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  • Tyrosine hydroxylase as a sentinel for central and peripheral tissue responses in Parkinson’s progression: Evidence from clinical studies and neurotoxin models
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2018-01-10
    M.E. Johnson, M.F. Salvatore, S.A. Maiolo, L. Bobrovskaya

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease worldwide. While the typical motor symptoms of PD are well known, the lesser known non-motor symptoms can also greatly impact the patient’s quality of life. These symptoms often appear before motor impairment, therefore identifying biomarkers that may predict PD risk or pathology has been a major and challenging endeavour. Given that the loss of dopamine, and its rate-limiting enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) occurs in PD, the expression and accompanying post-translational changes in TH during PD progression could yield insight into the disruption of cellular signalling occurring in the CNS, and also in peripheral tissues wherein catecholamine function plays a role. Furthermore, changes in expression and phosphorylation of TH in the brain and periphery can potentially reveal how TH stability and function are compromised in PD. As such, these changes can reveal how catecholamine synthesis capacity is gradually compromised and how changes in cellular signalling may govern the functional status of remaining catecholaminergic neurons. This review summarises the findings of clinical PD and neurotoxin models of PD that assessed TH expression or phosphorylation in catecholaminergic pathways in the brain and relevant peripheral tissues. We propose that establishing similar changes in TH expression and function in the CNS and periphery of established neurotoxin models can be a potential reference for comparison to changes in TH in human peripheral tissues. These changes in TH expression and phosphorylation may have predictive validity to estimate risk of PD progression before motor impairment is evident.

  • Autophagy in ischemic stroke
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2018-01-10
    Pei Wang, Bo-Zong Shao, Zhiqiang Deng, Shi Chen, Zhenyu Yue, Chao-Yu Miao

    Autophagy is a self-eating cellular catabolic pathway, through which long-lived proteins, damaged organelles and misfolded proteins are degraded and recycled for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and normal cellular functions. Autophagy plays an important homeostatic role in the regulation of cell survival. Accumulating evidence shows that autophagy is activated in various cell types in the brain such as neurons, glia cells, and brain microvascular cells upon ischemic stroke. However, the exact role and molecular mechanisms of autophagy process that is implicated in ischemic stroke have yet to be elucidated. This review aims to provide a comprehensive view of the regulation of autophagy in neurons, glia cells, and brain microvascular cells in response to ischemia stress. We also review the recent advance on the understanding of the involvement of autophagy in the pathological process during cerebral ischemic preconditioning, perconditioning and postconditioning. We propose a crosstalk between autophagy, necroptosis, and apoptosis that contribute to ischemic stroke. In addition, we discuss the interactions between autophagy and oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum stress.

  • Functional dissection of astrocyte-secreted proteins: Implications in brain health and diseases
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-12-13
    Mithilesh Kumar Jha, Jong-Heon Kim, Gyun Jee Song, Won-Ha Lee, In-Kyu Lee, Ho-Won Lee, Seong Soo A. An, SangYun Kim, Kyoungho Suk
  • Exploiting the therapeutic potential of ready-to-use drugs: repurposing antibiotics against amyloid aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-12-11
    Sergio B. Socias, Florencia Gonzalez-Lizarraga, Cesar L. Avila, Cecilia Vera, Leonardo Acuña, Julia E. Sepulveda-Diaz, Elaine Del-Bel, Rita Raisman-Vozari, Rosana N. Chehin

    Neurodegenerative diseases are chronic and progressive disorders that affect specific regions of the brain, causing gradual disability and suffering that results in a complete inability of patients to perform daily functions. Amyloid aggregation of specific proteins is the most common biological event that is responsible for neuronal death and neurodegeneration in various neurodegenerative diseases. Therapeutic agents capable of interfering with the abnormal aggregation are required, but traditional drug discovery has fallen short. The exploration of new uses for approved drugs provides a useful alternative to fill the gap between the increasing incidence of neurodegenerative diseases and the long-term assessment of classical drug discovery technologies. Drug re-profiling is currently the quickest possible transition from bench to bedside. In this way, experimental evidence shows that some antibiotic compounds exert neuroprotective action through anti-aggregating activity on disease-associated proteins. The finding that many antibiotics can cross the blood-brain barrier and have been used for several decades without serious toxic effects makes them excellent candidates for therapeutic switching towards neurological disorders. The present review is, to our knowledge, the first extensive evaluation and analysis of the anti-amyloidogenic effect of different antibiotics on well-known disease-associated proteins. In addition, we propose a common structural signature derived from the antiaggregant antibiotic molecules that could be relevant to rational drug discovery.

  • Focusing on claudin-5: A promising candidate in the regulation of BBB to treat ischemic stroke
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-12-05
    Jianjun Lv, Wei Hu, Zhi Yang, Tian Li, Shuai Jiang, Zhiqiang Ma, Fulin Chen, Yang Yang

    Claudin-5 is a tight junction (TJ) protein in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that has recently attracted increased attention. Numerous studies have demonstrated that claudin-5 regulates the integrity and permeability of the BBB. Increased claudin-5 expression plays a neuroprotective role in neurological diseases, particularly in cerebral ischemic stroke. Moreover, claudin-5 might be a potential marker for early hemorrhagic transformation detection in ischemic stroke. In light of the distinctive effects of claudin-5 on the nervous system, we present the elaborate network of roles that claudin-5 plays in ischemic stroke. In this review, we first introduce basic knowledge regarding the BBB and the claudin family, the characterization and regulation of claudin-5, and association between claudin-5 and other TJ proteins. Subsequently, we describe BBB dysfunction and neuron-specific drivers of pathogenesis of ischemic stroke, including inflammatory disequilibrium and oxidative stress. Furthermore, we summarize promising ischemic stroke treatments that target the BBB via claudin-5, including modified rt-PA therapy, pharmacotherapy, hormone treatment, receptor-targeted therapy, gene therapy, and physical therapy. This review highlights recent advances and provides a comprehensive summary of claudin-5 in the regulation of the BBB and may be helpful for drug design and clinical therapy for treatment of ischemic stroke.

  • Crustacean olfactory systems: a comparative review and a crustacean perspective on insect olfactory systems
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-12-02
    S. Harzsch, J. Krieger

    Malacostracan crustaceans display a large diversity of sizes, morphs and life styles. However, only a few representatives of decapod taxa have served as models for analyzing crustacean olfaction, such as crayfish and spiny lobsters. Crustaceans bear multiple parallel chemosensory pathways represented by different populations of unimodal chemosensory and bimodal chemo- and mechanosensory sensilla on the mouthparts, the walking limbs and primarily on their two pairs of antennae. Here, we focus on the olfactory pathway associated with the unimodal chemosensory sensilla on the first antennal pair, the aesthetascs. We explore the diverse arrangement of these sensilla across malacostracan taxa and point out evolutionary transformations which occurred in the central olfactory pathway. We discuss the evolution of chemoreceptor proteins, comparative aspects of active chemoreception and the temporal resolution of crustacean olfactory system. Viewing the evolution of crustacean brains in light of energetic constraints can help us understand their functional morphology and suggests that in various crustacean lineages, the brains were simplified convergently because of metabolic limitations. Comparing the wiring of afferents, interneurons and output neurons within the olfactory glomeruli suggests a deep homology of insect and crustacean olfactory systems. However, both taxa followed distinct lineages during the evolutionary elaboration of their olfactory systems. A comparison with insects suggests their olfactory systems – especially that of the vinegar fly – to be superb examples for “economy of design”. Such a comparison also inspires new thoughts about olfactory coding and the functioning of malacostracan olfactory systems in general.

  • Cerebral venous collaterals: a new fort for fighting ischemic stroke?
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-12-02
    Lu-sha Tong, Zhen-ni Guo, Yi-bo Ou, Yan-nan Yu, Xiao-cheng Zhang, Jiping Tang, John H. Zhang, Min Lou

    Stroke therapy has entered a new era highlighted by the use of endovascular therapy in addition to intravenous thrombolysis. However, the efficacy of current therapeutic regimens might be reduced by their associated adverse events. For example, over-reperfusion and futile recanalization may lead to large infarct, brain swelling, hemorrhagic complication and neurological deterioration. The traditional pathophysiological understanding on ischemic stroke can hardly address these occurrences. Accumulating evidence suggests that a functional cerebral venous drainage, the major blood reservoir and drainage system in brain, may be as critical as arterial infusion for stroke evolution and clinical sequelae. Further exploration of the multi-faceted function of cerebral venous system may add new implications for stroke outcome prediction and future therapeutic decision-making. In this review, we emphasize the anatomical and functional characteristics of the cerebral venous system and illustrate its necessity in facilitating the arterial infusion and maintaining the cerebral perfusion in the pathological stroke content. We then summarize the recent critical clinical studies that underscore the associations between cerebral venous collateral and outcome of ischemic stroke with advanced imaging techniques. A novel three-level venous system classification is proposed to demonstrate the distinct characteristics of venous collaterals in the setting of ischemic stroke. Finally, we discuss the current directions for assessment of cerebral venous collaterals and provide future challenges and opportunities for therapeutic strategies in the light of these new concepts.

    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-12-02
    Graziella Di Cristo, Patricia N. Awad, Shabnam Hamidi, Massimo Avoli

    The K+-Cl− co-transporter KCC2 is a neuron-specific, Cl− extruder that uses K+ gradient for maintaining low intracellular [Cl−]. It is indeed well established that sustaining an outwardly-directed electrochemical Cl− gradient across the neuronal membrane is fundamental for a proper function of postsynaptic GABAA receptor signaling. In particular, studies in the last two decades have shown that KCC2 activity is important to maintain a hyperpolarizing GABAergic neurotransmission. Conversely, low KCC2 activity should lead to depolarizing, and under specific conditions, excitatory GABAergic transmission. Not surprisingly given the critical role of KCC2 in regulating the inhibitory drive, alterations in its expression levels and activity are linked with epilepsy. Here, we will first summarize data regarding the role of KCC2 in epileptiform synchronization. Next, we will review evidence indicating that KCC2 expression and function is altered in chronic epileptic disorders, both in the developing and adult brain. We will also go through recent findings regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying the changes in KCC2 activity that occur following seizures. Finally, we will consider the modulation of KCC2 function as a potential, novel therapeutic target for the treatment of epileptic disorders.

  • Brodmann area 10: Collating, integrating and high level processing of nociception and pain
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-12-02
    Ke Peng, Sarah C. Steele, Lino Becerra, David Borsook

    Multiple frontal cortical brain regions have emerged as being important in pain processing, whether it be integrative, sensory, cognitive, or emotional. One such region, Brodmann Area 10 (BA 10), is the largest frontal brain region that has been shown to be involved in a wide variety of functions including risk and decision making, odor evaluation, reward and conflict, pain, and working memory. BA 10, also known as the anterior prefrontal cortex, frontopolar prefrontal cortex or rostral prefrontal cortex, is comprised of at least two cytoarchitectonic sub-regions, medial and lateral. To date, the explicit role of BA 10 in the processing of pain hasn’t been fully elucidated. In this paper, we first review the anatomical pathways and functional connectivity of BA 10. Numerous functional imaging studies of experimental or clinical pain have also reported brain activations and/or deactivations in BA 10 in response to painful events. The evidence suggests that BA 10 may play a critical role in the collation, integration and high-level processing of nociception and pain, but also reveals possible functional distinctions between the subregions of BA 10 in this process.

  • Yawning—its anatomy, chemistry, role, and pathological considerations
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-11-29
    Heinz Krestel, Claudio L. Bassetti, Olivier Walusinski

    Yawning is a clinical sign of the activity of various supra- and infratentorial brain regions including the putative brainstem motor pattern, hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, probably the insula and limbic structures that are interconnected via a fiber network. This interaction can be seen in analogy to other cerebral functions arising from a network or zone such as language. Within this network, yawning fulfills its function in a stereotype, reflex-like manner; a phylogenetically old function, preserved across species barriers, with the purpose of arousal, communication, and maybe other functions including respiration. Abnormal yawning with ≥3 yawns/15 min. without obvious cause arises from lesions of brain areas involved in the yawning zone, its trajectories causing a disconnection syndrome, or from alteration of network activity by physical or metabolic etiologies including medication.

  • Nano- and neurotoxicology: an emerging discipline
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-11-03
    Anna Bencsik, Philippe Lestaevel, Irina Guseva Canu

    The present critical review analyzes the question of how nanoparticles from continuously growing industrial production and use of nanomaterials may impact human brain health. Available evidence suggests incomplete effectiveness of protective barriers of the brain against nanoparticles translocation to the brain. This raises concerns of potential effects of manufactured nanoparticles on brain functions, given that nanoparticle’s potential to induce oxidative stress, inflammation, death by apoptosis, or changes in the level of expression of certain neurotransmitters. Most concerns have not been studied sufficiently and many questions are still open: Are the findings in animals transposable to humans? What happens when exposure is chronic or protracted? What happens to the developing brain when exposure occurs in utero? Are some nanoparticles more deleterious, given their ability to alter protein conformations and aggregation? Aside from developments in nanomedicine, the evidence already available fully justifies the need to specifically evaluate the interactions between nanoparticles and the nervous system. The available data clearly indicates the need for original dedicated experimental models and tools for neurotoxicological research on the one hand, and the need for epidemiological studies of neurodegenerative diseases in manufactured nanoparticle-exposed populations, on the other. A combination of nanotoxicology with neurology in a novel discipline, with its specific tools and methods of investigation, should enable answering still unresolved questions.

  • Mechanisms of placebo analgesia: A dual-process model informed by insights from cross-species comparisons
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-11-03
    Scott M. Schafer, Stephan Geuter, Tor D. Wager

    Placebo treatments are pharmacologically inert, but are known to alleviate symptoms across a variety of clinical conditions. Associative learning and cognitive expectations both play important roles in placebo responses, however we are just beginning to understand how interactions between these processes lead to powerful effects. Here, we review the psychological principles underlying placebo effects and our current understanding of their brain bases, focusing on studies demonstrating both the importance of cognitive expectations and those that demonstrate expectancy-independent associative learning. To account for both forms of placebo analgesia, we propose a dual-process model in which flexible, contextually driven cognitive schemas and attributions guide associative learning processes that produce stable, long-term placebo effects. According to this model, the placebo-induction paradigms with the most powerful effects are those that combine reinforcement (e.g., the experience of reduced pain after placebo treatment) with suggestions and context cues that disambiguate learning by attributing perceived benefit to the placebo. Using this model as a conceptual scaffold, we review and compare neurobiological systems identified in both human studies of placebo analgesia and behavioral pain modulation in rodents. We identify substantial overlap between the circuits involved in human placebo analgesia and those that mediate multiple forms of context-based modulation of pain behavior in rodents, including forebrain-brainstem pathways and opioid and cannabinoid systems in particular. This overlap suggests that placebo effects are part of a set of adaptive mechanisms for shaping nociceptive signaling based on its information value and anticipated optimal response in a given behavioral context.

  • And yet it moves: Recovery of volitional control after spinal cord injury
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-11-01
    G. Taccola, D. Sayenko, P. Gad, Y.P. Gerasimenko, V.R. Edgerton

    Preclinical and clinical neurophysiological and neurorehabilitation research has generated rather surprising levels of recovery of volitional sensory-motor function in persons with chronic motor paralysis following a spinal cord injury. The key factor in this recovery is largely activity-dependent plasticity of spinal and supraspinal networks. This key factor can be triggered by neuromodulation of these networks with electrical and pharmacological interventions. This review addresses some of the systems-level physiological mechanisms that might explain the effects of electrical modulation and how repetitive training facilitates the recovery of volitional motor control. In particular, we substantiate the hypotheses that: (1) in the majority of spinal lesions, a critical number and type of neurons in the region of the injury survive, but cannot conduct action potentials, and thus are electrically non-responsive; (2) these neuronal networks within the lesioned area can be neuromodulated to a transformed state of electrical competency; (3) these two factors enable the potential for extensive activity-dependent reorganization of neuronal networks in the spinal cord and brain, and (4) propriospinal networks play a critical role in driving this activity-dependent reorganization after injury. Real-time proprioceptive input to spinal networks provides the template for reorganization of spinal networks that play a leading role in the level of coordination of motor pools required to perform a given functional task. Repetitive exposure of multi-segmental sensory-motor networks to the dynamics of task-specific sensory input as occurs with repetitive training can functionally reshape spinal and supraspinal connectivity thus re-enabling one to perform complex motor tasks, even years post injury.

  • The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation in multiple sclerosis: clues for other neuroinflammatory diseases
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-10-31
    Valerio Chiurchiù, Mario van der Stelt, Diego Centonze, Mauro Maccarrone

    Multiple sclerosis is the most common inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, caused by an autoimmune response against myelin that eventually leads to progressive neurodegeneration and disability. Although the knowledge on its underlying neurobiological mechanisms has considerably improved, there is a still unmet need for new treatment options, especially for the progressive forms of the disease. Both preclinical and clinical data suggest that cannabinoids, derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, may be used to control symptoms such as spasticity and chronic pain, whereas only preclinical data indicate that these compounds and their endogenous counterparts, i.e. the endocannabinoids, may also exert neuroprotective effects and slow down disease progression. Here, we review the preclinical and clinical studies that could explain the therapeutic action of cannabinoid-based medicines, as well as the medical potential of modulating endocannabinoid signaling in multiple sclerosis, with a link to other neuroinflammatory disorders that share common hallmarks and pathogenetic features.

  • Beyond the genome—towards an epigenetic understanding of handedness ontogenesis
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-10-31
    Judith Schmitz, Gerlinde A.S. Metz, Onur Güntürkün, Sebastian Ocklenburg

    Hemispheric asymmetries represent one of the major organizational principles in vertebrate neurobiology, but their molecular determinants are not well understood. For handedness, the most widely investigated form of hemispheric asymmetries in humans, single gene explanations have been the most popular ontogenetic model in the past. However, molecular genetic studies revealed only few specific genes that explain a small fraction of the phenotypic variance. In contrast, family studies indicated heritability of up to 0.66. It has been suggested that the lack of recognizable genetic heritability is partly accounted for by heritable epigenetic mechanisms. Based on recent neuroscientific findings highlighting the importance of epigenetic mechanisms for brain function and disease, we review recent findings describing non-genetic influences on handedness from conception to childhood. We aim to advance the idea that epigenetic regulation might be the mediating mechanism between environment and phenotype. Recent findings on molecular epigenetic mechanisms indicate that particular asymmetries in DNA methylation might affect asymmetric gene expression in the central nervous system that in turn mediates handedness. We propose that an integration of genes and environment is essential to fully comprehend the ontogenesis of handedness and other hemispheric asymmetries.

  • Brain-immune interactions in perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-10-27
    Bo Li, Katherine Concepcion, Xianmei Meng, Lubo Zhang

    Perinatal hypoxia-ischemia remains the primary cause of acute neonatal brain injury, leading to a high mortality rate and long-term neurological deficits, such as behavioral, social, attentional, cognitive and functional motor deficits. An ever-increasing body of evidence shows that the immune response to acute cerebral hypoxia-ischemia is a major contributor to the pathophysiology of neonatal brain injury. Hypoxia-ischemia provokes an intravascular inflammatory cascade that is further augmented by the activation of resident immune cells and the cerebral infiltration of peripheral immune cells response to cellular damages in the brain parenchyma. This prolonged and/or inappropriate neuroinflammation leads to secondary brain tissue injury. Yet, the long-term effects of immune activation, especially the adaptive immune response, on the hypoxic-ischemic brain still remain unclear. The focus of this review is to summarize recent advances in the understanding of post-hypoxic-ischemic neuroinflammation triggered by the innate and adaptive immune responses and to discuss how these mechanisms modulate the brain vulnerability to injury. A greater understanding of the reciprocal interactions between the hypoxic-ischemic brain and the immune system will open new avenues for potential immunomodulatory therapy in the treatment of neonatal brain injury.

  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ): A master gatekeeper in CNS injury and repair
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-10-12
    Wei Cai, Tuo Yang, Huan Liu, Lijuan Han, Kai Zhang, Xiaoming Hu, Xuejing Zhang, Ke-Jie Yin, Yanqin Gao, Michael V.L. Bennett, Rehana K. Leak, Jun Chen

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a widely expressed ligand-modulated transcription factor that governs the expression of genes involved in inflammation, redox equilibrium, trophic factor production, insulin sensitivity, and the metabolism of lipids and glucose. Synthetic PPARγ agonists (e.g. thiazolidinediones) are used to treat Type II diabetes and have the potential to limit the risk of developing brain injury by mitigating the influence of comorbidities. If brain injury develops, PPARγ serves as a master gatekeeper of cytoprotective stress responses, improving the chances of survival and recovery of homeostatic equilibrium. In the acute injury phase, PPARγ directly restricts tissue damage by inhibiting the NFκB pathway to mitigate inflammation and stimulating the Nrf2/ARE axis to neutralize oxidative stress. During the chronic phase of acute brain injuries, PPARγ activation in injured cells culminates in the repair of gray and white matter, preservation of the blood-brain barrier, reconstruction of the neurovascular unit, resolution of inflammation, and long-term functional recovery. Thus, PPARγ lies at the apex of cell fate decisions and exerts profound effects on the chronic progression of acute injury conditions. Here, we review the therapeutic potential of PPARγ in stroke and brain trauma and highlight the novel role of PPARγ in long-term tissue repair. We describe its structure and function and identify the genes that it targets. PPARγ regulation of inflammation, metabolism, cell fate (proliferation/differentiation/maturation/survival), and many other processes also has relevance to other neurological diseases. Therefore, PPARγ is an attractive target for therapies against a number of progressive neurological disorders.

  • Blood-brain barrier dysfunction and recovery after ischemic stroke
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-10-05
    Xiaoyan Jiang, Anuska V. Andjelkovic, Ling Zhu, Tuo Yang, Michael V.L. Bennett, Jun Chen, Richard F. Keep, Yejie Shi

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays a vital role in regulating the trafficking of fluid, solutes and cells at the blood-brain interface and maintaining the homeostatic microenvironment of the CNS. Under pathological conditions, such as ischemic stroke, the BBB can be disrupted, followed by the extravasation of blood components into the brain and compromise of normal neuronal function. This article reviews recent advances in our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying BBB dysfunction and recovery after ischemic stroke. CNS cells in the neurovascular unit, as well as blood-borne peripheral cells constantly modulate the BBB and influence its breakdown and repair after ischemic stroke. The involvement of stroke risk factors and comorbid conditions further complicate the pathogenesis of neurovascular injury by predisposing the BBB to anatomical and functional changes that can exacerbate BBB dysfunction. Emphasis is also given to the process of long-term structural and functional restoration of the BBB after ischemic injury. With the development of novel research tools, future research on the BBB is likely to reveal promising potential therapeutic targets for protecting the BBB and improving patient outcome after ischemic stroke.

  • Lymphatic Drainage System of the Brain: A Novel Target for Intervention of Neurological Diseases
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-09-10
    Bao-Liang Sun, Li-hua Wang, Tuo Yang, Lei-lei Mao, Jing-yi Sun, Ming-feng Yang, Hui Yuan, Robert A. Colvin, Xiao-yi Yang

    The belief that the vertebrate brain functions normally without classical lymphatic drainage vessels has been held for many decades. On the contrary, new findings show that functional lymphatic drainage does exist in the brain. The brain lymphatic drainage system is composed of basement membrane-based perivascular pathway, a brain-wide glymphatic pathway, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage routes including sinus-associated meningeal lymphatic vessels and olfactory/cervical lymphatic routes. The brain lymphatic systems function physiological as a route of drainage for interstitial fluid (ISF) from brain parenchyma to nearby lymph nodes. Brain lymphatic drainage helps maintain water and ion balance of the ISF, waste clearance, and reabsorption of macromolecular solutes. A second physiological function includes communication with the immune system modulating immune surveillance and responses of the brain. These physiological functions are influenced by aging, genetic phenotypes, sleep-wake cycle, and body posture. The impairment and dysfunction of the brain lymphatic system has crucial roles in age-related changes of brain function and the pathogenesis of neurovascular, neurodegenerative, and neuroinflammatory diseases, as well as brain injury and tumors. In this review, we summarize the key component elements (regions, cells, and water transporters) of the brain lymphatic system and their regulators as potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of neurologic diseases and their resulting complications. Finally, we highlight the clinical importance of ependymal route-based targeted gene therapy and intranasal drug administration in the brain by taking advantage of the unique role played by brain lymphatic pathways in the regulation of CSF flow and ISF/CSF exchange.

  • The role of non-endothelial cells on the penetration of nanoparticles through the blood brain barrier
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-09-09
    Rui Pedro Moura, Andreia Almeida, Bruno Sarmento

    The blood brain barrier (BBB) is a well-established cell-based membrane that circumvents the central nervous system (CNS), protecting it from harmful substances. Due to its robustness and cell integrity, it is also an outstanding opponent when it comes to the delivery of several therapeutic agents to the brain, which requires the crossing through its highly-organized structure. This regulation and cell-cell communications occur mostly between astrocytes, pericytes and endothelial cells. Therefore, alternative ways to deliver drugs to the CNS, overcoming the BBB are required, to improve the efficacy of brain target drugs. Nanoparticles emerge here as a promising drug delivery strategy, due to their ability of high drug loading and the capability to exploit specific delivery pathways that most drugs are unable to when administered freely, increasing their bioavailability in the CNS. Thus, further attempts to assess the possible influence of non-endothelial may have on the BBB translocation of nanoparticles are here revised. Furthermore, the use of macrophages and/or monocytes as nanoparticle delivery cells are also approached. Lastly, the temporarily disruption of the overall organization and normal structure of the BBB to promote the penetration of nanoparticles aimed at the CNS is described, as a synergistic path.

  • Progressing Neurobiological Strategies Against Proteostasis Failure: Challenges in Neurodegeneration
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-09-01
    Ayeman Amanullah, Arun Upadhyay, Vibhuti Joshi, Ribhav Mishra, Nihar Ranjan Jana, Amit Mishra
  • Modelling iron mismanagement in neurodegenerative disease in vitro: paradigms, pitfalls, possibilities & practical considerations
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-08-30
    Sinead Healy, Jill M. McMahon, Una FitzGerald

    Although aberrant metabolism and deposition of iron has been associated with aging and neurodegeneration, the contribution of iron to neuropathology is unclear. Well-designed model systems that are suited to studying the putative pathological effect of iron are likely to be essential if such unresolved details are to be clarified. In this review, we have evaluated the utility and effectiveness of the reductionist in vitro platform to study the molecular mechanisms putatively underlying iron perturbations of neurodegenerative disease. The expression and function of iron metabolism proteins in glia and neurons and the extent to which this iron regulatory system is replicated in in vitro models has been comprehensively described followed by an appraisal of the inherent suitability of different in vitro and ex vivo models that have been, or might be, used for iron loading. Next, we have identified and critiqued the relevant experimental parameters that have been used in in vitro iron loading experiments, including the choice of iron reagent, relevant iron loading concentrations and supplementation with serum or ascorbate, and propose optimal iron loading conditions. Finally, we have provided a synthesis of the differential iron accumulation and toxicity in glia and neurons from reported iron loading paradigms. In summary, this review has amalgamated the findings and paradigms of the published reports modelling iron loading in monocultures, discussed the limitations and discrepancies of such work to critically propose a robust, relevant and reliable model of iron loading to be used for future investigations.

  • 更新日期:2017-08-31
  • Impact of microRNAs on ischemic stroke: From pre- to post-disease
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-08-24
    Guangwen Li, Kahlilia C. Morris-Blanco, Mary S. Lopez, Tuo Yang, Haiping Zhao, Raghu Vemuganti, Yumin Luo

    Stroke is the number one cause of neurological dysfunction in adults and has a heavy socioeconomic burden worldwide. The etiological origins of ischemic stroke and resulting pathological processes are mediated by a multifaceted cascade of molecular mechanisms that are in part modulated by posttranscriptional activity. Accumulating evidence has revealed a role for microRNAs (miRNAs) as essential mediators of posttranscriptional gene silencing in both the physiology of brain development and pathology of ischemic stroke. In this review, we compile miRNAs that have been reported to regulate various stroke risk factors and pre-disease mechanisms, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and diabetes, followed by an in-depth analysis of miRNAs in ischemic stroke pathogenesis, such as excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis, angiogenesis and neurogenesis. Since promoting or suppressing expression of miRNAs by specific pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical therapies may be beneficial to post-stroke recovery, we also highlight the potential therapeutic value of miRNAs in clinical settings.

  • Astrocytes and endoplasmic reticulum stress: A bridge between obesity and neurodegenerative diseases
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-08-10
    Cynthia A. Martin-Jiménez, Ángela García-Vega, Ricardo Cabezas, Gjumrakch Aliev, Valentina Echeverria, Janneth González, George E. Barreto

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a subcellular organelle involved in protein folding and processing. ER stress constitutes a cellular process characterized by accumulation of misfolded proteins, impaired lipid metabolism and induction of inflammatory responses. ER stress has been suggested to be involved in several human pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases and obesity. Different studies have shown that both neurodegenerative diseases and obesity trigger similar cellular responses to ER stress. Moreover, both diseases are assessed in astrocytes as evidences suggest these cells as key regulators of brain homeostasis. However, the exact contributions to the effects of ER stress in astrocytes in the various neurodegenerative diseases and its relation with obesity are not well known. Here, we discuss recent advances in the understanding of molecular mechanisms that regulate ER stress-related disorders in astrocytes such as obesity and neurodegeneration. Moreover, we outline the correlation between the activated proteins of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in these pathological conditions in order to identify possible therapeutic targets for ER stress in astrocytes. We show that ER stress in astrocytes shares UPR activation pathways during both obesity and neurodegenerative diseases, demonstrating that UPR related proteins like ER chaperone GRP 78/Bip, PERK pathway and other exogenous molecules ameliorate UPR response and promote neuroprotection.

  • Impact of aging immune system on neurodegeneration and potential immunotherapies
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-08-04
    Zhanfeng Liang, Yang Zhao, Linhui Ruan, Linnan Zhu, Kunlin Jin, Qichuan Zhuge, Dong-Ming Su, Yong Zhao

    The interaction between the nervous and immune systems during aging is an area of avid interest, but many aspects remain unclear. This is due, not only to the complexity of the aging process, but also to a mutual dependency and reciprocal causation of alterations and diseases between both the nervous and immune systems. Aging of the brain drives whole body systemic aging, including aging-related changes of the immune system. In turn, the immune system aging, particularly immunosenescence and T cell aging initiated by thymic involution that are sources of chronic inflammation in the elderly (termed inflammaging), potentially induces brain aging and memory loss in a reciprocal manner. Therefore, immunotherapeutics including modulation of inflammation, vaccination, cellular immune therapies and “protective autoimmunity” provide promising approaches to rejuvenate neuroinflammatory disorders and repair brain injury. In this review, we summarize recent discoveries linking the aging immune system with the development of neurodegeneration. Additionally, we discuss potential rejuvenation strategies, focusing aimed at targeting the aging immune system in an effort to prevent acute brain injury and chronic neurodegeneration during aging.

  • Functional integration of complex miRNA networks in central and peripheral lesion and axonal regeneration
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-08-03
    M. Ghibaudi, M. Boido, A. Vercelli

    New players are emerging in the game of peripheral and central nervous system injury since their physiopathological mechanisms remain partially elusive. These mechanisms are characterized by several molecules whose activation and/or modification following a trauma is often controlled at transcriptional level. In this scenario, microRNAs (miRNAs/miRs) have been identified as main actors in coordinating important molecular pathways in nerve or spinal cord injury (SCI). miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs whose functionality at network level is now emerging as a new level of complexity. Indeed they can act as an organized network to provide a precise control of several biological processes. Here we describe the functional synergy of some miRNAs in case of SCI and peripheral damage. In particular we show how several small RNAs can cooperate in influencing simultaneously the molecular pathways orchestrating axon regeneration, inflammation, apoptosis and remyelination. We report about the networks for which miRNA-target bindings have been experimentally demonstrated or inferred based on target prediction data: in both cases, the connection between one miRNA and its downstream pathway is derived from a validated observation or is predicted from the literature. Hence, we discuss the importance of miRNAs in some pathological processes focusing on their functional structure as participating in a cooperative and/or convergence network.

  • Stem Cell Therapy for Abrogating Stroke-Induced Neuroinflammation and Relevant Secondary Cell Death Mechanisms
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-07-23
    Connor Stonesifer, Sydney Corey, Shaila Ghanekar, Zachary Diamandis, Sandra A. Acosta, Cesar V. Borlongan

    Ischemic stroke is a leading cause of death worldwide. A key secondary cell death mechanism mediating neurological damage following the initial episode of ischemic stroke is the upregulation of endogenous neuroinflammatory processes to levels that destroy hypoxic tissue local to the area of insult, induce apoptosis, and initiate a feedback loop of inflammatory cascades that can expand the region of damage. Stem cell therapy has emerged as an experimental treatment for stroke, and accumulating evidence supports the therapeutic efficacy of stem cells to abrogate stroke-induced inflammation. In this review, we investigate clinically relevant stem cell types, such as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs), neural stem cells (NSCs), extraembryonic stem cells, adipose tissue-derived stem cells, breast milk-derived stem cells, menstrual blood-derived stem cells, dental tissue-derived stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), teratocarcinoma-derived Ntera2/D1 neuron-like cells (NT2N), c-mycER(TAM) modified NSCs (CTX0E03), and notch-transfected mesenchymal stromal cells (SB623), comparing their potential efficacy to sequester stroke-induced neuroinflammation and their feasibility as translational clinical cell sources. To this end, we highlight that MSCs, with a proven track record of safety and efficacy as a transplantable cell for hematologic diseases, stand as an attractive cell type that confers superior anti-inflammatory effects in stroke both in vitro and in vivo. That stem cells can mount a robust anti-inflammatory action against stroke complements the regenerative processes of cell replacement and neurotrophic factor secretion conventionally ascribed to cell-based therapy in neurological disorders.

  • Nanomaterial applications for neurological diseases and central nervous system injury
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-07-22
    Lijie Huang, Jiangnan Hu, Shengwei Huang, Brian Wang, Felix Siaw-Debrah, Mark Nyanzu, Yu Zhang, Qichuan Zhuge

    The effectiveness of noninvasive treatment for neurological disease is generally limited by the poor entry of therapeutic agents into the central nervous system (CNS). Most CNS drugs cannot permeate into the brain parenchyma because of the blood-brain barrier thus, overcoming this problem has become one of the most significant challenges in the development of neurological therapeutics. Nanotechnology has emerged as an innovative alternative for treating neurological diseases. In fact, rapid advances in nanotechnology have provided promising solutions to this challenge. This review highlights the applications of nanomaterials in the developing neurological field and discusses the evidence for their efficacies.

  • Neural Reuse Of Action Perception Circuits For Language, Concepts And Communication
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-07-20
    Friedemann Pulvermüller

    Neurocognitive and neurolinguistics theories make explicit statements relating specialized cognitive and linguistic processes to specific brain loci. These linking hypotheses are in need of neurobiological explanation. Recent mathematical models of human language mechanisms constrained by fundamental neuroscience principles and established knowledge about comparative neuroanatomy offer explanations for where, when and how language is processed in the human brain. In these models, network structure and connectivity along with action- and perception-induced correlation of neuronal activity co-determine neurocognitive mechanisms. Language learning leads to the formation of action perception circuits (APCs) with specific distributions across cortical areas. Cognitive and linguistic processes such as speech production, comprehension, verbal working memory and prediction are modelled by activity dynamics in these APCs, and combinatorial and communicative-interactive knowledge is organized in the dynamics within, and connections between APCs. The network models and, in particular, the concept of distributionally-specific circuits, can account for some previously not well understood facts about the cortical ‘hubs’ for semantic processing and the motor system’s role in language understanding and speech sound recognition. A review of experimental data evaluates predictions of the APC model and alternative theories, also providing detailed discussion of some seemingly contradictory findings. Throughout, recent disputes about the role of mirror neurons and grounded cognition in language and communication are assessed critically.

  • Criticality in the brain: A synthesis of neurobiology, models and cognition
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-07-19
    Luca Cocchi, Leonardo L. Gollo, Andrew Zalesky, Michael Breakspear

    Cognitive function requires the coordination of neural activity across many scales, from neurons and circuits to large-scale networks. As such, it is unlikely that an explanatory framework focused upon any single scale will yield a comprehensive theory of brain activity and cognitive function. Modelling and analysis methods for neuroscience should aim to accommodate multiscale phenomena. Emerging research now suggests that multi-scale processes in the brain arise from so-called critical phenomena that occur very broadly in the natural world. Criticality arises in complex systems perched between order and disorder, and is marked by fluctuations that do not have any privileged spatial or temporal scale. We review the core nature of criticality, the evidence supporting its role in neural systems and its explanatory potential in brain health and disease.

  • Autophagy in hemorrhagic stroke: Mechanisms and clinical implications
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-04-13
    Haiying Li, Jiang Wu, Haitao Shen, Xiyang Yao, Chenglin Liu, S. Pianta, J. Han, C.V. Borlongan, Gang Chen

    Accumulating evidence advances the critical role of autophagy in brain pathology after stroke. Investigations employing autophagy induction or inhibition using pharmacological tools or autophagy-related gene knockout mice have recently revealed the biological significance of intact and functional autophagy in stroke. Most of the reported cases attest to a pro-survival role for autophagy in stroke, by facilitating removal of damaged proteins and organelles, which can be recycled for energy generation and cellular defenses. However, these observations are difficult to reconcile with equally compelling evidence demonstrating stroke-induced upregulation of brain cell death index that parallels enhanced autophagy. This begs the question of whether drug-induced autophagy during stroke culminates in improved or worsened pathological outcomes. A corollary fascinating hypothesis, but presents as a tricky conundrum, involves the effects of autophagy on cell death and inflammation, which are two main culprits in the disease progression of stroke-induced brain injury. Evidence has extended the roles of autophagy in inflammation via cytokine regulation in an unconventional secretion manner or by targeting inflammasomes for degradation. Moreover, in the recently concluded Vancouver Autophagy Symposium (VAS) held in 2014, the potential of selective autophagy for clinical treatment has been recognized. The role of autophagy in ischemic stroke has been reviewed previously in detail. Here, we evaluate the strength of laboratory and clinical evidence by providing a comprehensive summary of the literature on autophagy, and thereafter we offer our perspectives on exploiting autophagy as a drug target for cerebral ischemia, especially in hemorrhagic stroke.

  • Stem cell transplantation therapy for multifaceted therapeutic benefits after stroke
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-03-18
    Ling Wei, Zheng Z. Wei, Michael Qize Jiang, Osama Mohamad, Shan Ping Yu

    One of the exciting advances in modern medicine and life science is cell-based neurovascular regeneration of damaged brain tissues and repair of neuronal structures. The progress in stem cell biology and creation of adult induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has significantly improved basic and pre-clinical research in disease mechanisms and generated enthusiasm for potential applications in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases including stroke. Endogenous neural stem cells and cultured stem cells are capable of self-renewal and give rise to virtually all types of cells essential for the makeup of neuronal structures. Meanwhile, stem cells and neural progenitor cells are well-known for their potential for trophic support after transplantation into the ischemic brain. Thus, stem cell-based therapies provide an attractive future for protecting and repairing damaged brain tissues after injury and in various disease states. Moreover, basic research on naïve and differentiated stem cells including iPS cells has markedly improved our understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders, and provides a platform for the discovery of novel drug targets. The latest advances indicate that combinatorial approaches using cell based therapy with additional treatments such as protective reagents, preconditioning strategies and rehabilitation therapy can significantly improve therapeutic benefits. In this review, we will discuss the characteristics of cell therapy in different ischemic models and the application of stem cells and progenitor cells as regenerative medicine for the treatment of stroke.

  • Preconditioning in neuroprotection: From hypoxia to ischemia
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2017-01-18
    Sijie Li, Adam Hafeez, Fatima Noorulla, Xiaokun Geng, Guo Shao, Changhong Ren, Guowei Lu, Heng Zhao, Yuchuan Ding, Xunming Ji

    Sublethal hypoxic or ischemic events can improve the tolerance of tissues, organs, and even organisms from subsequent lethal injury caused by hypoxia or ischemia. This phenomenon has been termed hypoxic or ischemic preconditioning (HPC or IPC) and is well established in the heart and the brain. This review aims to discuss HPC and IPC with respect to their historical development and advancements in our understanding of the neurochemical basis for their neuroprotective role. Through decades of collaborative research and studies of HPC and IPC in other organ systems, our understanding of HPC and IPC-induced neuroprotection has expanded to include: early- (phosphorylation targets, transporter regulation, interfering RNA) and late- (regulation of genes like EPO, VEGF, and iNOS) phase changes, regulators of programmed cell death, members of metabolic pathways, receptor modulators, and many other novel targets. The rapid acceleration in our understanding of HPC and IPC will help facilitate transition into the clinical setting.

  • Mitochondrial function in hypoxic ischemic injury and influence of aging
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-06-16
    P. Benson Ham, Raghavan Raju

    Mitochondria are a major target in hypoxic/ischemic injury. Mitochondrial impairment increases with age leading to dysregulation of molecular pathways linked to mitochondria. The perturbation of mitochondrial homeostasis and cellular energetics worsens outcome following hypoxic-ischemic insults in elderly individuals. In response to acute injury conditions, cellular machinery relies on rapid adaptations by modulating posttranslational modifications. Therefore, post-translational regulation of molecular mediators such as hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator α (PGC-1α), c-MYC, SIRT1 and AMPK play a critical role in the control of the glycolytic-mitochondrial energy axis in response to hypoxic-ischemic conditions. The deficiency of oxygen and nutrients leads to decreased energetic reliance on mitochondria, promoting glycolysis. The combination of pseudohypoxia, declining autophagy, and dysregulation of stress responses with aging adds to impaired host response to hypoxic-ischemic injury. Furthermore, intermitochondrial signal propagation and tissue wide oscillations in mitochondrial metabolism in response to oxidative stress are emerging as vital to cellular energetics. Recently reported intercellular transport of mitochondria through tunneling nanotubes also play a role in the response to and treatments for ischemic injury. In this review we attempt to provide an overview of some of the molecular mechanisms and potential therapies involved in the alteration of cellular energetics with aging and injury with a neurobiological perspective.

  • Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) and the A(E)Ging HIV/AIDS-HAND☆
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-04-14
    Neha Vartak-Sharma, Shruthi Nooka, Anuja Ghorpade

    Recent attempts to analyze human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-induced gene expression changes in astrocytes uncovered a multifunctional oncogene, astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1). Our previous studies revealed that AEG-1 regulates reactive astrocytes proliferation, migration and inflammation, hallmarks of aging and CNS injury. Moreover, the involvement of AEG-1 in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Huntington’s disease and migraine, and its induction in the aged brain suggest a plausible role in regulating overall CNS homeostasis and aging. Therefore, it is important to investigate AEG-1 specifically in aging-associated cognitive decline. In this study, we decipher the common mechanistic links in cancer, aging and HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders that likely contribute to AEG-1-based regulation of astrocyte responses and function. Despite AEG-1 incorporation into HIV-1 virions and its induction by HIV-1, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β, the specific role(s) of AEG-1 in astrocyte-driven HIV-1 neuropathogenesis are incompletely defined. We propose that AEG-1 plays a central role in a multitude of cellular stress responses involving mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and the nucleolus. It is thus important to further investigate AEG-1-based cellular and molecular regulation in order to successfully develop better therapeutic approaches that target AEG-1 to combat cancer, HIV-1 and aging.

  • HIV/neuroAIDS biomarkers
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-04-12
    Pejman Rahimian, Johnny J. He
  • The application of information theory for the research of aging and aging-related diseases
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-03-19
    David Blokh, Ilia Stambler

    This article reviews the application of information-theoretical analysis, employing measures of entropy and mutual information, for the study of aging and aging-related diseases. The research of aging and aging-related diseases is particularly suitable for the application of information theory methods, as aging processes and related diseases are multi-parametric, with continuous parameters coexisting alongside discrete parameters, and with the relations between the parameters being as a rule non-linear. Information theory provides unique analytical capabilities for the solution of such problems, with unique advantages over common linear biostatistics. Among the age-related diseases, information theory has been used in the study of neurodegenerative diseases (particularly using EEG time series for diagnosis and prediction), cancer (particularly for establishing individual and combined cancer biomarkers), diabetes (mainly utilizing mutual information to characterize the diseased and aging states), and heart disease (mainly for the analysis of heart rate variability). Few works have employed information theory for the analysis of general aging processes and frailty, as underlying determinants and possible early preclinical diagnostic measures for aging-related diseases. Generally, the use of information-theoretical analysis permits not only establishing the (non-linear) correlations between diagnostic or therapeutic parameters of interest, but may also provide a theoretical insight into the nature of aging and related diseases by establishing the measures of variability, adaptation, regulation or homeostasis, within a system of interest. It may be hoped that the increased use of such measures in research may considerably increase diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities and the fundamental theoretical mathematical understanding of aging and disease.

  • Hibernation-like neuroprotection in stroke by attenuating brain metabolic dysfunction
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-03-07
    Brian Forreider, David Pozivilko, Qingwen Kawaji, Xiaokun Geng, Yuchuan Ding

    Many mammalian species naturally undergo hibernation, a process that is associated with drastic changes in metabolism and systemic physiology. Their ability to retain an undamaged central nervous system during severely reduced cerebral blood flow has been studied for possible therapeutic application in human ischemic stroke. By inducing a less extreme ‘hibernation-like’ state, it has been hypothesized that similar neuroprotective effects reduce ischemia-mediated tissue damage in stroke patients. This manuscript includes reviews and evaluations of: (1) true hibernation, (2) hibernation-like state and its neuroprotective characteristics, (3) the preclinical and clinical methods for induction of artificial hibernation (i.e., therapeutic hypothermia, phenothiazine drugs, and ethanol), and (4) the mechanisms by which cerebral ischemia leads to tissue damage and how the above-mentioned induction methods function to inhibit those processes.

  • Estrogens as neuroprotectants: Estrogenic actions in the context of cognitive aging and brain injury
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-02-15
    E.B. Engler-Chiurazzi, C.M. Brown, J.M. Povroznik, J.W. Simpkins

    There is ample empirical evidence to support the notion that the biological impacts of estrogen extend beyond the gonads to other bodily systems, including the brain and behavior. Converging preclinical findings have indicated a neuroprotective role for estrogen in a variety of experimental models of cognitive function and brain insult. However, the surprising null or even detrimental findings of several large clinical trials evaluating the ability of estrogen-containing hormone treatments to protect against age-related brain changes and insults, including cognitive aging and brain injury, led to hesitation by both clinicians and patients in the use of exogenous estrogenic treatments for nervous system outcomes. That estrogen-containing therapies are used by tens of millions of women for a variety of health-related applications across the lifespan has made identifying conditions under which benefits with estrogen treatment will be realized an important public health issue. Here we provide a summary of the biological actions of estrogen and estrogen-containing formulations in the context of aging, cognition, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. We have devoted special attention to highlighting the notion that estrogen appears to be a conditional neuroprotectant whose efficacy is modulated by several interacting factors. By developing criteria standards for desired beneficial peripheral and neuroprotective outcomes among unique patient populations, we can optimize estrogen treatments for attenuating the consequences of, and perhaps even preventing, cognitive aging and brain injury.

  • The biphasic function of microglia in ischemic stroke
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-02-02
    Yuanyuan Ma, Jixian Wang, Yongting Wang, Guo-Yuan Yang

    Microglia are brain resident macrophages originated from primitive progenitor cells in the yolk sac. Microglia can be activated within hours and recruited to the lesion site. Traditionally, microglia activation is considered to play a deleterious role in ischemic stroke, as inhibition of microglia activation attenuates ischemia induced brain injury. However, increasing evidence show that microglia activation is critical for attenuating neuronal apoptosis, enhancing neurogenesis, and promoting functional recovery after cerebral ischemia. Differential polarization of microglia could likely explain the biphasic role of microglia in ischemia. We comprehensively reviewed the mechanisms involved in regulating microglia activation and polarization. The latest discoveries of microRNAs in modulating microglia function are discussed. In addition, the interaction between microglia and other cells including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and stem cells were also reviewed. Future therapies targeting microglia may not exclusively aim at suppressing microglia activation, but also at modulating microglia polarization at different stages of ischemic stroke. More work is needed to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of microglia polarization under ischemic environment. The roles of microRNAs and transplanted stem cells in mediating microglia activation and polarization during brain ischemia also need to be further studied.

  • The brain interstitial system: Anatomy, modeling, in vivo measurement, and applications
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-02-01
    Yiming Lei, Hongbin Han, Fan Yuan, Aqeel Javeed, Yong Zhao

    Although neurons attract the most attention in neurobiology, our current knowledge of neural circuit can only partially explain the neurological and psychiatric conditions of the brain. Thus, it is also important to consider the influence of brain interstitial system (ISS), which refers to the space among neural cells and capillaries. The ISS is the major compartment of the brain microenvironment that provides the immediate accommodation space for neural cells, and it occupies 15% to 20% of the total brain volume. The brain ISS is a dynamic and complex space connecting the vascular system and neural networks and it plays crucial roles in substance transport and signal transmission among neurons. Investigation of the brain ISS can provide new perspectives for understanding brain architecture and function and for exploring new strategies to treat brain disorders. This review discussed the anatomy of the brain ISS under both physiological and pathological conditions, biophysical modeling of the brain ISS and in vivo measurement and imaging techniques, including recent findings on brain ISS divisions. Moreover, the implications of ISS knowledge for basic neuroscience and clinical applications are addressed.

  • The therapeutic potential of cell identity reprogramming for the treatment of aging-related neurodegenerative disorders
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2016-02-01
    Derek K. Smith, Miao He, Chun-Li Zhang, Jialin C. Zheng

    Neural cell identity reprogramming strategies aim to treat age-related neurodegenerative disorders with newly induced neurons that regenerate neural architecture and functional circuits in vivo. The isolation and neural differentiation of pluripotent embryonic stem cells provided the first in vitro models of human neurodegenerative disease. Investigation into the molecular mechanisms underlying stem cell pluripotency revealed that somatic cells could be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and these cells could be used to model Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington disease, and Parkinson disease. Additional neural precursor and direct transdifferentiation strategies further enabled the induction of diverse neural linages and neuron subtypes both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we highlight neural induction strategies that utilize stem cells, iPSCs, and lineage reprogramming to model or treat age-related neurodegenerative diseases, as well as, the clinical challenges related to neural transplantation and in vivo reprogramming strategies.

  • Alternative mitochondrial electron transfer for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and cancers: Methylene blue connects the dots
    Prog. Neurobiol. (IF 13.217) Pub Date : 2015-11-18
    Shao-Hua Yang, Wenjun Li, Nathalie Sumien, Michael Forster, James W. Simpkins, Ran Liu

    Brain has exceptional high requirement for energy metabolism with glucose as the exclusive energy source. Decrease of brain energy metabolism and glucose uptake has been found in patients of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, providing a clear link between neurodegenerative disorders and energy metabolism. On the other hand, cancers, including glioblastoma, have increased glucose uptake and rely on aerobic glycolysis for energy metabolism. The switch of high efficient oxidative phosphorylation to low efficient aerobic glycolysis pathway (Warburg effect) provides macromolecule for biosynthesis and proliferation. Current research indicates that methylene blue, a century old drug, can receive electron from NADH in the presence of complex I and donates it to cytochrome c, providing an alternative electron transfer pathway. Methylene blue increases oxygen consumption, decrease glycolysis, and increases glucose uptake in vitro. Methylene blue enhances glucose uptake and regional cerebral blood flow in rats upon acute treatment. In addition, methylene blue provides protective effect in neuron and astrocyte against various insults in vitro and in rodent models of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease. In glioblastoma cells, methylene blue reverses Warburg effect by enhancing mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, arrests glioma cell cycle at s-phase, and inhibits glioma cell proliferation. Accordingly, methylene blue activates AMP-activated protein kinase, inhibits downstream acetyl-coA carboxylase and cyclin-dependent kinases. In summary, there is accumulating evidence providing a proof of concept that enhancement of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation via alternative mitochondrial electron transfer may offer protective action against neurodegenerative diseases and inhibit cancers proliferation.

Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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