Current evidence supports that inflammation and increased cytokine levels are associated with depression-like symptoms and neuropsychological disturbances in humans. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-depressant-like properties. Here, we examined the effects of curcumin on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced depressive-like behavior and inflammation in male mice. A single administration of LPS (0.83mg/kg, i.p.) increased the immobility time in the forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST), reduced sucrose consumption without affecting spontaneous locomotor activity. Pretreatment with curcumin (50mg/kg, i.p.) for 7 consecutive days reversed LPS-induced alterations in the FST, TST, and sucrose preference test. Moreover, pre-treatment with curcumin attenuated LPS-induced microglial activation and overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokine (interleukin-1? and tumor necrosis factor-?), as well as the levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). In addition, curcumin ameliorated LPS-induced NF-?B activation in the hippocampus and PFC. The results demonstrate that curcumin may be an effective therapeutic agent for LPS-induced depressive-like behavior, partially due to its anti-inflammatory aptitude.
Endogenously produced hydrogen sulfide (H2S) may have multiple functions in the brain including potent anti-inflammatory effects. Activated microglia can secrete various pro-inflammatory cytokines and neurotoxic mediators, which may contribute to hypoxic injuries in the developing brain. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential role of H2S in altering hypoxia-induced neurotoxicity via its anti-inflammatory actions as examined in vitro and in vivo models. Using the BV-2 microglial cell line, we found that sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), a H2S donor, significantly inhibited hypoxia-induced microglial activation and suppressed subsequent pro-inflammatory factor release. In addition, treating murine primary cortical neurons with conditioned medium (CM) from hypoxia-stimulated microglia induced neuronal apoptosis, an effect that was reversed by CM treated with NaHS. Further, NaHS inhibited phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-?B, phosphorylation of ERK and p38 but not JNK MAPK in these hypoxia-induced microglia. When administered in vivo to neonatal mice subjected to hypoxia, NaHS was found to attenuate neuron death, an effect that was associated with suppressed microglial activation, pro-inflammatory cytokines and NO levels. Taken together, H2S exerts neuroprotection against hypoxia-induced neurotoxicity through its anti-inflammatory effect in microglia. This effect appears to be attributable to inhibition of iNOS, NF-?B, ERK and p38 MAPK signaling pathways. Our results suggest a potential therapeutic application of H2S releasing drugs in hypoxic brain damage treatment.
As ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is synthesized by two isoforms of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), namely, GAD65 and GAD67, immunohistochemically targeting either isoform of GAD is theoretically useful for identifying GABAergic cell bodies. In practice, targeting GAD67 remains to be a popular choice. However, identifying GABAergic cell bodies with GAD67 immunoreactivity in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, especially in the hilus, is not without pitfalls. In the present study, we compared the characteristics of GAD65 immunoreactivity to GAD67 immunoreactivity in the rat dentate gyrus and examined perikaryal expression of GAD65 in four neurochemically prevalent subgroups of interneurons in the hilus. Experiments were done in normal adult Sprague-Dawley rats and GAD67-GFP knock-in mice. Horizontal hippocampal slices cut from the ventral portion of hippocampi were immunofluorescently stained and scanned using a confocal microscope. Immunoreactivity for both GAD67 and GAD65 was visible throughout the dentate gyrus. Perikaryal GAD67 immunoreactivity was denser but variable in terms of distribution pattern and intensity among cells whereas perikaryal GAD65 immunoreactivity displayed similar distribution pattern and staining intensity. Among different layers of the dentate gyrus, GAD67 immunoreactivity was densest in the hilus despite GAD65 immunoreactivity being more intense in the granule cell layer. Co-localization experiments showed that GAD65, but not GAD67, was expressed in all hilar calretinin (CR)-, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-, parvalbumin (PV)- or somatostatin (SOM)-positive somata. Labeling CR, nNOS, PV, and SOM in sections obtained from GAD67-GFP knock-in mice revealed that a large portion of SOM-positive cells had weak GFP expression. In addition, double labeling of GAD65/GABA and GAD67/GABA showed that nearly all of GABA-immunoreactive cells had perikaryal GAD65 expression whereas more than one-tenth of GABA-immunoreactive cells lacked perikaryal GAD67 immunoreactivity. Inhibition of axonal transport with colchicine dramatically improved perikaryal GAD65 immunoreactivity in GABAergic cells without significant augmentation to be seen in granule cells. Double labeling GAD65 and GAD67 in the sections obtained from colchicine-pretreated animals confirmed that a portion of GAD65-immunoreactive cells had weak or even no GAD67 immunoreactivity. We conclude that for confocal imaging, immunofluorescently labeling GAD65 for identifying GABAergic somata in the hilus of the dentate gyrus has advantages over labeling GAD67 in terms of easier recognition of perikaryal labeling and more consistent expression in GABAergic somata. Inhibition of axonal transport with colchicine further improves perikaryal GAD65 labeling, making GABAergic cells more distinguishable.
Volatile anesthetics act primarily through upregulating the activity of ?-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors. They also exhibit antiinflammatory actions in the lung. Rodent alveolar type II (ATII) epithelial cells express GABAA receptors and the inflammatory factor cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). The goal of this study was to determine whether human ATII cells also express GABAA receptors and whether volatile anesthetics upregulate GABAA receptor activity, thereby reducing the expression of COX-2 in ATII cells.
Ethanol consumption has well-known deleterious effects on memory. However, the mechanism by which ethanol exerts its effects on memory has received little attention, which has retarded the identification and development of effective therapeutic strategies against ethanol toxicity. The aim of this study was to explore the neuronal mechanisms underlying the protective action of curcumin, a natural polyphenolic compound of Curcuma longa, against ethanol-induced memory deficits. Adult mice were pretreated with curcumin (40 mg/kg, i.p.) before administration of ethanol (1 g/kg, i.p.) for the memory acquisition measurement, or were sacrificed 30 min later for evaluation of regional brain differences in the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity and nitric oxide (NO) concentration. The results showed that pretreatment with curcumin significantly ameliorated the memory deficits resulting from acute ethanol administration to mice in the novel object recognition and inhibitory avoidance tasks. Furthermore, acute ethanol treatment increased the NOS activity and NO production in brain regions associated with memory including prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala and hippocampus, while this enhancement was suppressed by pretreatment with curcumin. Taken together, these results suggest that the protective effects of curcumin on acute ethanol-induced memory deficits are mediated, at least in part, by suppressing NOS activity in the brain of mice. Thus, manipulation of the NOS/NO signaling pathway might be beneficial for the prevention of ethanol toxicity.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is produced and secreted by adult pancreatic ?-cells, which also express GABA receptors mediating autocrine signaling and regulating ?-cell proliferation. However, whether the autocrine GABA signaling involves in ?-cell progenitor development or maturation remains uncertain. By means of immunohistochemistry we analyzed the expression profiles of the GABA synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and the ?1-subunit of type-A GABA receptor (GABAAR?1) in the pancreas of mice at embryonic day 15.5 (E15.5), E18.5, postnatal day 1 (P1) and P7. Our data showed that at E15.5 the pancreatic and duodenum homeobox-1 (Pdx1) was expressed in the majority of cells in the developing pancreata. Notably, insulin immunoreactivity was identified in a subpopulation of pancreatic cells with a high level of Pdx1 expression. About 80% of the high-level Pdx-1 expressing cells in the pancreas expressed GAD and GABAAR?1 at all pancreatic developmental stages. In contrast, only about 30% of the high-level Pdx-1 expressing cells in the E15.5 pancreas expressed insulin; i.e., a large number of GAD/GABAAR?1-expressing cells did not express insulin at this early developmental stage. The expression level of GAD and GABAAR?1 increased steadily, and progressively more GAD/GABAAR?1-expressing cells expressed insulin in the course of pancreatic development. These results suggest that 1) GABA signaling proteins appear in ?-cell progenitors prior to insulin expression; and 2) the increased expression of GABA signaling proteins may be involved in ?-cell progenitor maturation.
Pancreatic islet ?-cells produce large amounts of ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is co-released with insulin. GABA inhibits glucagon secretion by hyperpolarizing ?-cells via type-A GABA receptors (GABA(A)Rs). We and others recently reported that islet ?-cells also express GABA(A)Rs and that activation of GABA(A)Rs increases insulin release. Here we investigate the effects of insulin on the GABA-GABA(A)R system in the pancreatic INS-1 cells using perforated-patch recording. The results showed that GABA produces a rapid inward current and depolarizes INS-1 cells. However, pre-treatment of the cell with regular insulin (1 µM) suppressed the GABA-induced current (I(GABA)) by 43%. Zinc-free insulin also suppressed I(GABA) to the same extent of inhibition by regular insulin. The inhibition of I(GABA) occurs within 30 seconds after application of insulin. The insulin-induced inhibition of I(GABA) persisted in the presence of PI3-kinase inhibitor, but was abolished upon inhibition of ERK, indicating that insulin suppresses GABA(A)Rs through a mechanism that involves ERK activation. Radioimmunoassay revealed that the secretion of C-peptide was enhanced by GABA, which was blocked by pre-incubating the cells with picrotoxin (50 µM, p<0.01) and insulin (1 µM, p<0.01), respectively. Together, these data suggest that autocrine GABA, via activation of GABA(A)Rs, depolarizes the pancreatic ?-cells and enhances insulin secretion. On the other hand, insulin down-regulates GABA-GABA(A)R signaling presenting a feedback mechanism for fine-tuning ?-cell secretion.
Alcohol inhibits colonic motility but the mechanism is unknown. The goal of this study was to test the possibility that nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) is involved in the upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression induced by ethanol in colon.
The study was designed to investigate the effect of estradiol on the excitatory effect of oxytocin (OT) on colon motility. Female Wistar rats were used, and some of them were ovariectomized (OVX) and treated with vehicle or estradiol (E(2)). A plastic balloon made of condom was inserted into colon to monitor the change of colonic pressure in vivo. Longitudinal muscle strips of distal colon were prepared to monitor the spontaneous contraction of colon in vitro. Expression of OT receptor (OTR) was investigated by Western blot analysis. Expression of OTR mRNA was detected by RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry was used to locate OTR. In OVX rats, pretreatment of E(2) (4-100 microg/kg sc) dose-dependently increased the excitatory effect of OT on colon motility both in vivo and in vitro and increased the expression of OTR and OTR mRNA in colon. Systemic administration of OT excited the colon motility in vivo in rats at perioda of proestrus and estrus but did not influence it at diestrus period, when the concentration of plasma E(2) was lowest in the estrous cycle. Pretreatment of atosiban, the specific OTR antagonist, and TTX, the blocker of voltage-dependent sodium channel on nerve fiber, attenuated the excitatory effect of OT on colon motility. OTR was located in myenteric plexus of colon. These results suggested that E(2) increased the excitatory effect of OT on colon motility by upregulating the expression of OTR in myenteric plexus.
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