Magnetic poly (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)/lipid nanoparticles (MPLs) were fabricated from PLGA, L-?-phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-amino (polyethylene glycol) (DSPE-PEG-NH2), and magnetic nanoparticles (NPs), and then conjugated to trans-activating transcriptor (TAT) peptide. The TAT-MPLs were designed to target the brain by magnetic guidance and TAT conjugation. The drugs hesperidin (HES), naringin (NAR), and glutathione (GSH) were encapsulated in MPLs with drug loading capacity (>10%) and drug encapsulation efficiency (>90%). The therapeutic efficacy of the drug-loaded TAT-MPLs in bEnd.3 cells was compared with that of drug-loaded MPLs. The cells accumulated higher levels of TAT-MPLs than MPLs. In addition, the accumulation of QD-loaded fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled TAT-MPLs in bEnd.3 cells was dose and time dependent. Our results show that TAT-conjugated MPLs may function as an effective drug delivery system that crosses the blood brain barrier to the brain.
Although recent studies have found that HO-1 plays an important role in neuronal survival, little is known about the precise mechanisms occurring during cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the neuroprotective mechanisms of HO-1 against ischemic brain injury induced by cerebral I/R and to explore whether the BDNF-TrkB-PI3K/Akt signaling pathway contributed to the protection provided by HO-1. Over-expressed HO-1 plasmids were employed to induce the overexpression of HO-1 through hippocampi CA1 injection 5 days before the cerebral I/R animal model was induced by four-vessel occlusion for 15 min transient ischemia and followed by reperfusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Immunoblotting was carried out to examine the expression of the related proteins, and HE-staining was used to detect the percentage of living neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region. The results showed that over-expressed HO-1 could significantly protect neurons against cerebral I/R. Furthermore, the protein expression of BDNF, TrkB and p-Akt also increased in the rats treated with over-expressed HO-1 plasmids. However, treatment with tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) receptor antagonist (K252a) reversed the HO-1-induced increase in BDNF and p-Akt protein levels and decreased the level of cleaved caspase-3 protein in I/R rats. In summary, our results imply that HO-1 can decrease cell apoptosis in the I/R rat brain and that the mechanism may be related to the activation of the BDNF-TrkB-PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Neuronal damage in the hippocampal formation which is more sensitive to ischemic stimulation and easily injured will cause severe learning and memory impairment. Therefore, inhibiting hippocampal neuron injuries is the main contributor for learning and memory impairment during cerebral ischemia. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a new type of neurotransmitter that regulates the nervous, circulatory and immune systems as well as various adverse factors that can reduce cerebral vascular or brain parenchyma injury. During an ischemic stroke, H2S inhibits hippocampal neuronal damage, reducing learning and memory impairment. However, this molecular mechanism has not been elucidated clearly. In this study, we established four-vessel occlusion model in rats with cerebral ischemia. We found that NaHS (28 mmol/kg, intraperitoneally, for 7 days before ischemia), donor of H2S, significantly shortened the distance and time of loading onto the hidden platform in the positioning navigation process, decreased the latency in the space exploration process when cognitive testing with Morris water maze was performed during ischemic stroke in rats. NaHS also significantly shortened latency and reduced the number of errors in the platform diving experiment. The survival rate of neurons in the CA1 area of the hippocampus and the phosphorylation of Akt in the neurons were increased, the phosphorylation ASK1 and JNK3 were inhibited by NaHS. After an intracerebroventricular injection of LY294002 (inhibitor of PI3K/Akt, 10 ?L, 100 nmol in 25% DMSO in PBS), the above effects of NaHS were attenuated. These findings suggest that H2S may improve the survival rate of hippocampal neurons and reduce the impairment of learning and memory by increasing the phosphorylation of Akt, inhibiting the phosphorylation of ASK1 and JNK3 in rats with induced ischemic stroke.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is considered a promising new strategy for liver cancer treatment. Three elements of PDT--optical output power, irradiation time, and photosensitizer concentration--play important roles in promoting cell death. This research aimed to characterize the effects of hematoporphyrin monomethyl ether (HMME)-based PDT on hepatocellular carcinoma cells HepG2 and thus elucidate the relationship between cell death and the three elements mentioned earlier. Furthermore, in this study, we present a parameter that represents the cumulative effects of these elements. The accumulation of HMME in HepG2 cells was observed by fluorescence microscopy. The absorption spectrum of HMME was detected using fluorescence spectral analysis. The viability of the treated cells was determined using the MTT assay, and cell apoptosis was evaluated using flow cytometry. We found that the fluorescence intensity was positively correlated with the incubation time for up to 2 h. The cell growth inhibition rate was significantly high and gradually increased with increasing concentrations of HMME or increasing light intensity, which was calculated as optical output power × irradiation time. Further analysis revealed an e-exponential decay of the cell survival rate to the product of the HMME concentration and the light intensity. We defined the product as parameter B (B = optical output power × irradiation time × HMME concentration). Similarly, the rate of cell apoptosis showed roughly e-exponential growth to parameter B. In conclusion, HMME-mediated PDT can significantly kill HepG2 cells, and the killing effect was related to the cumulative effects of the optical output power, the irradiation time, and the HMME concentration. Therefore, the newly defined parameter B, as a comprehensive physical quantity, may be of great significance for the regulation of light and photosensitizer according to patient-specific conditions in clinical practice.
Although recent researches show that Heat Shock Protein 72 (HSP72) plays an important role in neuronal survival, little knowledge is known about the precise mechanisms during cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Our present study investigated the neuroprotective mechanisms of HSP72 against ischemic brain injury induced by cerebral I/R. Mild heat shock pretreatment was employed to induce the overexpression of HSP72 by immersing rats into the water bath at 42°C for 20 min before cerebral I/R. HSP72 antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) were used to inhibit HSP72 expression by intracerebroventricular infusion once per day for 3 days before cerebral I/R animal model was induced by four-vessel occlusion for 15 min transient ischemia and then reperfused for various time in Sprague-Dawley rats. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting were used to detect the expression of the related proteins. HE-staining and TUNEL-staining were carried out to examine the neuronal death of hippocampal CA1 region. Results showed that mild heat shock could increase the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt), inhibit the assembly of MLK3-MKK7-JNK3 signaling module, diminish the phosphorylation of JNK3 and c-Jun, and decrease the activation of caspase-3. Furthermore, mild heat shock could significantly protect neurons against cerebral I/R. Whereas, all of the aforementioned effects of mild heat shock were reversed by HSP72 antisense ODNs. In summary, our results imply that Akt1 activation is involved in the neuroprotection of HSP72 against ischemic brain injury via suppressing JNK3 signaling pathway and provide a new experimental foundation for stroke therapy.
Although studies have shown that excitotoxicity mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs, NR) plays a prominent role in Alzheimers disease (AD), the precise expression patterns of NMDARs and their relationship to apoptosis in AD have not been clearly established. In this study, we used Abeta (A?) 1-40 and AlCl(3) to establish AD rat model. The behavioral changes were detected by morris water maze and step-down test. The hippocampal amyloid deposition and pathological changes were determined by congo red and hematoxylin-eosin staining. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect expression of NR1, NR2A and NR2B, and TUNEL staining was used to detect apoptosis. Results showed that water maze testing escape latency of AD-like rats was prolonged significantly. Reaction time, basal number of errors, and number of errors of step-down test were increased significantly; latency period of step-down test was shortened significantly in AD-like rats. Amyloid substance deposition and obvious damage changes could be seen in hippocampus of AD-like rats. These results suggested that AD rat model could be successfully established by A?1-40 and AlCl(3). Results also showed that expression of NR1 and NR2B were significantly increased, but expression of NR2A had no significant change, in AD-like rat hippocampus. Meanwhile, apoptotic cells were significantly increased in AD-like rat hippocampus, especially in CA1 subfield and followed by dentate gyrus and CA3 subfield. These results implied that NR2B-, not NR2A-, containing NMDARs showed pathological high expression in AD-like rat hippocampus. This pathological high expression with apoptosis and selective vulnerability of hippocampus might be exist a specific relationship.
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