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1.  Time-Dependent Compensatory Responses to Chronic Neuroinflammation in Hippocampus and Brainstem: The Potential Role of Glutamate Neurotransmission 
Chronic neuroinflammation is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases and is present during very early stages, yet significant pathology and behavioral deficits do not manifest until advanced age. We investigated the consequences of experimentally-induced chronic neuroinflammation within the hippocampus and brainstem of young (4 mo) F-344 rats. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was infused continuously into the IVth ventricle for 2, 4 or 8 weeks. The number of MHC II immunoreactive microglia in the brain continued to increase throughout the infusion period. In contrast, performance in the Morris water maze was impaired after 4 weeks but recovered by 8 weeks. Likewise, a transient loss of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus was observed after 2 weeks, but returned to control levels by 4 weeks of continuous LPS infusion. These data suggest that direct activation of microglia is sufficient to drive, but not sustain, spatial memory impairment and a decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase production in young rats. Our previous studies suggest that chronic neuroinflammation elevates extracellular glutamate and that this elevation underlies the spatial memory impairment. In the current study, increased levels of GLT1 and SNAP25 in the hippocampus corresponded with the resolution of performance deficit. Increased expression of SNAP25 is consistent with reduced glutamate release from axonal terminals while increased GLT1 is consistent with enhanced clearance of extracellular glutamate. These data demonstrate the capacity of the brain to compensate for the presence of chronic neuroinflammation, despite continued activation of microglia, through changes in the regulation of the glutamatergic system.
doi:10.4172/2161-0460.1000110
PMCID: PMC3939715  PMID: 24600537
Neuroinflammation; Rat; Lipopolysaccharide; Alzheimer; Parkinson; Glutamate; Excitatory amino acid transporter; SNAP25
2.  Sociability and Motor Functions in Shank1 Mutant Mice 
Brain research  2010;1380:120-137.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by aberrant reciprocal social interactions, impaired communication, and repetitive behaviors. While the etiology remains unclear, strong evidence exists for a genetic component, and several synaptic genes have been implicated. SHANK genes encode a family of synaptic scaffolding proteins located postsynaptically on excitatory synapses. Mutations in SHANK genes have been detected in several autistic individuals. To understand the consequences of SHANK mutations relevant to the diagnostic and associated symptoms of autism, comprehensive behavioral phenotyping on a line of Shank1 mutant mice was conducted on multiple measures of social interactions, social olfaction, repetitive behaviors, anxiety-related behaviors, motor functions, and a series of control measures for physical abilities. Results from our comprehensive behavioral phenotyping battery indicated that adult Shank1 null mutant mice were similar to their wildtype and heterozygous littermates on standardized measures of general health, neurological reflexes and sensory skills. Motor functions were reduced in the null mutants on open field activity, rotarod, and wire hang, replicating and extending previous findings (Hung et al., 2008). A partial anxiety-like phenotype was detected in the null mutants in some components of the light ↔ dark task, as previously reported (Hung et al., 2008) but not in the elevated plus-maze. Juvenile reciprocal social interactions did not differ across genotypes. Interpretation of adult social approach was confounded by a lack of normal sociability in wildtype and heterozygous littermates. All genotypes were able to discriminate social odors on an olfactory habituation/dishabituation task. All genotypes displayed relatively high levels of repetitive self-grooming. Our findings support the interpretation that Shank1 null mice do not demonstrate autism-relevant social deficits, but confirm and extend a role for Shank1 in motor functions.
doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2010.09.026
PMCID: PMC3041833  PMID: 20868654
3.  Low Stress Reactivity and Neuroendocrine Factors in the BTBR T+tf/J Mouse Model of Autism 
Neuroscience  2010;171(4):1197-1208.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by abnormal reciprocal social interactions, communication deficits, and repetitive behaviors with restricted interests. BTBR T+tf/J (BTBR) is an inbred mouse strain that displays robust behavioral phenotypes with analogies to all three of the diagnostic symptoms of autism, including low social interactions, reduced vocalizations in social settings, and high levels of repetitive self-grooming. Autism-relevant phenotypes in BTBR offer translational tools to discover neurochemical mechanisms underlying unusual mouse behaviors relevant to symptoms of autism. Because repetitive self-grooming in mice may be a displacement behavior elevated by stressors, we investigated neuroendocrine markers of stress and behavioral reactivity to stressors in BTBR mice, as compared to C57BL/6J, a standard inbred strain with high sociability. Radioimmunoassays replicated previous findings that circulating corticosterone is higher in the BTBR than in B6. Higher basal glucocorticoid receptor mRNA and higher oxytocin peptide levels were detected in the brains of BTBR as compared to B6. No significant differences were detected in corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) peptide or CRF mRNA. In response to behavioral stressors, BTBR and B6 were generally similar on behavioral tasks including stress-induced hyperthermia, elevated plus-maze, light ↔ dark exploration, tail flick, acoustic startle and prepulse inhibition. BTBR displayed less reactivity than B6 to a noxious thermal stimulus in the hot plate, and less immobility than B6 in both the forced swim and tail suspension depression-related tasks. BTBR, therefore, exhibited less depression-like scores than B6 on two standard tests sensitive to antidepressants, did not differ from B6 on two well-validated anxiety-like behaviors, and did not exhibit unusual stress reactivity to sensory stimuli. Our findings support the interpretation that autism-relevant social deficits, vocalizations, and repetitive behaviors are not the result of abnormal stress reactivity in the BTBR mouse model of autism.
doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.09.059
PMCID: PMC2991427  PMID: 20888890
autism; mouse models; BTBR
4.  A Randomized Trial of Rectal Indomethacin to Prevent Post-ERCP Pancreatitis 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(15):1414-1422.
Background
Preliminary research suggests that rectally administered nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs may reduce the incidence of pancreatitis after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
Methods
In this multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, we assigned patients at elevated risk for post-ERCP pancreatitis to receive a single dose of rectal indomethacin or placebo immediately after ERCP. Patients were determined to be at high risk on the basis of validated patient- and procedure-related risk factors. The primary outcome was post-ERCP pancreatitis, which was defined as new upper abdominal pain, an elevation in pancreatic enzymes to at least three times the upper limit of the normal range 24 hours after the procedure, and hospitalization for at least 2 nights.
Results
A total of 602 patients were enrolled and completed follow-up. The majority of patients (82%) had a clinical suspicion of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. Post-ERCP pancreatitis developed in 27 of 295 patients (9.2%) in the indomethacin group and in 52 of 307 patients (16.9%) in the placebo group (P = 0.005). Moderate-to-severe pancreatitis developed in 13 patients (4.4%) in the indomethacin group and in 27 patients (8.8%) in the placebo group (P = 0.03).
Conclusions
Among patients at high risk for post-ERCP pancreatitis, rectal indomethacin significantly reduced the incidence of the condition. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00820612.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1111103
PMCID: PMC3339271  PMID: 22494121

Results 1-4 (4)