Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH), featuring in most of the Alzheimer's disease spectrum, plays a detrimental role in brain amyloid-β (Aβ) homeostasis, cerebrovascular morbidity, and cognitive decline; therefore, early management of cerebrovascular pathology is considered to be important for intervention in the impending cognitive decline. S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) is an endogenous nitric oxide carrier modulating endothelial function, inflammation, and neurotransmission. Therefore, the effect of GSNO treatment on CCH-associated neurocognitive pathologies was determined in vivo by using rats with permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO), a rat model of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. We observed that rats subjected to permanent BCCAO showed a significant decrease in learning/memory performance and increases in brain levels of Aβ and vascular inflammatory markers. GSNO treatment (50 μg/kg/day for 2 months) significantly improved learning and memory performance of BCCAO rats and reduced the Aβ levels and ICAM-1/VCAM-1 expression in the brain. Further, in in vitro cell culture studies, GSNO treatment also decreased the cytokine-induced proinflammatory responses, such as activations of NFκB and STAT3 and expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in endothelial cells. In addition, GSNO treatment increased the endothelial and microglial Aβ uptake. Additionally, GSNO treatment inhibited the β-secretase activity in primary rat neuron cell culture, thus reducing secretion of Aβ, suggesting GSNO mediated mechanisms in anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloidogenic activities. Taken together, these data document that systemic GSNO treatment is beneficial for improvement of cognitive decline under the conditions of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion and suggests a potential therapeutic use of GSNO for cerebral hypoperfusion associated mild cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease; amyloid-β; bilateral common carotid artery occlusion; cerebral hypoperfusion; inflammation; S-nitrosylation; S-nitrosoglutathione
Krabbe disease is a lethal, demyelinating condition caused by genetic deficiency of galactocerebrosidase (GALC) and resultant accumulation of its cytotoxic substrate, psychosine (galactosylsphingosine), primarily in oligodendrocytes (OLs). Psychosine is generated by galactosylation of sphingosine by UDP-galactose:ceramide galactosyltransferase (CGT), a galactosylceramide synthesizing enzyme which is primarily expressed in OLs. The expression of CGT and the synthesis of galactosyl-sphingolipids are associated with the terminal differentiation of OL, but little is known about the participation of endogenous psychosine accumulation in OL differentiation under GALC deficient conditions. In this study, we report that accumulation of endogenous psychosine under GALC deficient Krabbe conditions impedes OL differentiation process both by decreasing the expression of myelin lipids and protein and by inducing the cell death of maturating OLs. The psychosine pathology under GALC deficient conditions involves participation of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) activation and increase in its metabolites, as evidenced by attenuation of psychosine-induced pathology by treatment with pharmacological inhibitor of sPLA2 7,7-dimethyleicosadienoic acid (DEDA). These observations suggest for potential therapeutic efficacy of sPLA2 inhibitor in Krabbe disease.
Stroke disability stems from insufficient neurorepair mechanisms. Improvement of functions has been achieved through rehabilitation or therapeutic agents. Therefore, we combined exercise with a neurovascular protective agent, S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), to accelerate functional recovery.
Stroke was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion for 60 min followed by reperfusion in adult male rats. Animals were treated with vehicle (IR group), GSNO (0.25 mg/kg, GSNO group), rotarod exercise (EX group) and GSNO plus exercise (GSNO+EX group). The groups were studied for 14 days to determine neurorepair mechanisms and functional recovery.
Treated groups showed reduced infarction, decreased neuronal cell death, enhanced neurotrophic factors, and improved neurobehavioral functions. However, the GSNO+EX showed greater functional recovery (p<0.05) than the GSNO or the EX group. A GSNO sub group, treated 24 hours after IR, still showed motor function recovery (p<0.001). The protective effect of GSNO or exercise was blocked by the inhibition of Akt activity.
GSNO and exercise aid functional recovery by stimulating neurorepair mechanisms. The improvements by GSNO and exercise depend mechanistically on the Akt pathway. A combination of exercise and GSNO shows greater functional recovery. Improved recovery with GSNO, even administered 24 hours post-IR, demonstrates its clinical relevance.
GSNO; IR; motor exercise; neurorepair; neurobehavior; rehabilitation; S-nitrosylation; stroke
Combinations of new medications or existing therapies are gaining momentum over monotherapy to treat central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS). Recent studies established that statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) are effective in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an MS model and are promising candidates for future MS medication. Another drug, rolipram (phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor) ameliorates the clinical severity of EAE via induction of various anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities. In this study, we tested whether combining the suboptimal doses of these drugs can suppress the severity of EAE. Prophylactic studies revealed that combined treatment with suboptimal doses of statins perform better than their individually administered optimal doses in EAE as evidenced by delayed clinical scores, reduced disease severity, and rapid recovery. Importantly, combination therapy suppressed the progression of disease in an established EAE case via attenuation of inflammation, axonal loss and demyelination. Combination treatment attenuated inflammatory TH1 and TH17 immune responses and induced TH2-biased immunity in the peripheral and CNS as revealed by serological, quantitative, and immunosorbant assay-based analyses. Moreover, the expansion of T regulatory (CD25+/Foxp3+) cells and self-immune tolerance was apparent in the CNS. These effects of combined drugs were reduced or minimal with either drug alone in this setting. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the combination of these drugs suppresses EAE severity and provides neuroprotection thereby suggesting that this pharmacological approach could be a better future therapeutic strategy to treat MS patients.
Combination therapy; EAE; Lovastatin; Rolipram; Inflammation; Demyelination; Neuroprotection
Krabbe disease (KD) is an inherited neurological disorder caused by the deficiency of galactocerebrosidase activity resulting in accumulation of psychosine, which leads to energy depletion, loss of oligodendrocytes, induction of gliosis and inflammation by astrocytes in CNS. Here, for the first time, we report the regulation of “cellular energy switch”, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), by psychosine in oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Psychosine treatment significantly downregulated AMPK activity, resulting in increased biosynthesis of lipids including cholesterol and free fatty acid (FFA) in oligodendrocytes cell line (MO3.13) and primary astrocytes. Pharmacological activator of AMPK, 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1- β-4-ribofuranoside (AICAR) attenuated the psychosine-mediated down-regulation of AMPK and restored altered biosynthesis of lipids. AICAR treatment also downregulated psychosine induced expression of proinflammatory cytokines and iNOS in primary astrocytes. However, AICAR treatment had no effect on psychosine induced-ROS generation, arachidonic acid release and death of oligodendrocytes; suggesting the specific role of AMPK in regulation of psychosine mediated inflammatory response of astrocytes but not in cell death of oligodendrocytes. This study delineates an explicit role for AMPK in psychosine induced inflammation in astrocytes without directly affecting the cell death of oligodendrocytes. It also suggests that AMPK activating agents act as anti-inflammatory agents and can hold a therapeutic potential in KD/twitcher disease, particularly when used in combination with drugs, which protect oligodendrocyte cell loss, such as sPLA2 inhibitor (Giri et al. 2006a).
Krabbe disease; psychosine; inflammation; AMPK; oligodendrocyte; astrocytes
Cerebral white matter injury during prenatal maternal infection characterized as periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is the main substrate for cerebral palsy (CP) in premature infants. Previously, we reported that maternal LPS exposure causes oligodendrocyte (OL)-injury/hypomyelination in the developing brain which can be attenuated by an antioxidant agent, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Herein, we elucidated the role of peroxisomes in LPS-induced neuroinflammation and cerebral white matter injury. Peroxisomes are important for detoxification of reactive oxidative species (ROS) and metabolism of myelin-lipids in OLs. Maternal LPS exposure induced selective depletion of developing OLs in the fetal brain which was associated with ROS generation, glutathione depletion and peroxisomal dysfunction. Likewise, hypomyelination in the postnatal brain was associated with decrease in peroxisomes in OLs after maternal LPS exposure. Conversely, NAC abolished these LPS-induced effects in the developing brain. CP brains imitated these changes in peroxisomal/myelin proteins in the postnatal brain after maternal LPS exposure. In vitro studies revealed that pro-inflammatory cytokines cause OL-injury via peroxisomal dysfunction and ROS generation. NAC or WY14643 (peroxisome proliferators activated receptor (PPAR)-α agonist) reverses these effects of proinflammatory cytokines in the wild-type OLs, but not in PPAR-α (−/−) OLs. Similarly treated B12 oligodenroglial cells co-transfected with PPAR-α siRNAs/pTK-PPREx3-Luc, and LPS exposed PPAR-α(−/−) pregnant mice treated with NAC or WY14643 further suggested that PPAR-α activity mediates NAC-induced protective effects. Collectively, these data provide unprecedented evidence that LPS-induced peroxisomal dysfunction exacerbates cerebral white matter injury and NAC-induced protection is via a PPAR-α dependent mechanism expands therapeutic avenues for PVL and related demyelinating diseases.
Lipopolysaccharide; periventricular leukomalacia; cerebral white matter injury; cerebral palsy; peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor-α; N-acetyl cysteine
Drug combination therapies for central nervous system (CNS) demyelination diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS) are gaining momentum over monotherapy. Over the past decade, both in vitro and in vivo studies established that statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) and rolipram (phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor; blocks the degradation of intracellular cyclic AMP) can prevent the progression of MS in affected individuals via different mechanisms of action. In the present study, we evaluated the effectiveness of lovastatin and rolipram in combination therapy to promote neurorepair in an inflammatory CNS demyelination model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Combination treatment with suboptimal doses of these drugs in an established case of EAE (clinical disease score ≥2.0) significantly attenuated the infiltration of inflammatory cells and protected myelin sheath and axonal integrity in the CNS. It was accompanied with elevated level of cyclic AMP and activation of its associated protein kinase A. Interestingly, combination treatment with these drugs impeded neurodegeneration and promoted neurorepair in established EAE animals (clinical disease score ≥3.5) as verified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopic analyses. These effects of combination therapy were minimal and/or absent with either drug alone in these settings. Together, these data suggest that combination therapy with lovastatin and rolipram has the potential to provide neuroprotection and promote neurorepair in MS, and may have uses in other related CNS demyelinating diseases.
Combination therapy; EAE/MS; demyelination; inflammation
Glial cells secrete proinflammatory mediators in the brain in response to exogenous stimuli such as infection and injury. Previously, we documented that systemic maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-exposure at E18 causes oligodendrocyte (OL)-injury/hypomyelination in the developing brain which can be attenuated by N-acetyl cysteine (NAC; precursor of glutathione). The present study delineates the underlying mechanism of NAC mediated attenuation of inhibition of OL development in LPS-stimulated mixed glial cultures. Factors released by LPS-stimulated mixed glial cultures inhibited the OL development as showed by decrease in both proliferation (BrdU+/NG2+) and differentiation (O4+ and MBP+) of OL-progenitors. Correspondingly, an impairment of peroxisomal proliferation was showed by decrease in the level of peroxisomal proteins in the developing OLs following exposure to LPS conditioned media (LCM). Both NAC and WY14643, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α agonist attenuated these LCM-induced effects in OL-progenitors. Similar to WY14643, NAC attenuated LCM-induced inhibition of PPAR-α activity in developing OLs. Studies conducted with cytokines and diamide (a thiol-depleting agent) confirmed that cytokines are active agents in LCM which may be responsible for inhibition of OL development via peroxisomal dysfunction and induction of oxidative-stress. These findings were further corroborated by similar treatment of developing OLs generated from PPAR-α (-/-) and wild-type mice or B12 oligodendroglial cells co-transfected with PPAR-α siRNAs/pTK-PPREx3-Luc plasmids. Collectively, these data provide evidence that the modulation of PPAR-α activity thus peroxisomal function by NAC attenuates LPS-induced glial factors mediated inhibition of OL development suggesting new therapeutic interventions to prevent the devastating effects of maternal infections.
Lipopolysaccharide; oligodendrocyte; cerebral white matter injury; reactive oxygen species; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α and N-acetyl cysteine
We earlier documented that lovastatin (LOV)-mediated inhibition of small Rho GTPases activity protects vulnerable oligodendrocytes (OLs) in mixed glial cell cultures stimulated with Th1 cytokines and in a murine model of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the precise mechanism of OL protection remains unclear. We here employed genetic and biochemical approaches to elucidate the underlying mechanism that protects LOV treated OLs from Th1 (tumor necrosis factor-α) and Th17 (interleukin-17) cytokines toxicity in in vitro. Cytokines enhanced the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and mitochondrial membrane depolarization with corresponding lowering of glutathione (reduced) level in OLs and that were reverted by LOV. In addition, the expression of ROS detoxifying enzymes (catalase and superoxide-dismutase 2) and the transactivation of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR)-α/-β/-γ including PPAR-γ coactivator-1α were enhanced by LOV in similarly treated OLs. Interestingly, LOV-mediated inhibition of small Rho GTPases, i.e., RhoA and cdc42, and Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) activity enhanced the levels of PPAR ligands in OLs via extracellular signal regulated kinase (1/2)/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase/cytoplasmic phospholipase 2/cyclooxygenase-2 signaling cascade activation. Small hairpin RNA transfection-based studies established that LOV mainly enhances PPAR-α and less so of PPAR-β and PPAR-γ transactivation that enhances ROS detoxifying defense in OLs. In support of this, the observed LOV-mediated protection was lacking in PPAR-α-deficient OLs exposed to cytokines. Collectively, these data provide unprecedented evidence that LOV-mediated inhibition of the Rho–ROCK signaling pathway boosts ROS detoxifying defense in OLs via PPAR-α-dependent mechanism that has implication in neurodegenerative disorders including MS.
lovastatin; EAE/MS; oligodendrocyte progenitors; PPAR-α; RhoA-ROCK; survival; differentiation
The hallmark of stroke injury is endothelial dysfunction leading to blood brain barrier (BBB) leakage and edema. Among the causative factors of BBB disruption are accelerating peroxynitrite formation and the resultant decreased bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO). S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), an S-nitrosylating agent, was found not only to reduce the levels of peroxynitrite but also to protect the integrity of BBB in a rat model of cerebral ischemia and reperfusion (IR). A treatment with GSNO (3 μmol/kg) after IR reduced 3-nitrotyrosine levels in and around vessels and maintained NO levels in brain. This mechanism protected endothelial function by reducing BBB leakage, increasing the expression of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), decreasing edema, and reducing the expression of MMP-9 and E-selectin in the neurovascular unit. An administration of the peroxynitrite-forming agent 3-morpholino sydnonimine (3 μmol/kg) at reperfusion increased BBB leakage and decreased the expression of ZO-1, supporting the involvement of peroxynitrite in BBB disruption and edema. Mechanistically, the endothelium-protecting action of GSNO was invoked by reducing the activity of NF-κB and increasing the expression of S-nitrosylated proteins. Taken together, the results support the ability of GSNO to improve endothelial function by reducing nitroxidative stress in stroke.
ischemia reperfusion; GSNO; S-nitrosylation; peroxynitrite; BBB; endothelial dysfunction
Th1 cytokine-induced loss of oligodendrocytes (OLs) is associated with axonal loss in CNS demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), which contributes to neurological disabilities in affected individuals. Recent studies indicated that, in addition to Th1-phenotype cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, Th17 phenotype cytokine, interleukin (IL)-17 also involved in the development of MS. Here, we investigated the direct effect of IL-17 on the survival of OLs in the presence of TNF-α and individually in vitro settings. Our findings suggest that IL-17 alone, however, was not able to affect the survival of OLs, but it exacerbates the TNF-α-induced OL apoptosis as compared to individual TNF-α treatment. This effect of cytokines was ascribed to an inhibition of cell survival mechanisms, co-localization of Bid/Bax proteins in the mitochondrial membrane and caspase 8 activation mediated release of apoptosis inducing factor from mitochondria in treated OLs. In addition, cytokine treatment disturbed the mitochondrial membrane potential in OLs with corresponding increase in the generation of reactive oxygen species, which were attenuated by N-acetyl cysteine treatment. In addition, combining of these cytokines induced cell cycle arrest at G1/S phases in OL-like cells and inhibited the maturation of OL progenitor cells (OPCs) that was attenuated by peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-γ/-β agonists. Collectively, these data provide initial evidence that IL-17 exacerbates TNF-α-induced OL loss and inhibits the differentiation of OPCs suggesting that antioxidant- or PPAR agonist-based therapies have potential to limit CNS demyelination in MS or other related demyelinating disorders.
Tumor necrosis factor; Interleukin-17; oligodendrocyte; apoptosis; multiple sclerosis
Previously, we and others documented that statins including—lovastatin (LOV) promote the differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and remyelination in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an multiple sclerosis (MS) model. Conversely, some recent studies demonstrated that statins negatively influence oligodendrocyte (OL) differentiation in vitro and remyelination in a cuprizone-CNS demyelinating model. Therefore, herein, we first investigated the cause of impaired differentiation of OLs by statins in vitro settings. Our observations indicated that the depletion of cholesterol was detrimental to LOV treated OPCs under cholesterol/serum-deprived culture conditions similar to that were used in conflicting studies. However, the depletion of geranylgeranyl-pp under normal cholesterol homeostasis conditions enhanced the phenotypic commitment and differentiation of LOV-treated OPCs ascribed to inhibition of RhoA-Rho kinase. Interestingly, this effect of LOV was associated with increased activation and expression of both PPAR-γ and PTEN in OPCs as confirmed by various pharmacological and molecular based approaches. Furthermore, PTEN was involved in an inhibition of OPCs proliferation via PI3K-Akt inhibition and induction of cell cycle arrest at G1 phase, but without affecting their cell survival. These effects of LOV on OPCs in vitro were absent in the CNS of normal rats chronically treated with LOV concentrations used in EAE indicating that PPAR-γ induction in normal brain may be tightly regulated — providing evidences that statins are therapeutically safe for humans. Collectively, these data provide initial evidence that statin-mediated activation of the PPAR-γ — PTEN cascade participates in OL differentiation, thus suggesting new therapeutic-interventions for MS or related CNS-demyelinating diseases.
Lovastatin; EAE/MS; oligodendrocyte progenitors; PPAR-γ/PTEN; RhoA-ROCK; Differentiation; remyelination
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) induces primary and secondary damage in both the endothelium and the brain parenchyma, collectively termed the neurovascular unit. While neurons die quickly by necrosis, a vicious cycle of secondary injury in endothelial cells exacerbates the initial injury in the neurovascular unit following TBI. In activated endothelial cells, excessive superoxide reacts with nitric oxide (NO) to form peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite has been implicated in blood brain barrier (BBB) leakage, altered metabolic function, and neurobehavioral impairment. S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), a nitrosylation-based signaling molecule, was reported not only to reduce brain levels of peroxynitrite and oxidative metabolites but also to improve neurological function in TBI, stroke, and spinal cord injury. Therefore, we investigated whether GSNO promotes the neurorepair process by reducing the levels of peroxynitrite and the degree of oxidative injury.
TBI was induced by controlled cortical impact (CCI) in adult male rats. GSNO or 3-Morpholino-sydnonimine (SIN-1) (50 μg/kg body weight) was administered orally two hours following CCI. The same dose was repeated daily until endpoints. GSNO-treated (GSNO group) or SIN-1-treated (SIN-1 group) injured animals were compared with vehicle-treated injured animals (TBI group) and vehicle-treated sham-operated animals (Sham group) in terms of peroxynitrite, NO, glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxidation, blood brain barrier (BBB) leakage, edema, inflammation, tissue structure, axon/myelin integrity, and neurotrophic factors.
SIN-1 treatment of TBI increased whereas GSNO treatment decreased peroxynitrite, lipid peroxides/aldehydes, BBB leakage, inflammation and edema in a short-term treatment (4-48 hours). GSNO also reduced brain infarctions and enhanced the levels of NO and GSH. In a long-term treatment (14 days), GSNO protected axonal integrity, maintained myelin levels, promoted synaptic plasticity, and enhanced the expression of neurotrophic factors.
Our findings indicate the participation of peroxynitrite in the pathobiology of TBI. GSNO treatment of TBI not only reduces peroxynitrite but also protects the integrity of the neurovascular unit, indicating that GSNO blunts the deleterious effects of peroxynitrite. A long-term treatment of TBI with the same low dose of GSNO promotes synaptic plasticity and enhances the expression of neurotrophic factors. These results support that GSNO reduces the levels of oxidative metabolites, protects the neurovascular unit, and promotes neurorepair mechanisms in TBI.
Peroxisome, a ubiquitous subcellular organelle, plays an important function in cellular metabolism, and its importance for human health is underscored by the identification of fatal disorders caused by genetic abnormalities. Recent findings indicate that peroxisomal dysfunction is not restricted only to inherited peroxisomal diseases but also to disease processes associated with generation of inflammatory mediators that downregulate cellular peroxisomal homeostasis. Evidence indicates that leukodystrophies (X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, globoid cell leukodystrophy, periventricular leukomalacia) may share common denominators in the development and progression of the inflammatory process and thus in the dysfunctions of peroxisomes. Dysfunctions of peroxisomes may therefore contribute in part to white matter disease and to the mental and physical disabilities that develop in patients affected by these diseases.
cytokines; inflammation; leukodystrophies; myelin; neuroinflammation; peroxisomal disorders
AMP-activated-protein-kinase (AMPK) is a key sensor and regulator of cellular and whole-body energy metabolism and plays a key role in regulation of lipid metabolism. Since lipid metabolism has been implicated in neuronal amyloid-β (Aβ) homeostasis and onset of Alzheimer’s disease, we investigated the involvement of AMPK in neuronal lipid metabolism and Aβ production. We observed in cultured rat cortical neurons that Aβ production was significantly reduced when the neurons were stimulated with AMPK activator, 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR), but increased when AMPKα2 was knocked out, thus indicating the role of AMPK in amyloidogenesis. Although the detailed mechanisms by which AMPK regulates Aβ generation is not well understood, AMPK-mediated alterations in cholesterol and sphingomyelin homeostasis and in turn the altered distribution of Aβ precursor-protein (APP) in cholesterol and sphingomyelin rich membrane lipid rafts participate in Aβ generation. Taken together, this is the first report on the role of AMPK in regulation of neuronal amyloidogenesis.
AMPK; Amyloid-β; Amyloid precursor protein; Cholesterol; Lipid rafts; Sphingomyelin
Maternal microbial infections cause adverse fetal developmental outcomes including embryonic resorption, intrauterine fetal death, and preterm labor. Recent studies demonstrated that oxidative-stress plays an important role in chorioamniotitis pathogenesis. Herein we investigated the effect of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) on lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm labor and fetal demise in murine model. Lipopolysaccharide exposure at embryonic day 18 demonstrated an increase in the abortion rate and fetal demise in pregnant dams. This was associated with increase in an inflammatory response (cytokines, chemokines and iNOS expression) and infiltration of leukocytes (monocytes and polymorphonuclear cells) in the placenta. There was increased expression of cytosolic and secretary phospholipase A2 with increased secretion of prostaglandin-2 and leukotriene B4 in the placenta, suggestive of increased metabolism of phospholipids. In addition, expression of cycloxygenase-2 and malondialdehyde production (oxidative-stress marker) was increased in the placenta. Conversely, NAC pretreatment abolished these effects of lipopolysaccharide in the placenta. Collectively, these data provide evidence that LPS-induced increased inflammation and metabolism of phospholipids at the feto-maternal interface (placenta) is critical for preterm labor and fetal demise during maternal microbial infections which could be blocked by antioxidant-based therapies.
Preterm labor; placenta; maternal microbial infection; Lipopolysaccharide and N-acetyl-cysteine
Statins as inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl glutaryl coenzyme A reductase are widely used as cholesterol-lowering drugs. Recent studies provide evidence that the anti-inflammatory activity of statins, which is independent of their cholesterol-lowering effects, may have potential therapeutic implications for neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease and brain tumors, as well as traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries. Studies with animal models of MS suggest that, in addition to immunomodulatory activities similar to the ones observed with approved MS medications, statin treatment also protects the BBB, protects against neurodegeneration and may also promote neurorepair. Although the initial human studies on statin treatment for MS are encouraging, prospective randomized clinical studies will be required to evaluate their efficacy in the larger patient population.
blood-brain barrier; immunomodulation; inflammation; multiple sclerosis; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammatory diseases; neurorepair; pleotropic effects; statins
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of preventable death and serious morbidity in young adults. This complex pathological condition is characterized by significant blood brain barrier (BBB) leakage that stems from cerebral ischemia, inflammation, and redox imbalances in the traumatic penumbra of the injured brain. Once trauma has occurred, combating these exacerbations is the keystone of an effective TBI therapy. Following other brain injuries, nitric oxide modulators such as S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) maintain not only redox balance but also inhibit the mechanisms of secondary injury. Therefore, we tested whether GSNO shows efficacy in a rat model of experimental TBI.
TBI was induced by controlled cortical impact (CCI) in adult male rats. GSNO (50 μg/kg body weight) was administered at two hours after CCI. GSNO-treated injured animals (CCI+GSNO group) were compared with vehicle-treated injured animals (CCI+VEH group) in terms of tissue morphology, BBB leakage, edema, inflammation, cell death, and neurological deficit.
Treatment of the TBI animals with GSNO reduced BBB disruption as evidenced by decreased Evan's blue extravasation across brain, infiltration/activation of macrophages (ED1 positive cells), and reduced expression of ICAM-1 and MMP-9. The GSNO treatment also restored CCI-mediated reduced expression of BBB integrity proteins ZO-1 and occludin. GSNO-mediated improvements in tissue histology shown by reduction of lesion size and decreased loss of both myelin (measured by LFB staining) and neurons (assayed by TUNEL) further support the efficacy of GSNO therapy. GSNO-mediated reduced expression of iNOS in macrophages as well as decreased neuronal cell death may be responsible for the histological improvement and reduced exacerbations. In addition to these biochemical and histological improvements, GSNO-treated injured animals recovered neurobehavioral functions as evaluated by the rotarod task and neurological score measurements.
GSNO is a promising candidate to be evaluated in humans after brain trauma because it not only protects the traumatic penumbra from secondary injury and improves overall tissue structure but also maintains the integrity of BBB and reduces neurologic deficits following CCI in a rat model of experimental TBI.
In animal models, ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury triggers membrane lipid degradation and accumulation of lipoxidative exacerbations in neurovascular unit, leading to blood brain barrier (BBB) damage and neurologic deficits. In this study, we investigated whether impeding membrane lipid breakdown by inhibiting secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) activity reduces BBB leakage, leading to neuroprotection and functional recovery.
Focal cerebral IR injury was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in adult male rats. A sPLA2 inhibitor, 7,7-dimethyleicosadienoic acid (DEDA), was administered following IR injury. DEDA-treated animals were compared with vehicle-treated in terms of BBB leakage, edema, infarct volume, and neurological deficit. Membrane lipid degradation and the expression/activity of sPLA2 were also assessed. The role of one of the sPLA2 products, arachidonic acid (AA), on the morphology of the differentiated neuronal cell PC12 was examined by light microscopy.
Treatment with DEDA after IR injury not only reduced BBB leakage but also decreased infarct volume and improved neurologic function. The treatment attenuated both the activity of sPLA2 and the levels of sPLA2-derived oxidized products. The metabolites of lipid oxidation/peroxidation, including the protein carbonyl, were reduced as well. The treatment also restored the levels of glutathione, indicating attenuation of oxidative stress. In vitro treatment of PC12 cells with DEDA did not restore the AA-mediated inhibition of neurite formation and the levels of glutathione, indicating that effect of DEDA is up stream to AA release.
sPLA2-derived oxidative products contribute to significant neurovascular damage, and treatment with sPLA2 inhibitor DEDA ameliorates secondary injury by reducing exacerbations from lipoxidative stress.
Previous studies have described that statins (inhibitors of cholesterol and isoprenoid biosynthesis) inhibit the output of amyloid-β (Aβ) in the animal model and thus decrease risk of Alzheimer's disease. However, their action mechanism(s) in APP processing and Aβ generation is not fully understood. Here we report that lovastatin treatment reduced Aβ output in cultured hippocampal neurons as a result of reduced Aβ precursor protein (APP) levels and β-secretase activities in low density Lubrol WX (non-ionic detergent) extractable lipid rafts (LDLR). Rather than altering cholesterol levels in lipid raft fractions and thus disrupting lipid raft structure, lovastatin decreased Aβ generation through down-regulating geranylgeranyl-pyrophosphate (GGPP) dependent endocytosis pathway. The inhibition of APP endocytosis by treatment with lovastatin and reduction of APP levels in LDLR fractions by treatment with phenylarsine oxide (a general endocytosis inhibitor) support the involvement of APP endocytosis in APP distribution in LDLR fractions and subsequent APP β-cleavage. Moreover, lovastatin-mediated down-regulation of endocytosis regulators, such as EEA1, dynamin-I and phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase activity, indicates that lovastatin modulates APP endocytosis possibly through its pleiotropic effects on endocytic regulators. Collectively, these data report that lovastatin mediates inhibition of LDLR distribution and β-cleavage of APP in a GGPP and endocytosis dependent manner.
lovastatin; lipid rafts; geranylgeranylation; Alzheimer's disease; beta-Amyloid and endocytosis
Statins are inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase that have been recently recognized as anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective drugs. Herein, we investigated anti-excitotoxic and anti-seizure effects of statins by using kainic acid (KA)-rat seizure model, an animal model for temporal lobe epilepsy and excitotoxic neurodegeneration. We observed that pretreatment with Lipitor (atorvastatin) effeiciently reduced KA-induced seizure activities, hippocampal neuron death, monocyte infiltration and proinflammatory gene expression. In addition, we also observed that lovastatin treatment attenuated KA- or glutamate-induced excitotoxicity of cultured hippocampal neurons. These observations suggest a potential for use of statin treatment in modulation of seizures and other neurological diseases associated with excitotoxicity.
Atorvastatin; excitotoxicity; inflammation; hippocampus; kainic acid; ovastatin and seizure
The Infiltration of leukocytes across the brain endothelium is a hallmark of various neuroinflammatory disorders. Under inflammatory conditions, there is increased expression of specific cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) on activated vascular endothelial cells which increases the adhesion and infiltration of leukocytes. TNFα is one of the major proinflammatory cytokines that causes endothelial dysfunction by various mechanisms including activation of transcription factor NF-κB, a key transcription factor that regulates expression of CAMs. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is a member of the nuclear hormone superfamily of ligand-activated transcriptional factors. 15-deoxy-δ 12, 14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) is a well recognized natural ligand of PPARγ and possesses anti-inflammatory properties both in vitro and in vivo. This study aims to elucidate the mechanism of 15-PGJ2 on the adhesion of mononuclear cells to activated endothelial cells.
To delineate the signaling pathway of 15d-PGJ2 mediated effects, we employed an in vitro adhesion assay model of endothelial-monocyte interaction. Expression of CAMs was examined using flow cytometry and real time PCR techniques. To define the mechanism of 15d-PGJ2, we explored the role of NF-κB by EMSA (Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay) gels, NF-κB reporter and p65-transcriptional activities by transient transfection in the brain-derived endothelial cell line (bEND.3).
Using an in vitro adhesion assay model, we demonstrate that 15d-PGJ2 inhibits TNFα induced monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells, which is mediated by downregulation of endothelial cell adhesion molecules in a PPARγ independent manner. 15d-PGJ2 modulated the adhesion process by inhibiting the TNFα induced IKK-NF-κB pathway as evident from EMSA, NF-κB reporter and p65 mediated transcriptional activity results in bEND.3 cells.
These findings suggest that 15d-PGJ2 inhibits inflammation at multiple steps and thus is a potential therapeutic target for various inflammatory diseases.
Obesity is one of the principal causative factors involved in the development of metabolic syndrome. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy sensor that regulates cellular metabolism. The role of AMP-activated protein kinase in adipocyte differentiation is not completely understood, therefore, we examined the effect of 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-β-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR), a pharmacological activator of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) on adipocyte differentiation in 3T3L1 cells and in a mouse Diet induced obesity (DIO) model.
To examine the effect of AICAR on adipocyte differentiation in 3T3L1 cells and in a mouse Diet induced obesity (DIO) model, 3T3L1 cells were differentiatied in the presence or absence of different concentration of AICAR and neutral lipid content and expression of various adipocyte-specific transcription factors were examined. In vivo study, treated and untreated mice with AICAR (0.1–0.5 mg/g body weight) were fed high-fat diet (60% kcal% fat) to induce DIO and several parameters were studied.
AICAR blocked adipogenic conversion in 3T3L1 cells along with significant decrease in the neutral lipid content by downregulating several adipocyte-specific transcription factors including peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), C/EBPα and ADD1/SREBP1, which are critical for adipogenesis in vitro. Moreover, intraperitoneal administration of AICAR (0.5 mg g/body weight) to mice fed with high-fat diet (60% kcal% fat) to induce DIO, significantly blocked the body weight gain and total content of epididymal fat in these mice over a period of 6 weeks. AICAR treatment also restored normal adipokine levels and resulted in significant improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The reduction in adipose tissue content in AICAR treated DIO mice was due to reduction in lipid accumulation in the pre-existing adipocytes. However, no change was observed in the expression of PPARγ, C/EBPα and ADD1/SREBP1 transcription factors in vivo though PGC1α expression was significantly induced.
This study suggests that AICAR inhibits adipocyte differentiation via downregulation of expression of adipogenic factors in vitro and reduces adipose tissue content in DIO mice by activating expression of PGC1α without inhibiting adipocyte-specific transcription factors in DIO mice.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States of America. Brain ischemia-reperfusion (IR) triggers a complex series of biochemical events including inflammation. Leukotrienes derived from 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) cause inflammation and are thus involved in the pathobiology of stroke injury.
To test the neuroprotective efficacy of 5-LOX inhibition in a rat model of focal cerebral IR, ischemic animals were either pre- or post-treated with a potent selective 5-LOX inhibitor, (N- [3-[3-(-fluorophenoxy) phenyl]-1-methyl-2-propenyl]-N-hydroxyurea (BW-B 70C). They were evaluated at 24 h after reperfusion for brain infarction, neurological deficit score, and the expression of 5-LOX. Furthermore, the mechanism and the anti-inflammatory potential of BW-B 70C in the regulation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and inflammatory inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were investigated both in vivo and in vitro.
Results and discussion
Both pre- and post-treatment with BW-B 70C reduced infarctions and improved neurological deficit scores. Immunohistochemical study of brain sections showed IR-mediated increased expression of 5-LOX in the neurons and microglia. BW-B 70C down-regulated 5-LOX and inhibited iNOS expression by preventing NF-κB activation. Two other structurally different 5-LOX inhibitors were also administered post IR: caffeic acid and 2, 3, 5-trimethyl-6- [12-hydroxy-5, 10-dodecadiynyl]-1, 4-benzoquinone (AA-861). As with BW-B 70C, they provided remarkable neuroprotection. Furthermore, in vitro, BW-B 70C inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS) mediated nitric oxide production, iNOS induction and NF-κB activation in the BV2 microglial cell line. Treating rat primary microglia with BW-B70C confirmed blockage of LPS-mediated translocation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB from cytosol to nucleus.
The study demonstrates the neuroprotective potential of 5-LOX inhibition through down-regulation of NF-κB in a rat model of experimental stroke.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology shows characteristic 'plaques' rich in amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide deposits. Inflammatory process-related proteins such as pro-inflammatory cytokines have been detected in AD brain suggesting that an inflammatory immune reaction also plays a role in the pathogenesis of AD. Glial cells in culture respond to LPS and Aβ stimuli by upregulating the expression of cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, and also the expression of proinflammatory genes iNOS and COX-2. We have earlier reported that LPS/Aβ stimulation-induced ceramide and ROS generation leads to iNOS expression and nitric oxide production in glial cells. The present study was undertaken to investigate the neuroprotective function of AICAR (a potent activator of AMP-activated protein kinase) in blocking the pro-oxidant/proinflammatory responses induced in primary glial cultures treated with LPS and Aβ peptide.
To test the anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant functions of AICAR, we tested its inhibitory potential in blocking the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and iNOS, expression of COX-2, generation of ROS, and associated signaling following treatment of glial cells with LPS and Aβ peptide. We also investigated the neuroprotective effects of AICAR against the effects of cytokines and inflammatory mediators (released by the glia), in blocking neurite outgrowth inhibition, and in nerve growth factor-(NGF) induced neurite extension by PC-12 cells.
AICAR blocked LPS/Aβ-induced inflammatory processes by blocking the expression of proinflammatory cytokine, iNOS, COX-2 and MnSOD genes, and by inhibition of ROS generation and depletion of glutathione in astroglial cells. AICAR also inhibited down-stream signaling leading to the regulation of transcriptional factors such as NFκB and C/EBP which are critical for the expression of iNOS, COX-2, MnSOD and cytokines (TNF-α/IL-1β and IL-6). AICAR promoted NGF-induced neurite growth and reduced neurite outgrowth inhibition in PC-12 cells treated with astroglial conditioned medium.
The observed anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant and neuroprotective functions of AICAR suggest it as a viable candidate for use in treatment of Alzheimer's disease.