveillance of the CNS controlled by astrocytic cells within the neurovascular unit. By matching the transcriptome data from these two cell lines with published transcriptional data from freshly isolated mouse BECs, we discovered striking differences that could explain some of the limitations of using cultured BECs to study BBB properties. Key protein classes such as tight junction proteins, transporters and cell surface receptors show differing expression profiles. For example, the claudin-5, occludin and JAM2 expression is dramatically reduced in the two human BEC lines, which likely explains their low transcellular electric resistance and paracellular leakiness. In addition, the human BEC lines express low levels of unique brain endothelial transporters such as Glut1 and Pgp. Cell surface receptors such as LRP1, RAGE and the insulin receptor that are involved in receptor-mediated transport are also expressed at very low levels. Taken together, these data illustrate that BECs lose their unique protein expression pattern outside of their native environment and display a more generic endothelial cell phenotype. A collection of key genes that seems to be highly regulated by the local

  9. Amyloid-β(25-35), an amyloid-β(1-42) surrogate, and proinflammatory cytokines stimulate VEGF-A secretion by cultured, early passage, normoxic adult human cerebral astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarini, Anna; Whitfield, James; Bonafini, Clara; Chakravarthy, Balu; Armato, Ubaldo; Dal Prà, Ilaria

    2010-01-01

    Cerebrovascular angiopathy affects late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) brains by possibly increasing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). A expression, thereby stimulating endothelial cell proliferation and migration. Indeed, VEGF-A gene upregulation, with increased VEGF-A protein content of reactive astrocytes and microglia, occurs in LOAD brains, and neovascularization was observed one week after injecting amyloid-β (Aβ)(1-42) into rat hippocampus. We have now found, with cultured 'normoxic' normal adult human astrocytes (NAHAs), that fibrillar Aβ(25-35) (an active Aβ(1-42) fragment) or a cytokine mixture (the (CM)-trio (interleukin [IL]-1β+interferon [IFN]-γ+tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α), or pair (IFN-γ+TNF-α) like those produced in LOAD brains) stimulates the nuclear translocation of stabilized hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α protein and its binding to VEGF-A hypoxia-response elements; the mRNA synthesis for three VEGF-A splice variants (121, 165, 189); and the secretion of VEGF-A165. The CM-trio was the most powerful stimulus, IFN-γ+TNF-α was less potent, and other cytokine pairs or single cytokines or Aβ(35-25) were ineffective. While Aβ(25-35) did not change HIF-1β protein levels, the CM-trio increased both HIF-1α and HIF-1β protein levels, thereby giving an earlier and stronger stimulus to VEGF-A secretion by NAHAs. Thus, increased VEGF-A secretion from astrocytes stimulated by Aβ(1-42) and by microglia-released cytokines might restore angiogenesis and Aβ(1-42) vascular clearance.

  10. Metabolic pathways and activity-dependent modulation of glutamate concentration in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangia, Silvia; Giove, Federico; Dinuzzo, Mauro

    2012-11-01

    Glutamate is one of the most versatile molecules present in the human brain, involved in protein synthesis, energy production, ammonia detoxification, and transport of reducing equivalents. Aside from these critical metabolic roles, glutamate plays a major part in brain function, being not only the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter, but also the precursor for γ-aminobutyric acid, the predominant inhibitory neurotransmitter. Regulation of glutamate levels is pivotal for normal brain function, as abnormal extracellular concentration of glutamate can lead to impaired neurotransmission, neurodegeneration and even neuronal death. Understanding how the neuron-astrocyte functional and metabolic interactions modulate glutamate concentration during different activation status and under physiological and pathological conditions is a challenging task, and can only be tentatively estimated from current literature. In this paper, we focus on describing the various metabolic pathways which potentially affect glutamate concentration in the brain, and emphasize which ones are likely to produce the variations in glutamate concentration observed during enhanced neuronal activity in human studies.

  11. Derivation of blood-brain barrier endothelial cells from human pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippmann, Ethan S; Azarin, Samira M; Kay, Jennifer E; Nessler, Randy A; Wilson, Hannah K; Al-Ahmad, Abraham; Palecek, Sean P; Shusta, Eric V

    2012-08-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is crucial to the health of the brain and is often compromised in neurological disease. Moreover, because of its barrier properties, this endothelial interface restricts uptake of neurotherapeutics. Thus, a renewable source of human BBB endothelium could spur brain research and pharmaceutical development. Here we show that endothelial cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) acquire BBB properties when co-differentiated with neural cells that provide relevant cues, including those involved in Wnt/β-catenin signaling. The resulting endothelial cells have many BBB attributes, including well-organized tight junctions, appropriate expression of nutrient transporters and polarized efflux transporter activity. Notably, they respond to astrocytes, acquiring substantial barrier properties as measured by transendothelial electrical resistance (1,450 ± 140 Ω cm2), and they possess molecular permeability that correlates well with in vivo rodent blood-brain transfer coefficients.

  12. Regulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) α and -γ of rat brain astrocytes in the course of activation by toll-like receptor agonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chistyakov, Dmitry V; Aleshin, Stepan E; Astakhova, Alina A; Sergeeva, Marina G; Reiser, Georg

    2015-07-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR)-α and -γ in astrocytes play important roles in inflammatory brain pathologies. Understanding the regulation of both activity and expression levels of PPARs is an important neuroscience issue. Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists are inflammatory stimuli that could modulate PPAR, but the mechanisms of their control in astrocytes are poorly understood. In the present study, we report that lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan, and flagellin, which are agonists of TLR4, TLR1/2, and TLR5, respectively, exert time- and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells-dependent suppression of mRNA, protein and activity of PPARα and PPARγ. In naïve astrocytes, PPARα and PPARγ mRNA have short turnover time (half-life about 30 min for PPARα, 75 min for PPARγ) with a nearly two-fold stabilization after TLR-activation. p38 inhibition abolished TLR-induced stabilization. The levels of PPARα and PPARγ mRNA, and protein and DNA-binding activity could be modified using c-Jun N-terminal Kinase and p38 inhibitors. In addition, the expression levels of both PPARα and PPARγ isotypes were induced after inhibition of protein synthesis. This induction signifies participation of additional regulatory proteins with short life-time. They are p38-sensitive for PPARα and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase-sensitive for PPARγ. Thus, PPARα and PPARγ are regulated in astrocytes on mRNA and protein levels, mRNA stability, and DNA-binding activity during TLR-mediated responses. Astrocytes have the triad of PPARα, PPARβ/δ, and PPARγ in regulation of proinflammatory responses. Activation of Toll-like receptors (TLR) leads to PPARβ/δ overexpression, PPARα and PPARγ suppression via TLR/NF-κB pathway on mRNA, protein and activity levels. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) p38 and JNK are involved in regulation of PPAR expression. p38 MAPK plays a special role in stabilization of PPAR mRNA. © 2015 International Society

  13. Expression of Astrocytic Type 2 Angiotensin Receptor in Central Nervous System Inflammation Correlates With Blood-Brain Barrier Breakdown

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Füchtbauer, Laila; Toft-Hansen, Henrik; Khorooshi, Reza

    2010-01-01

    in the hippocampus dentate gyrus after transection of axonal afferents, despite that leukocytes infiltrate to this site. Immunoreactivity for AT(2) was increased on glia limitans astrocytes in PTx-treated CCL2 transgenics, whereas AT(2) immunostaining was not induced in the lesion-reactive dentate gyrus. Our results...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-08

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

  15. Sexual differences of human brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Pezeshki Rad

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available During the last decades there has been an increasing interest in studying the differences between males and females. These differences extend from behavioral to cognitive to micro- and macro- neuro-anatomical aspects of human biology. There have been many methods to evaluate these differences and explain their determinants. The most studied cause of this dimorphism is the prenatal sex hormones and their organizational effect on brain and behavior. However, there have been new and recent attentions to hormone's activational influences in puberty and also the effects of genomic imprinting. In this paper, we reviewed the sex differences of brain, the evidences for possible determinants of these differences and also the methods that have been used to discover them. We reviewed the most conspicuous findings with specific attention to macro-anatomical differences based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI data. We finally reviewed the findings and the many opportunities for future studies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walker S Jackson

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

  17. Distribution of immunoreactive glutamine synthetase in the adult human and mouse brain. Qualitative and quantitative observations with special emphasis on extra-astroglial protein localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Hans-Gert; Bannier, Jana; Meyer-Lotz, Gabriela; Steiner, Johann; Keilhoff, Gerburg; Dobrowolny, Henrik; Walter, Martin; Bogerts, Bernhard

    2014-11-01

    Glutamine synthetase catalyzes the ATP-dependent condensation of ammonia and glutamate to form glutamine, thus playing a pivotal role in glutamate and glutamine homoeostasis. Despite a plethora of studies on this enzyme, knowledge about the regional and cellular distribution of this enzyme in human brain is still fragmentary. Therefore, we mapped fourteen post-mortem brains of psychically healthy individuals for the distribution of the glutamine synthetase immunoreactive protein. It was found that glutamine synthetase immunoreactivity is expressed in multiple gray and white matter astrocytes, but also in oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells and certain neurons. Since a possible extra-astrocytic expression of glutamine synthetase is highly controversial, we paid special attention to its appearance in oligodendrocytes and neurons. By double immunolabeling of mouse brain slices and cultured mouse brain cells for glutamine synthetase and cell-type-specific markers we provide evidence that besides astrocytes subpopulations of oligodendrocytes, microglial cells and neurons express glutamine synthetase. Moreover, we show that glutamine synthetase-immunopositive neurons are not randomly distributed throughout human and mouse brain, but represent a subpopulation of nitrergic (i.e. neuronal nitric oxide synthase expressing) neurons. Possible functional implications of an extra-astrocytic localization of glutamine synthetase are discussed.

  18. Taurine Biosynthesis by Neurons and Astrocytes*

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Taurine biosynthesis by neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-16

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

  20. HIV-1-infected and immune-activated macrophages induce astrocytic differentiation of human cortical neural progenitor cells via the STAT3 pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Peng

    Full Text Available Diminished adult neurogenesis is considered a potential mechanism in the pathogenesis of HIV-1-associated dementia (HAD. In HAD, HIV-1-infected and immune-activated brain mononuclear phagocytes (MP; perivascular macrophages and microglia drive central nervous system (CNS inflammation and may alter normal neurogenesis. We previously demonstrated HIV-1-infected and lipopolysaccharide (LPS activated monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM inhibit human neural progenitor cell (NPC neurogenesis, while enhancing astrogliogenesis through the secretion of the inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α, in vitro and in vivo. Here we further test the hypothesis that HIV-1-infected/activated MDM promote NPC astrogliogenesis via activation of the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3, a critical factor for astrogliogenesis. Our results show that LPS-activated MDM-conditioned medium (LPS-MCM and HIV-infected/LPS-activated MDM-conditioned medium (LPS+HIV-MCM induced Janus kinase 1 (Jak1 and STAT3 activation. Induction of the Jak-STAT3 activation correlated with increased glia fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP expression, demonstrating an induction of astrogliogenesis. Moreover, STAT3-targeting siRNA (siSTAT3 decreased MCM-induced STAT3 activation and NPC astrogliogenesis. Furthermore, inflammatory cytokines (including IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α produced by LPS-activated and/or HIV-1-infected MDM may contribute to MCM-induced STAT3 activation and astrocytic differentiation. These observations were confirmed in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID mice with HIV-1 encephalitis (HIVE. In HIVE mice, siRNA control (without target sequence, sicon pre-transfected NPCs injected with HIV-1-infected MDM showed more astrocytic differentiation and less neuronal differentiation of NPCs as compared to NPC injection alone. siSTAT3 abrogated HIV-1-infected MDM-induced astrogliogenesis of injected NPCs. Collectively, these

  1. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noordzij, Matthijs L; Newman-Norlund, Sarah E; de Ruiter, Jan Peter; Hagoort, Peter; Levinson, Stephen C; Toni, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the "mirror neurons system"). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we target the neglected but crucial issue of how people organize their non-verbal behavior to communicate a given intention without pre-established conventions. We have measured behavioral and brain responses in pairs of subjects during communicative exchanges occurring in a real, interactive, on-line social context. In two fMRI studies, we found robust evidence that planning new communicative actions (by a sender) and recognizing the communicative intention of the same actions (by a receiver) relied on spatially overlapping portions of their brains (the right posterior superior temporal sulcus). The response of this region was lateralized to the right hemisphere, modulated by the ambiguity in meaning of the communicative acts, but not by their sensorimotor complexity. These results indicate that the sender of a communicative signal uses his own intention recognition system to make a prediction of the intention recognition performed by the receiver. This finding supports the notion that our communicative abilities are distinct from both sensorimotor processes and language abilities.

  2. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthijs L Noordzij

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the “mirror neurons system”. However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we target the neglected but crucial issue of how people organize their non-verbal behavior to communicate a given intention without pre-established conventions. We have measured behavioral and brain responses in pairs of subjects during communicative exchanges occurring in a real, interactive, on-line social context. In two fMRI studies, we found robust evidence that planning new communicative actions (by a sender and recognizing the communicative intention of the same actions (by a receiver relied on spatially overlapping portions of their brains (the right posterior superior temporal sulcus. The response of this region was lateralized to the right hemisphere, modulated by the ambiguity in meaning of the communicative acts, but not by their sensorimotor complexity. These results indicate that the sender of a communicative signal uses his own intention recognition system to make a prediction of the intention recognition performed by the receiver. This finding supports the notion that our communicative abilities are distinct from both sensorimotor processes and language abilities.

  3. Genetic basis of human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallender, Eric J; Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Lahn, Bruce T

    2008-12-01

    Human evolution is characterized by a rapid increase in brain size and complexity. Decades of research have made important strides in identifying anatomical and physiological substrates underlying the unique features of the human brain. By contrast, it has become possible only very recently to examine the genetic basis of human brain evolution. Through comparative genomics, tantalizing insights regarding human brain evolution have emerged. The genetic changes that potentially underlie human brain evolution span a wide range from single-nucleotide substitutions to large-scale structural alterations of the genome. Similarly, the functional consequences of these genetic changes vary greatly, including protein-sequence alterations, cis-regulatory changes and even the emergence of new genes and the extinction of existing ones. Here, we provide a general review of recent findings into the genetic basis of human brain evolution, highlight the most notable trends that have emerged and caution against over-interpretation of current data.

  4. NF-kappaB-driven STAT2 and CCL2 expression in astrocytes in response to brain injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khorooshi, Reza; Babcock, Alicia A; Owens, Trevor

    2008-01-01

    Tissue response to injury includes expression of genes encoding cytokines and chemokines. These regulate entry of immune cells to the injured tissue. The synthesis of many cytokines and chemokines involves NF-kappaB and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT). Injury to the CNS...... induces glial response. Astrocytes are the major glial population in the CNS. We examined expression of STATs and the chemokine CCL2 and their relationship to astroglial NF-kappaB signaling in the CNS following axonal transection. Double labeling with Mac-1/CD11b and glial fibrillary acidic protein......-regulation and phosphorylation were NF-kappaB -dependent since they did not occur in the lesion-reactive hippocampus of transgenic mice with specific inhibition of NF-kappaB activation in astrocytes. We further showed that lack of NF-kappaB signaling significantly reduced injury-induced CCL2 expression as well as leukocyte...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Kanski

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Identification of soluble CD14 as an endogenous agonist for toll-like receptor 2 on human astrocytes by genome-scale functional screening of glial cell derived proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bsibsi, M.; Bajramovic, J.J.; Duijvenvoorden, E. van; Persoon, C.; Ravid, R.; Noort, J.M. van; Vogt, M.H.J.

    2007-01-01

    Human astrocytes express a limited repertoire of Toll-like receptor (TLR) family members including TLR1-4, which are expressed on the cell surface. Also, TLR3 but not TLR4 activation on astrocytes induces expression of several factors involved in neuroprotection and down-regulation of inflammation r

  7. Identification of soluble CD14 as an endogenous agonist for toll-like receptor 2 on human astrocytes by genome-scale functional screening of glial cell derived proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bsibsi, M.; Bajramovic, J.J.; Duijvenvoorden, E. van; Persoon, C.; Ravid, R.; Noort, J.M. van; Vogt, M.H.J.

    2007-01-01

    Human astrocytes express a limited repertoire of Toll-like receptor (TLR) family members including TLR1-4, which are expressed on the cell surface. Also, TLR3 but not TLR4 activation on astrocytes induces expression of several factors involved in neuroprotection and down-regulation of inflammation r

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  9. Human Brain Reacts to Transcranial Extraocular Light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lihua; Peräkylä, Jari; Kovalainen, Anselmi; Ogawa, Keith H; Karhunen, Pekka J; Hartikainen, Kaisa M

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial extraocular light affects the brains of birds and modulates their seasonal changes in physiology and behavior. However, whether the human brain is sensitive to extraocular light is unknown. To test whether extraocular light has any effect on human brain functioning, we measured brain electrophysiology of 18 young healthy subjects using event-related potentials while they performed a visual attention task embedded with emotional distractors. Extraocular light delivered via ear canals abolished normal emotional modulation of attention related brain responses. With no extraocular light delivered, emotional distractors reduced centro-parietal P300 amplitude compared to neutral distractors. This phenomenon disappeared with extraocular light delivery. Extraocular light delivered through the ear canals was shown to penetrate at the base of the scull of a cadaver. Thus, we have shown that extraocular light impacts human brain functioning calling for further research on the mechanisms of action of light on the human brain.

  10. Astrocyte calcium signaling: the third wave.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazargani, Narges; Attwell, David

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helms, Hans Cc; Aldana, Blanca I; Groth, Simon; Jensen, Morten M; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Nielsen, Carsten U; Brodin, Birger

    2017-01-01

    The aim was to characterize the clearance pathways for L-glutamate from the brain interstitial fluid across the blood-brain barrier using a primary in vitro bovine endothelial/rat astrocyte co-culture. Transporter profiling was performed using uptake studies of radiolabeled L-glutamate with co-application of transporter inhibitors and competing amino acids. Endothelial abluminal L-glutamate uptake was almost abolished by co-application of an EAAT-1 specific inhibitor, whereas luminal uptake was inhibited by L-glutamate and L-aspartate (1 mM). L-glutamate uptake followed Michaelis-Menten-like kinetics with high and low affinity at the abluminal and luminal membrane, respectively. This indicated that L-glutamate is taken up via EAAT-1 at the abluminal membrane and exits at the luminal membrane via a low affinity glutamate/aspartate transporter. Metabolism of L-glutamate and transport of metabolites was examined using [U-(13)C] L-glutamate. Intact L-glutamate and metabolites derived from oxidative metabolism were transported through the endothelial cells. High amounts of L-glutamate-derived lactate in the luminal medium indicated cataplerosis via malic enzyme. Thus, L-glutamate can be transported intact from brain to blood via the concerted action of abluminal and luminal transport proteins, but the total brain clearance is highly dependent on metabolism in astrocytes and endothelial cells followed by transport of metabolites.

  12. Relaxin protects astrocytes from hypoxia in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan M Willcox

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

  13. Brain evolution and human neuropsychology: the inferential brain hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscik, Timothy R; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-05-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. (JINS, 2012, 18, 394-401).

  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. A retinoic acid-enhanced, multicellular human blood-brain barrier model derived from stem cell sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippmann, Ethan S.; Al-Ahmad, Abraham; Azarin, Samira M.; Palecek, Sean P.; Shusta, Eric V.

    2014-02-01

    Blood-brain barrier (BBB) models are often used to investigate BBB function and screen brain-penetrating therapeutics, but it has been difficult to construct a human model that possesses an optimal BBB phenotype and is readily scalable. To address this challenge, we developed a human in vitro BBB model comprising brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs), pericytes, astrocytes and neurons derived from renewable cell sources. First, retinoic acid (RA) was used to substantially enhance BBB phenotypes in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived BMECs, particularly through adherens junction, tight junction, and multidrug resistance protein regulation. RA-treated hPSC-derived BMECs were subsequently co-cultured with primary human brain pericytes and human astrocytes and neurons derived from human neural progenitor cells (NPCs) to yield a fully human BBB model that possessed significant tightness as measured by transendothelial electrical resistance (~5,000 Ωxcm2). Overall, this scalable human BBB model may enable a wide range of neuroscience studies.

  16. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

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

  17. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

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

  18. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways. PMID:23125832

  19. Infection and upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines in human brain vascular pericytes by human cytomegalovirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alcendor Donald J

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Congenital human cytomegalovirus (HCMV infections can result in CNS abnormalities in newborn babies including vision loss, mental retardation, motor deficits, seizures, and hearing loss. Brain pericytes play an essential role in the development and function of the blood–brain barrier yet their unique role in HCMV dissemination and neuropathlogy has not been reported. Methods Primary human brain vascular pericytes were exposed to a primary clinical isolate of HCMV designated ‘SBCMV’. Infectivity was analyzed by microscopy, immunofluorescence, Western blot, and qRT-PCR. Microarrays were performed to identify proinflammatory cytokines upregulated after SBCMV exposure, and the results validated by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR methodology. In situ cytokine expression of pericytes after exposure to HCMV was examined by ELISA and in vivo evidence of HCMV infection of brain pericytes was shown by dual-labeled immunohistochemistry. Results HCMV-infected human brain vascular pericytes as evidenced by several markers. Using a clinical isolate of HCMV (SBCMV, microscopy of infected pericytes showed virion production and typical cytomegalic cytopathology. This finding was confirmed by the expression of major immediate early and late virion proteins and by the presence of HCMV mRNA. Brain pericytes were fully permissive for CMV lytic replication after 72 to 96 hours in culture compared to human astrocytes or human brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVEC. However, temporal transcriptional expression of pp65 virion protein after SBCMV infection was lower than that seen with the HCMV Towne laboratory strain. Using RT-PCR and dual-labeled immunofluorescence, proinflammatory cytokines CXCL8/IL-8, CXCL11/ITAC, and CCL5/Rantes were upregulated in SBCMV-infected cells, as were tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta, and interleukin-6 (IL-6. Pericytes exposed to SBCMV elicited

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Dustin J; Haydon, Philip G

    2013-03-06

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

  1. Brain Evolution and Human Neuropsychology: The Inferential Brain Hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the the...

  2. Apoptosis and Proinflammatory Cytokine Responses of Primary Mouse Microglia and Astrocytes Induced by Human H1N1 and Avian H5N1 Influenza Viruses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gefei Wang; Kangsheng Li; Juan Zhang; Weizhong Li; Gang Xin; Yun Su; Yuanli Gao; Heng Zhang; Guimei Lin; Xiaoyang Jiao

    2008-01-01

    Patients with an influenza virus infection can be complicated by acute encephalopathy and encephalitis. To investigate the immune reactions involved in the neurocomplication, mouse microglia and astrocytes were isolated,infected with human H1N1 and avian H5N1 influenza viruses, and examined for their immune responses. We observed homogeneously distributed viral receptors, sialic acid (SA)-α2,3-Galactose (Gal) and SA-α2,6-Gal, on microglia and astrocytes. Both viruses were replicative and productive in microglia and astrocytes. Virus-induced apoptosis and cytopathy in infected cells were observed at 24 h post-infection (p.i.). Expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA examined at 6 h and 24 h p.i. Was up-regulated, and their expression levels were considerably higher in H5N1 infection. The amounts of secreted proinflammatory IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α at 6 h and 24 h p.i. Were also induced, with greater induction by H5N1 infection. This study is the first demonstration that both human H1N1 and avian H5N1 influenza viruses can infect mouse microglia and astrocytes and induce apoptosis, cytopathy, and proinflammatory cytokine production in them in vitro. Our results suggest that the direct cellular damage and the consequences of immunopathological injury in the CNS contribute to the influenza viral pathogenesis.

  3. The effect of gallic acid on cytotoxicity, Ca(2+) homeostasis and ROS production in DBTRG-05MG human glioblastoma cells and CTX TNA2 rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Shu-Shong; Chou, Chiang-Ting; Liao, Wei-Chuan; Shieh, Pochuen; Kuo, Daih-Huang; Kuo, Chun-Chi; Jan, Chung-Ren; Liang, Wei-Zhe

    2016-05-25

    Gallic acid, a polyhydroxylphenolic compound, is widely distributed in various plants, fruits and foods. It has been shown that gallic acid passes into blood brain barrier and reaches the brain tissue of middle cerebral artery occlusion rats. However, the effect of gallic acid on Ca(2+) signaling in glia cells is unknown. This study explored whether gallic acid affected Ca(2+) homeostasis and induced Ca(2+)-associated cytotoxicity in DBTRG-05MG human glioblastoma cells and CTX TNA2 rat astrocytes. Gallic acid (20-40 μM) concentration-dependently induced cytotoxicity and intracellular Ca(2+) level ([Ca(2+)]i) increases in DBTRG-05MG cells but not in CTX TNA2 cells. In DBTRG-05MG cells, the Ca(2+) response was decreased by half by removal of extracellular Ca(2+). In Ca(2+)-containing medium, gallic acid-induced Ca(2+) entry was inhibited by store-operated Ca(2+) channel inhibitors (2-APB, econazole and SKF96365). In Ca(2+)-free medium, pretreatment with the endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) pump inhibitor thapsigargin abolished gallic acid-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases. Conversely, incubation with gallic acid also abolished thapsigargin-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases. Inhibition of phospholipase C with U73122 abolished gallic acid-induced [Ca(2+)]i increases. Gallic acid significantly caused cytotoxicity in DBTRG-05MG cells, which was partially prevented by prechelating cytosolic Ca(2+) with BAPTA-AM. Moreover, gallic acid activated mitochondrial apoptotic pathways that involved ROS production. Together, in DBTRG-05MG cells but not in CTX TNA2 cells, gallic acid induced [Ca(2+)]i increases by causing Ca(2+) entry via 2-APB, econazole and SKF96365-sensitive store-operated Ca(2+) entry, and phospholipase C-dependent release from the endoplasmic reticulum. This Ca(2+) signal subsequently evoked mitochondrial pathways of apoptosis that involved ROS production.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walker Aisha L

    2005-10-01

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

  5. Human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons respond to convulsant drugs when co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Misawa Niki; Yamamoto, Koji; Shoji, Masanobu; Asami, Asano; Kawamata, Yuji

    2017-08-15

    Accurate risk assessment for drug-induced seizure is expected to be performed before entering clinical studies because of its severity and fatal damage to drug development. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has allowed the use of human neurons and glial cells in toxicology studies. Recently, several studies showed the advantage of co-culture system of human iPSC (hiPSC)-derived neurons with rodent/human primary astrocytes regarding neuronal functions. However, the application of hiPSC-derived neurons for seizure risk assessment has not yet been fully addressed, and not at all when co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes. Here, we characterized hiPSC-derived neurons co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes to discuss how hiPSC-derived neurons are useful to assess seizure risk of drugs. First, we detected the frequency of spikes and synchronized bursts hiPSC-derived neurons when co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes for 8 weeks. This synchronized burst was suppressed by the treatment with 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor antagonist, and D-(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid, an N-Methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. These data suggested that co-cultured hiPSC-derived neurons formed synaptic connections mediated by AMPA and NMDA receptors. We also demonstrated that co-cultured hiPSC-derived neurons showed epileptiform activity upon treatment with gabazine or kaliotoxin. Finally, we performed single-cell transcriptome analysis in hiPSC-derived neurons and found that hiPSC-derived astrocytes activated the pathways involved in the activities of AMPA and NMDA receptor functions, neuronal polarity, and axon guidance in hiPSC-derived neurons. These data suggested that hiPSC-derived astrocytes promoted the development of action potential, synaptic functions, and neuronal networks in hiPSC-derived neurons, and then these functional alterations result in the epileptiform

  6. Computational Intelligence in a Human Brain Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viorel Gaftea

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on the current trends in brain research domain and the current stage of development of research for software and hardware solutions, communication capabilities between: human beings and machines, new technologies, nano-science and Internet of Things (IoT devices. The proposed model for Human Brain assumes main similitude between human intelligence and the chess game thinking process. Tactical & strategic reasoning and the need to follow the rules of the chess game, all are very similar with the activities of the human brain. The main objective for a living being and the chess game player are the same: securing a position, surviving and eliminating the adversaries. The brain resolves these goals, and more, the being movement, actions and speech are sustained by the vital five senses and equilibrium. The chess game strategy helps us understand the human brain better and easier replicate in the proposed ‘Software and Hardware’ SAH Model.

  7. Computational Intelligence in a Human Brain Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viorel Gaftea

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on the current trends in brain research domain and the current stage of development of research for software and hardware solutions, communication capabilities between: human beings and machines, new technologies, nano-science and Internet of Things (IoT devices. The proposed model for Human Brain assumes main similitude between human intelligence and the chess game thinking process. Tactical & strategic reasoning and the need to follow the rules of the chess game, all are very similar with the activities of the human brain. The main objective for a living being and the chess game player are the same: securing a position, surviving and eliminating the adversaries. The brain resolves these goals, and more, the being movement, actions and speech are sustained by the vital five senses and equilibrium. The chess game strategy helps us understand the human brain better and easier replicate in the proposed ‘Software and Hardware’ SAH Model.

  8. Kinetic study of benzyl [1-14C]acetate as a potential probe for astrocytic energy metabolism in the rat brain: Comparison with benzyl [2-14C]acetate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Maki; Yanamoto, Kazuhiko; Kagawa, Tomohiko; Yoshino, Keiko; Hosoi, Rie; Abe, Kohji; Zhang, Ming-Rong; Inoue, Osamu

    2016-02-01

    Brain uptake of [(14)C]acetate has been reported to be a useful marker of astrocytic energy metabolism. In addition to uptake values, the rate of radiolabeled acetate washout from the brain appears to reflect CO2 exhaustion and oxygen consumption in astrocytes. We measured the time-radioactivity curves of benzyl [1-(14)C]acetate ([1-(14)C]BA), a lipophilic probe of [1-(14)C]acetate, and compared it with that of benzyl [2-(14)C]acetate ([2-(14)C]BA) in rat brains. The highest brain uptake was observed immediately after injecting either [1-(14)C]BA or [2-(14)C]BA, and both subsequently disappeared from the brain in a single-exponential manner. Estimated [1-(14)C]BA washout rates in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum were higher than those of [2-(14)C]BA. These results suggested that [1-(14)C]BA could be a useful probe for estimating the astrocytic oxidative metabolism. The [1-(14)C]BA washout rate in the cerebral cortex of immature rats was lower than that of mature rats. An autoradiographic study showed that the washout rates of [1-(14)C]BA from the rat brains of a lithium-pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus model were not significantly different from the values in control rat brains except for the medial septal nucleus. These results implied that the enhancement of amino acid turnover rate rather than astrocytic oxidative metabolism was increased in status epilepticus. © The Author(s) 2015.

  9. Bryostatin activates HIV-1 latent expression in human astrocytes through a PKC and NF-ĸB-dependent mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Laura; Martínez-Bonet, Marta; Sánchez, Javier; Fernández-Pineda, Alejandra; Jiménez, José Luis; Muñoz, Eduardo; Moreno, Santiago; Álvarez, Susana; Muñoz-Fernández, Ma Ángeles

    2015-07-22

    Multiple studies have shown that HIV-1 patients may develop virus reservoirs that impede eradication; these reservoirs include the central nervous system (CNS). Despite an undetectable viral load in patients treated with potent antiretrovirals, current therapy is unable to purge the virus from these latent reservoirs. To broaden the inhibitory range and effectiveness of current antiretrovirals, the potential of bryostatin was investigated as a latent HIV-1 activator. We used primary astrocytes, NHA cells, and astrocytoma cells U-87. Infected cells with HIV-1(NL4.3) were treated with bryostatin alone or in combination with different inhibitors. HIV-1 production was quantified by using ELISA. Transcriptional activity was measured using luciferase reporter gene assays by using lipofectin. We performed cotransfection experiments of the LTR promoter with the active NF-κB member p65/relA. To confirm the NF-κB role, Western blot and confocal microscopy were performed. Bryostatin reactivates latent viral infection in the NHA and U87 cells via activation of protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha and -delta, because the PKC inhibitors rottlerin and GF109203X abrogated the bryostatin effect. No alteration in cell proliferation was found. Moreover, bryostatin strongly stimulated LTR transcription by activating the transcription factor NF-κB. Bryostatin could be a beneficial adjunct to the treatment of HIV-1 brain infection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Redistribution of monocarboxylate transporter 2 on the surface of astrocytes in the human epileptogenic hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Fredrik; Heuser, Kjell; de Lanerolle, Nihal C

    2012-01-01

    Emerging evidence points to monocarboxylates as key players in the pathophysiology of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with hippocampal sclerosis (mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, MTLE). Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) 1 and 2, which are abundantly present on brain endothelial cells and perivascular...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verónica I Landoni

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qi; Feng, Bin; Zhang, Kun; Guo, Yan-yan; Liu, Shui-bing; Wu, Yu-mei; Li, Xiao-qiang; Zhao, Ming-gao

    2012-01-01

    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.

  16. Primary cultures of astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    During the past few decades of astrocyte research it has become increasingly clear that astrocytes have taken a central position in all central nervous system activities. Much of our new understanding of astrocytes has been derived from studies conducted with primary cultures of astrocytes. Such ...

  17. Male microchimerism in the human female brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William F N Chan

    Full Text Available In humans, naturally acquired microchimerism has been observed in many tissues and organs. Fetal microchimerism, however, has not been investigated in the human brain. Microchimerism of fetal as well as maternal origin has recently been reported in the mouse brain. In this study, we quantified male DNA in the human female brain as a marker for microchimerism of fetal origin (i.e. acquisition of male DNA by a woman while bearing a male fetus. Targeting the Y-chromosome-specific DYS14 gene, we performed real-time quantitative PCR in autopsied brain from women without clinical or pathologic evidence of neurologic disease (n=26, or women who had Alzheimer's disease (n=33. We report that 63% of the females (37 of 59 tested harbored male microchimerism in the brain. Male microchimerism was present in multiple brain regions. Results also suggested lower prevalence (p=0.03 and concentration (p=0.06 of male microchimerism in the brains of women with Alzheimer's disease than the brains of women without neurologic disease. In conclusion, male microchimerism is frequent and widely distributed in the human female brain.

  18. Down-Regulation of Neurocan Expression in Reactive Astrocytes Promotes Axonal Regeneration and Facilitates the Neurorestorative Effects of Bone Marrow Stromal Cells in the Ischemic Rat Brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI HONG SHEN; YI LI; QI GAO; SMITA SAVANT-BHONSALE; MICHAEL CHOPP

    2008-01-01

    脑卒中后缺血组织边界形成胶质疤痕,抑制轴突再生.神经蛋白聚糖是一种轴突延长抑制分子,在卒中后胶质疤痕中表达上调.骨髓基质干细胞(BMSCs)可降低胶质疤痕壁的厚度,加速缺血周边区的轴突重塑.为了进一步明确BMSCs在轴突再生中的作用及机制,本文重点研究脑缺血组织中BMSCs对神经蛋白聚糖表达的作用.31只成年雄性Wistar大鼠大脑中动脉阻塞(MCAo)2 h,24 h后从中选择16只给予尾静脉注射3 × 106鼠BMSCs(BMSCs组),15只注射磷酸盐缓冲生理盐水(对照组).缺血后8 d处死实验大鼠,免疫染色表明反应性星形胶质细胞是神经蛋白聚糖的原始来源,且BMSCs组缺血半暗带脑组织的神经聚糖表达明显低于对照组,生长相关蛋白43表达高于对照组,这在蛋白印迹分析中得到确认.为了进一步检测BMSCs在星形胶质细胞神经蛋白聚糖表达中的作用,用激光捕获显微切割法从缺血周边区收集单纯的反应性星形胶质细胞.BMSCs组的神经蛋白聚糖基因表达明显下调(n=4/组).原代培养的星形胶质细胞也表现出相同改变,糖氧剥离的星形胶质细胞再给氧时与BMSCs共培养会抑制神经蛋白聚糖基因的表达上调(n=3/组).本研究表明BMSCs通过下调梗死周边星形胶质细胞中神经蛋白聚糖的表达来促进轴突再生.%The glial scar, a primarily astrocytic structure bordering the infarct tissue inhibits axonal regeneration after stroke. Neurocan, an axonal extension inhibitory molecule, is upregulated in the scar region after stroke. Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) reduce the thickness of glial scar wall and facilitate axonal remodeling in the ischemic boundary zone. To further clarify the role of BMSCs in axonal regeneration and its underlying mechanism, the current study focused on the effect of BMSCs on neurocan expression in the ischemic brain. Thirty-one adult male Wistar rats were subjected to 2 h of middle

  19. Endocannabinoids potentiate synaptic transmission through stimulation of astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2010-10-06

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

  20. Lymphoreticular cells in human brain tumours and in normal brain.

    OpenAIRE

    1982-01-01

    The present investigation, using various rosetting assays of cell suspensions prepared by mechanical disaggregation or collagenase digestion, demonstrated lymphoreticular cells in human normal brain (cerebral cortex and cerebellum) and in malignant brain tumours. The study revealed T and B lymphocytes and their subsets (bearing receptors for Fc(IgG) and C3) in 5/14 glioma suspensions, comprising less than 15% of the cell population. Between 20-60% of cells in tumour suspensions morphologicall...

  1. 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

  2. The NRF2 transcriptional target, OSGIN1, contributes to monomethyl fumarate-mediated cytoprotection in human astrocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Melanie S.; Matos, Maria F.; Richter, Karl E.; Li, Bing; Scannevin, Robert H.

    2017-01-01

    Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is indicated for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis and may exert therapeutic effects via activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) pathway. Following oral DMF administration, central nervous system (CNS) tissue is predominantly exposed to monomethyl fumarate (MMF), the bioactive metabolite of DMF, which can stabilize NRF2 and induce antioxidant gene expression; however, the detailed NRF2-dependent mechanisms modulated by MMF that lead to cytoprotection are unknown. Our data identify a mechanism for MMF-mediated cytoprotection in human astrocytes that functions in an OSGIN1-dependent manner, specifically via upregulation of the OSGIN1-61 kDa isoform. NRF2-dependent OSGIN1 expression induced P53 nuclear translocation following MMF administration, leading to cell-cycle inhibition and cell protection against oxidative challenge. This study provides mechanistic insight into MMF-mediated cytoprotection via NRF2, OSGIN1, and P53 in human CNS-derived cells and contributes to our understanding of how DMF may act clinically to ameliorate pathological processes in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:28181536

  3. Neocortical glial cell numbers in human brains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pelvig, D.P.; Pakkenberg, H.; Stark, A.K.

    2008-01-01

    and neurons and counting were done in each of the four lobes. The study showed that the different subpopulations of glial cells behave differently as a function of age; the number of oligodendrocytes showed a significant 27% decrease over adult life and a strong correlation to the total number of neurons...... while the total astrocyte number is constant through life; finally males have a 28% higher number of neocortical glial cells and a 19% higher neocortical neuron number than females. The overall total number of neocortical neurons and glial cells was 49.3 billion in females and 65.2 billion in males......, a difference of 24% with a high biological variance. These numbers can serve as reference values in quantitative studies of the human neocortex. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved Udgivelsesdato: 2008/11...

  4. Dimethylfumarate inhibits microglial and astrocytic inflammation by suppressing the synthesis of nitric oxide, IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-6 in an in-vitro model of brain inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mrowietz Ulrich

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain inflammation plays a central role in multiple sclerosis (MS. Dimethylfumarate (DMF, the main ingredient of an oral formulation of fumaric acid esters with proven therapeutic efficacy in psoriasis, has recently been found to ameliorate the course of relapsing-remitting MS. Glial cells are the effector cells of neuroinflammation; however, little is known of the effect of DMF on microglia and astrocytes. The purpose of this study was to use an established in vitro model of brain inflammation to determine if DMF modulates the release of neurotoxic molecules from microglia and astrocytes, thus inhibiting glial inflammation. Methods Primary microglial and astrocytic cell cultures were prepared from cerebral cortices of neonatal rats. The control cells were treated with LPS, an accepted inducer of pro-inflammatory properties in glial cells, and the experimental groups with LPS and DMF in different concentrations. After stimulation/incubation, the generation of nitric oxide (NO in the cell culture supernatants was determined by measuring nitrite accumulation in the medium using Griess reagent. After 6 hours of treatment RT-PCR was used to determine transcription levels of iNOS, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α mRNA in microglial and astrocytic cell cultures initially treated with DMF, followed after 30 min by LPS treatment. Moreover, we investigated possible involvement of the ERK and Nrf-2 transduction pathway in microglia using western blot analysis. Results Pretreatment with DMF decreased synthesis of the proinflammatory mediators iNOS, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 at the RNA level in activated microglia and astrocytes in vitro, associated with a decrease in ERK phosphorylation in microglia. Conclusions Collectively, these results suggest that the neuroprotective effects of DMF may be in part functionally attributable to the compound's ability to inhibit expression of multiple neuroinflammatory mediators in brain of MS patients.

  5. Risk factors for astrocytic glioma and primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the brain in young children: a report from the Children's Cancer Group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunin, G R; Buckley, J D; Boesel, C P; Rorke, L B; Meadows, A T

    1994-01-01

    We conducted a matched case-control study to investigate risk factors for the two most common types of brain tumors in children, astrocytic glioma and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). Since the study focused on gestational exposures, we restricted it to young children because these exposures would be expected to act early in life. Parents of 155 astrocytic glioma cases, 166 PNET cases, and controls identified by random digit dialing completed telephone interviews. Few associations occurred with the hypothesized risk factors, which were gestational exposure to alcohol, hair coloring products, farms, and substances containing N-nitroso compounds (passive smoking, makeup, incense, new cars, pacifiers, baby bottles, beer). Of the products studied that contain N-nitroso compounds, only beer was associated with a significantly increased risk of either tumor type [odds ratio (OR) for PNET = 4.0; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-22.1; P = 0.04]. Elevated ORs for PNET were observed for farm residence of the mother during the pregnancy (OR = 3.7; 95% CI, 0.8-23.9; P = 0.06) and of the child for at least a year (OR = 5.0; 95% CI, 1.1-46.8; P = 0.04). Significant associations with astrocytoma were observed for mother's use of kerosene (OR = 8.9; 95% CI, 1.1-71.1; P = 0.04) and birth by Caesarean section (OR = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-3.2; P = 0.03). History of miscarriage was associated with a lower risk of PNET (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3-0.9; P = 0.02).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Astrocytic and neuronal accumulation of elevated extracellular K+ with a 2/3 K+/Na+ flux ratio - consequences for energy metabolism, osmolarity and higher brain function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leif eHertz

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Brain excitation increases neuronal Na+ concentration by 2 major mechanisms: i Na+influx caused by glutamatergic synaptic activity; and ii action-potential-mediateddepolarization by Na+ influx followed by repolarizating K+ efflux, increasingextracellular K+ concentration. This review deals mainly with the latter and it concludesthat clearance of extracellular K+ is initially mainly effectuated by Na+,K+-ATPasemediatedK+ uptake into astrocytes, at K+ concentrations above ~10 mM aided by uptakeof Na+, K+ and 2 Cl- by the cotransporter NKCC1. Since operation of the astrocytic Na+,K+-ATPase requires K+-dependent glycogenolysis for stimulation of the intracellularATPase site, it ceases after normalization of extracellular K+ concentration. This allowsK+ release via the inward rectifying K+ channel Kir1.4, perhaps after trans-astrocyticconnexin- and/or pannexin-mediated K+ transfer, which would be a key candidate fordetermination by synchronization-based computational analysis and may have signalingeffects. Spatially dispersed K+ release would have little effect on extracellular K+concentration and allow K+ accumulation by the less powerful neuronal Na+,K+-ATPase,which is not stimulated by increases in extracellular K+. Since the Na+,K+-ATPaseexchanges 3 Na+ with 2 K+, it creates extracellular hypertonicity and cell shrinkage.Hypertonicity also stimulates NKCC1, which, aided by -adrenergic stimulation of theNa+,K+-ATPase, causes regulatory volume increase, furosemide-inhibited undershoot in[K+]e and perhaps facilitation of the termination of slow neuronal hyperpolarization(sAHP, with behavioral consequences. The ion transport processes involved minimizeionic disequilibria caused by the asymmetric Na+,K+-ATPase fluxes.

  7. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallett, Mark

    2000-07-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is rapidly developing as a powerful, non-invasive tool for studying the human brain. A pulsed magnetic field creates current flow in the brain and can temporarily excite or inhibit specific areas. TMS of motor cortex can produce a muscle twitch or block movement; TMS of occipital cortex can produce visual phosphenes or scotomas. TMS can also alter the functioning of the brain beyond the time of stimulation, offering potential for therapy.

  8. An introduction to human brain anatomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Forstmann, B.U.; Keuken, M.C.; Alkemade, A.; Forstmann, B.U.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.

    2015-01-01

    This tutorial chapter provides an overview of the human brain anatomy. Knowledge of brain anatomy is fundamental to our understanding of cognitive processes in health and disease; moreover, anatomical constraints are vital for neurocomputational models and can be important for psychological

  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. PMID:25848957

  10. 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.

  11. Light-controlled astrocytes promote human mesenchymal stem cells toward neuronal differentiation and improve the neurological deficit in stroke rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Jie; Yang, Fan; Wan, Jun; Liu, Yunhui; Zhang, Jie; Wu, Bifeng; Liu, Yafeng; Zeng, Shaoqun; Wang, Liping

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes are key components of the central nervous system (CNS) and release factors to support neural stem cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is one of the key factors released upon activation of astrocytes that regulates the neural stem cell's function. However, it is not clear whether ATP derived from the depolarized astrocytes plays a vital role in promoting the neuronal differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in vitro and in vivo. Herein, for the first time, we co-cultured MSCs with light-stimulated-channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2)-astrocytes, and observed that the neuronal differentiation of MSCs was enhanced by expressing more neuronal markers, Tuj1 and NeuN. The ChR2-astrocyte-conditioned medium also stimulated MSCs differentiating into neuronal lineage cells by expressing more Tuj1 and Pax6, which was blocked by the P2X receptor antagonist, TNP-ATP. Then we found that light-depolarization of astrocytes significantly increased ATP accumulation in their bathing medium without impairing the cell membrane. We further found that ATP up-regulated the Tuj1, Pax6, FZD8 and β-catenin mRNA levels of MSCs, which could be reversed by application of TNP-ATP. Together these in vitro data provided convergent evidence that ATP from light-depolarized-astrocytes activated the wnt/β-catenin signaling of MSCs through binding to the P2X receptors, and promoted the neuronal differentiation of MSCs. Finally but importantly, our study also demonstrated in stroke rats that light-controlled astrocytes stimulated endogenous ATP release into the ischemic area to influence the transplanted MSCs, resulting in promoting the MSCs towards neuronal differentiation and improvements of neurological deficit. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Interoperable atlases of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amunts, K; Hawrylycz, M J; Van Essen, D C; Van Horn, J D; Harel, N; Poline, J-B; De Martino, F; Bjaalie, J G; Dehaene-Lambertz, G; Dehaene, S; Valdes-Sosa, P; Thirion, B; Zilles, K; Hill, S L; Abrams, M B; Tass, P A; Vanduffel, W; Evans, A C; Eickhoff, S B

    2014-10-01

    The last two decades have seen an unprecedented development of human brain mapping approaches at various spatial and temporal scales. Together, these have provided a large fundus of information on many different aspects of the human brain including micro- and macrostructural segregation, regional specialization of function, connectivity, and temporal dynamics. Atlases are central in order to integrate such diverse information in a topographically meaningful way. It is noteworthy, that the brain mapping field has been developed along several major lines such as structure vs. function, postmortem vs. in vivo, individual features of the brain vs. population-based aspects, or slow vs. fast dynamics. In order to understand human brain organization, however, it seems inevitable that these different lines are integrated and combined into a multimodal human brain model. To this aim, we held a workshop to determine the constraints of a multi-modal human brain model that are needed to enable (i) an integration of different spatial and temporal scales and data modalities into a common reference system, and (ii) efficient data exchange and analysis. As detailed in this report, to arrive at fully interoperable atlases of the human brain will still require much work at the frontiers of data acquisition, analysis, and representation. Among them, the latter may provide the most challenging task, in particular when it comes to representing features of vastly different scales of space, time and abstraction. The potential benefits of such endeavor, however, clearly outweigh the problems, as only such kind of multi-modal human brain atlas may provide a starting point from which the complex relationships between structure, function, and connectivity may be explored. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Notch Signaling and Brain Tumors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Notch Signaling and Brain Tumors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Active sulforhodamine 101 uptake into hippocampal astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schnell

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

  16. Analysis of a human brain transcriptome map

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greene Jonathan R

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genome wide transcriptome maps can provide tools to identify candidate genes that are over-expressed or silenced in certain disease tissue and increase our understanding of the structure and organization of the genome. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs from the public dbEST and proprietary Incyte LifeSeq databases were used to derive a transcript map in conjunction with the working draft assembly of the human genome sequence. Results Examination of ESTs derived from brain tissues (excluding brain tumor tissues suggests that these genes are distributed on chromosomes in a non-random fashion. Some regions on the genome are dense with brain-enriched genes while some regions lack brain-enriched genes, suggesting a significant correlation between distribution of genes along the chromosome and tissue type. ESTs from brain tumor tissues have also been mapped to the human genome working draft. We reveal that some regions enriched in brain genes show a significant decrease in gene expression in brain tumors, and, conversely that some regions lacking in brain genes show an increased level of gene expression in brain tumors. Conclusions This report demonstrates a novel approach for tissue specific transcriptome mapping using EST-based quantitative assessment.

  17. Lactate fuels the human brain during exercise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quistorff, Bjørn; Secher, Niels H; Van Lieshout, Johannes J

    2008-01-01

    The human brain releases a small amount of lactate at rest, and even an increase in arterial blood lactate during anesthesia does not provoke a net cerebral lactate uptake. However, during cerebral activation associated with exercise involving a marked increase in plasma lactate, the brain takes up...... suggests that lactate may partially replace glucose as a substrate for oxidation. Thus, the notion of the human brain as an obligatory glucose consumer is not without exceptions....... blockade but not with beta(1)-adrenergic blockade alone. Also, CMR decreases in response to epinephrine, suggesting that a beta(2)-adrenergic receptor mechanism enhances glucose and perhaps lactate transport across the blood-brain barrier. The pattern of CMR decrease under various forms of brain activation...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Smoking, alcoholism and genetic polymorphisms alter CYP2B6 levels in human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miksys, Sharon; Lerman, Caryn; Shields, Peter G; Mash, Deborah C; Tyndale, Rachel F

    2003-07-01

    CYP2B6 metabolizes drugs such as nicotine and bupropion, and many toxins and carcinogens. Nicotine induces CYP2B1 in rat brain and in humans polymorphic variation in CYP2B6 affects smoking cessation rates. The aim of this study was to compare CYP2B6 expression in brains of human smokers and non-smokers and alcoholics and non-alcoholics (n=26). CYP2B6 expression was brain region-specific, and was observed in both neurons and astrocytes. CYP2B6 levels were higher in brains of smokers and alcoholics, particularly in cerebellar Purkinje cells and hippocampal pyramidal neurons, cells known to be damaged in alcoholics. Significantly more (penzyme levels, stability and activity. Preliminary genotyping of this small sample (n=24) suggested that individuals with the CC genotype had higher brain CYP2B6 than those with the CT or TT genotype. Higher brain CYP2B6 activity in smokers and alcoholics may cause altered sensitivity to centrally acting drugs, increased susceptibility to neurotoxins and carcinogenic xenobiotics and contribute to central tolerance to nicotine.

  20. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-19

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

  1. The human brain: rewired and running hot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preuss, Todd M

    2011-05-01

    The past two decades have witnessed tremendous advances in noninvasive and postmortem neuroscientific techniques, advances that have made it possible, for the first time, to compare in detail the organization of the human brain to that of other primates. Studies comparing humans to chimpanzees and other great apes reveal that human brain evolution was not merely a matter of enlargement, but involved changes at all levels of organization that have been examined. These include the cellular and laminar organization of cortical areas; the higher order organization of the cortex, as reflected in the expansion of association cortex (in absolute terms, as well as relative to primary areas); the distribution of long-distance cortical connections; and hemispheric asymmetry. Additionally, genetic differences between humans and other primates have proven to be more extensive than previously thought, raising the possibility that human brain evolution involved significant modifications of neurophysiology and cerebral energy metabolism.

  2. Human brain evolution: insights from microarrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preuss, Todd M; Cáceres, Mario; Oldham, Michael C; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2004-11-01

    Several recent microarray studies have compared gene-expression patterns n humans, chimpanzees and other non-human primates to identify evolutionary changes that contribute to the distinctive cognitive and behavioural characteristics of humans. These studies support the surprising conclusion that the evolution of the human brain involved an upregulation of gene expression relative to non-human primates, a finding that could be relevant to understanding human cerebral physiology and function. These results show how genetic and genomic methods can shed light on the basis of human neural and cognitive specializations, and have important implications for neuroscience, anthropology and medicine.

  3. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The Molecular Basis of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enard, Wolfgang

    2016-10-24

    Humans are a remarkable species, especially because of the remarkable properties of their brain. Since the split from the chimpanzee lineage, the human brain has increased three-fold in size and has acquired abilities for vocal learning, language and intense cooperation. To better understand the molecular basis of these changes is of great biological and biomedical interest. However, all the about 16 million fixed genetic changes that occurred during human evolution are fully correlated with all molecular, cellular, anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred during this time. Hence, as humans and chimpanzees cannot be crossed or genetically manipulated, no direct evidence for linking particular genetic and molecular changes to human brain evolution can be obtained. Here, I sketch a framework how indirect evidence can be obtained and review findings related to the molecular basis of human cognition, vocal learning and brain size. In particular, I discuss how a comprehensive comparative approach, leveraging cellular systems and genomic technologies, could inform the evolution of our brain in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Real-time acquisition of transendothelial electrical resistance in an all-human, in vitro, 3-dimensional, blood-brain barrier model exemplifies tight-junction integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maherally, Zaynah; Fillmore, Helen L; Tan, Sim Ling; Tan, Suk Fei; Jassam, Samah A; Quack, Friederike I; Hatherell, Kathryn E; Pilkington, Geoffrey J

    2017-09-07

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) consists of endothelial cells, astrocytes, and pericytes embedded in basal lamina (BL). Most in vitro models use nonhuman, monolayer cultures for therapeutic-delivery studies, relying on transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements without other tight-junction (TJ) formation parameters. We aimed to develop reliable, reproducible, in vitro 3-dimensional (3D) models incorporating relevant human, in vivo cell types and BL proteins. The 3D BBB models were constructed with human brain endothelial cells, human astrocytes, and human brain pericytes in mono-, co-, and tricultures. TEER was measured in 3D models using a volt/ohmmeter and cellZscope. Influence of BL proteins-laminin, fibronectin, collagen type IV, agrin, and perlecan-on adhesion and TEER was assessed using an electric cell-substrate impedance-sensing system. TJ protein expression was assessed by Western blotting (WB) and immunocytochemistry (ICC). Perlecan (10 µg/ml) evoked unreportedly high, in vitro TEER values (1200 Ω) and the strongest adhesion. Coculturing endothelial cells with astrocytes yielded the greatest resistance over time. ICC and WB results correlated with resistance levels, with evidence of prominent occludin expression in cocultures. BL proteins exerted differential effects on TEER, whereas astrocytes in contact yielded higher TEER values and TJ expression.-Maherally, Z., Fillmore, H. L., Tan, S. L., Tan, S. F., Jassam, S. A., Quack, F. I., Hatherell, K. E., Pilkington, G. J. Real-time acquisition of transendothelial electrical resistance in an all-human, in vitro, 3-dimensional, blood-brain barrier model exemplifies tight-junction integrity. © FASEB.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miroslava Anderova

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

  8. Human brain mapping: Experimental and computational approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, C.C.; George, J.S.; Schmidt, D.M.; Aine, C.J. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (US); Sanders, J. [Albuquerque VA Medical Center, NM (US); Belliveau, J. [Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (US)

    1998-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This program developed project combined Los Alamos' and collaborators' strengths in noninvasive brain imaging and high performance computing to develop potential contributions to the multi-agency Human Brain Project led by the National Institute of Mental Health. The experimental component of the project emphasized the optimization of spatial and temporal resolution of functional brain imaging by combining: (a) structural MRI measurements of brain anatomy; (b) functional MRI measurements of blood flow and oxygenation; and (c) MEG measurements of time-resolved neuronal population currents. The computational component of the project emphasized development of a high-resolution 3-D volumetric model of the brain based on anatomical MRI, in which structural and functional information from multiple imaging modalities can be integrated into a single computational framework for modeling, visualization, and database representation.

  9. Human brain mapping: Experimental and computational approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, C.C.; George, J.S.; Schmidt, D.M.; Aine, C.J. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (US); Sanders, J. [Albuquerque VA Medical Center, NM (US); Belliveau, J. [Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (US)

    1998-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This program developed project combined Los Alamos' and collaborators' strengths in noninvasive brain imaging and high performance computing to develop potential contributions to the multi-agency Human Brain Project led by the National Institute of Mental Health. The experimental component of the project emphasized the optimization of spatial and temporal resolution of functional brain imaging by combining: (a) structural MRI measurements of brain anatomy; (b) functional MRI measurements of blood flow and oxygenation; and (c) MEG measurements of time-resolved neuronal population currents. The computational component of the project emphasized development of a high-resolution 3-D volumetric model of the brain based on anatomical MRI, in which structural and functional information from multiple imaging modalities can be integrated into a single computational framework for modeling, visualization, and database representation.

  10. Transcriptional landscape of the prenatal human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jeremy A; Ding, Song-Lin; Sunkin, Susan M; Smith, Kimberly A; Ng, Lydia; Szafer, Aaron; Ebbert, Amanda; Riley, Zackery L; Royall, Joshua J; Aiona, Kaylynn; Arnold, James M; Bennet, Crissa; Bertagnolli, Darren; Brouner, Krissy; Butler, Stephanie; Caldejon, Shiella; Carey, Anita; Cuhaciyan, Christine; Dalley, Rachel A; Dee, Nick; Dolbeare, Tim A; Facer, Benjamin A C; Feng, David; Fliss, Tim P; Gee, Garrett; Goldy, Jeff; Gourley, Lindsey; Gregor, Benjamin W; Gu, Guangyu; Howard, Robert E; Jochim, Jayson M; Kuan, Chihchau L; Lau, Christopher; Lee, Chang-Kyu; Lee, Felix; Lemon, Tracy A; Lesnar, Phil; McMurray, Bergen; Mastan, Naveed; Mosqueda, Nerick; Naluai-Cecchini, Theresa; Ngo, Nhan-Kiet; Nyhus, Julie; Oldre, Aaron; Olson, Eric; Parente, Jody; Parker, Patrick D; Parry, Sheana E; Stevens, Allison; Pletikos, Mihovil; Reding, Melissa; Roll, Kate; Sandman, David; Sarreal, Melaine; Shapouri, Sheila; Shapovalova, Nadiya V; Shen, Elaine H; Sjoquist, Nathan; Slaughterbeck, Clifford R; Smith, Michael; Sodt, Andy J; Williams, Derric; Zöllei, Lilla; Fischl, Bruce; Gerstein, Mark B; Geschwind, Daniel H; Glass, Ian A; Hawrylycz, Michael J; Hevner, Robert F; Huang, Hao; Jones, Allan R; Knowles, James A; Levitt, Pat; Phillips, John W; Sestan, Nenad; Wohnoutka, Paul; Dang, Chinh; Bernard, Amy; Hohmann, John G; Lein, Ed S

    2014-04-10

    The anatomical and functional architecture of the human brain is mainly determined by prenatal transcriptional processes. We describe an anatomically comprehensive atlas of the mid-gestational human brain, including de novo reference atlases, in situ hybridization, ultra-high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and microarray analysis on highly discrete laser-microdissected brain regions. In developing cerebral cortex, transcriptional differences are found between different proliferative and post-mitotic layers, wherein laminar signatures reflect cellular composition and developmental processes. Cytoarchitectural differences between human and mouse have molecular correlates, including species differences in gene expression in subplate, although surprisingly we find minimal differences between the inner and outer subventricular zones even though the outer zone is expanded in humans. Both germinal and post-mitotic cortical layers exhibit fronto-temporal gradients, with particular enrichment in the frontal lobe. Finally, many neurodevelopmental disorder and human-evolution-related genes show patterned expression, potentially underlying unique features of human cortical formation. These data provide a rich, freely-accessible resource for understanding human brain development.

  11. Neurosphere based differentiation of human iPSC improves astrocyte differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, Shuling; Szczesna, Karolina; Ochalek, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are traditionally maintained and proliferated utilizing two-dimensional (2D) adherent monolayer culture systems. However, NPCs cultured using this system hardly reflect the intrinsic spatial development...

  12. 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.

  13. The microRNA and messengerRNA profile of the RNA-induced silencing complex in human primary astrocyte and astrocytoma cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna J Moser

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: GW/P bodies are cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein-rich foci involved in microRNA (miRNA-mediated messenger RNA (mRNA silencing and degradation. The mRNA regulatory functions within GW/P bodies are mediated by GW182 and its binding partner hAgo2 that bind miRNA in the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC. To date there are no published reports of the profile of miRNA and mRNA targeted to the RISC or a comparison of the RISC-specific miRNA/mRNA profile differences in malignant and non-malignant cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: RISC mRNA and miRNA components were profiled by microarray analysis of malignant human U-87 astrocytoma cells and its non-malignant counterpart, primary human astrocytes. Total cell RNA as well as RNA from immunoprecipitated RISC was analyzed. The novel findings were fourfold: (1 miRNAs were highly enriched in astrocyte RISC compared to U-87 astrocytoma RISC, (2 astrocytoma and primary astrocyte cells each contained unique RISC miRNA profiles as compared to their respective cellular miRNA profiles, (3 miR-195, 10b, 29b, 19b, 34a and 455-3p levels were increased and the miR-181b level was decreased in U-87 astrocytoma RISC as compared to astrocyte RISC, and (4 the RISC contained decreased levels of mRNAs in primary astrocyte and U-87 astrocytoma cells. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The observation that miR-34a and miR-195 levels were increased in the RISC of U-87 astrocytoma cells suggests an oncogenic role for these miRNAs. Differential regulation of mRNAs by specific miRNAs is evidenced by the observation that three miR34a-targeted mRNAs and two miR-195-targeted mRNAs were downregulated while one miR-195-targeted mRNA was upregulated. Biological pathway analysis of RISC mRNA components suggests that the RISC plays a pivotal role in malignancy and other conditions. This study points to the importance of the RISC and ultimately GW/P body composition and function in miRNA and mRNA deregulation in astrocytoma cells and

  14. Characterizing and Targeting Bone Marrow-Derived Inflammatory Cells in Driving the Malignancy and Progression of Childhood Astrocytic Brain Tumors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Figure 21. Upstream of KDR (a) the bioinformatic analysis of promoter and 5’-UTR region of KDR by biobase . Highlighted fragment of KDR promoter... plasticity and may be more sensitive to transformation (9, 10). In certain rodent brain tumor models, it has been demonstrat- ed that recruited stromal

  15. Lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of IP-10 mRNA in rat brain and in cultured rat astrocytes and microglia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ren, LQ; Gourmala, N; Boddeke, HWGM; Gebicke-Haerter, PJ

    1998-01-01

    Using mRNA differential display technique, we have found a differentially expressed band in rat brain, designated HAP(2)G1, which was the strongest one induced in response to peripheral administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Sequence analysis showed that HAP(2)G1 cDNA is the rat homologue of th

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The brain is the center of the nervous system, where serious neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are products of functional loss in the neural cells (1). Typical techniques used to investigate these diseases lack precise control of the cellular surroundings...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Penkowa, M; Moos, T

    1995-01-01

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

  18. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordzij, M.L.; Newman-Norlund, S.E.; Ruiter, J.P.A. de; Hagoort, P.; Levinson, S.C.; Toni, I.

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the "mirror neurons system"). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we

  19. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordzij, Matthijs Leendert; Newman-Norlund, Sarah E.; de Ruiter, Jan Peter; Hagoort, Peter; Levinson, Stephen C.; Toni, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the “mirror neurons system”). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we

  20. Human brain evolution writ large and small.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Chet C; Bauernfeind, Amy L; Bianchi, Serena; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R

    2012-01-01

    Human evolution was marked by an extraordinary increase in total brain size relative to body size. While it is certain that increased encephalization is an important factor contributing to the origin of our species-specific cognitive abilities, it is difficult to disentangle which aspects of human neural structure and function are correlated by-products of brain size expansion from those that are specifically related to particular psychological specializations, such as language and enhanced "mentalizing" abilities. In this chapter, we review evidence from allometric scaling studies demonstrating that much of human neocortical organization can be understood as a product of brain enlargement. Defining extra-allometric specializations in humans is often hampered by a severe lack of comparative data from the same neuroanatomical variables across a broad range of primates. When possible, we highlight evidence for features of human neocortical architecture and function that cannot be easily explained as correlates of brain size and, hence, might be more directly associated with the evolution of uniquely human cognitive capacities. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Astrocytic glycogenolysis: mechanisms and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  2. Consumption of seaweeds and the human brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cornish, M. Lynn; Critchley, Alan T.; Mouritsen, Ole G.

    2017-01-01

    Much of the content of the human head is brain matter. This functions as the epicenter of human physical existence, including a sense of well-being and the manifestation of human consciousness. The human brain is a precious and complex organ which increases from 350 to 400 g in infants to 1......, and the impacts of anti-oxidant activities in neuroprotection. These elements have the capacity to help in the defense of human cognitive disorders, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, bipolar diseases, and adverse conditions characterized by progressive neurodegeneration. Psychological benefits...... associated with the moderate consumption of a diet fortified with macroalgae are also discussed in terms of reduction of depressive symptoms and furthermore highlighting possible improvements in sexual function....

  3. Exposure to inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNFα induces compromise and death of astrocytes; implications for chronic neuroinflammation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christa van Kralingen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Astrocytes have critical roles in the human CNS in health and disease. They provide trophic support to neurons and are innate-immune cells with keys roles during states-of-inflammation. In addition, they have integral functions associated with maintaining the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. METHODS: We have used cytometric bead arrays and xCELLigence technology to monitor the to monitor the inflammatory response profiles and astrocyte compromise in real-time under various inflammatory conditions. Responses were compared to a variety of inflammatory cytokines known to be released in the CNS during neuroinflammation. Astrocyte compromise measured by xCELLigence was confirmed using ATP measurements, cleaved caspase 3 expression, assessment of nuclear morphology and cell death. RESULTS: Inflammatory activation (IL-1β or TNFα of astrocytes results in the transient production of key inflammatory mediators including IL-6, cell surface adhesion molecules, and various leukocyte chemoattractants. Following this phase, the NT2-astrocytes progressively become compromised, which is indicated by a loss of adhesion, appearance of apoptotic nuclei and reduction in ATP levels, followed by DEATH. The earliest signs of astrocyte compromise were observed between 24-48 h post cytokine treatment. However, significant cell loss was not observed until at least 72 h, where there was also an increase in the expression of cleaved-caspase 3. By 96 hours approximately 50% of the astrocytes were dead, with many of the remaining showing signs of compromise too. Numerous other inflammatory factors were tested, however these effects were only observed with IL-1β or TNFα treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Here we reveal direct sensitivity to mediators of the inflammatory milieu. We highlight the power of xCELLigence technology for revealing the early progressive compromise of the astrocytes, which occurs 24-48 hours prior to substantive cell loss. Death induced by IL

  4. The human brain. Prenatal development and structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marin-Padilla, Miguel

    2011-07-01

    This book is unique among the current literature in that it systematically documents the prenatal structural development of the human brain. It is based on lifelong study using essentially a single staining procedure, the classic rapid Golgi procedure, which ensures an unusual and desirable uniformity in the observations. The book is amply illustrated with 81 large, high-quality color photomicrographs never previously reproduced. These photomicrographs, obtained at 6, 7, 11, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 weeks of gestation, offer a fascinating insight into the sequential prenatal development of neurons, blood vessels, and glia in the human brain. (orig.)

  5. Molecular insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Robert Sean; Walsh, Christopher A

    2005-09-01

    Rapidly advancing knowledge of genome structure and sequence enables new means for the analysis of specific DNA changes associated with the differences between the human brain and that of other mammals. Recent studies implicate evolutionary changes in messenger RNA and protein expression levels, as well as DNA changes that alter amino acid sequences. We can anticipate having a systematic catalogue of DNA changes in the lineage leading to humans, but an ongoing challenge will be relating these changes to the anatomical and functional differences between our brain and that of our ancient and more recent ancestors.

  6. Human intelligence and brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colom, Roberto; Karama, Sherif; Jung, Rex E; Haier, Richard J

    2010-01-01

    Intelligence can be defined as a general mental ability for reasoning, problem solving, and learning. Because of its general nature, intelligence integrates cognitive functions such as perception, attention, memory, language, or planning. On the basis of this definition, intelligence can be reliably measured by standardized tests with obtained scores predicting several broad social outcomes such as educational achievement, job performance, health, and longevity. A detailed understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying this general mental ability could provide significant individual and societal benefits. Structural and functional neuroimaging studies have generally supported a frontoparietal network relevant for intelligence. This same network has also been found to underlie cognitive functions related to perception, short-term memory storage, and language. The distributed nature of this network and its involvement in a wide range of cognitive functions fits well with the integrative nature of intelligence. A new key phase of research is beginning to investigate how functional networks relate to structural networks, with emphasis on how distributed brain areas communicate with each other.

  7. REVISITING GLYCOGEN CONTENT IN THE HUMAN BRAIN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Öz, Gülin; DiNuzzo, Mauro; Kumar, Anjali; Moheet, Amir; Seaquist, Elizabeth R.

    2015-01-01

    Glycogen provides an important glucose reservoir in the brain since the concentration of glucosyl units stored in glycogen is several fold higher than free glucose available in brain tissue. We have previously reported 3–4 µmol/g brain glycogen content using in vivo 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in conjunction with [1-13C]glucose administration in healthy humans, while higher levels were reported in the rodent brain. Due to the slow turnover of bulk brain glycogen in humans, complete turnover of the glycogen pool, estimated to take 3–5 days, was not observed in these prior studies. In an attempt to reach complete turnover and thereby steady state 13C labeling in glycogen, here we administered [1-13C]glucose to healthy volunteers for 80 hours. To eliminate any net glycogen synthesis during this period and thereby achieve an accurate estimate of glycogen concentration, volunteers were maintained at euglycemic blood glucose levels during [1-13C]glucose administration and 13C-glycogen levels in the occipital lobe were measured by 13C MRS approximately every 12 hours. Finally, we fitted the data with a biophysical model that was recently developed to take into account the tiered structure of the glycogen molecule and additionally incorporated blood glucose levels and isotopic enrichments as input function in the model. We obtained excellent fits of the model to the 13C-glycogen data, and glycogen content in the healthy human brain tissue was found to be 7.8 ± 0.3 µmol/g, a value substantially higher than previous estimates of glycogen content in the human brain. PMID:26202425

  8. Essential fatty acids and human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chia-Yu; Ke, Der-Shin; Chen, Jen-Yin

    2009-12-01

    The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. We've learned in recent years that fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain's integrity and ability to perform. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for maintenance of optimal health but they can not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Clinical observation studies has related imbalance dietary intake of fatty acids to impaired brain performance and diseases. Most of the brain growth is completed by 5-6 years of age. The EFAs, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids, are important for brain development during both the fetal and postnatal period. Dietary decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is needed for the optimum functional maturation of the retina and visual cortex, with visual acuity and mental development seemingly improved by extra DHA. Beyond their important role in building the brain structure, EFAs, as messengers, are involved in the synthesis and functions of brain neurotransmitters, and in the molecules of the immune system. Neuronal membranes contain phospholipid pools that are the reservoirs for the synthesis of specific lipid messengers on neuronal stimulation or injury. These messengers in turn participate in signaling cascades that can either promote neuronal injury or neuroprotection. The goal of this review is to give a new understanding of how EFAs determine our brain's integrity and performance, and to recall the neuropsychiatric disorders that may be influenced by them. As we further unlock the mystery of how fatty acids affect the brain and better understand the brain's critical dependence on specific EFAs, correct intake of the appropriate diet or supplements becomes one of the tasks we undertake in pursuit of optimal wellness.

  9. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vértes, Petra E; Alexander-Bloch, Aaron F; Gogtay, Nitin; Giedd, Jay N; Rapoport, Judith L; Bullmore, Edward T

    2012-04-10

    Human brain functional networks are embedded in anatomical space and have topological properties--small-worldness, modularity, fat-tailed degree distributions--that are comparable to many other complex networks. Although a sophisticated set of measures is available to describe the topology of brain networks, the selection pressures that drive their formation remain largely unknown. Here we consider generative models for the probability of a functional connection (an edge) between two cortical regions (nodes) separated by some Euclidean distance in anatomical space. In particular, we propose a model in which the embedded topology of brain networks emerges from two competing factors: a distance penalty based on the cost of maintaining long-range connections; and a topological term that favors links between regions sharing similar input. We show that, together, these two biologically plausible factors are sufficient to capture an impressive range of topological properties of functional brain networks. Model parameters estimated in one set of functional MRI (fMRI) data on normal volunteers provided a good fit to networks estimated in a second independent sample of fMRI data. Furthermore, slightly detuned model parameters also generated a reasonable simulation of the abnormal properties of brain functional networks in people with schizophrenia. We therefore anticipate that many aspects of brain network organization, in health and disease, may be parsimoniously explained by an economical clustering rule for the probability of functional connectivity between different brain areas.

  10. SOX2+ cell population from normal human brain white matter is able to generate mature oligodendrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Oliver-De La Cruz

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: A number of neurodegenerative diseases progress with a loss of myelin, which makes them candidate diseases for the development of cell-replacement therapies based on mobilisation or isolation of the endogenous neural/glial progenitor cells, in vitro expansion, and further implantation. Cells expressing A2B5 or PDGFRA/CNP have been isolated within the pool of glial progenitor cells in the subcortical white matter of the normal adult human brain, all of which demonstrate glial progenitor features. However, the heterogeneity and differentiation potential of this pool of cells is not yet well established. METHODS: We used diffusion tensor images, histopathology, and immunostaining analysis to demonstrate normal cytoarchitecture and the absence of abnormalities in human temporal lobe samples from patients with mesial temporal sclerosis. These samples were used to isolate and enrich glial progenitor cells in vitro, and later to detect such cells in vivo. RESULTS: We have identified a subpopulation of SOX2+ cells, most of them co-localising with OLIG2, in the white matter of the normal adult human brain in vivo. These cells can be isolated and enriched in vitro, where they proliferate and generate immature (O4+ and mature (MBP+ oligodendrocytes and, to a lesser extent, astrocytes (GFAP+. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate the existence of a new glial progenitor cell subpopulation that expresses SOX2 in the white matter of the normal adult human brain. These cells might be of use for tissue regeneration procedures.

  11. Brain activation during human male ejaculation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holstege, Ger; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Paans, Anne M.J.; Meiners, Linda C.; Graaf, Ferdinand H.C.E. van der; Reinders, A.A.T.Simone

    2003-01-01

    Brain mechanisms that control human sexual behavior in general, and ejaculation in particular, are poorly understood. We used positron emission tomography to measure increases in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during ejaculation compared with sexual stimulation in heterosexual male volunteers.

  12. Major Shifts in Glial Regional Identity Are a Transcriptional Hallmark of Human Brain Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilach Soreq

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene expression studies suggest that aging of the human brain is determined by a complex interplay of molecular events, although both its region- and cell-type-specific consequences remain poorly understood. Here, we extensively characterized aging-altered gene expression changes across ten human brain regions from 480 individuals ranging in age from 16 to 106 years. We show that astrocyte- and oligodendrocyte-specific genes, but not neuron-specific genes, shift their regional expression patterns upon aging, particularly in the hippocampus and substantia nigra, while the expression of microglia- and endothelial-specific genes increase in all brain regions. In line with these changes, high-resolution immunohistochemistry demonstrated decreased numbers of oligodendrocytes and of neuronal subpopulations in the aging brain cortex. Finally, glial-specific genes predict age with greater precision than neuron-specific genes, thus highlighting the need for greater mechanistic understanding of neuron-glia interactions in aging and late-life diseases.

  13. Evolution and genomics of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales-Reynoso, M A; Juárez-Vázquez, C I; Barros-Núñez, P

    2015-08-21

    Most living beings are able to perform actions that can be considered intelligent or, at the very least, the result of an appropriate reaction to changing circumstances in their environment. However, the intelligence or intellectual processes of humans are vastly superior to those achieved by all other species. The adult human brain is a highly complex organ weighing approximately 1500g, which accounts for only 2% of the total body weight but consumes an amount of energy equal to that required by all skeletal muscle at rest. Although the human brain displays a typical primate structure, it can be identified by its specific distinguishing features. The process of evolution and humanisation of the Homo sapiens brain resulted in a unique and distinct organ with the largest relative volume of any animal species. It also permitted structural reorganization of tissues and circuits in specific segments and regions. These steps explain the remarkable cognitive abilities of modern humans compared not only with other species in our genus, but also with older members of our own species. Brain evolution required the coexistence of two adaptation mechanisms. The first involves genetic changes that occur at the species level, and the second occurs at the individual level and involves changes in chromatin organisation or epigenetic changes. The genetic mechanisms include: a) genetic changes in coding regions that lead to changes in the sequence and activity of existing proteins; b) duplication and deletion of previously existing genes; c) changes in gene expression through changes in the regulatory sequences of different genes; and d) synthesis of non-coding RNAs. Lastly, this review describes some of the main documented chromosomal differences between humans and great apes. These differences have also contributed to the evolution and humanisation process of the H. sapiens brain. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights

  14. A population of human brain cells expressing phenotypic markers of more than one lineage can be induced in vitro to differentiate into mesenchymal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieske, Piotr; Augelli, Brian J; Stawski, Robert; Gaughan, John; Azizi, S Ausim; Krynska, Barbara

    2009-02-01

    Proliferating astrocytic cells from germinal, as well as mature areas of brain parenchyma, have the characteristics of neural stem/progenitor cells and are capable of generating both neurons and glia. We previously reported that primary fetal human brain cells, designated as Normal Human Astrocytes (NHA), expressed, in addition to GFAP, Vimentin and Nestin, low levels of betaIII-Tubulin, an early neuronal marker, and differentiated into neurons and astrocytes in vitro. Here, we showed that primary NHA cells co-express low levels of mesenchymal markers Fibronectin and Collagen-1 in culture. These cells transitioned into mesenchymal-like cells when cultured in adherent conditions in serum containing media. The mesenchymal-like derivatives of these cells were characterized based on their morphological changes, high expression of Vimentin and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, Collagen-1 and Fibronectin, and decline of neural markers. When incubated in osteogenic and adipogenic induction media, the mesenchymal-like cells differentiated into osteoblasts and adipocytes. Furthermore, NHA cells express markers of neural crest cells, SOX-10 and p75. These data support the idea of ectoderm-derived mesenchymal lineages. These findings suggest that a population of primitive fetal brain cells with neural/neural crest/mesenchymal phenotype, resembles the remarkable phenotypic plasticity of neural crest cells, and differentiates into adipocytes and osteocytes under the influence of environmental factors.

  15. Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maher, Barbara A.; Ahmed, Imad A. M.; Karloukovski, Vassil; MacLaren, Donald A.; Foulds, Penelope G.; Allsop, David; Mann, David M. A.; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; Calderon-Garciduenas, Lilian

    2016-09-01

    Biologically formed nanoparticles of the strongly magnetic mineral, magnetite, were first detected in the human brain over 20 y ago [Kirschvink JL, Kobayashi-Kirschvink A, Woodford BJ (1992) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 89(16):7683-7687]. Magnetite can have potentially large impacts on the brain due to its unique combination of redox activity, surface charge, and strongly magnetic behavior. We used magnetic analyses and electron microscopy to identify the abundant presence in the brain of magnetite nanoparticles that are consistent with high-temperature formation, suggesting, therefore, an external, not internal, source. Comprising a separate nanoparticle population from the euhedral particles ascribed to endogenous sources, these brain magnetites are often found with other transition metal nanoparticles, and they display rounded crystal morphologies and fused surface textures, reflecting crystallization upon cooling from an initially heated, iron-bearing source material. Such high-temperature magnetite nanospheres are ubiquitous and abundant in airborne particulate matter pollution. They arise as combustion-derived, iron-rich particles, often associated with other transition metal particles, which condense and/or oxidize upon airborne release. Those magnetite pollutant particles which are sourced iron-bearing nanoparticles, rather than their soluble compounds, can be transported directly into the brain, where they may pose hazard to human health.

  16. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

    The biological evolution, including human evolution is mainly driven by environmental changes. Accidental genetic modifications and their innovative results make the successful adaptation possible. As we know the human evolution started 7-8 million years ago in the African savannah, where upright position and bipedalism were significantly advantageous. The main drive of improving manual actions and tool making could be to obtain more food. Our ancestor got more meat due to more successful hunting, resulting in more caloric intake, more protein and essential fatty acid in the meal. The nervous system uses disproportionally high level of energy, so better quality of food was a basic condition for the evolution of huge human brain. The size of human brain was tripled during 3.5 million years, it increased from the average of 450 cm3 of Australopithecinae to the average of 1350 cm3 of Homo sapiens. A genetic change in the system controlling gene expression could happen about 200 000 years ago, which influenced the development of nervous system, the sensorimotor function and learning ability for motor processes. The appearance and stabilisation of FOXP2 gene structure as feature of modern man coincided with the first presence and quick spread of Homo sapiens on the whole Earth. This genetic modification made opportunity for human language, as the basis of abrupt evolution of human intelligence. The brain region being responsible for human language is the left planum temporale, which is much larger in left hemisphere. This shows the most typical human brain asymmetry. In this case the anatomical asymmetry means a clearly defined functional asymmetry as well, where the brain hemispheres act differently. The preference in using hands, the lateralised using of tools resulted in the brain asymmetry, which is the precondition of human language and intelligence. However, it cannot be held anymore, that only humans make tools, because our closest relatives, the chimpanzees are

  17. Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcez, Patricia P; Loiola, Erick Correia; Madeiro da Costa, Rodrigo; Higa, Luiza M; Trindade, Pablo; Delvecchio, Rodrigo; Nascimento, Juliana Minardi; Brindeiro, Rodrigo; Tanuri, Amilcar; Rehen, Stevens K

    2016-05-13

    Since the emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV), reports of microcephaly have increased considerably in Brazil; however, causality between the viral epidemic and malformations in fetal brains needs further confirmation. We examined the effects of ZIKV infection in human neural stem cells growing as neurospheres and brain organoids. Using immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy, we showed that ZIKV targets human brain cells, reducing their viability and growth as neurospheres and brain organoids. These results suggest that ZIKV abrogates neurogenesis during human brain development.

  18. Epilepsy: Extreme Events in the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnertz, Klaus

    The analysis of Xevents arising in dynamical systems with many degrees of freedom represents a challenge for many scientific fields. This is especially true for the open, dissipative, and adaptive system known as the human brain. Due to its complex structure, its immense functionality, and — as in the case of epilepsy — due to the coexistence of normal and abnormal functions, the brain can be regarded as one of the most complex and fascinating systems in nature. Data gathered so far show that the epileptic process exhibits a high spatial and temporal variability. Small, specific, regions of the brain are responsible for the generation of focal epileptic seizures, and the amount of time a patient spends actually having seizures is only a small fraction of his/her lifetime. In between these Xevents large parts of the brain exhibit normal functioning. Since the occurrence of seizures usually can not be explained by exogenous factors, and since the brain recovers its normal state after a seizure in the majority of cases, this might indicate that endogenous nonlinear (deterministic and/or stochastic) properties are involved in the control of these Xevents. In fact, converging evidence now indicates that (particularly) nonlinear approaches to the analysis of brain activity allow us to define precursors which, provided sufficient sensitivity and specificity can be obtained, might lead to the development of patient-specific seizure anticipation and seizure prevention strategies.

  19. Native Mutant Huntingtin in Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapp, Ellen; Valencia, Antonio; Li, Xueyi; Aronin, Neil; Kegel, Kimberly B.; Vonsattel, Jean-Paul; Young, Anne B.; Wexler, Nancy; DiFiglia, Marian

    2012-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is caused by polyglutamine expansion in the N terminus of huntingtin (htt). Analysis of human postmortem brain lysates by SDS-PAGE and Western blot reveals htt as full-length and fragmented. Here we used Blue Native PAGE (BNP) and Western blots to study native htt in human postmortem brain. Antisera against htt detected a single band broadly migrating at 575–850 kDa in control brain and at 650–885 kDa in heterozygous and Venezuelan homozygous HD brains. Anti-polyglutamine antisera detected full-length mutant htt in HD brain. There was little htt cleavage even if lysates were pretreated with trypsin, indicating a property of native htt to resist protease cleavage. A soluble mutant htt fragment of about 180 kDa was detected with anti-htt antibody Ab1 (htt-(1–17)) and increased when lysates were treated with denaturants (SDS, 8 m urea, DTT, or trypsin) before BNP. Wild-type htt was more resistant to denaturants. Based on migration of in vitro translated htt fragments, the 180-kDa segment terminated ≈htt 670–880 amino acids. If second dimension SDS-PAGE followed BNP, the 180-kDa mutant htt was absent, and 43–50 kDa htt fragments appeared. Brain lysates from two HD mouse models expressed native full-length htt; a mutant fragment formed if lysates were pretreated with 8 m urea + DTT. Native full-length mutant htt in embryonic HD140Q/140Q mouse primary neurons was intact during cell death and when cell lysates were exposed to denaturants before BNP. Thus, native mutant htt occurs in brain and primary neurons as a soluble full-length monomer. PMID:22375012

  20. Metallothionein-1+2 deficiency increases brain pathology in transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted expression of interleukin 6

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giralt, Mercedes; Penkowa, Milena; Hernández, Joaquín

    2002-01-01

    ) mice provided evidence that the increased MT-1+2 expression normally observed in the GFAP-IL6 mice is an important mechanism for coping with brain damage. Thus, the GFAP-IL6xMTKO mice showed a decreased body weight gain and an impaired performance in the rota-rod test, as well as a higher upregulation...... of cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1alpha,beta, and TNFalpha and recruitment and activation of macrophages and T cells throughout the CNS but mainly in the cerebellum. Clear symptoms of increased oxidative stress and apoptotic cell death caused by MT-1+2 deficiency were observed in the GFAP-IL6xMTKO mice...

  1. Brain intracellular metabolites are freely diffusing along cell fibers in grey and white matter, as measured by diffusion-weighted MR spectroscopy in the human brain at 7 T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najac, Chloé; Branzoli, Francesca; Ronen, Itamar; Valette, Julien

    2016-04-01

    Due to the specific compartmentation of brain metabolites, diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy opens unique insight into neuronal and astrocytic microstructures. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of brain metabolites depends on various intracellular parameters including cytosol viscosity and molecular crowding. When diffusion time (t d) is long enough, the size and geometry of the compartment in which the metabolites diffuse strongly influence metabolites ADC. In a previous study, performed in the macaque brain, we measured neuronal and astrocytic metabolites ADC at long t d (from 86 to 1,011 ms) in a large voxel enclosing an equal proportion of white and grey matter. We showed that metabolites apparently diffuse freely along the axis of dendrites, axons and astrocytic processes. To assess potential differences between these two tissue types, here we measured for the first time in the Human brain the t d-dependency of metabolites trace/3 ADC at 7 teslas using a localized diffusion-weighted STEAM sequence, in parietal and occipital voxels, respectively, containing mainly white and grey matter. We show that, in both tissues and over the observed timescale (t d varying from 92 to 712 ms) metabolite ADC reaches a non-zero plateau, suggesting that metabolites are not confined inside subcellular regions such as cell bodies, or inside subcellular compartments such as organelles, but are rather free to diffuse in the whole fiber-like structure of neurons and astrocytes. Beyond the fundamental insights into intracellular compartmentation of metabolites, this work also provides a new framework for interpreting results of neuroimaging techniques based on molecular diffusion, such as diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging.

  2. Increased expression of aquaporin-4 in human traumatic brain injury and brain tumors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HuaHu; Wei-PingZhang; LeiZhang; ZhongChen; Er-QingWei

    2004-01-01

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is one of the aquaporins (AQPs), a water channel family. In the brain, AQP4 is expressed in astroeyte foot processes, and plays an important role in water homeostasis and in the formation of brain edema. In our study, AQP4 expression in human brain specimens from patients with traumatic brain injury or different brain tumors was detected

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Potokar

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Human microglia transplanted in rat focal ischemia brain induce neuroprotection and behavioral improvement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dashdemberel Narantuya

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Microglia are resident immunocompetent and phagocytic cells of central nervous system (CNS, which produce various cytokines and growth factors in response to injury and thereby regulate disease pathology. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of microglial transplantation on focal cerebral ischemia model in rat. METHODS: Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO in rats was induced by the intraluminal filament technique. HMO6 cells, human microglial cell line, were transplanted intravenously at 48 hours after MCAO. Functional tests were performed and the infarct volume was measured at 7 and 14 days after MCAO. Migration and cell survival of transplanted microglial cells and host glial reaction in the brain were studied by immunohistochemistry. Gene expression of neurotrophic factors, cytokines and chemokines in transplanted cells and host rat glial cells was determined by laser capture microdissection (LCM and quantitative real time-PCR. RESULTS: HMO6 human microglial cells transplantation group demonstrated significant functional recovery compared with control group. At 7 and 14 days after MCAO, infarct volume was significantly reduced in the HMO group. In the HMO6 group, number of apoptotic cells was time-dependently reduced in the infarct core and penumbra. In addition, number of host rat microglia/macrophages and reactive astrocytes was significantly decreased at 7 and 14 days after MCAO in the penumbra. Gene expression of various neurotrophic factors (GDNF, BDNF, VEGF and BMP7 and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL4 and IL5 was up-regulated in transplanted HMO6 cells of brain tissue compared with those in culture. The expression of GDNF and VEGF in astrocytes in penumbra was significantly up-regulated in the HMO6 group. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that transplantation of HMO6 human microglial cells reduces ischemic deficits and apoptotic events in stroke animals. The results were mediated

  6. Thrombin mediates migration of rat brain astrocytes via PLC, Ca²⁺, CaMKII, PKCα, and AP-1-dependent matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chih-Chung; Lee, I-Ta; Wu, Wen-Bin; Liu, Chiung-Ju; Hsieh, Hsi-Lung; Hsiao, Li-Der; Yang, Chien-Chung; Yang, Chuen-Mao

    2013-12-01

    Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays a crucial role in pathological processes of brain inflammation, injury, and neurodegeneration. Thrombin has been known as a regulator of MMP-9 expression and cells migration. However, the mechanisms underlying thrombin-induced MMP-9 expression in rat brain astrocytes (RBA-1 cells) remain unclear. Here, we demonstrated that thrombin induced the expression of pro-form MMP-9 and migration of RBA-1 cells, which were inhibited by pretreatment with the inhibitor of Gq-coupled receptor (GPAnt2A), Gi/o-coupled receptor (GPAnt2), PC-PLC (D609), PI-PLC (U73122), Ca(2+)-ATPase (thapsigargin, TG), calmodulin (CaMI), CaMKII (KN62), PKC (Gö6976 or GF109203X), MEK1/2 (PD98059), p38 MAPK (SB202190), JNK1/2 (SP600125), or AP-1 (Tanshinone IIA) or the intracellular calcium chelator (BAPTA/AM) and transfection with siRNA of PKCα, Erk2, JNK1, p38 MAPK, c-Jun, or c-Fos. In addition, thrombin-induced elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration was attenuated by PPACK (a thrombin inhibitor). Thrombin further induced CaMKII phosphorylation and PKCα translocation, which were inhibited by U73122, D609, KN62, TG, or BAPTA/AM. Thrombin also induced PKCα-dependent p42/p44 MAPK and JNK1/2, but not p38 MAPK activation. Finally, we showed that thrombin enhanced c-Fos expression and c-Jun phosphorylation. c-Fos mRNA levels induced by thrombin were reduced by PD98059, SP600125, and Gö6976, but not SB202190. Thrombin stimulated in vivo binding of c-Fos to the MMP-9 promoter, which was reduced by pretreatment with SP600125 or PD98059, but not SB202190. These results concluded that thrombin activated a PLC/Ca(2+)/CaMKII/PKCα/p42/p44 MAPK and JNK1/2 pathway, which in turn triggered AP-1 activation and ultimately induced MMP-9 expression in RBA-1 cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhongwu; Chopp, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Glycogenolysis in astrocytes supports blood-borne glucose channeling not glycogen-derived lactate shuttling to neurons: evidence from mathematical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    In this article, we examined theoretically the role of human cerebral glycogen in buffering the metabolic requirement of a 360-second brain stimulation, expanding our previous modeling study of neurometabolic coupling. We found that glycogen synthesis and degradation affects the relative amount of glucose taken up by neurons versus astrocytes. Under conditions of 175:115 mmol/L (∼1.5:1) neuronal versus astrocytic activation-induced Na(+) influx ratio, ∼12% of astrocytic glycogen is mobilized. This results in the rapid increase of intracellular glucose-6-phosphate level on stimulation and nearly 40% mean decrease of glucose flow through hexokinase (HK) in astrocytes via product inhibition. The suppression of astrocytic glucose phosphorylation, in turn, favors the channeling of glucose from interstitium to nearby activated neurons, without a critical effect on the concurrent intercellular lactate trafficking. Under conditions of increased neuronal versus astrocytic activation-induced Na(+) influx ratio to 190:65 mmol/L (∼3:1), glycogen is not significantly degraded and blood glucose is primarily taken up by neurons. These results support a role for astrocytic glycogen in preserving extracellular glucose for neuronal utilization, rather than providing lactate to neurons as is commonly accepted by the current 'thinking paradigm'. This might be critical in subcellular domains during functional conditions associated with fast energetic demands.

  9. Infrasounds and biorhythms of the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panuszka, Ryszard; Damijan, Zbigniew; Kasprzak, Cezary; McGlothlin, James

    2002-05-01

    Low Frequency Noise (LFN) and infrasound has begun a new public health hazard. Evaluations of annoyance of (LFN) on human occupational health were based on standards where reactions of human auditory system and vibrations of parts of human body were small. Significant sensitivity has been observed on the central nervous system from infrasonic waves especially below 10 Hz. Observed follow-up effects in the brain gives incentive to study the relationship between parameters of waves and reactions obtained of biorhythms (EEG) and heart action (EKG). New results show the impact of LFN on the electrical potentials of the brain are dependent on the pressure waves on the human body. Electrical activity of circulatory system was also affected. Signals recorded in industrial workplaces were duplicated by loudspeakers and used to record data from a typical LFN spectra with 5 and 7 Hz in a laboratory chamber. External noise, electromagnetic fields, temperature, dust, and other elements were controlled. Results show not only a follow-up effect in the brain but also a result similar to arrhythmia in the heart. Relaxations effects were observed of people impacted by waves generated from natural sources such as streams and waterfalls.

  10. Broadband criticality of human brain network synchronization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manfred G Kitzbichler

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Self-organized criticality is an attractive model for human brain dynamics, but there has been little direct evidence for its existence in large-scale systems measured by neuroimaging. In general, critical systems are associated with fractal or power law scaling, long-range correlations in space and time, and rapid reconfiguration in response to external inputs. Here, we consider two measures of phase synchronization: the phase-lock interval, or duration of coupling between a pair of (neurophysiological processes, and the lability of global synchronization of a (brain functional network. Using computational simulations of two mechanistically distinct systems displaying complex dynamics, the Ising model and the Kuramoto model, we show that both synchronization metrics have power law probability distributions specifically when these systems are in a critical state. We then demonstrate power law scaling of both pairwise and global synchronization metrics in functional MRI and magnetoencephalographic data recorded from normal volunteers under resting conditions. These results strongly suggest that human brain functional systems exist in an endogenous state of dynamical criticality, characterized by a greater than random probability of both prolonged periods of phase-locking and occurrence of large rapid changes in the state of global synchronization, analogous to the neuronal "avalanches" previously described in cellular systems. Moreover, evidence for critical dynamics was identified consistently in neurophysiological systems operating at frequency intervals ranging from 0.05-0.11 to 62.5-125 Hz, confirming that criticality is a property of human brain functional network organization at all frequency intervals in the brain's physiological bandwidth.

  11. Human brain disease recreated in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marx, J.

    1990-12-14

    In the early 1980s, neurologist Stanley Prusiner suggested that scrapie, an apparently infectious degenerative brain disease of sheep, could be transmitted by prions, infectious particles made just of protein - and containing no nucleic acids. But prion research has come a long way since then. In 1985, the cloning of the gene encoding the prion protein proved that it does in fact exist. And the gene turned out to be widely expressed in the brains of higher organisms, a result suggesting that the prion protein has a normal brain function that can somehow be subverted, leading to brain degeneration. Then studies done during the past 2 years suggested that specific mutations in the prion gene might cause two similar human brain diseases, Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) and Creutzfelt-Jakob disease. Now, Prusiner's group at the University of California, San Francisco, has used genetic engineering techniques to recreate GSS by transplanting the mutated prion gene into mice. Not only will the animal model help neurobiologists answer the many remaining questions about prions and how they work, but it may also shed some light on other neurodegenerative diseases as well.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Yutaka

    2014-12-01

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

  13. 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......Astrocytes have a pivotal role in brain as partners of neurons in homeostatic and metabolic processes. Astrocytes also protect other types of brain cells against the toxicity of reactive oxygen species and are considered as first line of defence against the toxic potential of xenobiotics. A key...... generate GSH conjugates that are efficiently exported from the cells by multidrug resistance proteins. Moreover, GSH reacts with the reactive endogenous carbonyls methylglyoxal and formaldehyde to intermediates which are substrates of detoxifying enzymes. In this article we will review the current...

  14. 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.

  15. Astrocytic vesicle mobility in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Glucocorticoid regulation of astrocytic fate and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuang Yu

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, M; Volterra, A

    2009-01-12

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

  19. Hierarchical modularity in human brain functional networks

    CERN Document Server

    Meunier, D; Fornito, A; Ersche, K D; Bullmore, E T; 10.3389/neuro.11.037.2009

    2010-01-01

    The idea that complex systems have a hierarchical modular organization originates in the early 1960s and has recently attracted fresh support from quantitative studies of large scale, real-life networks. Here we investigate the hierarchical modular (or "modules-within-modules") decomposition of human brain functional networks, measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 18 healthy volunteers under no-task or resting conditions. We used a customized template to extract networks with more than 1800 regional nodes, and we applied a fast algorithm to identify nested modular structure at several hierarchical levels. We used mutual information, 0 < I < 1, to estimate the similarity of community structure of networks in different subjects, and to identify the individual network that is most representative of the group. Results show that human brain functional networks have a hierarchical modular organization with a fair degree of similarity between subjects, I=0.63. The largest 5 modules at ...

  20. Increased expression of aquaporin-4 in human traumatic brain injury and brain tumors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Hua; YAO Hong-tian; ZHANG Wei-ping; ZHANG LEI; DING Wei; ZHANG Shi-hong; CHEN Zhong; WEI Er-qing

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To characterize the expression of aquaporin-4 (AQP4), one of the aquaporins (AQPs), in human brain specimens from patients with traumatic brain injury or brain tumors. Methods: Nineteen human brain specimens were obtained from the patients with traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, benign meningioma or early stage hemorrhagic stroke. MRI or CT imaging was used to assess brain edema. Hematoxylin and eosin staining were used to evaluate cell damage. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the AQP4 expression. Results: AQP4 expression was increased from 15h to at least 8 d after injury. AQP4immunoreactivity was strong around astrocytomas, ganglioglioma and metastatic adenocarcinoma. However, AQP4 immunoreactivity was only found in the centers of astrocytomas and ganglioglioma, but not in metastatic adenocarcinoma derived from lung.Conclusion: AQP4 expression increases in human brains after traumatic brain injury, within brain-derived tumors, and around brain tumors.

  1. Imaging Monoamine Oxidase in the Human Brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fowler, J. S.; Volkow, N. D.; Wang, G-J.; Logan, Jean

    1999-11-10

    Positron emission tomography (PET) studies mapping monoamine oxidase in the human brain have been used to measure the turnover rate for MAO B; to determine the minimum effective dose of a new MAO inhibitor drug lazabemide and to document MAO inhibition by cigarette smoke. These studies illustrate the power of PET and radiotracer chemistry to measure normal biochemical processes and to provide information on the effect of drug exposure on specific molecular targets.

  2. MRI and MRS of human brain tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Bob L; Hu, Jiani

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide an introduction to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of human brain tumors, including the primary applications and basic terminology involved. Readers who wish to know more about this broad subject should seek out the referenced books (1. Tofts (2003) Quantitative MRI of the brain. Measuring changes caused by disease. Wiley; Bradley and Stark (1999) 2. Magnetic resonance imaging, 3rd Edition. Mosby Inc; Brown and Semelka (2003) 3. MRI basic principles and applications, 3rd Edition. Wiley-Liss) or reviews (4. Top Magn Reson Imaging 17:127-36, 2006; 5. JMRI 24:709-724, 2006; 6. Am J Neuroradiol 27:1404-1411, 2006).MRI is the most popular means of diagnosing human brain tumors. The inherent difference in the magnetic resonance (MR) properties of water between normal tissues and tumors results in contrast differences on the image that provide the basis for distinguishing tumors from normal tissues. In contrast to MRI, which provides spatial maps or images using water signals of the tissues, proton MRS detects signals of tissue metabolites. MRS can complement MRI because the observed MRS peaks can be linked to inherent differences in biochemical profiles between normal tissues and tumors.The goal of MRI and MRS is to characterize brain tumors, including tumor core, edge, edema, volume, types, and grade. The commonly used brain tumor MRI protocol includes T2-weighted images and T1-weighted images taken both before and after the injection of a contrast agent (typically gadolinium: Gd). The commonly used MRS technique is either point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) or stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM).

  3. Calcium-sensing receptor antagonist (calcilytic) NPS 2143 specifically blocks the increased secretion of endogenous Aβ42 prompted by exogenous fibrillary or soluble Aβ25-35 in human cortical astrocytes and neurons-therapeutic relevance to Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armato, Ubaldo; Chiarini, Anna; Chakravarthy, Balu; Chioffi, Franco; Pacchiana, Raffaella; Colarusso, Enzo; Whitfield, James F; Dal Prà, Ilaria

    2013-10-01

    The "amyloid-β (Aβ) hypothesis" posits that accumulating Aβ peptides (Aβs) produced by neurons cause Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the Aβs contribution by the more numerous astrocytes remains undetermined. Previously we showed that fibrillar (f)Aβ25-35, an Aβ42 proxy, evokes a surplus endogenous Aβ42 production/accumulation in cortical adult human astrocytes. Here, by using immunocytochemistry, immunoblotting, enzymatic assays, and highly sensitive sandwich ELISA kits, we investigated the effects of fAβ25-35 and soluble (s)Aβ25-35 on Aβ42 and Aβ40 accumulation/secretion by human cortical astrocytes and HCN-1A neurons and, since the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) binds Aβs, their modulation by NPS 2143, a CaSR allosteric antagonist (calcilytic). The fAβ25-35-exposed astrocytes and surviving neurons produced, accumulated, and secreted increased amounts of Aβ42, while Aβ40 also accrued but its secretion was unchanged. Accordingly, secreted Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio values rose for astrocytes and neurons. While slightly enhancing Aβ40 secretion by fAβ25-35-treated astrocytes, NPS 2143 specifically suppressed the fAβ25-35-elicited surges of endogenous Aβ42 secretion by astrocytes and neurons. Therefore, NPS 2143 addition always kept Aβ42/Aβ40 values to baseline or lower levels. Mechanistically, NPS 2143 decreased total CaSR protein complement, transiently raised proteasomal chymotrypsin activity, and blocked excess NO production without affecting the ongoing increases in BACE1/β-secretase and γ-secretase activity in fAβ25-35-treated astrocytes. Compared to fAβ25-35, sAβ25-35 also stimulated Aβ42 secretion by astrocytes and neurons and NPS 2143 specifically and wholly suppressed this effect. Therefore, since NPS 2143 thwarts any Aβ/CaSR-induced surplus secretion of endogenous Aβ42 and hence further vicious cycles of Aβ self-induction/secretion/spreading, calcilytics might effectively prevent/stop the progression to full-blown AD.

  4. Modulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil functions by astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xie Luokun

    2010-09-01

    direct or indirect interactions between the two cell types. The diversified actions of astrocytes on neutrophils might provide protection against potential microbial infections given compromised blood-brain barrier integrity under certain neuropathological conditions. The complex actions of astrocytes on neutrophils could provide further insight to harness the inflammatory response to promote CNS repair.

  5. Differential subnetwork of chemokines/cytokines in human, mouse, and rat brain cells after oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Yang; Deng, Wenjun; Wang, Zixing; Ning, MingMing; Zhang, Wei; Zhou, Yiming; Lo, Eng H; Xing, Changhong

    2016-01-01

    Mice and rats are the most commonly used animals for preclinical stroke studies, but it is unclear whether targets and mechanisms are always the same across different species. Here, we mapped the baseline expression of a chemokine/cytokine subnetwork and compared responses after oxygen-glucose deprivation in primary neurons, astrocytes, and microglia from mouse, rat, and human. Baseline profiles of chemokines (CX3CL1, CXCL12, CCL2, CCL3, and CXCL10) and cytokines (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNFα) showed significant differences between human and rodents. The response of chemokines/cytokines to oxygen-glucose deprivation was also significantly different between species. After 4 h oxygen-glucose deprivation and 4 h reoxygenation, human and rat neurons showed similar changes with a downregulation in many chemokines, whereas mouse neurons showed a mixed response with up- and down-regulated genes. For astrocytes, subnetwork response patterns were more similar in rats and mice compared to humans. For microglia, rat cells showed an upregulation in all chemokines/cytokines, mouse cells had many down-regulated genes, and human cells showed a mixed response with up- and down-regulated genes. This study provides proof-of-concept that species differences exist in chemokine/cytokine subnetworks in brain cells that may be relevant to stroke pathophysiology. Further investigation of differential gene pathways across species is warranted.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Astrocytes : a central element in neurological diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pekny, Milos; Pekna, Marcela; Messing, Albee; Steinhäuser, Christian; Lee, Jin Moo; Parpura, Vladimir; Hol, Elly M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/F-1891-2013; Sofroniew, Michael V.; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Astrocytes : a central element in neurological diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. A Hedonism Hub in the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacharopoulos, G.; Lancaster, T. M.; Bracht, T.; Ihssen, N.; Maio, G. R.; Linden, D. E. J.

    2016-01-01

    Human values are abstract ideals that motivate behavior. The motivational nature of human values raises the possibility that they might be underpinned by brain structures that are particularly involved in motivated behavior and reward processing. We hypothesized that variation in subcortical hubs of the reward system and their main connecting pathway, the superolateral medial forebrain bundle (slMFB) is associated with individual value orientation. We conducted Pearson's correlation between the scores of 10 human values and the volumes of 14 subcortical structures and microstructural properties of the medial forebrain bundle in a sample of 87 participants, correcting for multiple comparisons (i.e.,190). We found a positive association between the value that people attach to hedonism and the volume of the left globus pallidus (GP).We then tested whether microstructural parameters (i.e., fractional anisotropy and myelin volume fraction) of the slMFB, which connects with the GP, are also associated to hedonism and found a significant, albeit in an uncorrected level, positive association between the myelin volume fraction within the left slMFB and hedonism scores. This is the first study to elucidate the relationship between the importance people attach to the human value of hedonism and structural variation in reward-related subcortical brain regions. PMID:27473322

  10. Perfusion harmonic imaging of the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzler, Volker H.; Seidel, Guenter; Wiesmann, Martin; Meyer, Karsten; Aach, Til

    2003-05-01

    The fast visualisation of cerebral microcirculation supports diagnosis of acute cerebrovascular diseases. However, the commonly used CT/MRI-based methods are time consuming and, moreover, costly. Therefore we propose an alternative approach to brain perfusion imaging by means of ultrasonography. In spite of the low signal/noise-ratio of transcranial ultrasound and the high impedance of the skull, flow images of cerebral blood flow can be derived by capturing the kinetics of appropriate contrast agents by harmonic ultrasound image sequences. In this paper we propose three different methods for human brain perfusion imaging, each of which yielding flow images indicating the status of the patient's cerebral microcirculation by visualising local flow parameters. Bolus harmonic imaging (BHI) displays the flow kinetics of bolus injections, while replenishment (RHI) and diminution harmonic imaging (DHI) compute flow characteristics from contrast agent continuous infusions. RHI measures the contrast agents kinetics in the influx phase and DHI displays the diminution kinetics of the contrast agent acquired from the decay phase. In clinical studies, BHI- and RHI-parameter images were found to represent comprehensive and reproducible distributions of physiological cerebral blood flow. For DHI it is shown, that bubble destruction and hence perfusion phenomena principally can be displayed. Generally, perfusion harmonic imaging enables reliable and fast bedside imaging of human brain perfusion. Due to its cost efficiency it complements cerebrovascular diagnostics by established CT/MRI-based methods.

  11. Human microglial cells synthesize albumin in brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Min Ahn

    Full Text Available Albumin, an abundant plasma protein with multifunctional properties, is mainly synthesized in the liver. Albumin has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD since it can bind to and transport amyloid beta (Abeta, the causative agent of AD; albumin is also a potent inhibitor of Abeta polymerization. Despite evidence of non-hepatic transcription of albumin in many tissues including kidney and pancreas, non-hepatic synthesis of albumin at the protein level has been rarely confirmed. In a pilot phase study of Human Brain Proteome Project, we found evidence that microglial cells in brain may synthesize albumin. Here we report, for the first time, the de novo synthesis of albumin in human microglial cells in brain. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the synthesis and secretion of albumin from microglial cells is enhanced upon microglial activation by Abeta(1-42- or lipopolysaccharide (LPS-treatment. These data indicate that microglial cells may play a beneficial role in AD by secreting albumin that not only inhibits Abeta polymerization but also increases its clearance.

  12. Requirement of glycogenolysis for uptake of increased extracellular K+ in astrocytes: potential implications for K+ homeostasis and glycogen usage in brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Junnan; Song, Dan; Xue, Zhanxia; Gu, Li; Hertz, Leif; Peng, Liang

    2013-03-01

    The importance of astrocytic K(+) uptake for extracellular K(+) ([K(+)](e)) clearance during neuronal stimulation or pathophysiological conditions is increasingly acknowledged. It occurs by preferential stimulation of the astrocytic Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, which has higher K(m) and V(max) values than its neuronal counterpart, at more highly increased [K(+)](e) with additional support of the cotransporter NKCC1. Triggered by a recent DiNuzzo et al. paper, we used administration of the glycogenolysis inhibitor DAB to primary cultures of mouse astrocytes to determine whether K(+) uptake required K(+)-stimulated glycogenolysis. KCl was increased by either 5 mM (stimulating only the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase) or 10 mM (stimulating both transporters) in glucose-containing saline media prepared to become iso-osmotic after the addition. DAB completely inhibited both uptakes, the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase-mediated by preventing Na(+) uptake for stimulation of its intracellular Na(+)-activated site, and the NKCC1-mediated uptake by inhibition of depolarization- and L-channel-mediated Ca(2+) uptake. Drugs inhibiting the signaling pathways involved in either of these processes also abolished K(+) uptake. Assuming similar in vivo characteristics, partly supported by literature data, K(+)-stimulated astrocytic K(+) uptake must discontinue after normalization of extracellular K(+). This will allow Kir1.4-mediated release and reuptake by the less powerful neuronal Na(+),K(+)-ATPase.

  13. N-acetylcysteine prevents HIV gp 120-related damage of human cultured astrocytes: correlation with glutamine synthase dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Costa Nicola

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background HIV envelope gp 120 glycoprotein is released during active HIV infection of brain macrophages thereby generating inflammation and oxidative stress which contribute to the development of the AIDS-Dementia Complex (ADC. Gp120 has also been found capable to generate excitotoxic effect on brain tissue via enhancement of glutamatergic neurotransmission, leading to neuronal and astroglial damage, though the mechanism is still to be better understood. Here we investigated on the effect of N-acetylcysteine (NAC, on gp120-induced damage in human cultured astroglial cells and the possible contribution of gp120-related reacting oxygen species (ROS in the imbalanced activity of glutamine synthase (GS, the enzyme that metabolizes glutamate into glutamine within astroglial cells playing a neuroprotective role in brain disorders. Results Incubation of Lipari human cultured astroglial cells with gp 120 (0.1–10 nM produced a significant reduction of astroglial cell viability and apoptosis as evaluated by TUNEL reaction and flow cytometric analysis (FACS. This effect was accompanied by lipid peroxidation as detected by means of malondialdehyde assay (MDA. In addition, gp 120 reduced both glutamine concentration in astroglial cell supernatants and GS expression as detected by immunocytochemistry and western blotting analysis. Pre-treatment of cells with NAC (0.5–5 mM, dose-dependently antagonised astroglial apoptotic cell death induced by gp 120, an effect accompanied by significant attenuation of MDA accumulation. Furthermore, both effects were closely associated with a significant recovery of glutamine levels in cell supernatants and by GS expression, thus suggesting that overproduction of free radicals might contribute in gp 120-related dysfunction of GS in astroglial cells. Conclusion In conclusion, the present experiments demonstrate that gp 120 is toxic to astroglial cells, an effect accompanied by lipid peroxidation and by altered

  14. Inferring human intentions from the brain data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stanek, Konrad

    The human brain is a massively complex organ composed of approximately a hundred billion densely interconnected, interacting neural cells. The neurons are not wired randomly - instead, they are organized in local functional assemblies. It is believed that the complex patterns of dynamic electric...... discharges across the neural tissue are responsible for emergence of high cognitive function, conscious perception and voluntary action. The brain’s capacity to exercise free will, or internally generated free choice, has long been investigated by philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. Rather than...... assuming a causal power of conscious will, the neuroscience of volition is based on the premise that "mental states rest on brain processes”, and hence by measuring spatial and temporal correlates of volition in carefully controlled experiments we can infer about their underlying mind processes, including...

  15. Mathematical logic in the human brain: semantics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roland M Friedrich

    Full Text Available As a higher cognitive function in humans, mathematics is supported by parietal and prefrontal brain regions. Here, we give an integrative account of the role of the different brain systems in processing the semantics of mathematical logic from the perspective of macroscopic polysynaptic networks. By comparing algebraic and arithmetic expressions of identical underlying structure, we show how the different subparts of a fronto-parietal network are modulated by the semantic domain, over which the mathematical formulae are interpreted. Within this network, the prefrontal cortex represents a system that hosts three major components, namely, control, arithmetic-logic, and short-term memory. This prefrontal system operates on data fed to it by two other systems: a premotor-parietal top-down system that updates and transforms (external data into an internal format, and a hippocampal bottom-up system that either detects novel information or serves as an access device to memory for previously acquired knowledge.

  16. Mathematical logic in the human brain: semantics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Roland M; Friederici, Angela D

    2013-01-01

    As a higher cognitive function in humans, mathematics is supported by parietal and prefrontal brain regions. Here, we give an integrative account of the role of the different brain systems in processing the semantics of mathematical logic from the perspective of macroscopic polysynaptic networks. By comparing algebraic and arithmetic expressions of identical underlying structure, we show how the different subparts of a fronto-parietal network are modulated by the semantic domain, over which the mathematical formulae are interpreted. Within this network, the prefrontal cortex represents a system that hosts three major components, namely, control, arithmetic-logic, and short-term memory. This prefrontal system operates on data fed to it by two other systems: a premotor-parietal top-down system that updates and transforms (external) data into an internal format, and a hippocampal bottom-up system that either detects novel information or serves as an access device to memory for previously acquired knowledge.

  17. Tracking White Matter Fiber in Human Brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KANGNing; ZHANGJun; EricSCarlson

    2004-01-01

    A new approach for noninvasively tracing brain white matter fiber tracts is presented using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) data. This technique is based on successive anisotropic diffusion simulations over the human brain, which are utilized to construct three dimensional diffusion fronts. The fiber pathways are determined by evaluating the distance and orientation from fronts to their corresponding diffusion seeds. Real DT-MRI data are used to demonstrate the tracking scheme. It is shown that several major white matter fiber pathways can be reproduced noninvasively, with the tract branching being allowed. Since the diffusion simulation,which is a truly physical phenomenon reflecting the underlying architecture of cerebral tissues, makes full use of the entire diffusion tensor data, the proposed approach is expected to enhance robustness and reliability of the DT-MRI based fiber tracking techniques in white matter fiber reconstruction.

  18. Dedifferentiation of neurons and astrocytes by oncogenes can induce gliomas in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann-Morvinski, Dinorah; Bushong, Eric A; Ke, Eugene; Soda, Yasushi; Marumoto, Tomotoshi; Singer, Oded; Ellisman, Mark H; Verma, Inder M

    2012-11-23

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans. Here we show that gliomas can originate from differentiated cells in the central nervous system (CNS), including cortical neurons. Transduction by oncogenic lentiviral vectors of neural stem cells (NSCs), astrocytes, or even mature neurons in the brains of mice can give rise to malignant gliomas. All the tumors, irrespective of the site of lentiviral vector injection (the initiating population), shared common features of high expression of stem or progenitor markers and low expression of differentiation markers. Microarray analysis revealed that tumors of astrocytic and neuronal origin match the mesenchymal GBM subtype. We propose that most differentiated cells in the CNS upon defined genetic alterations undergo dedifferentiation to generate a NSC or progenitor state to initiate and maintain the tumor progression, as well as to give rise to the heterogeneous populations observed in malignant gliomas.

  19. 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.

  20. Astrocyte plasticity: implications for synaptic and neuronal activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirttimaki, Tiina M; Parri, H Rheinallt

    2013-12-01

    Astrocytes are increasingly implicated in a range of functions in the brain, many of which were previously ascribed to neurons. Much of the prevailing interest centers on the role of astrocytes in the modulation of synaptic transmission and their involvement in the induction of forms of plasticity such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression. However, there is also an increasing realization that astrocytes themselves can undergo plasticity. This plasticity may be manifest as changes in protein expression which may modify calcium activity within the cells, changes in morphology that affect the environment of the synapse and the extracellular space, or changes in gap junction astrocyte coupling that modify the transfer of ions and metabolites through astrocyte networks. Plasticity in the way that astrocytes release gliotransmitters can also have direct effects on synaptic activity and neuronal excitability. Astrocyte plasticity can potentially have profound effects on neuronal network activity and be recruited in pathological conditions. An emerging principle of astrocyte plasticity is that it is often induced by neuronal activity, reinforcing our emerging understanding of the working brain as a constant interaction between neurons and glial cells.

  1. Human brain lesion-deficit inference remapped.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mah, Yee-Haur; Husain, Masud; Rees, Geraint; Nachev, Parashkev

    2014-09-01

    Our knowledge of the anatomical organization of the human brain in health and disease draws heavily on the study of patients with focal brain lesions. Historically the first method of mapping brain function, it is still potentially the most powerful, establishing the necessity of any putative neural substrate for a given function or deficit. Great inferential power, however, carries a crucial vulnerability: without stronger alternatives any consistent error cannot be easily detected. A hitherto unexamined source of such error is the structure of the high-dimensional distribution of patterns of focal damage, especially in ischaemic injury-the commonest aetiology in lesion-deficit studies-where the anatomy is naturally shaped by the architecture of the vascular tree. This distribution is so complex that analysis of lesion data sets of conventional size cannot illuminate its structure, leaving us in the dark about the presence or absence of such error. To examine this crucial question we assembled the largest known set of focal brain lesions (n = 581), derived from unselected patients with acute ischaemic injury (mean age = 62.3 years, standard deviation = 17.8, male:female ratio = 0.547), visualized with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, and processed with validated automated lesion segmentation routines. High-dimensional analysis of this data revealed a hidden bias within the multivariate patterns of damage that will consistently distort lesion-deficit maps, displacing inferred critical regions from their true locations, in a manner opaque to replication. Quantifying the size of this mislocalization demonstrates that past lesion-deficit relationships estimated with conventional inferential methodology are likely to be significantly displaced, by a magnitude dependent on the unknown underlying lesion-deficit relationship itself. Past studies therefore cannot be retrospectively corrected, except by new knowledge that would render them redundant

  2. Positive selection on gene expression in the human brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khaitovich, Philipp; Tang, Kun; Franz, Henriette

    2006-01-01

    Recent work has shown that the expression levels of genes transcribed in the brains of humans and chimpanzees have changed less than those of genes transcribed in other tissues [1] . However, when gene expression changes are mapped onto the evolutionary lineage in which they occurred, the brain...... shows more changes than other tissues in the human lineage compared to the chimpanzee lineage [1] , [2] and [3] . There are two possible explanations for this: either positive selection drove more gene expression changes to fixation in the human brain than in the chimpanzee brain, or genes expressed...... in the brain experienced less purifying selection in humans than in chimpanzees, i.e. gene expression in the human brain is functionally less constrained. The first scenario would be supported if genes that changed their expression in the brain in the human lineage showed more selective sweeps than other genes...

  3. Effects of brain evolution on human nutrition and metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, William R; Snodgrass, J Josh; Robertson, Marcia L

    2007-01-01

    The evolution of large human brain size has had important implications for the nutritional biology of our species. Large brains are energetically expensive, and humans expend a larger proportion of their energy budget on brain metabolism than other primates. The high costs of large human brains are supported, in part, by our energy- and nutrient-rich diets. Among primates, relative brain size is positively correlated with dietary quality, and humans fall at the positive end of this relationship. Consistent with an adaptation to a high-quality diet, humans have relatively small gastrointestinal tracts. In addition, humans are relatively "undermuscled" and "over fat" compared with other primates, features that help to offset the high energy demands of our brains. Paleontological evidence indicates that rapid brain evolution occurred with the emergence of Homo erectus 1.8 million years ago and was associated with important changes in diet, body size, and foraging behavior.

  4. Diffusion Based Modeling of Human Brain Response to External Stimuli

    CERN Document Server

    Namazi, Hamidreza

    2012-01-01

    Human brain response is the overall ability of the brain in analyzing internal and external stimuli in the form of transferred energy to the mind/brain phase-space and thus, making the proper decisions. During the last decade scientists discovered about this phenomenon and proposed some models based on computational, biological, or neuropsychological methods. Despite some advances in studies related to this area of the brain research there was less effort which have been done on the mathematical modeling of the human brain response to external stimuli. This research is devoted to the modeling of human EEG signal, as an alert state of overall human brain activity monitoring, due to receiving external stimuli, based on fractional diffusion equation. The results of this modeling show very good agreement with the real human EEG signal and thus, this model can be used as a strong representative of the human brain activity.

  5. Physical biology of human brain development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia eBudday

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurodevelopment is a complex, dynamic process that involves a precisely orchestrated sequence of genetic, environmental, biochemical, and physical events. Developmental biology and genetics have shaped our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms during neurodevelopment. Recent studies suggest that physical forces play a central role in translating these cellular mechanisms into the complex surface morphology of the human brain. However, the precise impact of neuronal differentiation, migration, and connection on the physical forces during cortical folding remains unknown. Here we review the cellular mechanisms of neurodevelopment with a view towards surface morphogenesis, pattern selection, and evolution of shape. We revisit cortical folding as the instability problem of constrained differential growth in a multi-layered system. To identify the contributing factors of differential growth, we map out the timeline of neurodevelopment in humans and highlight the cellular events associated with extreme radial and tangential expansion. We demonstrate how computational modeling of differential growth can bridge the scales-from phenomena on the cellular level towards form and function on the organ level-to make quantitative, personalized predictions. Physics-based models can quantify cortical stresses, identify critical folding conditions, rationalize pattern selection, and predict gyral wavelengths and gyrification indices. We illustrate that physical forces can explain cortical malformations as emergent properties of developmental disorders. Combining biology and physics holds promise to advance our understanding of human brain development and enable early diagnostics of cortical malformations with the ultimate goal to improve treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy, autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia.

  6. Physical biology of human brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budday, Silvia; Steinmann, Paul; Kuhl, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Neurodevelopment is a complex, dynamic process that involves a precisely orchestrated sequence of genetic, environmental, biochemical, and physical events. Developmental biology and genetics have shaped our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms during neurodevelopment. Recent studies suggest that physical forces play a central role in translating these cellular mechanisms into the complex surface morphology of the human brain. However, the precise impact of neuronal differentiation, migration, and connection on the physical forces during cortical folding remains unknown. Here we review the cellular mechanisms of neurodevelopment with a view toward surface morphogenesis, pattern selection, and evolution of shape. We revisit cortical folding as the instability problem of constrained differential growth in a multi-layered system. To identify the contributing factors of differential growth, we map out the timeline of neurodevelopment in humans and highlight the cellular events associated with extreme radial and tangential expansion. We demonstrate how computational modeling of differential growth can bridge the scales-from phenomena on the cellular level toward form and function on the organ level-to make quantitative, personalized predictions. Physics-based models can quantify cortical stresses, identify critical folding conditions, rationalize pattern selection, and predict gyral wavelengths and gyrification indices. We illustrate that physical forces can explain cortical malformations as emergent properties of developmental disorders. Combining biology and physics holds promise to advance our understanding of human brain development and enable early diagnostics of cortical malformations with the ultimate goal to improve treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy, autism spectrum disorders, and schizophrenia.

  7. Automated regional behavioral analysis for human brain images

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lancaster, Jack L; Laird, Angela R; Eickhoff, Simon B; Martinez, Michael J; Fox, P Mickle; Fox, Peter T

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral categories of functional imaging experiments along with standardized brain coordinates of associated activations were used to develop a method to automate regional behavioral analysis of human brain images...

  8. Protein analysis through Western blot of cells excised individually from human brain and muscle tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koob, A O; Bruns, L; Prassler, C; Masliah, E; Klopstock, T; Bender, A

    2012-06-15

    Comparing protein levels from single cells in tissue has not been achieved through Western blot. Laser capture microdissection allows for the ability to excise single cells from sectioned tissue and compile an aggregate of cells in lysis buffer. In this study we analyzed proteins from cells excised individually from brain and muscle tissue through Western blot. After we excised individual neurons from the substantia nigra of the brain, the accumulated surface area of the individual cells was 120,000, 24,000, 360,000, 480,000, 600,000 μm2. We used an optimized Western blot protocol to probe for tyrosine hydroxylase in this cell pool. We also took 360,000 μm2 of astrocytes (1700 cells) and analyzed the specificity of the method. In muscle we were able to analyze the proteins of the five complexes of the electron transport chain through Western blot from 200 human cells. With this method, we demonstrate the ability to compare cell-specific protein levels in the brain and muscle and describe for the first time how to visualize proteins through Western blot from cells captured individually. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Fast optical imaging of human brain function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Gratton

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Great advancements in brain imaging during the last few decades have opened a large number of new possibilities for neuroscientists. The most dominant methodologies (electrophysiological and magnetic resonance-based methods emphasize temporal and spatial information, respectively. However, theorizing about brain function has recently emphasized the importance of rapid (within 100 ms or so interactions between different elements of complex neuronal networks. Fast optical imaging, and in particular the event-related optical signal (EROS, a technology that has emerged over the last 15 years may provide descriptions of localized (to sub-cm level brain activity with a temporal resolution of less than 100 ms. The main limitations of EROS are its limited penetration, which allows us to image cortical structures not deeper than 3 cm from the surface of the head, and its low signal-to-noise ratio. Advantages include the fact that EROS is compatible with most other imaging methods, including electrophysiological, magnetic resonance, and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation techniques, with which can be recorded concurrently. In this paper we present a summary of the research that has been conducted so far on fast optical imaging, including evidence for the possibility of recording neuronal signals with this method, the properties of the signals, and various examples of applications to the study of human cognitive neuroscience. Extant issues, controversies, and possible future developments are also discussed.

  10. Human brain : biochemical lateralization in normal subjects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayasundar R

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Chemical asymmetries in normal human brain were studied using the non-invasive technique of volume localized proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS. The technique of STEAM was used to acquire water-suppressed proton spectra from 8 ml voxels placed in bilaterally symmetrical positions in the two hemispheres of the brain. One hundred and sixty eight right-handed male volunteers were studied for six different regions in the brain (n=28, for each region. Parietal, occipital, temporal, frontal, thalamus and cerebellum regions were studied. The focus was on metabolites such as N-acetyl aspartate (NAA, creatine/phosphocreatine (Cr/PCr and choline (Cho containing compounds. Ratios of the peak areas were calculated for them. Quantitation of the metabolites were carried for data on 18 volunteers. Significant interhemispheric differences in the distribution of metabolites were observed for all the regions studied. There were statistically significant differences on right and left side for the metabolite ratios in all the regions studied. The study has shown the existence of significant lateralization in the distribution of proton MR visible metabolites for all the regions studied.

  11. BrainBank Metadata Specification for the Human Brain Project and Neuroinformatics

    OpenAIRE

    Lianglin, Hu; Yufang, Hou; Jianhui, Li; Ling, Yin; Wenwen, Shi

    2007-01-01

    Many databases and platforms for human brain data have been established in China over the years, and metadata plays an important role in understanding and using them. The BrainBank Metadata Specification for the Human Brain Project and Neuroinformatics provides a structure for describing the context and content information of BrainBank databases and services. It includes six parts: identification, method, data schema, distribution of the database, metadata extension, and metadata reference Th...

  12. Simultaneous neuron- and astrocyte-specific fluorescent marking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-03-27

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

  13. BrainBank Metadata Specification for the Human Brain Project and Neuroinformatics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hu Lianglin

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Many databases and platforms for human brain data have been established in China over the years, and metadata plays an important role in understanding and using them. The BrainBank Metadata Specification for the Human Brain Project and Neuroinformatics provides a structure for describing the context and content information of BrainBank databases and services. It includes six parts: identification, method, data schema, distribution of the database, metadata extension, and metadata reference The application of the BrainBank Metadata Specification will promote conservation and management of BrainBank databases and platforms. it will also greatly facilitate the retrieval, evaluation, acquisition, and application of the data.

  14. Model human heart or brain signals

    CERN Document Server

    Tuncay, Caglar

    2008-01-01

    A new model is suggested and used to mimic various spatial or temporal designs in biological or non biological formations where the focus is on the normal or irregular electrical signals coming from human heart (ECG) or brain (EEG). The electrical activities in several muscles (EMG) or neurons or other organs of human or various animals, such as lobster pyloric neuron, guinea pig inferior olivary neuron, sepia giant axon and mouse neocortical pyramidal neuron and some spatial formations are also considered (in Appendix). In the biological applications, several elements (cells or tissues) in an organ are taken as various entries in a representative lattice (mesh) where the entries are connected to each other in terms of some molecular diffusions or electrical potential differences. The biological elements evolve in time (with the given tissue or organ) in terms of the mentioned connections (interactions) besides some individual feedings. The anatomical diversity of the species (or organs) is handled in terms o...

  15. Distribution of melatonin receptor in human fetal brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Guo-quan; SHAO Fu-yuan; ZHAO Ying; LIU Zhi-min

    2001-01-01

    Objective: To study the distribution of 2 kinds of melatonin receptor subtypes (mtl and MT2) in human fetal brain. Methods: The fetal brain tissues were sliced and the distribution ofmelatonin receptors in human fetal brain were detected using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Results: Melatonin receptor mtl existed in the cerebellun and hypothalamus, melatonin receptor MT2 exists in hypothalamus, occipital and medulla. Conclusion: Two kinds of melatonin receptors, mtl and MT2 exist in the membrane and cytosol of brain cells, indicating that human fetal brain is a target organ of melatonin.

  16. Mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of glutamate uptake in primary astrocytes exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Christina L.; Natarajan, Vaishaali; Hayward, Stephen L.; Khalimonchuk, Oleh; Kidambi, Srivatsan

    2015-11-01

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are currently the second most produced engineered nanomaterial in the world with vast usage in consumer products leading to recurrent human exposure. Animal studies indicate significant nanoparticle accumulation in the brain while cellular toxicity studies demonstrate negative effects on neuronal cell viability and function. However, the toxicological effects of nanoparticles on astrocytes, the most abundant cells in the brain, have not been extensively investigated. Therefore, we determined the sub-toxic effect of three different TiO2 nanoparticles (rutile, anatase and commercially available P25 TiO2 nanoparticles) on primary rat cortical astrocytes. We evaluated some events related to astrocyte functions and mitochondrial dysregulation: (1) glutamate uptake; (2) redox signaling mechanisms by measuring ROS production; (3) the expression patterns of dynamin-related proteins (DRPs) and mitofusins 1 and 2, whose expression is central to mitochondrial dynamics; and (4) mitochondrial morphology by MitoTracker® Red CMXRos staining. Anatase, rutile and P25 were found to have LC50 values of 88.22 +/- 10.56 ppm, 136.0 +/- 31.73 ppm and 62.37 +/- 9.06 ppm respectively indicating nanoparticle specific toxicity. All three TiO2 nanoparticles induced a significant loss in glutamate uptake indicative of a loss in vital astrocyte function. TiO2 nanoparticles also induced an increase in reactive oxygen species generation, and a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, suggesting mitochondrial damage. TiO2 nanoparticle exposure altered expression patterns of DRPs at low concentrations (25 ppm) and apoptotic fission at high concentrations (100 ppm). TiO2 nanoparticle exposure also resulted in changes to mitochondrial morphology confirmed by mitochondrial staining. Collectively, our data provide compelling evidence that TiO2 nanoparticle exposure has potential implications in astrocyte-mediated neurological dysfunction.Titanium dioxide (Ti

  17. Sodium signaling and astrocyte energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    The Na(+) gradient across the plasma membrane is constantly exploited by astrocytes as a secondary energy source to regulate the intracellular and extracellular milieu, and discard waste products. One of the most prominent roles of astrocytes in the brain is the Na(+) -dependent clearance of glutamate released by neurons during synaptic transmission. The intracellular Na(+) load collectively generated by these processes converges at the Na,K-ATPase pump, responsible for Na(+) extrusion from the cell, which is achieved at the expense of cellular ATP. These processes represent pivotal mechanisms enabling astrocytes to increase the local availability of metabolic substrates in response to neuronal activity. This review presents basic principles linking the intracellular handling of Na(+) following activity-related transmembrane fluxes in astrocytes and the energy metabolic pathways involved. We propose a role of Na(+) as an energy currency and as a mediator of metabolic signals in the context of neuron-glia interactions. We further discuss the possible impact of the astrocytic syncytium for the distribution and coordination of the metabolic response, and the compartmentation of these processes in cellular microdomains and subcellular organelles. Finally, we illustrate future avenues of investigation into signaling mechanisms aimed at bridging the gap between Na(+) and the metabolic machinery. GLIA 2016;64:1667-1676.

  18. Astrocytes: a central element in neurological diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Evolution of the human brain: changing brain size and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Min S; Nguyen, Andrew D; Aryan, Henry E; U, Hoi Sang; Levy, Michael L; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2007-03-01

    Although the study of the human brain is a rapidly developing and expanding science, we must take pause to examine the historical and evolutionary events that helped shape the brain of Homo sapiens. From an examination of the human lineage to a discussion of evolutionary principles, we describe the basic principles and theories behind the evolution of the human brain. Specifically, we examine several theories concerning changes in overall brain size during hominid evolution and relate them to the fossil record. This overview is intended to provide a broad understanding of some of the controversial issues that are currently being debated in the multidisciplinary field of brain evolution research.

  1. Enhancing NAD+ Salvage Pathway Reverts the Toxicity of Primary Astrocytes Expressing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-linked Mutant Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harlan, Benjamin A; Pehar, Mariana; Sharma, Deep R; Beeson, Gyda; Beeson, Craig C; Vargas, Marcelo R

    2016-05-13

    Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) participates in redox reactions and NAD(+)-dependent signaling pathways. Although the redox reactions are critical for efficient mitochondrial metabolism, they are not accompanied by any net consumption of the nucleotide. On the contrary, NAD(+)-dependent signaling processes lead to its degradation. Three distinct families of enzymes consume NAD(+) as substrate: poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases, ADP-ribosyl cyclases (CD38 and CD157), and sirtuins (SIRT1-7). Because all of the above enzymes generate nicotinamide as a byproduct, mammalian cells have evolved an NAD(+) salvage pathway capable of resynthesizing NAD(+) from nicotinamide. Overexpression of the rate-limiting enzyme in this pathway, nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, increases total and mitochondrial NAD(+) levels in astrocytes. Moreover, targeting nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase to the mitochondria also enhances NAD(+) salvage pathway in astrocytes. Supplementation with the NAD(+) precursors nicotinamide mononucleotide and nicotinamide riboside also increases NAD(+) levels in astrocytes. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord, brain stem, and motor cortex. Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutations account for up to 20% of familial ALS and 1-2% of apparently sporadic ALS cases. Primary astrocytes isolated from mutant human superoxide dismutase 1-overexpressing mice as well as human post-mortem ALS spinal cord-derived astrocytes induce motor neuron death in co-culture. Increasing total and mitochondrial NAD(+) content in ALS astrocytes increases oxidative stress resistance and reverts their toxicity toward co-cultured motor neurons. Taken together, our results suggest that enhancing the NAD(+) salvage pathway in astrocytes could be a potential therapeutic target to prevent astrocyte-mediated motor neuron death in ALS.

  2. Differential distribution of Y-box-binding protein 1 and cold shock domain protein A in developing and adult human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Hans-Gert; Lindquist, Jonathan A; Keilhoff, Gerburg; Dobrowolny, Henrik; Brandt, Sabine; Steiner, Johann; Bogerts, Bernhard; Mertens, Peter R

    2015-07-01

    The two cold shock domain containing proteins, Y-box-binding protein-1 and cold shock domain protein A were immunolocalized in developing and adult human brain. With the exception of a small population of hypothalamic astrocytes, brain Y-box-binding protein-1 was predominantly found in multiple neurons in the mature human CNS, which might be related to its involvement in neurotransmission and other neuron-associated functions. Cold shock domain protein A was typically observed in astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, choroid plexus epithelia and nerve fibers. However, in circumscribed brain regions as hypothalamus, habenula, and cerebellum, this protein was also expressed in neurons. In the prenatal brain, both proteins were found to be abundantly expressed in radial glial cells, neuroblasts and neurons, which might be an anatomical correlate of the proposed roles of both proteins in cell proliferation and differentiation. In addition, Y-box-binding protein-1 was identified in cultured, lipopolysaccharide-stimulated microglial cells, which underscores its putative role as a mediator in immune and inflammatory processes.

  3. Cellular localization of Y-box binding protein 1 in brain tissue of rats, macaques, and humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horn Anja

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1 is considered to be one of the key regulators of transcription and translation. However, so far only limited knowledge exists regarding its cellular distribution in the adult brain. Results Analysis of YB-1 immunolabelling as well as double-labelling with the neuronal marker NeuN in rat brain tissue revealed a predominant neuronal expression in the dentate gyrus, the cornu ammonis pyramidal cell layer, layer III of the piriform cortex as well as throughout all layers of the parahippocampal cortex. In the hilus of the hippocampus single neurons expressed YB-1. The neuronal expression pattern was comparable in the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex of adult macaques and humans. Double-labelling of YB-1 with the endothelial cell marker Glut-1, the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein, and the astrocytic marker GFAP did not indicate a co-localization. Following status epilepticus in rats, no induction of YB-1 occurred in brain capillary endothelial cells and neurons. Conclusion In conclusion, our study demonstrates that YB-1 is predominantly expressed in neurons in the adult brain of rats, macaques and humans. Lack of a co-localization with Glut-1 and P-glycoprotein argues against a direct role of YB-1 in the regulation of blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein.

  4. Comparative primate neuroimaging: insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-01-01

    Comparative neuroimaging can identify unique features of the human brain and teach us about human brain evolution. Comparisons with chimpanzees, our closest living primate relative, are critical in this endeavor. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to compare brain size development, brain structure proportions and brain aging. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has been used to compare resting brain glucose metabolism. Functional MRI (fMRI) has been used to compare auditory and visual system pathways, as well as resting-state networks of connectivity. Finally, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has been used to compare structural connectivity. Collectively, these methods have revealed human brain specializations with respect to development, cortical organization, connectivity, and aging. These findings inform our knowledge of the evolutionary changes responsible for the special features of the modern human mind.

  5. [Neuroethics: Ethical Endowments of Human Brain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Moratalla, Natalia

    2015-01-01

    The neurobiological processes underlying moral judgement have been the focus of Neuroethics. Neurosciences demonstrate which cerebral areas are active and inactive whilst people decide how to act when facing a moral dilemma; in this way we know the correlation between determined cerebral areas and our human acts. We can explain how the ″ethical endowments″ of each person, common to all human beings, is ″embedded″ in the dynamic of cerebral flows. Of central interest is whether emotions play a causal role in moral judgement, and, in parallel, how emotion related areas of the brain contribute to moral judgement. The outcome of man's natural inclinations is on one hand linked to instinctive systems of animal survival and to basic emotions, and on the other, to the life of each individual human uninhibited by automatism of the biological laws, because he is governed by the laws of freedom. The capacity to formulate an ethical judgement is an innate asset of the human mind.

  6. Mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of glutamate uptake in primary astrocytes exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Christina L; Natarajan, Vaishaali; Hayward, Stephen L; Khalimonchuk, Oleh; Kidambi, Srivatsan

    2015-11-28

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are currently the second most produced engineered nanomaterial in the world with vast usage in consumer products leading to recurrent human exposure. Animal studies indicate significant nanoparticle accumulation in the brain while cellular toxicity studies demonstrate negative effects on neuronal cell viability and function. However, the toxicological effects of nanoparticles on astrocytes, the most abundant cells in the brain, have not been extensively investigated. Therefore, we determined the sub-toxic effect of three different TiO2 nanoparticles (rutile, anatase and commercially available P25 TiO2 nanoparticles) on primary rat cortical astrocytes. We evaluated some events related to astrocyte functions and mitochondrial dysregulation: (1) glutamate uptake; (2) redox signaling mechanisms by measuring ROS production; (3) the expression patterns of dynamin-related proteins (DRPs) and mitofusins 1 and 2, whose expression is central to mitochondrial dynamics; and (4) mitochondrial morphology by MitoTracker® Red CMXRos staining. Anatase, rutile and P25 were found to have LC50 values of 88.22 ± 10.56 ppm, 136.0 ± 31.73 ppm and 62.37 ± 9.06 ppm respectively indicating nanoparticle specific toxicity. All three TiO2 nanoparticles induced a significant loss in glutamate uptake indicative of a loss in vital astrocyte function. TiO2 nanoparticles also induced an increase in reactive oxygen species generation, and a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, suggesting mitochondrial damage. TiO2 nanoparticle exposure altered expression patterns of DRPs at low concentrations (25 ppm) and apoptotic fission at high concentrations (100 ppm). TiO2 nanoparticle exposure also resulted in changes to mitochondrial morphology confirmed by mitochondrial staining. Collectively, our data provide compelling evidence that TiO2 nanoparticle exposure has potential implications in astrocyte-mediated neurological dysfunction.

  7. Creatine synthesis and exchanges between brain cells: What can be learned from human creatine deficiencies and various experimental models?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna-El-Daher, Layane; Braissant, Olivier

    2016-08-01

    While it has long been thought that most of cerebral creatine is of peripheral origin, the last 20 years has provided evidence that the creatine synthetic pathway (AGAT and GAMT enzymes) is expressed in the brain together with the creatine transporter (SLC6A8). It has also been shown that SLC6A8 is expressed by microcapillary endothelial cells at the blood-brain barrier, but is absent from surrounding astrocytes, raising the concept that the blood-brain barrier has a limited permeability for peripheral creatine. The first creatine deficiency syndrome in humans was also discovered 20 years ago (GAMT deficiency), followed later by AGAT and SLC6A8 deficiencies, all three diseases being characterized by creatine deficiency in the CNS and essentially affecting the brain. By reviewing the numerous and latest experimental studies addressing creatine transport and synthesis in the CNS, as well as the clinical and biochemical characteristics of creatine-deficient patients, our aim was to delineate a clearer view of the roles of the blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barriers in the transport of creatine and guanidinoacetate between periphery and CNS, and on the intracerebral synthesis and transport of creatine. This review also addresses the question of guanidinoacetate toxicity for brain cells, as probably found under GAMT deficiency.

  8. The nuclear retention of transcription factor FOXO3a correlates with a DNA damage response and increased glutamine synthetase expression by astrocytes suggesting a neuroprotective role in the ageing brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fluteau, Adeline; Ince, Paul G; Minett, Thais; Matthews, Fiona E; Brayne, Carol; Garwood, Claire J; Ratcliffe, Laura E; Morgan, Sarah; Heath, Paul R; Shaw, Pamela J; Wharton, Stephen B; Simpson, Julie E

    2015-11-16

    The accumulation of reactive oxygen species leading to oxidative damage and cell death plays an important role in a number of neurodegenerative disorders. FOXO3a, the main isoform of FOXO transcription factors, mediates the cellular response to oxidative stress by regulating the expression of genes involved in DNA repair and glutamine metabolism, including glutamine synthetase (GS). Immunohistochemical investigation of the population-based neuropathology cohort of the Medical Research Council's Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFAS) demonstrates that nuclear retention of FOXO3a significantly correlates with a DNA damage response and with GS expression by astrocytes. Furthermore, we show that GS expression correlates with increasing Alzheimer-type pathology in this ageing cohort. Our findings suggest that in response to oxidative stress, the nuclear retention of FOXO3a in astrocytes upregulates expression of GS as a neuroprotective mechanism. However, the activity of GS may be compromised by increasing levels of oxidative stress in the ageing brain resulting in dysfunctional enzyme activity, neuronal excitotoxic damage and cognitive impairment.

  9. 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.

  10. Imaging activity in astrocytes and neurons with genetically encoded calcium indicators following in utero electroporation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Michael eGee

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Complex interactions between networks of astrocytes and neurons are beginning to be appreciated, but remain poorly understood. Transgenic mice expressing fluorescent protein reporters of cellular activity, such as the GCaMP family of genetically encoded calcium indicators, have been used to explore network behavior. However, in some cases, it may be desirable to use long-established rat models that closely mimic particular aspects of human conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and the development of epilepsy following status epilepticus. Methods for expressing reporter proteins in the rat brain are relatively limited. Transgenic rat technologies exist but are fairly immature. Viral-mediated expression is robust but unstable, requires invasive injections, and only works well for fairly small genes (< 5 kb. In utero electroporation offers a valuable alternative. IUE is a proven method for transfecting populations of astrocytes and neurons in the rat brain without the strict limitations on transgene size. We built a toolset of IUE plasmids carrying GCaMP variants 3, 6s or 6f driven by CAG and targeted to the cytosol or the plasma membrane. Because low baseline fluorescence of GCaMP can hinder identification of transfected cells, we included the option of co-expressing a cytosolic tdTomato protein. A binary system consisting of a plasmid carrying a piggyBac inverted terminal repeat-flanked CAG-GCaMP-IRES-tdTomato cassette and a separate plasmid encoding for expression of piggyBac transposase was employed to stably express GCaMP and tdTomato. The plasmids were co-electroporated on embryonic days 13.5-14.5 and astrocytic and neuronal activity was subsequently imaged in acute or cultured brain slices prepared from the cortex or hippocampus. Large spontaneous transients were detected in slices obtained from rats of varying ages up to 127 days. In this report, we demonstrate the utility of this toolset for interrogating astrocytic and neuronal

  11. Brain-Computer Interfaces and Human-Computer Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tan, Desney; Nijholt, Anton; Tan, Desney S.; Nijholt, Anton

    2010-01-01

    Advances in cognitive neuroscience and brain imaging technologies have started to provide us with the ability to interface directly with the human brain. This ability is made possible through the use of sensors that can monitor some of the physical processes that occur within the brain that correspo

  12. Brain-Computer Interfaces and Human-Computer Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tan, Desney; Tan, Desney S.; Nijholt, Antinus

    2010-01-01

    Advances in cognitive neuroscience and brain imaging technologies have started to provide us with the ability to interface directly with the human brain. This ability is made possible through the use of sensors that can monitor some of the physical processes that occur within the brain that

  13. Dynamic analysis of the human brain with complex cerebral sulci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Jung-Ge; Huang, Bo-Wun; Ou, Yi-Wen; Yen, Ke-Tien; Wu, Yi-Te

    2016-07-03

    The brain is one of the most vulnerable organs inside the human body. Head accidents often appear in daily life and are easy to cause different level of brain damage inside the skull. Once the brain suffered intense locomotive impact, external injuries, falls, or other accidents, it will result in different degrees of concussion. This study employs finite element analysis to compare the dynamic characteristics between the geometric models of an assumed simple brain tissue and a brain tissue with complex cerebral sulci. It is aimed to understand the free vibration of the internal brain tissue and then to protect the brain from injury caused by external influences. Reverse engineering method is used for a Classic 5-Part Brain (C18) model produced by 3B Scientific Corporation. 3D optical scanner is employed to scan the human brain structure model with complex cerebral sulci and imported into 3D graphics software to construct a solid brain model to simulate the real complex brain tissue. Obtaining the normal mode analysis by inputting the material properties of the true human brain into finite element analysis software, and then to compare the simplified and the complex of brain models.

  14. Directed migration of human neural progenitor cells to interleukin-1β is promoted by chemokines stromal cell-derived factor-1 and monocyte chemotactic factor-1 in mouse brains

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    Wu Yumei

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurogenesis, including the proliferation, migration and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs, is impaired in HIV-1 associated dementia (HAD. We previously demonstrated HIV-1-infected macrophages (HIV-MDM regulate stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1 production in astrocytes through Interleukin-1β (IL-1β. Chemokines are known to induce NPC migration; however, it remains unclear how chemokines produced in inflammation regulate NPC migration. Methods The secretion of SDF-1 and Monocyte chemotactic preotein-1 (MCP-1 in astrocytes upon IL-1β stimulation was measured by ELISA assay. Human NPCs were injected parallel along with IL-1β, SDF-1 or MCP-1 intracranially into basal ganglion 1 mm apart in SCID mice, and immunofluorescent staining was used to study the survival and migration of injected human NPCs. Results SDF-1 and MCP-1 are secreted by astrocytes upon IL-1β stimulation in a time-dependent manner. Injected human NPCs survived in SCID mice and migrated towards sites of IL-1β, SDF-1 and MCP-1 injection. Conclusions In conclusion, chemokines SDF-1 or MCP-1 secreted by astrocytes in the presence of IL-1β injection are attractive to NPCs injected into SCID mouse brains, suggesting that SDF-1 and MCP-1 play important roles in NPC migration during neuroinflammation.

  15. Origin and development of human retinal astrocyte%人视网膜星形胶质细胞发育及起源的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙立梅; 李永平; 张卉颖; 张文忻

    2012-01-01

    Background Retinal astrocytes are the main glial cells of retina,their origin and evolution progress are always the hot and difficult points in domestic and foreign researches. Objective This study was to explore the origin and development of retinal astrocytes in human fetal retina. Methods Thirty-three human embryonic eyes were collected from the abortion with the embryonic ages of 8-12 gestation weeks (20 eyes),15-17 gestation weeks ( 2 eyes),19-23 gestation weeks ( 4 eyes ),25 - 28 gestation weeks ( 4 eyes ),30 - 32 gestation weeks (3 eyes).The section of eyeball wall was prepared to observe the morphology and structure of different embryonic ages of retinas by regular histopathology examination.The origin of human embryonic retinal astrocytes was assessed by evaluating the change of GFAP expression in different embryonic ages of retinas using immunochemistry and immunofluorescence under the light and laser scanning confocal microscope.Theresearch was approved by the the Ethics Committee. Results The optic cup in embryonic 6- 7 weeks was in the retinal layering phase.Some immature short or round spindle-like cells appeared in primitive non-cell layer in the inner layer of the optic cup in embryonic 9 weeks of eyes.There were no positive GFAP-immunoactive cell was detected until embryonic 15 weeks of eyes.Some spindle-like cells migrated from a single layer primitive neuroepithelium next to optic disc expressing GFAP in the eyes with embryonic 19 weeks,and positive immunostaing for GFAP were detected in stellate cells surround blood vessels,and some seem to form the vessel wall in the ganglion cell layer and nerve fiber layer of the fetal central retina from 25 weeks through 26 weeks.Some positive response cells for GFAP presented in inner layer of the retina closed to ora serrata with the connection to nonpigmented epithelium (NPE) of the ciliary body during this period.Human retinal astrocytes showed typical stellate-like in shape,and the cellular processes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagao, Yuki; Harada, Yuya; Mukai, Takahiro; Shimizu, Saki; Okuda, Aoi; Fujimoto, Megumi; Ono, Asuka; Sakagami, Yoshihisa; Ohno, Yukihiro

    2013-01-01

    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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagao, Yuki; Harada, Yuya; Mukai, Takahiro; Shimizu, Saki; Okuda, Aoi; Fujimoto, Megumi; Ono, Asuka; Sakagami, Yoshihisa; Ohno, Yukihiro

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23922547

  19. Thresholding magnetic resonance images of human brain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qing-mao HU; Wieslaw L NOWINSKI

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, methods are proposed and validated to determine low and high thresholds to segment out gray matter and white matter for MR images of different pulse sequences of human brain. First, a two-dimensional reference image is determined to represent the intensity characteristics of the original three-dimensional data. Then a region of interest of the reference image is determined where brain tissues are present. The non-supervised fuzzy c-means clustering is employed to determine: the threshold for obtaining head mask, the low threshold for T2-weighted and PD-weighted images, and the high threshold for T1-weighted, SPGR and FLAIR images. Supervised range-constrained thresholding is employed to determine the low threshold for T1-weighted, SPGR and FLAIR images. Thresholding based on pairs of boundary pixels is proposed to determine the high threshold for T2- and PD-weighted images. Quantification against public data sets with various noise and inhomogeneity levels shows that the proposed methods can yield segmentation robust to noise and intensity inhomogeneity. Qualitatively the proposed methods work well with real clinical data.

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

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    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.

  1. Cristobalite and Hematite Particles in Human Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopani, Martin; Kopaniova, A; Trnka, M; Caplovicova, M; Rychly, B; Jakubovsky, J

    2016-11-01

    Foreign substances get into the internal environment of living bodies and accumulate in various organs. Cristobalite and hematite particles in the glial cells of pons cerebri of human brain with diagnosis of Behhet disease with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive microanalysis (EDX), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with diffraction were identified. SEM with EDX revealed the matter of irregular micrometer-sized particles sometimes forming polyhedrons with fibrilar or stratified structure. It was found in some particles Ti, Fe, and Zn. Some particles contained Cu. TEM and electron diffraction showed particles of cristobalite and hematite. The presence of the particles can be a result of environmental effect, disruption of normal metabolism, and transformation of physiologically iron-ferrihydrite into more stable form-hematite. From the size of particles can be drawn the long-term accumulation of elements in glial cells.

  2. Cerebral Organoids Recapitulate Epigenomic Signatures of the Human Fetal Brain

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    Chongyuan Luo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells recapitulate the early three-dimensional organization of the human brain, but whether they establish the epigenomic and transcriptional programs essential for brain development is unknown. We compared epigenomic and regulatory features in cerebral organoids and human fetal brain, using genome-wide, base resolution DNA methylome and transcriptome sequencing. Transcriptomic dynamics in organoids faithfully modeled gene expression trajectories in early-to-mid human fetal brains. We found that early non-CG methylation accumulation at super-enhancers in both fetal brain and organoids marks forthcoming transcriptional repression in the fully developed brain. Demethylated regions (74% of 35,627 identified during organoid differentiation overlapped with fetal brain regulatory elements. Interestingly, pericentromeric repeats showed widespread demethylation in multiple types of in vitro human neural differentiation models but not in fetal brain. Our study reveals that organoids recapitulate many epigenomic features of mid-fetal human brain and also identified novel non-CG methylation signatures of brain development.

  3. Stereological estimation of total brain numbers in humans

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    Solveig eWalloe

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Our knowledge of the relationship between brain structure and cognitive function is still limited. Human brains and individual cortical areas vary considerably in size and shape. Studies of brain cell numbers have historically been based on biased methods, which did not always result in correct estimates and were often very time-consuming. Within the last 20–30 years, it has become possible to rely on more advanced and unbiased methods. These methods have provided us with information about fetal brain development, differences in cell numbers between men and women, the effect of age on selected brain cell populations, and disease-related changes associated with a loss of function. In that this article concerns normal brain rather than brain disorders, it focuses on normal brain development in humans and age related changes in terms of cell numbers. For comparative purposes a few examples of neocortical neuron number in other mammals are also presented.

  4. Changes in cognitive state alter human functional brain networks

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    Malaak Nasser Moussa

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of the brain as a whole system can be accomplished using network theory principles. Research has shown that human functional brain networks during a resting state exhibit small-world properties and high degree nodes, or hubs, localized to brain areas consistent with the default mode network (DMN. However, the study of brain networks across different tasks and or cognitive states has been inconclusive. Research in this field is important because the underpinnings of behavioral output are inherently dependent on whether or not brain networks are dynamic. This is the first comprehensive study to evaluate multiple network metrics at a voxel-wise resolution in the human brain at both the whole brain and regional level under various conditions: resting state, visual stimulation, and multisensory (auditory and visual stimulation. Our results show that despite global network stability, functional brain networks exhibit considerable task-induced changes in connectivity, efficiency, and community structure at the regional level.

  5. Enterovirus 71 VP1 activates calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and results in the rearrangement of vimentin in human astrocyte cells.

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    Cong Haolong

    Full Text Available Enterovirus 71 (EV71 is one of the main causative agents of foot, hand and mouth disease. Its infection usually causes severe central nervous system diseases and complications in infected infants and young children. In the present study, we demonstrated that EV71 infection caused the rearrangement of vimentin in human astrocytoma cells. The rearranged vimentin, together with various EV71 components, formed aggresomes-like structures in the perinuclear region. Electron microscopy and viral RNA labeling indicated that the aggresomes were virus replication sites since most of the EV71 particles and the newly synthesized viral RNA were concentrated here. Further analysis revealed that the vimentin in the virus factories was serine-82 phosphorylated. More importantly, EV71 VP1 protein is responsible for the activation of calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK-II which phosphorylated the N-terminal domain of vimentin on serine 82. Phosphorylation of vimentin and the formation of aggresomes were required for the replication of EV71 since the latter was decreased markedly after phosphorylation was blocked by KN93, a CaMK-II inhibitor. Thus, as one of the consequences of CaMK-II activation, vimentin phosphorylation and rearrangement may support virus replication by playing a structural role for the formation of the replication factories. Collectively, this study identified the replication centers of EV71 in human astrocyte cells. This may help us understand the replication mechanism and pathogenesis of EV71 in human.

  6. Progressive Motor Neuron Pathology and the Role of Astrocytes in a Human Stem Cell Model of VCP-Related ALS

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    Claire E. Hall

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons (MNs and astrocytes (ACs are implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, but their interaction and the sequence of molecular events leading to MN death remain unresolved. Here, we optimized directed differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs into highly enriched (> 85% functional populations of spinal cord MNs and ACs. We identify significantly increased cytoplasmic TDP-43 and ER stress as primary pathogenic events in patient-specific valosin-containing protein (VCP-mutant MNs, with secondary mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Cumulatively, these cellular stresses result in synaptic pathology and cell death in VCP-mutant MNs. We additionally identify a cell-autonomous VCP-mutant AC survival phenotype, which is not attributable to the same molecular pathology occurring in VCP-mutant MNs. Finally, through iterative co-culture experiments, we uncover non-cell-autonomous effects of VCP-mutant ACs on both control and mutant MNs. This work elucidates molecular events and cellular interplay that could guide future therapeutic strategies in ALS.

  7. [Human brain resource--experience at the Brain Research Institute,University of Niigata].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi

    2010-10-01

    Through 40 years of neuropathological practice,the Brain Research Institute, University of Niigata (BRI-Niigata), Japan has accumulated extensive human brain resource,including fresh-frozen brain slices,for scientific research. Over 30,000 slices obtained from consecutive autopsies have been systematically stored in 25 deep freezers. Establishment of effective networks between brain banks and institutional collections in Japan is essential for promoting scientific activities that require human brain resource. We at the BRI-Niigata are eager to contribute to the establishment of such networks.

  8. "Messing with the Mind: Evolutionary Challenges to Human Brain Augmentation

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    ARTHUR eSANIOTIS

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The issue of brain augmentation has received considerable scientific attention over the last two decades. A key factor to brain augmentation that has been widely overlooked are the complex evolutionary processes which have taken place in evolving the human brain to its current state of functioning. Like other bodily organs, the human brain has been subject to the forces of biological adaptation. The structure and function of the brain, is very complex and only now we are beginning to understand some of the basic concepts of co