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  • Activation of anti-oxidant of curcumin pyrazole derivatives through preservation of mitochondria function and Nrf2 signaling pathway
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-13
    Liping Liao, Jinguo Shi, Caibao Jiang, Liantao Zhang, Lisi Feng, Jiayong Liu, Jingxia Zhang

    Oxidative stress is an important cause of neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidant is an potential important method to treat such diseases. The aim of this study is to discover new and effective antioxidants and their mechanism. The neuroprotective effect of six curcumin pyrozole compounds were first evaluated on sodium nitroprusside (SNP) - induced PC12 cell injury by testing cell viability and LDH release. The results showed that four compounds (C1-C4) have more significant protective effects compared to curcumin and edaravone. Furthermore, compounds C1-C4 can attenuate the intracellular ROS, and compound C3 is the most effective one which can preservate the mitochondria function by inhibiting the mitochondrial membrane potential loss and enhance nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in PC12 cell. These results indicated that C3 may be a potential candidate drug for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Abuse potential of 2-(4-iodo-2, 5-dimethoxyphenyl)N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25INBOMe); in vivo and ex vivo approaches
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-13
    Seo Young Jeon, Young-Hoon Kim, Sung Jin Kim, Soo Kyung Suh, Hye Jin Cha

    25INBOMe (“25-I”, “N-Bomb”), one of new psychoactive substances (NPSs), is being abused for recreational purpose. However, the liability for abuse or dependence has not been systematically studied yet. The objective of the present study was to evaluate rewarding and reinforcing effects of 25INBOMe using conditioned place preference (CPP) and self-administration (SA) paradigms. In addition, ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) were measured to investigate relationships between USVs and emotional state regarding dependence on psychoactive substances. To understand molecular mechanism involved in its action, dopamine (DA) level changes were analyzed using synaptosomes extracted from the striatal region of the brain. Expression level changes of SGK1 (serum/glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1) and PER2 (period circadian protein homolog 2), two putative biomarkers for drug dependence, were also analyzed. Results showed that 25INBOMe increased both CPP (0.3 mg/kg) and SA (0.03 mg/kg/infusion) and produced higher frequencies in USVs analysis. It also increased DA levels in the striatal region and changed expression levels of SGK1 and PER2. Results of the present study suggest that 25INBOMe might produce rewarding and reinforcing effects, indicating its dependence liability. In addition, frequencies of USV might be associated with emotional state of mice induced by psychoactive substances regarding substance dependence. This is the first systemic preclinical report on the dependence liability of 25INBOMe and the first attempt to introduce a possible relationship between USVs and emotional state of mice regarding substance dependency. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanism involved in 25INBOMe dependency and determine the usefulness of USV measurement as a method for evaluating dependence liability.

  • Forsythiaside prevents β-amyloid-induced hippocampal slice injury by upregulating 2-arachidonoylglycerol via cannabinoid receptor 1-dependent NF-κB pathway
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-13
    Liqing Chen, Yan Yan, Tinggui Chen, Liwei Zhang, Xiaoxia Gao, Chenhui Du, Huizhi Du

    In the study, the neuroprotectivities of forsythiaside, a main constituent of Forsythia suspensa (Thunb.) Vahl (F. suspensa, Lianqiao in Chinese), were investigated in the hippocampal slices. Forsythiaside suppressed the overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) proteins induced by β-amyloid (Aβ25-35) to upregulate the levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endogenous endocannabinoids. Then the inhibition of forsythiaside on COX-2 was deeply studied by the molecular docking. Forsythiaside prevented neuroinflammation and apoptosis from Aβ25-35 insults, and this action appeared to be mediated via cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R)-dependent nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways. More importantly, forsythiaside functionally improved Aβ25-35-induced learning and memory deficits, which was indicated by long term potentiation (LTP). Taken together, forsythiaside may have therapeutic potential for Alzheimer's diseases (AD) by increasing the levels of 2-AG.

  • The effects of retinol oral supplementation in 6-hydroxydopamine dopaminergic denervation model in Wistar rats
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-07
    Alice Kunzler, Camila Tiefensee Ribeiro, Juciano Gasparotto, Lyvia Lintzmaier Petiz, Helen Thais da Rosa Silva, Jeferson Delgado da Silva, Rafael Bortolin, Priscila Oliveira de Souza, Fabiano Barreto, Pedro Espitia-Perez, Carlos Eduardo Schnorr, Nauana Somensi, José Cláudio Fonseca Moreira, Daniel Pens Gelain

    Vitamin A (retinol) is involved in signaling pathways regulating gene expression and was postulated to be a major antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound of the diet. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by loss of nigral dopaminergic neurons, involving oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory activation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of retinol oral supplementation against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 12 μg per rat) nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation in Wistar rats. Animals supplemented with retinol (retinyl palmitate, 3000 IU/kg/day) during 28 days exhibited increased retinol content in liver, although circulating retinol levels (serum) were unaltered. Retinol supplementation did not protect against the loss of dopaminergic neurons (assessed through tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence and Western blot). Retinol supplementation prevented the effect of 6-OHDA on Iba-1 levels but had no effect on 6-OHDA-induced GFAP increase. Moreover, GFAP levels were increased by retinol supplementation alone. Rats pre-treated with retinol did not present oxidative damage or thiol redox modifications in liver, and the circulating levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 were unaltered by retinol supplementation, demonstrating that the protocol used here did not cause systemic toxicity to animals. Our results indicate that oral retinol supplementation is not able to protect against 6-OHDA-induced dopaminergic denervation, and it may actually stimulate astrocyte reactivity without altering parameters of systemic toxicity.

  • Administration of tetrahydrobiopterin restored the decline of dopamine in the striatum induced by an acute action of MPTP
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-07
    Hiroki Kurosaki, Kentaro Yamaguchi, Kohei Man-yoshi, Shin-ichi Muramatsu, Satoshi Hara, Hiroshi Ichinose

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second common neurodegenerative disorder. Deficit of the nigro-striatal dopaminergic neurons causes the motor symptoms of PD. While the oxidative stress is thought to be deeply involved in the etiology of PD, molecular targets for the oxidative insults has not been fully elucidated. 6R-5,6,7,8-Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is a cofactor for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme for production of dopamine, and easily oxidized to its dihydro-form. In this study, we examined the alteration in the metabolism of BH4 caused by a parkinsonian neurotoxin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). MPTP reduced the dopamine content and the in vivo activity of TH in the striatum prior to degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons. We found that administration of BH4 could restore the dopamine content and in vivo TH activity in the striatum of MPTP-treated mice. Unexpectedly, when BH4 was administered with MPTP, BH4 contents in the brain were far higher than those injected without MPTP even at 23 h after the last injection. Because MPTP has been shown to increase ROS production in the dopaminergic neurons, we assumed that the increased ROS oxidizes BH4 into its dihydro-form, excreted from the dopaminergic neurons, taken-up by the neighboring cells, reduced back to BH4, and then accumulated in the brain. We also investigated the action of MPTP in mice lacking quinonoid-dihydropteridine reductase (Qdpr), an enzyme catalyzing regeneration of BH4 from quinonoid dihydrobiopterin. The dopamine depletion induced by MPTP was severer in Qdpr-deficient mice than in wild-type mice. The present data suggest that perturbation of the BH4 metabolism would be the cause of early and persistent dopamine depletion in the striatum.

  • The vagus nerve role in antidepressants action: Efferent vagal pathways participate in peripheral anti-inflammatory effect of fluoxetine
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-06
    Katarina Ondicova, Andrej Tillinger, Jan Pecenak, Boris Mravec

    The mechanisms responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of antidepressants are only partially understood. Published data indicate that the vagal anti-inflammatory pathway could be involved in mediating this effect. Therefore, we investigated the influence of subdiaphragmatic vagotomy on the anti-inflammatory effect of fluoxetine in rats injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce an inflammatory response. The extent of this response was determined by measurement of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 plasma levels, along with gene expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in the spleen and selected structures of the brain. To evaluate possible central mechanisms, c-fos mRNA levels were determined in the nucleus of the solitary tract, dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, basolateral amygdala, central nucleus of the amygdala, hippocampus, and frontal cortex. We found that pretreatment with fluoxetine substantially prevented LPS-induced increases of pro-inflammatory cytokines in plasma and gene expression in the spleen and brain in animals with an intact vagus nerve. However, in vagotomized animals, fluoxetine pretreatment only partially attenuated the LPS-induced increase in these markers of peripheral inflammation. Our data has shown that fluoxetine exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects in both the periphery and brain. Moreover, we found that the peripheral anti-inflammatory action of fluoxetine is mediated, at least partially, by activation of a vagal anti-inflammatory pathway. The role of the vagus nerve in mediating the anti-inflammatory effects of antidepressants has been marginally explored and our findings highlight its potential contribution to this mechanism of action of antidepressants.

  • Linking phencyclidine intoxication to the tryptophan-kynurenine pathway: Therapeutic implications for schizophrenia
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-05
    Hidetsugu Fujigaki, Akihiro Mouri, Yasuko Yamamoto, Toshitaka Nabeshima, Kuniaki Saito

    Phencyclidine (PCP) is a dissociative anesthetic that induces psychotic symptoms and neurocognitive deficits in rodents similar to those observed in schizophrenia patients. PCP administration in healthy human subjects induces schizophrenia-like symptoms such as positive and negative symptoms, and a range of cognitive deficits. It has been reported that PCP, ketamine, and related drugs such as N-methyl-D-aspartate-type (NMDA) glutamate receptor antagonists, induce behavioral effects by blocking neurotransmission at NMDA receptors. Further, NMDA receptor antagonists reproduce specific aspects of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Neurochemical models based on the actions of PCP are well established, with increased focus on glutamatergic dysfunction as a basis for both symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. On the other hand, the endogenous NMDA receptor antagonist, kynurenic acid (KYNA), which is a product of tryptophan-kynurenine pathway (KP) metabolism, is involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis. KYNA concentrations are elevated in the prefrontal cortex and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with schizophrenia. KYNA elevation affects neurotransmitter release in a similar manner to that of psychotomimetic agents such as PCP, underscoring a molecular basis of its involvement in schizophrenia pathophysiology. This review will highlight the relationship between PCP and KP metabolites based on evidence that both exogenous and endogenous NMDA receptor antagonists are involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, and discuss our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying dysfunctional glutamatergic signaling as potential therapeutic targets for schizophrenia.

  • Disentangling the diverse roles of dopamine D2 receptors in striatal function and behavior
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-01
    Eduardo F. Gallo

    Dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) mediate many of the actions of dopamine in the striatum, ranging from movement to the effortful pursuit of reward. Yet despite significant advances in linking D2Rs to striatal functions with pharmacological and genetic strategies in animals, how dopamine orchestrates its myriad actions on different cell populations —each expressing D2Rs— remains unclear. Furthermore, brain imaging and genetic studies in humans have consistently associated striatal D2R alterations with various neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, but how and which D2Rs are involved in each case is poorly understood. Therefore, a critical first step is to engage in a refined and systematic investigation of the impact of D2R function on specific striatal cells, circuits, and behaviors. Here, I will review recent efforts, primarily in animal models, aimed at unlocking the complex and heterogeneous roles of D2Rs in striatum.

  • Hemisphere-dependent endocannabinoid system activity in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of the Flinders Sensitive Line rodent model of depression
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-02-01
    C. Kirkedal, B. Elfving, H.K. Müller, F.A. Moreira, L. Bindila, B. Lutz, G. Wegener, N. Liebenberg

    Altered endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling is suggested as an important contributor to the pathophysiology of depression. To further elucidate this, we conducted a study using a genetic rat model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), and their controls, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) rats. Plasma, right and left prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus were isolated from FSL and FRL rats. We analyzed each region for the eCB anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) levels by liquid chromatography/multiple reaction monitoring (LC/MRM), mRNA and protein levels of the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacyl glycerol lipase (MAGL) by real time qPCR and Western blotting. Content of 2-AG was lower in the left side of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in FSL rats compared to FRL rats. Inversely, levels of AEA were higher in right hippocampus than in left hippocampus. In plasma, AEA levels were increased and 2-AG decreased. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (Cnr1), Faah and Magl mRNA levels were prominently decreased in right prefrontal cortex of FSL rats as compared to FRL rats. Protein expression of CB1R and FAAH were decreased in left hippocampus. In summary, our data suggest a decreased eCB signalling in the FSL rats, which could contribute to the depressive-like behaviour. Interestingly, the altered eCB system activity appear to be hemisphere-specific in the limbic regions. Our study support the existing literature and showed altered eCB system activity in this particular animal model of depression.

  • Thalamostriatal projections and striosome-matrix compartments
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-30
    Fumino Fujiyama, Tomo Unzai, Fuyuki Karube

    The neostriatum has a mosaic organization consisting of striosome and matrix compartments. It receives glutamatergic excitatory afferents from the cerebral cortex and thalamus. Recent behavioral studies in rats revealed a selectively active medial prefronto-striosomal circuit during cost-benefit decision-making. However, clarifying the input/output organization of striatal compartments has been difficult because of its complex structure. We recently demonstrated that the source of thalamostriatal projections are highly organized in striatal compartments. This finding indicated that the functional properties of striatal compartments are influenced by their cortical and thalamic afferents, presumably with different time latencies. In addition, these afferents likely support the unique dynamics of striosome and matrix compartments. In this manuscript, we review the anatomy of basal ganglia networks with regard to striosome/matrix structure. We place specific focus on thalamostriatal projections at the population and single neuron level.

  • Local and systemic metabolic alterations in brain, plasma, and liver of rats in response to aging and ischemic stroke, as detected by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-30
    Umadevi V. Wesley, Vijesh J. Bhute, James F. Hatcher, Sean P. Palecek, Robert J. Dempsey

    Metabolic dysfunction impacts stroke incidence and outcome. However, the intricate association between altered metabolic program due to aging, and focal ischemia in brain, circulation, and peripheral organs is not completely elucidated. Here we identified locally and systemically altered metabolites in brain, liver, and plasma as a result of normal aging, ischemic-stroke, and extended time of reperfusion injury. Comprehensive quantitative metabolic profiling was carried out using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Aging, but healthy rats showed significant metabolic alterations in the brain, but only a few metabolic changes in the liver and plasma as compared to younger rats. But, ischemic stroke altered metabolites significantly in liver and plasma of older rats during early acute phase. Major metabolic changes were also seen in the brains of younger rats following ischemic stroke during early acute phase of injury. We further report that metabolic changes occur sequentially in a tissue specific manner during extended reperfusion time of late repair phase. First metabolic alterations occurred in brain due to local injury. Next, changes in circulating metabolites in plasma occurred during acute-repair phase transition time. Lastly, the delayed systemic effect was seen in the peripheral organ, liver that exhibited significant and persistent changes in selected metabolites during later reperfusion time. The metabolic pathways involved in energy/glucose, and amino acid metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress were mainly altered as a result of aging and ischemia/reperfusion. Biomarker analysis revealed citrate, lysine, and tyrosine as potential age-independent blood metabolic biomarkers of ischemia/reperfusion. Overall, our study elucidates the complex network of metabolic events as a function of normal aging and acute stroke. We further provide evidence for a clear transition from local to systemic metabolic dysfunction due to ischemic injury in a time dependent manner, which may altogether greatly impact the post-stroke outcome.

  • Novel compound VB-037 inhibits Aβ aggregation and promotes neurite outgrowth through enhancement of HSP27 and reduction of P38 and JNK-mediated inflammation in cell models for Alzheimer's disease
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-29
    Ya-Jen Chiu, Yu-Hsuan Hsieh, Te-Hsien Lin, Guan-Chiun Lee, Hsiu Mei Hsieh-Li, Ying-Chieh Sun, Chiung-Mei Chen, Kuo-Hsuan Chang, Guey-Jen Lee-Chen
  • Extracellular adenosine and slow-wave sleep are increased after ablation of nucleus accumbens core astrocytes and neurons in mice
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-25
    Xuzhao Zhou, Yo Oishi, Yoan Cherasse, Mustafa Korkutata, Shinya Fujii, Chia-Ying Lee, Michael Lazarus

    Sleep and wakefulness are controlled by a wide range of neuronal populations in the mammalian brain. Activation of adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR)-expressing neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core promotes slow-wave sleep (SWS). The neuronal mechanism by which activation of NAc A2AR neurons induces SWS, however, is unknown. We hypothesized that the ability of NAc activation to induce sleep is mediated by the classic somnogen adenosine, which can be formed by various processes in all types of cells. Here, to investigate whether astrocytes are involved in the ability of the NAc to regulate SWS, we ablated glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells in the NAc core of mice by virus-mediated expression of diphtheria toxin (DT) receptors and intraperitoneal administration of DT. Analysis of electroencephalogram and electromyogram recordings of DT-treated wild-type mice revealed that SWS was remarkably increased at 1 week after DT treatment, whereas sleep-wake behavior was unchanged in DT-treated A2AR knockout mice. Cell ablation was associated with an increased number of GFAP-positive cells and activation of microglia in the NAc. In-vivo microdialysis revealed significantly increased levels of extracellular adenosine in the NAc at 1 week after DT treatment. Our findings suggest that elevated adenosine levels in the NAc core promote SWS by acting on A2ARs and provide the first evidence that adenosine is an endogenous candidate for activating NAc A2AR neurons that have the ability to induce SWS.

  • Neurochemical impact of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist WAY-163909 on monoamine tissue content in the rat brain
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-24
    Abdeslam Chagraoui, Sara Whitestone, Lynn Baassiri, Julien Manem, Giuseppe Di Giovanni, Philippe De Deurwaerdère

    Serotonin2C receptor (5-HT2C) agonists are promising drugs for the treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases. However, their effect is not completely understood in part because they possibly affect several neurobiological networks simultaneously. We studied the effect of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist WAY-163909 (0.3 and 3 mg/kg; i.p.) on the tissue concentration of dopamine (DA), 5-HT and noradrenaline (NA) in 29 rat brain regions related to motor, cognitive, mood and vegetative networks. We found that WAY-163909, without altering the tissue concentration of NA, increased 5-HT concentrations in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and the motor cortex M2 at 3 mg/kg and decreased it in the dorsolateral orbitofrontal cortex at 0.3 mg/kg. WAY-163909 enhanced DA concentrations in the central nucleus of the amygdala at 0.3 mg/kg and reduced it in the dorsal hypothalamus at 3 mg/kg. Using correlative analysis of the tissue content of monoamines, WAY-163909 dramatically changed the profile and the pattern of the correlations within and between monoaminergic systems without drastically changing the total number of these correlations. The profile of these changes in correlations was dose-dependent as it was very different between the two doses within and among monoaminergic systems. In conclusion, the data indicated that the 5-HT2C receptor agonist WAY-163909 quantitatively alters monoamine content in very few regions but promotes multiple changes of monoaminergic connectivity in the brain.

  • Glutathione peroxidase-1 overexpressing transgenic mice are protected from cocaine-induced drug dependence
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-24
    Huynh Nhu Mai, Yoon Hee Chung, Eun-Joo Shin, Dae-Joong Kim, Naveen Sharma, Yu Jeung Lee, Ji Hoon Jeong, Seung-Yeol Nah, Choon-Gon Jang, Hyoung-Chun Kim
  • Therapeutic potential of PACAP in alcohol toxicity
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-22
    Dora Reglodi, Denes Toth, Viktoria Vicena, Sridharan Manavalan, Dwayne Brown, Bruk Getachew, Yousef Tizabi

    Alcohol addiction is a worldwide concern as its detrimental effects go far beyond the addicted individual and can affect the entire family as well as the community. Considerable effort is being expended in understanding the neurobiological basis of such addiction in hope of developing effective prevention and/or intervention strategies. In addition, organ damage and neurotoxicological effects of alcohol are intensely investigated. Pharmacological approaches, so far, have only provided partial success in prevention or treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD) including the neurotoxicological consequences of heavy drinking. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is an endogenous 38 amino-acid neuropeptide with demonstrated protection against neuronal injury, trauma as well as various endogenous and exogenous toxic agents including alcohol. In this mini-review, following a brief presentation of alcohol addiction and its neurotoxicity, the potential of PACAP as a therapeutic intervention in toxicological consequences of this devastating disorder is discussed.

  • Cdh1 overexpression improves emotion and cognitive-related behaviors via regulating hippocampal neuroplasticity in global cerebral ischemia rats
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-21
    Bo Zhang, Xuhui Chen, Youyou Lv, Xi Wu, Lingli Gui, Yue Zhang, Jin Qiu, Guizhi Song, Wenlong Yao, Li Wan, Chuanhan Zhang

    Post-stroke survivors exhibited cognitive deficits and performed emotional impairment. However, the effect of global cerebral ischemia on standard behavioral measures of emotionality and underlying mechanism remain largely unknown. Our previous work identified that down-regulation of Cdh1 contributed to ischemic neuronal death in rat, thus we hypothesized that Cdh1 exerts a role in emotionality after cerebral ischemia, and we investigated the effect of Cdh1 overexpression on neurogenic behaviors and possible mechanisms in transient global cerebral ischemia reperfusion (tGCI/R) rats. A series of behavioral tests were used to evaluate emotion and cognitive related behaviors, and molecular biological techniques were employed to investigate hippocampal neuroplasticity. The results showed that tGCI/R rats displayed anxiety- and depression-like behaviors and a certain degree of cognitive impairment, and these abnormal behaviors accompanied with a loss of hippocampal synapses and dendritic spines, disruption of dendrite arborization and decline in the level of GAP-43, synaptophysin, synapsin and PSD-95. However, Cdh1 overexpression improved negative emotionality, ameliorated cognitive deficits, rescued hippocampal synapses loss, prevented dendritic network disorganization, and increased the level of synaptic-associated proteins after tGCI/R. Taken together, these findings suggest that Cdh1 overexpression exerts a neuroprotective effect by regulating hippocampal neuroplasticity thus improving negative emotionality and cognitive deficits after tGCI/R.

  • Chronic methylphenidate preferentially alters catecholamine protein targets in the parietal cortex and ventral striatum
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-17
    Emmanuel Quansah, Tyra S.C. Zetterström

    The psychostimulant methylphenidate (MPH) is the primary drug treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. MPH is well known to acutely block the dopamine (DAT) and noradrenaline (NET) transporters. Its effect on additional catecholamine targets is however less known. This study was aimed at comparing the effects of acute (2 mg/kg, i.p.) and chronic (2 mg/kg twice daily for 2 weeks) MPH treatment to young rats on key catecholamine protein targets in brain regions implicated in the symptoms and treatment of ADHD. For this purpose, the density of DAT, NET, the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), the rate limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and the dopamine D1 receptor were measured in frontal (FC), parietal cortex (PCx) and the dorsal (DS) and ventral (VS) striatum. The data demonstrate that the effects of MPH depend on duration of treatment and brain region investigated. With the exception of DAT in the VS our results indicate that chronic but not acute administration of MPH increases levels of DAT, NET, TH, VMAT2 and D1. These effects were further more prominent in the VS over DS and in the PCx compared to the FC. In addition, chronic MPH enhanced DAT levels in the left DS but not in right side. To summarize, this study shows new evidence that chronic MPH to young rats preferentially alters catecholamine targets in PCx and VS over DS and FC. The effect of chronic MPH to increase levels of DAT, NET and VMAT2 suggests that the drug might long-term loose some of its acute action to increase extracellular levels of dopamine and noradrenaline. In conclusion, these findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of action by MPH in the treatment of ADHD and further suggest that the long-term effectiveness of the stimulant drug could be limited.

  • It takes two to tango: Dorsal direct and indirect pathways orchestration of motor learning and behavioral flexibility
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-16
    Patricia Bonnavion, Elisa Pozuelo Fernández, Christophe Varin, Alban de Kerchove d’Exaerde

    The striatum as the main entry nucleus of the basal ganglia is long known to be critical for motor control. It integrates information from multiple cortical areas, thalamic and midbrain nuclei to refine and control motion. By tackling this incredible variety of input signals, increasing evidences showed a pivotal role, particularly of the dorsal striatum, in executive functions. The complexity of the dorsal striatum (DS) in its compartmentalization and in the nature and origin of its afferent connections, makes it a critical hub controlling dynamics of motor learning and behavioral or cognitive flexibility. The present review summarizes findings from recent studies that utilize optogenetics with complementary technologies including electrophysiology, activity imaging and tracing methods in rodents to elucidate the functioning and role of discrete regions and specific pathways of the DS in behavioral flexibility, with an emphasis on the processes leading to initial action sequence or serial order learning and reversal learning.

  • Inhibition of miR-497 improves functional outcome after ischemic stroke by enhancing neuronal autophagy in young and aged rats
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-15
    Xudong Chen, Siyang Lin, Lei Gu, Xiaohong Zhu, Yinuo Zhang, Hongxia Zhang, Bei Shao, Qichuan Zhuge, Kunlin Jin

    Over the years miR-497 has been found to play a vital role in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases, including ischemic stroke. However, its underlying mechanism remains largely unexplored. Here, we used miR-497 agomir (miR-497 agonist), miR-497 antagomir (miR-497 inhibitor) and 3-MA (autophagy inhibitor) to treat ischemic rats (n = 10–12 per group) induced by permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAO), followed the functional outcome assessment 24 h after dMCAO. We found that treatment of miR-497 antagomir, but not miR-497 angomir, reduced the infarct volume and improved neurological deficits after ischemic stroke, along with upregulation of the autophagy-related protein LC3 expression (mean ± SEM,p < 0.05). While the ischemic rats treated with 3-MA exhibited inhibition of autophagy, which in turn abolished functional recovery as observed in miR-497 antagomir-treated group (p < 0.05). Interestingly, the role of miR-497 in functional recovery in aged ischemic rats was less effective, compared to young adult ischemic rats (p < 0.05). Our data suggest that inhibition of miR-497 could protect cerebral ischemic injury by enhancing autophagy and also age-dependent.

  • Age and sex differences in the pathophysiology of acute CNS injury
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-14
    TaeHee Kim, Bharath Chelluboina, Anil K. Chokkalla, Raghu Vemuganti

    Despite the immeasurable burden on patients and families, no effective therapies to protect the CNS after an acute injury are available yet. Furthermore, the underlying mechanisms that promote neuronal death and functional deficits after injury remain to be poorly understood. The prevalence, age of onset, pathophysiology, and symptomatology of many CNS insults differ significantly between males and females. In the case of stroke, younger males tend to show a higher risk than younger females, while this trend reverses with age. Accumulating evidence from preclinical studies have shown that sex hormones play a crucial role in providing neuroprotection following ischemic stroke and other acute CNS injuries. Estrogen, in particular, exerts a neuroprotective effect by modulating the immune responses after injury. In addition, there exists a sexual dimorphism in cell death pathways between males and females that are independent of hormones. Meanwhile, recent studies suggest that microRNAs are critically involved in the sex-specific mechanisms of cell death. This review discusses the current knowledge on the contribution of sex and age to outcome after stroke. Implication of the interplay between these two factors on other CNS injuries (spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury) from the experimental evidence were also discussed.

  • Significance of protein kinase C in the neuropsychotoxicity induced by methamphetamine-like psychostimulants
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-14
    Eun-Joo Shin, Duy-Khanh Dang, Young Gwang Hwang, Hai-Quyen Tran, Naveen Sharma, Ji Hoon Jeong, Choon-Gon Jang, Seung-Yeol Nah, Toshitaka Nabeshima, Yukio Yoneda, Jean Lud Cadet, Hyoung-Chun Kim

    The abuse of methamphetamine (MA), an amphetamine (AMPH)-type stimulant, has been demonstrated to be associated with various neuropsychotoxicity, including memory impairment, psychiatric morbidity, and dopaminergic toxicity. Compelling evidence from preclinical studies has indicated that protein kinase C (PKC), a large family of serine/threonine protein kinases, plays an important role in MA-induced neuropsychotoxicity. PKC-mediated N-terminal phosphorylation of dopamine transporter has been identified as one of the prerequisites for MA-induced synaptic dopamine release. Consistently, it has been shown that PKC is involved in MA (or AMPH)-induced memory impairment and mania-like behaviors as well as MA drug dependence. Direct or indirect regulation of factors related to neuronal plasticity seemed to be critical for these actions of PKC. In addition, PKC-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress or impaired antioxidant defense system has been suggested to play a role in psychiatric and cognitive disturbance induced by MA (or AMPH). In MA-induced dopaminergic toxicity, particularly PKCδ has been shown to trigger oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, pro-apoptotic changes, and neuroinflammation. Importantly, PKCδ may be a key mediator in the positive feedback loop composed of these detrimental events to potentiate MA-induced dopaminergic toxicity. This review outlines the role of PKC and its individual isozymes in MA-induced neuropsychotoxicity. Better understanding on the molecular mechanism of PKCs might provide a great insight for the development of potential therapeutic or preventive candidates for MA (or AMPH)-associated neuropsychotoxicity.

  • Sex-dependent effect on mitochondrial and oxidative stress parameters in the hypothalamus induced by prepubertal stress and access to high fat diet
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-11
    Ana Paula Toniazzo, Danusa Mar Arcego, Camilla Lazzaretti, Carina Mota, Carlos Eduardo Schnorr, Letícia Ferreira Pettenuzzo, Rachel Krolow, Jose Claudio Fonseca Moreira, Carla Dalmaz

    Objective Some factors related to lifestyle, including stress and high-fat diet (HFD) consumption, are associated with higher prevalence of obesity. These factors can lead to an imbalance between ROS production and antioxidant defenses and to mitochondrial dysfunctions, which, in turn, could cause metabolic impairments, favoring the development of obesity. However, little is known about the interplay between these factors, particularly at early ages, and whether long-term sex-specific changes may occur. Here, we evaluated whether social isolation during the prepubertal period only, associated or not with chronic HFD, can exert long-term effects on oxidative status parameters and on mitochondrial function in the whole hypothalamus, in a sex-specific manner. Methods Wistar male and female rats were divided into two groups (receiving standard chow or standard chow + HFD), that were subdivided into exposed or not to social isolation during the prepubertal period. Oxidative status parameters, and mitochondrial function were evaluated in the hypothalamus in the adult age. Results Regarding antioxidant enzymes activities, HFD decreased GPx activity in the hypothalamus, while increasing SOD activity in females. Females also presented increased total thiols; however, non-protein thiols were lower. Main effects of stress and HFD were observed in TBARS levels in males, with both factors decreasing this parameter. Additionally, HFD increased complex IV activity, and decreased mitochondrial mass in females. Complex I-III activity was higher in males compared to females. Conclusion Stress during the prepubertal period and chronic consumption of HFD had persistent sex-specific effects on oxidative status, as well as on its consequences for the cell and for mitochondrial function. HFD had more detrimental effects on females, inducing oxidative imbalance, which resulted in damage to the mitochondria. This HFD-induced imbalance may be related to the development of obesity.

  • The effects of zonisamide on L-DOPA–induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease model mice
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-11
    Hiromi Sano, Atsushi Nambu

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain and shows motor dysfunctions. Zonisamide (ZNS, 1,2-benzisoxazole-3-methanesulfonamide), which was originally developed as an antiepileptic drug, was also found to have beneficial effects on motor symptoms in PD. In the current study, we have investigated the behavioral and physiological effects of ZNS on L-DOPA–induced dyskinesia (LID) in PD model mice. Chronic administration of L-DOPA plus ZNS in PD model mice was shown to increase the duration and severity of LID compared with PD model mice that were treated with L-DOPA alone. To elucidate the neural mechanism of the effects of ZNS on LID, we examined neuronal activity in the output nuclei of the basal ganglia, i.e., the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr). Chronic administration of L-DOPA plus ZNS in PD mice decreased the firing rate in the SNr while they showed apparent LID. In addition, chronic treatment of L-DOPA plus ZNS in PD mice changed cortically evoked responses in the SNr during LID. In the control state, motor cortical stimulation induces the triphasic response composed of early excitation, inhibition, and late excitation. In contrast, L-DOPA plus ZNS–treated PD mice showed longer inhibition and reduced late excitation. Previous studies proposed that inhibition in the SNr is derived from the direct pathway and releases movements, and that late excitation is derived from the indirect pathway and stops movements. These changes of the direct and indirect pathways possibly underlie the effects of ZNS on LID.

  • Developmental differences in microglia morphology and gene expression during normal brain development and in response to hypoxia-ischemia
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-09
    Pelin Cengiz, Dila Zafer, Jayadevi H. Chandrashekhar, Vishal Chanana, Jacob Bogost, Alex Waldman, Becca Novak, Douglas B. Kintner, Peter A. Ferrazzano

    Background Neuroinflammation plays an important role in ischemic brain injury and recovery, however the interplay between brain development and the neuroinflammatory response is poorly understood. We previously described age-dependent differences in the microglial response and the effect of microglial inhibition. Here we investigate whether age-dependent microglial responses may be related to pre-injury developmental differences in microglial phenotype. Methods Measures of microglia morphology were quantified using semi-automated software analysis of immunostained sections from postnatal day 2 (P2), P9, P30 and P60 mice using IMARIS. Microglia were isolated from P2, P9, P30 and P60 mice, and expression of markers of classical and alternative microglial activation was assessed, as well as transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) receptor, Serpine1, Mer Tyrosine Kinase (MerTK), and the suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS3). Hypoxia-ischemia (HI) was induced in P9 and P30 mice using unilateral carotid artery ligation and exposure to 10% oxygen for 50 min. Microglia morphology and microglial expression of genes in the TGF-β and MerTK pathways were determined in ipsilateral and contralateral hippocampus. Results A progressive and significant increase in microglia branching morphology was seen in all brain regions from P2 to P30. No consistent classical or alternative activation profile was seen in isolated microglia. A clear transition to increased expression of TGF-β and its downstream effector serpine1 was seen between P9 and P30. A similar increase in expression was seen in MerTK and its downstream effector SOCS3. HI resulted in a significant decrease in branching morphology only in the P9 mice, and expression of TGF-β receptor, Serpine1, MerTK, and SOCS3 were elevated in P30 mice compared to P9 post-HI. Conclusion: Microglia maturation is associated with changes in morphology and gene expression, and microglial responses to ischemia in the developing brain differ based on the age at which injury occurs.

  • In vitro studies of the neuroprotective activities of astaxanthin and fucoxanthin against amyloid beta (Aβ1-42) toxicity and aggregation
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-09
    Mousa Alghazwi, Scott Smid, Ian Musgrave, Wei Zhang

    Amyloid beta (Aβ) can aggregate and form plaques, which are considered as one of the major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. This study aims to directly compare the neuroprotective activities in vitro of two marine-derived carotenoids astaxanthin and fucoxanthin that have shown a spectrum of biological activities, including neuroprotection. The in vitro neuroprotective activities were investigated against Aβ1-42-mediated toxicity in pheochromocytoma (PC-12) neuronal cells using the MTT cell viability assay, anti-apoptotic, antioxidant and neurite outgrowth activities; as well as inhibition against Aβ1-42 fibrillization in the Thioflavin T (ThT) assay of fibril kinetics and via transmission electron microscopic (TEM) evaluation of fibril morphology. The results demonstrated that both astaxanthin and fucoxanthin exhibited multi-neuroprotective effects favouring fucoxanthin over astaxanthin supporting neuroprotective roles of marine-derived carotenoids as potential novel dementia prevention or therapeutic strategies.

  • The histone H3 Lys 27 demethylase KDM6B promotes migration and invasion of glioma cells partly by regulating the expression of SNAI1
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-08
    Aixia Sui, Yongbing Xu, Junjie Yang, Baogen Pan, Jiang Wu, Tao Guo, Yongqing Shen, Xiaoqiang Guo

    The histone demethylase KDM6B, also known as jumonji domain-containing protein 3 (JMJD3), is an epigenetic regulator which plays important roles in immune activation, tissue regeneration, cellular senescence and cancer metastasis. But, the role of KDM6B in glioma metastasis is poorly understood. In this study, we achieved transcriptional regulation of KDM6B in glioma cells using CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) and CRISPR activation (CRISPRa). Our results showed that KDM6B promotes the proliferation, migration and invasion of human glioblastoma cells U87 and U251 using CCK8, scratch and transwell assays. Further results indicated that KDM6B increases the expression of SNAI1, a key factor of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). KDM6B catalyzes the demethylation of histone H3 Lys 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in the promoter of SNAI1, which is important for SNAI1 upregulation. Taken together, these findings provide new insight into the mechanism by which KDM6B promotes glioma metastasis.

  • Long-term application of cannabinoids leads to dissociation between changes in cAMP and modulation of GABAA receptors of mouse trigeminal sensory neurons
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-08
    Laura Celotto, Francesca Eroli, Andrea Nistri, Sandra Vilotti

    Antinociception caused by cannabinoids may have a partial peripheral origin in addition to its central site of action. In fact, we have observed that anandamide selectively and reversibly inhibits GABAA receptors of putative nociceptive neurons of mouse trigeminal sensory ganglia via CB1 receptor activation to inhibit adenylyl cyclase and decrease cAMP with downstream posttranslational alterations. Since cannabinoids are often used chronically, we studied changes in cAMP levels and GABA-mediated currents of trigeminal neurons following 24 h application of anandamide (0.5 μM) or the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 (5 μM). With this protocol GABA responses were similar to control despite persistent fall in cAMP levels. Inhibition by WIN 55,212-2 of GABA effects recovered after 30 min washout and was not associated with changes in CB1 receptor expression, indicating lack of CB1 receptor inactivation and transient loss of negative coupling between CB1 receptors and GABAA receptors. The phosphodiesterase inhibitor rolipram (100 μM; 24 h) enhanced cAMP levels and GABA-mediated currents, suggesting GABAA receptors were sensitive to persistent upregulation via cAMP. While the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin (1–20 μM) facilitated cAMP levels and GABA currents following 30 min application, this action was lost after 24 h in line with the drug limited lifespan. The PKA inhibitor PKI 14–22 (10 μM) increased cAMP without changing GABA currents. These data indicate that modulation of GABAA receptors by intracellular cAMP could be lost following persistent application of cannabinoids. Thus, these observations provide an insight into the waning antinociceptive effects of these compounds.

  • L-NBP, a multiple growth factor activator, attenuates ischemic neuronal impairments possibly through promoting neuritogenesis
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-07
    Yuming Zhao, Dongmei Liu, Jiang Li, XiaoJie Zhang, Xiaoliang Wang

    In China, L-3-n-butylphthalide (L-NBP) showed promising pharmacological actions in stroke treatment. Analyzing the characteristics of L-NBP might provide valuable hints for new drug design. The current study is aimed to determine the effects of L-NBP on neuritogenesis and further to elucidate the neuronal protection against stroke impairment in vitro. L-NBP was applied to rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells and cultured rat cortical neurons under the normoxic condition and the oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) insults, respectively. Immunofluorescence staining, western blot analysis, Sholl analysis, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay, 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) reduction assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were performed. L-NBP could concentration-dependently stimulate the development of growth cones, enhance the neuritic branches and synapse formation. It indicated that L-NBP possibly promoted the neuritogenic activity in a stage-dependent manner. Further research proved that L-NBP could promptly activate epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor, up-regulate the expressions of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and E−26-like protein 1 (ELK-1). In addition, L-NBP enhanced the sustained expressions of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF). The inhibition to the receptors of EGF, NGF,BDNF could attenuate L-NBP induced neuritogenic and neuronal survival after the OGD/R toxicity. Basing on these investigations, we concluded that L-NBP might reconstruct the impaired neuronal network and improved the neuronal complexity after the ischemic insults through multiple pathways which at least were via the activations of EGF receptor, BDNF and NGF related signals.

  • Methamphetamine use causes cognitive impairment and altered decision-making
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-03
    Hiroyuki Mizoguchi, Kiyofumi Yamada

    Methamphetamine is a widely abused psychostimulant. It reverses transport through the dopamine transporter, thereby increasing the extracellular level of dopamine in the brain, which is associated with the rewarding effect. Repeated intake of methamphetamine leads to drug addiction, a chronically relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug taking, inability to limit intake, and intense drug cravings. The molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug addiction are not well understood, but have been proposed to involve neural plasticity and the remodeling of specific brain circuits. Accumulating evidence also indicates that patients addicted to methamphetamine exhibit impaired cognitive functions such as executive function, attention, social cognition, flexibility, and working memory. Furthermore, decision-making is altered in patients with drug addiction, including methamphetamine abusers. Cognitive impairment as well as altered decision-making in methamphetamine abusers may contribute to the high rate of relapse even after long-term withdrawal with psychosocial support. In this article, we review the effect of methamphetamine on cognition and decision-making in rodents. We also discuss possible mechanisms underlying cognition and decision-making impairments, including neuronal circuits, molecular and cellular events, and action control, as well as potential therapeutic targets.

  • Mechanisms of action of paraoxon, an organophosphorus pesticide, on in vivo dopamine release in conscious and freely moving rats
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-03
    Miguel Alfonso, Rafael Durán, Daniel Fajardo, Lorenzo Justo, Lilian R.Ferreira Faro

    Paraoxon is the active metabolite of parathion, an organophosphorus pesticide which can cause neurotoxic effects in animals and humans. In the present work, we investigated the effects of 5 mM paraoxon on striatal dopamine, DOPAC and HVA levels in conscious and freely moving rats, after treatment with TTX, reserpine, nomifensine, KCl, Ca++-free/EDTA medium, AP-5 or L-NAME. The intrastriatal administration of paraoxon for 60 min, through the microdialysis probe, significantly produced an increase of the dopamine to 1066 ± 120%, relative to basal levels. Administration of paraoxon to 20 μM TTX, 10 mg/kg reserpine or Ca++-free/EDTA medium-pretreated animals decreased the dopamine levels to 73%, 81%, and 70%, respectively, when compared with the effect of 5 mM paraoxon. Infusion of 50 μM nomifensine induced a maximal increase in extracellular dopamine levels to 1435 ± 387%, and when nomifensine was coadministered with paraoxon, striatal dopamine levels increased to 2429 ± 417%, an increase that was ∼230% higher that observed with the administration of the pesticide alone. Coinfusion of KCl and paraoxon produced an increase in extracellular dopamine to 1957 ± 445%, that was significantly higher than that observed with POX or KCl (1104 ± 220%) administered individually. Pretreatment with 650 μM AP-5 or 100 L-NAME reduced the effect of paraoxon on extracellular dopamine levels by 49.1% and 53.7%, respectively. Our results suggest that paraoxon induces dopamine release by a vesicular-, Ca++-, and deporalization-dependent mechanism, being independent of dopamine transporter. In addition, the paraoxon-induced dopamine release is mediated by glutamatergic and nitrergic neurotransmitter systems.

  • Valproic acid attenuates global cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in gerbils via anti-pyroptosis pathways
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2019-01-03
    Shu Zhu, Zhe Zhang, Lian-qun Jia, Kai-xuan Zhan, Li-jun Wang, Nan Song, Yue Liu, Le Guan, Dong-yu Min, Guan-lin Yang

    Ischemic stroke is the third most common cause of death and the leading cause of disability worldwide in adults. The antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA) was reported to protect cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the action mechanism of VPA in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury has not been fully understood. We explored the action mechanism of VPA in vivo and in vitro. Gerbils were subjected to transient global cerebral ischemic–reperfusion injury, and hippocampal neuron injury was treated with oxygen-glucose deprivation in vitro. Morris water maze test was performed to evaluate the cognitive dysfunction. Histopathological examinations and western blot were performed to evaluate the pyroptosis of neurons. The results showed that VPA attenuated the cognitive dysfunction, pyroptosis of the gerbils suffer from ischemic–reperfusion injury and decreased hippocampal neurons pyroptosis induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation in vitro. In addition, western blot and real-time PCR analysis revealed that VPA modulated the protein expression of apoptosis repressor with caspase recruitment domain (ARC), caspase-1 and IL-1β/IL-18. Our results suggested that VPA alleviated ischemic/reperfusion injury-mediated neuronal impairment by anti-pyroptotic effects.

  • Impaired capacity to restore proteostasis in the aged brain after ischemia: Implications for translational brain ischemia research
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-29
    Zhuoran Wang, Wei Yang

    Brain ischemia induced by cardiac arrest or ischemic stroke is a severe form of metabolic stress that substantially disrupts cellular homeostasis, especially protein homeostasis (proteostasis). As proteostasis is fundamental for cellular and organismal health, cells have developed a complex network to restore proteostasis impaired by stress. Many components of this network – including ubiquitination, small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugation, autophagy, and the unfolded protein response (UPR) – are activated in the post-ischemic brain, and play a crucial role in cell survival and recovery of neurologic function. Importantly, recent studies have shown that ischemia-induced activation of these proteostasis-related pathways in the aged brain is impaired, indicating an aging-related decline in the self-healing capacity of the brain. This impaired capacity is a significant factor for consideration in the field of brain ischemia because the vast majority of cardiac arrest and stroke patients are elderly. In this review, we focus on the effects of aging on these critical proteostasis-related pathways in the brain, and discuss their implications in translational brain ischemia research.

  • P53 knockout mice are protected from cocaine-induced kindling behaviors via inhibiting mitochondrial oxidative burdens, mitochondrial dysfunction, and proapoptotic changes
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-29
    Huynh Nhu Mai, Naveen Sharma, Ji Hoon Jeong, Eun-Joo Shin, Pham Duc Toan, Trinh Quynh-Dieu, Yu Jeung Lee, Choon-Gon Jang, Seung-Yeol Nah, Guoying Bing, Hyoung-Chun Kim

    Previously we demonstrated that p53 mediates dopaminergic neurotoxicity via inducing mitochondrial burdens and proapoptotsis. However, little is known about the role of p53 in the excitotoxicity induced by psychostimulant, such as cocaine. Cocaine-induced kindling (convulsive) behaviors significantly increased p53 expression in the brain. Cocaine-induced p53 expression was more pronounced in hippocampus than in striatum or prefrontal cortex. Genetic depletion of p53 significantly attenuated cocaine-induced convulsive behaviors, followed by c-Fos immunoreactivity, and oxidative burdens in the hippocampus of mice. The antioxidant potentials mediated by genetic depletion of p53 were more pronounced in the mitochondrial-than cytosolic-fraction. Depletion of p53 significantly attenuated the changes in mitochondrial transmembrane potential, intramitochondrial Ca2+ level, and mitochondrial oxidative burdens induced by cocaine. Consistently, depletion of p53 significantly inhibited mitochondrial p53 translocation, and cleaved-PKCδ induced by cocaine. In addition, depletion of p53 protected from cytosolic cytochrome c release, and pro-apoptotic changes induced by cocaine. Importantly, the protective/anticonvulsant potentials by genetic depletion of p53 were comparable to those by pifithrin-μ (PFT), a p53 inhibitor. Our results suggest that depletion of p53 offers anticonvulsive and neuroprotective potentials mainly via attenuating mitochondrial oxidative burdens, mitochondrial dysfunction, and pro-apoptotic signalings against cocaine-induced convulsive neurotoxicity.

  • Potential effects and molecular mechanisms of melatonin on the dopaminergic neuronal differentiation of human amniotic fluid mesenchymal stem cells
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-26
    Ruchee Phonchai, Tassanee Phermthai, Narisorn Kitiyanant, Wilasinee Suwanjang, Naiphinich Kotchabhakdi, Banthit Chetsawang

    Melatonin, a highly lipophilic molecule secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, plays a role in various biological functions. Previous studies reported that melatonin exerts its effect on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) survival and differentiation into osteogenic- and adipogenic-lineage. However, the effect of melatonin in neurogenic differentiation in amniotic fluid (AF)-MSCs remains to be explored, thus we investigated the potential role of melatonin on dopaminergic neuron differentiation in AF-MSCs. The results showed that various concentrations of melatonin did not affect cell viability and proliferative effects of AF-MSCs. Increases in the levels of neuronal protein marker (βIII-tubulin) and dopaminergic neuronal markers (tyrosine hydroxylase, TH and NURR1), but decrease in the level of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), were observed in melatonin-treated AF-MSCs. Melatonin induced alteration in differential expression patterns of mesenchymal stem cell antigens by reducing CD29, CD45, CD73, CD90 and CD105, but no changing CD34 expressing cells. AF-MSCs were sequentially induced in neurobasal medium containing standard inducing cocktails (ST: bFGF, SHH, FGF8, BDNF), 1 μM melatonin, or a combination of ST and melatonin. The levels of TUJ1, TH, MAP2, NURR1 and dopamine transporter (DAT) were significantly increased in all treated groups when compared with control-untreated cells. Pretreated AF-MSCs with non-selective MT1/MT2 receptors antagonist, luzindole and selective MT2 receptor antagonist, 4-P-PDOT diminished melatonin-induced increase in dopaminergic neuronal markers and phosphorylated ERK but did not diminish increase in phosphorylated CaMKII by melatonin. Pretreatment with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) inhibitor, PD98059 and CaMKII inhibitor, KN-93 were able to abolish increase in the levels of dopaminergic markers in melatonin-treated AF-MSCs. These findings suggest that melatonin promotes dopaminergic neuronal differentiation of AF-MSCs possibly via the induction in ERK and CaMKII pathways through melatonin receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms, respectively.

  • Sildenafil treatment of vascular dementia in aged rats
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-25
    Poornima Venkat, Michael Chopp, Alex Zacharek, Chengcheng Cui, Julie Landschoot-Ward, Yu Qian, Zhili Chen, Jieli Chen

    Background and purpose: In this study, we employed a multiple microinfarction (MMI) based vascular dementia (VaD) model in aged rats and tested the therapeutic effects of Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, on cognitive decline, white matter damage, autophagy and inflammatory response associated with VaD. Methods Male, aged (16–18 months) Wistar rats were subjected to MMI (800 ± 100, 70–100 μm cholesterol crystals injected into the internal carotid artery) and treated with or without Sildenafil (2 mg/kg, i.p) starting at 24 h after MMI daily for 28 days. Four experimental groups were employed: Sham control, Sham + Sildenafil, MMI, and MMI + Sildenafil. A battery of cognitive tests were performed and rats were sacrificed at 28 days after MMI for immunohistochemical evaluation and PCR assay. Results Sildenafil treatment in aged MMI rats significantly improves short term memory evaluated by the novel object recognition test and improves spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze test compared to aged control MMI rats. Sildenafil treatment of aged MMI rats significantly increases axon and myelin density in the corpus callosum and white matter bundles in the striatum, increases oligodendrocyte and oligodendrocyte progenitor cell number in the corpus callosum, cortex and striatum, and increases synaptic protein expression in the cortex and striatum compared to aged control MMI rats. In addition, Sildenafil treatment of MMI in aged rats significantly decreases Beclin1 expression and inflammatory factors Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and Interleukin-1β expression in brain. Sildenafil treatment in aged rats does not improve cognitive outcome compared to aged sham control rats. Conclusions Sildenafil treatment of MMI in aged rats significantly improves cognition and memory at 1 month after MMI. Sildenafil treatment increases axon and myelin density, increases Synaptophysin expression, decreases autophagic activity and exerts anti-inflammatory effects which in concert may contribute to cognitive improvement in aged rats subjected to MMI.

  • Myeloid cell IRF4 signaling protects neonatal brains from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-23
    Abdullah Al Mamun, Haifu Yu, Mehwish A. Mirza, Sharmeen Romana, Louise D. McCullough, Fudong Liu

    Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), a transcription factor recognized as a key regulator of lymphoid and myeloid cell differentiation, has recently been recognized as a critical mediator of macrophage activation. Previously we have reported that IRF4 signaling is closely correlated with anti-inflammatory polarization of microglia in adult mice after stroke. However, IRF4's role in the inflammatory response in the immature brain is unknown. Using a model of neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) we investigated the regulatory action of IRF4 signaling in the activation of microglia and monocytes after HIE. IRF4 myeloid cell conditional knockout (CKO) postnatal day 10 (P10) male pups were subjected to a 60-min hypoxic-ischemic insult by the Rice-Vanucci model (RVM). IRF4 gene floxed mice (IRF4fl/fl) were used as controls. Brain atrophy and behavioral deficits were measured 7 days after HIE. Flow cytometry (FC) was performed to examine central (microglial activation) and peripheral immune cell responses by both cell membrane and intracellular marker staining. Serum levels of cytokines were determined by ELISA. The results showed that IRF4 CKO pups had increased tissue loss and worse behavioral deficits than IRF4fl/fl mice seven days after HIE. FC demonstrated significantly more infiltration of monocytes and neutrophils in the ischemic brains of IRF4 CKO vs IRF4fl/fl pups. IRF4 CKO ischemic microglia were more pro-inflammatory as evidenced by higher expression of the pro-inflammatory marker CD68, and increased intracellular TNFα and IL-1β levels compared to controls. In addition, IRF4 deletion from myeloid cells resulted in increased levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines and higher endothelial MMP9 expression after HIE. These data indicate that IRF4 signaling in myeloid cells plays a regulatory role in neuroinflammation and that deletion of myeloid IRF4 is detrimental to HIE injury, suggesting that IRF4 could serve as a potential therapeutic target for neonatal ischemic brain injury.

  • Chitinase-3-like protein 1 may be a potential biomarker in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-22
    Hua Zhang, Jia-ze Tan, Jing Luo, Wei Wang

    The mechanisms of the pathogenesis of epilepsy remain unclear. Recent research shows that the inflammatory process occurring in the brain may be a common and critical mechanism of seizures. Chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1 or YKL-40) is a newly discovered inflammatory factor. We aimed to evaluate the role of YKL-40 as a biomarker for epilepsy. 124 subjects were classified as control group (n = 23), new-diagnosis epilepsy group (NDE, n = 34), drug responsive epilepsy group (DPE, n = 37), and drug-resistant epilepsy group (DRE, n = 30) YKL-40 was measured by ELISA in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The concentrations of serum and CSF YKL-40 and its diagnostic accuracy for epilepsy were analysed. Patients with DRE had higher concentrations of YKL-40 in serum and CSF, while patients with NDE and DPE had increased YKL-40 levels in CSF but not serum in comparison with control. Moreover, serum and CSF YKL-40 provide high diagnostic accuracy for DRE. YKL-40 may play a possible pathogenic role in epilepsy. YKL-40 may represent a potential biomarker of brain inflammation in patients with DRE.

  • Anti-neurofascin autoantibody and demyelination
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-22
    Jun-ichi Kira, Ryo Yamasaki, Hidenori Ogata

    Demyelination diseases involving the central and peripheral nervous systems are etiologically heterogeneous with both cell-mediated and humoral immunities playing pathogenic roles. Recently, autoantibodies against nodal and paranodal proteins, such as neurofascin186 (NF186), neurofascin155 (NF155), contactin-1 (CNTN1), contactin-associated protein 1 (CASPR1) and gliomedin, have been discovered in not only chronic demyelinating conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy, but also in acute demyelinating conditions, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Only a minority of these patients harbor anti-nodal/paranodal protein antibodies; however, these autoantibodies, especially IgG4 subclass autoantibodies to paranodal proteins, are associated with unique features and these conditions are collectively termed nodopathy or paranodopathy. Establishing a concept of IgG4-related nodopathy/paranodopathy contributes to diagnosis and treatment strategy because IgG4 autoantibody-related neurological diseases are often refractory to conventional immunotherapies. IgG4 does not fix complements, or internalize the target antigens, because IgG4 exists in a monovalent bispecific form in vivo. IgG4 autoantibodies can bock protein-protein interaction. Thus, the primary role of IgG4 anti-paranodal protein antibodies may be blockade of interactions between NF155 and CNTN1/CASPR1, leading to conduction failure, which is consistent with the sural nerve pathology presenting paranodal terminal loop detachment from axons with intact internodes in the absence of inflammation. However, it still remains to be elucidated how these autoantibodies belonging to the same IgG4 subclass can cause each IgG4 autoantibody-specific manifestation. Another important issue is to clarify the mechanism by which IgG4 antibodies to nodal/paranodal proteins emerge. IgG4 antibodies develop on chronic antigenic stimulation and can block antibodies that alleviate allergic inflammation by interfering with the binding of allergen-specific IgE to allergens. Thus, environmental antigens cross-reacting with nodal and paranodal proteins may warrant future study.

  • Quantitative iTRAQ-based proteomic analysis of piperine protected cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rat brain
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-21
    Yichun Zou, Pian Gong, Wenyuan Zhao, Jianjian Zhang, Xiaolin Wu, Can Xin, Zhongwei Xiong, Zhengwei Li, Xiaohui Wu, Qi Wan, Xiang Li, Jincao Chen

    Piperine is the key bioactive factor in black pepper, and has been reported to alleviate cerebral ischemic injury. However, the mechanisms underlying its neuroprotective effects following cerebral ischemia remain unclear. In this study, rats were administered vehicle (dimethyl sulfoxide) or piperine, 20 mg/kg, daily for 14 days before focal cerebral artery occlusion. After occlusion for 2 h followed by reperfusion for 24 h. Histological examinations were used to assess whether piperine has a neuroprotective effect in the rat model of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. The levels of proteins in the ischemic penumbra were evaluated by isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation-based proteomics. A total of 3687 proteins were identified, including 23 proteins that were highly significantly differentially expressed between the control and piperine groups. The proteomic findings were verified by immunofluorescence and western blot analysis. Interestingly, piperine administration downregulated a number of critical factors in the complement and coagulation cascades, including complement component 3, fibrinogen gamma chain, alpha-2-macroglobulin, and serpin family A member 1. Collectively, our findings suggest that the neuroprotective effects of piperine following cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury are related to the regulation of the complement and coagulation cascades.

  • TDP-43 levels are higher in platelets from patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis than in healthy controls
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-20
    Miki Hishizawa, Hirofumi Yamashita, Mayumi Akizuki, Makoto Urushitani, Ryosuke Takahashi

    TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a major pathological protein of ubiquitinated inclusions in motor neurons of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). TDP-43 is ubiquitously expressed and the majority of TDP-43 is normally localized to the nucleus. In motor neurons of patients with ALS, TDP-43 is not localized in the nucleus, relocates to the cytoplasm, and accumulates as cytoplasmic inclusions. Based on recent reports that TDP-43 is increased in the cytoplasmic fraction of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in sporadic ALS, and several studies on platelet dysfunction in ALS patients, we investigated the TDP-43 levels in platelets from patients with sporadic ALS. We measured TDP-43 levels with a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in platelets separated from whole blood, and compared the TDP-43 level in platelets from sporadic ALS (n = 19) patients with platelets from non-ALS controls (n = 21). The TDP-43 concentration in platelets was significantly higher in patients with ALS compared to age-matched controls. According to sub-analysis, the TDP-43 concentration in platelets tended to increase in ALS patients with longer disease duration, as well as with lower score on the ALS Functional Rating Scale Revised (ALSFRS-R), though the differences were not statistically significant. These results suggest that ALS also affects platelets in addition to motor neurons.

  • NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin decreases mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis in the ventral cochlear nucleus of D-galactose-induced aging model in rats
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-20
    Zheng-De Du, Shukui Yu, Yue Qi, Teng-Fei Qu, Lu He, Wei Wei, Ke Liu, Shu-Sheng Gong

    Presbycusis has become a common sensory deficit in humans. Oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA and mitochondrial dysfunction is strongly associated with the aging of the auditory system. A previous study established a mimetic rat model of aging using D-galactose (D-gal) and first reported that NADPH oxidase-dependent mitochondrial oxidative damage and apoptosis in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) might contribute to D-gal-induced central presbycusis. In this study, we investigated the effects of apocynin, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor, on mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in the VCN of D-gal-induced aging model in rats. Our data showed that apocynin decreased NADPH oxidase activity, H2O2 levels, mitochondrial DNA common deletion, and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) expression and increased total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in the VCN of D-gal-induced aging model in rats. Moreover, apocynin also decreased the protein levels of phospho-p47phox (p-p47phox), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), and uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in the VCN of D-gal-induced aging model in rats. Meanwhile, apocynin alleviated mitochondrial ultrastructure damage and enhanced ATP production and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) levels in the VCN of D-gal-induced aging model in rats. Furthermore, apocynin inhibited cytochrome c (Cyt c) translocation from mitochondria to the cytoplasm and suppressed caspase 3-dependent apoptosis in the VCN of D-gal-induced aging model in rats. Consequently, our findings suggest that neuronal survival promoted by an NADPH oxidase inhibitor is a potentially effective method to enhance the resistance of neurons to central presbycusis.

  • Comparison of spontaneous and mechanically-stimulated adenosine release in mice
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-20
    Ying Wang, B. Jill Venton

    Rapid adenosine signaling, on the time frame of seconds, has been discovered in the brain that can modulate neurotransmission or blood flow. Rapid adenosine release can occur spontaneously or be evoked after a mechanical stimulation, but these two modes of adenosine have not been compared. Here, we compared spontaneous and mechanically-stimulated adenosine release in the prefrontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus of anesthetized mice. For spontaneous adenosine, the number of adenosine events in the prefrontal cortex (40 ± 4 per hour) was significantly lower than in the striatum (54 ± 3) or hippocampus (56 ± 3). Similarly, the concentration per transient was lower in the prefrontal cortex but highest in the striatum. For mechanically-stimulated adenosine, the peak concentration in the prefrontal cortex (8 ± 2 μM) and striatum (8 ± 1 μM) were significantly lower than in the hippocampus (16 ± 2 μM). Comparing the two modes, the hippocampus had high mechanically-stimulated concentration and high spontaneous frequency, while the prefrontal cortex had lower spontaneous frequency and mechanically-stimulated release. However, there is no pattern with the striatum and thus no direct correlations between spontaneous and mechanically-stimulated adenosine. Thus, there may be different pools of adenosine or mechanisms of formation for these two modes. Because of the high frequency of spontaneous events and high concentration of mechanically-stimulated release in the hippocampus, there may be some areas that have stronger adenosine signaling and thus stronger neuromodulatory control by adenosine.

  • The Brain in Flux: Genetic, Physiologic, and Therapeutic Perspectives on Transporters in the CNS
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-17
    Randy D. Blakely, Salah El Mestikawy, Michael B. Robinson

    The brain has specific properties that make it uniquely dependent upon transporters. This is the 3rd edition of a biennial special issue that originates from a scientific meeting devoted to studies of transporters and their relationship to brain function and to neurodevelopmental, neurologic, and psychiatric disorders. The field continues to rapidly evolve with advances in studies of structure that inform mechanism, with genetic analyses in humans revealing surprising aspects of biology, and with integrated cellular to whole animal analyses of the role of transporters in their control of physiology and pathophysiology. This special issue includes a sampling of review articles that address timely questions of the field followed by several primary research articles.

  • A novel synthetic cathinone, α-pyrrolidinopentiothiophenone (PVT), produces locomotor sensitization in rat: Implications for GSK3β connections in the nucleus accumbens core
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-18
    Hyung Shin Yoon, Min Jeong Ku, Wen Ting Cai, Jeong-Hoon Kim

    A novel psychoactive substance, α-pyrrolidinopentiothiophenone (α-PVT), is a structural analog to amphetamine. Recently, it has been shown that α-PVT has an abuse potential similar to psychomotor stimulants like cocaine or amphetamine. However, it has not been performed yet to determine whether α-PVT develops behavioral sensitization, a well-known phenomenon for psychomotor stimulants. In the present study, rats were first pre-exposed to either saline or α-PVT (20 mg/kg, IP) with a total of four injections in every 2–3 days of interval. Then, 2-weeks after withdrawal, locomotor activity was measured with a challenge dose (10 mg/kg, IP) of α-PVT and the nucleus accumbens core region was taken out. Similar to psychomotor stimulants, repeated administration of α-PVT produced locomotor sensitization. Further, the phosphorylation levels of GSK3β in the nucleus accumbens core were found to be decreased only in rats with sensitization developed, but not in those with acute or non-sensitized. Correlation analysis revealed that the phosphorylation levels of GSK3β have a strong negative correlation with locomotor activity only in rats with α-PVT pre-exposed, but not in those with its acute injection. These results suggest that a certain level of change in the phosphorylation levels of GSK3β in the nucleus accumbens core may involve in mediating the expression of locomotor sensitization by repeated injection of α-PVT in rats.

  • Nicotine protects against manganese and iron-induced toxicity in SH-SY5Y cells: Implication for Parkinson's disease
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-14
    Bruk Getachew, Antonei B. Csoka, Michael Aschner, Yousef Tizabi

    Manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) are trace elements that are essential for proper growth and physiological functions as both play critical role in a variety of enzymatic reactions. At high concentrations, however, they can be toxic and cause neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Parkinson-like syndromes. Nicotine, on the other hand, has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against various endogenous or exogenous toxins that selectively damage the dopaminergic cells. These cells include neuroblastoma-derived SH-SY5Y cells which express significant dopaminergic activity. However, practically no information on possible neuroprotective effects of nicotine against toxicity induced by trace elements is available. Therefore, in this study we investigated the effects of nicotine on toxicity induced by manganese or iron in these cells. Exposure of SH-SY5Y cells for 24 h to manganese (20 μM) or iron (20 μM) resulted in approximately 30% and 35% toxicity, respectively. Pretreatment with nicotine (1 μM) completely blocked the toxicities of Mn and Fe. The effects of nicotine, in turn, were blocked by selective nicotinic receptor antagonists. Thus, dihydro-beta erythroidine (DHBE), a selective alpha 4-beta 2 subtype antagonist and methyllycaconitine (MLA), a selective alpha7 antagonist, as well as mecamylamine, a non-selective nicotinic antagonist all dose-dependently blocked the protective effects of nicotine against both Mn and Fe. These findings provide further support for the potential utility of nicotine or nicotinic agonists in Parkinson's disease-like neurodegenerative disorders, including those that might be precipitated by trace elements, such as Fe and Mn. Moreover, both alpha4-beta2 and alpha7 nicotinic receptor subtypes appear to mediate the neuroprotective effects of nicotine against toxicity induced by these two trace metals.

  • Expression of immediate early genes in brain reward circuitries: Differential regulation by psychostimulant and opioid drugs
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-14
    Veronica Bisagno, Jean Lud Cadet

    Although some of the clinical manifestations of substance use disorders might be superficially similar, it is highly likely that different classes of abused drugs including opioids (heroin, morphine, and oxycodone, other opioids) and psychostimulants (cocaine and amphetamines) cause different neuroadaptations in various brain regions dependent in the distribution and concentration of their biochemical sites of actions. In fact, different molecular networks are indeed impacted by acute and chronic administration of addictive substances. Some of the genes whose expression is influenced by the administration of these substances are immediate-early genes (IEGs). IEGs include classes of low expression genes that can become very highly induced within seconds or minutes of activation by endogenous or exogenous stimuli. These IEGs might play important roles in activating target genes that regulate adaptations implicated in the behavioral manifestations diagnosed as addiction. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide an overview of recent data on the effects of psychostimulants and opioids on IEG expression in the brain. The review documents some contrasting effects of these classes of drugs on gene expression and indicates that further studies are necessary to identify the specific effects of each drug class when trying to predict clinical responses to therapeutic agents.

  • Involvement of catecholaminergic and GABAAergic mediations in the anxiety-related behavior in long-term powdered diet-fed mice
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-07
    Fukie Yaoita, Masahiro Tsuchiya, Yuichiro Arai, Takeshi Tadano, Koichi Tan-No

    Dietary habits are important factors which affect metabolic homeostasis and the development of emotion. We have previously shown that long-term powdered diet feeding in mice increases spontaneous locomotor activity and social interaction (SI) time. Moreover, that diet causes changes in the dopaminergic system, especially increased dopamine turnover and decreased dopamine D4 receptor signals in the frontal cortex. Although the increased SI time indicates low anxiety, the elevated plus maze (EPM) test shows anxiety-related behavior and impulsive behavior. In this study, we investigated whether the powdered diet feeding causes changes in anxiety-related behavior. Mice fed a powdered diet for 17 weeks from weaning were compared with mice fed a standard diet (control). The percentage (%) of open arm time and total number of arm entries were increased in powdered diet-fed mice in the EPM test. We also examined the effects of diazepam, benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drug, bicuculline, GABA-A receptor antagonist, methylphenidate, dopamine transporter (DAT) and noradrenaline transporter (NAT) inhibitor, atomoxetine, selective NAT inhibitor, GBR12909, selective DAT inhibitor, and PD168077, selective dopamine D4 receptor agonist, on the changes of the EPM in powdered diet-fed mice. Methylphenidate and atomoxetine are clinically used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. The % of open arm time in powdered diet-fed mice was decreased by treatments of atomoxetine, methylphenidate and PD168077. Diazepam increased the % of open arm time in control diet-fed mice, but not in powdered diet-fed mice. The powdered diet feeding induced a decrease in GABA transaminase, GABA metabolic enzymes, in the frontal cortex. Moreover, the powdered diet feeding induced an increase in NAT expression, but not DAT expression, in the frontal cortex. These results suggest that the long-term powdered diet feeding may cause low anxiety or impulsivity, possibly via noradrenergic and/or dopaminergic, and GABAAergic mediations and increase the risk for onset of ADHD-like behaviors.

  • Neuronal SNARE complex: A protein folding system with intricate protein-protein interactions, and its common neuropathological hallmark, SNAP25
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-02
    Srijeeb Karmakar, Laipubam Gayatri Sharma, Abhishek Roy, Anjali Patel, Lalit Mohan Pandey

    SNARE (Soluble NSF(N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor) Attachment Receptor) complex is a trimeric supramolecular organization of SNAP25, syntaxin, and VAMP which mediates fusion of synaptic vesicles with the presynaptic plasma membrane. The functioning of this entire protein assembly is dependent on its tetrahelical coiled coil structure alongside its interaction with a large spectrum of regulatory proteins like synaptotagmin, complexin, intersectin, etc. Defects arising in SNARE complex assembly due to mutations or faulty post-translational modifications are associated to severe synaptopathies like Schizophrenia and also proteopathies like Alzheimer's disease. The review primarily focuses on SNAP25, which is the prime contributor in the complex assembly. It is conceptualized that the network of protein interactions of this helical protein assists as a chaperoning system for attaining functional structure. Additionally, the innate disordered nature of SNAP25 and its amyloidogenic propensities have been highlighted employing computational methods. The intrinsic nature of SNAP25 is anticipated to form higher-order aggregates due to its cysteine rich domain, which is also a target for several post-translational modifications. Furthermore, the aberrations in the structure and expression profile of the protein display common patterns in the pathogenesis of a diverse synaptopathies and proteopathies. This work of SNARE literature aims to provide a new comprehensive outlook and research directions towards SNARE complex and presents SNAP25 as a common neuropathological hallmark which can be a diagnostic or therapeutic target.

  • Ukgansan protects dopaminergic neurons from 6-hydroxydopamine neurotoxicity via activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 factor signaling pathway
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-11-30
    Hyeyoon Eo, Eugene Huh, Yeomoon Sim, Myung Sook Oh

    The sustenance of redox homeostasis in brain is the crucial factor to treat Parkinson's disease (PD). Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 factor (Nrf2)-mediated antioxidant response is well known for the main cellular endogenous defense mechanisms against oxidative stress. This study investigated for the first time the effects and possible mechanisms of action of Ukgansan on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced neurotoxicity in both in vitro and in vivo models of PD. We investigated the protective effect of Ukgansan against 6-OHDA with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide. In addition, we demonstrated that Ukgansan significantly increased the expression of antioxidant response elements (ARE) and pro-survival protein as Bcl2 and suppressed the expression of pro-apoptotic factors, such as Bax, cytochrome c, and caspase-3 using immunoblotting. For the in vivo study, we used a mouse model of PD involving stereotaxic injection of 6-OHDA into the striatum (ST). Ukgansan alleviated motor dysfunctions induced by 6-OHDA followed by pole, open-field, and rotation tests. Dopaminergic neuronal loss and Nrf2 activation were evaluated by immunohistochemistry in the mouse ST and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) regions. Ukgansan significantly protected dopaminergic neurons from 6-OHDA toxicity in mouse ST and SNpc by activating Nrf2. These results indicate that Ukgansan inhibited 6-OHDA-induced dopaminergic neuronal cell damage via activation of Nrf2 and its related factors in 6-OHDA-induced dopaminergic loss in vitro and in vivo. Thus, Ukgansan might delay the progression of PD via maintenance of redox homeostasis.

  • Regenerating CNS myelin: Emerging roles of regulatory T cells and CCN proteins
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-01
    Nira de la Vega Gallardo, Marie Dittmer, Yvonne Dombrowski, Denise C. Fitzgerald

    Efficient myelin regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) requires the migration, proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPC) into myelinating oligodendrocytes. In demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), this regenerative process can fail, and therapies targeting myelin repair are currently completely lacking in the clinic. The immune system is emerging as a key regenerative player in many tissues, such as muscle and heart. We recently reported that regulatory T cells (Treg) are required for efficient CNS remyelination. Furthermore, Treg secrete CCN3, a matricellular protein from the CCN family, implicated in regeneration of other tissues. Treg-derived CCN3 promoted oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. In contrast, previous studies showed that CCN2 inhibited myelination. These studies highlight the need for further scrutiny of the roles that CCN proteins play in myelin development and regeneration. Collectively, these findings open up exciting avenues of research to uncover the regenerative potential of the adaptive immune system.

  • Individualized B cell-targeting therapy for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-01
    Su-Hyun Kim, Jae-Won Hyun, Ho Jin Kim

    Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system characterized by severe attacks of optic neuritis (ON), longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM), and area postrema syndrome. The majority of patients with NMOSD are seropositive for autoantibodies against the astrocyte water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4). As convergent clinical and laboratory-based investigations have indicated that B cells play a fundamental role in NMO immunopathology, B cells have become an attractive therapeutic target. Rituximab is a therapeutic monoclonal antibody against CD20 expressed on B cells and increasingly used for the treatment of NMOSD. Although there is robust evidence for the efficacy and safety of rituximab in NMOSD, considerable variability has been noted in biological and clinical responses in patients. Therefore, the focus now is on understanding the mechanisms underlying the variability in response to rituximab and optimizing the use of rituximab for NMOSD. Identification of biomarkers for prediction of clinical response, and effective dosing and timing of treatment may provide useful tools for patient-tailored treatment in NMOSD. Herein, we review current evidence on factors that affect biological and clinical responses to rituximab and highlight the importance of individualized therapies for NMOSD.

  • Eomes-expressing T-helper cells as potential target of therapy in chronic neuroinflammation
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-12-01
    Shinji Oki

    Reserch progresses in understanding the pathogenicity of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the last couple of decade has enabled us to develop new drug entities available in the clinic. However, we still have not succeeded in preventing conversion from relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS) to secondary progressive MS (SP-MS) and curing this intractable form of MS. Furthermore, diagnosis is usually retrospective and subjective, relying on gradual worsening of neurological signs/symptoms. This is obviously due to the lack of understanding for the pathogenicity driving disease progression in MS and of reliable biomarkers reflecting the progressive or stationary disease status. Two relevant components are involved in brain pathology of SP-MS, neurodegeneration and inflammation. Neurodegeneration may occur spontaneously in a neuron-intrinsic manner under chronic inflammation, such as glutamate excitotoxicity, mitochondrial/oxidative injury with iron deposit in the brain, and loss of trophic support. Meanwhile, inflammation is usually associated with recurrent relapse and the cumulative infiltration of immune cells, including T cells, B cells, and myeloid cells of peripheral or CNS origin, could ignite the processes of neurodegeneration. Especially, the higher frequency of leptomeningeal follicle-like structures observed in SP-MS patients suggests that immune cells sheltered behind a blood-brain barrier is still active under smoldering CNS inflammation. Recent successes in Ocrelizumab for primary progressive in MS (PP-MS) and Siponimod for SP-MS reappraised the importance of immune cells for pathogenesis progressive MS. Accordingly, our recent comparative analysis between MS and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), raises a new possibility that ectopic expression of eomesodermin (Eomes) in helper T (Th) cells constitutes a previously unappreciated subset of Th cells with cytotoxic potential against neuronal cells. In this review article, I will summarize the mechanisms proposed on pathogenesis of SP-MS and propose a new pathogenic mechanism for neurodegeneration mediated by unique cytotoxic Th cells.

  • A role for KCC3 in maintaining cell volume of peripheral nerve fibers
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-01-31
    Bianca Flores, Cara C. Schornak, Eric Delpire

    The potassium chloride cotransporter, KCC3, is an electroneutral cotransporter expressed in the peripheral and central nervous system. KCC3 is responsible for the efflux of K+ and Cl− in neurons to help maintain cell volume and intracellular chloride levels. A loss-of-function (LOF) of KCC3 causes Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (HMSN/ACC) in a population of individuals in the Charlevoix/Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada. A variety of mouse models have been created to understand the physiological and deleterious effects of a KCC3 LOF. Though this KCC3 LOF in mouse models has recapitulated the peripheral neuropathy phenotype of HMSN/ACC, we still know little about the development of the disease pathophysiology. Interestingly, the most recent KCC3 mouse model that we created recapitulated a peripheral neuropathy-like phenotype originating from a KCC3 gain-of-function (GOF). Despite the past two decades of research in attempting to understand the role of KCC3 in disease, we still do not understand how dysfunction of this cotransporter can lead to the pathophysiology of peripheral neuropathy. This review focuses on the function of KCC3 in neurons and its role in human and health and disease.

  • Axon-terminals expressing EAAT2 (GLT-1; Slc1a2) are common in the forebrain and not limited to the hippocampus
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-03-09
    Yun Zhou, Bjørnar Hassel, Tore Eid, Niels Christian Danbolt

    The excitatory amino acid transporter type 2 (EAAT2) represents the major mechanism for removal of extracellular glutamate. In the hippocampus, there is some EAAT2 in axon-terminals, whereas most of the protein is found in astroglia. The functional importance of the neuronal EAAT2 is unknown, and it is debated whether EAAT2-expressing nerve terminals are present in other parts of the brain. Here we selectively deleted the EAAT2 gene in neurons (by crossing EAAT2-flox mice with synapsin 1-Cre mice in the C57B6 background). To reduce interference from astroglial EAAT2, we measured glutamate accumulation in crude tissue homogenates. EAAT2 proteins levels were measured by immunoblotting. Although synapsin 1-Cre mediated gene deletion only reduced the forebrain tissue content of EAAT2 protein to 95.5 ± 3.4% of wild-type (littermate) controls, the glutamate accumulation in homogenates of neocortex, hippocampus, striatum and thalamus were nevertheless diminished to, respectively, 54 ± 4, 46 ± 3, 46 ± 2 and 65 ± 7% of controls (average ± SEM, n = 3 pairs of littermates). GABA uptake was unaffected. After injection of U-13C-glucose, lack of neuronal EAAT2 resulted in higher 13C-labeling of glutamine and GABA in the hippocampus suggesting that neuronal EAAT2 is partly short-circuiting the glutamate-glutamine cycle in wild-type mice. Crossing synapsin 1-Cre mice with Ai9 reporter mice revealed that Cre-mediated excision occurred efficiently in hippocampus CA3, but less efficiently in other regions and hardly at all in the cerebellum. Conclusions: (1) EAAT2 is expressed in nerve terminals in multiple brain regions. (2) The uptake catalyzed by neuronal EAAT2 plays a role in glutamate metabolism, at least in the hippocampus. (3) Synapsin 1-Cre does not delete floxed genes in all neurons, and the contribution of neuronal EAAT2 is therefore likely to be larger than revealed in the present study.

  • Activity dependent internalization of the glutamate transporter GLT-1 requires calcium entry through the NCX sodium/calcium exchanger
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-03-21
    Ignacio Ibáñez, David Bartolomé-Martín, Dolores Piniella, Cecilio Giménez, Francisco Zafra

    GLT-1 is the main glutamate transporter in the brain and its trafficking controls its availability at the cell surface, thereby shaping glutamatergic neurotransmission under physiological and pathological conditions. Extracellular glutamate is known to trigger ubiquitin-dependent GLT-1 internalization from the surface of the cell to the intracellular compartment, yet here we show that internalization also requires the participation of calcium ions. Consistent with previous studies, the addition of glutamate (1 mM) to mixed primary cultures (containing neurons and astrocytes) promotes GLT-1 internalization, an effect that was suppressed in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. The pathways of Ca2+ mobilization by astrocytes were analyzed in these mixed cultures using the genetically encoded calcium sensor GCaMP6f. A complex pattern of calcium entry was activated by glutamate, with a dramatic and rapid rise in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration partially driven by glutamate transporters, especially in the initial stages after exposure to glutamate. The Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) plays a dominant role in this Ca2+ mobilization and its blockade suppresses the glutamate induced internalization of GLT-1, both in astrocytes and in a more straightforward experimental system like HEK293 cells transiently transfected with GLT-1. This regulatory mechanism might be relevant to control the amount of GLT-1 transporter at the cell surface in conditions like ischemia or traumatic brain injury, where extracellular concentrations of glutamate are persistently elevated and they promote rapid Ca2+ mobilization.

  • Huntington's disease pattern of transcriptional dysregulation in the absence of mutant huntingtin is produced by knockout of neuronal GLT-1
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-04-27
    Robert B. Laprairie, Geraldine T. Petr, Yan Sun, Kathryn D. Fischer, Eileen M. Denovan-Wright, Paul A. Rosenberg

    GLT-1 is the major glutamate transporter in the brain, and is expressed in astrocytes and in axon terminals in the hippocampus, cortex, and striatum. Neuronal GLT-1 accounts for only 5–10% of total brain GLT-1 protein, and its function is uncertain. In HD, synaptic dysfunction of the corticostriate synapse is well-established. Transcriptional dysregulation is a key feature of HD. We hypothesized that deletion of neuronal GLT-1, because it is expressed in axon terminals in the striatum, might produce a synaptopathy similar to that present in HD. If true, then some of the gene expression changes observed in HD might also be observed in the neuronal GLT-1 knockout. In situ hybridization using 33P labeled oligonucleotide probes was carried out to assess localization and expression of a panel of genes known to be altered in expression in HD. We found changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2, preproenkaphalin, and PDE10A in the striatum of mice in which the GLT-1 gene was inactivated in neurons by expression of synapsin-Cre, compared to wild-type littermates. These changes in expression were observed at 12 weeks of age but not at 6 weeks of age. No changes in DARPP-32, PDE1B, NGFIA, or β-actin expression were observed. In addition, we found widespread alteration in expression of the dynamin 1 gene. The changes in expression in the neuronal GLT-1 knockout of genes thought to exemplify HD transcriptional dysregulation suggest an overlap in the synaptopathy caused by neuronal GLT-1 deletion and HD. These data further suggest that specific changes in expression of cannabinoid receptors, preproenkephalin, and PDE10A, considered to be the hallmark of HD transcriptional dysregulation, may be produced by an abnormality of glutamate homeostasis under the regulation of neuronal GLT-1, or a synaptic disturbance caused by that abnormality, independently of mutation in huntingtin.

  • Blockade and reversal of swimming-induced paralysis in C. elegans by the antipsychotic and D2-type dopamine receptor antagonist azaperone
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-05-22
    Osama Refai, Randy D. Blakely

    The catecholamine neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) exerts powerful modulatory control of physiology and behavior across phylogeny. Perturbations of DA signaling in humans are associated with multiple neurodegenerative and behavioral disorders, including Parkinson's disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, addiction and schizophrenia. In the nematode C. elegans, DA signaling regulates mating behavior, learning, food seeking and locomotion. Previously, we demonstrated that loss of function mutations in the dat-1 gene that encodes the presynaptic DA transporter (DAT-1) results in a rapid cessation of movement when animals are placed in water, termed Swimming Induced Paralysis (Swip). Loss of function mutations in genes that support DA biosynthesis, DA vesicular packaging and DA action at the extrasynaptic D2-type DA receptor DOP-3 suppress Swip in dat-1 animals, consistent with paralysis as arising from excessive DA signaling. Although animals grown on the vesicular monoamine transporter antagonist reserpine diminish Swip, the drug must be applied chronically, can impact the signaling of multiple biogenic amines, and has been reported to have penetrant, off-target actions. Here, we demonstrate that the antipsychotic drug azaperone potently and rapidly suppresses Swip behavior in either dat-1 mutants, as well as in wildtype animals treated with the DAT-1 antagonist nisoxetine, with genetic experiments consistent with DOP-3 antagonism as the mechanism of Swip suppression. Reversal of Swip in previously paralyzed dat-1 animals by azaperone application demonstrates an otherwise functionally-intact swimming circuit in these mutants. Finally, whereas azaperone suppresses DA-dependent Swip, the drug fails to attenuate the DA-independent paralysis induced by βPEA, aldicarb or genetic disruption of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling. We discuss our findings with respect to the use of azaperone as a potent and selective tool in the identification and analysis of presynaptic mechanisms that regulate DA signaling.

  • Hyperekplexia-associated mutations in the neuronal glycine transporter 2
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-05-30
    Beatriz López-Corcuera, Esther Arribas-González, Carmen Aragón

    Hyperekplexia or startle disease is a dysfunction of inhibitory glycinergic neurotransmission characterized by an exaggerated startle in response to trivial tactile or acoustic stimuli. Although rare, this disorder can have serious consequences, including sudden infant death. One of the most frequent causes of hyperekplexia are mutations in the SLC6A5 gene, encoding the neuronal glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2), a key component of inhibitory glycinergic presynapses involved in synaptic glycine recycling though sodium and chloride-dependent co-transport. Most GlyT2 mutations detected so far are recessive, but two dominant missense mutations have been described. The detailed analysis of these mutations has revealed structural cues on the quaternary structure of GlyT2, and opens the possibility that novel selective pharmacochaperones have potential therapeutic effects in hyperekplexia.

  • The neurotoxin diethyl dithiophosphate impairs glutamate transport in cultured Bergmann glia cells
    Neurochem. Int. (IF 3.603) Pub Date : 2018-06-13
    Tatiana N. Olivares-Bañuelos, Isabel Martínez-Hernández, Luisa C. Hernández-Kelly, Donají Chi-Castañeda, Libia Vega, Arturo Ortega

    Glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate Central Nervous System, is involved in almost every aspect of brain physiology, and its signaling properties are severely affected in most neurodegenerative diseases. This neurotransmitter has to be efficiently removed from the synaptic cleft in order to prevent an over-stimulation of glutamate receptors that leads to neuronal death. Specific sodium-dependent membrane transporters, highly enriched in glial cells, elicit the clearance of glutamate. Once internalized, it is metabolized to glutamine by the glia-enriched enzyme Glutamine synthetase. Accumulated glutamine is released into the extracellular space for its uptake into pre-synaptic neurons and its conversion to glutamate that is packed into synaptic vesicles completing the glutamate/glutamine cycle. Diverse chemical compounds, like organophosphates, directly affect brain chemistry by altering levels of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft. Organophosphate compounds are widely used as pesticides, and all living organisms are continuously exposed to these substances, either in a direct or indirect manner. Its metabolites, like the diethyl dithiophosphate, are capable of causing brain damage through diverse mechanisms including perturbation of neuronal-glial cell interactions and have been associated with attention-deficit disorders and other mental illness. In order to characterize the neurotoxic mechanisms of diethyl dithiophosphate, we took advantage of the well characterized model of chick cerebellar Bergmann glia cultures. A significant impairment of [3H] d-Aspartate transport was found upon exposure to the metabolite. These results indicate that glia cells are targets of neurotoxic substances such as pesticides and that these cells might be critically involved in the associated neuronal death.

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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