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1.  Migrating neuroblasts in the adult human brain: a stream reduced to a trickle 
Cell Research  2011;21(11):1523-1525.
doi:10.1038/cr.2011.101
PMCID: PMC3364722  PMID: 21691300
2.  Dementia in Parkinson's Disease Correlates with α-Synuclein Pathology but Not with Cortical Astrogliosis 
Parkinson's Disease  2012;2012:420957.
Dementia is a common feature in Parkinson's disease (PD) and is considered to be the result of limbic and cortical Lewy bodies and/or Alzheimer changes. Astrogliosis may also affect the development of dementia, since it correlates well with declining cognition in Alzheimer patients. Thus, we determined whether cortical astrogliosis occurs in PD, whether it is related to dementia, and whether this is reflected by the presence of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We have examined these proteins by immunohistochemistry in the frontal cortex and by Western blot in CSF of cases with PD, PD with dementia (PDD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and nondemented controls. We were neither able to detect an increase in cortical astrogliosis in PD, PDD, or DLB nor could we observe a correlation between the extent of astrogliosis and the degree of dementia. The levels of GFAP and vimentin in CSF did not correlate to the extent of astrogliosis or dementia. We did confirm the previously identified positive correlation between the presence of cortical Lewy bodies and dementia in PD. In conclusion, we have shown that cortical astrogliosis is not associated with the cognitive decline in Lewy body-related dementia.
doi:10.1155/2012/420957
PMCID: PMC3347756  PMID: 22577599
3.  Subventricular Zone Neural Progenitors from Rapid Brain Autopsies of Elderly Subjects with and without Neurodegenerative Disease 
In mice and young adult humans, the subventricular zone (SVZ) contains multipotent, dividing astrocytes, some of which, when cultured, produce neurospheres that differentiate into neurons and glia. It is unknown whether the SVZ of very old humans has this capacity. Here, we report that neural stem/progenitor cells can also be cultured from rapid autopsy samples of SVZ from elderly human subjects, including patients with age-related neurologic disorders. Histological sections of SVZ from these cases showed a GFAP-positive ribbon of astrocytes similar to the astrocyte ribbon in human periventricular white matter biopsies that is reported to be a rich source of neural progenitors. Cultures of the SVZ contained (1) neurospheres with a core of Musashi-1-, nestin-, and nucleostemin-immunopositive cells, as well as more differentiated GFAP-positive astrocytes; (2) SMI-311-, MAP2a/b-, and β-tubulin (III)-positive neurons; and (3) galactocerebroside-positive oligodendrocytes. Neurospheres continued to generate differentiated progeny for months after primary culturing, in some cases nearly two years post initial plating. Patch clamp studies of differentiated SVZ cells expressing neuron-specific antigens revealed voltage-dependent, tetrodotoxin-sensitive, inward Na+ currents and voltage-dependent, delayed, slowly inactivating K+ currents, electrophysiologic characteristics of neurons. A subpopulation of these cells also exhibited responses consistent with the kinetics and pharmacology of the h current. However, while these cells displayed some aspects of neuronal function, they remained immature, as they did not fire action potentials. These studies suggest that human neural progenitor activity may remain viable throughout much of the life span, even in the face of severe neurodegenerative disease.
doi:10.1002/cne.22040
PMCID: PMC2757160  PMID: 19425077
neural stem cells; neural precursors; neurospheres; neuronal differentiation; Alzheimer’s disease
4.  Specific Human Astrocyte Subtype Revealed by Affinity Purified GFAP+1 Antibody; Unpurified Serum Cross-Reacts with Neurofilament-L in Alzheimer 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7663.
The human GFAP splice variants GFAPΔ164 and GFAPΔexon6 both result in a GFAP protein isoform with a unique out-of-frame carboxy-terminus that can be detected by the GFAP+1 antibody. We previously reported that GFAP+1 was expressed in astrocytes and in degenerating neurons in Alzheimer's disease brains. In this study we aimed at further investigating the neuronal GFAP+1 expression and we started by affinity purifying the GFAP+1 antibody. The purified antibody resulted in a loss of neuronal GFAP+1 signal, although other antibodies directed against the amino- and carboxy-terminus of GFAPα still revealed GFAP-immunopositive neurons, as described before. With an in-depth analysis of a western blot, followed by mass spectrometry we discovered that the previously detected neuronal GFAP+1 expression was due to cross-reactivity of the antibody with neurofilament-L (NF-L). This was confirmed by double-label fluorescent immunohistochemistry and western blotting with the unpurified GFAP+1 antibody and an antibody against NF-L. Our data imply that NF-L can accumulate in some tangle-like structures in Alzheimer brains. More importantly, the purified GFAP+1 antibody clearly revealed a specific subtype of astrocytes in the adult human brain. These large astrocytes are present throughout the brain, e.g., along the subventricular zone, in the hippocampus, in the striatum and in the spinal cord of controls, Alzheimer, and Parkinson patients. The presence of a specific GFAP-isoform suggests a specialized function of these astrocytes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007663
PMCID: PMC2766629  PMID: 19888461

Results 1-4 (4)