The expression pattern of aromatase (ARO), the enzyme converting androgens to estrogens, was analyzed in the olfactory bulb of adult male rats and was compared with the distribution of estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta), the main estrogen receptor isoform expressed in this brain region. A strong ARO immunolabeling obtained with a specificity tested antibody was observed in juxtaglomerular neurons of the glomerular layer and a weaker immunoreaction was detected in the mitral cell layer of the main olfactory bulb, while the granule cell layer of the main olfactory bulb as well as all layers in the accessory olfactory bulb showed faint immunolabeling. Fluorescence double labeling experiments revealed that ARO detected in juxtaglomerular neurons of the main olfactory bulb colocalized with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67), while no colocalization between ARO and the calcium binding proteins calretinin (CR) and calbindin (CB) was observed. Furthermore, the TH immunoreactive neurons expressed metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) too. ER? immunoreactivity, in contrast to ARO, was detected in all layers of both the main and accessory olfactory bulb. In the glomerular layer of the main olfactory bulb it was expressed in TH and GAD67 containing juxtaglomerular neurons, and it colocalized with CR, CB and even with glial fibrillary acidic protein too. Our morphological findings suggest that ARO expression is a novel feature of dopaminergic/GABAergic juxtaglomerular neurons in the adult rat main olfactory bulb, and raise the possibility that ARO activity may change in function of olfactory input via mGluR1. In situ estrogen production in the olfactory bulb in turn may modulate interglomerular circuits through ERbeta.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult-onset motor neuron disorder, is characterized by the progressive and selective loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Diagnosis of this disorder is based on clinical assessment, and the average survival time is less than 3 years. Injections of IgG from ALS patients into mice are known to specifically mark motor neurons. Moreover, IgG has been found in upper and lower motor neurons in ALS patients. These results led us to perform a case-control study using human protein microarrays to identify the antibody profiles of serum samples from 20 ALS patients and 20 healthy controls. We demonstrated high levels of 20 IgG antibodies that distinguished the patients from the controls. These findings suggest that a panel of antibodies may serve as a potential diagnostic biomarker for ALS.
The transactive response DNA binding protein (TDP-43) proteinopathies describe a clinico-pathological spectrum of multi-system neurodegeneration that spans motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We have identified four male patients who presented with the clinical features of a pure MND/ALS phenotype (without dementia) but who had distinctive cortical and cerebellar pathology that was different from other TDP-43 proteinopathies. All patients initially presented with weakness of limbs and respiratory muscles and had a family history of MND/ALS. None had clinically identified cognitive decline or dementia during life and they died between 11 and 32 months after symptom onset. Neuropathological investigation revealed lower motor neuron involvement with TDP-43-positive inclusions typical of MND/ALS. In contrast, the cerebral pathology was atypical, with abundant star-shaped p62-immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and hippocampus, while TDP-43-positive inclusions were sparse. This pattern was also seen in the cerebellum where p62-positive, TDP-43-negative inclusions were frequent in granular cells. Western blots of cortical lysates, in contrast to those of sporadic MND/ALS and FTLD-TDP, showed high p62 levels and low TDP-43 levels with no high molecular weight smearing. MND/ALS-associated SOD1, FUS and TARDBP gene mutations were excluded; however, further investigations revealed that all four of the cases did show a repeat expansion of C9orf72, the recently reported cause of chromosome 9-linked MND/ALS and FTLD. We conclude that these chromosome 9-linked MND/ALS cases represent a pathological sub-group with abundant p62 pathology in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum but with no significant associated cognitive decline.
We tested the efficacy of treatment with talampanel in a mutant SOD1 mouse model of ALS by measuring intracellular calcium levels and loss of spinal motor neurons. We intended to mimic the clinical study; hence, treatment was started when the clinical symptoms were already present. The data were compared with the results of similar treatment started at a presymptomatic stage. Transgenic and wild-type mice were treated either with talampanel or with vehicle, starting in presymptomatic or symptomatic stages. The density of motor neurons was determined by the physical disector, and their intracellular calcium level was assayed electron microscopically. Results showed that motor neurons in the SOD1 mice exhibited an elevated calcium level, which could be reduced, but not restored, with talampanel only when the treatment was started presymptomatically. Treatment in either presymptomatic or symptomatic stages failed to rescue the motor neurons. We conclude that talampanel reduces motoneuronal calcium in a mouse model of ALS, but its efficacy declines as the disease progresses, suggesting that medication initiation in the earlier stages of the disease might be more effective.
Malignant melanoma represents the third common cause of brain metastasis, having the highest propensity to metastasize to the brain of all primary neoplasms in adults. Since the central nervous system lacks a lymphatic system, the only possibility for melanoma cells to reach the brain is via the blood stream and the blood-brain barrier. Despite the great clinical importance, mechanisms of transmigration of melanoma cells through the blood-brain barrier are incompletely understood. In order to investigate this question we have used an in vitro experimental setup based on the culture of cerebral endothelial cells (CECs) and the A2058 and B16/F10 melanoma cell lines, respectively. Melanoma cells were able to adhere to confluent brain endothelial cells, a process followed by elimination of protrusions and transmigration from the luminal to the basolateral side of the endothelial monolayers. The transmigration process of certain cells was accelerated when they were able to use the routes preformed by previously transmigrated melanoma cells. After migrating through the endothelial monolayer several melanoma cells continued their movement beneath the endothelial cell layer. Melanoma cells coming in contact with brain endothelial cells disrupted the tight and adherens junctions of CECs and used (at least partially) the paracellular transmigration pathway. During this process melanoma cells produced and released large amounts of proteolytic enzymes, mainly gelatinolytic serine proteases, including seprase. The serine protease inhibitor Pefabloc® was able to decrease to 44-55% the number of melanoma cells migrating through CECs. Our results suggest that release of serine proteases by melanoma cells and disintegration of the interendothelial junctional complex are main steps in the formation of brain metastases in malignant melanoma.
Motor neurons that exhibit differences in vulnerability to degeneration have been identified in motor neuron disease and in its animal models. The oculomotor and hypoglossal neurons are regarded as the prototypes of the resistant and susceptible cell types, respectively. Because an increase in the level of intracellular calcium has been proposed as a feature amplifying degenerative processes, we earlier studied the calcium increase in these motor neurons after axotomy in Balb/c mice and demonstrated a correlation between the susceptibility to degeneration and the intracellular calcium increase, with an inverse relation with the calcium buffering capacity, characterized by the parvalbumin or calbindin-D(28k) content. Because the differential susceptibility of the cells might also be attributed to their different cellular environments, in the present experiments, with the aim of verifying directly that a higher calcium buffering capacity is indeed responsible for the enhanced resistance, motor neurons were studied in their original milieu in mice with a genetically increased parvalbumin level. The changes in intracellular calcium level of the hypoglossal and oculomotor neurons after axotomy were studied electron microscopically at a 21-day interval after axotomy, during which time no significant calcium increase was detected in the hypoglossal motor neurons, the response being similar to that of the oculomotor neurons. The hypoglossal motor neurons of the parental mice, used as positive controls, exhibited a transient, significant elevation of calcium. These data provide more direct evidence of the protective role of parvalbumin against the degeneration mediated by a calcium increase in the acute injury of motor neurons.
To clarify controversies in the literature of the field, we have purified and characterized B16F1 melanoma cell derived exosomes (mcd-exosomes) then we attempted to dissect their immunological activities. We tested how mcd-exosomes influence CD4+ T cell proliferation induced by bone marrow derived dendritic cells; we quantified NF-?B activation in mature macrophages stimulated with mcd-exosomes, and we compared the cytokine profile of LPS-stimulated, IL-4 induced, and mcd-exosome treated macrophages. We observed that mcd-exosomes helped the maturation of dendritic cells, enhancing T cell proliferation induced by the treated dendritic cells. The exosomes also activated macrophages, as measured by NF-?B activation. The cytokine and chemokine profile of macrophages treated with tumor cell derived exosomes showed marked differences from those induced by either LPS or IL-4, and it suggested that exosomes may play a role in the tumor progression and metastasis formation through supporting tumor immune escape mechanisms.
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