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Articles by Tucker A. Patterson 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 Tucker A. Patterson on PubMed

Application of Proteomics to the Study of Molecular Mechanisms in Neurotoxicology

The proteome is the protein compliment of the genome and is the result of genetic expression, ribosomal synthesis and proteolytic degradation. Proteins participate in most major cell processes and their function is highly regulated by post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and glycosylation. As a result, neurotoxicant-induced changes in protein levels, function or regulation could have a negative impact on neuronal viability. At the molecular level, direct oxidative or covalent modifications of individual proteins by various chemicals or drugs is likely to lead to perturbation of tertiary structure and a loss of function. The proteome and the functional determinants of its individual protein components are, therefore, likely targets of neurotoxicant action and resulting characteristic disruptions could be critically involved in corresponding mechanisms of neurotoxicity. Clearly, investigating changes in the proteome can provide important clues for deciphering mechanisms of toxicant action and, therefore, proteomics, the study of the proteome, is currently, and will likely remain, a significant experimental approach for mechanistic research in neurotoxicology. The purpose of this review is to discuss proteomics as a tool for neurotoxicological investigations. A variety of classic proteomic techniques (e.g. liquid chromatography (LC)/tandem mass spectroscopy, two-dimensional gel image analysis) as well as more recently developed approaches (e.g. two-hybrid systems, antibody arrays, protein chips, isotope-coded affinity tags, ICAT) are available to determine protein levels, identify components of multiprotein complexes and to detect post-translational changes. Proteomics, therefore, offers a comprehensive overview of cell proteins, and in the case of neurotoxicant exposure, can provide quantitative data regarding changes in corresponding expression levels and/or post-translational modifications that might be associated with neuron injury.

Cross-platform Comparability of Microarray Technology: Intra-platform Consistency and Appropriate Data Analysis Procedures Are Essential

The acceptance of microarray technology in regulatory decision-making is being challenged by the existence of various platforms and data analysis methods. A recent report (E. Marshall, Science, 306, 630-631, 2004), by extensively citing the study of Tan et al. (Nucleic Acids Res., 31, 5676-5684, 2003), portrays a disturbingly negative picture of the cross-platform comparability, and, hence, the reliability of microarray technology.

A Microarray Study of MPP+-treated PC12 Cells: Mechanisms of Toxicity (MOT) Analysis Using Bioinformatics Tools

This paper describes a microarray study including data quality control, data analysis and the analysis of the mechanism of toxicity (MOT) induced by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) in a rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cell line (PC12 cells) using bioinformatics tools. MPP+ depletes dopamine content and elicits cell death in PC12 cells. However, the mechanism of MPP+-induced neurotoxicity is still unclear.

Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptors by Ketamine Produces Loss of Postnatal Day 3 Monkey Frontal Cortical Neurons in Culture

Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is used as a general pediatric anesthetic. Recent data suggest that anesthetic drugs may cause neurodegeneration during development. The purpose of this study was to determine the robustness of ketamine-induced developmental neurotoxicity using rhesus monkey frontal cortical cultures and also to determine if dysregulation of NMDA receptor subunits promotes ketamine-induced cell death. Frontal cortical cells collected from the neonatal monkey were incubated for 24 h with 1, 10, or 20 microM ketamine alone or with ketamine plus either NR1 antisense oligonucleotides or the nuclear factor kB translocation inhibitor, SN-50. Ketamine caused a marked reduction in the neuronal marker polysialic acid neural cell adhesion molecule and mitochondrial metabolism, as well as an increase in DNA fragmentation and release of lactate dehydrogenase. Ketamine-induced effects were blocked by NR1 antisenses and SN-50. These data suggest that NR1 antisenses and SN-50 offer neuroprotection from the enhanced degeneration induced by ketamine in vitro.

Performance Comparison of One-color and Two-color Platforms Within the MicroArray Quality Control (MAQC) Project

Microarray-based expression profiling experiments typically use either a one-color or a two-color design to measure mRNA abundance. The validity of each approach has been amply demonstrated. Here we provide a simultaneous comparison of results from one- and two-color labeling designs, using two independent RNA samples from the Microarray Quality Control (MAQC) project, tested on each of three different microarray platforms. The data were evaluated in terms of reproducibility, specificity, sensitivity and accuracy to determine if the two approaches provide comparable results. For each of the three microarray platforms tested, the results show good agreement with high correlation coefficients and high concordance of differentially expressed gene lists within each platform. Cumulatively, these comparisons indicate that data quality is essentially equivalent between the one- and two-color approaches and strongly suggest that this variable need not be a primary factor in decisions regarding experimental microarray design.

The MicroArray Quality Control (MAQC) Project Shows Inter- and Intraplatform Reproducibility of Gene Expression Measurements

Over the last decade, the introduction of microarray technology has had a profound impact on gene expression research. The publication of studies with dissimilar or altogether contradictory results, obtained using different microarray platforms to analyze identical RNA samples, has raised concerns about the reliability of this technology. The MicroArray Quality Control (MAQC) project was initiated to address these concerns, as well as other performance and data analysis issues. Expression data on four titration pools from two distinct reference RNA samples were generated at multiple test sites using a variety of microarray-based and alternative technology platforms. Here we describe the experimental design and probe mapping efforts behind the MAQC project. We show intraplatform consistency across test sites as well as a high level of interplatform concordance in terms of genes identified as differentially expressed. This study provides a resource that represents an important first step toward establishing a framework for the use of microarrays in clinical and regulatory settings.

Systems Biology Approaches for Toxicology

Systems biology/toxicology involves the iterative and integrative study of perturbations by chemicals and other stressors of gene and protein expression that are linked firmly to toxicological outcome. In this review, the value of systems biology to enhance the understanding of complex biological processes such as neurodegeneration in the developing brain is explored. Exposure of the developing mammal to NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonists perturbs the endogenous NMDA receptor system and results in enhanced neuronal cell death. It is proposed that continuous blockade of NMDA receptors in the developing brain by NMDA antagonists such as ketamine (a dissociative anesthetic) causes a compensatory up-regulation of NMDA receptors, which makes the neurons bearing these receptors subsequently more vulnerable (e.g. after ketamine washout), to the excitotoxic effects of endogenous glutamate: the up-regulation of NMDA receptors allows for the accumulation of toxic levels of intracellular Ca(2+) under normal physiological conditions. Systems biology, as applied to toxicology, provides a framework in which information can be arranged in the form of a biological model. In our ketamine model, for example, blockade of NMDA receptor up-regulation by the co-administration of antisense oligonucleotides that specifically target NMDA receptor NR1 subunit mRNA, dramatically diminishes ketamine-induced cell death. Preliminary gene expression data support the role of apoptosis as a mode of action of ketamine-induced neurotoxicity. In addition, ketamine-induced cell death is also prevented by the inhibition of NF-kappaB translocation into the nucleus. This process is known to respond to changes in the redox state of the cytoplasm and has been shown to respond to NMDA-induced cellular stress. Although comprehensive gene expression/proteomic studies and mathematical modeling remain to be carried out, biological models have been established in an iterative manner to allow for the confirmation of biological pathways underlying NMDA antagonist-induced cell death in the developing nonhuman primate and rodent. Published in 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ketamine-induced Neuronal Cell Death in the Perinatal Rhesus Monkey

Ketamine is widely used as a pediatric anesthetic. Studies in developing rodents have indicated that ketamine-induced anesthesia results in brain cell death. Additional studies are needed to determine if ketamine anesthesia results in brain cell death in the nonhuman primate and if so, to begin to define the stage of development and the duration of ketamine anesthesia necessary to produce brain cell death. Rhesus monkeys (N = 3 for each treatment and control group) at three stages of development (122 days of gestation and 5 and 35 postnatal days [PNDs]) were administered ketamine intravenously for 24 h to maintain a surgical anesthetic plane, followed by a 6-h withdrawal period. Similar studies were performed in PND 5 animals with 3 h of ketamine anesthesia. Animals were subsequently perfused and brain tissue processed for analyses. Ketamine (24-h infusion) produced a significant increase in the number of caspase 3-, Fluoro-Jade C- and silver stain-positive cells in the cortex of gestational and PND 5 animals but not in PND 35 animals. Electron microscopy indicated typical nuclear condensation and fragmentation in some neuronal cells, and cell body swelling was observed in others indicating that ketamine-induced neuronal cell death is most likely both apoptotic and necrotic in nature. Ketamine increased N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor NR1 subunit messenger RNA in the frontal cortex where enhanced cell death was apparent. Earlier developmental stages (122 days of gestation and 5 PNDs) appear more sensitive to ketamine-induced neuronal cell death than later in development (35 PNDs). However, a shorter duration of ketamine anesthesia (3 h) did not result in neuronal cell death in the 5-day-old monkey.

Gene Expression Profiling of MPP+-treated MN9D Cells: a Mechanism of Toxicity Study

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons with unknown etiology. MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium) is the active metabolite of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), which induces Parkinson's-like syndromes in humans and animals. MPTP/MPP+ treatment produces selective dopaminergic neuronal degeneration, therefore, these agents are commonly used to study the pathogenesis of PD. However, the mechanisms of their toxicity have not been elucidated. In order to gain insights into MPP+-induced neurotoxicity, a gene expression microarray study was performed using a midbrain-derived dopaminergic neuronal cell line, MN9D. Utilizing a two-color reference design, Agilent mouse oligonucleotide microarrays were used to examine relative gene expression changes in MN9D cells treated with 40microM MPP+ compared with controls. Bioinformatics tools were used for data evaluation. Briefly, raw data were imported into the NCTR ArrayTrack database, normalized using a Lowess method and data quality was assessed. The Student's t-test was used to determine significant changes in gene expression (set as p<0.05, fold change >1.5). Gene Ontology for Function Analysis (GOFFA) and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis were employed to analyze the functions and roles of significant genes in biological processes. Of the 51 significant genes identified, 44 were present in the GOFFA or Ingenuity database. These data indicate that multiple pathways are involved in the underlying mechanisms of MPP+-induced neurotoxicity, including apoptosis, oxidative stress, iron binding, cellular metabolism, and signal transduction. These data also indicate that MPP+-induced toxicity shares common molecular mechanisms with the pathogenesis of PD and further pathway analyses will be conducted to explore these mechanisms.

Comparison of the Time Courses of Selective Gene Expression and Dopaminergic Depletion Induced by MPP+ in MN9D Cells

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons with unknown etiology. MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion) is the active metabolite of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), which induces Parkinson's-like symptoms in humans and animals. MPTP/MPP+ produces selective dopaminergic neuronal degeneration, therefore, these agents are commonly used to study the pathogenesis of PD. However, the mechanisms of their toxicity have not been fully elucidated. Recently, we reported in a microarray study using a midbrain-derived dopaminergic neuronal cell line, MN9D, that MPP+ induced significant changes in a number of genes known to be associated with the dopaminergic system. In this study, we investigated the expression time courses of six genes using real-time RT-PCR, and compared them with the progressive dopaminergic depletion caused by MPP+. Our data showed that dopamine content was significantly decreased after 0.5h of MPP+ (200 microM) exposure and was completely depleted after 40 h. The expression of Gpr37, which is closely related to the pathogenesis of autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinsonism, was up-regulated after 0.5h, and stayed up-regulated up to 48 h. Txnip, which is critical to the adjustment of cellular redox status, was down-regulated after 1h and stayed down-regulated up to 48 h. Ldh1 and Cdo1, which are also involved in oxidative stress, were down-regulated after 16 h and stayed down-regulated up to 48 h. Two pro-apoptotic genes, Egln3 and Bnip3, were down-regulated after 2 and 4h, and stayed down-regulated up to 48 h. These findings suggested that the time course of expression for multiple genes correlated with the dopaminergic depletion; and MPP+-induced neurotoxicity in MN9D cells could be used as a model to further explore the roles of these and other genes in the pathogenesis and possible treatment of PD.

Protective Effects of 7-nitroindazole on Ketamine-induced Neurotoxicity in Rat Forebrain Culture

Ketamine, a non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is used as a pediatric anesthetic for surgical procedures. Recent data suggest that anesthetic drugs may cause neurodegeneration during development. The purpose of this study was to determine the dose and temporal response of ketamine using newborn rat forebrain cultures and also to determine if co-administration of 7-nitroindazole, a nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, could protect or reverse ketamine-induced cell death. Neural cells collected from the rat forebrain were incubated for 24h with 1, 10 or 20 microM ketamine alone or with ketamine plus 1, 5, 10 or 20 microM 7-nitroindazole. Ketamine (10 microM) caused an increase in DNA fragmentation and elevated immunoreactivity to nitrotyrosine, a marked reduction in the expression of the neuronal marker polysialic acid neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) and in mitochondrial metabolism, as well as an increased Bax/BCL-XL ratio. No significant effect was observed in the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Ketamine-induced neurotoxic effects were effectively blocked by 7-nitroindazole (10 microM). These data indicate a role for nitric oxide in the enhanced degeneration induced by ketamine in vitro and also suggest that blocking neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) may help reduce the risk of ketamine in pediatrics.

Androgen Deficiency and Defective Intracrine Processing of Dehydroepiandrosterone in Salivary Glands in Sjögren's Syndrome

.We hypothesized that in addition to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) depletion, Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is characterized by local androgen deficiency in salivary glands and defects in local processing of DHEA.

Potential Neurotoxicity of Ketamine in the Developing Rat Brain

Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor ion channel blocker, is a widely used anesthetic recently reported to enhance neuronal death in developing rodents and nonhuman primates. This study evaluated dose-response and time-course effects of ketamine, levels of ketamine in plasma and brain, and the relationship between altered NMDA receptor expression and ketamine-induced neuronal cell death during development. Postnatal day 7 rats were administered 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg ketamine using single or multiple injections (subcutaneously) at 2-h intervals, and the potential neurotoxic effects were examined 6 h after the last injection. No significant neurotoxic effects were detected in layers II or III of the frontal cortex of rats administered one, three, or six injections of 5 or 10 mg/kg ketamine. However, in rats administered six injections of 20 mg/kg ketamine, a significant increase in the number of caspase-3- and Fluoro-Jade C-positive neuronal cells was observed in the frontal cortex. Electron microscopic observations showed typical nuclear condensation and fragmentation indicating enhanced apoptotic characteristics. Increased cell death was also apparent in other brain regions. In addition, apoptosis occurred after plasma and brain levels of ketamine had returned to baseline levels. In situ hybridization also showed a remarkable increase in mRNA signals for the NMDA NR1 subunit in the frontal cortex. These data demonstrate that ketamine administration results in a dose-related and exposure-time dependent increase in neuronal cell death during development. Ketamine-induced cell death appears to be apoptotic in nature and closely associated with enhanced NMDA receptor subunit mRNA expression.

Prolonged Exposure to Ketamine Increases Neurodegeneration in the Developing Monkey Brain

Ketamine, a widely used pediatric anesthetic, has been associated with enhanced neuronal toxicity in the developing brain, but mechanisms and neuronal susceptibility to neurotoxic insult leading to neuronal cell death remain poorly defined. One of the main goals of this study was to determine whether there is a duration of ketamine-induced anesthesia below which no significant ketamine-induced neurodegeneration can be detected. Newborn rhesus monkeys (postnatal day 5 or 6) were administered ketamine intravenously for 3, 9 or 24h to maintain a steady anesthetic plane, followed by a 6-h withdrawal period. The 9- and 24-h durations were selected as relatively long and extremely long exposures, respectively, while the 3-h treatment more closely approximates a typical duration of pediatric general anesthesia. Animals were subsequently perfused under anesthesia and brain tissue was processed for analyses using silver and Fluoro-Jade C stains and caspase-3 immunostain. The results indicated that no significant neurotoxic effects occurred if the anesthesia duration was 3h. However, ketamine infusions for either 9 or 24h significantly increased neuronal cell death in layers II and III of the frontal cortex. Although a few caspase-3- and Fluoro-Jade C-positive neuronal profiles were observed in some additional brain areas including the hippocampus, thalamus, striatum and amygdala, no significant differences were detected between ketamine-treated and control monkeys in these areas after 3, 9 or 24h of exposure. These data show that treatment with ketamine up to 3h is without adverse effects as determined by nerve cell death. However, anesthetic durations of 9h or greater are associated with significant brain cell death in the frontal cortex. Thus, the threshold duration below which no neurotoxicity would be expected is somewhere between 3 and 9h.

Amphetamine and Environmentally Induced Hyperthermia Differentially Alter the Expression of Genes Regulating Vascular Tone and Angiogenesis in the Meninges and Associated Vasculature

An amphetamine (AMPH) regimen that does not produce a prominent blood-brain barrier breakdown was shown to significantly alter the expression of genes regulating vascular tone, immune function, and angiogenesis in vasculature associated with arachnoid and pia membranes of the forebrain. Adult-male Sprague-Dawley rats were given either saline injections during environmentally-induced hyperthermia (EIH) or four doses of AMPH with 2 h between each dose (5, 7.5, 10, and 10 mg/kg d-AMPH, s.c.) that produced hyperthermia. Rats were sacrificed either 3 h or 1 day after dosing, and total RNA and protein was isolated from the meninges, arachnoid and pia membranes, and associated vasculature (MAV) that surround the forebrain. Vip, eNos, Drd1a, and Edn1 (genes regulating vascular tone) were increased by either EIH or AMPH to varying degrees in MAV, indicating that EIH and AMPH produce differential responses to enhance vasodilatation. AMPH, and EIH to a lesser extent, elicited a significant inflammatory response at 3 h as indicated by an increased MAV expression of cytokines Il1b, Il6, Ccl-2, Cxcl1, and Cxcl2. Also, genes related to heat shock/stress and disruption of vascular homeostasis such as Icam1 and Hsp72 were also observed. The increased expression of Ctgf and Timp1 and the decreased expression of Akt1, Anpep, and Mmp2 and Tek (genes involved in stimulating angiogenesis) from AMPH exposure suggest that angiogenesis was arrested or disrupted in MAV to a greater extent by AMPH compared to EIH. Alterations in vascular-related gene expression in the parietal cortex and striatum after AMPH were less in magnitude than in MAV, indicating less of a disruption of vascular homeostasis in these two regions. Changes in the levels of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins Igfbp1, 2, and 5 in MAV, compared to those in striatum and parietal cortex, imply an interaction between these regions to regulate the levels of insulin-like growth factor after AMPH damage. Thus, the vasculature and meninges surrounding the surface of the forebrain may be an important region in which AMPHs can disrupt vascular homeostasis.

Expression Changes of Dopaminergic System-related Genes in PC12 Cells Induced by Manganese, Silver, or Copper Nanoparticles

Nanoparticles have received a great deal of attention for producing new engineering applications due to their novel physicochemical characteristics. However, the broad application of nanomaterials has also produced concern for nanoparticle toxicity due to increased exposure from large-scale industry production. This study was conducted to investigate the potential neurotoxicity of manganese (Mn), silver (Ag), and copper (Cu) nanoparticles using the dopaminergic neuronal cell line, PC12. Selective genes associated with the dopaminergic system were investigated for expression changes and their correlation with dopamine depletion. PC12 cells were treated with 10 microg/ml Mn-40 nm, Ag-15 nm, or Cu-90 nm nanoparticles for 24 h. Cu-90 nanoparticles induced dopamine depletion in PC12 cells, which is similar to the effect induced by Mn-40 shown in a previous study. The expression of 11 genes associated with the dopaminergic system was examined using real-time RT-PCR. The expression of Txnrd1 was up-regulated after the Cu-90 treatment and the expression of Gpx1 was down-regulated after Ag-15 or Cu-90 treatment. These alterations are consistent with the oxidative stress induced by metal nanoparticles. Mn-40 induced a down-regulation of the expression of Th; Cu-90 induced an up-regulation of the expression of Maoa. This indicates that besides the oxidation mechanism, enzymatic alterations may also play important roles in the induced dopamine depletion. Mn-40 also induced a down-regulation of the expression of Park2; while the expression of Snca was up-regulated after Mn-40 or Cu-90 treatment. These data suggest that Mn and Cu nanoparticles-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity may share some common mechanisms associated with neurodegeneration.

ACB-PCR Quantification of K-RAS Codon 12 GAT and GTT Mutant Fraction in Colon Tumor and Non-tumor Tissue

K-RAS mutation is being developed as a cancer biomarker and tumor K-RAS is being used to predict therapeutic response. Yet, levels of K-RAS mutation in normal and pathological tissue samples have not been determined rigorously, nor inter-individual variation in these levels characterized. Therefore, K-RAS codon 12 GAT and GTT mutant fractions were measured in colonic mucosa of individuals without colon cancer, tumor-distal mucosa, tumor-proximal mucosa, normal tumor-adjacent tissues, colonic adenomas, and carcinomas. The results indicate K-RAS codon 12 GAT mutation is present at measurable levels in normal appearing mucosa. All tumors carried K-RAS mutation, in most cases as a mutant subpopulation.

Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Responses Differ in Meninges and Associated Vasculature, Striatum, and Parietal Cortex After a Neurotoxic Amphetamine Exposure

Amphetamine (AMPH) is used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, but it can produce neurotoxicity and adverse vascular effects at high doses. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response (ERSR) entails the unfolded protein response, which helps to avoid or minimize ER dysfunction. ERSR is often associated with toxicities resulting from the accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins and has been associated with methamphetamine toxicity in the striatum. The present study evaluates the effect of AMPH on several ERSR elements in meninges and associated vasculature (MAV), parietal cortex, and striatum. Adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to saline, environmentally induced hyperthermia (EIH) or four consecutive doses of AMPH that produce hyperthermia. Expression changes (mRNA and protein levels) of key ERSR-related genes in MAV, striatum, and parietal cortex at 3 h or 1 day postdosing were monitored. AMPH increased the expression of some ERSR-related genes in all tissues. Atf4 (activating transcription factor 4, an indicator of Perk pathway activation), Hspa5/Grp78 (Glucose regulated protein 78, master regulator of ERSR), Pdia4 (protein disulfide isomerase, protein-folding enzyme), and Nfkb1 (nuclear factor of kappa b, ERSR sensor) mRNA increased significantly in MAV and parietal cortex 3 h after AMPH. In striatum, Atf4 and Hspa5/Grp78 mRNA significantly increased 3 h after AMPH, but Pdia4 and Nfkb11 did not. Thus, AMPH caused a robust activation of the Perk pathway in all tissues, but significant Ire1 pathway activation occurred only after AMPH treatment in the parietal cortex and striatum. Ddit3/Chop, a downstream effector of the ERSR pathway related to the neurotoxicity, was only increased in striatum and parietal cortex. Conversely, Pdia4, an enzyme protective in the ERSR, was only increased in MAV. The overall ERSR manifestation varied significantly between MAV, striatum, and parietal cortex after a neurotoxic exposure to AMPH.

Toxicity Assessment of Pramipexole in Juvenile Rhesus Monkeys

Pramipexole (PPX) is a dopamine agonist approved for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's disease as well as restless leg syndrome. The objective of this study was to investigate the toxicity of PPX when administered orally to juvenile rhesus monkeys once daily for 30 weeks, and to assess the reversibility of toxicity during a 12-week recovery. Rhesus monkeys (N=4 males and 4 females/group; 22-24 months of age) were orally treated daily for 30 weeks with 0.0, 0.1, 0.5 or 2.0 mg/kg PPX, and subjects were assessed daily using the NCTR Operant Test Battery (OTB). Clinical chemistry, hematology, ophthalmology and other standard postmortem toxicological evaluations, including histopathology and neuropathology as well as toxicokinetics were performed. The systemic exposure to PPX was higher than that at therapeutic doses in man and AUC(0-24 h)-data increased proportionally to dose. Blood pressure significantly decreased over time in all groups including control. Near the end of treatment, there were statistically significant decreases in heart rate for the 0.5 and 2.0 mg/kg/day groups compared to control. After 4 weeks of dosing, serum prolactin was significantly decreased in all treatment groups compared to control. This decrease remained at the end of treatment in the 0.5 and 2.0 mg/kg/day groups. In summary, administration of PPX at doses of up to 2.0 mg/kg/day for 30 weeks to juvenile rhesus monkeys produced adverse findings which were attributable to its pharmacological properties, including hypoprolactinemia.

Inhalation Anesthetic-induced Neuronal Damage in the Developing Rhesus Monkey

The combination of nitrous oxide gas (N(2)O) and isoflurane (ISO) vapor is commonly used in pediatric surgical procedures for human infants and children to produce unconsciousness and analgesia. Because of obvious limitations it is difficult to thoroughly explore the effects of pediatric anesthetic agents on neurons in human infants or children. Due to the complexity of the primate brain, the monkey is often the animal model of choice for developmental neurotoxicology experiments, and it is in the rhesus monkey that the phenomenon of interest (anesthetic-induced neuronal cell death in the brain) has been previously reported. Recent reports indicate that exposure of the developing brain to general anesthetics that block N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors or potentiate gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors can trigger widespread apoptotic cell death in rodents. The present study was performed to determine whether prolonged exposure of developing nonhuman primates to a clinically relevant combination of nitrous oxide and isoflurane produces neuronal damage. Postnatal day (PND) 5-6 rhesus monkeys were exposed to N(2)O (70%) or ISO (1.0%) alone, or N(2)O plus ISO for 8 h. Inhalation of the combination of 70% N(2)O+1% ISO produces a surgical plane of anesthesia. Six hours after completion of anesthetic administration the monkeys were examined for neurotoxic effects. No significant neurotoxic effects were observed for the monkeys exposed to N(2)O or ISO alone. However, neuronal damage was apparent when N(2)O was combined with ISO as indicated by increased numbers of caspase-3-, Silver staining- and Fluoro-Jade C-positive cells in the frontal cortex, temporal gyrus and hippocampus. Electron micrographs indicated typical swelling of the cytoplasm and nuclear condensation in the frontal cortex. These data suggest that prolonged exposure to inhaled anesthetics (a combination of N(2)O and ISO) in the developing rhesus monkey results in neuronal damage, and that the cell death observed is apoptotic and necrotic in nature.

Defining the Phosphodiesterase Superfamily Members in Rat Brain Microvessels

Eleven phosphodiesterase (PDE) families are known, each having several different isoforms and splice variants. Recent evidence indicates that expression of individual PDE family members is tissue-specific. Little is known concerning detailed PDE component expression in brain microvessels where the blood-brain-barrier and the local cerebral blood flow are thought to be regulated by PDEs. The present study attempted to identify PDE family members that are expressed in brain microvessels. Adult male F344 rats were sacrificed and blocks of the cerebral cortex and infratentorial areas were dissected. Microvessels were isolated using a filtration method, and total RNA was extracted. RNA quality and quantity were determined using an Agilent bioanalyzer. The isolated cortical and infratentorial microvessel total RNA amounts were 2720 ± 750 ng (n = 2) and 250 ± 40 ng (n = 2), respectively. Microarrays with 22 000 transcripts demonstrated that there were 16 PDE transcripts in the PDE superfamily, exhibiting quantifiable density in the microvessels. An additional immunofluorescent study verified that PDE4D (cAMP-specific) and PDE5A (cGMP-specific) were colocalized with RECA-1 (an endothelial marker) in the cerebral cortex using both F344 rats and Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 3-6/strain). In addition, PDE4D and PDE5A were found to be colocalized with alpha-smooth muscle actin which delineates cerebral arteries and arterioles as well as pericytes. In conclusion, a filtration method followed by microarray analyses allows PDE components to be identified in brain microvessels, and confirmed that PDE4D and PDE5A are the primary forms expressed in rat brain microvessels.

Expression and Activation of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 and NADPH Oxidase in Tissues and Plasma of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in Mice

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely used animal model for multiple sclerosis (MS) that can be induced by immunization with myelin antigens such as myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). The objective of this study was (i) to investigate how matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and NADPH oxidase enzymes are affected in the EAE mouse model and (ii) to know whether peripheral organs also express these enzymes in the EAE model. MOG(33-55) was administered subcutaneously on two sites over the back. Pertussis toxin was administered intraperitoneally immediately after MOG and again two days later. A significant difference was observed in body weights and clinical signs of EAE-induced mice. MMP-9 and NADPH oxidase enzymes were measured in central nervous system (CNS) tissues, peripheral tissues and plasma of EAE-induced mice. The primary findings include the distribution pattern of MMP-9 in CNS and peripheral tissues, and alterations in the enzymatic expression of MMP-9 and NADPH oxidase in the CNS tissues, spleen and plasma of EAE-induced mice. From these results, it can be considered that the spleen as well as the CNS can act as target organs in EAE disease, and plasma MMP-9 and NADPH oxidase may contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease.

In Vitro Screening of NADPH Oxidase Inhibitors and in Vivo Effects of L-leucinethiol on Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis-induced Mice

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a Th1 polarized demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, shares many pathological and clinical similarities with multiple sclerosis (MS). The objectives of this study were i) to evaluate the suppressive effects of L-leucinethiol (LeuSH), a metalloprotease inhibitor on EAE-induced mice and ii) to study the effects of LeuSH on matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), NADPH oxidase and cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-5 and IL-10) in tissues and plasma of EAE mice as a measure of potential markers associated with EAE disease. C57BL/6 mice were immunized with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG35-55) peptide in complete Freund's adjuvant to induce EAE. A significant difference was observed in body weights and clinical signs of LeuSH (8 mg/kg) administered EAE-induced mice compared to control mice. The findings of this study include alterations in the enzymatic expression of MMP-9, NADPH oxidase and cytokine levels in the brain, spinal cord, spleen, thymus and plasma of inhibitor-treated EAE mice as well as EAE-induced mice. The enzyme activities of NADPH oxidase were inhibited by LeuSH. From these results, it can be considered that LeuSH acts as one of the antigen candidates in ameliorating the clinical symptoms of EAE disease in mice.

Ketamine-Induced Neuronal Damage and Altered N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Function in Rat Primary Forebrain Culture

Ketamine, a noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist, is frequently used in pediatric general anesthesia. Accumulating evidence from animal experiments has demonstrated that ketamine causes neuronal cell death during the brain growth spurt. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms associated with ketamine-induced neuronal toxicity and search for approaches or agents to prevent ketamine's adverse effects on the developing brain, a primary nerve cell culture system was utilized. Neurons harvested from the forebrain of newborn rats were maintained under normal control conditions or exposed to either ketamine (10 μM), or ketamine plus L-carnitine (an anti-oxidant; 1 - 100 μM) for 24 hours, followed by a 24-hour withdrawal period. Ketamine exposure resulted in elevated NMDA receptor (NR1) expression, increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as indicated by higher levels of 8-oxoguanine production, and enhanced neuronal damage. Co-administration of L-carnitine significantly diminished ROS generation and provided near complete protection of neurons from ketamine-induced cell death. NMDA receptors regulate channels that are highly permeable to calcium, and calcium imaging data demonstrated that neurons exposed to ketamine had a significantly elevated amplitude of calcium influx and higher intracellular free calcium concentrations ([Ca(2+)]i) evoked by NMDA (50 μM), compared to control neurons. These findings suggest that prolonged ketamine exposure produces an increase in NMDA receptor expression (compensatory up-regulation) which allows for a higher/toxic influx of calcium into neurons once ketamine is removed from the system, leading to elevated ROS generation and neuronal cell death. L-carnitine appears to be a promising agent in preventing or reversing ketamine's toxic effects on neurons at an early developmental stage.

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