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1.  Beneficial effects of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor after spinal cord injury 
Brain  2009;133(1):126-138.
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor is a serine protease inhibitor produced by various cell types, including neutrophils and activated macrophages, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to promote wound healing in the skin and other non-neural tissues, however, its role in central nervous system injury was not known. We now report a beneficial role for secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor after spinal cord injury. After spinal cord contusion injury in mice, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor is expressed primarily by astrocytes and neutrophils but not macrophages. We show, using transgenic mice over-expressing secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, that this molecule has an early protective effect after spinal cord contusion injury. Furthermore, wild-type mice treated for the first week after spinal cord contusion injury with recombinant secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor exhibit sustained improvement in locomotor control and reduced secondary tissue damage. Recombinant secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor injected intraperitoneally localizes to the nucleus of circulating leukocytes, is detected in the injured spinal cord, reduces activation of nuclear factor-κB and expression of tumour necrosis factor-α. Administration of recombinant secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor might therefore be useful for the treatment of acute spinal cord injury.
doi:10.1093/brain/awp304
PMCID: PMC2801328  PMID: 20047904
spinal cord injury; neuroinflammation; wound healing; neutrophil; astrocytes; macrophage
2.  Lateralization of forelimb motor evoked potentials by transcranial magnetic stimulation in rats 
Objectives
To approximate methods for human transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in rats, we tested whether lateralized cortical stimulation resulting in selective activation of one forelimb contralateral to the site of stimulation could be achieved by TMS in the rat.
Methods
Motor evoked potentials (MEP) were recorded from the brachioradialis muscle bilaterally in adult male anesthetized rats (n=13). A figure-of-eight TMS coil was positioned lateral to midline. TMS intensity was increased stepwise from subthreshold intensities to maximal machine output in order to generate input-output curves and to determine the motor threshold (MT) for brachioradialis activation.
Results
In 100% of the animals, selective activation of the contralateral brachiradialis, in the absence of ipsilateral brachiradialis activation was achieved, and the ipsilateral brachioradialis was activated only at TMS intensities exceeding contralateral forelimb MT. With increasing TMS intensity, the amplitudes of both the ipsilateral and contrlateral signals increased in proportion to TMS strength. However the input-output curves for the contralateral and ipsilateral brachioradialis were significantly different (p<0.001) such that amplitude of the ipsilateral MEP was reliably lower than the contralateral signal.
Conclusions
We demonstrate that lateralized TMS leading to asymmetric brachioradialis activation is feasible with conventional TMS equipment in anesthetized rats.
Significance
These data show that TMS can be used to assess the unilateral excitability of the forelimb descending motor pathway in the rat, and suggest that rat TMS protocols analogous to human TMS may be applied in future translational research.
doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2009.09.008
PMCID: PMC2818443  PMID: 19900839
transcranial magnetic stimulation; TMS; rat; motor evoked potential; MEP
3.  Differing roles for members of the phospholipase A2 superfamily in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis 
Brain  2009;132(5):1221-1235.
The phospholipase A2 (PLA2) superfamily hydrolyzes phospholipids to release free fatty acids and lysophospholipids, some of which can mediate inflammation and demyelination, hallmarks of the CNS autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis. The expression of two of the intracellular PLA2s (cPLA2 GIVA and iPLA2 GVIA) and two of the secreted PLA2s (sPLA2 GIIA and sPLA2 GV) are increased in different stages of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis. We show using small molecule inhibitors, that cPLA2 GIVA plays a role in the onset, and iPLA2 GVIA in the onset and progression of EAE. We also show a potential role for sPLA2 in the later remission phase. These studies demonstrate that selective inhibition of iPLA2 can ameliorate disease progression when treatment is started before or after the onset of symptoms. The effects of these inhibitors on lesion burden, chemokine and cytokine expression as well as on the lipid profile provide insights into their potential modes of action. iPLA2 is also expressed by macrophages and other immune cells in multiple sclerosis lesions. Our results therefore suggest that iPLA2 might be an excellent target to block for the treatment of CNS autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
doi:10.1093/brain/awp002
PMCID: PMC2677793  PMID: 19218359
EAE; multiple sclerosis; Phospholipase A2; fatty acids; chemokines; cytokines
4.  Intracellular phospholipase A2 group IVA and group VIA play important roles in Wallerian degeneration and axon regeneration after peripheral nerve injury 
Brain  2008;131(10):2620-2631.
We provide evidence that two members of the intracellular phospholipase A2 family, namely calcium-dependent group IVA (cPLA2 GIVA) and calcium-independent group VIA (iPLA2 GVIA) may play important roles in Wallerian degeneration in the mouse sciatic nerve. We assessed the roles of these PLA2s in cPLA2 GIVA−/− mice, and mice treated with a selective inhibitor of iPLA2 GVIA (FKGK11). Additionally, the effects of both these PLA2s were assessed by treating cPLA2 GIVA−/− mice with the iPLA2 inhibitor. Our data suggest that iPLA2 GVIA may play more of a role in the early stages of myelin breakdown, while cPLA2 GIVA may play a greater role in myelin clearance by macrophages. Our results also show that the delayed myelin clearance and Wallerian degeneration after sciatic nerve crush injury in mice lacking cPLA2 and iPLA2 activities is accompanied by a delay in axon regeneration, target re-innervation and functional recovery. These results indicate that the intracellular PLA2s (cPLA2 GIVA and iPLA2 GVIA) contribute significantly to various aspects of Wallerian degeneration in injured peripheral nerves, which is then essential for successful axon regeneration. This work has implications for injury responses and recovery after peripheral nerve injuries in humans, as well as for understanding the slow clearance of myelin after CNS injury and its potential consequences for axon regeneration.
doi:10.1093/brain/awn188
PMCID: PMC2860706  PMID: 18718965
axon regeneration; myelin; macrophage; phagocytosis; phospholipase A2; sciatic nerve injury

Results 1-4 (4)