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1.  Efficacy of local polymer-based and systemic delivery of the anti-glutamatergic agents riluzole and memantine in rat glioma models 
Journal of neurosurgery  2014;120(4):854-863.
The poor outcome of malignant gliomas is largely due to local invasiveness. Previous studies suggest that gliomas secrete excess glutamate and destroy surrounding normal peritumoral brain by means of excitotoxic mechanisms. In this study the authors assessed the effect on survival of 2 glutamate modulators (riluzole and memantine) in rodent glioma models.
In an in vitro growth inhibition assay, F98 and 9L cells were exposed to riluzole and memantine. Mouse cerebellar organotypic cultures were implanted with F98 glioma cells and treated with radiation, radiation + riluzole, or vehicle and assessed for tumor growth. Safety and tolerability of intracranially implanted riluzole and memantine CPP:SA polymers were tested in F344 rats. The efficacy of these drugs was tested against the 9L model and riluzole was further tested with and without radiation therapy (RT).
In vitro assays showed effective growth inhibition of both drugs on F98 and 9L cell lines. F98 organotypic cultures showed reduced growth of tumors treated with radiation and riluzole in comparison with untreated cultures or cultures treated with radiation or riluzole alone. Three separate efficacy experiments all showed that localized delivery of riluzole or memantine is efficacious against the 9L gliosarcoma tumor in vivo. Systemic riluzole monotherapy was ineffective; however, riluzole given with RT resulted in improved survival.
Riluzole and memantine can be safely and effectively delivered intracranially via polymer in rat glioma models. Both drugs demonstrate efficacy against the 9L gliosarcoma and F98 glioma in vitro and in vivo. Although systemic riluzole proved ineffective in increasing survival, riluzole acted synergistically with radiation and increased survival compared with RT or riluzole alone.
PMCID: PMC4322948  PMID: 24484234
riluzole; memantine; glioma; radiation; oncology
2.  Focal Transplantation-based Astrocyte Replacement is Neuroprotective in a Model of Motor Neuron Disease 
Nature neuroscience  2008;11(11):1294-1301.
Cellular abnormalities in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are not limited to motor neurons. Astrocyte dysfunction occurs in human ALS and SOD1G93A animal models. Therefore, the value of focal enrichment of normal astrocytes was investigated using transplantation of lineage-restricted astrocyte precursors, Glial-Restricted Precursors (GRPs). GRPs were transplanted around cervical spinal cord respiratory motor neuron pools, the principal cells responsible for death in this neurodegenerative disease. GRPs survived in diseased tissue, differentiated efficiently into astrocytes, and reduced microgliosis in SOD1G93A rat cervical spinal cord. GRPs extended survival and disease duration, attenuated motor neuron loss, and slowed declines in fore-limb motor and respiratory physiological function. Neuroprotection was mediated in part by the primary astrocyte glutamate transporter, GLT1. These findings demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of transplantation-based astrocyte replacement, and show that targeted multi-segmental cell delivery to cervical spinal cord is a promising therapeutic strategy for slowing focal motor neuron loss associated with ALS.
PMCID: PMC2656686  PMID: 18931666
stem cell; grafting; transplantation; motor neuron; neurodegeneration; replacement; neuroprotection; non-cell autonomous; astroglia; astrocyte; neural precursor cell; progenitor; lineage-restricted precursor; glial precursor; ALS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; SOD1

Results 1-2 (2)