Several selective antagonists for adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR) are currently under evaluation in clinical trials (phases I to III) to treat Parkinson’s disease, and they will probably soon reach the market. The usefulness of these antagonists has been deduced from studies demonstrating functional interactions between dopamine D2 and adenosine A2A receptors in the basal ganglia. At present it is believed that A2AR antagonists can be used in combination with the dopamine precursor L-DOPA to minimize the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s patients. However, a considerable body of data indicates that in addition to ameliorating motor symptoms, adenosine A2AR antagonists may also prevent neurodegeneration. Despite these promising indications, one further issue must be considered in order to develop fully optimized anti-parkinsonian drug therapy, namely the existence of receptor (hetero)dimers/oligomers of G protein-coupled receptors, a topic currently the focus of intense debate within the scientific community. Dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) expressed in the striatum are known to form heteromers with A2A adenosine receptors. Thus, the development of heteromer-specific A2A receptor antagonists represents a promising strategy for the identification of more selective and safer drugs.
Epilepsy is a common seizure disorder affecting approximately 70 million people worldwide. Current pharmacotherapy is neuron-centered, frequently accompanied by intolerable side-effects, and fails to be effective in about one third of patients. Therefore, new therapeutic concepts are needed. Recent research suggests an astrocytic basis of epilepsy, presenting the possibility of novel therapeutic targets. In particular, dysfunction of the astrocyte-controlled, endogenous, adenosine-based seizure control system of the brain is implicated in seizure generation. Thus, astrogliosis – a pathological hallmark of the epileptic brain – is associated with upregulation of the adenosine-removing enzyme adenosine kinase (ADK), resulting in focal adenosine deficiency. Both astrogliotic upregulation of ADK in epilepsy and transgenic overexpression of ADK are associated with seizures, and inhibition of ADK prevents seizures in a mouse model of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. These findings link adenosine deficiency with seizures and predict that adenosine augmentation therapies (AATs) will likely be effective in preventing seizures. Given the widespread systemic and central side effects of systemically administered AATs, focal AATs (i.e., limited to the astrogliotic lesion) are a necessity. This Commentary will discuss the pharmacological rationale for the development of focal AATs. Additionally, several AAT strategies will be discussed: (1) adenosine released from silk-based brain implants; (2) adenosine released from locally implanted encapsulated cells; (3) adenosine released from stem cell-derived brain implants; and (4) adenosine augmenting gene therapies. Finally, new developments and therapeutic challenges in using focal AATs for epilepsy therapy will critically be evaluated.
Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are two major diseases associated with dementia, which is common among the elderly. While the etiology of dementia is multi-factorial and complex, neurodegeneration may be the major cause of these two diseases. Effective drugs for treating dementia are still to be discovered. Current western pharmacological approaches against neurodegeneration in dementia develop symptom-relieving and disease-modifying drugs. Current integrative and holistic approaches of Chinese medicine to discovering drugs for neurodegeneration in dementia include (1) single molecules from the herbs, (2) standardized extracts from a single herb, and (3) herbal formula with definite composition. This article not only reviews the concept of dementia in western medicine and Chinese medicine but also evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches.
Intracoronary delivery of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) is an emerging concept for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Enhancement of EPC adhesion to vascular endothelium could improve cell retention within targeted organs. Because extracellular adenosine is elevated at sites of ischemia and stimulates neovascularization, we examined the potential role of adenosine in augmenting EPC retention to cardiac microvascular endothelium. Stimulation of adenosine receptors in murine embryonic EPCs (eEPCs) and cardiac endothelial cells (cECs) rapidly, within minutes, increased eEPC adhesion to cECs under static and flow conditions. Similarly, adhesion of human adult culture-expanded EPCs to human cECs was increased by stimulation of adenosine receptors. Furthermore, adenosine increased eEPC retention in isolated mouse hearts perfused with eEPCs. We determined that eEPCs and cECs preferentially express functional A1 and A2B adenosine receptor subtypes, respectively, and that both subtypes are involved in the regulation of eEPC adhesion to cECs. We documented that the interaction between P-selectin and its ligand (P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1) plays a role in adenosine-dependent eEPC adhesion to cECs and that stimulation of adenosine receptors in cECs induces rapid cell surface expression of P-selectin. Our results suggest a role for adenosine in vasculogenesis and its potential use to stimulate engraftment in cell-based therapies.
adenosine; adenosine receptors; endothelium; adhesion molecules
Research in the last two decades has unveiled an important role for neuroinflammation in the degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway that constitutes the pathological basis of the prevailing movement disorder, Parkinson's disease (PD). Neuroinflammation is characterized by the activation of brain glial cells, primarily microglia and astrocytes that release various soluble factors that include free radicals (reactive oxygen and nitrogen species), cytokines, and lipid metabolites. The majority of these glia-derived factors are proinflammatory and neurotoxic and are particularly deleterious to oxidative damage-vulnerable nigral dopaminergic neurons. As a proof of concept, various immunologic stimuli have been employed to directly induce glial activation to model dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. The bacterial endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), has been the most extensively utilized glial activator for the induction of inflammatory dopaminergic neurodegeneration. In this review, we will summarize the various in vitro and in vivo LPS PD models. Furthermore, we will highlight the contribution of the LPS PD models to the mechanistic studies of PD pathogenesis and the search for neuroprotective agents for the treatment of PD.
dopamine; lipopolysaccharide; microglia; neuroinflammation; neuroprotection
The amyloid β (Aβ) and tau proteins, which misfold, aggregate, and accumulate in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain, are implicated as central factors in a complex neurodegenerative cascade. Studies of mutations that cause early onset AD and promote Aβ accumulation in the brain strongly support the notion that inhibiting Aβ aggregation will prevent AD. Similarly, genetic studies of frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17 MAPT) showing that mutations in the MAPT gene encoding tau lead to abnormal tau accumulation and neurodegeneration. Such genetic studies clearly show that tau dysfunction and aggregation can be central to neurodegeneration, however, most likely in a secondary fashion in relation to AD. Additional pathologic, biochemical and modeling studies further support the concept that Aβ and tau are prime targets for disease modifying therapies in AD. Treatment strategies aimed at preventing the aggregation and accumulation of Aβ, tau, or both proteins should therefore be theoretically possible, assuming that treatment can be initiated before either irreversible damage is present or downstream, self-sustaining, pathological cascades have been initiated. Herein, we will review recent advances and also potential setbacks with respect to the myriad of therapeutic strategies that are designed to slow down, prevent, or clear the accumulation of either “pathological” Aβ or tau. We will also discuss the need for thoughtful prioritization with respect to clinical development of the pre-clinically validated modifiers of Aβ and tau pathology. The current number of candidate therapies targeting Aβ is becoming so large that a triage process is clearly needed to insure that resources are invested in a way such that the best candidates for disease modifying therapy are rapidly moved toward clinical trials. Finally, we will discuss the challenges for an appropriate “triage” after potential disease modifying therapies targeting tau and Aβ have entered clinical trials.
Neurodegeneration is characterized by the progressive loss of neuronal cell types in the nervous system. Although the main cause of cell dysfunction and death in many neurodegenerative diseases is not known, there is increasing evidence that their demise is a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors which affect key signaling pathways in cell function. This view is supported by recent observations that disease-compromised cells in late-stage neurodegeneration exhibit profound dysregulation of gene expression. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) introduce a novel concept of regulatory control over gene expression and there is increasing evidence that they play a profound role in neuronal cell identity as well as multiple aspects of disease pathogenesis. Here, we review the molecular properties of brain cells derived from patients with neurodegenerative diseases, and discuss how a deregulated miRNA/mRNA expression networks could be a mechanism in neurodegeneration. In addition, we emphasize that the dysfunction of these regulatory networks might overlap between different cell systems and suggest that miRNA functions might be common between neurodegeneration and other disease entities.
miRNAs; microarray; gene expression; enurodegeneration
Mitochondrial dysfunction and dysregulation of apoptosis are implicated in many diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. We investigate here the role of respiratory chain (RC) dysfunction in apoptosis, using mitochondrial DNA mutations as genetic models. Although some mutations eliminate the entire RC, others target specific complexes, resulting in either decreased or complete loss of electron flux, which leads to impaired respiration and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis. Despite these similarities, significant differences in responses to apoptotic stimuli emerge. Cells lacking RC are protected against both mitochondrial- and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress–induced apoptosis. Cells with RC, but unable to generate electron flux, are protected against mitochondrial apoptosis, although they have increased sensitivity to ER stress. Finally, cells with a partial reduction in electron flux have increased apoptosis under both conditions. Our results show that the RC modulates apoptosis in a context-dependent manner independent of ATP production and that apoptotic responses are the result of the interplay between mitochondrial functional state and environmental cues.
Alterations in neurotransmitter receptors are a pathological hallmark of the neurodegeneration seen in Huntington's disease (HD). However, the significance of these alterations has been uncertain, possibly reflecting simply the loss of brain cells. It is not known for certain whether the alteration of neurotransmitter receptors occurs before the onset of symptoms in human HD. Recently we developed transgenic mice that contain a portion of a human HD gene and develop a progressive abnormal neurological phenotype. Neurotransmitter receptors that are altered in HD (receptors for glutamate, dopamine, acetylcholine and adenosine) are decreased in the brain transgenic mice, in some cases before the onset of behavioural or motor symptoms. In transgenic mice, neurotransmitter receptor alterations occur before neuronal death. Further, receptor alterations are selective in that certain receptors, namely N-methyl-D-aspartate and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors, are unaltered. Finally, receptor decreases are preceded by selective decreases in the corresponding mRNA species, suggesting the altered transcription of specific genes. These results suggest that (i) receptor decreases precede, and therefore might contribute to, the development of clinical symptoms, and (ii) altered transcription of specific genes might be a key pathological mechanism in HD.
Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. Their primary physiological function is to generate adenosine triphosphate through oxidative phosphorylation via the electron transport chain. Reactive oxygen species generated from mitochondria have been implicated in acute brain injuries such as stroke and neurodegeneration. Recent studies have shown that mitochondrially-formed oxidants are mediators of molecular signaling, which is implicated in the mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway that involves pro- and antiapoptotic protein binding, the release of cytochrome c, and transcription-independent p53 signaling, leading to neuronal death. Oxidative stress and the redox state of ischemic neurons are also implicated in the signaling pathway that involves phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and downstream signaling, which lead to neuronal survival. Genetically modified mice or rats that overexpress or are deficient in superoxide dismutase have provided strong evidence in support of the role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress as determinants of neuronal death/survival after stroke and neurodegeneration.
apoptosis; ischemia; mitochondria; oxidative stress; p53; reactive oxygen species
Diadenosine tetraphosphate (AP4A), two adenosine moieties bridged by four phosphates, is an endogenous purinergic ligand found in brain. Previous studies have shown that AP4A reduced neurodegeneration caused by the dopaminergic neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine in rat striatum and substantia nigra. The purpose of this study was to determine whether AP4A is protective against methamphetamine (MA) –mediated toxicity. Primary neuronal cultures were prepared from rat embryonic (E14- E15) ventral mesencephalic tissue. Cultures treated with 2 mM MA exhibited decreased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity and increased cleaved caspase-3 immunoreactivity and TUNEL labeling. All these changes were lessened by pretreatment with AP4A. The protective effect of AP4A was also found in vivo. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with AP4A (25 μg/ 20 μl) or vehicle intracerebroventricularly followed by 4 doses of MA (5 or 10 mg/ kg), given subcutaneously every two hours. Administration of MA reduced locomotor activity one day after injection, which was significantly antagonized by the pretreatment with AP4A. Using immunohistochemical analysis, TH fiber density at the substantia nigra pars reticulata was found reduced while cleaved caspase-3 immunoreactivity in striatum was increased after MA treatment; these responses were also significantly antagonized by AP4A. Taken together, our data show that AP4A has protective effects against MA-mediated toxicity both in vitro and in vivo. The mechanism of action involves suppression of MA -induced apoptosis.
Diadenosine tetraphosphate; methamphetamine; apoptosis; neuroprotection; dopamine
Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. Despite many years of research, treatment options for diabetic retinopathy remain limited and with adverse effects. Discovery of new molecular entities with adequate clinical activity for diabetic retinopathy remains one of the key research priorities in ophthalmology. This review is focused on the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive native cannabinoid, as an emerging and novel therapeutic modality in ophthalmology based on systematic studies in animal models of inflammatory retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy - a retinal disease associated with vascular-neuroinflammation. Special emphasis is placed on novel mechanisms which may shed light on the pharmacological activity associated with CBD preclinically. These include a self-defence system against inflammation and neurodegeneration mediated by inhibition of equilibrative nucleoside transporter and activation of adenosine receptor by treatment with CBD.
Cannabidiol; Anti-inflammation; Diabetic retinopathy; Retinal microglia; Adenosine receptors; Equilibrative nucleoside transporters
Sirt1 (member of the sirtuin family) is a nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase that removes acetyl groups from various proteins. Sirt1 performs a wide variety of functions in biological systems. The current review focuses on the biological functions of Sirt1 in obesity-associated metabolic diseases, cancer, adipose tissue, aging, cellular senescence, cardiac aging and stress, prion-mediated neurodegeneration, inflammatory signaling in response to environmental stress, development and placental cell survival.
Sirt1; mammalian sirtuin; cell aging
Background and purpose
Blockade of adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR) affords robust neuroprotection in a number of brain conditions, although the mechanisms are still unknown. A likely candidate mechanism for this neuroprotection is the control of neuroinflammation, which contributes to the amplification of neurodegeneration, mainly through the abnormal release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin(IL)-1β. We investigated whether A2AR controls the signaling of IL-1β and its deleterious effects in cultured hippocampal neurons.
Hippocampal neuronal cultures were treated with IL-1β and/or glutamate in the presence or absence of the selective A2AR antagonist, SCH58261 (50 nmol/l). The effect of SCH58261 on the IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 was evaluated by western blotting and immunocytochemistry. The effect of SCH58261 on glutamate-induced neurodegeneration in the presence or absence of IL-1β was evaluated by nucleic acid and by propidium iodide staining, and by lactate dehydrogenase assay. Finally, the effect of A2AR blockade on glutamate-induced intracellular calcium, in the presence or absence of IL-1β, was studied using single-cell calcium imaging.
IL-1β (10 to 100 ng/ml) enhanced both JNK and p38 phosphorylation, and these effects were prevented by the IL-1 type 1 receptor antagonist IL-1Ra (5 μg/ml), in accordance with the neuronal localization of IL-1 type 1 receptors, including pre-synaptically and post-synaptically. At 100 ng/ml, IL-1β failed to affect neuronal viability but exacerbated the neurotoxicity induced by treatment with 100 μmol/l glutamate for 25 minutes (evaluated after 24 hours). It is likely that this resulted from the ability of IL-1β to enhance glutamate-induced calcium entry and late calcium deregulation, both of which were unaffected by IL-1β alone. The selective A2AR antagonist, SCH58261 (50 nmol/l), prevented both the IL-1β-induced phosphorylation of JNK and p38, as well as the IL-1β-induced deregulation of calcium and the consequent enhanced neurotoxicity, whereas it had no effect on glutamate actions.
These results prompt the hypothesis that the neuroprotection afforded by A2AR blockade might result from this particular ability of A2AR to control IL-1β-induced exacerbation of excitotoxic neuronal damage, through the control of MAPK activation and late calcium deregulation.
Adenosine; A2A receptor; Interleukin 1β; Neurodegeneration; p38 MAPK; Calcium
Monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitory potential of adenosine A2A receptor (AA2AR) antagonists has raised the possibility of designing dual-target–directed drugs that may provide enhanced symptomatic relief and that may also slow the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD) by protecting against further neurodegeneration. To explain the dual inhibition of MAO-B and AA2AR at the molecular level, molecular docking technique was employed. Lamarckian genetic algorithm methodology was used for flexible ligand docking studies. A good correlation (R2= 0.524 and 0.627 for MAO-B and AA2AR, respectively) was established between docking predicted and experimental Ki values, which confirms that the molecular docking approach is reliable to study the mechanism of dual interaction of caffeinyl analogs with MAO-B and AA2AR. Parameters for Lipinski's “Rule-of-Five” were also calculated to estimate the pharmacokinetic properties of dual-target–directed drugs where both MAO-B inhibition and AA2AR antagonism exhibited a positive correlation with calculated LogP having a correlation coefficient R2 of 0.535 and 0.607, respectively. These results provide some beneficial clues in structural modification for designing new inhibitors as dual-target–directed drugs with desired pharmacokinetic properties for the treatment of PD.
Adenosine A2A antagonist; docking; dual-target–directed drugs; monoamine oxidase B
Adenosine kinase (Ado kinase) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is structurally and biochemically unique from other known Ado kinases. This purine salvage enzyme catalyzes the first step in the conversion of the adenosine analog, 2-methyl-Ado (methyl-Ado), into a metabolite with antitubercular activity. Methyl-Ado has provided proof of concept that the purine salvage pathway from M. tuberculosis may be utilized for the development of antitubercular compounds with novel mechanisms of action. In order to utilize this enzyme, it is necessary to understand the topography of the active site to rationally design compounds that are more potent and selective substrates for Ado kinase. A previous structure-activity relationship identified modifications to the base moiety of adenosine (Ado) that result in substrate and inhibitor activity. In an extension of that work, sixty-two Ado analogs with modifications to the ribofuranosyl moiety, modifications to the base and ribofuranosyl moiety, or modifications to the glycosidic bond position have been analyzed as substrates and inhibitors of M. tuberculosis Ado kinase. A subset of these compounds was further analyzed in human Ado kinase for the sake of comparison. Although no modifications to the ribose moiety resulted in compounds as active as Ado, the best substrates identified were carbocyclic-Ado, 8-aza-carbocyclic-Ado, and 9-[α-L-lyxofuranosyl]-adenine with 38%, 4.3%, and 3.8% of the activity of Ado respectively. The most potent inhibitor identified, 5′-amino-5′-deoxy-Ado, had a Ki = 0.8 μM and a competitive mode of inhibition. MIC studies demonstrated that poor substrates could still have potent antitubercular activity.
Pharmacologic evidence suggests that activation of A2B adenosine receptors results in proinflammatory effects relevant to the progression of asthma, a chronic lung disease associated with elevated interstitial adenosine concentrations in the lung. This concept has been challenged by the finding that genetic removal of A2B receptors leads to exaggerated responses in models of acute inflammation. Therefore, the goal of our study was to determine the effects of A2B receptor gene ablation in the context of ovalbumin-induced chronic pulmonary inflammation. We found that repetitive airway allergen challenge induced a significant increase in adenosine levels in fluid recovered by bronchoalveolar lavage. Genetic ablation of A2B receptors significantly attenuated allergen-induced chronic pulmonary inflammation, as evidenced by a reduction in the number of bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophils and in peribronchial eosinophilic infiltration. The most striking difference in the pulmonary inflammation induced in A2B receptor knockout (A2BKO) and wild-type mice was the lack of allergen-induced IL-4 release in the airways of A2BKO animals, in line with a significant reduction in IL-4 protein and mRNA levels in lung tissue. In addition, attenuation of allergen-induced transforming growth factor–β release in airways of A2BKO mice correlated with reduced airway smooth muscle and goblet cell hyperplasia/hypertrophy. In conclusion, genetic removal of A2B adenosine receptors in mice leads to inhibition of allergen-induced chronic pulmonary inflammation and airway remodeling. These findings are in agreement with previous pharmacologic studies suggesting a deleterious role for A2B receptor signaling in chronic lung inflammation.
adenosine; asthma; pulmonary inflammation; IL-4; transforming growth factor–β
Adenosine acts as a cytoprotective modulator in response to stress to an organ or tissue. Although short-lived in the circulation, it can activate four sub-types of G protein-coupled adenosine receptors (ARs): A1, A2A, A2B, and A3. The alkylxanthines caffeine and theophylline are the prototypical antagonists of ARs, and their stimulant actions occur primarily through this mechanism. For each of the four AR subtypes, selective agonists and antagonists have been introduced and used to develop new therapeutic drug concepts. ARs are notable among the GPCR family in the number and variety of agonist therapeutic candidates that have been proposed. The selective and potent synthetic AR agonists, which are typically much longer lasting in the body than adenosine, have potential therapeutic applications based on their anti-inflammatory (A2A and A3), cardioprotective (preconditioning by A1 and A3 and postconditioning by A2B), cerebroprotective (A1 and A3), and antinociceptive (A1) properties. Potent and selective AR antagonists display therapeutic potential as kidney protective (A1), antifibrotic (A2A), neuroprotective (A2A), and antiglaucoma (A3) agents. AR agonists for cardiac imaging and positron-emitting AR antagonists are in development for diagnostic applications. Allosteric modulators of A1 and A3 ARs have been described. In addition to the use of selective agonists/antagonists as pharmacological tools, mouse strains in which an AR has been genetically deleted have aided in developing novel drug concepts based on the modulation of ARs.
Adenosine receptors; G protein-coupled receptors; Purines; Nucleosides; Imaging; Allosteric modulation; Agonists; Antagonists
Traditionally, the single most unique feature of the immune system has been attributed to its capability to discriminate between self (e.g., host proteins) and nonself (e.g., pathogens). More recently, an emerging immunologic concept involves the notion that the immune system responds via a complex system for sensing signals of danger, such as pathogens or host-derived signals of cellular distress (e.g., ischemia), while remaining unresponsive to nondangerous motifs. Experimental studies have provided strong evidence that the production and signaling effects of extracellular adenosine are dramatically enhanced during conditions of limited oxygen availability as occurs during ischemia. As such, adenosine would fit the bill of signaling molecules that are enhanced during situations of cellular distress. In contrast to a danger signal, we propose here that extracellular adenosine operates as a countermeasure, in fact as a safety signal, to both restrain potentially harmful immune responses and to maintain and promote general tissue integrity during conditions of limited oxygen availability. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 2221–2234.
Despite the capacity of chaperones and other homeostatic components to restore folding equilibrium, cells appear poorly adapted for chronic oxidative stress that increases in cancer and in metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Modulation of endogenous cellular defense mechanisms represents an innovative approach to therapeutic intervention in diseases causing chronic tissue damage, such as in neurodegeneration. This article introduces the concept of hormesis and its applications to the field of neuroprotection. It is argued that the hormetic dose response provides the central underpinning of neuroprotective responses, providing a framework for explaining the common quantitative features of their dose–response relationships, their mechanistic foundations, and their relationship to the concept of biological plasticity, as well as providing a key insight for improving the accuracy of the therapeutic dose of pharmaceutical agents within the highly heterogeneous human population. This article describes in mechanistic detail how hormetic dose responses are mediated for endogenous cellular defense pathways, including sirtuin and Nrf2 and related pathways that integrate adaptive stress responses in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Particular attention is given to the emerging role of nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide gases in hormetic-based neuroprotection and their relationship to membrane radical dynamics and mitochondrial redox signaling. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 13, 1763–1811.
Membrane Radical Dynamics
Lipid Peroxidation and Sphingomyelin Metabolism
Plasma Membrane Redox System
Membrane-Related Hormesis Mechanisms
Mitochondria: A Hub of Cellular Redox Processes
Hormesis, Mitochondria, and Neuroprotection
Proteotoxicity, Cellular Stress Response, and the Vitagene Network
Sirtuins and the Integration of Adaptive Stress Responses in Neurons
The Kelch-Like ECH-Associated Protein 1/Nrf2/Antioxidant Response Element Pathway
Hormetic Phytochemicals and the Neuroprotective Effects of Pharmacological Activators of the Keap1/Nrf2/ARE Pathway
Adaptive ER Stress Responses: Calcium and Protein Chaperones
Hsps and Neuroprotection
Neuroprotective effects of extracellular Hsps
Neuro Gas Biology and the Roles of CO, NO, and Hydrogen Sulfide in Brain Physiopathology
NO and NO synthases
H2S and suspended animation
Functional interrelation of NO, CO, and H2S gases and their relevance to hormesis
This report summarises the current knowledge regarding the clinical utility of biochemical enzyme markers for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in acute leukaemia. The enzymes studied most extensively in this field are terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase, adenosine deaminase, 5'-nucleotidase, purine nucleoside phosphorylase, and acid phosphatase, esterase, hexosaminidase isoenzymes. For each enzyme, the quantitative and qualitative characteristics in various immunologically defined subclasses of acute leukaemia are described. The quantitative evaluation of enzyme activities represents an adjunctive classification technique which should be incorporated into the multivariate analysis, the "multiple marker analysis." By qualitative characterisation pronounced heterogeneity of leukaemia subsets is uncovered. The application of 2'-deoxycoformycin, a specific inhibitor of adenosine deaminase, and the potential usefulness of two other enzymes as targets for treatment with selective agents is discussed. The concept that gene products expressed at certain developmental stages of normal cells can similarly be detected in leukaemic cells (which therefore seem to be "frozen" or "arrested" at this particular maturation/differentiation stage) is supported by the results obtained in enzyme studies. Besides their practical clinical importance for classification and treatment of acute leukaemias, biochemical enzyme markers constitute a valuable research tool to disclose biological properties of leukaemic cells.
Purinergic signalling departs from traditional paradigms of neurotransmission in the variety of release mechanisms and routes of production of extracellular ATP and adenosine. Direct real-time measurements of these purinergic agents have been of great value in understanding the functional roles of this signalling system in a number of diverse contexts. Here, we review the methods for measuring purine release, introduce the concept of microelectrode biosensors for ATP and adenosine and explain how these have been used to provide new mechanistic insight in respiratory chemoreception, synaptic physiology, eye development and purine salvage. We finish by considering the association of purine release with pathological conditions and examine the possibilities that biosensors for purines may one day be a standard part of the clinical diagnostic tool chest.
Biosensor; Real-time measurement; Epilepsy; Stroke; Chemosensory mechanisms; Development
Given the high incidence of refractory epilepsy, novel therapeutic approaches and concepts are urgently needed. To date, viral mediated delivery and endogenous expression of antisense sequences as a strategy to prevent seizures has received little attention in epilepsy therapy development efforts. Here we validate adenosine kinase (ADK), the astrocyte-based key negative regulator of the brain’s endogenous anticonvulsant adenosine, as a potential therapeutic target for antisense-mediated seizure suppression.
We developed adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8)-based gene therapy vectors to selectively modulate ADK expression in astrocytes. Cell type selectivity was achieved by expressing an Adk-cDNA in sense or antisense orientation under the control of an astrocyte-specific gfaABC1D promoter. Viral vectors where injected into the CA3 of wild-type mice or spontaneously epileptic Adk-tg transgenic mice that overexpress ADK in brain. After virus injection, ADK expression was assessed histologically and biochemically. In addition, intracranial EEG-recordings were performed.
We demonstrate in wild-type mice that viral overexpression of ADK within astrocytes is sufficient to trigger spontaneous recurrent seizures in the absence of any other epileptogenic event, whereas ADK downregulation via AAV8-mediated RNA interference almost completely abolished spontaneous recurrent seizures in Adk-tg mice.
Our data demonstrate that modulation of astrocytic ADK expression can trigger or prevent seizures, respectively. This is the first study to use an antisense approach to validate ADK as a rational therapeutic target for the treatment of epilepsy and suggests that gene therapies based on the knock down of ADK might be a feasible approach to control seizures in refractory epilepsy.
RNAi; gene therapy; adenoassociated virus; AAV8; ADK; seizure
Components of purinergic signalling are expressed in the early embryo raising the possibility that ATP, ADP and adenosine may contribute to the mechanisms of embryonic development. We summarize the available data from four developmental models—mouse, chick, Xenopus and zebrafish. While there are some notable examples where purinergic signalling is indeed important during development, e.g. development of the eye in the frog, it is puzzling that deletion of single components of purinergic signalling often results in rather minor developmental phenotypes. We suggest that a key step in further analysis is to perform combinatorial alterations of expression of purinergic signalling components to uncover their roles in development. We introduce the concept that purinergic signalling could create novel morphogenetic fields to encode spatial location via the concentration of ATP, ADP and adenosine. We show that using minimal assumptions and the known properties of the ectonucleotidases, complex spatial patterns of ATP and adenosine can be set up. These patterns may provide a new way to assess the potential of purinergic signalling in developmental processes.
Embryogenesis; Neurulation; Gastrulation; Organogenesis; Morphogen; ATP; Adenosine; ADP
Alzheimer's disease (AD) has characteristic histopathological, molecular, and biochemical abnormalities, including cell loss; abundant neurofibrillary tangles; dystrophic neurites; amyloid precursor protein, amyloid-β (APP-Aβ) deposits; increased activation of prodeath genes and signaling pathways; impaired energy metabolism; mitochondrial dysfunction; chronic oxidative stress; and DNA damage. Gaining a better understanding of AD pathogenesis will require a framework that mechanistically interlinks all these phenomena. Currently, there is a rapid growth in the literature pointing toward insulin deficiency and insulin resistance as mediators of AD-type neurodegeneration, but this surge of new information is riddled with conflicting and unresolved concepts regarding the potential contributions of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), metabolic syndrome, and obesity to AD pathogenesis. Herein, we review the evidence that (1) T2DM causes brain insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and cognitive impairment, but its aggregate effects fall far short of mimicking AD; (2) extensive disturbances in brain insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling mechanisms represent early and progressive abnormalities and could account for the majority of molecular, biochemical, and histopathological lesions in AD; (3) experimental brain diabetes produced by intracerebral administration of streptozotocin shares many features with AD, including cognitive impairment and disturbances in acetylcholine homeostasis; and (4) experimental brain diabetes is treatable with insulin sensitizer agents, i.e., drugs currently used to treat T2DM. We conclude that the term “type 3 diabetes” accurately reflects the fact that AD represents a form of diabetes that selectively involves the brain and has molecular and biochemical features that overlap with both type 1 diabetes mellitus and T2DM.
Alzheimer's disease; central nervous system; diabetes; insulin gene expression; insulin signaling