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Articles by Terrence Town in JoVE

Other articles by Terrence Town on PubMed

CD40 is Expressed and Functional on Neuronal Cells

The EMBO Journal. Feb, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 11847112

We show here that CD40 mRNA and protein are expressed by neuronal cells, and are increased in differentiated versus undifferentiated N2a and PC12 cells as measured by RT-PCR, western blotting and immunofluorescence staining. Additionally, immunohistochemistry reveals that neurons from adult mouse and human brain also express CD40 in situ. CD40 ligation results in a time-dependent increase in p44/42 MAPK activation in neuronal cells. Furthermore, ligation of CD40 opposes JNK phosphorylation and activity induced by NGF-beta removal from differentiated PC12 cells or serum withdrawal from primary cultured neurons. Importantly, CD40 ligation also protects neuronal cells from NGF-beta or serum withdrawal-induced injury and affects neuronal differentiation. Finally, adult mice deficient for the CD40 receptor demonstrate neuronal dysfunction as evidenced by decreased neurofilament isoforms, reduced Bcl-x(L):Bax ratio, neuronal morphological change, increased DNA fragmentation, and gross brain abnormality. These changes occur with age, and are clearly evident at 16 months. Taken together, these data demonstrate a role of CD40 in neuronal development, maintenance and protection in vitro and in vivo.

P35/Cdk5 Pathway Mediates Soluble Amyloid-beta Peptide-induced Tau Phosphorylation in Vitro

Journal of Neuroscience Research. Aug, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12125077

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is pathologically characterized by deposition of amyloid-beta peptides (Abeta) as senile plaques and by the occurrence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) composed primarily of hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Activation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) via its potent activator p25 has recently been shown to promote phosphorylation of tau at AD-specific phosphoepitopes, and increased cleavage of p35 to p25 has been demonstrated in AD patients, suggesting that Cdk5 may represent a pathogenic tau protein kinase. We were interested in the potential effect of soluble forms of Abeta on Cdk5-mediated AD-like tau phosphorylation, insofar as previous studies of human biopsies and aged canine and primate brains have shown that dystrophic neurites appear before the formation of neuritic plaques. We transfected N2a cells with a p35 vector (N2a/p35 cells) and, after differentiation, challenged these cells with Abeta(1-42) peptide in soluble form (sAbeta(1-42)). Results show that sAbeta(1-42) at relatively low levels (1-5 microM) dose-dependently increases tau phosphorylation at AD-specific phosphoepitopes in differentiated N2a/p35 cells compared with controls, an effect that is blocked by antisense oligonucleotides against p35. sAbeta(1-42)-induced tau phosphorylation is concomitant with an increase in both p25 to p35 ratio and Cdk5 activity (but not protein levels). Additionally, blockade of L-type calcium channels or inhibition of calpain completely abolishes this effect. Taken together, these data indicate that sAbeta is a potent activator of the p25/Cdk5 pathway, resulting in promotion of AD-like tau phosphorylation in vitro.

CD40-CD40L Interaction in Alzheimer's Disease

Current Opinion in Pharmacology. Aug, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12127879

Increasing evidence supports a role of the CD40 receptor-CD40 ligand (CD40-CD40L) interaction in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has previously been shown that this dyad acts synergistically with the Alzheimer amyloid-beta peptide to promote microglial activation. Reactive microglia produce potentially neurotoxic substances such as tumor necrosis factor alpha and the reactive oxygen species nitric oxide, which can induce bystander neuronal injury at high levels. When a transgenic mouse model of AD is crossed with an animal deficient in CD40L, the resulting phenotype is deficient in the gliosis observed in a mouse model of AD in which CD40L is present. Additionally, these crossed animals have complete absence of AD-like neuronal Tau hyperphosphorylation, a marker of the preneuronal tangle pathology in AD patients. This suggests that the CD40-CD40L system is a critical enhancer of microglial activation in an AD transgenic mouse model and that such activation is associated with an increase in a key indicator of neuronal stress. Conversely, the finding that reduced CD40-CD40L interaction is associated with reduced chronic microgliosis and Tau hyperphosphorylation supports the view that, in general, mechanisms that reduce microgliosis will be beneficial in AD.

Role of CD40 Ligand in Amyloidosis in Transgenic Alzheimer's Mice

Nature Neuroscience. Dec, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12402041

We have shown that interaction of CD40 with CD40L enables microglial activation in response to amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta), which is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neuronal tau hyperphosphorylation in vivo. Here we report that transgenic mice overproducing Abeta, but deficient in CD40L, showed decreased astrocytosis and microgliosis associated with diminished Abeta levels and beta-amyloid plaque load. Furthermore, in the PSAPP transgenic mouse model of AD, a depleting antibody against CD40L caused marked attenuation of Abeta/beta-amyloid pathology, which was associated with decreased amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and increased circulating levels of Abeta. Conversely, in neuroblastoma cells overexpressing wild-type human APP, the CD40-CD40L interaction resulted in amyloidogenic APP processing. These findings suggest several possible mechanisms underlying mitigation of AD pathology in response to CD40L depletion, and validate the CD40-CD40L interaction as a target for therapeutic intervention in AD.

Reduced Th1 and Enhanced Th2 Immunity After Immunization with Alzheimer's Beta-amyloid(1-42)

Journal of Neuroimmunology. Nov, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12417433

It has been demonstrated that immunization of transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with amyloid-beta(1-42) peptide (Abeta(1-42)) results in prevention of Abeta plaque formation and amelioration of established plaques in the brain. As the response of the T lymphocyte helper (Th) arm of the immune response had not yet been investigated after Abeta immunization, we i.p. immunized C57BL/6 mice with Abeta(1-42), Abeta(1-40), or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and examined markers of Th1 and Th2 immune responses in spleen and in splenocytes from these mice. Spleens from Abeta(1-42)-immunized mice demonstrated decreased interleukin-12 receptor beta chain expression compared to mice immunized with Abeta(1-40) or PBS. Consistently, following stimulation with concanavalin A or anti-CD3 antibody, primary splenocytes from Abeta(1-42)-immunized mice demonstrated elevated secretion of interleukin-4 and interleukin-10, and decreased levels of interferon-gamma. To validate this Th1-->Th2 shift in a transgenic mouse model of AD, we immunized Tg APP(sw) mice (line 2576) with Abeta(1-42) and found decreased Th1 (interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma) and elevated Th2 (interleukin-4 and interleukin-10) cytokines in their stimulated primary splenocytes. Interferon-gamma was markedly reduced and interleukin-10 was increased in blood plasma from these mice, effects that were associated with dramatically mitigated Abeta deposition after Abeta(1-42) immunization. Taken together, these results show enhanced Th2 and down-regulated Th1 immunity following immune challenge with Abeta(1-42).

CD45 Isoform Alteration in CD4+ T Cells As a Potential Diagnostic Marker of Alzheimer's Disease

Journal of Neuroimmunology. Nov, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12417447

Aging represents the greatest risk for development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and changes in peripheral immune cell phenotypes have been found to be associated with aging. Using flow cytometry, we measured the relative expression levels of CD45 isoforms, a marker of nai;ve versus memory CD4+ T cell status, on isolated CD4+ T lymphocytes from patients with a clinical diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease, normal elderly, cognitively abnormal elderly, and patients with clinically diagnosed other forms of dementia. Data show significantly lower levels of CD45RA, and an increase in the CD45RO/CD45RA ratio, on CD4+ T cells in patients diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's disease (n=46) and in cognitively abnormal individuals (n=37) compared to age-matched normal participants (n=90). Patients diagnosed with other forms of dementia (n=19) did not significantly differ from normal individuals. Both CD45RA and the CD45RO/CD45RA ratio had higher positive and negative predictive values and were more sensitive biomarkers of probable AD than the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele, and had greater predictive ability for probable AD by regression analyses. Additionally, a testing strategy employing apolipoprotein E genotyping and CD45RA or the CD45RO/CD45RA ratio revealed increased sensitivity, positive and negative predictive values, and predictive ability over the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele. These data show altered peripheral immunity in AD patients, and raise the possibility that a testing strategy using CD45 isoform alteration on CD4+ T cells and apolipoprotein E genotype may be clinically valuable for diagnosing probable AD.

Increased Vulnerability to Focal Ischemic Brain Injury in Human Apolipoprotein E4 Knock-in Mice

Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. Mar, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12638732

Accumulating evidence suggests that among the 3 human apolipoprotein E (apoE) isoforms encoded by the human APOE gene, the e4 allele may act to exacerbate brain damage in humans and animals. This study aimed to compare the isoform-specific vulnerability conferred by human apoE to ischemic brain damage, using mice expressing human apoE isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, or apoE4) in place of mouse apoE, produced by the gene-targeting technique in embryonic stem cells (knock-in, KI). Homozygous human apoE2 (2/2), apoE3 (3/3), or apoE4 (4/4) KI mice were subjected to permanent focal cerebral ischemia by a modified intraluminal suture method. Twenty-four h thereafter, brain damage, (as estimated by infarct volume and neurologic deficit) was significantly worse in 4/4 KI mice versus 2/2 or 3/3 KI mice (p < 0.001 for each comparison), with no significant differences between 2/2 and 3/3 KI mice. Immunohistochemistry for human apoE expression revealed similar apoE distribution with no significant difference in the immunostaining intensity among the 3 lines of KI mice. Notably. increased expression of human apoE was detected in neurons and astrocytes in the peri-infarct area, and a punctate expression pattern was evident in the border between the infarct and peri-infarct areas in all KI mice subjected to ischemia. Taken together, our results show that apoE affects the outcome of acute brain damage in an isoform-specific fashion (apoE4 > apoE3 = apoE2) in genetically engineered mice.

Neuronal Expression of CD22: Novel Mechanism for Inhibiting Microglial Proinflammatory Cytokine Production

Glia. May, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15095367

Although considered an immunologically privileged site, the central nervous system (CNS) can display significant inflammatory responses, which may play a pathogenic role in a number of neurological diseases. Microglia appear to be particularly important for initiating and sustaining CNS inflammation. These cells exist in a quiescent form in the normal CNS, but acquire macrophage-like properties (including active phagocytosis, upregulation of proteins necessary for antigen presentation, and production of proinflammatory cytokines) after stimulation with inflammatory substances such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Recent studies have focused on elucidating the role of neurons in the regulation of microglial inflammatory responses. In the present study, we demonstrate, using neuron-microglial cocultures, that neurons are capable of inhibiting LPS-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production by microglia. This inhibition appears to be dependent on secretion of substances at axon terminals, as treatment with the presynaptic calcium channel blocker omega-conotoxin abolishes this inhibitory effect. Moreover, we show that conditioned medium from neuronal cultures similarly inhibits microglial TNF-alpha production, which provides additional evidence that neurons secrete inhibitory substances. We previously demonstrated that the transmembrane protein-tyrosine phosphatase CD45 plays an important role in negatively regulating microglial activation. The recent characterization of CD22 as an endogenous ligand of this receptor led us to investigate whether neurons express this protein. Indeed, we were able to demonstrate CD22 mRNA and protein expression in cultured neurons and mouse brain, using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and antibody-based techniques. Furthermore, we show that neurons secrete CD22, which functions as an inhibitor of microglial proinflammatory cytokine production.

CD45 Isoform RB As a Molecular Target to Oppose Lipopolysaccharide-induced Microglial Activation in Mice

Neuroscience Letters. May, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15147773

CD45 is a membrane-bound protein tyrosine phosphatase expressed on all hemopoietic cells with multiple splice variants, including RA, RB, RC and RO. Our previous studies have shown that cross-linking of CD45 with an anti-CD45 antibody markedly inhibits LPS-induced microglia activation. In order to determine which of the CD45 isoforms may be responsible for these effects, we have investigated the expression of CD45 isoforms on cultured microglial cells using flow cytometric analysis. Data reveal that CD45RB is the predominant isoform expressed in murine primary cultured microglial cells. Furthermore, incubation of these cultured cells with anti-CD45RB antibody results in a reduction of microglial activation induced by LPS as evidenced by TNF-alpha production. As a validation of these findings in vivo, brain homogenates from anti-CD45RB antibody (MG23G2)-injected animals that had been treated with LPS demonstrate a significant decrease in TNF-alpha levels compared to control mice treated with LPS plus vehicle. Taken together, these findings suggest that therapeutic agents that specifically stimulate the microglial CD45RB signaling pathway may be effective in suppressing microglial activation associated with several neurodegenerative disorders.

Augmented Delayed Infarct Expansion and Reactive Astrocytosis After Permanent Focal Ischemia in Apolipoprotein E4 Knock-in Mice

Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism : Official Journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. Jun, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15181372

Using homozygous human apolipoprotein E2 (apoE2) (2/2)-, apoE3 (3/3)-, or apoE4 (4/4)-knock-in (KI) mice, we aimed to examine whether an apoE isoform-specific exacerbation of delayed infarct expansion occurs after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). Compared with 2/2- or 3/3-KI mice, 4/4-KI mice exhibited significantly larger infarct volumes and worse neurologic deficits after pMCAO, with no significant differences between the latter two groups. Infarct volume in 4/4-KI mice was significantly increased from 1 to 5 days after pMCAO, whereas that in 2/2- or 3/3-KI mice was not significantly altered. DNA fragmentation in the peri-infarct area as detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphatenick end-labeling was increased to a similar degree in all of the KI mice by 5 days after pMCAO, with no significant differences among the mouse groups. At every time-point examined, human apoE was most markedly expressed in the peri-infarct area, with similar immunoreactivity among the three lines of KI mice. The glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactive burden in the peri-infarct area was progressively increased through 7 days in 4/4-KI mice, but not in 2/2- or 3/3-KI mice. Taken together, these data show that the apoE4 isoform acts to aggravate delayed infarct expansion and peri-infarct reactive astrocytosis during the subacute phase of pMCAO in genetically engineered apoE-KI mice.

Behavioral Effects of CD40-CD40L Pathway Disruption in Aged PSAPP Mice

Brain Research. Jul, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15223380

We have shown that, when an amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) overproducing transgenic mouse model (PSAPP) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is treated with a depleting antibody against CD40L, it causes marked attenuation of Abeta pathology associated with decreased amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and increased cerebral clearance of Abeta. Here, we report that, when PSAPP mice receive a regimen of anti-CD40L antibody commencing at an age associated with initial Abeta deposition, they demonstrate superior spatial memory on the standard water maze and radial arm water maze tasks, as well as exhibiting superior non-spatial memory in the object recognition test, as compared to control PSAPP mice. Furthermore, PSAPP mice treated with an anti-CD40L antibody regimen commencing at an age associated with extensive Abeta deposition demonstrate superior spatial memory on the standard water maze task, as compared to control PSAPP mice. Disruption of CD40L activity has beneficial effects on pathology and cognitive behavior in the PSAPP mouse model, providing support for the therapeutic potential of interrupting the CD40-CD40L interaction in AD.

Toll-like Receptor 3 Mediates West Nile Virus Entry into the Brain Causing Lethal Encephalitis

Nature Medicine. Dec, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15558055

West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne single-stranded (ss)RNA flavivirus, causes human disease of variable severity. We investigated the involvement of Toll-like receptor (Tlr) 3, which recognizes viral double-stranded (ds)RNA, on WNV infection. Tlr3-deficient (Tlr3(-/-)) mice were more resistant to lethal WNV infection and had impaired cytokine production and enhanced viral load in the periphery, whereas in the brain, viral load, inflammatory responses and neuropathology were reduced compared to wild-type mice. Peripheral WNV infection led to a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier and enhanced brain infection in wild-type but not in Tlr3(-/-) mice, although both groups were equally susceptible upon intracerebroventricular administration of the virus. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor 1 signaling is vital for blood-brain barrier compromise upon Tlr3 stimulation by dsRNA or WNV. Collectively, WNV infection leads to a Tlr3-dependent inflammatory response, which is involved in brain penetration of the virus and neuronal injury.

CD40 Signaling Regulates Innate and Adaptive Activation of Microglia in Response to Amyloid Beta-peptide

European Journal of Immunology. Mar, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15688347

Although deposition of amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) as Abeta plaques involves activation of microglia-mediated inflammatory responses, activated microglia ultimately fail to clear Abeta plaques in the brains of either Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients or AD mouse models. Mounting evidence suggests that chronic microglia-mediated immune response during Abeta deposition etiologically contributes to AD pathogenesis by promoting Abeta plaque formation. However, the mechanisms that govern microglia response in the context of cerebral Abeta/beta-amyloid pathology are not well understood. We show that ligation of CD40 by CD40L modulates Abeta-induced innate immune responses in microglia, including decreased microglia phagocytosis of exogenous Abeta(1-42) and increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. CD40 ligation in the presence of Abeta(1-42) leads to adaptive activation of microglia, as evidenced by increased co-localization of MHC class II with Abeta. To assess their antigen-presenting cell (APC) function, cultured microglia were pulsed with Abeta(1-42) in the presence of CD40L and co-cultured with CD4(+) T cells. Under these conditions, microglia stimulate T cell-derived IFN-gamma and IL-2 production, suggesting that CD40 signaling promotes the APC phenotype. These data provide a mechanistic explanation for our previous work showing decreased microgliosis associated with diminished cerebral Abeta/beta-amyloid pathology when blocking CD40 signaling in transgenic Alzheimer's mice.

Modulation of Astrocytic Activation by Arundic Acid (ONO-2506) Mitigates Detrimental Effects of the Apolipoprotein E4 Isoform After Permanent Focal Ischemia in Apolipoprotein E Knock-in Mice

Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism : Official Journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15689951

Using homozygous human apolipoprotein E2 (apoE2) (2/2)-, apoE3 (3/3)-, or apoE4 (4/4)-knock-in (KI) mice, we have shown that delayed infarct expansion and reactive astrocytosis after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) were markedly exacerbated in 4/4-KI mice as compared with 2/2- or 3/3-KI mice. Here, we probed the putative causal relationship between enhanced astrocytic activation and exacerbation of brain damage in 4/4-KI mice using arundic acid (ONO-2506, Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd), which is known to oppose astrocytic activation through its inhibitory action on S100B synthesis. In all of the KI mice, administration of arundic acid (10 mg/kg day, intraperitoneal, started immediately after pMCAO) induced significant amelioration of brain damage at 5 days after pMCAO in terms of infarct volumes (results expressed as the mean infarct volume (mm(3)) +/-1s.d. in 2/2-, 3/3-, or 4/4-KI mice in the vehicle groups: 16 +/- 2, 15 +/- 2, or 22 +/- 2; in the arundic acid groups: 11 +/- 2 (P < 0.001), 11 +/- 2 (P < 0.001), or 12 +/- 2 (P < 0.001), as compared with the vehicle groups), neurologic deficits, and S100/glial fibrillary acidic protein burden in the peri-infarct area. The beneficial effects of arundic acid were most pronounced in 4/4-KI mice, wherein delayed infarct expansion together with deterioration of neurologic deficits was almost completely mitigated. The above results support the notion that the apoE4 isoform exacerbates brain damage during the subacute phase of pMCAO through augmentation of astrocytic activation. Thus, pharmacological modulation of astrocytic activation may confer a novel therapeutic strategy for ischemic brain damage, particularly in APOE epsilon4 carriers.

Interchromosomal Associations Between Alternatively Expressed Loci

Nature. Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15880101

The T-helper-cell 1 and 2 (T(H)1 and T(H)2) pathways, defined by cytokines interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-4 (IL-4), respectively, comprise two alternative CD4+ T-cell fates, with functional consequences for the host immune system. These cytokine genes are encoded on different chromosomes. The recently described T(H)2 locus control region (LCR) coordinately regulates the T(H)2 cytokine genes by participating in a complex between the LCR and promoters of the cytokine genes Il4, Il5 and Il13. Although they are spread over 120 kilobases, these elements are closely juxtaposed in the nucleus in a poised chromatin conformation. In addition to these intrachromosomal interactions, we now describe interchromosomal interactions between the promoter region of the IFN-gamma gene on chromosome 10 and the regulatory regions of the T(H)2 cytokine locus on chromosome 11. DNase I hypersensitive sites that comprise the T(H)2 LCR developmentally regulate these interchromosomal interactions. Furthermore, there seems to be a cell-type-specific dynamic interaction between interacting chromatin partners whereby interchromosomal interactions are apparently lost in favour of intrachromosomal ones upon gene activation. Thus, we provide an example of eukaryotic genes located on separate chromosomes associating physically in the nucleus via interactions that may have a function in coordinating gene expression.

Physiological Regulation of the Beta-amyloid Precursor Protein Signaling Domain by C-Jun N-terminal Kinase JNK3 During Neuronal Differentiation

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15944381

Beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a conserved and ubiquitous transmembrane glycoprotein strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease but whose normal biological function is unknown. Analogy to the Notch protein suggests that APP is a cell-surface receptor that signals via sequential proteolytic cleavages that release its intracellular domain (AICD) to the nucleus. Because these cleavages are major targets for therapeutic inhibition, it is critical to elucidate their physiological function. AICD is stabilized by Fe65, interacts with the transcriptional factor Tip60, and translocates to the nucleus. Here, we show that endogenous AICD in primary neurons is detectable only during a short period of time during differentiation in culture. During this transient rise, a portion of AICD localizes to the nucleus. Subsequently, phosphorylation of the APP cytoplasmic domain at threonine 668 appears to disrupt the stabilizing interaction with Fe65 and thus downregulate AICD-mediated signaling. Furthermore, we find that the neuron-specific c-Jun N-terminal kinase JNK3, but not JNK1 or JNK2, mediates a substantial portion of this phosphorylation. We conclude that endogenous AICD undergoes tight temporal regulation during the differentiation of neurons and is negatively regulated by JNK3 via phosphorylation of APP at Thr668.

Green Tea Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) Modulates Amyloid Precursor Protein Cleavage and Reduces Cerebral Amyloidosis in Alzheimer Transgenic Mice

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Sep, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16177050

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder pathologically characterized by deposition of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptides as senile plaques in the brain. Recent studies suggest that green tea flavonoids may be used for the prevention and treatment of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we report that (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the main polyphenolic constituent of green tea, reduces Abeta generation in both murine neuron-like cells (N2a) transfected with the human "Swedish" mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) and in primary neurons derived from Swedish mutant APP-overexpressing mice (Tg APPsw line 2576). In concert with these observations, we find that EGCG markedly promotes cleavage of the alpha-C-terminal fragment of APP and elevates the N-terminal APP cleavage product, soluble APP-alpha. These cleavage events are associated with elevated alpha-secretase activity and enhanced hydrolysis of tumor necrosis factor alpha-converting enzyme, a primary candidate alpha-secretase. As a validation of these findings in vivo, we treated Tg APPsw transgenic mice overproducing Abeta with EGCG and found decreased Abeta levels and plaques associated with promotion of the nonamyloidogenic alpha-secretase proteolytic pathway. These data raise the possibility that EGCG dietary supplementation may provide effective prophylaxis for AD.

T-cells in Alzheimer's Disease

Neuromolecular Medicine. 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16247185

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common dementing illness and is pathologically characterized by deposition of the 40-42 amino acid peptide, amyloid-beta (Abeta), as senile plaques. It is well documented that brain inflammatory mechanisms mediated by reactive glia are activated in response to Abeta plaques. A number of reports further suggest that T-cells are activated in AD patients, and that these cells exist both in the periphery and as infiltrates in the brain. We explore the potential role of T-cells in the AD process, a controversial area, by reviewing reports that show disturbed activation profiles and/or altered numbers of various subsets of T-cells in the circulation as well as in the AD brain parenchyma and in cerebral amyloid angiopathy. We also discuss the recent Abeta immunotherapy approach vis-à-vis the activated, autoaggressive T-cell infiltrates that contributed to aseptic meningoencephalitis in a small percentage of patients, and present possible alternative approaches that may be both efficacious and safe. Finally, we explore the use of mouse models of AD as a system within which to definitively test the possible contribution of T-cells to AD pathogenesis.

The Microglial "activation" Continuum: from Innate to Adaptive Responses

Journal of Neuroinflammation. Oct, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16259628

Microglia are innate immune cells of myeloid origin that take up residence in the central nervous system (CNS) during embryogenesis. While classically regarded as macrophage-like cells, it is becoming increasingly clear that reactive microglia play more diverse roles in the CNS. Microglial "activation" is often used to refer to a single phenotype; however, in this review we consider that a continuum of microglial activation exists, with phagocytic response (innate activation) at one end and antigen presenting cell function (adaptive activation) at the other. Where activated microglia fall in this spectrum seems to be highly dependent on the type of stimulation provided. We begin by addressing the classical roles of peripheral innate immune cells including macrophages and dendritic cells, which seem to define the edges of this continuum. We then discuss various types of microglial stimulation, including Toll-like receptor engagement by pathogen-associated molecular patterns, microglial challenge with myelin epitopes or Alzheimer's beta-amyloid in the presence or absence of CD40L co-stimulation, and Alzheimer disease "immunotherapy". Based on the wide spectrum of stimulus-specific microglial responses, we interpret these cells as immune cells that demonstrate remarkable plasticity following activation. This interpretation has relevance for neurodegenerative/neuroinflammatory diseases where reactive microglia play an etiological role; in particular viral/bacterial encephalitis, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer disease.

Microglia Recognize Double-stranded RNA Via TLR3

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Mar, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16517751

Microglia are CNS resident innate immune cells of myeloid origin that become activated and produce innate proinflammatory molecules upon encountering bacteria or viruses. TLRs are a phylogenetically conserved diverse family of sensors for pathogen-associated molecular patterns that drive innate immune responses. We have recently shown that mice deficient in TLR3 (TLR3(-/-) mice) are resistant to lethal encephalitis and have reduced microglial activation after infection with West Nile virus, a retrovirus that produces dsRNA. We wished to determine whether microglia recognize dsRNA through the TLR3 pathway. In vitro, murine wild-type primary cultured microglia responded to synthetic dsRNA polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) by increasing TLR3 and IFN-beta mRNA and by morphologic activation. Furthermore, wild-type microglia dose dependently secreted TNF-alpha and IL-6 after poly(I:C) challenge, whereas TLR3(-/-) microglia produced diminished cytokines. Activation of MAPK occurred in a time-dependent fashion following poly(I:C) treatment of wild-type microglia, but happened with delayed kinetics in TLR3(-/-) microglia. As an in vivo model of encephalitis, wild-type or TLR3(-/-) mice were injected intracerebroventricularly with poly(I:C) or LPS, and microglial activation was assessed by cell surface marker or phospho-MAPK immunofluorescence. After intracerebroventricular injection of poly(I:C), microgliosis was clearly evident in wild-type mice but was nearly absent in TLR3(-/-) animals. When taken together, our results demonstrate that microglia recognize dsRNA through TLR3 and associated signaling molecules and suggest that these cells are key sensors of dsRNA-producing viruses that may invade the CNS.

ADAM10 Activation is Required for Green Tea (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate-induced Alpha-secretase Cleavage of Amyloid Precursor Protein

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jun, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16624814

Recently, we have shown that green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) exerts a beneficial role on reducing brain Abeta levels, resulting in mitigation of cerebral amyloidosis in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease. EGCG seems to accomplish this by modulating amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing, resulting in enhanced cleavage of the alpha-COOH-terminal fragment (alpha-CTF) of APP and corresponding elevation of the NH(2)-terminal APP product, soluble APP-alpha (sAPP-alpha). These beneficial effects were associated with increased alpha-secretase cleavage activity, but no significant alteration in beta-or gamma-secretase activities. To gain insight into the molecular mechanism whereby EGCG modulates APP processing, we evaluated the involvement of three candidate alpha-secretase enzymes, a-disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAM) 9, 10, or 17, in EGCG-induced non-amyloidogenic APP metabolism. Results show that EGCG treatment of N2a cells stably transfected with "Swedish" mutant human APP (SweAPP N2a cells) leads to markedly elevated active ( approximately 60 kDa mature form) ADAM10 protein. Elevation of active ADAM10 correlates with increased alpha-CTF cleavage, and elevated sAPP-alpha. To specifically test the contribution of ADAM10 to non-amyloidogenic APP metabolism, small interfering RNA knockdown of ADAM9, -10, or -17 mRNA was employed. Results show that ADAM10 (but not ADAM9 or -17) is critical for EGCG-mediated alpha-secretase cleavage activity. In summary, ADAM10 activation is necessary for EGCG promotion of non-amyloidogenic (alpha-secretase cleavage) APP processing. Thus, ADAM10 represents an important pharmacotherapeutic target for the treatment of cerebral amyloidosis in Alzheimer disease.

Arundic Acid Ameliorates Cerebral Amyloidosis and Gliosis in Alzheimer Transgenic Mice

The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Aug, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16709678

Like microglia, reactive astrocytes produce a myriad of neurotoxic substances in various brain pathologies, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), trauma, and cerebral ischemia. Among the numerous products of reactive astrocytes, attention has recently been directed toward the possible detrimental role of S100B, because the protein has been shown to be highly expressed along with the progression of brain damage and to exert neurotoxic effects at high concentrations. The present study aimed to examine the possible role of astrocyte-derived S100B in the progression of cerebral amyloidosis and gliosis in transgenic mice overproducing mutant amyloid precursor protein (Tg APP(sw) mice, line 2576). For this purpose, arundic acid (Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Mishima, Osaka, Japan), which is known to negatively regulate astrocyte synthesis of S100B, was orally administered to Tg APP(sw) mice for 6 months from 12 months of age, and the effects of the agent on the above parameters were examined. Here, we report that beta-amyloid deposits along with amyloid-beta peptide/S100B levels, as well as beta-amyloid plaque-associated reactive gliosis (astrocytosis and microgliosis), were significantly ameliorated in arundic acid-treated Tg APP(sw) mice relative to vehicle-treated Tg APP(sw) mice at 19 months of age. Based on the above results, arundic acid is considered to deserve further exploration as a promising therapeutic agent for AD.

HSP70 Enhances Macrophage Phagocytosis by Interaction with Lipid Raft-associated TLR-7 and Upregulating P38 MAPK and PI3K Pathways

The Journal of Surgical Research. Nov, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16979664

Exogenous Heat Shock Protein-70 (HSP70), a product of necrotic cell death, binds the lipid raft microdomains of macrophages and, within minutes, stimulates the phagocytosis and presentation of internalized antigens. The aim of this study was to identify (a) the receptor on the lipid raft microdomain that interacts with HSP70 and (b) the subsequent signaling pathways that mediate HSP70-enhanced phagocytosis.

Antiviral Peptides Targeting the West Nile Virus Envelope Protein

Journal of Virology. Feb, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17151121

West Nile virus (WNV) can cause fatal murine and human encephalitis. The viral envelope protein interacts with host cells. A murine brain cDNA phage display library was therefore probed with WNV envelope protein, resulting in the identification of several adherent peptides. Of these, peptide 1 prevented WNV infection in vitro with a 50% inhibition concentration of 67 muM and also inhibited infection of a related flavivirus, dengue virus. Peptide 9, a derivative of peptide 1, was a particularly potent inhibitor of WNV in vitro, with a 50% inhibition concentration of 2.6 muM. Moreover, mice challenged with WNV that had been incubated with peptide 9 had reduced viremia and fatality compared with control animals. Peptide 9 penetrated the murine blood-brain barrier and was found in the brain parenchyma, implying that it may have antiviral activity in the central nervous system. These short peptides serve as the basis for developing new therapeutics for West Nile encephalitis and, potentially, other flaviviruses.

Transcutaneous Beta-amyloid Immunization Reduces Cerebral Beta-amyloid Deposits Without T Cell Infiltration and Microhemorrhage

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17264212

Alzheimer's disease (AD) immunotherapy accomplished by vaccination with beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide has proved efficacious in AD mouse models. However, "active" Abeta vaccination strategies for the treatment of cerebral amyloidosis without concurrent induction of detrimental side effects are lacking. We have developed a transcutaneous (t.c.) Abeta vaccination approach and evaluated efficacy and monitored for deleterious side effects, including meningoencephalitis and microhemorrhage, in WT mice and a transgenic mouse model of AD. We demonstrate that t.c. immunization of WT mice with aggregated Abeta(1-42) plus the adjuvant cholera toxin (CT) results in high-titer Abeta antibodies (mainly of the Ig G1 class) and Abeta(1-42)-specific splenocyte immune responses. Confocal microscopy of the t.c. immunization site revealed Langerhans cells in areas of the skin containing the Abeta(1-42) immunogen, suggesting that these unique innate immune cells participate in Abeta(1-42) antigen processing. To evaluate the efficacy of t.c. immunization in reducing cerebral amyloidosis, transgenic PSAPP (APPsw, PSEN1dE9) mice were immunized with aggregated Abeta(1-42) peptide plus CT. Similar to WT mice, PSAPP mice showed high Abeta antibody titers. Most importantly, t.c. immunization with Abeta(1-42) plus CT resulted in significant decreases in cerebral Abeta(1-40,42) levels coincident with increased circulating levels of Abeta(1-40,42), suggesting brain-to-blood efflux of Abeta. Reduction in cerebral amyloidosis was not associated with deleterious side effects, including brain T cell infiltration or cerebral microhemorrhage. Together, these data suggest that t.c. immunization constitutes an effective and potentially safe treatment strategy for AD.

NSAIDs for the Chemoprevention of Alzheimer's Disease

Sub-cellular Biochemistry. 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17612054

Epidemiologic and laboratory studies suggest that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Initial reports in the early 1990's indicated that a history of arthritis, a presumed surrogate of NSAID use, was associated with a lower risk of AD. [1] These reports were followed by epidemiologic studies in which NSAID use was assessed directly and the majority of these reports confirmed the inverse association with risk for AD. [2, 3] Postmortem studies in humans [4], studies in animal models of AD [5, 6], and in vitro studies [7, 8] generally support the notion that NSAIDs can reduce the deleterious inflammation which surrounds amyloid beta (Abeta) plaques in the AD brain. In addition, some studies conducted in vitro and in rodents point to a subgroup of NSAIDs that may work by inhibiting amyloidogenic APP metabolism rather than through traditional anti-inflammatory mechanisms. [9-11] This novel property of NSAIDs is currently being explored in epidemiologic studies. Results from randomized clinical trials of NSAIDs and established AD and one trial on secondary prevention have not been promising and there have been no prevention trials completed. The feasibility of using NSAIDs as a chemopreventive agent in AD is discussed.

Apoptotic Hepatocyte DNA Inhibits Hepatic Stellate Cell Chemotaxis Via Toll-like Receptor 9

Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.). Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17705260

Apoptosis of hepatocytes results in the development of liver fibrosis, but the molecular signals mediating this are poorly understood. Degradation and modification of nuclear DNA is a central feature of apoptosis, and DNA from apoptotic mammalian cells is known to activate immune cells via Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). We tested if DNA from apoptotic hepatocytes can induce hepatic stellate cell (HSC) differentiation. Our data show that apoptotic hepatocyte DNA and cytidine-phosphate-guanosine oligonucleotides induced up-regulation of transforming growth factor beta1 and collagen 1 messenger RNA both in the human HSC line LX-2 and in primary mouse HSCs. These effects were opposed by TLR9 antagonists. We have recently shown that adenosine inhibits HSC chemotaxis, and we now show that apoptotic hepatocyte DNA also inhibits platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-mediated HSC chemotaxis. Inhibition of HSC chemotaxis by PDGF was blocked by TLR9 antagonists, and was absent in primary HSCs from mice deficient in TLR9 or the TLR adaptor molecule MyD88. Stimulation of TLR9 on HSCs blocked signaling by the PDGF signaling molecule inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate and reduced PDGF-mediated increase in cytosolic Ca(2+).

Abrogation of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Decreases West Nile Virus Lethality by Limiting Viral Neuroinvasion

The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Oct, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17909632

The flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging pathogen that causes life-threatening encephalitis in susceptible individuals. We investigated the role of the proinflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), which is an upstream mediator of innate immunity, in WNV immunopathogenesis. We found that patients suffering from acute WNV infection presented with increased MIF levels in plasma and in cerebrospinal fluid. MIF expression also was induced in WNV-infected mice. Remarkably, abrogation of MIF action by 3 distinct approaches (antibody blockade, small molecule pharmacologic inhibition, and genetic deletion) rendered mice more resistant to WNV lethality. Mif(-/-) mice showed a reduced viral load and inflammatory response in the brain when compared with wild-type mice. Our results also indicate that MIF favors viral neuroinvasion by compromising the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. In conclusion, the data obtained from this study provide direct evidence for the involvement of MIF in viral pathogenesis and suggest that pharmacotherapeutic approaches targeting MIF may hold promise for the treatment of WNV encephalitis.

Control of Toll-like Receptor 7 Expression is Essential to Restrict Autoimmunity and Dendritic Cell Proliferation

Immunity. Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17997333

Nucleic acid-binding innate immune receptors such as Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) and TLR9 have been implicated in the development of some autoimmune pathologies. The Y chromosome-linked genomic modifier Yaa, which correlates with a duplication of Tlr7 and 16 other genes, exacerbates lupus-like syndromes in several mouse strains. Here we demonstrated that duplication of the Tlr7 gene was the sole requirement for this accelerated autoimmunity, because reduction of Tlr7 gene dosage abolished the Yaa phenotype. Further, we described new transgenic lines that overexpressed TLR7 alone and found that spontaneous autoimmunity developed beyond a 2-fold increase in TLR7 expression. Whereas a modest increase in Tlr7 gene dosage promoted autoreactive lymphocytes with RNA specificities and myeloid cell proliferation, a substantial increase in TLR7 expression caused fatal acute inflammatory pathology and profound dendritic cell dysregulation. These results underscore the importance of tightly regulating expression of TLR7 to prevent spontaneous triggering of harmful autoreactive and inflammatory responses.

Toll-like Receptor Modulation of Murine Cerebral Malaria is Dependent on the Genetic Background of the Host

The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 18008236

Infection with Plasmodium berghei ANKA is a well-established model of human cerebral malaria (CM). We show herein that Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling influences the development of lethal CM in P. berghei ANKA-infected mice. Modulation of outcome was dependent on genetic background, such that deletion of myeloid differentiation factor (MyD) 88 on the susceptible C57BL/6 background resulted in resistance to CM, whereas deletion of MyD88 on the resistant BALB/c background led to increased mortality. Our data show that MyD88 influenced the production of T helper-polarizing cytokines, including interferon (IFN)- gamma, interleukin (IL)-4, and IL-17, as well as the total number of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (T(reg)) cells in a manner dependent on host genetic background. In addition, mRNA levels of IFN- gamma, CXCL10, and CXCL9 were strongly up-regulated in the brains of susceptible wild-type but not MyD88(-/-) infected mice. These results suggest that TLR signaling and host genetic background influences the pathogenesis of CM via modulation of cytokine production and T(reg) cell numbers.

West Nile Virus Envelope Protein Inhibits DsRNA-induced Innate Immune Responses

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Dec, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 18056386

The immune response against viral infection relies on the early production of cytokines that induce an antiviral state and trigger the activation of immune cells. This response is initiated by the recognition of virus-associated molecular patterns such as dsRNA, a viral replication intermediate recognized by TLR3 and certain RNA helicases. Infection with West Nile virus (WNV) can lead to lethal encephalitis in susceptible individuals and constitutes an emerging health threat. In this study, we report that WNV envelope protein (WNV-E) specifically blocks the production of antiviral and proinflammatory cytokines induced by dsRNA in murine macrophages. This immunosuppressive effect was not dependent on TLR3 or its adaptor molecule Trif. Instead, our experiments show that WNV-E acts at the level of receptor-interacting protein 1. Our results also indicate that WNV-E requires a certain glycosylation pattern, specifically that of dipteran cells, to inhibit dsRNA-induced cytokine production. In conclusion, these data show that the major structural protein of WNV impairs the innate immune response and suggest that WNV exploits differential vector/host E glycosylation profiles to evade antiviral mechanisms.

Icam-1 Participates in the Entry of West Nile Virus into the Central Nervous System

Journal of Virology. Apr, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18256150

Determining how West Nile virus crosses the blood-brain barrier is critical to understanding the pathogenesis of encephalitis. Here, we show that ICAM-1(-/-) mice are more resistant than control animals to lethal West Nile encephalitis. ICAM-1(-/-) mice have a lower viral load, reduced leukocyte infiltration, and diminished neuronal damage in the brain compared to control animals. This is associated with decreased blood-brain barrier leakage after viral infection. These data suggest that ICAM-1 plays an important role in West Nile virus neuroinvasion and that targeting ICAM-1 signaling may help control viral encephalitis.

The Stumpy Gene is Required for Mammalian Ciliogenesis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18287022

Cilia are present on nearly all cell types in mammals and perform remarkably diverse functions. However, the mechanisms underlying ciliogenesis are unclear. Here, we cloned a previously uncharacterized highly conserved gene, stumpy, located on mouse chromosome 7. Stumpy was ubiquitously expressed, and conditional loss in mouse resulted in complete penetrance of perinatal hydrocephalus (HC) and severe polycystic kidney disease (PKD). We found that cilia in stumpy mutant brain and kidney cells were absent or markedly deformed, resulting in defective flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Stumpy colocalized with ciliary basal bodies, physically interacted with gamma-tubulin, and was present along ciliary axonemes, suggesting that stumpy plays a role in ciliary axoneme extension. Therefore, stumpy is essential for ciliogenesis and may be involved in the pathogenesis of human congenital malformations such as HC and PKD.

Peripherally Administered Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells Reduce Parenchymal and Vascular Beta-amyloid Deposits in Alzheimer Mice

Stem Cells and Development. Jun, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18366296

Modulation of immune/inflammatory responses by diverse strategies including amyloid-beta (Abeta) immunization, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and manipulation of microglial activation states has been shown to reduce Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like pathology and cognitive deficits in AD transgenic mouse models. Human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBCs) have unique immunomodulatory potential. We wished to test whether these cells might alter AD-like pathology after infusion into the PSAPP mouse model of AD. Here, we report a marked reduction in Abeta levels/beta-amyloid plaques and associated astrocytosis following multiple low-dose infusions of HUCBCs. HUCBC infusions also reduced cerebral vascular Abeta deposits in the Tg2576 AD mouse model. Interestingly, these effects were associated with suppression of the CD40-CD40L interaction, as evidenced by decreased circulating and brain soluble CD40L (sCD40L), elevated systemic immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels, attenuated CD40L-induced inflammatory responses, and reduced surface expression of CD40 on microglia. Importantly, deficiency in CD40 abolishes the effect of HUCBCs on elevated plasma Abeta levels. Moreover, microglia isolated from HUCBC-infused PSAPP mice demonstrated increased phagocytosis of Abeta. Furthermore, sera from HUCBC-infused PSAPP mice significantly increased microglial phagocytosis of the Abeta1-42 peptide while inhibiting interferon-gammainduced microglial CD40 expression. Increased microglial phagocytic activity in this scenario was inhibited by addition of recombinant CD40L protein. These data suggest that HUCBC infusion mitigates AD-like pathology by disrupting CD40L activity.

Defective P53 Engagement After the Induction of DNA Damage in Cells Deficient in Topoisomerase 3beta

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Apr, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18367668

The type IA topoisomerases have been implicated in the repair of dsDNA breaks by homologous recombination and in the resolution of stalled or damaged DNA replication forks; thus, these proteins play important roles in the maintenance of genomic stability. We studied the functions of one of the two mammalian type IA enzymes, Top3beta, using murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) derived from top3beta(-/-) embryos. top3beta(-/-) MEFs proliferated more slowly than TOP3beta(+/+) control MEFs, demonstrated increased sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents such as ionizing and UV radiation, and had increased DNA double-strand breaks as manifested by increased gamma-H2-AX phosphorylation. However, incomplete enforcement of the G(1)-S cell cycle checkpoint was observed in top3beta(-/-) MEFs. Notably, ataxia-telangiectasia, mutated (ATM)/ATM and Rad3-related (ATR)-dependent substrate phosphorylation after UV-B and ionizing radiation was impaired in top3beta(-/-) versus TOP3beta(+/+) control MEFs, and impaired up-regulation of total and Ser-18-phosphorylated p53 was observed in top3beta(-/-) cells. Taken together, these results suggest an unanticipated role for Top3beta beyond DNA repair in the activation of cellular responses to DNA damage.

Overexpression of Human S100B Exacerbates Brain Damage and Periinfarct Gliosis After Permanent Focal Ischemia

Stroke. Jul, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18451356

We have previously demonstrated that augmented and prolonged activation of astrocytes detrimentally influences both the subacute and chronic phases of cerebral ischemia. Furthermore, we have suggested that the astrocyte-derived protein S100B may be important in these pathogenic events. However, the causal relationship between S100B and exacerbation of brain damage in vivo remains to be elucidated.

Blocking TGF-beta-Smad2/3 Innate Immune Signaling Mitigates Alzheimer-like Pathology

Nature Medicine. Jun, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18516051

Alzheimer's disease is the most common dementia and is pathologically characterized by deposition of amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) into beta-amyloid plaques, neuronal injury and low-level, chronic activation of brain immunity. Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-betas) are pleiotropic cytokines that have key roles in immune cell activation, inflammation and repair after injury. We genetically interrupted TGF-beta and downstream Smad2/3 signaling (TGF-beta-Smad2/3) in innate immune cells by inducing expression of CD11c promoter-driven dominant-negative TGF-beta receptor type II in C57BL/6 mice (CD11c-DNR), crossed these mice with mice overexpressing mutant human amyloid precursor protein, the Tg2576 Alzheimer's disease mouse model, and evaluated Alzheimer's disease-like pathology. Aged double-transgenic mice showed complete mitigation of Tg2576-associated hyperactivity and partial mitigation of defective spatial working memory. Brain parenchymal and cerebrovascular beta-amyloid deposits and Abeta abundance were markedly (up to 90%) attenuated in Tg2576-CD11c-DNR mice. This was associated with increased infiltration of Abeta-containing peripheral macrophages around cerebral vessels and beta-amyloid plaques. In vitro, cultures of peripheral macrophages, but not microglia, from CD11c-DNR mice showed blockade of classical TGF-beta-activated Smad2/3 but also showed hyperactivation of alternative bone morphogenic protein-activated Smad1/5/8 signaling and increased Abeta phagocytosis. Similar effects were noted after pharmacological inhibition of activin-like kinase-5, a type I TGF-beta receptor. Taken together, our results suggest that blockade of TGF-beta-Smad2/3 signaling in peripheral macrophages represents a new therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease.

Drak2 Contributes to West Nile Virus Entry into the Brain and Lethal Encephalitis

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Aug, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18641347

Death-associated protein kinase-related apoptosis-inducing kinase-2 (Drak2), a member of the death-associated protein family of serine/threonine kinases, is specifically expressed in T and B cells. In the absence of Drak2, mice are resistant to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis due to a decrease in the number of cells infiltrating the CNS. In the present study, we investigated the role of Drak2 in West Nile virus (WNV)-induced encephalitis and found that Drak2(-/-) mice were also more resistant to lethal WNV infection than wild-type mice. Although Drak2(-/-) mice had an increase in the number of IFN-gamma-producing T cells in the spleen after infection, viral levels in the peripheral tissues were not significantly different between these two groups of mice. In contrast, there was a reduced viral load in the brains of Drak2(-/-) mice, which was accompanied by a decrease in the number of Drak2(-/-) CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in the brain following WNV infection. Moreover, we detected viral Ags in T cells isolated from the spleen or brain of WNV-infected mice. These results suggest that following a systemic infection, WNV might cross the blood brain barrier and enter the CNS by being carried by infected infiltrating T cells.

TGF-beta Signaling in Dendritic Cells is a Prerequisite for the Control of Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Aug, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18669656

One unresolved issue in immune tolerance is what prevents self-reactive T cells from activation. In this study, we used a transgenic mouse model of targeted functional inactivation of TGF-betaR signaling in CD11c(+) cells (CD11c(dnR) mice) and showed a direct impact on the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We found that MOG(35-55) immunization of CD11c(dnR) mice results in strong inflammation of CNS, high frequency of T cells in CNS, increased levels of T helper 1 (T(H)1) and T(H)17 cytokines in the periphery, and lack of remission from EAE. Once crossed with mice prone to autoimmunity, double-transgenic CD11c(dnR)Mog(TCR) mice revealed a spontaneous EAE-like disease characterized by early infiltration of activated myelin-specific T cells into CNS, activation of microglial cells, inflammation of CNS, dysfunction of locomotion, and premature death. We constructed chimeric mice and demonstrated that inactivation of TGF-betaR signaling in dendritic cells (DCs) results in augmented EAE-associated T cell responses. Our data provide direct evidence that TGF-beta can control autoimmunity via actions on DCs.

Primary Cilia Regulate Hippocampal Neurogenesis by Mediating Sonic Hedgehog Signaling

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Sep, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18728187

Primary cilia are present on mammalian neurons and glia, but their function is largely unknown. We generated conditional homozygous mutant mice for a gene we termed Stumpy. Mutants lack cilia and have conspicuous abnormalities in postnatally developing brain regions, including a hypoplasic hippocampus characterized by a primary deficiency in neural stem cells known as astrocyte-like neural precursors (ALNPs). Previous studies suggested that primary cilia mediate sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling. Here, we find that loss of ALNP cilia leads to abrogated Shh activity, increased cell cycle exit, and morphological abnormalities in ALNPs. Processing of Gli3, a mediator of Shh signaling, is also altered in the absence of cilia. Further, key mediators of the Shh pathway localize to ALNP cilia. Thus, selective targeting of Shh machinery to primary cilia confers to ALNPs the ability to differentially respond to Shh mitogenic signals compared to neighboring cells. Our data suggest these organelles are cellular "antennae" critically required to modulate ALNP behavior.

Inflammaging As a Prodrome to Alzheimer's Disease

Journal of Neuroinflammation. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19014446

Recently, the term "inflammaging" was coined by Franceshci and colleagues to characterize a widely accepted paradigm that ageing is accompanied by a low-grade chronic up-regulation of certain pro-inflammatory responses. Inflammaging differs significantly from the traditional five cardinal features of acute inflammation in that it is characterized by a relative decline in adaptive immunity and T-helper 2 responses and is associated with increased innate immunity by cells of the mononuclear phagocyte lineage. While the over-active innate immunity characteristic of inflammaging may remain subclinical in many elderly individuals, a portion of individuals (postulated to have a "high responder inflammatory genotype") may shift from a state of "normal" or "subclinical" inflammaging to one or more of a number of age-associated diseases. We and others have found that IFN-gamma and other pro-inflammatory cytokines interact with processing and production of Abeta peptide, the pathological hallmark feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), suggesting that inflammaging may be a "prodrome" to AD. Although conditions of enhanced innate immune response with overproduction of pro-inflammatory proteins are associated with both healthy aging and AD, it is suggested that those who age "well" demonstrate anti-inflammaging mechanisms and biomarkers that likely counteract the adverse immune response of inflammaging. Thus, opposing the features of inflammaging may prevent or treat the symptoms of AD. In this review, we fully characterize the aging immune system. In addition, we explain how three novel treatments, (1) human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBC), (2) flavanoids, and (3) Abeta vaccination oppose the forces of inflammaging and AD-like pathology in various mouse models.

Flavonoid-mediated Presenilin-1 Phosphorylation Reduces Alzheimer's Disease Beta-amyloid Production

Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 18410522

Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) dysregulation is implicated in the two Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathological hallmarks: beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. GSK-3 inhibitors may abrogate AD pathology by inhibiting amyloidogenic gamma-secretase cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Here, we report that the citrus bioflavonoid luteolin reduces amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide generation in both human 'Swedish' mutant APP transgene-bearing neuron-like cells and primary neurons. We also find that luteolin induces changes consistent with GSK-3 inhibition that (i) decrease amyloidogenic gamma-secretase APP processing, and (ii) promote presenilin-1 (PS1) carboxyl-terminal fragment (CTF) phosphorylation. Importantly, we find GSK-3alpha activity is essential for both PS1 CTF phosphorylation and PS1-APP interaction. As validation of these findings in vivo, we find that luteolin, when applied to the Tg2576 mouse model of AD, decreases soluble Abeta levels, reduces GSK-3 activity, and disrupts PS1-APP association. In addition, we find that Tg2576 mice treated with diosmin, a glycoside of a flavonoid structurally similar to luteolin, display significantly reduced Abeta pathology. We suggest that GSK-3 inhibition is a viable therapeutic approach for AD by impacting PS1 phosphorylation-dependent regulation of amyloidogenesis.

Toll-like Receptor 7 Mitigates Lethal West Nile Encephalitis Via Interleukin 23-dependent Immune Cell Infiltration and Homing

Immunity. Feb, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19200759

West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-transmitted single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) flavivirus, causes human disease of variable severity. We investigated Toll-like receptor 7-deficient (Tlr7(-/-)) and myeloid differentiation factor 88-deficient (Myd88(-/-)) mice, which both have defective recognition of ssRNA, and found increased viremia and susceptibility to lethal WNV infection. Despite increased tissue concentrations of most innate cytokines, CD45(+) leukocytes and CD11b(+) macrophages failed to home to WNV-infected cells and infiltrate into target organs of Tlr7(-/-) mice. Tlr7(-/-) mice and macrophages had reduced interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-23 responses after WNV infection, and mice deficient in IL-12 p40 and IL-23 p40 (Il12b(-/-)) or IL-23 p19 (Il23a(-/-)), but not IL-12 p35 (Il12a(-/-)), responded similarly to Tlr7(-/-) mice, with increased susceptibility to lethal WNV encephalitis. Collectively, these results demonstrate that TLR7 and IL-23-dependent WNV responses represent a vital host defense mechanism that operates by affecting immune cell homing to infected target cells.

Approaches to Determine Expression of Inflammatory Cytokines

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19347295

There is an increasing awareness of the role of inflammation in cancer. Immune responses can limit the growth of some tumors, but paradoxically, may promote the growth of others. Cytokines are critical mediators of both the innate and the adaptive immune responses. In this chapter, we will describe several methods for the detection of inflammatory cytokines. First, we will describe a protocol for quantification of cytokine mRNA by real-time quantitative PCR. In addition, we will describe detection of cytokine proteins by ELISA as well as by novel cytokine bead arrays. Finally, a method will be described for in situ detection of cytokine production by immunohistochemistry.

Alternative Abeta Immunotherapy Approaches for Alzheimer's Disease

CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. Apr, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19355932

In a seminal report in 1999, Schenk and colleagues demonstrated that vaccination of a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with amyloid-beta(1-42) peptide (Abeta(1-42)) and adjuvant resulted in striking mitigation of AD-like pathology - giving rise to the field of AD immunotherapy. Later studies confirmed this result in other mouse models of AD and additionally showed cognitive improvement after Abeta vaccination. Based on these results, early developmental clinical trials ensued to immunize AD patients with Abeta(1-42) plus adjuvant (so-called "active" Abeta immunotherapy; trade name AN-1792; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Dublin, Ireland). However, the phase IIa trial was halted after 6 % of patients developed aseptic meningoencephalitis. Despite occurrence of this adverse event, many individuals demonstrated high serum antibody titres to Abeta and histological evidence of clearance of the hallmark AD pathology, beta-amyloid plaques. While raising justifiable safety concerns, these important results nonetheless demonstrated the feasibility of the active Abeta immunotherapy approach. This review focuses on alternative approaches to active Abeta vaccination that are currently in various stages of development - from pre-clinical studies in animal models to current clinical trials. Specifically, the focus is on those strategies that target inflammatory and immune aspects of AD, and can therefore be classified as immunotherapeutic in a broad sense.

A Role for the JAK-STAT1 Pathway in Blocking Replication of HSV-1 in Dendritic Cells and Macrophages

Virology Journal. May, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19439086

Macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) play key roles in host defense against HSV-1 infection. Although macrophages and DCs can be infected by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), both cell types are resistant to HSV-1 replication. The aim of our study was to determine factor (s) that are involved in the resistance of DCs and macrophages to productive HSV-1 infection.

A Protective Function for Interleukin 17A in T Cell-mediated Intestinal Inflammation

Nature Immunology. Jun, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19448631

Interleukin 23 (IL-23) and IL-17 have been linked to the pathogenesis of several chronic inflammatory disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease. Yet as an important function for IL-23 is emerging, the function of IL-17 in inflammatory bowel disease remains unclear. Here we demonstrate IL-17A-mediated protection in the CD45RBhi transfer model of colitis. An accelerated wasting disease elicited by T cells deficient in IL-17A correlated with higher expression of genes encoding T helper type 1-type cytokines in colon tissue. IL-17A also modulated T helper type 1 polarization in vitro. Furthermore, T cells deficient in the IL-17 receptor elicited an accelerated, aggressive wasting disease relative to that elicited by wild-type T cells in recipient mice. Our data demonstrate a protective function for IL-17 and identify T cells as not only the source but also a target of IL-17 in vivo.

CNS Infiltration of Peripheral Immune Cells: D-Day for Neurodegenerative Disease?

Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology : the Official Journal of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19669892

While the central nervous system (CNS) was once thought to be excluded from surveillance by immune cells, a concept known as "immune privilege," it is now clear that immune responses do occur in the CNS-giving rise to the field of neuroimmunology. These CNS immune responses can be driven by endogenous (glial) and/or exogenous (peripheral leukocyte) sources and can serve either productive or pathological roles. Recent evidence from mouse models supports the notion that infiltration of peripheral monocytes/macrophages limits progression of Alzheimer's disease pathology and militates against West Nile virus encephalitis. In addition, infiltrating T lymphocytes may help spare neuronal loss in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. On the other hand, CNS leukocyte penetration drives experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (a mouse model for the human demyelinating disease multiple sclerosis) and may also be pathological in both Parkinson's disease and human immunodeficiency virus encephalitis. A critical understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for trafficking of immune cells from the periphery into the diseased CNS will be key to target these cells for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative diseases, thereby allowing neuroregenerative processes to ensue.

IL-10 Signaling Blockade Controls Murine West Nile Virus Infection

PLoS Pathogens. Oct, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19816558

West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne single-stranded RNA flavivirus, can cause significant human morbidity and mortality. Our data show that interleukin-10 (IL-10) is dramatically elevated both in vitro and in vivo following WNV infection. Consistent with an etiologic role of IL-10 in WNV pathogenesis, we find that WNV infection is markedly diminished in IL-10 deficient (IL-10(-/-)) mice, and pharmacologic blockade of IL-10 signaling by IL-10 neutralizing antibody increases survival of WNV-infected mice. Increased production of antiviral cytokines in IL-10(-/-) mice is associated with more efficient control of WNV infection. Moreover, CD4(+) T cells produce copious amounts of IL-10, and may be an important cellular source of IL-10 during WNV infection in vivo. In conclusion, IL-10 signaling plays a negative role in immunity against WNV infection, and blockade of IL-10 signaling by genetic or pharmacologic means helps to control viral infection, suggesting a novel anti-WNV therapeutic strategy.

Can Peripheral Leukocytes Be Used As Alzheimer's Disease Biomarkers?

Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. Nov, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19903022

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia in elderly populations throughout the world and its incidence is on the rise. Current clinical diagnosis of AD requires intensive examination that includes neuropsychological testing and costly brain imaging techniques, and a definitive diagnosis can only be made upon postmortem neuropathological examination. Additionally, antemortem clinical AD diagnosis is typically administered following onset of cognitive and behavioral symptoms. As these symptoms emerge relatively late in disease progression, therapeutic intervention occurs after significant neurodegeneration, thereby limiting efficacy. The identification of noninvasive diagnostic biomarkers of AD is becoming increasingly important to make diagnosis more widely available to clinics with limited access to neuropsychological testing or state-of-the-art brain imaging, reduce the cost of clinical diagnosis, provide a biological measure to track the course of therapeutic intervention, and most importantly, allow for earlier diagnosis--possibly even during the prodromal phase--with hopes of therapeutic intervention prior to appreciable neurodegeneration. Circulating leukocytes are attractive candidate AD biomarkers as they can be obtained in a minimally invasive manner and are easily analyzed by widely available flow cytometry techniques. In this review, we critically analyze the potential utility of peripheral leukocytes as biological markers for AD.

Overexpression of Human S100B Exacerbates Cerebral Amyloidosis and Gliosis in the Tg2576 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Glia. Feb, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 19705461

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common progressive dementia and is pathologically characterized by brain deposition of amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide as senile plaques. Inflammatory and immune response pathways are chronically activated in AD patient brains at low levels, and likely play a role in disease progression. Like microglia, activated astrocytes produce numerous acute-phase reactants and proinflammatory molecules in the AD brain. One such molecule, S100B, is highly expressed by reactive astrocytes in close vicinity of beta-amyloid deposits. We have previously shown that augmented and prolonged activation of astrocytes has a detrimental impact on neuronal survival. Furthermore, we have implicated astrocyte-derived S100B as a candidate molecule responsible for this deleterious effect. To evaluate a putative relationship between S100B and AD pathogenesis, we crossed transgenic mice overexpressing human S100B (TghuS100B mice) with the Tg2576 mouse model of AD, and examined AD-like pathology. Brain parenchymal and cerebral vascular beta-amyloid deposits and Abeta levels were increased in bigenic Tg2576-huS100B mice. These effects were associated with increased cleavage of the beta-C-terminal fragment of amyloid precursor protein (APP), elevation of the N-terminal APP cleavage product (soluble APPbeta), and activation of beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1. In addition, double transgenic mice showed augmented reactive astrocytosis and microgliosis, high levels of S100 expression, and increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines as early as 7-9 months of age. These results provide evidence that (over)-expression of S100B acts to accelerate AD-like pathology, and suggest that inhibiting astrocytic activation by blocking S100B biosynthesis may be a promising therapeutic strategy to delay AD progression..

Inflammation, Immunity, and Alzheimer's Disease

CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20205648

Few topics in the field of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research have brought about the level of excitement and interest as the role of inflammation and immunity in the pathobiology and treatment of the disease. In this special issue of the journal, experts in the field give their views on how inflammatory processes and the immune system intersect- at both etiological and treatment levels- with disease biology. Collectively, nearly three decades of work are covered in this special issue, beginning with the first epidemiologic studies that showed an inverse risk relationship between AD and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and ending with "immunotherapy" approaches and recent studies examining the roles of innate immune cells including microglia and peripheral mononuclear phagocytes in AD. Despite considerable work in this area, many important questions remain concerning the nature and timing of immune/inflammatory responses in the context of AD, and at what point and how to therapeutically intervene.

Alzheimer's Disease Beyond Abeta

Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. May, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20429127

Many of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials have made it far enough down the pipeline to allow conclusions about targeting the amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) as a therapeutic approach. Based on these results, it is becoming clear that a multifocal approach to AD treatment is probably necessary. However, critical discussion beyond Abeta is necessary to enable the next wave of AD therapeutic targets. For this reason, the 2010 Keystone Symposium, 'Alzheimer's Disease Beyond Abeta', was organized by JoAnne McLaurin and Tony Wyss-Coray to spark topical discussion and debate. While researchers struggled to get beyond that ever-present pathognomonic feature of AD, new and exciting evidence was presented that raised our awareness of what is around the corner for next-generation AD therapeutics beyond Abeta. This report will describe some of the highlights from Copper Mountain Resort throughout the meeting period of 10-15 January 2010 in Colorado (USA). Despite illuminating scientific presentations and intense discussions, a number of important questions remain concerning the best biomarkers and targets to focus on, and when and how to therapeutically intervene.

Macrophages in Alzheimer's Disease: the Blood-borne Identity

Journal of Neural Transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996). Aug, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20517700

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and incurable neurodegenerative disorder clinically characterized by cognitive decline involving loss of memory, reasoning and linguistic ability. The amyloid cascade hypothesis holds that mismetabolism and aggregation of neurotoxic amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides, which are deposited as amyloid plaques, are the central etiological events in AD. Recent evidence from AD mouse models suggests that blood-borne mononuclear phagocytes are capable of infiltrating the brain and restricting beta-amyloid plaques, thereby limiting disease progression. These observations raise at least three key questions: (1) what is the cell of origin for macrophages in the AD brain, (2) do blood-borne macrophages impact the pathophysiology of AD and (3) could these enigmatic cells be therapeutically targeted to curb cerebral amyloidosis and thereby slow disease progression? This review begins with a historical perspective of peripheral mononuclear phagocytes in AD, and moves on to critically consider the controversy surrounding their identity as distinct from brain-resident microglia and their potential impact on AD pathology.

Targeting S100B in Cerebral Ischemia and in Alzheimer's Disease

Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology. 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20862385

S100B is an EF-hand calcium-binding protein that exerts both intracellular and extracellular effects on a variety of cellular processes. The protein is predominantly expressed in the central nervous system by astrocytes, both physiologically and during the course of neurological disease. In the healthy adult brain and during development, constitutive S100B expression acts as a trophic factor to drive neurite extension and to referee neuroplasticity. Yet, when induced during central nervous system disease, the protein can take on maladaptive roles and thereby exacerbate brain pathology. Based on genetic and pharmacological lines of evidence, we consider such deleterious roles of S100B in two common brain pathologies: ischemic stroke and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In rodent models of ischemic brain damage, S100B is induced early on during the subacute phase, where it exacerbates gliosis and delayed infarct expansion and thereby worsens functional recovery. In mouse models of AD, S100B drives brain inflammation and gliosis that accelerate cerebral amyloidosis. Pharmacological inhibition of S100B synthesis mitigates hallmark pathologies of both brain diseases, opening the door for translational approaches to treat these devastating neurological disorders.

Mutant Presenilin-1 Deregulated Peripheral Immunity Exacerbates Alzheimer-like Pathology

Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 19900216

Mutations in the presenilin-1 (PS1) gene are independent causes of familial Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD patients have dysregulated immunity, and PS1 mutant mice exhibit abnormal systemic immune responses. To test whether immune function abnormality caused by a mutant human PS1 gene (mhPS1) could modify AD-like pathology, we reconstituted immune systems of AD model mice carrying a mutant human amyloid precursor protein gene (mhAPP; Tg2576 mice) or both mhAPP and mhPS1 genes (PSAPP mice) with allogeneic bone marrow cells. Here, we report a marked reduction in amyloid-β (Aβ) levels, β-amyloid plaques and brain inflammatory responses in PSAPP mice following strain-matched wild-type PS1 bone marrow reconstitution. These effects occurred with immune switching from pro-inflammatory T helper (Th) 1 to anti-inflammatory Th2 immune responses in the periphery and in the brain, which likely instructed microglia to phagocytose and clear Aβ in an ex vivo assay. Conversely, Tg2576 mice displayed accelerated AD-like pathology when reconstituted with mhPS1 bone marrow. These data show that haematopoietic cells bearing the mhPS1 transgene exacerbate AD-like pathology, suggesting a novel therapeutic strategy for AD based on targeting PS1 in peripheral immune cells.

Macrophage IL-12p70 Signaling Prevents HSV-1-induced CNS Autoimmunity Triggered by Autoaggressive CD4+ Tregs

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21220560

CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) naturally occurring regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain self-tolerance and function to suppress overly exuberant immune responses. However, it is unclear whether innate immune cells modulate Treg function. Here the authors examined the role of innate immunity in lymphomyeloid homeostasis.

CD45 Deficiency Drives Amyloid-β Peptide Oligomers and Neuronal Loss in Alzheimer's Disease Mice

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jan, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21273420

Converging lines of evidence indicate dysregulation of the key immunoregulatory molecule CD45 (also known as leukocyte common antigen) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We report that transgenic mice overproducing amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) but deficient in CD45 (PSAPP/CD45(-/-) mice) faithfully recapitulate AD neuropathology. Specifically, we find increased abundance of cerebral intracellular and extracellular soluble oligomeric and insoluble Aβ, decreased plasma soluble Aβ, increased abundance of microglial neurotoxic cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β, and neuronal loss in PSAPP/CD45(-/-) mice compared with CD45-sufficient PSAPP littermates (bearing mutant human amyloid precursor protein and mutant human presenilin-1 transgenes). After CD45 ablation, in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate an anti-Aβ phagocytic but proinflammatory microglial phenotype. This form of microglial activation occurs with elevated Aβ oligomers and neural injury and loss as determined by decreased ratio of anti-apoptotic Bcl-xL to proapoptotic Bax, increased activated caspase-3, mitochondrial dysfunction, and loss of cortical neurons in PSAPP/CD45(-/-) mice. These data show that deficiency in CD45 activity leads to brain accumulation of neurotoxic Aβ oligomers and validate CD45-mediated microglial clearance of oligomeric Aβ as a novel AD therapeutic target.

The Role of LAT in Increased CD8+ T Cell Exhaustion in Trigeminal Ganglia of Mice Latently Infected with Herpes Simplex Virus 1

Journal of Virology. May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21307196

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is a classic example of latent viral infection in humans and experimental animal models. The HSV-1 latency-associated transcript (LAT) plays a major role in the HSV-1 latency reactivation cycle and thus in recurrent disease. Whether the presence of LAT leads to generation of dysfunctional T cell responses in the trigeminal ganglia (TG) of latently infected mice is not known. To address this issue, we used LAT-positive [LAT(+)] and LAT-deficient [LAT(-)] viruses to evaluate the effect of LAT on CD8 T cell exhaustion in TG of latently infected mice. The amount of latency as determined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) of viral DNA in total TG extracts was 3-fold higher with LAT(+) than with LAT(-) virus. LAT expression and increased latency correlated with increased mRNA levels of CD8, PD-1, and Tim-3. PD-1 is both a marker for exhaustion and a primary factor leading to exhaustion, and Tim-3 can also contribute to exhaustion. These results suggested that LAT(+) TG contain both more CD8(+) T cells and more CD8(+) T cells expressing the exhaustion markers PD-1 and Tim-3. This was confirmed by flow cytometry analyses of expression of CD3/CD8/PD-1/Tim-3, HSV-1, CD8(+) T cell pentamer (specific for a peptide derived from residues 498 to 505 of glycoprotein B [gB(498-505)]), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). The functional significance of PD-1 and its ligands in HSV-1 latency was demonstrated by the significantly reduced amount of HSV-1 latency in PD-1- and PD-L1-deficient mice. Together, these results may suggest that both PD-1 and Tim-3 are mediators of CD8(+) T cell exhaustion and latency in HSV-1 infection.

Control of TH17 Cells Occurs in the Small Intestine

Nature. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21765430

Interleukin (IL)-17-producing T helper cells (T(H)17) are a recently identified CD4(+) T cell subset distinct from T helper type 1 (T(H)1) and T helper type 2 (T(H)2) cells. T(H)17 cells can drive antigen-specific autoimmune diseases and are considered the main population of pathogenic T cells driving experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the mouse model for multiple sclerosis. The factors that are needed for the generation of T(H)17 cells have been well characterized. However, where and how the immune system controls T(H)17 cells in vivo remains unclear. Here, by using a model of tolerance induced by CD3-specific antibody, a model of sepsis and influenza A viral infection (H1N1), we show that pro-inflammatory T(H)17 cells can be redirected to and controlled in the small intestine. T(H)17-specific IL-17A secretion induced expression of the chemokine CCL20 in the small intestine, facilitating the migration of these cells specifically to the small intestine via the CCR6/CCL20 axis. Moreover, we found that T(H)17 cells are controlled by two different mechanisms in the small intestine: first, they are eliminated via the intestinal lumen; second, pro-inflammatory T(H)17 cells simultaneously acquire a regulatory phenotype with in vitro and in vivo immune-suppressive properties (rT(H)17). These results identify mechanisms limiting T(H)17 cell pathogenicity and implicate the gastrointestinal tract as a site for control of T(H)17 cells.

Adaptive and Innate Transforming Growth Factor Beta Signaling Impact Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Latency and Reactivation

Journal of Virology. Nov, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21880769

Innate and adaptive immunity play important protective roles by combating herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection. Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) is a key negative cytokine regulator of both innate and adaptive immune responses. Yet, it is unknown whether TGF-β signaling in either immune compartment impacts HSV-1 replication and latency. We undertook genetic approaches to address these issues by infecting two different dominant negative TGF-β receptor type II transgenic mouse lines. These mice have specific TGF-β signaling blockades in either T cells or innate cells. Mice were ocularly infected with HSV-1 to evaluate the effects of restricted innate or adaptive TGF-β signaling during acute and latent infections. Limiting innate cell but not T cell TGF-β signaling reduced virus replication in the eyes of infected mice. On the other hand, blocking TGF-β signaling in either innate cells or T cells resulted in decreased latency in the trigeminal ganglia of infected mice. Furthermore, inhibiting TGF-β signaling in T cells reduced cell lysis and leukocyte infiltration in corneas and trigeminal ganglia during primary HSV-1 infection of mice. These findings strongly suggest that TGF-β signaling, which generally functions to dampen immune responses, results in increased HSV-1 latency.

Myeloid Differentiation Factor-2 Interacts with Lyn Kinase and is Tyrosine Phosphorylated Following Lipopolysaccharide-induced Activation of the TLR4 Signaling Pathway

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21918188

Stimulation with LPS induces tyrosine phosphorylation of numerous proteins involved in the TLR signaling pathway. In this study, we demonstrated that myeloid differentiation factor-2 (MD-2) is also tyrosine phosphorylated following LPS stimulation. LPS-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of MD-2 is specific; it is blocked by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, herbimycin A, as well as by an inhibitor of endocytosis, cytochalasin D, suggesting that MD-2 phosphorylation occurs during trafficking of MD-2 and not on the cell surface. Furthermore, we identified two possible phospho-accepting tyrosine residues at positions 22 and 131. Mutant proteins in which these tyrosines were changed to phenylalanine had reduced phosphorylation and significantly diminished ability to activate NF-κB in response to LPS. In addition, MD-2 coprecipitated and colocalized with Lyn kinase, most likely in the endoplasmic reticulum. A Lyn-binding peptide inhibitor abolished MD-2 tyrosine phosphorylation, suggesting that Lyn is a likely candidate to be the kinase required for MD-2 tyrosine phosphorylation. Our study demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation of MD-2 is important for signaling following exposure to LPS and underscores the importance of this event in mediating an efficient and prompt immune response.

Tannic Acid is a Natural β-secretase Inhibitor That Prevents Cognitive Impairment and Mitigates Alzheimer-like Pathology in Transgenic Mice

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22219198

Amyloid precursor protein (APP) proteolysis is essential for production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides that form β-amyloid plaques in brains of Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Recent focus has been directed toward a group of naturally occurring anti-amyloidogenic polyphenols known as flavonoids. We orally administered the flavonoid tannic acid (TA) to the transgenic PSAPP mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis (bearing mutant human APP and presenilin-1 transgenes) and evaluated cognitive function and AD-like pathology. Consumption of TA for 6 months prevented transgene-associated behavioral impairment including hyperactivity, decreased object recognition, and defective spatial reference memory, but did not alter nontransgenic mouse behavior. Accordingly, brain parenchymal and cerebral vascular β-amyloid deposits and abundance of various Aβ species including oligomers were mitigated in TA-treated PSAPP mice. These effects occurred with decreased cleavage of the β-carboxyl-terminal APP fragment, lowered soluble APP-β production, reduced β-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 protein stability and activity, and attenuated neuroinflammation. As in vitro validation, we treated well characterized mutant human APP-overexpressing murine neuron-like cells with TA and found significantly reduced Aβ production associated with less amyloidogenic APP proteolysis. Taken together, these results raise the possibility that dietary supplementation with TA may be prophylactic for AD by inhibiting β-secretase activity and neuroinflammation and thereby mitigating AD pathology.

Oxidized Mitochondrial DNA Activates the NLRP3 Inflammasome During Apoptosis

Immunity. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22342844

We report that in the presence of signal 1 (NF-κB), the NLRP3 inflammasome was activated by mitochondrial apoptotic signaling that licensed production of interleukin-1β (IL-1β). NLRP3 secondary signal activators such as ATP induced mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis, resulting in release of oxidized mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into the cytosol, where it bound to and activated the NLRP3 inflammasome. The antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 inversely regulated mitochondrial dysfunction and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Mitochondrial DNA directly induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation, because macrophages lacking mtDNA had severely attenuated IL-1β production, yet still underwent apoptosis. Both binding of oxidized mtDNA to the NLRP3 inflammasome and IL-1β secretion could be competitively inhibited by the oxidized nucleoside 8-OH-dG. Thus, our data reveal that oxidized mtDNA released during programmed cell death causes activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. These results provide a missing link between apoptosis and inflammasome activation, via binding of cytosolic oxidized mtDNA to the NLRP3 inflammasome.

Basic Biology and Mechanisms of Neural Ciliogenesis and the B9 Family

Molecular Neurobiology. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22644387

Although the discovery of cilia is one of the earliest in cell biology, the past two decades have witnessed an explosion of new insight into these enigmatic organelles. While long believed to be vestigial, cilia have recently moved into the spotlight as key players in multiple cellular processes, including brain development and homeostasis. This review focuses on the rapidly expanding basic biology of neural cilia, with special emphasis on the newly emerging B9 family of proteins. In particular, recent findings have identified a critical role for the B9 complex in a network of protein interactions that take place at the ciliary transition zone (TZ). We describe the essential role of these protein complexes in signaling cascades that require primary (nonmotile) cilia, including the sonic hedgehog pathway. Loss or dysfunction of ciliary trafficking and TZ function are linked to a number of neurologic diseases, which we propose to classify as neural ciliopathies. When taken together, the studies reviewed herein point to critical roles played by neural cilia, both in normal physiology and in disease.

Rapid Genetic Targeting of Pial Surface Neural Progenitors and Immature Neurons by Neonatal Electroporation

Neural Development. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22776033

Recent findings have indicated the presence of a progenitor domain at the marginal zone/layer 1 of the cerebral cortex, and it has been suggested that these progenitors have neurogenic and gliogenic potential. However, their contribution to the histogenesis of the cortex remains poorly understood due to difficulties associated with genetically manipulating these unique cells in a population-specific manner.

Microglia in Alzheimer's Disease: It's All About Context

International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22779026

Neuroinflammation is now regarded as both an early event and prime mover in the pathobiology of Alzheimer disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease that represents a growing public health threat. As the resident innate immune cells within the central nervous system, microglia are centrally positioned as key orchestrators of brain inflammation. It is now accepted that numerous forms of activated microglia exist. Furthermore, while some types of reactive microglia are detrimental, others can actually be beneficial. In the context of AD etiopathology, much debate surrounds whether these enigmatic cells play "good" or "bad" roles. In this article, we distill a complex clinical and experimental literature focused on the contribution of microglia to AD pathology and progression. A synthesis of the literature only seems possible when considering context- the conditions under which microglia encounter and mount immunological responses to AD pathology. In order to carry out these diverse contextual responses, a number of key receptors and signaling pathways are variously activated. It will be critically important for future studies to address molecular mediators that lead to beneficial microglial responses and therefore represent important therapeutic targets for AD.

IL-22 Signaling Contributes to West Nile Encephalitis Pathogenesis

PloS One. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22952908

The Th17 cytokine, IL-22, regulates host immune responses to extracellular pathogens. Whether IL-22 plays a role in viral infection, however, is poorly understood. We report here that Il22(-/-) mice were more resistant to lethal West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis, but had similar viral loads in the periphery compared to wild type (WT) mice. Viral loads, leukocyte infiltrates, proinflammatory cytokines and apoptotic cells in the central nervous system (CNS) of Il22(-/-) mice were also strikingly reduced. Further examination showed that Cxcr2, a chemokine receptor that plays a non-redundant role in mediating neutrophil migration, was significantly reduced in Il22(-/-) compared to WT leukocytes. Expression of Cxcr2 ligands, cxcl1 and cxcl5, was lower in Il22(-/-) brains than wild type mice. Correspondingly, neutrophil migration from the blood into the brain was attenuated following lethal WNV infection of Il22(-/-) mice. Our results suggest that IL-22 signaling exacerbates lethal WNV encephalitis likely by promoting WNV neuroinvasion.

Ferulic Acid is a Nutraceutical β-secretase Modulator That Improves Behavioral Impairment and Alzheimer-like Pathology in Transgenic Mice

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23409038

Amyloid precursor protein (APP) proteolysis is required for production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides that comprise β-amyloid plaques in brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Recent AD therapeutic interest has been directed toward a group of anti-amyloidogenic compounds extracted from plants. We orally administered the brain penetrant, small molecule phenolic compound ferulic acid (FA) to the transgenic PSAPP mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis (bearing mutant human APP and presenilin-1 transgenes) and evaluated behavioral impairment and AD-like pathology. Oral FA treatment for 6 months reversed transgene-associated behavioral deficits including defective: hyperactivity, object recognition, and spatial working and reference memory, but did not alter wild-type mouse behavior. Furthermore, brain parenchymal and cerebral vascular β-amyloid deposits as well as abundance of various Aβ species including oligomers were decreased in FA-treated PSAPP mice. These effects occurred with decreased cleavage of the β-carboxyl-terminal APP fragment, reduced β-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 protein stability and activity, attenuated neuroinflammation, and stabilized oxidative stress. As in vitro validation, we treated well-characterized mutant human APP-overexpressing murine neuron-like cells with FA and found significantly decreased Aβ production and reduced amyloidogenic APP proteolysis. Collectively, these results highlight that FA is a β-secretase modulator with therapeutic potential against AD.

Increasing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Yield to Develop Mice with Human Immune Systems

BioMed Research International. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23509770

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are unique in their capacity to give rise to all mature cells of the immune system. For years, HSC transplantation has been used for treatment of genetic and neoplastic diseases of the hematopoietic and immune systems. The sourcing of HSCs from human umbilical cord blood has salient advantages over isolation from mobilized peripheral blood. However, poor sample yield has prompted development of methodologies to expand HSCs ex vivo. Cytokines, trophic factors, and small molecules have been variously used to promote survival and proliferation of HSCs in culture, whilst strategies to lower the concentration of inhibitors in the culture media have recently been applied to promote HSC expansion. In this paper, we outline strategies to expand HSCs in vitro, and to improve engraftment and reconstitution of human immune systems in immunocompromised mice. To the extent that these "humanized" mice are representative of the endogenous human immune system, they will be invaluable tools for both basic science and translational medicine.

Innate Immunity in Alzheimer's Disease: a Complex Affair

CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23574177

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by three major histopathological hallmarks: β-amyloid deposits, neurofibrillary tangles and gliosis. While neglected for decades, the neuroinflammatory processes coordinated by microglia are now accepted as etiologic events in AD evolution. Microglial cells are found in close vicinity to amyloid plaques and display various activation phenotypes determined by the expression of a wide range of cytokines, chemokines, and innate immune surface receptors. During the development of AD pathology, microglia fail to restrict amyloid plaques and may contribute to neurotoxicity and cognitive deficit. Nevertheless, under specific activation states, microglia can participate in cerebral amyloid clearance. This review focuses on the complex relationship between microglia and Aβ pathology, and highlights both deleterious and beneficial roles of microglial activation states in the context of AD. A deeper understanding of microglial biology will hopefully pave the way for next-generation AD therapeutic approaches aimed at harnessing these enigmatic innate immune cells of the central nervous system.

A Transgenic Alzheimer Rat with Plaques, Tau Pathology, Behavioral Impairment, Oligomeric Aβ, and Frank Neuronal Loss

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Apr, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23575824

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is hallmarked by amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and widespread cortical neuronal loss (Selkoe, 2001). The "amyloid cascade hypothesis" posits that cerebral amyloid sets neurotoxic events into motion that precipitate Alzheimer dementia (Hardy and Allsop, 1991). Yet, faithful recapitulation of all AD features in widely used transgenic (Tg) mice engineered to overproduce Aβ peptides has been elusive. We have developed a Tg rat model (line TgF344-AD) expressing mutant human amyloid precursor protein (APPsw) and presenilin 1 (PS1ΔE9) genes, each independent causes of early-onset familial AD. TgF344-AD rats manifest age-dependent cerebral amyloidosis that precedes tauopathy, gliosis, apoptotic loss of neurons in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, and cognitive disturbance. These results demonstrate progressive neurodegeneration of the Alzheimer type in these animals. The TgF344-AD rat fills a critical need for a next-generation animal model to enable basic and translational AD research.

Brain Injury, Neuroinflammation and Alzheimer's Disease

Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23874297

With as many as 300,000 United States troops in Iraq and Afghanistan having suffered head injuries (Miller, 2012), traumatic brain injury (TBI) has garnered much recent attention. While the cause and severity of these injuries is variable, severe cases can lead to lifelong disability or even death. While aging is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), it is now becoming clear that a history of TBI predisposes the individual to AD later in life (Sivanandam and Thakur, 2012). In this review article, we begin by defining hallmark pathological features of AD and the various forms of TBI. Putative mechanisms underlying the risk relationship between these two neurological disorders are then critically considered. Such mechanisms include precipitation and 'spreading' of cerebral amyloid pathology and the role of neuroinflammation. The combined problems of TBI and AD represent significant burdens to public health. A thorough, mechanistic understanding of the precise relationship between TBI and AD is of utmost importance in order to illuminate new therapeutic targets. Mechanistic investigations and the development of preclinical therapeutics are reliant upon a clearer understanding of these human diseases and accurate modeling of pathological hallmarks in animal systems.

CD8α Dendritic Cells Drive Establishment of HSV-1 Latency

PloS One. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24695322

It is generally accepted that CD8 T cells play the key role to maintain HSV-1 latency in trigeminal ganglia of ocularly infected mice. Yet, comparably little is known about the role of innate immunity in establishment of viral latency. In the current study, we investigated whether CD8α DCs impact HSV-1 latency by examining latency in the trigeminal ganglia (TG) of wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 versus CD8α-/- (lack functional CD8 T cells and CD8α+ DCs), CD8β-/- (have functional CD8α+ T cells and CD8α+ DCs), and β2m-/- (lack functional CD8 T cells but have CD8α+ DCs) mice as well as BXH2 (have functional CD8 T cells but lack CD8α+ DCs) versus WT C3H (have functional CD8α T cells and CD8α+ DCs) mice. We also determined whether the phenotype of CD8α-/- and BXH2 mice could be restored to that of WT mice by adoptive transfer of WT CD8+ T cells or bone marrow (BM) derived CD8α+ DCs. Our results clearly demonstrate that CD8α DCs, rather than CD8 T cells, are responsible for enhanced viral latency and recurrences.

T-cell TGF-β Signaling Abrogation Restricts Medulloblastoma Progression

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Aug, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25082897

Cancer cell secretion of TGF-β is a potent mechanism for immune evasion. However, little is known about how central nervous system tumors guard against immune eradication. We sought to determine the impact of T-cell TGF-β signaling blockade on progression of medulloblastoma (MB), the most common pediatric brain tumor. Genetic abrogation of T-cell TGF-β signaling mitigated tumor progression in the smoothened A1 (SmoA1) transgenic MB mouse. T regulatory cells were nearly abolished and antitumor immunity was mediated by CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes. To define the CD8 T-cell subpopulation responsible, primed CD8 T cells were adoptively transferred into tumor-bearing immunocompromised SmoA1 recipients. This led to generation of CD8(+)/killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 high (KLRG1(hi))/IL-7R(lo) short-lived effector cells that expressed granzyme B at the tumor. These results identify a cellular immune mechanism whereby TGF-β signaling blockade licenses the T-cell repertoire to kill pediatric brain tumor cells.

Methylene Blue Modulates β-secretase, Reverses Cerebral Amyloidosis, and Improves Cognition in Transgenic Mice

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Oct, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25157105

Amyloid precursor protein (APP) proteolysis is required for production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides that comprise β-amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD). Here, we tested whether the experimental agent methylene blue (MB), used for treatment of methemoglobinemia, might improve AD-like pathology and behavioral deficits. We orally administered MB to the aged transgenic PSAPP mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis and evaluated cognitive function and cerebral amyloid pathology. Beginning at 15 months of age, animals were gavaged with MB (3 mg/kg) or vehicle once daily for 3 months. MB treatment significantly prevented transgene-associated behavioral impairment, including hyperactivity, decreased object recognition, and defective spatial working and reference memory, but it did not alter nontransgenic mouse behavior. Moreover, brain parenchymal and cerebral vascular β-amyloid deposits as well as levels of various Aβ species, including oligomers, were mitigated in MB-treated PSAPP mice. These effects occurred with inhibition of amyloidogenic APP proteolysis. Specifically, β-carboxyl-terminal APP fragment and β-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 protein expression and activity were attenuated. Additionally, treatment of Chinese hamster ovary cells overexpressing human wild-type APP with MB significantly decreased Aβ production and amyloidogenic APP proteolysis. These results underscore the potential for oral MB treatment against AD-related cerebral amyloidosis by modulating the amyloidogenic pathway.

MyD88 is Dispensable for Cerebral Amyloidosis and Neuroinflammation in APP/PS1 Transgenic Mice

The American Journal of Pathology. Nov, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25174876

Activated microglia are associated with amyloid plaques in transgenic mouse models of cerebral amyloidosis and in human Alzheimer disease; yet, their implication in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis remains unclear. It has been suggested that microglia play dual roles depending on the context of activation, contributing negatively to disease pathogenesis by secreting proinflammatory innate cytokines or performing a beneficial role via phagocytosis of amyloid beta (Aβ) deposits. Toll-like receptors, most of which signal through the adaptor protein myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), have been suggested as candidate Aβ innate pattern recognition receptors. It was recently reported that MyD88 deficiency reduced brain amyloid pathology and microglial activation. To assess a putative role of MyD88 in cerebral amyloidosis and glial activation in APPswe/PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) mice, we crossed MyD88-deficient (MyD88(-/-)) mice with APP/PS1 mice, interbred first filial offspring, and studied APP/PS1 MyD88(+/+), APP/PS1 MyD88(+/-), and APP/PS1 MyD88(-/-) cohorts. Biochemical analysis of detergent-soluble and detergent-insoluble Aβ1-40 or Aβ1-42 in brain homogenates did not reveal significant between-group differences. Furthermore, no significant differences were observed on amyloid plaque load or soluble fibrillar Aβ by quantitative immunohistochemical analysis. In addition, neither activated microglia nor astrocytes differed among the three groups. These data suggest that MyD88 signaling is dispensable for Aβ-induced glial activation and does not significantly affect the nature or extent of cerebral β-amyloidosis in APP/PS1 mice.

The Role of the Immune System in Neurodegenerative Disorders: Adaptive or Maladaptive?

Brain Research. Aug, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25218556

Neurodegenerative diseases share common features, including catastrophic neuronal loss that leads to cognitive or motor dysfunction. Neuronal injury occurs in an inflammatory milieu that is populated by resident and sometimes, infiltrating, immune cells - all of which participate in a complex interplay between secreted inflammatory modulators and activated immune cell surface receptors. The importance of these immunomodulators is highlighted by the number of immune factors that have been associated with increased risk of neurodegeneration in recent genome-wide association studies. One of the more difficult tasks for designing therapeutic strategies for immune modulation against neurodegenerative diseases is teasing apart beneficial from harmful signals. In this regard, learning more about the immune components of these diseases has yielded common themes. These unifying concepts should eventually enable immune-based therapeutics for treatment of Alzheimer׳s and Parkinson׳s diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Targeted immune modulation should be possible to temper maladaptive factors, enabling beneficial immune responses in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Neuroimmunology in Health And Disease.

Il10 Deficiency Rebalances Innate Immunity to Mitigate Alzheimer-like Pathology

Neuron. Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25619654

The impact of inflammation suppressor pathways on Alzheimer's disease (AD) evolution remains poorly understood. Human genetic evidence suggests involvement of the cardinal anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL10). We crossed the APP/PS1 mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis with a mouse deficient in Il10 (APP/PS1(+)Il10(-/-)). Quantitative in silico 3D modeling revealed activated Aβ phagocytic microglia in APP/PS1(+)Il10(-/-) mice that restricted cerebral amyloidosis. Genome-wide RNA sequencing of APP/PS1(+)Il10(-/-) brains showed selective modulation of innate immune genes that drive neuroinflammation. Il10 deficiency preserved synaptic integrity and mitigated cognitive disturbance in APP/PS1 mice. In vitro knockdown of microglial Il10-Stat3 signaling endorsed Aβ phagocytosis, while exogenous IL-10 had the converse effect. Il10 deficiency also partially overcame inhibition of microglial Aβ uptake by human Apolipoprotein E. Finally, the IL-10 signaling pathway was abnormally elevated in AD patient brains. Our results suggest that "rebalancing" innate immunity by blocking the IL-10 anti-inflammatory response may be therapeutically relevant for AD.

Spatial Proximity of Homologous Alleles and Long Noncoding RNAs Regulate a Switch in Allelic Gene Expression

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Mar, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25770217

Physiological processes rely on the regulation of total mRNA levels in a cell. In diploid organisms, the transcriptional activation of one or both alleles of a gene may involve trans-allelic interactions that provide a tight spatial and temporal level of gene expression regulation. The mechanisms underlying such interactions still remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that lipopolysaccharide stimulation of murine macrophages rapidly resulted in the actin-mediated and transient homologous spatial proximity of Tnfα alleles, which was necessary for the mono- to biallelic switch in gene expression. We identified two new complementary long noncoding RNAs transcribed from the TNFα locus and showed that their knockdown had opposite effects in Tnfα spatial proximity and allelic expression. Moreover, the observed spatial proximity of Tnfα alleles depended on pyruvate kinase muscle isoform 2 (PKM2) and T-helper-inducing POZ-Krüppel-like factor (ThPOK). This study suggests a role for lncRNAs in the regulation of somatic homologous spatial proximity and allelic expression control necessary for fine-tuning mammalian immune responses.

Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's Disease

The Lancet. Neurology. Apr, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25792098

Increasing evidence suggests that Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis is not restricted to the neuronal compartment, but includes strong interactions with immunological mechanisms in the brain. Misfolded and aggregated proteins bind to pattern recognition receptors on microglia and astroglia, and trigger an innate immune response characterised by release of inflammatory mediators, which contribute to disease progression and severity. Genome-wide analysis suggests that several genes that increase the risk for sporadic Alzheimer's disease encode factors that regulate glial clearance of misfolded proteins and the inflammatory reaction. External factors, including systemic inflammation and obesity, are likely to interfere with immunological processes of the brain and further promote disease progression. Modulation of risk factors and targeting of these immune mechanisms could lead to future therapeutic or preventive strategies for Alzheimer's disease.

Characterization of Cancer Stem Cells and Primary Cilia in Medulloblastoma

CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25921740

Medulloblastoma, a tumor of the cerebellum, is the most common pediatric central nervous system malignancy. These tumors are etiologically linked to mutations in the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway, which signals through the primary, non-motile cilium. The growth of these aggressive tumors relies on self-renewal of tumor-propagating cells known as cancer stem cells (CSCs). Previous reports have implicated CD133-expressing cells as CSCs in brain tumors, while those expressing CD15 have been shown to propagate medulloblastoma. Here, we demonstrate that CD133+ and CD15+ cells are distinct medulloblastoma populations. CD15+ cells comprise approximately 0.5-1% of total human medulloblastoma cells, display CSC properties in culture and are detected in the Smoothened A1 transgenic mouse model of medulloblastoma. Additionally, we report on a medulloblastoma patient with enriched CD15+ cells in recurrent vs primary medulloblastoma. We also demonstrate that human medulloblastoma cells critically rely on establishment of primary cilia to drive Shh-mediated cell division. Primary cilia are found in external granule cells of human fetal cerebellum and in 12/14 medulloblastoma samples. Yet, CD15+ medulloblastoma cells lack primary cilia, suggesting that this CSC population signals independently of Shh. These results are important when considering the effects of current and prospective treatment modalities on medulloblastoma CSC populations.

Innate Immunity Fights Alzheimer's Disease

Trends in Neurosciences. Nov, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26549882

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common age-related dementia. Pathognomonic accumulation of cerebral β-amyloid plaques likely results from imbalanced production and removal of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. In AD, innate immune cells lose their ability to restrict cerebral Aβ accumulation. At least in principle, mononuclear phagocytes can be enlisted to clear Aβ/β-amyloid from the brain. While the classical focus has been on dampening neuroinflammation in the context of AD, we hypothesize that rebalancing cerebral innate immunity by inhibiting actions of key anti-inflammatory cytokines returns the brain to a physiological state. Recent experiments demonstrating beneficial effects of blocking anti-inflammatory cytokine signaling in preclinical mouse models provide supportive evidence. This concept represents an important step toward innate immune-targeted therapy to combat AD.

Increased Susceptibility of Humanized NSG Mice to Panton-Valentine Leukocidin and Staphylococcus Aureus Skin Infection

PLoS Pathogens. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26618545

Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of skin and soft-tissue infections worldwide. Mice are the most commonly used animals for modeling human staphylococcal infections. However a supra-physiologic S. aureus inoculum is required to establish gross murine skin pathology. Moreover, many staphylococcal factors, including Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) elaborated by community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA), exhibit selective human tropism and cannot be adequately studied in mice. To overcome these deficiencies, we investigated S. aureus infection in non-obese diabetic (NOD)/severe combined immune deficiency (SCID)/IL2rγnull (NSG) mice engrafted with human CD34+ umbilical cord blood cells. These "humanized" NSG mice require one to two log lower inoculum to induce consistent skin lesions compared with control mice, and exhibit larger cutaneous lesions upon infection with PVL+ versus isogenic PVL- S. aureus. Neutrophils appear important for PVL pathology as adoptive transfer of human neutrophils alone to NSG mice was sufficient to induce dermonecrosis following challenge with PVL+ S. aureus but not PVL- S. aureus. PMX53, a human C5aR inhibitor, blocked PVL-induced cellular cytotoxicity in vitro and reduced the size difference of lesions induced by the PVL+ and PVL- S. aureus, but PMX53 also reduced recruitment of neutrophils and exacerbated the infection. Overall, our findings establish humanized mice as an important translational tool for the study of S. aureus infection and provide strong evidence that PVL is a human virulence factor.

Multi-Shell Hybrid Diffusion Imaging (HYDI) at 7 Tesla in TgF344-AD Transgenic Alzheimer Rats

PloS One. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26683657

Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is widely used to study microstructural characteristics of the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and high-angular resolution imaging (HARDI) are frequently used in radiology and neuroscience research but can be limited in describing the signal behavior in composite nerve fiber structures. Here, we developed and assessed the benefit of a comprehensive diffusion encoding scheme, known as hybrid diffusion imaging (HYDI), composed of 300 DWI volumes acquired at 7-Tesla with diffusion weightings at b = 1000, 3000, 4000, 8000 and 12000 s/mm2 and applied it in transgenic Alzheimer rats (line TgF344-AD) that model the full clinico-pathological spectrum of the human disease. We studied and visualized the effects of the multiple concentric "shells" when computing three distinct anisotropy maps-fractional anisotropy (FA), generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) and normalized quantitative anisotropy (NQA). We tested the added value of the multi-shell q-space sampling scheme, when reconstructing neural pathways using mathematical frameworks from DTI and q-ball imaging (QBI). We show a range of properties of HYDI, including lower apparent anisotropy when using high b-value shells in DTI-based reconstructions, and increases in apparent anisotropy in QBI-based reconstructions. Regardless of the reconstruction scheme, HYDI improves FA-, GFA- and NQA-aided tractography. HYDI may be valuable in human connectome projects and clinical research, as well as magnetic resonance research in experimental animals.

CD8+ T Cells Play a Bystander Role in Mice Latently Infected with Herpes Simplex Virus 1

Journal of Virology. May, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26962220

Based on an explant reactivation model, it has been proposed that CD8(+) T cells maintain latency in trigeminal ganglia (TG) of mice latently infected with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) [T. Liu, K. M. Khanna, X. Chen, D. J. Fink, and R. L. Hendricks, J Exp Med 191:1459-1466, 2000, doi:10.1084/jem.191.9.1459; K. M. Khanna, R. H. Bonneau, P. R. Kinchington, and R. L. Hendricks, Immunity 18:593-603, 2003, doi:10.1016/S1074-7613(03)00112-2]. In those studies, BALB/c mice were ocularly infected with an avirulent HSV-1 strain (RE) after corneal scarification. However, in our studies, we typically infect mice with a virulent HSV-1 strain (McKrae) that does not require corneal scarification. Using a combination of knockout mice, adoptive transfers, and depletion studies, we recently found that CD8α(+) dendritic cells (DCs) contribute to HSV-1 latency and reactivation in TG of ocularly infected mice (K. R. Mott, S. J. Allen, M. Zandian, B. Konda, B. G. Sharifi, C. Jones, S. L. Wechsler, T. Town, and H. Ghiasi, PLoS One 9:e93444, 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093444). This suggested that CD8(+) T cells might not be the major regulators of HSV-1 latency in the mouse TG. To investigate this iconoclastic possibility, we used a blocking CD8 antibody and CD8(+) T cells in reactivated TG explants from mice latently infected with (i) the avirulent HSV-1 strain RE following corneal scarification or (ii) the virulent HSV-1 strain McKrae without corneal scarification. Independently of the strain or approach, our results show that CD8α(+) DCs, not CD8(+) T cells, drive latency and reactivation. In addition, adoptive transfer of CD8(+) T cells from wild-type (wt) mice to CD8α(-/-) mice did not restore latency to the level for wt mice or wt virus. In the presence of latency-associated transcript (LAT((+)); wt virus), CD8(+) T cells seem to play a bystander role in the TG. These bystander T cells highly express PD-1, most likely due to the presence of CD8α(+) DCs. Collectively, these results support the notion that CD8(+) T cells do not play a major role in maintaining HSV-1 latency and reactivation.

Targeting Innate Immunity for Neurodegenerative Disorders of the Central Nervous System

Journal of Neurochemistry. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27248001

Neuroinflammation is critically involved in numerous neurodegenerative diseases, and key signaling steps of innate immune activation hence represent promising therapeutic targets. This mini review series originated from the 4th Venusberg Meeting on Neuroinflammation held in Bonn, Germany, 7-9th May 2015, presenting updates on innate immunity in acute brain injury and chronic neurodegenerative disorders, such as traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer disease, on the role of astrocytes and microglia, as well as technical developments that may help elucidate neuroinflammatory mechanisms and establish clinical relevance. In this meeting report, a brief overview of physiological and pathological microglia morphology is followed by a synopsis on PGE2 receptors, insights into the role of arginine metabolism and further relevant aspects of neuroinflammation in various clinical settings, and concluded by a presentation of technical challenges and solutions when working with microglia and astrocyte cultures. Microglial ontogeny and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived microglia, advances of TREM2 signaling, and the cytokine paradox in Alzheimer's disease are further contributions to this article. Neuroinflammation is critically involved in numerous neurodegenerative diseases, and key signaling steps of innate immune activation hence represent promising therapeutic targets. This mini review series originated from the 4th Venusberg Meeting on Neuroinflammation held in Bonn, Germany, 7-9th May 2015, presenting updates on innate immunity in acute brain injury and chronic neurodegenerative disorders, such as traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer's disease, on the role of astrocytes and microglia, as well as technical developments that may help elucidate neuroinflammatory mechanisms and establish clinical relevance. In this meeting report, a brief overview on physiological and pathological microglia morphology is followed by a synopsis on PGE2 receptors, insights into the role of arginine metabolism and further relevant aspects of neuroinflammation in various clinical settings, and concluded by a presentation of technical challenges and solutions when working with microglia cultures. Microglial ontogeny and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived microglia, advances of TREM2 signaling, and the cytokine paradox in Alzheimer's disease are further contributions to this article.

Interrelationship of Primary Virus Replication, Level of Latency, and Time to Reactivation in the Trigeminal Ganglia of Latently Infected Mice

Journal of Virology. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27512072

We sought to determine the possibility of an interrelationship between primary virus replication in the eye, the level of viral DNA in the trigeminal ganglia (TG) during latency, and the amount of virus reactivation following ocular herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Mice were infected with virulent (McKrae) or avirulent (KOS and RE) strains of HSV-1, and virus titers in the eyes and TG during primary infection, level of viral gB DNA in TG on day 28 postinfection (p.i.), and virus reactivation on day 28 p.i. as measured by explant reactivation were calculated. Our results suggest that the avirulent strains of HSV-1, even after corneal scarification, had lower virus titers in the eye, had less latency in the TG, and took a longer time to reactivate than virulent strains of HSV-1. The time to explant reactivation of avirulent strains of HSV-1 was similar to that of the virulent LAT((-)) McKrae-derived mutant. The viral dose with the McKrae strain of HSV-1 affected the level of viral DNA and time to explant reactivation. Overall, our results suggest that there is no absolute correlation between primary virus titer in the eye and TG and the level of viral DNA in latent TG and time to reactivation.

Amyloid Cascade into Clarity

Immunity. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27760336

In a recent issue of Nature, Sevigny et al. (2016) report findings from a phase 1b clinical trial of aducanumab (a monoclonal antibody targeting misfolded amyloid-β peptides), revitalizing the "amyloid cascade hypothesis" and bringing mononuclear phagocytes center stage in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

TLR8 Couples SOCS-1 and Restrains TLR7-Mediated Antiviral Immunity, Exacerbating West Nile Virus Infection in Mice

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Dec, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27798161

West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic ssRNA flavivirus that can cause encephalitis, meningitis, and death in humans and mice. Human TLR7 and TLR8 and mouse TLR7 recognize viral ssRNA motifs and induce antiviral immunity. However, the role of mouse TLR8 in antiviral immunity is poorly understood. In this article, we report that TLR8-deficient (Tlr8(-/-)) mice were resistant to WNV infection compared with wild-type controls. Efficient WNV clearance and moderate susceptibility to WNV-mediated neuronal death in Tlr8(-/-) mice were attributed to overexpression of Tlr7 and IFN-stimulated gene-56 expression, whereas reduced expression of the proapoptotic gene coding Bcl2-associated X protein was observed. Interestingly, suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-1 directly associated with TLR8, but not with TLR7, indicating a novel role for TLR8 regulation of SOCS-1 function, whereas selective small interfering RNA knockdown of Socs-1 resulted in induced IFN-stimulated gene-56 and Tlr7 expression following WNV infection. Collectively, we report that TLR8 coupling with SOCS-1 inhibits TLR7-mediated antiviral immunity during WNV infection in mice.

Interleukin-17A Promotes CD8+ T Cell Cytotoxicity To Facilitate West Nile Virus Clearance

Journal of Virology. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27795421

CD8(+) T cells are crucial components of immunity and play a vital role in recovery from West Nile virus (WNV) infection. Here, we identify a previously unrecognized function of interleukin-17A (IL-17A) in inducing cytotoxic-mediator gene expression and promoting CD8(+) T cell cytotoxicity against WNV infection in mice. We find that IL-17A-deficient (Il17a(-/-)) mice are more susceptible to WNV infection and develop a higher viral burden than wild-type (WT) mice. Interestingly, the CD8(+) T cells isolated from Il17a(-/-) mice are less cytotoxic and express lower levels of cytotoxic-mediator genes, which can be restored by supplying recombinant IL-17A in vitro and in vivo Importantly, treatment of WNV-infected mice with recombinant IL-17A, as late as day 6 postinfection, significantly reduces the viral burden and increases survival, suggesting a therapeutic potential for IL-17A. In conclusion, we report a novel function of IL-17A in promoting CD8(+) T cell cytotoxicity, which may have broad implications in other microbial infections and cancers.

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