In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (24)

Articles by Shawn N. Whitehead in JoVE

Other articles by Shawn N. Whitehead on PubMed

Interaction Between a Rat Model of Cerebral Ischemia and Beta-amyloid Toxicity: Inflammatory Responses

Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation. Jan, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15591213

Clinical data suggest that Alzheimer disease (AD) and stroke together potentiate cognitive impairment. Inflammatory mechanisms are involved in AD pathology and stroke and may be the mediator between AD and stroke toxicity.

Effects of Pyrrolidine Dithiocarbamate on Beta-amyloid (25-35)-induced Inflammatory Responses and Memory Deficits in the Rat

Neurobiology of Disease. Jul, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16624564

It has been well established that neuroinflammation is involved in Alzheimer disease (AD) pathogenesis. Accumulation and aggregation of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide in the brains of patients with AD result in activation of glial cells which, in turn, initiates neuroinflammatory responses that involve reactive oxygen intermediates and release of inflammatory cytokines. In this study, bilateral intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of Abeta (25-35) in the rat resulted in impairment in learning and spatial memory and increased immunoreactive staining of AD-related neuropathological markers (Abeta, APP) and inflammatory mediators (OX-6, COX-2) in CA1 and dentate gyrus regions of the hippocampus. Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) given intraperitoneally 30 min before Abeta injection and daily for 7 days postsurgery significantly prevented Abeta-induced neuropathological and neuroinflammatory responses, as well as the learning and spatial memory deficits. The potential of PDTC for reducing cognitive and neuropathological deficits may provide preliminary evidence for a new approach of AD treatment.

Effects of Triflusal and Aspirin in a Rat Model of Cerebral Ischemia

Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation. Feb, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17194886

Neuroinflammation plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of cerebral ischemia. Triflusal, a selective cyclooxygenase-2, and its active metabolite 3-hydroxy-4-trifluoromethylbenzoic acid may inhibit apoptosis and inflammation after cerebral ischemia. An in vivo model of cerebral ischemia was used to investigate the effects of triflusal and aspirin treatment on infarct volume, and inflammation after cerebral ischemia in the rat.

HIV Protease Inhibitors Modulate Apoptosis Signaling in Vitro and in Vivo

Apoptosis : an International Journal on Programmed Cell Death. May, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17453162

HIV protease inhibitors are an integral part of effective anti-HIV therapy. The drugs block HIV protease, prevent proper packaging of HIV virions, and decrease the HIV viral burden in the peripheral blood of infected individuals. In addition to direct anti-viral effects, the HIV protease inhibitors also modulate apoptosis. A growing body of work demonstrates the anti-apoptotic effects of HIV protease inhibitors on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during HIV infection. The mechanism of this apoptosis inhibition is supported by several proposed hypotheses for how they alter the fate of the cell, including preventing adenine nucleotide translocator pore function, which consequently prevents loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential. More recently, the anti-apoptotic effects of the HIV protease inhibitors have been tested in non-HIV, non-immune cell, whereby protease inhibitors prevent apoptosis, and disease in animal models of sepsis, hepatitis, pancreatitis and stroke. Interestingly, when HIV protease inhibitors are used at supra-therapeutic concentrations, they exert pro-apoptotic effects. This has been demonstrated in a number of tumor models. Although it is unclear how HIV protease inhibitors can induce apoptosis at increased concentrations, future research will define the targets of the immunomodulation and reveal the full clinical potential of this intriguing class of drugs.

Identification and Quantitation of Changes in the Platelet Activating Factor Family of Glycerophospholipids over the Course of Neuronal Differentiation by High-performance Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Analytical Chemistry. Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17949058

Glycerophospholipids are important structural lipids in membranes with changes associated with progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease. Synthesis of the platelet activating factor (PAF) glycerophospholipid subclass is implicated in the control of neuronal differentiation and death. In this article, we combine nanoflow HPLC and mass spectrometry to screen, identify, and quantitate changes in glycerophospholipid subspecies, specifically PAF family members, over the course of neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, precursor ion scans for fragments characteristic of PAF phosphocholine family members and the standard additions of PAF subspecies were combined to perform absolute quantitation of PAF lipids in undifferentiated and differentiated PC12 cells. Surprisingly, a marked asymmetry was detected in the two predominant PAF species (C16:0, C18:0) over the course of differentiation. These results describe a new technique for the sensitive analysis of lipids combining nanoflow HPLC, ESI-MS, and precursor ion scan. Limits of detection of as little as 2 pg of PAF and LPC were obtained, and analysis of the lipidome of as little as 70,000 cells was performed on this system. Furthermore, application to the PC12 model identified a quantifiable difference between PAF molecular species produced over the course of neuronal differentiation.

Progressive Increase in Infarct Size, Neuroinflammation, and Cognitive Deficits in the Presence of High Levels of Amyloid

Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation. Dec, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17962591

In the elderly, cerebral ischemia (CI) occurs in the presence of high levels of amyloid. Neuroinflammation plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease and CI. This study examined infarct size, neuroinflammation, and cognitive deficits over time in rat models of Alzheimer's disease and CI.

Vascular Risk Factors and Alzheimer's Disease

Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. May, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18457531

Vascular cognitive impairment risk factors include stroke, hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis. In the elderly, vascular risk factors occur in the presence of high levels of amyloid in the aging brain. Stroke alters the clinical expression of a given load of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Experimentally, large vessel infarcts or small striatal infarcts are larger in the presence of amyloid. Patients with minor cerebral infarcts and moderate AD lesions will develop the clinical manifestations of dementia. Moreover, there is also an association between other vascular risk factors and the clinical expression of cognitive decline and dementia. The risk of AD is increased in subjects with adult-onset diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atherosclerotic disease and atrial fibrillation. Experimentally, small striatal infarcts in the presence of high levels of amyloid in the brain exhibit a progression in infarct size over time with enhanced degree of cognitive impairment, AD-type pathology and neuroinflammation compared with striatal infarcts or high amyloid levels alone.

Differential Regulation of Wild-type and Mutant Alpha-synuclein Binding to Synaptic Membranes by Cytosolic Factors

BMC Neuroscience. 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18808659

Alpha-Synuclein (alpha-syn), a 140 amino acid protein associated with presynaptic membranes in brain, is a major constituent of Lewy bodies in Parkinson's disease (PD). Three missense mutations (A30P, A53T and E46K) in the alpha-syn gene are associated with rare autosomal dominant forms of familial PD. However, the regulation of alpha-syn's cellular localization in neurons and the effects of the PD-linked mutations are poorly understood.

Identification of Lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) and Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) from PC12 Cells and Mouse Cortex Using Liquid Chromatography/multi-stage Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS3)

Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry : RCM. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18937225

Lipids play essential roles in cellular structural support, energy storage and signal transduction. Recently, mass spectrometry (MS) has been used to produce three-dimensional maps that elucidate the lipid composition of complex cellular lysates. The identification of individual lipids within these maps is slow and requires the synthesis and spiking of each candidate lipid. We present a novel MS-based technique that rapidly elucidates the atomic connectivity of the fatty acid/alcohol substituent on the sn-1 position of several different families of glycerophosphocholine-containing lipids within the confines of a chromatographic separation. Sodiated lipid species were fragmented to produce radical cations which lost successive methylene groups upon further collisional activation to reveal the identity of the parent molecule. This approach was demonstrated to be effective on isobaric members of the lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) and platelet activating factor (PAF) families of glycerophospholipids. We demonstrate the application of this technique to unambiguously identify these species within complex cellular lysates and tissue extracts.

Amyloid-beta42 Signals Tau Hyperphosphorylation and Compromises Neuronal Viability by Disrupting Alkylacylglycerophosphocholine Metabolism

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19926863

Perturbation of lipid second messenger networks is associated with the impairment of synaptic function in Alzheimer disease. Underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. Here, we used an unbiased lipidomic approach to profile alkylacylglycerophosphocholine second messengers in diseased tissue. We found that specific isoforms defined by a palmitic acid (16:0) at the sn-1 position, namely 1-O-hexadecyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (C16:0 PAF) and 1-O-hexadecyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (C16:0 lyso-PAF), were elevated in the temporal cortex of Alzheimer disease patients, transgenic mice expressing human familial disease-mutant amyloid precursor protein, and human neurons directly exposed to amyloid-beta(42) oligomers. Acute intraneuronal accumulation of C16:0 PAF but not C16:0 lyso-PAF initiated cyclin-dependent kinase 5-mediated hyperphosphorylation of tau on Alzheimer disease-specific epitopes. Chronic elevation caused a caspase 2 and 3/7-dependent cascade resulting in neuronal death. Pharmacological inhibition of C16:0 PAF signaling, or molecular strategies increasing hydrolysis of C16:0 PAF to C16:0 lyso-PAF, protected human neurons from amyloid-beta(42) toxicity. Together, these data provide mechanistic insight into how disruptions in lipid metabolism can determine neuronal response to accumulating oligomeric amyloid-beta(42).

Transient and Bilateral Increase in Neuropilin-1, Fer Kinase and Collapsin Response Mediator Proteins Within Membrane Rafts Following Unilateral Occlusion of the Middle Cerebral Artery in Mouse

Brain Research. Jul, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20493826

Membrane rafts, rich in sphingolipids and cholesterol, are membrane microdomains important in neuronal domain-specific signaling events such as during axonal outgrowth and neuronal death. The present study seeks to determine the spatiotemporal association of several axonal guidance signaling molecules with membrane rafts. These molecules are Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), Fer Kinase, and collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMPs), which are known to have important functions in axonal outgrowth and neuronal death caused by cerebral ischemia. Mice were subjected to sham or a 1h unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) followed by a time course of reperfusion up to 24h. Brain cortices were separated and membrane rafts were extracted based on their insolubility in Triton X-100 and separation by sucrose gradient fractionation. We demonstrate the early and transient induction of NRP-1 and CRMP-2 in membrane rafts in both ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres, in contrast to an early, but sustained elevation of Fer kinase and other CRMPs (1, 3, 4, 5) in response to unilateral MCAO. The fact that NRP1/Fer kinase/CRMP-2 co-localize in membrane rafts early during ischemic injury suggests that the membrane rafts may form a scaffold to support and initiate NRP1/Fer/CRMP-2-mediated signal transduction in neuronal damage response during ischemia-reperfusion. Further understanding of the time-specific and membrane domain-specific protein-protein interaction may lead to the identification of therapeutic targets for stroke.

Triflusal Reduces Cerebral Ischemia Induced Inflammation in a Combined Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease and Stroke

Brain Research. Dec, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20934412

Clinical data has shown that stroke exacerbates dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Previous work, combining rat models of AD and stroke have shown that neuroinflammation may be the common mediator between AD and stroke toxicity. This study examined the effects of triflusal (2-acetoxy-4-trifluoromethylbenzoic acid) in APP(23) transgenic mice receiving strokes. Six month-old APP(23) mice over-expressing mutant human amyloid precursor protein (APP) were used to model AD in this study. Unilateral injections of a potent vasoconstrictor, endothelin-1, into the striatum were used to mimic small lacunar infarcts. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to examine AD-like pathology and inflammatory correlates of stroke and AD. APP(23) mice showed increases in AD-like pathology and inflammatory markers of AD in the cortex and hippocampus. Endothelin-induced ischemia triggered an inflammatory response along with increases in AD pathological markers in the region of the infarct. Triflusal reduced inflammation surrounding the endothelin-induced infarct only. At the dose used, anti-inflammatory treatment may be beneficial in reducing the AD and inflammatory correlates of stroke in a combined AD-stroke mouse model.

Imaging Mass Spectrometry Detection of Gangliosides Species in the Mouse Brain Following Transient Focal Cerebral Ischemia and Long-term Recovery

PloS One. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21687673

Gangliosides, a member of the glycosphingolipid family, are heterogeneously expressed in biological membranes and are particularly enriched within the central nervous system. Gangliosides consist of mono- or poly-sialylated oligosaccharide chains of variable lengths attached to a ceramide unit and are found to be intimately involved in brain disease development. The purpose of this study is to examine the spatial profile of ganglioside species using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging (IMS) following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) reperfusion injury in the mouse. IMS is a powerful method to not only discriminate gangliosides by their oligosaccharide components, but also by their carbon length within their sphingosine base. Mice were subjected to a 30 min unilateral MCAO followed by long-term survival (up to 28 days of reperfusion). Brain sections were sprayed with the matrix 5-Chloro-2-mercaptobenzothiazole, scanned and analyzed for a series of ganglioside molecules using an Applied Biosystems 4800 MALDI TOF/TOF. Traditional histological and immunofluorescence techniques were performed to assess brain tissue damage and verification of the expression of gangliosides of interest. Results revealed a unique anatomical profile of GM1, GD1 and GT1b (d18:1, d20:1 as well as other members of the glycosphingolipid family). There was marked variability in the ratio of expression between ipsilateral and contralateral cortices for the various detected ganglioside species following MCAO-reperfusion injury. Most interestingly, MCAO resulted in the transient induction of both GM2 and GM3 signals within the ipsilateral hemisphere; at the border of the infarcted tissue. Taken together, the data suggest that brain region specific expression of gangliosides, particularly with respect to hydrocarbon length, may play a role in neuronal responses to injury.

Membrane Raft Disruption Results in Neuritic Retraction Prior to Neuronal Death in Cortical Neurons

Bioscience Trends. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23006965

Membrane rafts, rich in sphingolipids and cholesterol, play an important role in neuronal membrane domain-specific signaling events, maintaining synapses and dendritic spines. The purpose of this study is to examine the neuronal response to membrane raft disruption. Membrane rafts of 8 DIV primary neuronal cultures were isolated based on the resistance to Triton X-100 and ability to float in sucrose gradients. Membrane rafts from primary cortical neurons were also imaged using the membrane raft marker, cholera toxin subunit-B (CTxB), and were co-immunolabelled with the dendritic microtubule associated protein marker, MAP-2, the dendritic and axonal microtubule protein, β-III-Tubulin, and the axonal microtubule protein, Tau. Exposure of cortical neurons to either the cholesterol depleting compound, methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MBC), or to the glycosphingolipid metabolism inhibiting agent D-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3- morpholino-1-propanol (D-PDMP), resulted in neuritic retraction prior to the appearance of neuronal death. Further investigation into the effects of MBC revealed a pronounced perturbation of microtubule protein association with membrane rafts during neuritic retraction. Interestingly, stabilizing microtubules with Paclitaxel did not prevent MBC induced neuritic retraction, suggesting that neuritic retraction occurred independently of microtubule disassembly and that microtubule association with membrane rafts is critical for maintaining neuritic stability. Overall, the data indicated that membrane rafts play an important role in neurite stability and neuronal viability.

Cerebral Endothelial Expression of Robo1 Affects Brain Infiltration of Polymorphonuclear Neutrophils During Mouse Stroke Recovery

Neurobiology of Disease. Jun, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23473743

Increased brain infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) occurs early after stroke and is important in eliciting brain inflammatory response during stroke recovery. In order to understand the molecular mechanism of PMN entry, we investigated the expression and requirement for Slit1, a chemorepulsive guidance cue, and its cognate receptor, Robo1, in a long-term recovery mouse model of cerebral ischemia. The expression levels of Robo1 were significantly decreased bilaterally at 24h following reperfusion. Robo1 expression levels remained suppressed in the ipsilateral cortex until 28d post MCAO-reperfusion, while the levels of Robo1 in the contralateral cortex recovered to the level of sham-operated mouse by 7d reperfusion. Circulating PMNs express high levels of Slit1, but not Robo1. Influx of PMNs into the ischemic core area occurred early (24h) after cerebral ischemia, when endothelial Robo1 expression was significantly reduced in the ischemic brain, indicating that Robo1 may form a repulsive barrier to PMN entry into the brain parenchyma. Indeed, blocking Slit1 on PMNs in a transwell migration assay in combination with an antibody blocking of Robo1 on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) significantly increased PMN transmigration during oxygen glucose deprivation, an in vitro model of ischemia. Collectively, in the normal brain, the presence of Slit1 on PMNs, and Robo1 on cerebral endothelial cells, generated a repulsive force to prevent the infiltration of PMNs into the brain. During stroke recovery, a transient reduction in Robo1 expression on the cerebral endothelial cells allowed the uncontrolled infiltration of Slit1-expressing PMNs into the brain causing inflammatory reactions.

Amyloid Burden, Neuroinflammation, and Links to Cognitive Decline After Ischemic Stroke

Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25005439

Comorbid Rat Model of Ischemia and β-amyloid Toxicity: Striatal and Cortical Degeneration

Brain Pathology (Zurich, Switzerland). Jan, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 24725245

Levels of cerebral amyloid, presumably β-amyloid (Abeta), toxicity and the incidence of cortical and subcortical ischemia increases with age. However, little is known about the severe pathological condition and dementia that occur as a result of the comorbid occurrence of this vascular risk factor and Abeta toxicity. Clinical studies have indicated that small ischemic lesions in the striatum are particularly important in generating dementia in combination with minor amyloid lesions. These cognitive deficits are highly likely to be caused by changes in the cortex. In this study, we examined the viability and morphological changes in microglial and neuronal cells, gap junction proteins (connexin43) and neuritic/axonal retraction (Fer Kinase) in the striatum and cerebral cortex using a comorbid rat model of striatal injections of endothelin-1 (ET1) and Abeta toxicity. The results demonstrated ventricular enlargement, striatal atrophy, substantial increases in β-amyloid, ramified microglia and increases in neuritic retraction in the combined models of stroke and Abeta toxicity. Changes in connexin43 occurred equally in both groups of Abeta-treated rats, with and without focal ischemia. Although previous behavioral tests demonstrated impairment in memory and learning, the visual discrimination radial maze task did not show significant difference, suggesting the cognitive impairment in these models is not related to damage to the dorsolateral striatum. These results suggest an insight into the relationship between cortical/striatal atrophy, pathology and functional impairment.

Increased Expression of Simple Ganglioside Species GM2 and GM3 Detected by MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry in a Combined Rat Model of Aβ Toxicity and Stroke

PloS One. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26086081

The aging brain is often characterized by the presence of multiple comorbidities resulting in synergistic damaging effects in the brain as demonstrated through the interaction of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and stroke. Gangliosides, a family of membrane lipids enriched in the central nervous system, may have a mechanistic role in mediating the brain's response to injury as their expression is altered in a number of disease and injury states. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) Imaging Mass Spectrometry (IMS) was used to study the expression of A-series ganglioside species GD1a, GM1, GM2, and GM3 to determine alteration of their expression profiles in the presence of beta-amyloid (Aβ) toxicity in addition to ischemic injury. To model a stroke, rats received a unilateral striatal injection of endothelin-1 (ET-1) (stroke alone group). To model Aβ toxicity, rats received intracerebralventricular (i.c.v.) injections of the toxic 25-35 fragment of the Aβ peptide (Aβ alone group). To model the combination of Aβ toxicity with stroke, rats received both the unilateral ET-1 injection and the bilateral icv injections of Aβ25-35 (combined Aβ/ET-1 group). By 3 d, a significant increase in the simple ganglioside species GM2 was observed in the ischemic brain region of rats who received a stroke (ET-1), with or without Aβ. By 21 d, GM2 levels only remained elevated in the combined Aβ/ET-1 group. GM3 levels however demonstrated a different pattern of expression. By 3 d GM3 was elevated in the ischemic brain region only in the combined Aβ/ET-1 group. By 21 d, GM3 was elevated in the ischemic brain region in both stroke alone and Aβ/ET-1 groups. Overall, results indicate that the accumulation of simple ganglioside species GM2 and GM3 may be indicative of a mechanism of interaction between AD and stroke.

Characterization of Behaviour and Remote Degeneration Following Thalamic Stroke in the Rat

International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26090717

Subcortical ischemic strokes are among the leading causes of cognitive impairment. Selective atrophy of remote brain regions connected to the infarct is thought to contribute to deterioration of cognitive functions. The mechanisms underlying this secondary degenerative process are incompletely understood, but are thought to include inflammation. We induce ischemia by unilateral injection of endothelin-I into the rat dorsomedial thalamic nucleus, which has defined reciprocal connections to the frontal cortex. We use a comprehensive test battery to probe for changes in behaviour, including executive functions. After a four-week recovery period, brain sections are stained with markers for degeneration, microglia, astrocytes and myelin. Degenerative processes are localized within the stroke core and along the full thalamocortical projection, which does not translate into measurable behavioural deficits. Significant microglia recruitment, astrogliosis or myelin loss along the axonal projection or within the frontal cortex cannot be detected. These findings indicate that critical effects of stroke-induced axonal degeneration may only be measurable beyond a threshold of stroke severity and/or follow a different time course. Further investigations are needed to clarify the impact of inflammation accompanying axonal degeneration on delayed remote atrophy after stroke.

Differential Anatomical Expression of Ganglioside GM1 Species Containing D18:1 or D20:1 Sphingosine Detected by MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry in Mature Rat Brain

Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26648849

GM1 ganglioside plays a role in essential neuronal processes, including differentiation, survival, and signaling. Yet, little is known about GM1 species with different sphingosine bases, such as the most abundant species containing 18 carbon atoms in the sphingosine chain (GM1d18:1), and the less abundant containing 20 carbon atoms (GM1d20:1). While absent in the early fetal brain, GM1d20:1 continues to increase throughout pre- and postnatal development and into old age, raising questions about the functional relevance of the GM1d18:1 to GM1d20:1 ratio. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry is a novel technology that allows differentiation between these two GM1 species and quantification of their expression within an anatomical context. Using this technology, we find GM1d18:1/d20:1 expression ratios are highly specific to defined anatomical brain regions in adult rats. Thus, the ratio was significantly different among different thalamic nuclei and between the corpus callosum and internal capsule. Differential GM1d18:1/GM1d20:1 ratios measured in hippocampal subregions in rat brain complement previous studies conducted in mice. Across layers of the sensory cortex, opposing expression gradients were found for GM1d18:1 and GM1d20:1. Superficial layers demonstrated lower GM1d18:1 and higher GM1d20:1 signal than other layers, while in deep layers GM1d18:1 expression was relatively high and GM1d20:1 expression low. By far the highest GM1d18:1/d20:1 ratio was found in the amygdala. Differential expression of GM1 with d18:1- or d20:1-sphingosine bases in the adult rat brain suggests tight regulation of expression and points toward a distinct functional relevance for each of these GM1 species in neuronal processes.

The Targeted Antioxidant, Catalase-SKL, Reduces Beta-amyloid Toxicity in the Rat Brain

Brain Pathology (Zurich, Switzerland). Feb, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26919450

Accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) in the brain has been implicated as a major contributor to the cellular pathology and cognitive impairment observed in Alzheimer's disease. Beta-amyloid may exert its toxic effects by increasing reactive oxygen species and neuroinflammation in the brain. This study set out to investigate whether a genetically engineered derivative of the peroxisomal antioxidant enzyme catalase (CAT-SKL), is able to reduce the toxicity induced by intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ25-35 in the mature rat brain. Histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses were used to evaluate neuroinflammation, and neuronal loss. Spatial learning and reference memory was assessed using the Morris water maze. CAT-SKL treatment was able to reduce the pathology induced by Aβ25-35 toxicity by significantly decreasing microglia activation in the basal forebrain and thalamus, and reducing cholinergic loss in the basal forebrain. Aβ25-35 animals showed deficits in long-term reference memory in the Morris water maze, while Aβ25-35 animals treated with CAT-SKL did not demonstrate long-term memory impairments. This preclinical data provides support for the use of CAT-SKL in reducing neuroinflammation and long-term reference memory deficits induced by Aβ25-35. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Prefrontal Ischemia in the Rat Leads to Secondary Damage and Inflammation in Remote Gray and White Matter Regions

Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26973455

Secondary damage processes, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, can exacerbate an ischemic lesion and spread to adjacent brain regions. Yet, few studies investigate how regions remote from the infarct could also suffer from degeneration and inflammation in the aftermath of a stroke. To find out to what extent far-remote brain regions are affected after stroke, we used a bilateral endothelin-1-induced prefrontal infarct rat model. Brain regions posterior to the prefrontal cortical infarct were analyzed for ongoing neurodegeneration using FluoroJadeB (FJB) and for neuroinflammation using Iba1 and OX-6 immunohistochemistry 28 days post-stroke. The FJB-positive dorsomedial nucleus of the thalamus (DMN) and retrosplenial area (RSA) of the cortex displayed substantial neuroinflammation. Significant neuronal loss was only observed within the cortex. Significant microglia recruitment and activation in the FJB-positive internal capsule indicates remote white matter pathology. These findings demonstrate that even regions far remote from an infarct are affected predictably based on anatomical connectivity, and that white matter inflammation is an integral part of remote pathology. The delayed nature of this pathology makes it a valid target for preventative treatment, potentially with an extended time window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention using anti-inflammatory agents.

Assessing the Effects of Acute Amyloid β Oligomer Exposure in the Rat

International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27563885

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, yet there are no therapeutic treatments that can either cure or delay its onset. Currently, the pathogenesis of AD is still uncertain, especially with respect to how the disease develops from a normal healthy brain. Amyloid β oligomers (AβO) are highly neurotoxic proteins and are considered potential initiators to the pathogenesis of AD. Rat brains were exposed to AβO via bilateral intracerebroventricular injections. Rats were then euthanized at either 1, 3, 7 or 21-days post surgery. Rat behavioural testing was performed using the Morris water maze and open field tests. Post-mortem brain tissue was immunolabelled for Aβ, microglia, and cholinergic neurons. Rats exposed to AβO showed deficits in spatial learning and anxiety-like behaviour. Acute positive staining for Aβ was only observed in the corpus callosum surrounding the lateral ventricles. AβO exposed rat brains also showed a delayed increase in activated microglia within the corpus callosum and a decreased number of cholinergic neurons within the basal forebrain. Acute exposure to AβO resulted in mild learning and memory impairments with co-concomitant white matter pathology within the corpus callosum and cholinergic cell loss within the basal forebrain. Results suggest that acute exposure to AβO in the rat may be a useful tool in assessing the early phases for the pathogenesis of AD.

Milder Alzheimer's Disease Pathology in Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation

Alzheimer's & Dementia : the Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. Feb, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28174071

Heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) have been associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Whether HF and AF are related to AD by enhancing AD neuropathological changes is unknown.

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