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General Laboratory Techniques

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In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (8)

Articles by Mark S. Levi in JoVE

 JoVE Neuroscience

A Visual Description of the Dissection of the Cerebral Surface Vasculature and Associated Meninges and the Choroid Plexus from Rat Brain

1Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, 2Division of Personalized Nutrition and Medicine, National Center for Toxicological Research, 3Office of Planning, Finance, and Information Technology, National Center for Toxicological Research


JoVE 4285

This video presentation shows a method of harvesting the two most important highly vascular structures that support forebrain function. They are the cerebral surface (superficial) vasculature along with associated meninges (MAV) and the choroid plexus which are necessary for cerebral blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) homeostasis.

Other articles by Mark S. Levi on PubMed

Synthesis and Pharmacological Evaluation of Glycine-modified Analogues of the Neuroprotective Agent Glycyl-L-prolyl-L-glutamic Acid (GPE)

The synthesis of 10 G*PE analogues, wherein the glycine residue has been modified, is described by coupling readily accessible dibenzyl-L-prolyl-L-glutamate 2 with various analogues of glycine. Pharmacological evaluation of the novel compounds was undertaken to further understand the role of the glycine residue on the observed neuroprotective properties of the endogenous tripeptide GPE.

A Review of Agents Patented for Their Neuroprotective Properties

The brain continues to remain an area where little corrective surgery can be performed. Recently, the ability to reverse some brain damage and perhaps prevent further damage has moved closer to hospitals and clinics. Several agents demonstrating neuroprotective properties and even neural regeneration have been developed to the extent that they have been granted patent protection, one of the first steps in commercial development. The concept of neuroprotection is the administration of an agent that can reverse some of the damage or prevent further damage. Some agents offer protection against cell degeneration due to oxidative stress whilst other agents specifically protect against neural stroke damage. In the early years of neuroprotective research, most compounds were not designed as such but were found to possess neuroprotective activity in later studies. However, the original structures have since become the leads for purely synthetic derivatives. Most of the agents are or were designed from biologically active natural products, either plant extracts or endogenous peptides/proteins and even sequences of RNA. This review will present the most recently patented neuroprotective agents.

Synthesis of Isoquinuclidine Analogs of Chloroquine: Antimalarial and Antileishmanial Activity

The isoquinuclidine (2-azabicyclo[2.2.2]octane) ring system may be viewed as a semi-rigid boat form of the piperidine ring and, when properly substituted, a scaffold for rigid analogs of biologically active ethanolamines and propanolamines. It is present in natural products (such as ibogaine and dioscorine) that display interesting pharmacological properties. In this study, we have expanded our continuing efforts to incorporate this ring system in numerous pharmacophores, by designing and synthesizing semirigid analogs of the antimalarial drug chloroquine. The analogs were tested in vitro against Plasmodium falciparum strains and Leishmania donovani promastigote cultures. Compounds 6 and 13 displayed potent antimalarial activity against both chloroquine-susceptible D6 and the -resistant W2 strains of P. falciparum. All analogs also demonstrated significant antileishmanial activity with compounds 6 and 13 again being the most potent. The fact that these compounds are active against both chloroquine-resistant and chloroquine-sensitive strains as well as leishmanial cells makes them promising candidates for drug development.

Notice of Retraction

The Dietary Polyphenols Trans-resveratrol and Curcumin Selectively Bind Human CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors with Nanomolar Affinities and Function As Antagonists/inverse Agonists

The dietary polyphenols trans-resveratrol [5-[(1E)-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethenyl]-1,3-benzenediol; found in red wine] and curcumin [1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1E,6E-heptadiene-3,5-dione] (found in curry powders) exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects via poorly defined mechanisms. It is interesting that cannabinoids, derived from the marijuana plant (Cannabis sativa), produce similar protective effects via CB1 and CB2 receptors. We examined whether trans-resveratrol, curcumin, and ASC-J9 [1,7-bis(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-5-hydroxy-1E,4E,6E-heptatriene-3-one] (a curcumin analog) act as ligands at cannabinoid receptors. All three bind to human (h) CB1 and mouse CB1 receptors with nanomolar affinities, displaying only micromolar affinities for hCB2 receptors. Characteristic of inverse agonists, the polyphenols inhibit basal G-protein activity in membranes prepared from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-hCB1 cells or mouse brain that is reversed by a neutral CB1 antagonist. Furthermore, they competitively antagonize G-protein activation produced by a CB1 agonist. In intact CHO-hCB1 cells, the polyphenols act as neutral antagonists, producing no effect when tested alone, whereas competitively antagonizing CB1 agonist mediated inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity. Confirming their neutral antagonist profile in cells, the polyphenols similarly attenuate stimulation of adenylyl cyclase activity produced by a CB1 inverse agonist. In mice, the polyphenols dose-dependently reverse acute hypothermia produced by a CB1 agonist. Upon repeated administration, the polyphenols also reduce body weight in mice similar to that produced by a CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist. Finally, trans-resveratrol and curcumin share common structural motifs with other known cannabinoid receptor ligands. Collectively, we suggest that trans-resveratrol and curcumin act as antagonists/inverse agonists at CB1 receptors at dietary relevant concentrations. Therefore, these polyphenols and their derivatives might be developed as novel, nontoxic CB1 therapeutics for obesity and/or drug dependence.

Synthesis and Antimalarial Activities of Cyclen 4-aminoquinoline Analogs

In an attempt to augment the efficacy of 7-chloro 4-aminoquinoline analogs and also to overcome resistance to antimalarial agents, we synthesized three cyclen (1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane) analogs of chloroquine [a bisquinoline derivative, 7-chloro-4-(1,4,7,10-tetraaza-cyclododec-1-yl)-quinoline HBr, and a 7-chloro-4-(1,4,7,10-tetraaza-cyclododec-1-yl)-quinoline-Zn(2+) complex]. The bisquinoline displays the most potent in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activities. It displays 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)s) of 7.5 nM against the D6 (chloroquine-sensitive) clone of Plasmodium falciparum and 19.2 nM against the W2 (chloroquine-resistant) clone, which are comparable to those of artemisinin (10.6 and 5.0 nM, respectively) and lower than those of chloroquine (10.7 and 87.2 nM, respectively), without any evidence of cytotoxicity to mammalian cells, indicating a high selectivity index (>1,333 against D6 clone and >521 against W2 clone). Potent antimalarial activities of the bisquinoline against chloroquine- and mefloquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum were also confirmed by in vitro [(3)H]hypoxanthine incorporation assay. The in vivo antimalarial activity of the bisquinoline, as determined in P. berghei-infected mice, is comparable to that of chloroquine (50% effective dose,

Rapid One-step Purification of Native Dimeric ALS-associated Human Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase from Transgenic Rat Tissues

Mutated Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) was the first proven cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and was the basis for the first animal model. Many approaches, including transgenic and knock-out animals, cell models, and in vitro studies using recombinant hSOD1 mutants and wild-type, have been employed in an attempt to elucidate the gained toxic function. However, a thorough characterization of the properties of hSOD1 mutants produced in vivo has yet to be carried out, primarily due to the lack of a procedure capable of purifying the enzyme from relevant tissues in a manner that avoids potential artifacts. Here we report a new, one-step purification procedure using a semi-preparative polymeric reversed-phase HPLC system, which yields greater than 99% pure enzyme from the spinal cord, and >95% pure from brain, heart, and kidney. This novel approach for purifying 'in vivo expressed' native dimeric SOD1 will facilitate the determination of the true 'as isolated' properties of the enzyme that is responsible for disease, devoid of any expression system, or harsh purification, artifacts. An important new finding related to the specific activity of human SOD1 (normalized to copper content) is also discussed.

A Comparison of Methylphenidate-, Amphetamine-, and Methamphetamine-induced Hyperthermia and Neurotoxicity in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats During the Waking (lights Off) Cycle

Previous studies focusing on amphetamine (AMPH), methamphetamine (METH) and methylphenidate (MPH) neurotoxicity have almost exclusively been conducted in rodents during the light cycle, which is when most rodents sleep. There are virtually no studies that have simultaneously compared the effects of these three stimulants on body temperature and also determined serum stimulant levels during exposure. The present study compared the effects of MPH, AMPH and METH treatment on body temperature and neurotoxicity during the waking (dark) cycle of the rat. This was done to more effectively replicate stimulant exposure in waking humans and to evaluate the relative risks of the three stimulants when taken inappropriately or non-therapeutically (e.g., abuse). Four subcutaneous injections (4×), at 2 h intervals, were used to administer each dose of the stimulants tested. Several equimolar doses for the three stimulants were chosen to produce plasma levels ranging from 3 times the highest therapeutic levels (no effect on body temperature) to those only attained by accidental overdose or intentional abuse in humans. Either 4×2.0 mg/kg AMPH or 4×2.2 mg/kg METH administered during the waking cycle resulted in peak serum levels of between 1.5 and 2.5 μM (4 to 5 times over maximum therapeutic levels of METH and AMPH) and produced lethal hyperthermia, 70% striatal dopamine depletions, and neurodegeneration in the cortex and thalamus. These results show that METH and AMPH are equipotent at producing lethal hyperthermia and neurotoxicity in laboratory animals during the wake cycle. Administration of either 4×2.2 or 4×3.3 mg/kg METH during the sleep cycle produced lower peak body temperatures, minimal dopamine depletions and little neurodegeneration. These findings indicate that administration of the stimulant during the waking cycle compared to sleep cycle may significantly increase the potency of amphetamines to produce hyperthermia, neurotoxicity and lethality. In contrast, body temperature during the waking cycle was only significantly elevated by MPH at 4×22 mg/kg, and the serum levels producing this effect were 2-fold (approximately 4.5 μM) greater on a molar basis than hyperthermic doses of AMPH and METH. Thus, AMPH and METH were equipotent on a mg/kg body weight basis at producing hyperthermia and neurotoxicity while MPH on a mg/kg body weight basis was approximately 10-fold less potent than AMPH and METH. However, the 10-fold lower potency was in large part due to lower plasma levels produced by MPH compared to either AMPH or METH.

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