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1.  Nogo receptor complex expression dynamics in the inflammatory foci of central nervous system experimental autoimmune demyelination 
Nogo-A and its putative receptor NgR are considered to be among the inhibitors of axonal regeneration in the CNS. However, few studies so far have addressed the issue of local NgR complex multilateral localization within inflammation in an MS mouse model of autoimmune demyelination.
Chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in C57BL/6 mice. Analyses were performed on acute (days 18–22) and chronic (day 50) time points and compared to controls. The temporal and spatial expression of the Nogo receptor complex (NgR and coreceptors) was studied at the spinal cord using epifluorescent and confocal microscopy or real-time PCR. Data are expressed as cells/mm2, as mean % ± SEM, or as arbitrary units of integrated density.
Animals developed a moderate to severe EAE without mortality, followed by a progressive, chronic clinical course. NgR complex spatial expression varied during the main time points of EAE. NgR with coreceptors LINGO-1 and TROY was increased in the spinal cord in the acute phase whereas LINGO-1 and p75 signal seemed to be dominant in the chronic phase, respectively. NgR was detected on gray matter NeuN+ neurons of the spinal cord, within the white matter inflammatory foci (14.2 ± 4.3 % NgR+ inflammatory cells), and found to be colocalized with GAP-43+ axonal growth cones while no β-TubIII+, SMI-32+, or APP+ axons were found as NgR+. Among the NgR+ inflammatory cells, 75.6 ± 9.0 % were microglial/macrophages (lectin+), 49.6 ± 14.2 % expressed CD68 (phagocytic ED1+ cells), and no cells were Mac-3+. Of these macrophages/monocytes, only Arginase-1+/NgR+ but not iNOS+/NgR+ were present in lesions both in acute and chronic phases.
Our data describe in detail the expression of the Nogo receptor complex within the autoimmune inflammatory foci and suggest a possible immune action for NgR apart from the established inhibitory one on axonal growth. Its expression by inflammatory macrophages/monocytes could signify a possible role of these cells on axonal guidance and clearance of the lesioned area during inflammatory demyelination.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12974-016-0730-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5057208  PMID: 27724971
Nogo receptor complex; NgR; LINGO-1; p75; TROY; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; Neuroinflammation; Macrophages
2.  AQP4 Tag Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury 
Journal of Neurotrauma  2014;31(23):1920-1926.
Accumulating evidence suggests that the extent of brain injury and the clinical outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are modulated, to some degree, by genetic variants. Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is the predominant water channel in the central nervous system and plays a critical role in controlling the water content of brain cells and the development of brain edema after TBI. We sought to investigate the influence of the AQP4 gene region on patient outcome after TBI by genotyping tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) along AQP4 gene. A total of 363 patients with TBI (19.6% female) were prospectively evaluated. Data including the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores at admission, the presence of intracranial hemorrhage, and the 6-month Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores were collected. Seven tag SNPs across the AQP4 gene were identified based on the HapMap data. Using logistic regression analyses, SNPs and haplotypes were tested for associations with 6-month GOS after adjusting for age, GCS score, and sex. Significant associations with TBI outcome were detected for rs3763043 (OR [95% confidence interval (CI)]: 5.15 [1.60–16.5], p=0.006, for recessive model), rs3875089 (OR [95% CI]: 0.18 [0.07–0.50] p=0.0009, for allele difference model), and a common haplotype of AQP4 tag SNPs (OR [95% CI]: 2.94, [1.34–6.36], p=0.0065). AQP4 tag SNPs were not found to influence the initial severity of TBI or the presence of intracranial hemorrhages. In conclusion, the present study provides evidence for possible involvement of genetic variations in AQP4 gene in the functional outcome of patients with TBI.
PMCID: PMC4238262  PMID: 24999750
AQP4; genetics; polymorphism; tag SNPs; traumatic brain injury
3.  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.
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
4.  Contractile properties and movement behaviour in neonatal rats with axotomy, treated with the NMDA antagonist DAP5 
BMC Physiology  2012;12:5.
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.
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).
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3395568  PMID: 22551202
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC4251183  PMID: 24899728
Multiple Sclerosis; Neuroimmunology; Iron Deposition

Results 1-5 (5)