Proline and hydroxyproline represent major constituents of mammalian structural proteins, especially of collagen. An efficient radiosynthesis of the 18F-labeled proline derivatives cis-/trans-4-[18F]fluoro-L-proline was developed two decades ago with the aim to investigate various diseases with altered collagen synthesis using Positron-Emission-Tomography (PET). A number of studies have explored cis-4-[18F]fluoro-L-proline uptake in various pathologies associated with increased collagen formation and in neoplastic lesions, but so far the results have not been very promising. Trans-4-[18F]fluoro-L-proline has not yet been investigated in detail, however the compound exhibits considerable differences in metabolic behavior and biodistribution compared with its cis-enantiomer. In recent years, the D-isomers of cis-/trans-4-[18F]fluoro-proline have been considered as PET tracers as well, and it was observed that both exhibit a preferred uptake into the brain compared with their L-isomers. Surprisingly, a high uptake of cis-4-[18F]fluoro-D-proline was found in brain areas exhibiting secondary neurodegeneration as well as in areas of radionecrosis after treatment of brain tumors. In this article, the present knowledge on the biological and physiological properties of cis-/trans-4-[18F]fluoro-D/L-proline and the results in various pathologies are reviewed, including some previously unpublished results from our laboratory.
PET using O-(2-[(18)F]fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine ((18)F-FET) allows improved imaging of tumor extent of cerebral gliomas in comparison to MRI. In experimental brain infarction and hematoma, an unspecific accumulation of (18)F-FET has been detected in the area of reactive astrogliosis which is a common cellular reaction in the vicinity of cerebral gliomas. The aim of this study was to investigate possible (18)F-FET uptake in the area of reactive gliosis in the vicinity of untreated and irradiated rat gliomas.
After cerebral ischemia or trauma, secondary neurodegeneration may occur in brain regions remote from the lesion. Little is known about the capacity of cerebral gliomas to induce secondary neurodegeneration. A previous study showed that cis-4-[(18)F]fluoro-D-proline (D-cis-[(18)F]FPro) detects secondary reactions of thalamic nuclei after cortical infarction with high sensitivity. Here we investigated the potential of D-cis-[(18)F]FPro to detect neuronal reactions in remote brain areas in the F98 rat glioma model using ex vivo autoradiography. Although the tumor tissue of F98 gliomas showed no significant D-cis-[(18)F]FPro uptake, we observed prominent tracer uptake in 7 of 10 animals in the nuclei of the ipsilateral thalamus, which varied with the specific connectivity with the cortical areas affected by the tumor. In addition, strong D-cis-[(18)F]FPro accumulation was noted in the hippocampal area CA1 in two animals with ipsilateral F98 gliomas involving hippocampal subarea CA3 rostral to that area. Furthermore, focal D-cis-[(18)F]FPro uptake was present in the necrotic center of the tumors. Cis-4-[(18)F]fluoro-D-proline uptake was accompanied by microglial activation in the thalamus, in the hippocampus, and in the necrotic center of the tumors. The data suggest that brain tumors induce secondary neuronal reactions in remote brain areas, which may be detected by positron emission tomography (PET) using D-cis-[(18)F]FPro.
Chronic kidney disease pathogenesis involves both tubular and vascular injuries. Despite abundant investigations to identify the risk factors, the involvement of chronic endothelial dysfunction in developing nephropathies is insufficiently explored. Previously, soluble thrombomodulin (sTM), a cofactor in the activation of protein C, has been shown to protect endothelial function in models of acute kidney injury. In this study, the role for sTM in treating chronic kidney disease was explored by employing a mouse model of chronic vascular activation using endothelial-specific TNF-?-expressing (tie2-TNF) mice. Analysis of kidneys from these mice after 3 mo showed no apparent phenotype, whereas 6-mo-old mice demonstrated infiltration of CD45-positive leukocytes accompanied by upregulated gene expression of inflammatory chemokines, markers of kidney injury, and albuminuria. Intervention with murine sTM with biweekly subcutaneous injections during this window of disease development between months 3 and 6 prevented the development of kidney pathology. To better understand the mechanisms of these findings, we determined whether sTM could also prevent chronic endothelial cell activation in vitro. Indeed, treatment with sTM normalized increased chemokines, adhesion molecule expression, and reduced transmigration of monocytes in continuously activated TNF-expressing endothelial cells. Our results suggest that vascular inflammation associated with vulnerable endothelium can contribute to loss in renal function as suggested by the tie2-TNF mice, a unique model for studying the role of vascular activation and inflammation in chronic kidney disease. Furthermore, the ability to restore the endothelial balance by exogenous administration of sTM via downregulation of specific adhesion molecules and chemokines suggests a potential for therapeutic intervention in kidney disease associated with chronic inflammation.
The IntelliMaze allows automated behavioral analysis of group housed laboratory mice while individually assigned protocols can be applied concomitantly for different operant conditioning components. Here we evaluate the effect of additional component availability (enrichment) on behavioral and cognitive performance of mice in the IntelliCage, by focusing on aspects that had previously been found to consistently differ between three strains, in four European laboratories. Enrichment decreased the activity level in the IntelliCages and enhanced spatial learning performance. However, it did not alter strain differences, except for activity during the initial experimental phase. Our results from non-enriched IntelliCages proved consistent between laboratories, but overall laboratory-consistency for data collected using different IntelliCage set-ups, did not hold for activity levels during the initial adaptation phase. Our results suggest that the multiple conditioning in spatially and cognitively enriched environments are feasible without affecting external validity for a specific task, provided animals have adapted to such an IntelliMaze.
Transgenic mice expressing mutated amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin (PS)-1 or -2 have been successfully used to model cerebral beta-amyloidosis, one of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimers disease (AD) pathology. However, the use of many transgenic lines is limited by premature death, low breeding efficiencies and late onset and high inter-animal variability of the pathology, creating a need for improved animal models. Here we describe the detailed characterization of a new homozygous double-transgenic mouse line that addresses most of these issues.
In vivo imaging and quantification of amyloid-? plaque (A?) burden in small-animal models of Alzheimers disease (AD) is a valuable tool for translational research such as developing specific imaging markers and monitoring new therapy approaches. Methodological constraints such as image resolution of positron emission tomography (PET) and lack of suitable AD models have limited the feasibility of PET in mice. In this study, we evaluated a feasible protocol for PET imaging of A? in mouse brain with [(11)C]PiB and specific activities commonly used in human studies. In vivo mouse brain MRI for anatomical reference was acquired with a clinical 1.5 T system. A recently characterized APP/PS1 mouse was employed to measure A? at different disease stages in homozygous and hemizygous animals. We performed multi-modal cross-validations for the PET results with ex vivo and in vitro methodologies, including regional brain biodistribution, multi-label digital autoradiography, protein quantification with ELISA, fluorescence microscopy, semi-automated histological quantification and radioligand binding assays. Specific [(11)C]PiB uptake in individual brain regions with A? deposition was demonstrated and validated in all animals of the study cohort including homozygous AD animals as young as nine months. Corresponding to the extent of A? pathology, old homozygous AD animals (21 months) showed the highest uptake followed by old hemizygous (23 months) and young homozygous mice (9 months). In all AD age groups the cerebellum was shown to be suitable as an intracerebral reference region. PET results were cross-validated and consistent with all applied ex vivo and in vitro methodologies. The results confirm that the experimental setup for non-invasive [(11)C]PiB imaging of A? in the APP/PS1 mice provides a feasible, reproducible and robust protocol for small-animal A? imaging. It allows longitudinal imaging studies with follow-up periods of approximately one and a half years and provides a foundation for translational Alzheimer neuroimaging in transgenic mice.
The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is a major protein degradation pathway whose dysfunction is now widely accepted as a cause of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimers disease. Here we demonstrate that the F-box and leucine rich repeat protein2 (FBL2), a component of the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, regulates amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism through APP ubiquitination. FBL2 overexpression decreased the amount of secreted amyloid ? (A?) peptides and sAPP?, whereas FBL2 mRNA knockdown by siRNA increased these levels. FBL2 overexpression also decreased the amount of intracellular A? in Neuro2a cells stably expressing APP with Swedish mutation. FBL2 bound with APP specifically at its C-terminal fragment (CTF), which promoted APP/CTF ubiquitination. FBL2 overexpression also accelerated APP proteasome-dependent degradation and decreased APP protein localization in lipid rafts by inhibiting endocytosis. These effects were not observed in an F-box-deleted FBL2 mutant that does not participate in the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Furthermore, a reduced insoluble A? and A? plaque burden was observed in the hippocampus of 7-month-old FBL2 transgenic mice crossed with double-transgenic mice harboring APPswe and PS1(M146V) transgenes. These findings indicate that FBL2 is a novel and dual regulator of APP metabolism through FBL2-dependent ubiquitination of APP.
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