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1.  Autophagy and neurodegenerative disorders 
Neural Regeneration Research  2013;8(24):2275-2283.
Accumulation of aberrant proteins and inclusion bodies are hallmarks in most neurodegenerative diseases. Consequently, these aggregates within neurons lead to toxic effects, overproduction of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. Autophagy is a significant intracellular mechanism that removes damaged organelles and misfolded proteins in order to maintain cell homeostasis. Excessive or insufficient autophagic activity in neurons leads to altered homeostasis and influences their survival rate, causing neurodegeneration. The review article provides an update of the role of autophagic process in representative chronic and acute neurodegenerative disorders.
doi:10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2013.24.007
PMCID: PMC4146038  PMID: 25206537
neural regeneration; reviews; oxidative stress; autophagy; autophagy-related genes; apoptosis; Parkinson's disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; multiple sclerosis; acute and chronic neurode-generation; neuroregeneration
2.  Contractile properties and movement behaviour in neonatal rats with axotomy, treated with the NMDA antagonist DAP5 
BMC Physiology  2012;12:5.
Background
It is well known that axotomy in the neonatal period causes massive loss of motoneurons, which is reflected in the reduction of the number of motor units and the alteration in muscle properties. This type of neuronal death is attributed to the excessive activation of the ionotropic glutamate receptors (glutamate excitotoxicity). In the present study we investigated the effect of the NMDA antagonist DAP5 [D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid] in systemic administration, on muscle properties and on behavioural aspects following peripheral nerve injury.
Methods
Wistar rats were subjected to sciatic nerve crush on the second postnatal day. Four experimental groups were included in this study: a) controls (injection of 0.9% NaCl solution) b) crush c) DAP5 treated and d) crush and DAP5 treated. Animals were examined with isometric tension recordings of the fast extensor digitorum longus and the slow soleus muscles, as well as with locomotor tests at four time points, at P14, P21, P28 and adulthood (2 months).
Results
1. Administration of DAP5 alone provoked no apparent adverse effects. 2. In all age groups, animals with crush developed significantly less tension than the controls in both muscles and had a worse performance in locomotor tests (p < 0.01). Crush animals injected with DAP5 were definitely improved as their tension recordings and their locomotor behaviour were significantly improved compared to axotomized ones (p < 0.01). 3. The time course of soleus contraction was not altered by axotomy and the muscle remained slow-contracting in all developmental stages in all experimental groups. EDL, on the other hand, became slower after the crush (p < 0.05). DAP5 administration restored the contraction velocity, even up to the level of control animals 4. Following crush, EDL becomes fatigue resistant after P21 (p < 0.01). Soleus, on the other hand, becomes less fatigue resistant. DAP5 restored the profile in both muscles.
Conclusions
Our results confirm that contractile properties and locomotor behaviour of animals are severely affected by axotomy, with a differential impact on fast contracting muscles. Administration of DAP5 reverses these devastating effects, without any observable side-effects. This agent could possibly show a therapeutic potential in other models of excitotoxic injury as well.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-12-5
PMCID: PMC3395568  PMID: 22551202
3.  Multiple sclerosis deep grey matter: the relation between demyelination, neurodegeneration, inflammation and iron 
In multiple sclerosis (MS), diffuse degenerative processes in the deep grey matter have been associated with clinical disabilities. We performed a systematic study in MS deep grey matter with a focus on the incidence and topographical distribution of lesions in relation to white matter and cortex in a total sample of 75 MS autopsy patients and 12 controls. In addition, detailed analyses of inflammation, acute axonal injury, iron deposition and oxidative stress were performed. MS deep grey matter was affected by two different processes: the formation of focal demyelinating lesions and diffuse neurodegeneration. Deep grey matter demyelination was most prominent in the caudate nucleus and hypothalamus and could already be seen in early MS stages. Lesions developed on the background of inflammation. Deep grey matter inflammation was intermediate between low inflammatory cortical lesions and active white matter lesions. Demyelination and neurodegeneration were associated with oxidative injury. Iron was stored primarily within oligodendrocytes and myelin fibres and released upon demyelination. In addition to focal demyelinated plaques, the MS deep grey matter also showed diffuse and global neurodegeneration. This was reflected by a global reduction of neuronal density, the presence of acutely injured axons, and the accumulation of oxidised phospholipids and DNA in neurons, oligodendrocytes and axons. Neurodegeneration was associated with T cell infiltration, expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in microglia and profound accumulation of iron. Thus, both focal lesions as well as diffuse neurodegeneration in the deep grey matter appeared to contribute to the neurological disabilities of MS patients.
doi:10.1136/jnnp-2014-307712
PMCID: PMC4251183  PMID: 24899728
Multiple Sclerosis; Neuroimmunology; Iron Deposition

Results 1-3 (3)