In JoVE (1)
Articles by Diana M. Mathis in JoVE
Preparation of Acute Hippocampal Slices from Rats and Transgenic Mice for the Study of Synaptic Alterations during Aging and Amyloid Pathology Diana M. Mathis1, Jennifer L. Furman2, Christopher M. Norris2,3 1Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 2Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 3Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky College of Medicine This article outlines procedures for preparing hippocampal slices from rats and transgenic mice for the study of synaptic alterations associated with brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Other articles by Diana M. Mathis on PubMed
Interleukin-1beta-dependent Signaling Between Astrocytes and Neurons Depends Critically on Astrocytic Calcineurin/NFAT Activity The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18541537 Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase, calcineurin, have each been shown to play an important role in neuroinflammation. However, whether these signaling molecules interact to coordinate immune/inflammatory processes and neurodegeneration has not been investigated. Here, we show that exogenous application of IL-1beta (10 ng/ml) recruited calcineurin/NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells) activation in primary astrocyte-enriched cultures within minutes, through a pathway involving IL-1 receptors and L-type Ca(2+) channels. Adenovirus-mediated delivery of the NFAT inhibitor, VIVIT, suppressed the IL-1beta-dependent induction of several inflammatory mediators and/or markers of astrocyte activation, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and vimentin. Expression of an activated form of calcineurin in one set of astrocyte cultures also triggered the release of factors that, in turn, stimulated NFAT activity in a second set of "naive" astrocytes. This effect was prevented when calcineurin-expressing cultures co-expressed VIVIT, suggesting that the calcineurin/NFAT pathway coordinates positive feedback signaling between astrocytes. In the presence of astrocytes and neurons, 48-h delivery of IL-1beta was associated with several excitotoxic effects, including NMDA receptor-dependent neuronal death, elevated extracellular glutamate, and hyperexcitable synaptic activity. Each of these effects were reversed or ameliorated by targeted delivery of VIVIT to astrocytes. IL-1beta also caused an NFAT-dependent reduction in excitatory amino acid transporter levels, indicating a possible mechanism for IL-1beta-mediated excitotoxicity. Taken together, the results have potentially important implications for the propagation and maintenance of neuroinflammatory signaling processes associated with many neurodegenerative conditions and diseases.
Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer's Disease is Associated with Selective Changes in Calcineurin/NFAT Signaling The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Oct, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19828810 Upon activation by calcineurin, the nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) translocates to the nucleus and guides the transcription of numerous molecules involved in inflammation and Ca(2+) dysregulation, both of which are prominent features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, NFAT signaling in AD remains relatively uninvestigated. Using isolated cytosolic and nuclear fractions prepared from rapid-autopsy postmortem human brain tissue, we show that NFATs 1 and 3 shifted to nuclear compartments in the hippocampus at different stages of neuropathology and cognitive decline, whereas NFAT2 remained unchanged. NFAT1 exhibited greater association with isolated nuclear fractions in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), whereas NFAT3 showed a strong nuclear bias in subjects with severe dementia and AD. Similar to NFAT1, calcineurin-Aalpha also exhibited a nuclear bias in the early stages of cognitive decline. But, unlike NFAT1 and similar to NFAT3, the nuclear bias for calcineurin became more pronounced as cognition worsened. Changes in calcineurin/NFAT3 were directly correlated to soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta((1-42))) levels in postmortem hippocampus, and oligomeric Abeta, in particular, robustly stimulated NFAT activation in primary rat astrocyte cultures. Oligomeric Abeta also caused a significant reduction in excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) protein levels in astrocyte cultures, which was blocked by NFAT inhibition. Moreover, inhibition of astrocytic NFAT activity in mixed cultures ameliorated Abeta-dependent elevations in glutamate and neuronal death. The results suggest that NFAT signaling is selectively altered in AD and may play an important role in driving Abeta-mediated neurodegeneration.
NFATs and Alzheimer's Disease Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20401186 Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is a transcription factor that translocates from cytosol to nucleus following dephosphorylation by the Ca(2+)/calmodulin dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin (CN). In nervous tissue, aberrant CN signaling is increasingly linked to a variety of pathologic features associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), including synaptic dysfunction, glial activation, and neuronal death. Consistent with this linkage, our recent work on postmortem human hippocampal tissue discovered increased nuclear accumulation of select NFAT isoforms at different stages of AD. Some of these changes occurred at the early stages of the disease process and/or paralleled diminishing cognitive status. In addition, inhibition of astrocytic NFAT activity in primary cultures of neurons and glia dampened glutamate levels and alleviated neuronal death in response to pathogenic amyloid-Î² peptides. In this article, we discuss our recent findings and expand upon the possible isoform specific contributions of NFATs to the progression of AD. We also consider the possible benefits of using NFAT inhibitors to treat AD and other neurodegenerative disorders, as well.