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1.  Blocking Soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor Signaling with Dominant-Negative Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitor Attenuates Loss of Dopaminergic Neurons in Models of Parkinson's Disease 
The mechanisms that trigger or contribute to loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD) remain unclear and controversial. Elevated levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in CSF and postmortem brains of PD patients and animal models of PD implicate this proinflammatory cytokinein the pathophysiology of the disease; but a role for TNF in mediating loss of DA neuronsin PD has not been clearly demonstrated. Here, we report that neutralization of soluble TNF (solTNF) in vivo with the engineered dominant-negative TNF compound XENP345 (a PEGylated version of the TNF variant A145R/I97T) reduced by 50% the retrograde nigral degeneration induced by a striatal injection of the oxidative neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). XENP345 was neuroprotective only when infused into the nigra, not the striatum. XENP345/6-OHDA rats displayed attenuated amphetamine-induced rotational behavior, indicating preservation of striatal dopamine levels. Similar protective effects were observed with chronic in vivo coinfusionof XENP345 with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the substantia nigra, confirming a role for solTNF-dependent neuroinflammation in nigral degeneration. In embryonic rat midbrain neuron/glia cell cultures exposed to LPS, even delayed administration of XENP345 prevented selective degeneration of DA neurons despite sustained microglia activation and secretion of solTNF. XENP345 also attenuated 6-OHDA-induced DA neuron toxicity in vitro. Collectively, our data demonstrate a role for TNF in vitro and in vivo in two models of PD, and raise the possibility that delaying the progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway in humans is therapeutically feasible with agents capable of blocking solTNF in early stages of PD.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1504-06.2006
PMCID: PMC3707118  PMID: 16971520
neuroinflammation; TNF; neuronal apoptosis; degeneration; microglia; Parkinson's disease
2.  Inhibition of soluble tumour necrosis factor is therapeutic in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and promotes axon preservation and remyelination 
Brain  2011;134(9):2736-2754.
Tumour necrosis factor is linked to the pathophysiology of various neurodegenerative disorders including multiple sclerosis. Tumour necrosis factor exists in two biologically active forms, soluble and transmembrane. Here we show that selective inhibition of soluble tumour necrosis factor is therapeutic in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Treatment with XPro1595, a selective soluble tumour necrosis factor blocker, improves the clinical outcome, whereas non-selective inhibition of both forms of tumour necrosis factor with etanercept does not result in protection. The therapeutic effect of XPro1595 is associated with axon preservation and improved myelin compaction, paralleled by increased expression of axon-specific molecules (e.g. neurofilament-H) and reduced expression of non-phosphorylated neurofilament-H which is associated with axon damage. XPro1595-treated mice show significant remyelination accompanied by elevated expression of myelin-specific genes and increased numbers of oligodendrocyte precursors. Immunohistochemical characterization of tumour necrosis factor receptors in the spinal cord following experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis shows tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 expression in neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, while tumour necrosis factor receptor 2 is localized in oligodendrocytes, oligodendrocyte precursors, astrocytes and macrophages/microglia. Importantly, a similar pattern of expression is found in post-mortem spinal cord of patients affected by progressive multiple sclerosis, suggesting that pharmacological modulation of tumour necrosis factor receptor signalling may represent an important target in affecting not only the course of mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis but human multiple sclerosis as well. Collectively, our data demonstrate that selective inhibition of soluble tumour necrosis factor improves recovery following experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and that signalling mediated by transmembrane tumour necrosis factor is essential for axon and myelin preservation as well as remyelination, opening the possibility of a new avenue of treatment for multiple sclerosis.
doi:10.1093/brain/awr199
PMCID: PMC3170538  PMID: 21908877
demyelination; multiple sclerosis; neurodegenerative disorders; neuroprotection; myelin repair
3.  Soluble TNF Mediates the Transition from Pulmonary Inflammation to Fibrosis 
PLoS ONE  2006;1(1):e108.
Background
Fibrosis, the replacement of functional tissue with excessive fibrous tissue, can occur in all the main tissues and organ systems, resulting in various pathological disorders. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is a prototype fibrotic disease involving abnormal wound healing in response to multiple sites of ongoing alveolar epithelial injury.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To decipher the role of TNF and TNF-mediated inflammation in the development of fibrosis, we have utilized the bleomycin-induced animal model of Pulmonary Fibrosis and a series of genetically modified mice lacking components of TNF signaling. Transmembrane TNF expression is shown to be sufficient to elicit an inflammatory response, but inadequate for the transition to the fibrotic phase of the disease. Soluble TNF expression is shown to be crucial for lymphocyte recruitment, a prerequisite for TGF-b1 expression and the development of fibrotic lesions. Moreover, through a series of bone marrow transfers, the necessary TNF expression is shown to originate from the non-hematopoietic compartment further localized in apoptosing epithelial cells.
Conclusions
These results suggest a primary detrimental role of soluble TNF in the pathologic cascade, separating it from the beneficial role of transmembrane TNF, and indicate the importance of assessing the efficacy of soluble TNF antagonists in the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000108
PMCID: PMC1762410  PMID: 17205112
4.  Inhibition of Soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor Ameliorates Synaptic Alterations and Ca2+ Dysregulation in Aged Rats 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e38170.
The role of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF) in neural function has been investigated extensively in several neurodegenerative conditions, but rarely in brain aging, where cognitive and physiologic changes are milder and more variable. Here, we show that protein levels for TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) are significantly elevated in the hippocampus relative to TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2) in aged (22 months) but not young adult (6 months) Fischer 344 rats. To determine if altered TNF/TNFR1 interactions contribute to key brain aging biomarkers, aged rats received chronic (4–6 week) intracranial infusions of XPro1595: a soluble dominant negative TNF that preferentially inhibits TNFR1 signaling. Aged rats treated with XPro1595 showed improved Morris Water Maze performance, reduced microglial activation, reduced susceptibility to hippocampal long-term depression, increased protein levels for the GluR1 type glutamate receptor, and lower L-type voltage sensitive Ca2+ channel (VSCC) activity in hippocampal CA1 neurons. The results suggest that diverse functional changes associated with brain aging may arise, in part, from selective alterations in TNF signaling.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038170
PMCID: PMC3362564  PMID: 22666474

Results 1-4 (4)