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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (13)
- Journal of Neurochemistry
- The European Journal of Neuroscience
- Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience
- Brain : a Journal of Neurology
- The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
- Brain : a Journal of Neurology
- Journal of Neurochemistry
- Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
- The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
- PloS One
- Journal of Neuroscience Methods
- Developmental Neurobiology
Articles by Jessica C. Kwok in JoVE
Analysis of Schwann-astrocyte Interactions Using In Vitro Assays
Fardad T. Afshari, Jessica C. Kwok, James W. Fawcett
Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge
This article intends to describe in stepwise fashion the commonly used in vitro assays used in studying Schwann cell-asrtocyte interactions.
Other articles by Jessica C. Kwok on PubMed
Chondroitinase ABC Has a Long-lasting Effect on Chondroitin Sulphate Glycosaminoglycan Content in the Injured Rat Brain
Journal of Neurochemistry. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18005340
Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are axon growth inhibitory molecules present in the glial scar that play a part in regeneration failure after damage to the CNS and which restrict CNS plasticity. Removal of chondroitin sulphate glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains with chondroitinase-ABC (chABC) in models of CNS injury promotes both axon regeneration and plasticity. We have analysed the immediate and long-term effects of a single injection of chABC on CSPGs, GAGs and axon regeneration. We made unilateral nigrostriatal lesions in adult rats accompanied by an adjacent infusion of either chABC or a bacterial-derived control enzyme (penicillinase). Within 24 h of chABC treatment there was digestion of GAGs, including hyaluronan, and a reduction in neurocan in an area extending 1.5 mm around the injection site. Around 50% of GAG is inaccessible to chABC digestion, even in tissue digested in vitro, which probably represents intracellular stores. In control penicillinase treated animals, total GAGs recovered from the lesioned brains were up-regulated by 4-fold 7 days after injury and gradually decreased to normal at 28 days post-lesion. In chondroitinase-treated animals, the total GAG remained at low level throughout the 28-day experimental period. This suggests the persistence of active chABC for at least 10 days after injection which is able to digest CSPGs released from cells during this time. This was confirmed by immunological detection of enzyme for 10 days and by retrieval of active enzyme from the brain at 10 days after injection. Our results suggest that a single injection of chABC can produce an environment conducive to CNS repair for over 10 days.
Distribution and Synthesis of Extracellular Matrix Proteoglycans, Hyaluronan, Link Proteins and Tenascin-R in the Rat Spinal Cord
The European Journal of Neuroscience. Mar, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18364019
Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are dense extracellular matrix (ECM) structures that form around many neuronal cell bodies and dendrites late in development. They contain several chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs), hyaluronan, link proteins and tenascin-R. Their time of appearance correlates with the ending of the critical period for plasticity, and they have been implicated in this process. The distribution of PNNs in the spinal cord was examined using Wisteria floribunda agglutinin lectin and staining for chondroitin sulphate stubs after chondroitinase digestion. Double labelling with the neuronal marker, NeuN, showed that PNNs were present surrounding approximately 30% of motoneurons in the ventral horn, 50% of large interneurons in the intermediate grey and 20% of neurons in the dorsal horn. These PNNs formed in the second week of postnatal development. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that the PNNs contain a mixture of CSPGs, hyaluronan, link proteins and tenascin-R. Of the CSPGs, aggrecan was present in all PNNs while neurocan, versican and phosphacan/RPTPbeta were present in some but not all PNNs. In situ hybridization showed that aggrecan and cartilage link protein (CRTL 1) and brain link protein-2 (BRAL 2) are produced by neurons. PNN-bearing neurons express hyaluronan synthase, and this enzyme and phosphacan/RPTPbeta may attach PNNs to the cell surface. During postnatal development the expression of link protein and aggrecan mRNA is up-regulated at the time of PNN formation, and these molecules may therefore trigger their formation.
Proteoglycans in the Central Nervous System: Plasticity, Regeneration and Their Stimulation with Chondroitinase ABC
Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18820407
After injury to the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), neurons are not able to regenerate their axons and recovery is limited by restricted plasticity. Axon regeneration is inhibited by the presence of the various inhibitory molecules, including chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) which are upregulated around the injury site. Plasticity after the end of critical periods is restricted by extracellular matrix changes, particularly the formation of CSPG-containing perineuronal nets. Enzymatic removal of chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains with chondroitinase ABC promotes axon regeneration and reactivates plasticity. This review details the structures and properties of the different CSPGs in the normal and damaged CNS, the use of the enzyme chondroitinase ABC to promote neural regeneration and plasticity, and discusses mechanisms of action and possible therapeutic uses of this enzyme.
Glia. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20155822
Schwann cells transplantation has considerable promise in spinal cord trauma to bridge the site of injury and for remyelination in demyelinating conditions. They support axonal regeneration and sprouting by secreting growth factors and providing a permissive surface and matrix molecules while shielding axons from the inhibitory environment of the central nervous system. However, following transplantation Schwann cells show limited migratory ability and they are unable to intermingle with the host astrocytes. This in turn leads to formation of a sharp boundary and an abrupt transition between the Schwann cell graft and the host tissue astrocytes, therefore preventing regenerating axons from exiting the graft. The objective of this study was to identify inhibitory elements on astrocytes involved in restricting Schwann cell migration. Using in vitro assays of cell migration, we show that aggrecan produced by astrocytes is involved in the inhibition of Schwann cell motility on astrocytic monolayers. Knockdown of this proteoglycan in astrocytes using RNAi or digestion of glycosaminglycan chains on aggrecan improves Schwann cell migration. We further show aggrecan mediates its effect by disruption of integrin function in Schwann cells, and that the inhibitory effects of aggrecan can overcome by activation of Schwann cell integrins.
Integrin Activation or Alpha 9 Expression Allows Retinal Pigmented Epithelial Cell Adhesion on Bruch's Membrane in Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration
Brain : a Journal of Neurology. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20159768
Retinal pigment epithelial cell malfunction is a causative feature of age-related macular degeneration, and transplantation of new retinal pigment epithelial cells is an attractive strategy to prevent further progression and visual loss. However, transplants have shown limited efficacy, mainly because transplanted cells fail to adhere and migrate onto pathological Bruch's membrane. Adhesion to Bruch's membrane is integrin-mediated. Ageing of Bruch's membrane leads to a decline in integrin ligands and, added to this, wet age-related macular degeneration leads to upregulation of anti-adhesive molecules such as tenascin-C. We have therefore investigated whether manipulation of integrin function in retinal pigment epithelial cells can restore their adhesion and migration on wet age-related macular degeneration-damaged Bruch's membrane. Using spontaneously immortalized human retinal pigment epithelial cells (adult retinal pigment epithelium-19), we show that adhesion and migration on the Bruch's membrane components is integrin-dependent and enhanced by integrin-activating agents manganese and TS2/16. These allowed cells to adhere and migrate on low concentrations of ligand, as would be found in aged Bruch's membrane. We next developed a method for stripping cells from Bruch's membrane so that adhesion and migration assays can be performed on its surface. Integrin activation had a moderate effect on enhancing retinal pigmented epithelial cell adhesion and migration on normal human and rat Bruch's membrane. However, on Bruch's membrane prepared from human wet age-related macular degeneration-affected eyes, adhesion was lower and integrin activation had a much greater effect. A candidate molecule for preventing retinal pigmented epithelial interaction with age-related macular degeneration-affected Bruch's membrane is tenascin-C which we confirm is present at high levels in wet age-related macular degeneration membrane. We show that tenascin-C is anti-adhesive for retinal pigmented epithelial cells, but after integrin activation, they can adhere and migrate on it using alphaVbeta3 integrin. Alternatively, we find that transduction of retinal pigmented epithelial cells with alpha9 integrin, a tenascin-C-binding integrin, led to a large increase in alpha9beta1-mediated adhesion and migration on tenascin-C. Both expression of alpha9 integrin and integrin activation greatly enhanced the ability of retinal pigment epithelial cells to adhere to tenascin-rich wet age-related macular degeneration-affected Bruch's membranes. Our results suggest that manipulation of retinal pigment epithelial cell integrins through integrin activating strategies, or expression of new integrins such as alpha9, could be effective in improving the efficacy of retinal pigment epithelial cell transplantation in wet age-related macular degeneration-affected eyes.
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20335460
Schwann cells are a promising candidate for bridging spinal cord injuries and remyelinating axons. However, grafted Schwann cells show little intermingling with host astrocytes and therefore limited migration from transplant sites. This leads to the formation of a sharp border between host astrocytes and Schwann cells, which results in axons stalling at the graft-host interface and failing to exit the graft. We investigated the possibility that Eph/ephrin interactions are involved in the segregation of Schwann cells and astrocytes and in limiting Schwann cell migration. Using reverse transcription-PCR, we have characterized the ephrin and Eph profile in cultured Schwann cells and astrocytes, showing that astrocytes produce all the ephrinAs and Schwann cells produce the receptors EphA2, EphA4, and EphA7. Several ephrinAs inhibit Schwann cell migration on laminin, with ephrinA5 being the most effective. Blocking the EphA receptors with excess EphA4-Fc increases Schwann cell migration on astrocytes and improves Schwann-astrocyte intermingling. We show that the action of ephrinA5 on Schwann cells is mediated via VAV2. Both clustered ephrinA5 and astrocyte contact increases the phosphorylation of VAV2 in Schwann cells. Knockdown of VAV2 abrogates the inhibitory effect of clustered ephrinA5 on migration and increases the ability of Schwann cells to migrate on astrocytes. In addition, we found a role for ephrinA5 in inhibiting Schwann cell integrin signaling and function. Overall, we suggest that Eph/ephrin interactions inhibit Schwann cell migration and intermingling with astrocytes via VAV signaling affecting integrin function.
Brain : a Journal of Neurology. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20566484
Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix restrict plasticity in the adult central nervous system and their digestion with chondroitinase reactivates plasticity. However the structures in the extracellular matrix that restrict plasticity are unknown. There are many changes in the extracellular matrix as critical periods for plasticity close, including changes in chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan core protein levels, changes in glycosaminoglycan sulphation and the appearance of dense chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan-containing perineuronal nets around many neurons. We show that formation of perineuronal nets is triggered by neuronal production of cartilage link protein Crtl1 (Hapln1), which is up-regulated in the visual cortex as perineuronal nets form during development and after dark rearing. Mice lacking Crtl1 have attenuated perineuronal nets, but the overall levels of chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans and their pattern of glycan sulphation are unchanged. Crtl1 knockout animals retain juvenile levels of ocular dominance plasticity and their visual acuity remains sensitive to visual deprivation. In the sensory pathway, axons in knockout animals but not controls sprout into the party denervated cuneate nucleus. The organization of chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan into perineuronal nets is therefore the key event in the control of central nervous system plasticity by the extracellular matrix.
In Vitro Modeling of Perineuronal Nets: Hyaluronan Synthase and Link Protein Are Necessary for Their Formation and Integrity
Journal of Neurochemistry. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20584105
We have previously shown that all perineuronal nets (PNNs) bearing neurons express a hyaluronan synthase (HAS), a link protein (usually cartilage link protein-1; Crtl1) and a chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (usually aggrecan). Animal lacking Crtl1 in the CNS lacks normal PNNs. PNNs are implicated in the control of neuronal plasticity, and interventions to modulate PNN formation will be useful for manipulating plasticity. We have developed an in vitro model which demonstrates how the structural components of PNNs trigger their formation, using human embryonic kidney cells, which do not normally produce a pericellular matrix. Expression of HAS3 leads to the production of a diffuse matrix. It was converted into a compact PNN-like structure when the cells also expressed Crtl1 and aggrecan. This matrix was stained by Wisteria floribunda, contained Crtl1 and aggrecan, and like PNNs, could only be solubilized in 6 M urea. In the absence of hyaluronan produced by HAS3, aggrecan and Crtl1 dissipated into the medium, but when the cells were transfected to produce a hyaluronan matrix, Crtl1 and aggrecan were incorporated into it. Cells lacking any one of these molecules showed impaired integrity of the PNNs. Cells expressing HAS3 and Crtl1 were able to incorporate exogenous aggrecan into their pericellular matrix.
Controlled Release of Chondroitinase ABC from Fibrin Gel Reduces the Level of Inhibitory Glycosaminoglycan Chains in Lesioned Spinal Cord
Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20620180
Chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) is a bacterial enzyme that can enhance plasticity following injury to the central nervous system (CNS) by degrading the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) side chains of proteoglycans. CNS lesions treated with ChABC often show enhanced axonal sprouting and improved functional recovery and there is therefore much interest in the potential use of ChABC as a clinical treatment in humans. When highly concentrated fibrin gel containing ChABC was implanted adjacent to a spinal cord lesion, bioactive ChABC was detectable in the spinal cord for at least three weeks. Nearly six times more bioactive ChABC was detected in the spinal cord 3 weeks after injury when the fibrin delivery system was used vs. an intraspinal injection of ChABC (61+/-30 mU vs. 11+/-4 mU). Furthermore, 3 weeks after injury the level of inhibitory GAG found in injured spinal cord treated with the delivery system was 37% lower than the level of GAG in spinal cord treated with an injection of ChABC. When using the delivery system, 24.4% of the initial ChABC dose could still be detected in the lesion after 3 weeks, compared to just 4.4% when using an intraspinal injection of ChABC.
Integrin Activation Promotes Axon Growth on Inhibitory Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans by Enhancing Integrin Signaling
The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21525268
Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are upregulated after CNS lesions, where they inhibit axon regeneration. In order for axon growth and regeneration to occur, surface integrin receptors must interact with surrounding extracellular matrix molecules. We have explored the hypothesis that CSPGs inhibit regeneration by inactivating integrins and that forcing integrins into an active state might overcome this inhibition. Using cultured rat sensory neurons, we show that the CSPG aggrecan inhibits laminin-mediated axon growth by impairing integrin signaling via decreasing phosphorylated FAK (pFAK) and pSrc levels, without affecting surface integrin levels. Forcing integrin activation and signaling by manganese or an activating antibody TS2/16 reversed the inhibitory effect of aggrecan on mixed aggrecan/laminin surfaces, and enhanced axon growth from cultured rat sensory neurons (manganese) and human embryonic stem cell-derived motoneurons (TS2/16). The inhibitory effect of Nogo-A can also be reversed by integrin activation. These results suggest that inhibition by CSPGs can act via inactivation of integrins, and that activation of integrins is a potential method for improving axon regeneration after injury.
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21747937
Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) upregulated in the glial scar inhibit axon regeneration via their sulphated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Chondroitin 6-sulphotransferase-1 (C6ST-1) is upregulated after injury leading to an increase in 6-sulphated GAG. In this study, we ask if this increase in 6-sulphated GAG is responsible for the increased inhibition within the glial scar, or whether it represents a partial reversion to the permissive embryonic state dominated by 6-sulphated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Using C6ST-1 knockout mice (KO), we studied post-injury changes in chondroitin sulphotransferase (CSST) expression and the effect of chondroitin 6-sulphates on both central and peripheral axon regeneration. After CNS injury, wild-type animals (WT) showed an increase in mRNA for C6ST-1, C6ST-2 and C4ST-1, but KO did not upregulate any CSSTs. After PNS injury, while WT upregulated C6ST-1, KO showed an upregulation of C6ST-2. We examined regeneration of nigrostriatal axons, which demonstrate mild spontaneous axon regeneration in the WT. KO showed many fewer regenerating axons and more axonal retraction than WT. However, in the PNS, repair of the median and ulnar nerves led to similar and normal levels of axon regeneration in both WT and KO. Functional tests on plasticity after the repair also showed no evidence of enhanced plasticity in the KO. Our results suggest that the upregulation of 6-sulphated GAG after injury makes the extracellular matrix more permissive for axon regeneration, and that the balance of different CSs in the microenvironment around the lesion site is an important factor in determining the outcome of nervous system injury.
Lentiviral Vectors Express Chondroitinase ABC in Cortical Projections and Promote Sprouting of Injured Corticospinal Axons
Journal of Neuroscience Methods. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21855577
Several diseases and injuries of the central nervous system could potentially be treated by delivery of an enzyme, which might most effectively be achieved by gene therapy. In particular, the bacterial enzyme chondroitinase ABC is beneficial in animal models of spinal cord injury. We have adapted the chondroitinase gene so that it can direct secretion of active chondroitinase from mammalian cells, and inserted it into lentiviral vectors. When injected into adult rat brain, these vectors lead to extensive secretion of chondroitinase, both locally and from long-distance axon projections, with activity persisting for more than 4 weeks. In animals which received a simultaneous lesion of the corticospinal tract, the vector reduced axonal die-back and promoted sprouting and short-range regeneration of corticospinal axons. The same beneficial effects on damaged corticospinal axons were observed in animals which received the chondroitinase lentiviral vector directly into the vicinity of a spinal cord lesion.
Developmental Neurobiology. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21898855
A perineuronal net (PNN) is a layer of lattice-like matrix which enwraps the surface of the soma and dendrites, and in some cases the axon initial segments, in sub-populations of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). First reported by Camillo Golgi more than a century ago, the molecular structure and the potential role of this matrix have only been unraveled in the last few decades. PNNs are mainly composed of hyaluronan, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, link proteins, and tenascin R. The interactions between these molecules allow the formation of a stable pericellular complex surrounding synapses on the neuronal surface. PNNs appear late in development co-incident with the closure of critical periods for plasticity. They play a direct role in the control of CNS plasticity, and their removal is one way in which plasticity can be re-activated in the adult CNS. In this review, we examine the molecular components and formation of PNNs, their role in maturation and synaptic plasticity after CNS injury, and the possible mechanisms of PNN action.