Neuroprotection, recovery of function, and gene expression were evaluated in an animal model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a combination treatment of nicotinamide (NAM) and progesterone (Prog). Animals received a cortical contusion injury over the sensorimotor cortex and were treated with either Vehicle, NAM, Prog or a NAM/Prog combination for 72 h and compared to a craniotomy only (Sham) group. Animals were assessed in a battery of behavioral (fine and gross motor and sensory) tasks or a histological assessment at 24 h post-injury assessing lesion cavity size, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes. Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine treatment specific changes on gene expression. Our results confirm the beneficial effects of treatment with either NAM or Prog demonstrating significant improvements in recovery of function, and a reduction in lesion cavitation, degenerating neurons, and reactive astrocytes 24 h post-injury. The combination treatment of NAM and Prog led to a significant improvement in both neuroprotection at 24 h post-injury and recovery of function in sensorimotor related tasks when compared to individual treatments. The NAM/Prog-treated group was the only treatment group to show a significant reduction of cortical loss 24 h post-injury. The combination appears to affect inflammatory and immune processes, reducing expression of a significant number of genes in both pathways. Further preclinical trials using NAM and Prog as a combination treatment should be done to identify the window of opportunity, to determine the optimal duration of treatment and to evaluate the combination in other pre-clinical models of TBI.
Exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is considered a trigger for acute cardiovascular events. Diesel Exhaust (DE) is a major contributor to TRAP in the world. We evaluated the effect of DE inhalation on circulating blood cell populations, hematological indices, and systemic inflammatory cytokines in humans using a specialized facility.
The goal of this study was to compare the effects of two inflammatory modulators, erythropoietin (EPO) and anakinra, on functional recovery and brain gene expression following a cortical contusion impact (CCI) injury. Dosage regimens were designed to provide serum concentrations in the range obtained with clinically approved doses. Functional recovery was assessed using both motor and spatial learning tasks and neuropathological measurements conducted in the cortex and hippocampus. Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine the effect on gene expression at 24 h, 72 h, and 7 days post-CCI. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis was used to evaluate the effect on relevant functional categories. EPO and anakinra treatment resulted in significant changes in brain gene expression in the CCI model demonstrating acceptable brain penetration. At all three time points, EPO treatment resulted in significantly more differentially expressed genes than anakinra. For anakinra at 24 h and EPO at 24 h, 72 h, and 7 days, the genes in the top 3 functional categories were involved in cellular movement, inflammatory response and cell-to-cell signaling. For EPO, the majority of the genes in the top 10 canonical pathways identified were associated with inflammatory and immune signaling processes. This was true for anakinra only at 24 h post-traumatic brain injury (TBI). The immunomodulation effects of EPO and anakinra did not translate into positive effects on functional behavioral and lesion studies. Treatment with either EPO or anakinra failed to induce significant beneficial effects on recovery of function or produce any significant effects on the prevention of injury induced tissue loss at 30 days post-injury. In conclusion, treatment with EPO or anakinra resulted in significant effects on gene expression in the brain without affecting functional outcome. This suggests that targeting these inflammatory processes alone may not be sufficient for preventing secondary injuries after TBI.
Genetic association studies investigating the role of vitamin D in colon cancer have primarily focused on the vitamin D receptor (VDR), with limited data available for other genes in the vitamin D pathway, including vitamin D activating enzyme 1-alpha hydroxylase (CYP27B1) and vitamin D deactivating enzyme 24-alpha hydroxylase (CYP24A1). We evaluated whether 12 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in CYP24A1, identified by resequencing the gene in 32 Caucasian samples, and 1 SNP in CYP27B1 were associated with colon cancer risk. In addition, we evaluated whether these two genes modify associations between colon cancer on the one hand and total vitamin D intake and UV-weighted sun exposure on the other, as well as other variants in VDR. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the association between polymorphisms and haplotypes in CYP27B1 and CYP24A1 in a multicenter population-based case-control study of 1,600 cases and 1,949 controls. The CYP24A1 polymorphism IVS4-66T > G showed a statistically significant association with risk of colon cancer overall, particularly for proximal colon cancer. When stratified by anatomic site, we also found statistically significant associations for three CYP24A1 polymorphisms with risk of distal colon cancer (IVS4 + 1653C > T: OR for CT/TT versus CC, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68-0.96; IVS9 + 198T > C: OR for CC versus TT, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.03-1.73; and within whites only: +4125bp 3 of STPC > G: OR for GG versus CC, 1.44; 95% CI, 1-2.05). In addition, a possible interaction between CYP27B1 and UV-weighted sun exposure with proximal colon cancer was observed. As this is the first study to evaluate these genes in relation to colon cancer, additional studies are needed to confirm these results.
In mouse cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) low concentrations of domoic acid (DomA) induce apoptotic cell death, which is mediated by oxidative stress; apoptosis is more pronounced in CGNs from Gclm (-/-) mice, which lack the modifier subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase (GCL) and have very low GSH levels. By activating M(3) muscarinic receptors, the cholinergic agonist carbachol inhibits DomA-induced apoptosis, and the anti-apoptotic action of carbachol is more pronounced in CGNs from Gclm (+/+) mice. Carbachol does not prevent DomA-induced increase in reactive oxygen species, suggesting that its anti-apoptotic effect is downstream of reactive oxygen species production. Carbachol inhibits DomA-induced activation of Jun N-terminal (JNK) and p38 kinases, increased translocation to mitochondria of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax, and activation of caspase-3. Carbachol activates extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) MAPK and phospahtidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) in CGNs from both genotypes. However, while the protective effect of carbachol is mediated by ERK1/2 MAPK in CGNs from both mouse genotypes, inhibitors of PI3K are only effective at antagonizing the action of carbachol in CGNs from Gclm (+/+) mice. In CGNs from both Gclm (+/+) and (-/-) mice, carbachol induces a MAPK-dependent increase in the level of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. In contrast, carbachol causes a PI3K-dependent increase in GCL activity and of GSH levels only in CGNs from Gclm (+/+) mice. Such increase in GCL is not because of a transcriptionally-mediated increase in glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit or glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit, but rather to an increase in the formation of the GCL holoenzyme. The results indicate that multiple pathways may contribute to the protective action of carbachol toward DomA-induced apoptosis. Compromised GCLM expression, which is also found in a common genetic polymorphism in humans, leads to lower GSH levels, which can exacerbate the neurotoxicity of DomA, and decreases the anti-apoptotic effectiveness of muscarinic agonists.
The goal of this study was to compare the effects of minocycline and simvastatin on functional recovery and brain gene expression following a cortical contusion impact (CCI) injury. Dosage regimens were designed to provide serum concentrations in a rat model in the range obtained with clinically approved doses; minocycline 60 mg/kg q 12 h and simvastatin 10 mg/kg q 12 h for 72 h. Functional recovery was assessed using motor and spatial learning tasks and neuropathological measurements. Microarray-based transcriptional profiling was used to determine the effect on gene expression at 24 h, 72 h and 7 d post-CCI. Gene ontology analysis (GOA) was used to evaluate the effect on relevant biological pathways. Both minocycline and simvastatin improved fine motor function, but not gross motor or cognitive function. Minocycline modestly decreased lesion size with no effect of simvastatin. 24 h post-CCI, GOA identified a significant effect of minocycline on chemotaxis, blood circulation, immune response and cell to cell signaling pathways. Inflammatory pathways were affected by minocycline only at the 72 h time point. There was a minimal effect of simvastatin on gene expression 24 h after injury, with increasing effects at 72 h and 7 d. GOA identified a significant effect of simvastatin on inflammatory response at 72 h and 7d. In conclusion, treatment with minocycline and simvastatin resulted in significant effects on gene expression in the brain reflecting adequate brain penetration without producing significant neurorestorative effects.
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