Alzheimer's disease (AD) is contributed by multiple pathogenic causes. The anomalous protein amyloid-? (A?) is regarded as a pivotal factor in AD, and originates from enzymatic cleavage of a precursor protein by the secretase family. 1-(3',4'-Dichloro-2-fluoro[1,1'-biphenyl]-4-yl)-cyclopropanecarboxylic acid (CHF5074) is a non-steroidal antiinflammatory derivative able to inhibit A? deposition in the brain of transgenic mouse models of AD. The proapoptotic cytokine TRAIL has been reported to mediate A?-dependent neurotoxicity. Here, the effects of CHF5074 on A?25-35- triggered TRAIL toxicity were evaluated in the differentiated human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y in vitro. Cells were pre-treated 1h with CHF5074 at graded concentrations (range: 1 nM-1 uM) and then challenged for 72 h with either A?25-35 or TRAIL. Results show that CHF5074 treatment prevented apoptotic death in SH-SY5Y cell line in a concentration- dependent fashion. Its maximally active concentration was 10 nM. Then, investigation of related molecular mechanisms underlying such protective effect of CHF5074 suggested that the levels of caspases, as well as of various kinases, including stress and MAP kinases, are modulated by CHF5074. Finally, treatment of injured human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y with CHF5074 resulted in prominent protection from apoptotic death. The bulk of these data suggest that CHF5074 represents a potential candidate for pharmacological neuroprotective treatment in neurodegenerative disorders.
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the clinical outcome of a lethal arrhythmia that can develop on the background of unrecognized channelopathies or cardiomyopathies. Several susceptibility genes have been identified for the congenital forms of these cardiac diseases, including caveolin-3 (Cav-3) gene. In the heart Cav-3 is the main component of caveolae, plasma membrane domains that regulate multiple cellular processes highly relevant for cardiac excitability, such as trafficking, calcium homeostasis, signal transduction and cellular response to injury. Here we characterized a new putative Cav-3 variant, Cav-3 V82I, found in a patient with SCD.
For almost three decades in many countries azathioprine has been used to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. However its efficacy was usually considered marginal and following approval of ? interferons for this indication it was no longer recommended as first line treatment, even if presently no conclusive direct ? interferon-azathioprine comparison exists. To compare azathioprine efficacy versus the currently available ? interferons in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, a multicenter, randomized, controlled, single-blinded, non-inferiority trial was conducted in 30 Italian multiple sclerosis centers. Eligible patients (relapsing-remitting course; ?2 relapses in the last 2 years) were randomly assigned to azathioprine or ? interferons. The primary outcome was annualized relapse rate ratio (RR) over 2 years. Key secondary outcome was number of new brain MRI lesions. Patients (n?=?150) were randomized in 2 groups (77 azathioprine, 73 ? interferons). At 2 years, clinical evaluation was completed in 127 patients (62 azathioprine, 65 ? interferons). Annualized relapse rate was 0.26 (95% Confidence Interval, CI, 0.19-0.37) in the azathioprine and 0.39 (95% CI 0.30-0.51) in the interferon group. Non-inferiority analysis showed that azathioprine was at least as effective as ? interferons (relapse RRAZA/IFN 0.67, one-sided 95% CI 0.96; p<0.01). MRI outcomes were analyzed in 97 patients (50 azathioprine and 47 ? interferons). Annualized new T2 lesion rate was 0.76 (95% CI 0.61-0.95) in the azathioprine and 0.69 (95% CI 0.54-0.88) in the interferon group. Treatment discontinuations due to adverse events were higher (20.3% vs. 7.8%, p?=?0.03) in the azathioprine than in the interferon group, and concentrated within the first months of treatment, whereas in the interferon group discontinuations occurred mainly during the second year. The results of this study indicate that efficacy of azathioprine is not inferior to that of ? interferons for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Considering also the convenience of the oral administration, and the low cost for health service providers, azathioprine may represent an alternative to interferon treatment, while the different side effect profiles of both medications have to be taken into account.
It is known that glutamate (Glu), the major excitatory amino acid in the central nervous system, can be an essential source for cell energy metabolism. Here we investigated the role of the plasma membrane Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) and the excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) in Glu uptake and recycling mechanisms leading to ATP synthesis. We used different cell lines, such as SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma, C6 glioma and H9c2 as neuronal, glial, and cardiac models, respectively. We first observed that Glu increased ATP production in SH-SY5Y and C6 cells. Pharmacological inhibition of either EAAT or NCX counteracted the Glu-induced ATP synthesis. Furthermore, Glu induced a plasma membrane depolarization and an intracellular Ca(2+) increase, and both responses were again abolished by EAAT and NCX blockers. In line with the hypothesis of a mutual interplay between the activities of EAAT and NCX, coimmunoprecipitation studies showed a physical interaction between them. We expanded our studies on EAAT/NCX interplay in the H9c2 cells. H9c2 expresses EAATs but lacks endogenous NCX1 expression. Glu failed to elicit any significant response in terms of ATP synthesis, cell depolarization, and Ca(2+) increase unless a functional NCX1 was introduced in H9c2 cells by stable transfection. Moreover, these responses were counteracted by EAAT and NCX blockers, as observed in SH-SY5Y and C6 cells. Collectively, these data suggest that plasma membrane EAAT and NCX are both involved in Glu-induced ATP synthesis, with NCX playing a pivotal role.
The distribution, colocalization with enzymes producing nitric oxide (NO), and the synaptic organization of neurons containing two calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs) - parvalbumin (Parv) and calbindin-D28K (Calb) - were investigated in the rat periaqueductal gray matter (PAG). Parv-immunopositive (ParvIP) neurons were detected in the mesencephalic nucleus and rarely in the PAG. CalbIP neurons were found both in the dorsolateral (PAG-dl) and ventrolateral PAG (PAG-vl); their size ranged from 112.96?m(2) (PAG-dl) to 125.13?m(2) (PAG-vl). Ultrastructurally Parv and Calb immunoreactivity was mostly found in dendritic profiles. Axon terminals containing each of the two CaBPs formed symmetric synapses. Moreover both Parv and Calb were used to label a subpopulation of NO-producing neurons. Colocalization was investigated using two protocols: (i) a combination of Calb and Parv immunocytochemistry (Icc) with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry (Hi) and (ii) neuronal NO synthase-Icc (nNOS) (immunofluorescence). Both techniques demonstrated a complete lack of colocalization of Parv and NADPH-d/nNOS in PAG neurons. Double-labeled (DL) neurons (Calb-NADPH-d; Calb-nNOS) were detected in PAG-dl. NADPH-d-Hi/Calb-Icc indicated that 41-47% of NADPH-d-positive neurons contained Calb, whereas 17-23% of CalbIP cells contained NADPH-d. Two-color immunofluorescence revealed that 53-66% of nNOSIP cells colocalized with Calb and 24-34% of CalbIP neurons contained nNOS. DL neuron size was 104.44?m(2); neurons labeled only with NADPH-d or Calb measured 89.793?m(2) and 113.48?m(2), respectively. Together with previous findings (Barbaresi et al. ) these data suggest that: Therefore the important aspect of the PAG intrinsic organization emerging from this and previous double-labeling studies is the chemical diversity of NO-synthesizing neurons, which is likely related to the different functions in which these neurons are involved.
Drugs not commonly considered to be cardioactive agents may cause prolongation of the QT interval with resultant torsades de pointes and ventricular fibrillation. This form of drug toxicity often causes cardiac arrest or sudden death.
The pattern of distribution and colocalization of the calcium-binding protein calretinin (Cal) and of enzymes producing nitric oxide (NO) was examined in the rat periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) using two different experimental approaches, by combining Cal immunocytochemistry with NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry and with NOS immunocytochemistry, respectively. Cal-immunopositive neurons were found throughout the rostrocaudal extension of both dorsolateral (PAG-dl) and ventrolateral PAG (PAG-vl). Double-labeled neurons were found only in PAG-dl. The first experimental approach indicated that 33-41% of the NADPH-d-positive (Nadph+) cells were immunoreactive for Cal, whereas NADPH-d activity appeared in 19-26% of the Cal-immunopositive (Cal(IP) ) neurons. Two-color immunofluorescence revealed that ?39-43% of NOS-immunoreactive (NOS(IR) ) neurons were double-labeled with Cal and ?23% of Cal(IP) neurons expressed NOS immunoreactivity. Measurement in semithin sections of the size of the three neuronal populations found in PAG-dl, showed that Cal(IP) neurons had a cross-sectional area of 94.7 ?m², whereas Nadph+ neurons and double-labeled neurons were slightly smaller, having a cross-sectional area of 90.5 and 91.4 ?m², respectively. On electron microscopy, Cal(IP) axon terminals formed either symmetric or asymmetric synapses; although the latter synapses were more numerous, both types contacted preferentially Cal(IP) dendrites. These experiments suggest that PAG-dl is characterized by a high degree of heterogeneity.
It is well known that interindividual variability can affect the response to many drugs in relation to age, gender, diet, and organ function. Pharmacogenomic studies have also documented that genetic polymorphisms can exert clinically significant effects in terms of drug resistance, efficacy and toxicity by modifying the expression of critical gene products (drug-metabolizing enzymes, transporters, and target molecules) as well as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters. A growing body of in vitro and clinical evidence suggests that common polymorphisms in the folate gene pathway are associated with an altered response to methotrexate (MTX) in patients with malignancy and autoimmune disease. Such polymorphisms may also induce significant MTX toxicity requiring expensive monitoring and treatment. Although the available data are not conclusive, they suggest that in the future MTX pharmacogenetics could play a key role in clinical practice by improving and tailoring treatment. This review describes the genetic polymorphisms that significantly influence MTX resistance, efficacy, and toxicity.
The long-term effects of perinatal Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) exposure - from gestational day (GD) 15 to postnatal day (PND) 9 - on hippocampal glutamatergic neurotransmission were studied in slices from the 40-day-old offspring of Delta(9)-THC exposed (Delta(9)-THC-rats) and vehicle-exposed (control) dams. Basal and in K+-evoked endogenous hippocampal glutamate outflow were both significantly decreased in Delta(9)-THC-rats. The effect of short Delta(9)-THC exposure (0.1microM) on K(+)-evoked glutamate release disclosed a loss of the stimulatory effect of Delta(9)-THC on hippocampal glutamate release in Delta(9)-THC-rats, but not in controls. In addition, l-[(3)H]-glutamate uptake was significantly lower in hippocampal slices from Delta(9)-THC-rats, where a significant decrease in glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1) and glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST) protein was also detected. Collectively, these data demonstrate that perinatal exposure to cannabinoids induces long-term impairment in hippocampal glutamatergic neurotransmission that persist into adolescence.
The aim of the present study was to measure free thiols content, Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Ca(2+)-ATPase activities in human spermatozoa of asthenozoospermic patients and normospermic donors, and evaluate any influence on kinetic sperm features, as well as correlation with peroxynitrite. In fact, membrane integrity and its composition are the basic characteristics of the sperm membrane; thus, it is evident that its composition is an important factor for membrane functions that can be modified upon oxidation. A total of 70 infertile patients affected by idiopathic asthenozoospermia and 25 normal fertile donors were enrolled. Control spermatozoa exhibited Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, and Ca(2+)-ATPase activities, cytoplasmic Ca(2+) concentration and free -SH content significantly higher than those of asthenozoospermic patients (P < 0.0001). Moreover, positive associations were found between Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Ca(2+)-ATPase activities and total sperm motility and sperm kinetic features, whereas negative associations were found between peroxynitrite and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Ca(2+)-ATPase activities, and total SH content. Peroxynitrite is able to reduce Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Ca(2+)-ATPase activities and intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, through possible depletion of free thiols content. Decrease in motility and loss of sperm function in idiopathic asthenozoospermia can be attributed to these sulphydryl groups, important entities of the sperm membrane.
Striatal medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) are highly vulnerable to ischemia. A brief ischemic insult, produced by oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD), can induce ischemic long-term potentiation (i-LTP) of corticostriatal excitatory postsynaptic response. Since nitric oxide (NO) is involved in the pathophysiology of brain ischemia and the dopamine D1/D5-receptors (D1-like-R) are expressed in striatal NOS-positive interneurons, we hypothesized a relation between NOS-positive interneurons and striatal i-LTP, involving D1R activation and NO production. We investigated the mechanisms involved in i-LTP induced by OGD in corticostriatal slices and found that the D1-like-R antagonist SCH-23390 prevented i-LTP in all recorded MSNs. Immunofluorescence analysis confirmed the induction of i-LTP in both substance P-positive, (putative D1R-expressing) and adenosine A2A-receptor-positive (putative D2R-expressing) MSNs. Furthermore, i-LTP was dependent on a NOS/cGMP pathway since pharmacological blockade of NOS, guanylate-cyclase, or PKG prevented i-LTP. However, these compounds failed to prevent i-LTP in the presence of a NO donor or cGMP analog, respectively. Interestingly, the D1-like-R antagonism failed to prevent i-LTP when intracellular cGMP was pharmacologically increased. We propose that NO, produced by striatal NOS-positive interneurons via the stimulation of D1-like-R located on these cells, is critical for i-LTP induction in the entire population of MSNs involving a cGMP-dependent pathway.
Glutamate is emerging as a major factor stimulating energy production in CNS. Brain mitochondria can utilize this neurotransmitter as respiratory substrate and specific transporters are required to mediate the glutamate entry into the mitochondrial matrix. Glutamate transporters of the Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters (EAATs) family have been previously well characterized on the cell surface of neuronal and glial cells, representing the primary players for glutamate uptake in mammalian brain. Here, by using western blot, confocal microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy, we report for the first time that the Excitatory Amino Acid Carrier 1 (EAAC1), an EAATs member, is expressed in neuronal and glial mitochondria where it participates in glutamate-stimulated ATP production, evaluated by a luciferase-luciferin system. Mitochondrial metabolic response is counteracted when different EAATs pharmacological blockers or selective EAAC1 antisense oligonucleotides were used. Since EAATs are Na(+)-dependent proteins, this raised the possibility that other transporters regulating ion gradients across mitochondrial membrane were required for glutamate response. We describe colocalization, mutual activity dependency, physical interaction between EAAC1 and the sodium/calcium exchanger 1 (NCX1) both in neuronal and glial mitochondria, and that NCX1 is an essential modulator of this glutamate transporter. Only NCX1 activity is crucial for such glutamate-stimulated ATP synthesis, as demonstrated by pharmacological blockade and selective knock-down with antisense oligonucleotides. The EAAC1/NCX1-dependent mitochondrial response to glutamate may be a general and alternative mechanism whereby this neurotransmitter sustains ATP production, since we have documented such metabolic response also in mitochondria isolated from heart. The data reported here disclose a new physiological role for mitochondrial NCX1 as the key player in glutamate-induced energy production.
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