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1.  Protective Effects of Testosterone on Presynaptic Terminals against Oligomeric β-Amyloid Peptide in Primary Culture of Hippocampal Neurons 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:103906.
Increasing lines of evidence support that testosterone may have neuroprotective effects. While observational studies reported an association between higher bioavailable testosterone or brain testosterone levels and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), there is limited understanding of the underlying neuroprotective mechanisms. Previous studies demonstrated that testosterone could alleviate neurotoxicity induced by β-amyloid (Aβ), but these findings mainly focused on neuronal apoptosis. Since synaptic dysfunction and degeneration are early events during the pathogenesis of AD, we aim to investigate the effects of testosterone on oligomeric Aβ-induced synaptic changes. Our data suggested that exposure of primary cultured hippocampal neurons to oligomeric Aβ could reduce the length of neurites and decrease the expression of presynaptic proteins including synaptophysin, synaptotagmin, and synapsin-1. Aβ also disrupted synaptic vesicle recycling and protein folding machinery. Testosterone preserved the integrity of neurites and the expression of presynaptic proteins. It also attenuated Aβ-induced impairment of synaptic exocytosis. By using letrozole as an aromatase antagonist, we further demonstrated that the effects of testosterone on exocytosis were unlikely to be mediated through the estrogen receptor pathway. Furthermore, we showed that testosterone could attenuate Aβ-induced reduction of HSP70, which suggests a novel mechanism that links testosterone and its protective function on Aβ-induced synaptic damage. Taken together, our data provide further evidence on the beneficial effects of testosterone, which may be useful for future drug development for AD.
doi:10.1155/2014/103906
PMCID: PMC4086619  PMID: 25045655
2.  Lycium barbarum polysaccharides therapeutically improve hepatic functions in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis rats and cellular steatosis model 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5587.
This study aimed to investigate the possible therapeutic effects and active components of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) on a high fat diet-induced NASH rat model. We induced NASH in a rat model by voluntary oral feeding with a high-fat diet ad libitum for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, 1 mg/kg LBP was orally administered for another 4 weeks with a high-fat diet. When compared with NASH rats treated for 12 weeks, therapeutic LBP treatment for 4 weeks during 12 weeks of NASH induction showed ameliorative effects on: (1) increased body and wet liver weights; (2) insulin resistance and glucose metabolic dysfunction; (3) elevated level of serum aminotransferases; (4) fat accumulation in the liver and increased serum free fatty acid (FFA) level; (5) hepatic fibrosis; (6) hepatic oxidative stress; (7) hepatic inflammatory response; and (8) hepatic apoptosis. These improvements were partially through the modulation of transcription factor NF-κB, MAPK pathways and the autophagic process. In a palmitate acid-induced rat hepatocyte steatosis cell–based model, we also demonstrated that l-arabinose and β-carotene partially accounted for the beneficial effects of LBP on the hepatocytes. In conclusion, LBP possesses a variety of hepato-protective properties which make it a potent supplementary therapeutic agent against NASH in future clinical trials.
doi:10.1038/srep05587
PMCID: PMC4083265  PMID: 24998389
3.  Activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 Antioxidant Pathway Contributes to the Protective Effects of Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides in the Rodent Retina after Ischemia-Reperfusion-Induced Damage 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84800.
Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), extracts from the wolfberries, are protective to retina after ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). The antioxidant response element (ARE)–mediated antioxidant pathway plays an important role in maintaining the redox status of the retina. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), combined with potent AREs in its promoter, is a highly effective therapeutic target for the protection against neurodegenerative diseases, including I/R-induced retinal damage. The aim of our present study was to investigate whether the protective effect of LBP after I/R damage was mediated via activation of the Nrf2/HO-1-antioxidant pathway in the retina. Retinal I/R was induced by an increase in intraocular pressure to 130 mm Hg for 60 minutes. Prior to the induction of ischemia, rats were orally treated with either vehicle (PBS) or LBP (1 mg/kg) once a day for 1 week. For specific experiments, zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP, 20 mg/kg), an HO-1 inhibitor, was intraperitoneally administered at 24 h prior to ischemia. The protective effects of LBP were evaluated by quantifying ganglion cell and amacrine cell survival, and by measuring cell apoptosis in the retinal layers. In addition, HO-1 expression was examined using Western blotting and immunofluorescence analyses. Cytosolic and nuclear Nrf2 was measured using immunofluorescent staining. LBP treatment significantly increased Nrf2 nuclear accumulation and HO-1 expression in the retina after I/R injury. Increased apoptosis and a decrease in the number of viable cells were observed in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) and inner nuclear layer (INL) in the I/R retina, which were reversed by LBP treatment. The HO-1 inhibitor, ZnPP, diminished the LBP treatment-induced protective effects in the retina after I/R. Taken together, these results suggested that LBP partially exerted its beneficial neuroprotective effects via the activation of Nrf2 and an increase in HO-1 protein expression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084800
PMCID: PMC3882254  PMID: 24400114
4.  Lycium Barbarum (Wolfberry) Reduces Secondary Degeneration and Oxidative Stress, and Inhibits JNK Pathway in Retina after Partial Optic Nerve Transection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68881.
Our group has shown that the polysaccharides extracted from Lycium barbarum (LBP) are neuroprotective for retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in different animal models. Protecting RGCs from secondary degeneration is a promising direction for therapy in glaucoma management. The complete optic nerve transection (CONT) model can be used to study primary degeneration of RGCs, while the partial optic nerve transection (PONT) model can be used to study secondary degeneration of RGCs because primary degeneration of RGCs and secondary degeneration can be separated in location in the same retina in this model; in other situations, these types of degeneration can be difficult to distinguish. In order to examine which kind of degeneration LBP could delay, both CONT and PONT models were used in this study. Rats were fed with LBP or vehicle daily from 7 days before surgery until sacrifice at different time-points and the surviving numbers of RGCs were evaluated. The expression of several proteins related to inflammation, oxidative stress, and the c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathways were detected with Western-blot analysis. LBP did not delay primary degeneration of RGCs after either CONT or PONT, but it did delay secondary degeneration of RGCs after PONT. We found that LBP appeared to exert these protective effects by inhibiting oxidative stress and the JNK/c-jun pathway and by transiently increasing production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This study suggests that LBP can delay secondary degeneration of RGCs and this effect may be linked to inhibition of oxidative stress and the JNK/c-jun pathway in the retina.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068881
PMCID: PMC3716882  PMID: 23894366
5.  Garlic-Derived S-Allylmercaptocysteine Ameliorates Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in a Rat Model through Inhibition of Apoptosis and Enhancing Autophagy 
Our previous study demonstrated that administration of garlic-derived antioxidant S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC) ameliorated hepatic injury in a nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) rat model. Our present study aimed to investigate the mechanism of SAMC on NAFLD-induced hepatic apoptosis and autophagy. Adult female rats were fed with a high-fat diet for 8 weeks to develop NAFLD with or without intraperitoneal injection of 200 mg/kg SAMC for three times per week. During NAFLD development, increased apoptotic cells and caspase-3 activation were observed in the liver. Increased apoptosis was modulated through both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. NAFLD treatment also enhanced the expression of key autophagic markers in the liver with reduced activity of LKB1/AMPK and PI3K/Akt pathways. Increased expression of proapoptotic regulator p53 and decreased activity of antiautophagic regulator mTOR were also observed. Administration of SAMC reduced the number of apoptotic cells through downregulation of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic mechanisms. SAMC also counteracted the effects of NAFLD on LKB1/AMPK and PI3K/Akt pathways. Treatment with SAMC further enhanced hepatic autophagy by regulating autophagic markers and mTOR activity. In conclusion, administration of SAMC during NAFLD development in rats protects the liver from chronic injury by reducing apoptosis and enhancing autophagy.
doi:10.1155/2013/642920
PMCID: PMC3703729  PMID: 23861709
6.  Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy 
Klionsky, Daniel J. | Abdalla, Fabio C. | Abeliovich, Hagai | Abraham, Robert T. | Acevedo-Arozena, Abraham | Adeli, Khosrow | Agholme, Lotta | Agnello, Maria | Agostinis, Patrizia | Aguirre-Ghiso, Julio A. | Ahn, Hyung Jun | Ait-Mohamed, Ouardia | Ait-Si-Ali, Slimane | Akematsu, Takahiko | Akira, Shizuo | Al-Younes, Hesham M. | Al-Zeer, Munir A. | Albert, Matthew L. | Albin, Roger L. | Alegre-Abarrategui, Javier | Aleo, Maria Francesca | Alirezaei, Mehrdad | Almasan, Alexandru | Almonte-Becerril, Maylin | Amano, Atsuo | Amaravadi, Ravi K. | Amarnath, Shoba | Amer, Amal O. | Andrieu-Abadie, Nathalie | Anantharam, Vellareddy | Ann, David K. | Anoopkumar-Dukie, Shailendra | Aoki, Hiroshi | Apostolova, Nadezda | Arancia, Giuseppe | Aris, John P. | Asanuma, Katsuhiko | Asare, Nana Y.O. | Ashida, Hisashi | Askanas, Valerie | Askew, David S. | Auberger, Patrick | Baba, Misuzu | Backues, Steven K. | Baehrecke, Eric H. | Bahr, Ben A. | Bai, Xue-Yuan | Bailly, Yannick | Baiocchi, Robert | Baldini, Giulia | Balduini, Walter | Ballabio, Andrea | Bamber, Bruce A. | Bampton, Edward T.W. | Juhász, Gábor | Bartholomew, Clinton R. | Bassham, Diane C. | Bast, Robert C. | Batoko, Henri | Bay, Boon-Huat | Beau, Isabelle | Béchet, Daniel M. | Begley, Thomas J. | Behl, Christian | Behrends, Christian | Bekri, Soumeya | Bellaire, Bryan | Bendall, Linda J. | Benetti, Luca | Berliocchi, Laura | Bernardi, Henri | Bernassola, Francesca | Besteiro, Sébastien | Bhatia-Kissova, Ingrid | Bi, Xiaoning | Biard-Piechaczyk, Martine | Blum, Janice S. | Boise, Lawrence H. | Bonaldo, Paolo | Boone, David L. | Bornhauser, Beat C. | Bortoluci, Karina R. | Bossis, Ioannis | Bost, Frédéric | Bourquin, Jean-Pierre | Boya, Patricia | Boyer-Guittaut, Michaël | Bozhkov, Peter V. | Brady, Nathan R | Brancolini, Claudio | Brech, Andreas | Brenman, Jay E. | Brennand, Ana | Bresnick, Emery H. | Brest, Patrick | Bridges, Dave | Bristol, Molly L. | Brookes, Paul S. | Brown, Eric J. | Brumell, John H. | Brunetti-Pierri, Nicola | Brunk, Ulf T. | Bulman, Dennis E. | Bultman, Scott J. | Bultynck, Geert | Burbulla, Lena F. | Bursch, Wilfried | Butchar, Jonathan P. | Buzgariu, Wanda | Bydlowski, Sergio P. | Cadwell, Ken | Cahová, Monika | Cai, Dongsheng | Cai, Jiyang | Cai, Qian | Calabretta, Bruno | Calvo-Garrido, Javier | Camougrand, Nadine | Campanella, Michelangelo | Campos-Salinas, Jenny | Candi, Eleonora | Cao, Lizhi | Caplan, Allan B. | Carding, Simon R. | Cardoso, Sandra M. | Carew, Jennifer S. | Carlin, Cathleen R. | Carmignac, Virginie | Carneiro, Leticia A.M. | Carra, Serena | Caruso, Rosario A. | Casari, Giorgio | Casas, Caty | Castino, Roberta | Cebollero, Eduardo | Cecconi, Francesco | Celli, Jean | Chaachouay, Hassan | Chae, Han-Jung | Chai, Chee-Yin | Chan, David C. | Chan, Edmond Y. | Chang, Raymond Chuen-Chung | Che, Chi-Ming | Chen, Ching-Chow | Chen, Guang-Chao | Chen, Guo-Qiang | Chen, Min | Chen, Quan | Chen, Steve S.-L. | Chen, WenLi | Chen, Xi | Chen, Xiangmei | Chen, Xiequn | Chen, Ye-Guang | Chen, Yingyu | Chen, Yongqiang | Chen, Yu-Jen | Chen, Zhixiang | Cheng, Alan | Cheng, Christopher H.K. | Cheng, Yan | Cheong, Heesun | Cheong, Jae-Ho | Cherry, Sara | Chess-Williams, Russ | Cheung, Zelda H. | Chevet, Eric | Chiang, Hui-Ling | Chiarelli, Roberto | Chiba, Tomoki | Chin, Lih-Shen | Chiou, Shih-Hwa | Chisari, Francis V. | Cho, Chi Hin | Cho, Dong-Hyung | Choi, Augustine M.K. | Choi, DooSeok | Choi, Kyeong Sook | Choi, Mary E. | Chouaib, Salem | Choubey, Divaker | Choubey, Vinay | Chu, Charleen T. | Chuang, Tsung-Hsien | Chueh, Sheau-Huei | Chun, Taehoon | Chwae, Yong-Joon | Chye, Mee-Len | Ciarcia, Roberto | Ciriolo, Maria R. | Clague, Michael J. | Clark, Robert S.B. | Clarke, Peter G.H. | Clarke, Robert | Codogno, Patrice | Coller, Hilary A. | Colombo, María I. | Comincini, Sergio | Condello, Maria | Condorelli, Fabrizio | Cookson, Mark R. | Coombs, Graham H. | Coppens, Isabelle | Corbalan, Ramon | Cossart, Pascale | Costelli, Paola | Costes, Safia | Coto-Montes, Ana | Couve, Eduardo | Coxon, Fraser P. | Cregg, James M. | Crespo, José L. | Cronjé, Marianne J. | Cuervo, Ana Maria | Cullen, Joseph J. | Czaja, Mark J. | D'Amelio, Marcello | Darfeuille-Michaud, Arlette | Davids, Lester M. | Davies, Faith E. | De Felici, Massimo | de Groot, John F. | de Haan, Cornelis A.M. | De Martino, Luisa | De Milito, Angelo | De Tata, Vincenzo | Debnath, Jayanta | Degterev, Alexei | Dehay, Benjamin | Delbridge, Lea M.D. | Demarchi, Francesca | Deng, Yi Zhen | Dengjel, Jörn | Dent, Paul | Denton, Donna | Deretic, Vojo | Desai, Shyamal D. | Devenish, Rodney J. | Di Gioacchino, Mario | Di Paolo, Gilbert | Di Pietro, Chiara | Díaz-Araya, Guillermo | Díaz-Laviada, Inés | Diaz-Meco, Maria T. | Diaz-Nido, Javier | Dikic, Ivan | Dinesh-Kumar, Savithramma P. | Ding, Wen-Xing | Distelhorst, Clark W. | Diwan, Abhinav | Djavaheri-Mergny, Mojgan | Dokudovskaya, Svetlana | Dong, Zheng | Dorsey, Frank C. | Dosenko, Victor | Dowling, James J. | Doxsey, Stephen | Dreux, Marlène | Drew, Mark E. | Duan, Qiuhong | Duchosal, Michel A. | Duff, Karen E. | Dugail, Isabelle | Durbeej, Madeleine | Duszenko, Michael | Edelstein, Charles L. | Edinger, Aimee L. | Egea, Gustavo | Eichinger, Ludwig | Eissa, N. Tony | Ekmekcioglu, Suhendan | El-Deiry, Wafik S. | Elazar, Zvulun | Elgendy, Mohamed | Ellerby, Lisa M. | Eng, Kai Er | Engelbrecht, Anna-Mart | Engelender, Simone | Erenpreisa, Jekaterina | Escalante, Ricardo | Esclatine, Audrey | Eskelinen, Eeva-Liisa | Espert, Lucile | Espina, Virginia | Fan, Huizhou | Fan, Jia | Fan, Qi-Wen | Fan, Zhen | Fang, Shengyun | Fang, Yongqi | Fanto, Manolis | Fanzani, Alessandro | Farkas, Thomas | Farre, Jean-Claude | Faure, Mathias | Fechheimer, Marcus | Feng, Carl G. | Feng, Jian | Feng, Qili | Feng, Youji | Fésüs, László | Feuer, Ralph | Figueiredo-Pereira, Maria E. | Fimia, Gian Maria | Fingar, Diane C. | Finkbeiner, Steven | Finkel, Toren | Finley, Kim D. | Fiorito, Filomena | Fisher, Edward A. | Fisher, Paul B. | Flajolet, Marc | Florez-McClure, Maria L. | Florio, Salvatore | Fon, Edward A. | Fornai, Francesco | Fortunato, Franco | Fotedar, Rati | Fowler, Daniel H. | Fox, Howard S. | Franco, Rodrigo | Frankel, Lisa B. | Fransen, Marc | Fuentes, José M. | Fueyo, Juan | Fujii, Jun | Fujisaki, Kozo | Fujita, Eriko | Fukuda, Mitsunori | Furukawa, Ruth H. | Gaestel, Matthias | Gailly, Philippe | Gajewska, Malgorzata | Galliot, Brigitte | Galy, Vincent | Ganesh, Subramaniam | Ganetzky, Barry | Ganley, Ian G. | Gao, Fen-Biao | Gao, George F. | Gao, Jinming | Garcia, Lorena | Garcia-Manero, Guillermo | Garcia-Marcos, Mikel | Garmyn, Marjan | Gartel, Andrei L. | Gatti, Evelina | Gautel, Mathias | Gawriluk, Thomas R. | Gegg, Matthew E. | Geng, Jiefei | Germain, Marc | Gestwicki, Jason E. | Gewirtz, David A. | Ghavami, Saeid | Ghosh, Pradipta | Giammarioli, Anna M. | Giatromanolaki, Alexandra N. | Gibson, Spencer B. | Gilkerson, Robert W. | Ginger, Michael L. | Ginsberg, Henry N. | Golab, Jakub | Goligorsky, Michael S. | Golstein, Pierre | Gomez-Manzano, Candelaria | Goncu, Ebru | Gongora, Céline | Gonzalez, Claudio D. | Gonzalez, Ramon | González-Estévez, Cristina | González-Polo, Rosa Ana | Gonzalez-Rey, Elena | Gorbunov, Nikolai V. | Gorski, Sharon | Goruppi, Sandro | Gottlieb, Roberta A. | Gozuacik, Devrim | Granato, Giovanna Elvira | Grant, Gary D. | Green, Kim N. | Gregorc, Ales | Gros, Frédéric | Grose, Charles | Grunt, Thomas W. | Gual, Philippe | Guan, Jun-Lin | Guan, Kun-Liang | Guichard, Sylvie M. | Gukovskaya, Anna S. | Gukovsky, Ilya | Gunst, Jan | Gustafsson, Åsa B. | Halayko, Andrew J. | Hale, Amber N. | Halonen, Sandra K. | Hamasaki, Maho | Han, Feng | Han, Ting | Hancock, Michael K. | Hansen, Malene | Harada, Hisashi | Harada, Masaru | Hardt, Stefan E. | Harper, J. Wade | Harris, Adrian L. | Harris, James | Harris, Steven D. | Hashimoto, Makoto | Haspel, Jeffrey A. | Hayashi, Shin-ichiro | Hazelhurst, Lori A. | He, Congcong | He, You-Wen | Hébert, Marie-Josée | Heidenreich, Kim A. | Helfrich, Miep H. | Helgason, Gudmundur V. | Henske, Elizabeth P. | Herman, Brian | Herman, Paul K. | Hetz, Claudio | Hilfiker, Sabine | Hill, Joseph A. | Hocking, Lynne J. | Hofman, Paul | Hofmann, Thomas G. | Höhfeld, Jörg | Holyoake, Tessa L. | Hong, Ming-Huang | Hood, David A. | Hotamisligil, Gökhan S. | Houwerzijl, Ewout J. | Høyer-Hansen, Maria | Hu, Bingren | Hu, Chien-an A. | Hu, Hong-Ming | Hua, Ya | Huang, Canhua | Huang, Ju | Huang, Shengbing | Huang, Wei-Pang | Huber, Tobias B. | Huh, Won-Ki | Hung, Tai-Ho | Hupp, Ted R. | Hur, Gang Min | Hurley, James B. | Hussain, Sabah N.A. | Hussey, Patrick J. | Hwang, Jung Jin | Hwang, Seungmin | Ichihara, Atsuhiro | Ilkhanizadeh, Shirin | Inoki, Ken | Into, Takeshi | Iovane, Valentina | Iovanna, Juan L. | Ip, Nancy Y. | Isaka, Yoshitaka | Ishida, Hiroyuki | Isidoro, Ciro | Isobe, Ken-ichi | Iwasaki, Akiko | Izquierdo, Marta | Izumi, Yotaro | Jaakkola, Panu M. | Jäättelä, Marja | Jackson, George R. | Jackson, William T. | Janji, Bassam | Jendrach, Marina | Jeon, Ju-Hong | Jeung, Eui-Bae | Jiang, Hong | Jiang, Hongchi | Jiang, Jean X. | Jiang, Ming | Jiang, Qing | Jiang, Xuejun | Jiang, Xuejun | Jiménez, Alberto | Jin, Meiyan | Jin, Shengkan V. | Joe, Cheol O. | Johansen, Terje | Johnson, Daniel E. | Johnson, Gail V.W. | Jones, Nicola L. | Joseph, Bertrand | Joseph, Suresh K. | Joubert, Annie M. | Juhász, Gábor | Juillerat-Jeanneret, Lucienne | Jung, Chang Hwa | Jung, Yong-Keun | Kaarniranta, Kai | Kaasik, Allen | Kabuta, Tomohiro | Kadowaki, Motoni | Kågedal, Katarina | Kamada, Yoshiaki | Kaminskyy, Vitaliy O. | Kampinga, Harm H. | Kanamori, Hiromitsu | Kang, Chanhee | Kang, Khong Bee | Kang, Kwang Il | Kang, Rui | Kang, Yoon-A | Kanki, Tomotake | Kanneganti, Thirumala-Devi | Kanno, Haruo | Kanthasamy, Anumantha G. | Kanthasamy, Arthi | Karantza, Vassiliki | Kaushal, Gur P. | Kaushik, Susmita | Kawazoe, Yoshinori | Ke, Po-Yuan | Kehrl, John H. | Kelekar, Ameeta | Kerkhoff, Claus | Kessel, David H. | Khalil, Hany | Kiel, Jan A.K.W. | Kiger, Amy A. | Kihara, Akio | Kim, Deok Ryong | Kim, Do-Hyung | Kim, Dong-Hou | Kim, Eun-Kyoung | Kim, Hyung-Ryong | Kim, Jae-Sung | Kim, Jeong Hun | Kim, Jin Cheon | Kim, John K. | Kim, Peter K. | Kim, Seong Who | Kim, Yong-Sun | Kim, Yonghyun | Kimchi, Adi | Kimmelman, Alec C. | King, Jason S. | Kinsella, Timothy J. | Kirkin, Vladimir | Kirshenbaum, Lorrie A. | Kitamoto, Katsuhiko | Kitazato, Kaio | Klein, Ludger | Klimecki, Walter T. | Klucken, Jochen | Knecht, Erwin | Ko, Ben C.B. | Koch, Jan C. | Koga, Hiroshi | Koh, Jae-Young | Koh, Young Ho | Koike, Masato | Komatsu, Masaaki | Kominami, Eiki | Kong, Hee Jeong | Kong, Wei-Jia | Korolchuk, Viktor I. | Kotake, Yaichiro | Koukourakis, Michael I. | Flores, Juan B. 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Angus | Meijer, Alfred J. | Meisler, Miriam H. | Meléndez, Alicia | Melia, Thomas J. | Melino, Gerry | Mena, Maria A. | Menendez, Javier A. | Menna-Barreto, Rubem F. S. | Menon, Manoj B. | Menzies, Fiona M. | Mercer, Carol A. | Merighi, Adalberto | Merry, Diane E. | Meschini, Stefania | Meyer, Christian G. | Meyer, Thomas F. | Miao, Chao-Yu | Miao, Jun-Ying | Michels, Paul A.M. | Michiels, Carine | Mijaljica, Dalibor | Milojkovic, Ana | Minucci, Saverio | Miracco, Clelia | Miranti, Cindy K. | Mitroulis, Ioannis | Miyazawa, Keisuke | Mizushima, Noboru | Mograbi, Baharia | Mohseni, Simin | Molero, Xavier | Mollereau, Bertrand | Mollinedo, Faustino | Momoi, Takashi | Monastyrska, Iryna | Monick, Martha M. | Monteiro, Mervyn J. | Moore, Michael N. | Mora, Rodrigo | Moreau, Kevin | Moreira, Paula I. | Moriyasu, Yuji | Moscat, Jorge | Mostowy, Serge | Mottram, Jeremy C. | Motyl, Tomasz | Moussa, Charbel E.-H. | Müller, Sylke | Muller, Sylviane | Münger, Karl | Münz, Christian | Murphy, Leon O. | Murphy, Maureen E. | Musarò, Antonio | Mysorekar, Indira | Nagata, Eiichiro | Nagata, Kazuhiro | Nahimana, Aimable | Nair, Usha | Nakagawa, Toshiyuki | Nakahira, Kiichi | Nakano, Hiroyasu | Nakatogawa, Hitoshi | Nanjundan, Meera | Naqvi, Naweed I. | Narendra, Derek P. | Narita, Masashi | Navarro, Miguel | Nawrocki, Steffan T. | Nazarko, Taras Y. | Nemchenko, Andriy | Netea, Mihai G. | Neufeld, Thomas P. | Ney, Paul A. | Nezis, Ioannis P. | Nguyen, Huu Phuc | Nie, Daotai | Nishino, Ichizo | Nislow, Corey | Nixon, Ralph A. | Noda, Takeshi | Noegel, Angelika A. | Nogalska, Anna | Noguchi, Satoru | Notterpek, Lucia | Novak, Ivana | Nozaki, Tomoyoshi | Nukina, Nobuyuki | Nürnberger, Thorsten | Nyfeler, Beat | Obara, Keisuke | Oberley, Terry D. | Oddo, Salvatore | Ogawa, Michinaga | Ohashi, Toya | Okamoto, Koji | Oleinick, Nancy L. | Oliver, F. Javier | Olsen, Laura J. | Olsson, Stefan | Opota, Onya | Osborne, Timothy F. | Ostrander, Gary K. | Otsu, Kinya | Ou, Jing-hsiung James | Ouimet, Mireille | Overholtzer, Michael | Ozpolat, Bulent | Paganetti, Paolo | Pagnini, Ugo | Pallet, Nicolas | Palmer, Glen E. | Palumbo, Camilla | Pan, Tianhong | Panaretakis, Theocharis | Pandey, Udai Bhan | Papackova, Zuzana | Papassideri, Issidora | Paris, Irmgard | Park, Junsoo | Park, Ohkmae K. | Parys, Jan B. | Parzych, Katherine R. | Patschan, Susann | Patterson, Cam | Pattingre, Sophie | Pawelek, John M. | Peng, Jianxin | Perlmutter, David H. | Perrotta, Ida | Perry, George | Pervaiz, Shazib | Peter, Matthias | Peters, Godefridus J. | Petersen, Morten | Petrovski, Goran | Phang, James M. | Piacentini, Mauro | Pierre, Philippe | Pierrefite-Carle, Valérie | Pierron, Gérard | Pinkas-Kramarski, Ronit | Piras, Antonio | Piri, Natik | Platanias, Leonidas C. | Pöggeler, Stefanie | Poirot, Marc | Poletti, Angelo | Poüs, Christian | Pozuelo-Rubio, Mercedes | Prætorius-Ibba, Mette | Prasad, Anil | Prescott, Mark | Priault, Muriel | Produit-Zengaffinen, Nathalie | Progulske-Fox, Ann | Proikas-Cezanne, Tassula | Przedborski, Serge | Przyklenk, Karin | Puertollano, Rosa | Puyal, Julien | Qian, Shu-Bing | Qin, Liang | Qin, Zheng-Hong | Quaggin, Susan E. | Raben, Nina | Rabinowich, Hannah | Rabkin, Simon W. | Rahman, Irfan | Rami, Abdelhaq | Ramm, Georg | Randall, Glenn | Randow, Felix | Rao, V. Ashutosh | Rathmell, Jeffrey C. | Ravikumar, Brinda | Ray, Swapan K. | Reed, Bruce H. | Reed, John C. | Reggiori, Fulvio | Régnier-Vigouroux, Anne | Reichert, Andreas S. | Reiners, John J. | Reiter, Russel J. | Ren, Jun | Revuelta, José L. | Rhodes, Christopher J. | Ritis, Konstantinos | Rizzo, Elizete | Robbins, Jeffrey | Roberge, Michel | Roca, Hernan | Roccheri, Maria C. | Rocchi, Stephane | Rodemann, H. Peter | Rodríguez de Córdoba, Santiago | Rohrer, Bärbel | Roninson, Igor B. | Rosen, Kirill | Rost-Roszkowska, Magdalena M. | Rouis, Mustapha | Rouschop, Kasper M.A. | Rovetta, Francesca | Rubin, Brian P. | Rubinsztein, David C. | Ruckdeschel, Klaus | Rucker, Edmund B. | Rudich, Assaf | Rudolf, Emil | Ruiz-Opazo, Nelson | Russo, Rossella | Rusten, Tor Erik | Ryan, Kevin M. | Ryter, Stefan W. | Sabatini, David M. | Sadoshima, Junichi | Saha, Tapas | Saitoh, Tatsuya | Sakagami, Hiroshi | Sakai, Yasuyoshi | Salekdeh, Ghasem Hoseini | Salomoni, Paolo | Salvaterra, Paul M. | Salvesen, Guy | Salvioli, Rosa | Sanchez, Anthony M.J. | Sánchez-Alcázar, José A. | Sánchez-Prieto, Ricardo | Sandri, Marco | Sankar, Uma | Sansanwal, Poonam | Santambrogio, Laura | Saran, Shweta | Sarkar, Sovan | Sarwal, Minnie | Sasakawa, Chihiro | Sasnauskiene, Ausra | Sass, Miklós | Sato, Ken | Sato, Miyuki | Schapira, Anthony H.V. | Scharl, Michael | Schätzl, Hermann M. | Scheper, Wiep | Schiaffino, Stefano | Schneider, Claudio | Schneider, Marion E. | Schneider-Stock, Regine | Schoenlein, Patricia V. | Schorderet, Daniel F. | Schüller, Christoph | Schwartz, Gary K. | Scorrano, Luca | Sealy, Linda | Seglen, Per O. | Segura-Aguilar, Juan | Seiliez, Iban | Seleverstov, Oleksandr | Sell, Christian | Seo, Jong Bok | Separovic, Duska | Setaluri, Vijayasaradhi | Setoguchi, Takao | Settembre, Carmine | Shacka, John J. | Shanmugam, Mala | Shapiro, Irving M. | Shaulian, Eitan | Shaw, Reuben J. | Shelhamer, James H. | Shen, Han-Ming | Shen, Wei-Chiang
Autophagy  2012;8(4):445-544.
In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
doi:10.4161/auto.19496
PMCID: PMC3404883  PMID: 22966490
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
7.  The effect of Lycium barbarum on spinal cord injury, particularly its relationship with M1 and M2 macrophage in rats 
Background
Our past researches suggested that L. barbarum exhibits direct neuroprotective and immune regulatory effects on the central nervous system, which are highly related to the events involved in the spinal cord injury, but not yet been investigated. Immune responses play an important role in the development of the pathology after secondary injury, particularly the M1 and M2 types of macrophage, on which special emphasis was laid in this study.
Methods
In our previous studies L. barbarum was administrated orally from 7 days before the injury to ensure a stabilized concentration in the blood. For clinical application, L. barbarum can only be administered after the injury. Therefore, both pre-injury and post-injury administration protocols were compared. In vivo and in vitro studies were conducted and analyzed immunohistochemically, including Western blotting.
Results
The lesion size in the pre-treated group was much larger than that in the post-treated group. To explain this difference, we first studied the effect of L. barbarum on astrocytes, which forms the glial scar encircling the lesion. L. barbarum did not significantly affect the astrocytes. Then we studied the effect of L. barbarum on microglia/macrophages, particularly the M1 and M2 polarization. After spinal cord injury, the deleterious M1 cells dominant the early period, whereas the beneficial M2 cells dominate later. We found that in the pre-treated group L. barbarum significantly enhanced the expression of M1 cells and suppressed that of M2 cells, while in the post-treated group LBP markedly promoted the activity of M2 cells. This explained the difference between the pre- and post-treated groups.
Conclusions
Lycium barbarum has been wildly accepted to have beneficial effects in various central nervous system diseases. Our finding of deleterious effect of LBP administered at early period of spinal cord injury, indicates that its application should be avoided. The substantial beneficial effect of LBP when administered at later stage has an important impact for clinical application.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-67
PMCID: PMC3618261  PMID: 23517687
L. barbarum; Spinal cord injury; Macrophage; Rat
8.  Protection of Retinal Ganglion Cells and Retinal Vasculature by Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides in a Mouse Model of Acute Ocular Hypertension 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e45469.
Acute ocular hypertension (AOH) is a condition found in acute glaucoma. The purpose of this study is to investigate the protective effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) and its protective mechanisms in the AOH insult. LBP has been shown to exhibit neuroprotective effect in the chronic ocular hypertension (COH) experiments. AOH mouse model was induced in unilateral eye for one hour by introducing 90 mmHg ocular pressure. The animal was fed with LBP solution (1 mg/kg) or vehicle daily from 7 days before the AOH insult till sacrifice at either day 4 or day 7 post insult. The neuroprotective effects of LBP on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and blood-retinal-barrier (BRB) were evaluated. In control AOH retina, loss of RGCs, thinning of IRL thickness, increased IgG leakage, broken tight junctions, and decreased density of retinal blood vessels were observed. However, in LBP-treated AOH retina, there was less loss of RGCs with thinning of IRL thickness, IgG leakage, more continued structure of tight junctions associated with higher level of occludin protein and the recovery of the blood vessel density when compared with vehicle-treated AOH retina. Moreover, we found that LBP provides neuroprotection by down-regulating RAGE, ET-1, Aβ and AGE in the retina, as well as their related signaling pathways, which was related to inhibiting vascular damages and the neuronal degeneration in AOH insults. The present study suggests that LBP could prevent damage to RGCs from AOH-induced ischemic injury; furthermore, through its effects on blood vessel protection, LBP would also be a potential treatment for vascular-related retinopathy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045469
PMCID: PMC3477168  PMID: 23094016
9.  Current neuroimaging techniques in Alzheimer's disease and applications in animal models 
With Alzheimer’s disease (AD) quickly becoming the most costly disease to society, and with no disease-modifying treatment currently, prevention and early detection have become key points in AD research. Important features within this research focus on understanding disease pathology, as well as finding biomarkers that can act as early indicators and trackers of disease progression or potential treatment. With the advances in neuroimaging technology and the development of new imaging techniques, the search for cheap, noninvasive, sensitive biomarkers becomes more accessible. Modern neuroimaging techniques are able to cover most aspects of disease pathology, including visualization of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, cortical atrophy, neuronal loss, vascular damage, and changes in brain biochemistry. These methods can provide complementary information, resulting in an overall picture of AD. Additionally, applying neuroimaging to animal models of AD could bring about greater understanding in disease etiology and experimental treatments whilst remaining in vivo. In this review, we present the current neuroimaging techniques used in AD research in both their human and animal applications, and discuss how this fits in to the overall goal of understanding AD.
PMCID: PMC3477739  PMID: 23133824
Alzheimer’s disease; animal models; ASL; biomarkers; MRI; MRS; neuroimaging; PET
10.  Cigarette Smoking Accelerated Brain Aging and Induced Pre-Alzheimer-Like Neuropathology in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36752.
Cigarette smoking has been proposed as a major risk factor for aging-related pathological changes and Alzheimer's disease (AD). To date, little is known for how smoking can predispose our brains to dementia or cognitive impairment. This study aimed to investigate the cigarette smoke-induced pathological changes in brains. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were exposed to either sham air or 4% cigarette smoke 1 hour per day for 8 weeks in a ventilated smoking chamber to mimic the situation of chronic passive smoking. We found that the levels of oxidative stress were significantly increased in the hippocampus of the smoking group. Smoking also affected the synapse through reducing the expression of pre-synaptic proteins including synaptophysin and synapsin-1, while there were no changes in the expression of postsynaptic protein PSD95. Decreased levels of acetylated-tubulin and increased levels of phosphorylated-tau at 231, 205 and 404 epitopes were also observed in the hippocampus of the smoking rats. These results suggested that axonal transport machinery might be impaired, and the stability of cytoskeleton might be affected by smoking. Moreover, smoking affected amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing by increasing the production of sAPPβ and accumulation of β–amyloid peptide in the CA3 and dentate gyrus region. In summary, our data suggested that chronic cigarette smoking could induce synaptic changes and other neuropathological alterations. These changes might serve as evidence of early phases of neurodegeneration and may explain why smoking can predispose brains to AD and dementia.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036752
PMCID: PMC3350465  PMID: 22606286
11.  Polysaccharides from Wolfberry Prevents Corticosterone-Induced Inhibition of Sexual Behavior and Increases Neurogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e33374.
Lycium barbarum, commonly known as wolfberry, has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction. However, there is still a scarcity of experimental evidence to support the pro-sexual effect of wolfberry. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) on male sexual behavior of rats. Here we report that oral feeding of LBP for 21 days significantly improved the male copulatory performance including increase of copulatory efficiency, increase of ejaculation frequency and shortening of ejaculation latency. Furthermore, sexual inhibition caused by chronic corticosterone was prevented by LBP. Simultaneously, corticosterone suppressed neurogenesis in subventricular zone and hippocampus in adult rats, which could be reversed by LBP. The neurogenic effect of LBP was also shown in vitro. Significant correlation was found between neurogenesis and sexual performance, suggesting that the newborn neurons are associated with reproductive successfulness. Blocking neurogenesis in male rats abolished the pro-sexual effect of LBP. Taken together, these results demonstrate the pro-sexual effect of LBP on normal and sexually-inhibited rats, and LBP may modulate sexual behavior by regulating neurogenesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033374
PMCID: PMC3327693  PMID: 22523540
12.  Lycium barbarum Extracts Protect the Brain from Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption and Cerebral Edema in Experimental Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33596.
Background and Purpose
Ischemic stroke is a destructive cerebrovascular disease and a leading cause of death. Yet, no ideal neuroprotective agents are available, leaving prevention an attractive alternative. The extracts from the fruits of Lycium barbarum (LBP), a Chinese anti-aging medicine and food supplement, showed neuroprotective function in the retina when given prophylactically. We aim to evaluate the protective effects of LBP pre-treatment in an experimental stroke model.
Methods
C57BL/6N male mice were first fed with either vehicle (PBS) or LBP (1 or 10 mg/kg) daily for 7 days. Mice were then subjected to 2-hour transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) by the intraluminal method followed by 22-hour reperfusion upon filament removal. Mice were evaluated for neurological deficits just before sacrifice. Brains were harvested for infarct size estimation, water content measurement, immunohistochemical analysis, and Western blot experiments. Evans blue (EB) extravasation was determined to assess blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption after MCAO.
Results
LBP pre-treatment significantly improved neurological deficits as well as decreased infarct size, hemispheric swelling, and water content. Fewer apoptotic cells were identified in LBP-treated brains by TUNEL assay. Reduced EB extravasation, fewer IgG-leaky vessels, and up-regulation of occludin expression were also observed in LBP-treated brains. Moreover, immunoreactivity for aquaporin-4 and glial fibrillary acidic protein were significantly decreased in LBP-treated brains.
Conclusions
Seven-day oral LBP pre-treatment effectively improved neurological deficits, decreased infarct size and cerebral edema as well as protected the brain from BBB disruption, aquaporin-4 up-regulation, and glial activation. The present study suggests that LBP may be used as a prophylactic neuroprotectant in patients at high risk for ischemic stroke.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033596
PMCID: PMC3306421  PMID: 22438957
13.  Neurodegeneration of the retina in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease: what can we learn from the retina? 
Age  2011;34(3):633-649.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related progressive neurodegenerative disease commonly found among elderly. In addition to cognitive and behavioral deficits, vision abnormalities are prevalent in AD patients. Recent studies investigating retinal changes in AD double-transgenic mice have shown altered processing of amyloid precursor protein and accumulation of β-amyloid peptides in neurons of retinal ganglion cell layer (RGCL) and inner nuclear layer (INL). Apoptotic cells were also detected in the RGCL. Thus, the pathophysiological changes of retinas in AD patients are possibly resembled by AD transgenic models. The retina is a simple model of the brain in the sense that some pathological changes and therapeutic strategies from the retina may be observed or applicable to the brain. Furthermore, it is also possible to advance our understanding of pathological mechanisms in other retinal degenerative diseases. Therefore, studying AD-related retinal degeneration is a promising way for the investigation on (1) AD pathologies and therapies that would eventually benefit the brain and (2) cellular mechanisms in other retinal degenerations such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. This review will highlight the efforts on retinal degenerative research using AD transgenic mouse models.
doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9260-2
PMCID: PMC3337933  PMID: 21559868
Age-related macular degeneration; Alzheimer’s disease; Glaucoma; Inner nuclear layer; Neurodegeneration; Retina; Retinal ganglion cells; Life Sciences; Molecular Medicine; Geriatrics/Gerontology; Cell Biology
14.  Drug discovery from Chinese medicine against neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's and vascular dementia 
Chinese Medicine  2011;6:15.
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.
doi:10.1186/1749-8546-6-15
PMCID: PMC3097009  PMID: 21513513
15.  Lycium Barbarum Polysaccharides Reduce Neuronal Damage, Blood-Retinal Barrier Disruption and Oxidative Stress in Retinal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16380.
Neuronal cell death, glial cell activation, retinal swelling and oxidative injury are complications in retinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injuries. Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), extracts from the wolfberries, are good for “eye health” according to Chinese medicine. The aim of our present study is to explore the use of LBP in retinal I/R injury. Retinal I/R injury was induced by surgical occlusion of the internal carotid artery. Prior to induction of ischemia, mice were treated orally with either vehicle (PBS) or LBP (1 mg/kg) once a day for 1 week. Paraffin-embedded retinal sections were prepared. Viable cells were counted; apoptosis was assessed using TUNEL assay. Expression levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), aquaporin-4 (AQP4), poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) and nitrotyrosine (NT) were investigated by immunohistochemistry. The integrity of blood-retinal barrier (BRB) was examined by IgG extravasations. Apoptosis and decreased viable cell count were found in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) and the inner nuclear layer (INL) of the vehicle-treated I/R retina. Additionally, increased retinal thickness, GFAP activation, AQP4 up-regulation, IgG extravasations and PAR expression levels were observed in the vehicle-treated I/R retina. Many of these changes were diminished or abolished in the LBP-treated I/R retina. Pre-treatment with LBP for 1 week effectively protected the retina from neuronal death, apoptosis, glial cell activation, aquaporin water channel up-regulation, disruption of BRB and oxidative stress. The present study suggests that LBP may have a neuroprotective role to play in ocular diseases for which I/R is a feature.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016380
PMCID: PMC3027646  PMID: 21298100
16.  Modulation of microglia by Wolfberry on the survival of retinal ganglion cells in a rat ocular hypertension model 
The active component of Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum), lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), has been shown to be neuroprotective to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against ocular hypertension (OH). Aiming to study whether this neuroprotection is mediated via modulating immune cells in the retina, we used multiphoton confocal microscopy to investigate morphological changes of microglia in whole-mounted retinas. Retinas under OH displayed slightly activated microglia. One to 100 mg/kg LBP exerted the best neuroprotection and elicited moderately activated microglia in the inner retina with ramified appearance but thicker and focally enlarged processes. Intravitreous injection of bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) decreased the survival of RGCs at 4 weeks, and the activated microglia exhibited amoeboid appearance as fully activated phenotype. When activation of microglia was attenuated by intravitreous injection of macrophage/microglia inhibitory factor, protective effect of 10 mg/kg LBP was attenuated. The results implicated that neuroprotective effects of LBP were partly due to modulating the activation of microglia.
doi:10.1007/s12177-009-9035-5
PMCID: PMC2798983  PMID: 20046845
Wolfberry; Glaucoma; Microglia; Neuroprotection
17.  Modulation of morphological changes of microglia and neuroprotection by monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in experimental glaucoma 
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)/CCL2 is a C–C chemokine involved in the activation and recruitment of monocytic cells to injury sites. MCP-1/CCL2 can induce either neuroprotection or neurodestruction in vitro, depending on the experimental model. We aim to use MCP-1/CCL2 as an experimental tool to investigate the morphological changes of microglia when loss of healthy retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is exacerbated or attenuated in an experimental glaucoma model. While a high concentration (1000 ng) of MCP-1/CCL2 and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-exacerbated RGC loss, 100 ng MCP-1/CCL2 provided neuroprotection towards RGC. Neuroprotective MCP-1/CCL2 (100 ng) also upregulated insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) immunoreactivity in the RGCs. The neuroprotective effect of MCP-1/CCL2 was not due to the massive infiltration of microglia/macrophages. Taken together, this is the first report showing that an appropriate amount of MCP-1/CCL2 can protect RGCs in experimental glaucoma.
doi:10.1038/cmi.2009.110
PMCID: PMC4003260  PMID: 20081877
glaucoma; IGF-1; MCP-1/CCL2; microglia; neuroprotection
18.  Modulation of Neuroimmune Responses on Glia in the Central Nervous System: Implication in Therapeutic Intervention Against Neuroinflammation 
It has long been known that the brain is an immunologically privileged site in normal conditions. Although the cascade of immune responses can occur as long as there is a neuronal injury or a potent immune stimulation, how the brain keeps glial cells in a quiescent state is still unclear. Increasing efforts have been made by several laboratories to elucidate how repression of immune responses is achieved in the neuronal environment. The suppression factors include neurotransmitters, neurohormones, neurotrophic factors, anti-inflammatory factors, and cell-cell contact via adhesion molecules or CD200 receptor. This review discusses how these factors affect the cascade of cerebral immune responses because no single factor listed above can fully account for the immune suppression. While several factors contribute to the suppression of immune responses, activation of glial cells and their production of pro-inflammatory factors do occur as long as there is a neuronal injury, suggesting that some neuronal components facilitate immune responses. This review also discusses which signals initiate or augment cerebral immune responses so that stimulatory signals override the suppressive signals. Increasing lines of evidence have demonstrated that immune responses in the brain are not always detrimental to neurons. Attempt to simply clear off inflammatory factors in the CNS may not be appropriate for neurons in neurological disorders. Appropriate control of immune cells in the CNS may be beneficial to neurons or even neuroregeneration. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying immune suppression may help us to reshape pharmacological interventions against inflammation in many neurological disorders.
doi:10.1038/cmi.2009.42
PMCID: PMC4003214  PMID: 19887044
neural cell adhesion molecule; neurotrophins; potassium ions; microglia; neuroinflammation
19.  Modulation of microglia by Wolfberry on the survival of retinal ganglion cells in a rat ocular hypertension model 
The active component of Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum), lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), has been shown to be neuroprotective to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against ocular hypertension (OH). Aiming to study whether this neuroprotection is mediated via modulating immune cells in the retina, we used multiphoton confocal microscopy to investigate morphological changes of microglia in whole-mounted retinas. Retinas under OH displayed slightly activated microglia. One to 100 mg/kg LBP exerted the best neuroprotection and elicited moderately activated microglia in the inner retina with ramified appearance but thicker and focally enlarged processes. Intravitreous injection of bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) decreased the survival of RGCs at 4 weeks, and the activated microglia exhibited amoeboid appearance as fully activated phenotype. When activation of microglia was attenuated by intravitreous injection of macrophage/microglia inhibitory factor, protective effect of 10 mg/kg LBP was attenuated. The results implicated that neuroprotective effects of LBP were partly due to modulating the activation of microglia.
doi:10.1007/s12177-009-9035-5
PMCID: PMC2798983  PMID: 20046845
Wolfberry; Glaucoma; Microglia; Neuroprotection
20.  Modulation of microglia by Wolfberry on the survival of retinal ganglion cells in a rat ocular hypertension model 
The active component of Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum), lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), has been shown to be neuroprotective to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against ocular hypertension (OH). Aiming to study whether this neuroprotection is mediated via modulating immune cells in the retina, we used multiphoton confocal microscopy to investigate morphological changes of microglia in whole-mounted retinas. Retinas under OH displayed slightly activated microglia. One to 100 mg/kg LBP exerted the best neuroprotection and elicited moderately activated microglia in the inner retina with ramified appearance but thicker and focally enlarged processes. Intravitreous injection of lipopolysaccharide decreased the survival of RGCs at 4 weeks, and the activated microglia exhibited amoeboid appearance as fully activated phenotype. When activation of microglia was attenuated by intravitreous injection of macrophage/microglia inhibitory factor, protective effect of 10 mg/kg LBP was attenuated. The results implicated that neuroprotective effects of LBP were partly due to modulating the activation of microglia.
doi:10.1007/s12177-009-9023-9
PMCID: PMC2723674  PMID: 19672466
Wolfberry; Glaucoma; Microglia; Neuroprotection
21.  Modulation of microglia by Wolfberry on the survival of retinal ganglion cells in a rat ocular hypertension model 
The active component of Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum), lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), has been shown to be neuroprotective to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against ocular hypertension (OH). Aiming to study whether this neuroprotection is mediated via modulating immune cells in the retina, we used multiphoton confocal microscopy to investigate morphological changes of microglia in whole-mounted retinas. Retinas under OH displayed slightly activated microglia. One to 100 mg/kg LBP exerted the best neuroprotection and elicited moderately activated microglia in the inner retina with ramified appearance but thicker and focally enlarged processes. Intravitreous injection of lipopolysaccharide decreased the survival of RGCs at 4 weeks, and the activated microglia exhibited amoeboid appearance as fully activated phenotype. When activation of microglia was attenuated by intravitreous injection of macrophage/microglia inhibitory factor, protective effect of 10 mg/kg LBP was attenuated. The results implicated that neuroprotective effects of LBP were partly due to modulating the activation of microglia.
doi:10.1007/s12177-009-9023-9
PMCID: PMC2723674  PMID: 19672466
Wolfberry; Glaucoma; Microglia; Neuroprotection

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