显示样式:     当前期刊: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience    加入关注       排序: 导出
  • Neurotoxic effects of MPTP on mouse cerebral cortex: Modulation of neuroinflammation as a neuroprotective strategy
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-02-13
    Mariana Oliveira Mendes, Alexandra Isabel Rosa, Andreia Neves Carvalho, Maria João Nunes, Pedro Dionísio, Elsa Rodrigues, Daniela Costa, Sara Duarte-Silva, Patrícia Maciel, Cecília Maria Pereira Rodrigues, Maria João Gama, Margarida Castro-Caldas

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder, mainly characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and by the presence of intracellular inclusions, known as Lewy bodies. Despite SNpc being considered the primary affected region in PD, the neuropathological features are confined solely to the nigro-striatal axis. With disease progression other brain regions are also affected, namely the cerebral cortex, although the spreading of the neurologic damage to this region is still not completely unraveled. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) is an endogenous bile acid that has been shown to have antioxidant properties and to exhibit a neuroprotective effect in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mice model of PD. Moreover, TUDCA anti-inflammatory properties have been reported in glial cells, making it a prominent therapeutic agent in PD. Here, we used C57BL/6 mice injected with MPTP in a sub-acute paradigm aiming to investigate if the neurotoxic effects of MPTP could be extended to the cerebral cortex. In parallel, we evaluated the anti-oxidant, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of TUDCA. The anti-inflammatory mechanisms elicited by TUDCA, were further dissected in microglia cells. Our results show that MPTP leads to a decrease of ATP and activated AMP-activated protein kinase levels in mice cortex, and to a transient increase in the expression of antioxidant downstream targets of nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf-2), and parkin. Notably, MPTP increases pro-inflammatory markers, while down-regulating the expression of the anti-inflammatory protein ANXA1. Importantly, we show that TUDCA treatment prevents the deleterious effects of MPTP, sustains increased levels of antioxidant enzymes and parkin, and most of all negatively modulates neuroinflammation and up-regulates ANXA1 expression. Additionally, results from cellular models using microglia corroborate TUDCA modulation of ANXA1 synthesis, linking inhibition of neuroinflammation and neuroprotection by TUDCA.

  • APP depletion alters selective pre- and post-synaptic proteins
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-02-11
    Isak Martinsson, Estibaliz Capetillo-Zarate, Mathilde Faideau, Katarina Willén, Noemi Esteras, Susanne Frykman, Lars O. Tjernberg, Gunnar K. Gouras

    The normal role of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-linked amyloid precursor protein (APP) in the brain remains incompletely understood. Previous studies have reported that lack of APP has detrimental effects on spines and electrophysiological parameters. APP has been described to be important in synaptic pruning during development. The effect of APP knockout on mature synapses is complicated by this role in development. We previously reported on differential changes in synaptic proteins and receptors in APP mutant AD transgenic compared to wild-type neurons, which revealed selective decreases in levels of pre- and post-synaptic proteins, including of surface glutamate receptors. In the present study, we undertook a similar analysis of synaptic composition but now in APP knockout compared to wild-type mouse neurons. Here we demonstrate alterations in levels of selective pre- and post-synaptic proteins and receptors in APP knockout compared to wild-type mouse primary neurons in culture and brains of mice in youth and adulthood. Remarkably, we demonstrate selective increases in levels of synaptic proteins, such as GluA1, in neurons with APP knockout and with RNAi knockdown, which tended to be opposite to the reductions seen in AD transgenic APP mutant compared to wild-type neurons. These data reinforce that APP is important for the normal composition of synapses.

  • Sympathomimetics regulate neuromuscular junction transmission through TRPV1, P/Q- and N-type Ca2+ channels
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-02-11
    Anna Zaia Carolina Rodrigues, Zhong-Min Wang, María Laura Messi, Osvaldo Delbono

    Increasing evidence indicates that, first, the sympathetic nervous system interacts extensively with both vasculature and skeletal muscle fibers near neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and, second, its neurotransmitter, noradrenaline, influences myofiber molecular composition and function and motor innervation. Since sympathomimetic agents have been reported to improve NMJ transmission, we examined whether two in clinical use, salbutamol and clenbuterol, affect the motor axon terminal via extracellular Ca2+ and molecular targets, such as TRPV1 and P/Q- and N-type voltage-activated Ca2+ channels. Electrophysiological recordings in ex-vivo preparations of peroneal nerves and lumbricalis muscles from young adult mice focused on spontaneous miniature end-plate potentials and singly and repetitively evoked end-plate potentials. Adding one dose of salbutamol or clenbuterol to the nerve/muscle preparation or repeatedly administering salbutamol to a mouse for 4 weeks increased spontaneous and evoked synaptic vesicle release but induced a steep decline in EPP amplitude in response to repetitive nerve stimulation. These effects were mediated primarily by ω-agatoxin IVA-sensitive P/Q-type and secondarily by ω-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive N-type Ca2+ channels. Presynaptic arvanil-sensitive TRPV1 channels seem to regulate Ca2+ at the motor neuron terminal at rest, while putative presynaptic β-adrenergic receptors may mediate sympathomimetic and catecholamine effects on presynaptic Ca2+ channels during NMJ activation.

  • CPEB1 is overexpressed in neurons derived from Down syndrome IPSCs and in the hippocampus of the mouse model Ts1Cje
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-02-11
    Juan José Casañas, Macarena González-Corrales, Jesús David Urbano-Gámez, Alexandra Alves-Sampaio, José Antonio Troca-Marín, María Luz Montesinos

    Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome (DS), is the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual impairment. In mouse models of DS, deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity have been observed, in conjunction with alterations to local dendritic translation that are likely to influence plasticity, learning and memory. Here we show that expression of a local translational regulator, the Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Element Binding Protein 1 (CPEB1), is enhanced in hippocampal neurons from the Ts1Cje DS mouse model. Interestingly, this protein, which is also involved in dendritic mRNA transport, is overexpressed in dendrites of neurons derived from DS human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs). Moreover, there is an increase in the mRNA levels of α-Calmodulin Kinase II (α-CaMKII) and Microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B), two dendritic mRNAs, in Ts1Cje synaptoneurosomes. Taking into account the fundamental role of CPEB1 protein and its target mRNAs in synaptic plasticity, these data could be relevant to the intellectual impairment in the context of DS.

  • Interleukin-16 inhibits sodium channel function and GluA1 phosphorylation via CD4- and CD9-independent mechanisms to reduce hippocampal neuronal excitability and synaptic activity
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-02-07
    Shehla U. Hridi, Aimée J.P.M. Franssen, Hui-Rong Jiang, Trevor J. Bushell

    Interleukin 16 (IL-16) is a cytokine that is primarily associated with CD4+ T cell function, but also exists as a multi-domain PDZ protein expressed within cerebellar and hippocampal neurons. We have previously shown that lymphocyte-derived IL-16 is neuroprotective against excitotoxicity, but evidence of how it affects neuronal function is limited. Here, we have investigated whether IL-16 modulates neuronal excitability and synaptic activity in mouse primary hippocampal cultures. Application of recombinant IL-16 impairs both glutamate-induced increases in intracellular Ca2+ and sEPSC frequency and amplitude in a CD4- and CD9-independent manner. We examined the mechanisms underlying these effects, with rIL-16 reducing GluA1 S831 phosphorylation and inhibiting Na+ channel function. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-16 reduces neuronal excitability and synaptic activity via multiple mechanisms and adds further evidence that alternative receptors may exist for IL-16.

  • Stem cells in animal models of Huntington disease: A systematic review
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-01-24
    Gabriela Delevati Colpo, Erin Furr Stimming, Antonio Lucio Teixeira

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder encoding a mutant form of the huntingtin protein (HTT). HD is pathologically characterized by loss of neurons in the striatum and cortex, which leads to progressive motor dysfunction, cognitive decline and behavioral symptoms. Stem cell-based therapy has emerged as a feasible therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and may be effective in alleviating and/or halting the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying HD. Several pre-clinical studies have used stem cells in animal models of HD. Here, we performed a systematic review of preclinical studies to estimate the treatment efficacy of stem cells in animal models of HD. Based on our systematic review, treatment with stem cells significantly improves neurological and behavioral outcomes in animal models of HD. Although promising results were found, the design of animal studies, the types of transplanted cells and the route of administration are poorly standardized and this greatly complicates comparative analysis.

  • Norepinephrine control of ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus glucoregulatory neurotransmitter expression in the female rat: Role of monocarboxylate transporter function
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-01-17
    A.S.M. Hasan Mahmood, Santosh K. Mandal, Khaggeswar Bheemanapally, Mostafa M.H. Ibrahim, K.P. Briski

    The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) is a critical component of the neural circuitry that regulates glucostasis. Astrocyte glycogen is a vital reserve of glucose and its oxidizable metabolite L-lactate. In hypoglycemic female rats, estradiol-dependent augmentation of VMN glycogen phosphorylase (GP) protein requires hindbrain catecholamine input. The research here investigated the premise that norepinephrine (NE) regulation of VMN astrocyte metabolism shapes local glucoregulatory neurotransmitter signaling in this sex. Estradiol-implanted ovariectomized rats were pretreated by intra-VMN administration of the monocarboxylate transporter inhibitor alpha-cyano-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid (4CIN) or vehicle before NE delivery to that site. NE caused 4CIN-reversible reduction or augmentation of VMN glycogen synthase and phosphorylase expression. 4CIN prevented NE stimulation of gluco-inhibitory (glutamate decarboxylase65/67) and suppression of gluco-stimulatory (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) neuron marker proteins. These outcomes imply that effects of noradrenergic stimulation of VMN astrocyte glycogen depletion on glucoregulatory transmitter signaling may be mediated, in part, by glycogen-derived substrate fuel provision. NE control of astrocyte glycogen metabolism may involve down-regulated adrenoreceptor (AR), e.g. alpha1 and alpha2, alongside amplified beta1 AR and estrogen receptor-beta signaling. Noradrenergic hypoglycemia was refractory to 4CIN, implying that additional NE-sensitive VMN glucoregulatory neurochemicals may be insensitive to monocarboxylate uptake. Augmentation of circulating free fatty acids by combinatory NE and 4CIN, but not NE alone implies that acute hypoglycemia induced here is an insufficient stimulus for mobilization of these fuels, but is adequate when paired with diminished brain monocarboxylate fuel availability.

  • siRNA-mediated knockdown of B3GALT4 decreases GM1 ganglioside expression and enhances vulnerability for neurodegeneration
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-01-03
    Megha Verma, Jay S. Schneider

    Reduced levels of brain gangliosides GD1a, GD1b, GT1b and to a lesser extent GM1 have been found in substantia nigra (SN) from Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, along with decreased gene expression for key enzymes (B3Galt4, St3gal2) involved in synthesis of these gangliosides. Based on these observations, the present study examined the extent to which decreased expression of B3GALT4 mRNA and resulting decreased levels of GM1 ganglioside in dopaminergic cells may increase the vulnerability of these cells to degeneration in response to a neurotoxicant exposure that under normal circumstances would not result in neurodegeneration. Differentiated SK-N-SH cells were treated with B3GALT4 siRNA to significantly reduce B3GALT4 mRNA expression and decrease GM1 levels. Exposure of these cells to a low concentration (10 μM) of the neurotoxin MPP+ that previously produced no toxicity resulted in approximately 50% cell loss after B3GALT4 siRNA treatment. This was a similar a degree of cell loss observed with 100 μM MPP+ in normal, differentiated SK-N-SH cells. Addition of GM1 to the culture medium after siRNA treatment was able to significantly protect cells from enhanced MPP+ toxicity. These data suggest that decreased B3GALT4 and GM1 expression can increase cell vulnerability to potentially toxic stressors and that such mechanisms may contribute to dopaminergic neurodegeneration in PD.

  • Alteration of parvalbumin expression and perineuronal nets formation in the cerebral cortex of aged mice
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2019-01-02
    Hiroshi Ueno, Kazuki Fujii, Keizo Takao, Shunsuke Suemitsu, Shinji Murakami, Naoya Kitamura, Kenta Wani, Yosuke Matsumoto, Motoi Okamoto, Takeshi Ishihara

    Aging is associated with decline in cognitive function, but the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated. Normal activity of pyramidal cells and parvalbumin-expressing interneurons (PV neurons) is essential for cognitive function. PV neurons participate in the regulation of pyramidal-cell firing. Abnormal function of PV neurons may occur with aging. We analyzed the density and the percentage of PV neurons surrounded by perineuronal nets (PNNs) in the entire cortex of adult (3-month-old) and aged (24-month-old) mice. PNNs are extracellular matrix molecules that cover PV neurons and control synaptic plasticity. PV-neuron density decreased in some cortical areas of aged compared to adult mice. In particular, in the retrosplenial granular cortex (RSG) of aged mice, pyramidal cells expressed PV protein at high levels. This study suggests that the RSG of aged mice is in an abnormal activated state. RSG function abnormality may be part of the cognitive decline mechanism.

  • Ouabain activates transcription factor EB and exerts neuroprotection in models of Alzheimer's disease
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-12-28
    Ha-Lim Song, Atanas Vladimirov Demirev, Na-Young Kim, Dong-Hou Kim, Seung-Yong Yoon

    The number of neurofibrillary tangles containing abnormal hyperphosphorylated tau protein correlates with the degree of dementia in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition, autophagosome accumulation and disturbance of autophagy, the process by which toxic aggregate proteins are degraded in the cytosol, are also found in AD models. These indicate that regulation of the autophagy-lysosome system may be a potential therapeutic target for AD. Activation of transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of autophagy-lysosome system gene transcription, reduces the amount of tau in APP mice. Here, to identify potential therapeutic compounds for AD, we performed two types of screening to determine pharmacologically active compounds that increase 1) neuronal viability in okadaic acid-induced tau hyperphosphorylation-related neurodegeneration models and 2) nuclear localization of TFEB in high-contents screening. Ouabain, a cardiac glycoside, was discovered as a common hit compound in both screenings. It also exhibited a significant protective effect in tau transgenic fly and mouse models in vivo. This work demonstrates that ouabain enhances activation of TFEB through inhibition of the mTOR pathway and induces downstream autophagy-lysosomal gene expression and cellular restorative properties. Therefore, therapeutic approaches using ouabain reduce the accumulation of abnormal toxic tau in vitro and in vivo.

  • Impairment of chaperone-mediated autophagy affects neuronal homeostasis through altered expression of DJ-1 and CRMP-2 proteins
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-12-15
    Oeystein Roed Brekk, Manousos Makridakis, Panagiota Mavroeidi, Antonia Vlahou, Maria Xilouri, Leonidas Stefanis

    Chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) is a substrate-specific mode of lysosomal proteolysis, with multiple lines of evidence connecting its dysfunction to both ageing and disease. We have recently shown that CMA impairment through knock-down of the lysosomal receptor LAMP2A is detrimental to neuronal viability in vivo; however, it is not clear which subset of proteins regulated by the CMA pathway mediate such changes. In this study, we have manipulated CMA function through alterations of LAMP2A abundance of utilizing primary rat cortical neurons, to identify potential changes to the neuronal proteome occurring prior to actual toxic effects. We have identified a list of proteins with significant, >2-fold change in abundance following our manipulations, of which PARK7/DJ-1 – an anti-oxidant implicated in hereditary forms of Parkinson's Disease (PD), and DPYSL2/CRMP-2 – a microtubule-binding phosphoprotein involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis – were both found to have measurable effects on neuronal homeostasis and phenotype. Taken together, this study describes alterations in the abundance of neuronal proteins involved in neuropsychiatric disorders upon CMA manipulation, and suggests that such alterations may in part be responsible for the neurodegeneration observed upon CMA impairment in vivo.

  • Cerebrospinal fluid biomarker for Parkinson's disease: An overview
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-12-10
    Fabian Maass, Isabel Schulz, Paul Lingor, Brit Mollenhauer, Mathias Bähr

    In Parkinson's disease (PD), there is a wide field of recent and ongoing search for useful biomarkers for early and differential diagnosis, disease monitoring or subtype characterization. Up to now, no biofluid biomarker has entered the daily clinical routine. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is often used as a source for biomarker development in different neurological disorders because it reflects changes in central-nervous system homeostasis. This review article gives an overview about different biomarker approaches in PD, mainly focusing on CSF analyses. Current state and future perspectives regarding classical protein markers like alpha‑synuclein, but also different “omics” techniques are described. In conclusion, technical advancements in the field already yielded promising results, but further multicenter trials with well-defined cohorts, standardized protocols and integrated data analysis of different modalities are needed before successful translation into routine clinical application.

  • Fluid and PET biomarkers for amyloid pathology in Alzheimer's disease
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-12-08
    Ann D. Cohen, Susan M. Landau, Beth E. Snitz, William E. Klunk, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid plaques and tau pathology (neurofibrillary tangles and neuropil threads). Amyloid plaques are primarily composed of aggregated and oligomeric β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides ending at position 42 (Aβ42). The development of fluid and PET biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD), has allowed for detection of Aβ pathology in vivo and marks a major advancement in understanding the role of Aβ in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the recent National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) Research Framework, AD is defined by the underlying pathology as measured in patients during life by biomarkers (Jack et al., 2018), while clinical symptoms are used for staging of the disease. Therefore, sensitive, specific and robust biomarkers to identify brain amyloidosis are central in AD research. Here, we discuss fluid and PET biomarkers for Aβ and their application.

  • Biomarkers for tau pathology
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-12-07
    Michael Schöll, Anne Maass, Niklas Mattsson, Nicholas Ashton, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, William Jagust

    The aggregation of fibrils of hyperphosphorylated and C-terminally truncated microtubule-associated tau protein characterizes 80% of all dementia disorders, the most common neurodegenerative disorders. These so-called tauopathies are hitherto not curable and their diagnosis, especially at early disease stages, has traditionally proven difficult. A keystone in the diagnosis of tauopathies was the development of methods to assess levels of tau protein in vivo in cerebrospinal fluid, which has significantly improved our knowledge about these conditions. Tau proteins have also been measured in blood, but the importance of tau-related changes in blood is still unclear. The recent addition of positron emission tomography ligands to visualize, map and quantify tau pathology has further contributed with information about the temporal and spatial characteristics of tau accumulation in the living brain. Together, the measurement of tau with fluid biomarkers and positron emission tomography constitutes the basis for a highly active field of research. This review describes the current state of biomarkers for tau biomarkers derived from neuroimaging and from the analysis of bodily fluids and their roles in the detection, diagnosis and prognosis of tau-associated neurodegenerative disorders, as well as their associations with neuropathological findings, and aims to provide a perspective on how these biomarkers might be employed prospectively in research and clinical settings.

  • Review: Fluid biomarkers in the human prion diseases
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-12-04
    Andrew G.B. Thompson, Simon H. Mead

    The human prion diseases are a diverse set of often rapidly progressive neurodegenerative conditions associated with abnormal forms of the prion protein. We review work to establish diagnostic biomarkers and assays that might fill other important roles, particularly those that could assist the planning and interpretation of clinical trials. The field now benefits from highly sensitive and specific diagnostic biomarkers using cerebrospinal fluid: detecting by-products of rapid neurodegeneration or specific functional properties of abnormal prion protein, with the second generation real time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay being particularly promising. Blood has been a more challenging analyte, but has now also yielded valuable biomarkers. Blood-based assays have been developed with the potential to screen for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, although it remains uncertain whether these will ever be used in practice. The very rapid neurodegeneration of prion disease results in strong signals from surrogate protein markers in the blood that reflect neuronal, axonal, synaptic or glial pathology in the brain: notably the tau and neurofilament light chain proteins. We discuss early evidence that such tests, applied alongside robust diagnostic biomarkers, may have potential to add value as clinical trial outcome measures, predictors of future disease course (including for asymptomatic individuals at high risk of prion disease), and as rapidly accessible and sensitive markers to aid early diagnosis.

  • Melanocortin 4 receptor activation protects striatal neurons and glial cells from 3-nitropropionic acid toxicity
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-12-04
    Julieta Saba, Lila Carniglia, Delia Ramírez, Juan Turati, Mercedes Imsen, Daniela Durand, Mercedes Lasaga, Carla Caruso

    α-Melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a melanocortin which exerts potent anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects. Melanocortin 4 receptors (MC4R) are abundantly expressed in the brain and we previously demonstrated that [Nle(4), D-Phe(7)]melanocyte-stimulating hormone (NDP-MSH), an α-MSH analogue, increased expression of brain derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). We hypothesized that melanocortins could affect striatal cell survival through BDNF and PPAR-γ. First, we determined the expression of these factors in the striatum. Acute intraperitoneal administration (0.5 mg/kg) of α-MSH increased the levels of BDNF mRNA in rat striatum but not in rat cerebral cortex. Also, protein expression of PPAR-γ and MC4R was increased by acute treatment with α-MSH in striatum but not in cortex. No changes were observed by 48 h treatment. Next, we evaluated melanocortins effect on neuron and glial survival. 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP), which is known to induce striatal degeneration, was used to induce cell death in the rat striatal cell line ST14A expressing human mutant huntingtin (Q120) or in ST14A cells expressing normal human huntingtin (Q15), in primary cultured astrocytes, and in BV2 cells. NDP-MSH protected Q15 cells, astrocytes and BV2 cells from death by 3-NP whereas it did not fully protect Q120 cells. Protection of Q15 cells and astrocytes was blocked by a MC4R specific inhibitor (JKC-363) and a PPAR-γ antagonist (GW9662). The BDNF receptor antagonist (ANA-12) abolished NDP-MSH protective effect in astrocytes but not in Q15 cells. We demonstrate for the first time that melanocortins, acting through PPAR-γ and BDNF, protect neurons and glial cells from 3-NP toxicity.

  • Polyglutamine repeat proteins disrupt actin structure in Drosophila photoreceptors
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-08-24
    Annie Vu, Tyler Humphries, Sean Vogel, Adam Haberman

    Expansions of polygutamine-encoding stretches in several genes cause neurodegenerative disorders including Huntington's Disease and Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3. Expression of the human disease alleles in Drosophila melanogaster neurons recapitulates cellular features of these disorders, and has therefore been used to model the cell biology of these diseases. Here, we show that polyglutamine disease alleles expressed in Drosophila photoreceptors disrupt actin structure at rhabdomeres, as other groups have shown they do in Drosophila and mammalian dendrites. We show this actin regulatory pathway works through the small G protein Rac and the actin nucleating protein Form3. We also find that Form3 has additional functions in photoreceptors, and that loss of Form3 results in the specification of extra photoreceptors in the eye.

  • Cyclo(His-Pro) inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome cascade in ALS microglial cells
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-11-13
    Silvia Grottelli, Letizia Mezzasoma, Paolo Scarpelli, Ivana Cacciatore, Barbara Cellini, Ilaria Bellezza

    Neuroinflammation, i.e. self-propelling progressive cycle of microglial activation and neuron damage, as well as improper protein folding, are recognized as major culprits of neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in several proteins have been linked to ALS pathogenesis, including the G93A mutation in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) enzyme. SOD1(G93A) mutant is prone to aggregate thus inducing both oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. In this study we used hSOD1(G93A) microglial cells to investigate the effects of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory cyclic dipeptide (His-Pro) on LPS-induced inflammasome activation. We found that cyclo(His-Pro) inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation by reducing protein nitration via reduction in NO and ROS levels, indicative of lower peroxynitrite generation by LPS. Low levels in peroxynitrite are related to NF-κB inhibition responsible for iNOS down-regulation and NO dampening. On the other hand, cyclo(His-Pro)-mediated ROS attenuation, not linked to Nrf2 activation in this cellular model, is ascribed to increased soluble SOD1 activity due to the up-regulation of Hsp70 and Hsp27 expression. Conclusively, our results, besides corroborating the anti-inflammatory properties of cyclo(His-Pro), highlight a novel role of the cyclic dipeptide as a proteostasis regulator, and therefore a good candidate for the treatment of ALS and other misfolding diseases.

  • Interaction of nectin-2α with the auxiliary protein of the voltage-gated A-type K+ channel Kv4.2 dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-like protein at the boundary between the adjacent somata of clustered cholinergic neurons in the medial habenula
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-11-05
    Hajime Shiotani, Muneaki Miyata, Kiyohito Mizutani, Shujie Wang, Akira Mizoguchi, Hideki Mochizuki, Kenji Mandai, Yoshimi Takai

    The medial habenula (MHb) receives septal inputs and sends efferents to the interpeduncular nucleus and is implicated in stress, depression, memory, and nicotine withdrawal syndrome. We previously showed by immunofluorescence microscopy that the cell adhesion molecule nectin-2α is expressed in the cholinergic neurons in the developing and adult mouse MHbs and localized at the boundary between the adjacent somata of clustered cholinergic neurons where the voltage-gated A-type K+ channel Kv4.2 is localized. We further showed by immunoelectron microscopy that Kv4.2 is localized at the membrane specializations (MSs) whereas nectin-2α is localized mostly outside of these MSs. In addition, we showed that genetic ablation of nectin-2 delays the localization of Kv4.2 at the MSs in the developing MHb. We investigated here how nectin-2α regulates this localization of Kv4.2 at the MSs. In vitro biochemical analysis revealed that nectin-2α interacted with the auxiliary protein of Kv4.2 dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-like protein 6 (DPP6), but not with Kv4.2 or another auxiliary protein Kv channel interacting protein 1 (KChIP1). Immunofluorescence microscopy analysis showed that DPP6 was colocalized with nectin-2α at the boundary between the adjacent somata of the clustered cholinergic neurons in the developing and adult MHbs. Immunoelectron microscopy analysis on this boundary revealed that DPP6 was localized both at the inside and the outside of the MSs. Genetic ablation of nectin-2 did not affect the localization of DPP6 at the boundary between the adjacent somata of the clustered cholinergic neurons in the developing and adult MHbs. These results indicate that nectin-2α interacts with DPP6 but regulates the localization of Kv4.2 at the MSs in a DPP6-independent manner.

  • Strain differences in hippocampal synaptic dysfunction in the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease: Implications for improving translational capacity
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-11-04
    Wanda M. Snow, Kensuke Oikawa, Jelena Djordjevic, Benedict C. Albensi

    In Alzheimer's disease (AD), characterized by cognitive deterioration, synaptic alterations are frequently reported. The TgCRND8 model, in which mice develop AD-like amyloid β plaque formation, has been used to investigate the effects of amyloidosis on synaptic function. Background strain impacts the behavioral and neuropathological phenotype of mice in this model, but whether this extends to synaptic function is unknown. We investigated the influence of background strain on basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus of TgCRND8 mice (13–16 months) on hybrid backgrounds of (129SvEv/Tac) x (C3H/C57/129SvEv/Tac) (aka “129”) or (C57) x (C3H/C57) (aka “C3H”). In littermate controls, basal synaptic transmission was significantly reduced, whereas the amplitude of excitatory postsynaptic potentials was significantly higher after LTP induction in 129 vs. C3H mice. In 129 TgCRND8 mice, deficits in hippocampal LTP were more severe than in C3H TgCRND8 relative to controls. Compared to controls, network excitability was decreased in transgenics from both strains. These data suggest that 129 TgCRND8 mice are the more appropriate model to evaluate the efficacy of potential AD treatments on synaptic function, owing to their significant deficit in LTP. Such studies are critical in order to improve the translational capacity of basic science research.

  • Biomarkers for diseases with TDP-43 pathology
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-11-03
    Petra Steinacker, Peggy Barschke, Markus Otto

    The discovery that aggregated transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) is the major component of pathological ubiquitinated inclusions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) caused seminal progress in the unveiling of the genetic bases and molecular characteristics of these now so-called TDP-43 proteinopathies. Substantial increase in the knowledge of clinic-pathological coherencies, especially for FTLD variants, could be made in the last decade, but also revealed a considerable complexity of TDP-43 pathology and often a poor correlation of clinical and molecular disease characteristics. To date, an underlying TDP-43 pathology can be predicted only for patients with mutations in the genes C9orf72 and GRN, but is dependent on neuropathological verification in patients without family history, which represent the majority of cases. As etiology-specific therapies for neurodegenerative proteinopathies are emerging, methods to forecast TDP-43 pathology at patients' lifetime are highly required. Here, we review the current status of research pursued to identify specific indicators to predict or exclude TDP-43 pathology in the ALS-FTLD spectrum disorders and findings on candidates for prognosis and monitoring of disease progression in TDP-43 proteinopathies with a focus on TDP-43 with its pathological forms, neurochemical and imaging biomarkers.

  • A new function for prokineticin 2: Recruitment of SVZ-derived neuroblasts to the injured cortex in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-11-01
    Mayara Vieira Mundim, Laura Nicoleti Zamproni, Agnes Araújo Sardinha Pinto, Layla Testa Galindo, André Machado Xavier, Isaias Glezer, Marimélia Porcionatto
  • d-Cysteine promotes dendritic development in primary cultured cerebellar Purkinje cells via hydrogen sulfide production
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-10-19
    Takahiro Seki, Masahiro Sato, Ayumu Konno, Hirokazu Hirai, Yuki Kurauchi, Akinori Hisatsune, Hiroshi Katsuki
  • Validation of reference genes for normalization of real-time quantitative PCR studies of gene expression in brain capillary endothelial cells cultured in vitro
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-10-10
    Maria Hersom, Charlotte Goldeman, Natasia Pretzer, Birger Brodin

    Background The genes encoding β-actin and GAPDH are two of the most commonly used reference genes for normalization in in vitro blood-brain barrier studies. Studies have, however, shown that these reference genes might not always be the best choice. The aim of the present study was to evaluate 10 reference genes for use in mRNA profiling studies in primary cultures of brain endothelial cells of bovine origin. Methods Gene evaluations were performed by qPCR in mono-culture and in co-cultures with astrocytes. The expression of reference genes was furthermore investigated during culture. Qbase+ software was used to analyze the stability of the tested genes and for determinations of the optimal number of reference genes. Results The stability of the reference genes varied between the culture configurations, but for all culture configurations we found that the optimal number of reference genes were two. PMM-1, RPL13A and β-actin were the most stable genes in mono-cultures, non-contact co-culture and contact co-culture respectively. For studies comparing gene expression between different culture configurations the optimal number of reference genes was three and RPL13A was found to be most stable. During cell culture a number of four reference genes were found to be optimal and YWHAZ was found to be the most stable gene. β-actin and GAPDH were found to be the least stable genes during culture. Conclusion Overall we found that the validation of reference genes was important in order to normalize target gene expression correctly, and suggest sets of reference genes to be used under different experimental conditions, in order to quantify mRNA transcript levels in blood-brain barrier cell models correctly.

  • Reduced retromer function results in the accumulation of amyloid-beta oligomers
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-09-23
    Anna Ansell-Schultz, Juan F. Reyes, My Samuelsson, Martin Hallbeck

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive loss of multiple cognitive functions. Accumulation of amyloid beta oligomers (oAβ) play a major role in the neurotoxicity associated with the disease process. One of the early affected brain regions is the hippocampus, wherein a reduction of the vacuolar protein sorting-associated protein 35 (VPS35), the core protein comprising the retromer complex involved in cellular cargo sorting, has been identified. To investigate the role of the retromer function on the accumulation and clearance of oAβ, we reduced retromer function by selectively inhibiting VPS35 gene expression using siRNA in differentiated neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. As cell-to-cell transfer of oAβ to new brain regions is believed to be important for disease progression we investigated the effect of VPS35 reduction both in cells with direct uptake of oAβ and in cells receiving oAβ from donor cells. We demonstrate that reduced retromer function increases oAβ accumulation in both cell systems, both the number of cells containing intracellular oAβ and the amount within them. This effect was shown at different time points and regardless if the oAβ originated from the extracellular milieu or via a direct neuronal cell-to-cell transfer. Interestingly, not only did reduced VPS35 cause oAβ accumulation, but oAβ treatment alone also lead to a reduction of VPS35 protein content. The accumulated oAβ seems to co-localize with VPS35 and early endosome markers. Together, these findings provide evidence that reduced retromer function decreases the ability for neurons to transport and clear neurotoxic oAβ received through different routes resulting in the accumulation of oAβ. Thus, enhancing retromer function may be a potential therapeutic strategy to slow down the pathophysiology associated with the progression of AD.

  • Centella asiatica attenuates hippocampal mitochondrial dysfunction and improves memory and executive function in β-amyloid overexpressing mice
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-09-22
    Nora E. Gray, Jonathan A. Zweig, Maya Caruso, Jennifer Y. Zhu, Kirsten M. Wright, Joseph F. Quinn, Amala Soumyanath

    Centella asiatica is a medicinal plant used to enhance memory. We have previously shown that a water extract of Centella asiatica (CAW) attenuates β-amyloid (Aβ)-induced spatial memory deficits in mice and improves neuronal health. Yet the effect of CAW on other cognitive domains remains unexplored as does its in vivo mechanism of improving Aβ-related cognitive impairment. This study investigates the effects of CAW on learning, memory and executive function as well as mitochondrial function and antioxidant response in the 5xFAD model of Aβ accumulation. Seven month old 5xFAD female mice were treated with CAW (2 mg/mL) in their drinking water for two weeks prior to behavioral testing. Learning, memory and executive function were assessed using the object location memory task (OLM), conditioned fear response (CFR) and odor discrimination reversal learning (ODRL) test. Mitochondrial function was profiled using the Seahorse XF platform in hippocampal mitochondria isolated from these animals and tissue was harvested for assessment of mitochondrial, antioxidant and synaptic proteins. CAW improved performance in all behavioral tests in the 5xFAD but had no effect on WT animals. Hippocampal mitochondrial function was improved and hippocampal and cortical expression of mitochondrial genes was increased in CAW-treated 5xFAD mice. Gene expression of the transcription factor NRF2, as well as its antioxidant target enzymes, was also increased with CAW treatment in both WT and 5xFAD mice. CAW treatment also decreased Aβ-plaque burden in the hippocampus of treated 5xFAD mice but had no effect on plaques in the cortex. These data show that CAW can improve many facets of Aβ-related cognitive impairment in 5xFAD mice. Oral treatment with CAW also attenuates hippocampal mitochondrial dysfunction in these animals. Because mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress accompany cognitive impairment in many pathological conditions beyond Alzheimer's disease, this suggests potentially broad therapeutic utility of CAW.

  • Effects of gem-dihydroperoxides against mutant copper‑zinc superoxide dismutase-mediated neurotoxicity
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-09-05
    Tomoyuki Ueda, Masatoshi Inden, Yuta Asaka, Yuji Masaki, Hisaka Kurita, Wakako Tanaka, Eiji Yamaguchi, Akichika Itoh, Isao Hozumi

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and death. Although its neuropathology is well investigated, currently, effective treatments are unavailable. The mechanism of ALS involves the aggregation and accumulation of several mutant proteins, including mutant copper‑zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1), TAR DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) and fused in sarcoma (FUS) proteins. Previous reports have shown that excessive oxidative stress, associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and mutant protein accumulation, contributes to ALS pathology. The present study focuses on the promotion of SOD1 misfolding and aggregation by oxidative stress. Having recently synthesized novel organic gem-dihydroperoxides (DHPs) with high anti-oxidant activity, we now examined whether DHPs reduce the mutant SOD1-induced intracellular aggregates involved in oxidative stress. We found that, among DHPs, 12AC2O significantly inhibited mutant SOD1-induced cell death and reduced the intracellular mutant SOD1 aggregates. Moreover, immunofluorescence staining with redox-sensitive dyes showed that 12AC2O reduced the excessive level of intracellular mutant SOD1-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS). Additionally, ESR analysis showed that 12AC2O exerts a direct scavenging effect against the hydroxyl radical (OH) and the superoxide anion (O2−). These results suggest that 12AC2O is a very useful agent in combination with other agents against ALS.

  • Deletion of Kir6.2/SUR1 potassium channels rescues diminishing of DA neurons via decreasing iron accumulation in PD
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-08-29
    Qian Zhang, Chengwu Li, Ting Zhang, Yaping Ge, Xiaojuan Han, Sifan Sun, Jianhua Ding, Ming Lu, Gang Hu

    ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels express in the central nervous system extensively which coupling cell metabolism and cellular electrical activity. K-ATP channels in mature substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic (DA) neurons are composed of inwardly rectifying potassium channel (Kir) subunit 6.2 and sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1). Our previous study revealed that regulating K-ATP channel exerts the protective effect on DA neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the detailed mechanism underlying the role of Kir6.2/K-ATP remains unclear. In the present study, we found the deletion of Kir6.2 dramatically alleviated PD-like motor dysfunction of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) PD model. We further found that Kir6.2 knockout selectively restored the reduction of both DA neuronal number and dopamine transmitter level in the nigrostriatal of MPTP-treated PD mice. To gain some understanding on the molecular basis of this effect, we focused on the regulation of Kir6.2 deletion on iron metabolism which is tightly associated with DA neuron damage. We found that Kir6.2 knockout suppressed the excessive iron accumulation in MPTP-treated mouse midbrain and inhibited the upregulation of ferritin light chain (FTL), which is a main intracellular iron storage protein. We probed further and found out that the deletion of Kir6.2 inhibited the excessive production of FTL via IRP-IRE regulatory system, and thereby protecting SN DA neurons against MPTP challenge. Our findings suggest that Kir6.2 plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of PD and regulating Kir6.2/K-ATP channel may be a promising strategy for PD treatment.

  • Neural progenitors derived from Tuberous Sclerosis Complex patients exhibit attenuated PI3K/AKT signaling and delayed neuronal differentiation
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-08-23
    Avery J. Zucco, Valentina Dal Pozzo, Alina Afinogenova, Ronald P. Hart, Orrin Devinsky, Gabriella D'Arcangelo

    Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a disease caused by autosomal dominant mutations in the TSC1 or TSC2 genes, and is characterized by tumor susceptibility, brain lesions, seizures and behavioral impairments. The TSC1 and TSC2 genes encode proteins forming a complex (TSC), which is a major regulator and suppressor of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a signaling complex that promotes cell growth and proliferation. TSC1/2 loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and the subsequent complete loss of TSC regulatory activity in null cells causes mTORC1 dysregulation and TSC-associated brain lesions or other tissue tumors. However, it is not clear whether TSC1/2 heterozygous brain cells are abnormal and contribute to TSC neuropathology. To investigate this issue, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from TSC patients and unaffected controls, and utilized these to obtain neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and differentiated neurons in vitro. These patient-derived TSC2 heterozygous NPCs were delayed in their ability to differentiate into neurons. Patient-derived progenitor cells also exhibited a modest activation of mTORC1 signaling downstream of TSC, and a marked attenuation of upstream PI3K/AKT signaling. We further show that pharmacologic PI3K or AKT inhibition, but not mTORC1 inhibition, causes a neuronal differentiation delay, mimicking the patient phenotype. Together these data suggest that heterozygous TSC2 mutations disrupt neuronal development, potentially contributing to the disease neuropathology, and that this defect may result from dysregulated PI3K/AKT signaling in neural progenitor cells.

  • Defective mitochondrial and lysosomal trafficking in chorea-acanthocytosis is independent of Src-kinase signaling
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-08-03
    Hannes Glaß, Arun Pal, Peter Reinhardt, Jared Sterneckert, Florian Wegner, Alexander Storch, Andreas Hermann

    Mutations in the VPS13A gene leading to depletion of chorein protein are causative for Chorea Acanthocytosis (ChAc), a rare devastating disease, which is characterized by neurodegeneration mainly affecting the basal ganglia as well as deformation of erythrocytes. Studies on patient blood samples highlighted a dysregulation of Actin cytoskeleton caused by downregulation of the PI3K pathway and hyper-activation of Lyn-kinase, but to what extent these mechanisms are present and relevant in the affected neurons remains elusive. We studied the effects of the absence of chorein protein on the morphology and trafficking of lysosomal and mitochondrial compartments in ChAc patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell-derived medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Numbers of both organelle types were reduced in ChAc MSNs. Mitochondrial length was shortened and their membrane potential showed significant hyperpolarization. In contrast to previous studies, showing Lyn kinase dependency of ChAc-associated pathological events in erythrocytes, pharmacological studies demonstrate that the impairment of mitochondria and lysosomes are independent of Lyn kinase activity. These data suggest that impairment in mitochondrial and lysosomal morphologies in MSNs is not mediated by a dysregulation of Lyn kinase and thus the pathological pathways in ChAc might be – at least in part – cell-type specific.

  • The effect of Jun dimerization on neurite outgrowth and motif binding
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-08-03
    Matt C. Danzi, Saloni T. Mehta, Kireeti Dulla, Giulia Zunino, Daniel J. Cooper, John L. Bixby, Vance P. Lemmon

    Axon regeneration is a necessary step toward functional recovery after spinal cord injury. The AP-1 transcription factor c-Jun has long been known to play an important role in directing the transcriptional response of Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) neurons to peripheral axotomy that results in successful axon regeneration. Here we performed ChIPseq for Jun in mouse DRG neurons after a sciatic nerve crush or sham surgery in order to measure the changes in Jun's DNA binding in response to peripheral axotomy. We found that the majority of Jun's injury-responsive changes in DNA binding occur at putative enhancer elements, rather than proximal to transcription start sites. We also used a series of single polypeptide chain tandem transcription factors to test the effects of different Jun-containing dimers on neurite outgrowth in DRG, cortical and hippocampal neurons. These experiments demonstrated that dimers composed of Jun and Atf3 promoted neurite outgrowth in rat CNS neurons as well as mouse DRG neurons. Our work provides new insight into the mechanisms underlying Jun's role in axon regeneration.

  • The ferroxidase ceruloplasmin influences Reelin processing, cofilin phosphorylation and neuronal organization in the developing brain
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-08-02
    Philippe Ducharme, Juan G. Zarruk, Samuel David, Joanne Paquin

    Ceruloplasmin (Cp) is an important extracellular regulator of iron metabolism. We showed previously that it stimulates Reelin proteolytic processing and cell aggregation in cultures of developing neurons. Reelin is a secreted protein required for the correct positioning of neurons in the brain. It is cleaved in vivo into N-terminally-derived 300K and 180K fragments through incompletely known mechanisms. One of Reelin signaling targets is the actin-binding protein cofilin, the phosphorylation of which is diminished in Reelin-deficient mice. This work looked for in vivo evidence of a relationship between Cp, Reelin and neuronal organization during brain development by analyzing wild-type and Cp-null mice. Cp as well as the full-length, 300K and 180K Reelin species appeared together in wild-type brains at embryonic day (E) 12.5 by immunoblotting. In wild-type compared to Cp-null brains, there was more 300K Reelin from E12.5 to E17.5, a period characterized by extensive, radially directed neuronal migration in the cerebral cortex. Immunofluorescence labeling of tissue sections at E16.5 revealed the localization of Cp with radial glia and meningeal cells adjacent to Reelin-producing Cajal-Retzius neurons, underlining the proximity of Cp and Reelin. Cofilin phosphorylation was seen starting at E10.5–E12.5 and lasted longer until postnatal day 7 in wild-type than Cp-null mice. Finally, using CUX1 as a marker revealed defective accumulation of neurons in layers II/III in neonatal and adult Cp-null mice. These results combined with our earlier work point to a potentially new role of Cp in Reelin processing and signaling and neuronal organization in the cerebral cortex in vivo.

  • Changes in synaptic AMPA receptor concentration and composition in chronic temporal lobe epilepsy
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-07-29
    Daniel L. Egbenya, Suleman Hussain, Yi-Chen Lai, Jun Xia, Anne E. Anderson, Svend Davanger

    Excitotoxicity caused by excessive stimulation of glutamate receptors, resulting in pathologically increased Ca2+-concentrations, is a decisive factor in neurodegenerative diseases. We investigated long-term changes in synaptic contents of AMPA receptor subunits that play important roles in calcium regulation in chronic epilepsy. Such plastic changes may be either adaptive or detrimental. We used a kainic acid (KA)-based rat model of chronic temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We found significant reductions in the concentration of the AMPA receptor subunits GluA1 and GluA2, and the NMDA receptor subunit NR2B. The relative size of GluA1 and GluA2 reductions were almost identical, at 28% and 27%, respectively. In order to determine whether the synaptic reduction of the AMPA receptor subunits actually reflected the pool of receptors present along the postsynaptic density (PSD), as opposed to cytoplasmic or extrasynaptic pools, we performed postembedding immunogold electron microscopy (EM) of GluA1 and GluA2 in Schaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 area. We found significant reductions, at 32% and 52% of GluA1 and GluA2 subunits, respectively, along the PSD, indicating that these synapses undergo lasting changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission during chronic TLE. When compared to the overall concentration and composition of AMPA receptors expressed in the brain, there was a relative increase in GluA2-lacking AMPA receptor subunits following chronic epilepsy. These changes in synaptic AMPA receptor subunits may possibly contribute to further aggravate the excitotoxic vulnerability of the neurons as well as have significant implications for hippocampal cognitive functions.

  • Physiological signature of a novel potentiator of AMPA receptor signalling
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-07-22
    Blanka R. Szulc, Stephen T. Hilton, Arnaud J. Ruiz

    We have synthesized a novel small molecule based on the pyrrolidinone–containing core structure of clausenamide, which is a candidate anti–dementia drug. The synthetic route yielded multi–gram quantities of an isomeric racemate mixture in a short number of steps. When tested in hippocampal slices from young adult rats the compound enhanced AMPA receptor–mediated signalling at mossy fibre synapses, and potentiated inward currents evoked by local application of l–glutamate onto CA3 pyramidal neurons. It facilitated the induction of mossy fibre LTP, but the magnitude of potentiation was smaller than that observed in untreated slices. The racemic mixture was separated and it was shown that only the (−) enantiomer was active. Toxicity analysis indicated that cell lines tolerated the compound at concentrations well above those enhancing synaptic transmission. Our results unveil a small molecule whose physiological signature resembles that of a potent nootropic drug.

  • EphBs and ephrin-Bs: Trans-synaptic organizers of synapse development and function
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-07-19
    Nathan Henderson, Matthew B. Dalva

    Synapses are specialized cell-cell junctions that underlie the function of neural circuits by mediating communication between neurons. Both the formation and function of synapses require tight coordination between pre- and post-synaptic neurons. Trans-synaptic organizing molecules are important mediators of such signaling. Here we discuss how the EphB and ephrin-B families of trans-synaptic organizing proteins direct synapse formation during early development and regulate synaptic function and plasticity at mature synapses. Finally, we highlight recent evidence linking the synaptic organizing role of EphBs and ephrin-Bs to diseases of maladaptive synaptic function and plasticity.

  • Class 4 Semaphorins and Plexin-B receptors regulate GABAergic and glutamatergic synapse development in the mammalian hippocampus
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-07-04
    Jacqueline E. McDermott, Dena Goldblatt, Suzanne Paradis

    To understand how proper circuit formation and function is established in the mammalian brain, it is necessary to define the genes and signaling pathways that instruct excitatory and inhibitory synapse development. We previously demonstrated that the ligand-receptor pair, Sema4D and Plexin-B1, regulates inhibitory synapse development on an unprecedentedly fast time-scale while having no effect on excitatory synapse development. Here, we report previously undescribed synaptogenic roles for Sema4A and Plexin-B2 and provide new insight into Sema4D and Plexin-B1 regulation of synapse development in rodent hippocampus. First, we show that Sema4a, Sema4d, Plxnb1, and Plxnb2 have distinct and overlapping expression patterns in neurons and glia in the developing hippocampus. Second, we describe a requirement for Plexin-B1 in both the presynaptic axon of inhibitory interneurons as well as the postsynaptic dendrites of excitatory neurons for Sema4D-dependent inhibitory synapse development. Third, we define a new synaptogenic activity for Sema4A in mediating inhibitory and excitatory synapse development. Specifically, we demonstrate that Sema4A signals through the same pathway as Sema4D, via the postsynaptic Plexin-B1 receptor, to promote inhibitory synapse development. However, Sema4A also signals through the Plexin-B2 receptor to promote excitatory synapse development. Our results shed new light on the molecular cues that promote the development of either inhibitory or excitatory synapses in the mammalian hippocampus.

  • Involvement of l-afadin, but not s-afadin, in the formation of puncta adherentia junctions of hippocampal synapses
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-30
    Tomohiko Maruo, Shotaro Sakakibara, Muneaki Miyata, Yu Itoh, Souichi Kurita, Kenji Mandai, Takuya Sasaki, Yoshimi Takai

    A hippocampal mossy fiber synapse has a complex structure in which presynaptic boutons attach to the dendritic trunk by puncta adherentia junctions (PAJs) and wrap multiply-branched spines, forming synaptic junctions. It was previously shown that afadin regulates the formation of the PAJs cooperatively with nectin-1, nectin-3, and N-cadherin. Afadin is a nectin-binding protein with two splice variants, l-afadin and s-afadin: l-afadin has an actin filament-binding domain, whereas s-afadin lacks it. It remains unknown which variant is involved in the formation of the PAJs or how afadin regulates it. We showed here that re-expression of l-afadin, but not s-afadin, in the afadin-deficient cultured hippocampal neurons in which the PAJ-like structure was disrupted, restored this structure as estimated by the accumulation of N-cadherin and αΝ-catenin. The l-afadin mutant, in which the actin filament-binding domain was deleted, or the l-afadin mutant, in which the αΝ-catenin-binding domain was deleted, did not restore the PAJ-like structure. These results indicate that l-afadin, but not s-afadin, regulates the formation of the hippocampal synapse PAJ-like structure through the binding to actin filaments and αN-catenin. We further found here that l-afadin bound αN-catenin, but not γ-catenin, whereas s-afadin bound γ-catenin, but hardly αN-catenin. These results suggest that the inability of s-afadin to form the hippocampal synapse PAJ-like structure is due to its inability to efficiently bind αN-catenin.

  • Partial loss of ATP13A2 causes selective gliosis independent of robust lipofuscinosis
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-01
    Sruti Rayaprolu, Yasin B. Seven, John Howard, Colin Duffy, Marcelle Altshuler, Christina Moloney, Benoit I. Giasson, Jada Lewis

    Loss-of-function mutations in ATP13A2 are associated with three neurodegenerative diseases: a rare form of Parkinson's disease termed Kufor-Rakeb syndrome (KRS), a lysosomal storage disorder termed neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), and a form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). Furthermore, recent data suggests that heterozygous carriers of mutations in ATP13A2 may confer risk for the development of Parkinson's disease, similar to the association of mutations in glucocerebrosidase (GBA) with both Parkinson's disease and Gaucher's disease, a lysosomal storage disorder. Mutations in ATP13A2 are generally thought to be loss of function; however, the lack of human autopsy tissue has prevented the field from determining the pathological consequences of losing functional ATP13A2. We and others have previously neuropathologically characterized mice completely lacking murine Atp13a2, demonstrating the presence of lipofuscinosis within the brain – a key feature of NCL, one of the diseases to which ATP13A2 mutations have been linked. To determine if loss of one functional Atp13a2 allele can serve as a risk factor for disease, we have now assessed heterozygous Atp13a2 knockout mice for key features of NCL. In this report, we demonstrate that loss of one functional Atp13a2 allele leads to both microgliosis and astrocytosis in multiple brain regions compared to age-matched controls; however, levels of lipofuscin were only modestly elevated in the cortex of heterozygous Atp13a2 knockout mice over controls. This data suggests the possibility that partial loss of ATP13A2 causes inflammatory changes within the brain which appear to be independent of robust lipofuscinosis. This study suggests that heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in ATP13A2 are likely harmful and indicates that glial involvement in the disease process may be an early event that positions the CNS for subsequent disease development.

  • Urate mitigates oxidative stress and motor neuron toxicity of astrocytes derived from ALS-linked SOD1G93A mutant mice
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-18
    Rachit Bakshi, Yuehang Xu, Kaly A. Mueller, Xiqun Chen, Eric Granucci, Sabrina Paganoni, Ghazaleh Sadri-Vakili, Michael A. Schwarzschild

    Dominant mutations in an antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neurons. Oxidative stress has also been linked to many of the neurodegenerative diseases and is likely a central mechanism of motor neuron death in ALS. Astrocytes derived from mutant SOD1G93A mouse models or patients play a significant role in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons in ALS through a non-cell-autonomous process. Here we characterize the neuroprotective effects and mechanisms of urate (a.k.a. uric acid), a major endogenous antioxidant and a biomarker of favorable ALS progression rates, in a cellular model of ALS. Our results demonstrate a significant protective effect of urate against motor neuron injury evoked by mutant astrocytes derived from SOD1G93A mice or hydrogen peroxide induced oxidative stress. Overall, these results implicate astrocyte dependent protective effect of urate in a cellular model of ALS. These findings together with our biomarker data may advance novel targets for treating motor neuron disease.

  • Identification and characterization of two novel alternatively spliced E2F1 transcripts in the rat CNS
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-22
    Dan P. Jackson, Jenhao H. Ting, Paul D. Pozniak, Claire Meurice, Stephanie S. Schleidt, Anh Dao, Amy H. Lee, Eva Klinman, Kelly L. Jordan-Sciutto

    E2F1 is a transcription factor classically known to regulate G0/G1 to S phase progression in the cell cycle. In addition, E2F1 also regulates a wide range of apoptotic genes and thus has been well studied in the context of neuronal death and neurodegenerative diseases. However, its function and regulation in the mature central nervous system are not well understood. Alternative splicing is a well-conserved post-transcriptional mechanism common in cells of the CNS and is necessary to generate diverse functional modifications to RNA or protein products from genes. Heretofore, physiologically significant alternatively spliced E2F1 transcripts have not been reported. In the present study, we report the identification of two novel alternatively spliced E2F1 transcripts: E2F1b, an E2F1 transcript retaining intron 5, and E2F1c, an E2F1 transcript excluding exon 6. These alternatively spliced transcripts are observed in the brain and neural cell types including neurons, astrocytes, and undifferentiated oligodendrocytes. The expression of these E2F1 transcripts is distinct during maturation of primary hippocampal neuroglial cells. Pharmacologically-induced global translation inhibition with cycloheximide, anisomycin or thapsigargin lead to significantly reduced expression of E2F1a, E2F1b and E2F1c. Conversely, increasing neuronal activity by elevating the concentration of potassium chloride selectively increased the expression of E2F1b. Furthermore, experiments expressing these variants in vitro show the transcripts can be translated to generate a protein product. Taken together, our data suggest that the alternatively spliced E2F1 transcript behave differently than the E2F1a transcript, and our results provide a foundation for future investigation of the function of E2F1 splice variants in the CNS.

  • Semaphorin 3A as an inhibitive factor for migration of olfactory ensheathing cells through cofilin activation is involved in formation of olfactory nerve layer
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-27
    Ying Wang, Xiaomei Bao, Shiyang Wu, Xiya Shen, Fan Zhang, Zhaoting Lv, Qian Wu, Changnan Xie, Huitao Liu, Jian Lin, Honglin Teng, Zhihui Huang

    Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) migrate from olfactory epithelium towards olfactory bulb (OB), contributing to formation of the presumptive olfactory nerve layer during development. However, it remains unclear that molecular mechanism of regulation of OEC migration in OB. In the present study, we found that OECs highly expressed the receptors of semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) in vitro and in vivo, whereas Sema3A displayed a gradient expression pattern with higher in inner layer of OB and lower in outer layer of OB. Furthermore, the collapse assays, Boyden chamber migration assays and single-cell migration assays showed that Sema3A induced the collapse of leading front of OECs and inhibited OEC migration. Thirdly, the leading front of OECs exhibited adaptation in a protein synthesis-independent manner, and endocytosis-dependent manner during Sema3A-induced OEC migration. Finally, Sema3A-induced collapse of leading front was required the decrease of focal adhesion and a retrograde F-actin flow in a cofilin activation-dependent manner. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Sema3A as an inhibitive migratory factor for OEC migration through cofilin activation is involved in the formation of olfactory nerve layer.

  • Regulation of actin dynamics during structural plasticity of dendritic spines: Signaling messengers and actin-binding proteins
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-07-09
    Jelena Borovac, Miquel Bosch, Kenichi Okamoto

    Activity-dependent plasticity of synaptic structure and function plays an essential role in neuronal development and in cognitive functions including learning and memory. The formation, maintenance and modulation of dendritic spines are mainly controlled by the dynamics of actin filaments (F-actin) through interaction with various actin-binding proteins (ABPs) and postsynaptic signaling messengers. Induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) triggers a cascade of events involving Ca2+ signaling, intracellular pathways such as cAMP and cGMP, and regulation of ABPs such as CaMKII, Cofilin, Aip1, Arp2/3, α-actinin, Profilin and Drebrin. We review here how these ABPs modulate the rate of assembly, disassembly, stabilization and bundling of F-actin during LTP induction. We highlight the crucial role that CaMKII exerts in both functional and structural plasticity by directly coupling Ca2+ signaling with F-actin dynamics through the β subunit. Moreover, we show how cAMP and cGMP second messengers regulate postsynaptic structural potentiation. Brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia or autism, are associated with alterations in the regulation of F-actin dynamics by these ABPs and signaling messengers. Thus, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling actin cytoskeleton can provide cues for the treatment of these disorders.

  • Depressed mitochondrial function and electron transport Complex II-mediated H2O2 production in the cortex of type 1 diabetic rodents
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-23
    Subir Roy Chowdhury, Jelena Djordjevic, Ella Thomson, Darrell R. Smith, Benedict C. Albensi, Paul Fernyhough

    Aims Abnormalities in mitochondrial function under diabetic conditions can lead to deficits in function of cortical neurons and their support cells exhibiting a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to assess mitochondrial respiration rates and membrane potential or H2O2 generation simultaneously and expression of proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics, ROS scavenging and AMPK/SIRT/PGC-1α pathway activity in cortex under diabetic conditions. Methods Cortical mitochondria from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic rats or mice, and aged-matched controls were used for simultaneous measurements of mitochondrial respiration rates and mitochondrial membrane potential (mtMP) or H2O2 using OROBOROS oxygraph. Measurements of enzymatic activities of respiratory complexes were performed using spectophotometry. Protein levels in cortical mitochondria and homogenates were determined by Western blotting. Results Mitochondrial coupled respiration rates and FCCP-induced uncoupled respiration rates were significantly decreased in mitochondria of cortex of STZ-diabetic rats compared to controls. The mtMP in the presence of ADP was significantly depolarized and succinate-dependent respiration rates and H2O2 were significantly diminished in cortical mitochondria of diabetic animals compared to controls, accompanied with reduced expression of CuZn- and Mn-superoxide dismutase. The enzymatic activities of Complex I, II, and IV and protein levels of certain components of Complex I and II, mitofusin 2 (Mfn2), dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), P-AMPK, SIRT2 and PGC-1α were significantly diminished in diabetic cortex. Conclusion Deficits in mitochondrial function, dynamics, and antioxidant capabilities putatively mediated through sub-optimal AMPK/SIRT/PGC-1α signaling, are involved in the development of early sub-clinical neurodegeneration in the cortex under diabetic conditions.

  • The association of spinophilin with disks large-associated protein 3 (SAPAP3) is regulated by metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) 5
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-14
    Cameron W. Morris, Darryl S. Watkins, Asma B. Salek, Michael C. Edler, Anthony J. Baucum
  • Differential gene regulatory plasticity between upper and lower layer cortical excitatory neurons
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-23
    Lingling Yang, Liuzeng Chen, Chunlin Cai, Hong Li

    Neocortical projection neurons consist of intracortical connected upper layer (UL, layer II–IV) neurons and subcortical connected lower layer (LL, layer V–VI) neurons. Afferent activity from the thalamus regulates layer-specific gene expression during postnatal development, which is critical for the formation of proper neocortical cytoarchitecture. Here, we show that activity-dependent gene regulation is confined to UL cortical neurons, but not LL neurons, and that this distinction is likely due to epigenetic modifications of chromatin. We found that the immediate early genes (IEGs), EGR1 and c-FOS, are downregulated in all cortical laminar layers in the absence of afferent activity in vivo. Transcriptional assays demonstrated that EGR1 and c-FOS are able to bind to the promoters of UL- and LL-specific genes to induce transcription. Furthermore, we discovered that LL neurons express higher levels of heterochromatin markers, such as H3K9m3 and H4K20m3, compared to UL neurons. Our results suggest that differential epigenetic modifications of chromatin is an intrinsic mechanism that underlies the different sensitivities of cortical neurons to activity-dependent gene regulation.

  • BDNF haploinsufficiency exerts a transient and regionally different influence upon oligodendroglial lineage cells during postnatal development
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-18
    Madeline Nicholson, Rhiannon J. Wood, Jessica L. Fletcher, Maarten van den Buuse, Simon S. Murray, Junhua Xiao

    Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) plays important roles in promoting myelination in the developing central nervous system (CNS), however the influence it exerts on oligodendrocyte development in vivo remains unclear. As BDNF knockout mice die in the perinatal period, we undertook a systematic developmental analysis of oligodendroglial lineage cells within multiple CNS regions of BDNF heterozygous (HET) mice. Our data identify that BDNF heterozygosity results in transient reductions in oligodendroglial lineage cell density and progression that are largely restricted to the optic nerve, whereas the corpus callosum, cerebral cortex, basal forebrain and spinal cord white matter tracts are unaffected. In the first two postnatal weeks, BDNF HET mice exhibit reductions in the density of oligodendroglial lineage cells, oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) and postmitotic oligodendrocytes selectively in the optic nerve, but not in the brain or spinal cord white matter tracts. However, this normalizes later in development. The overall proportion of OPCs and mature oligodendrocytes remains unchanged from P9 to P30 in all CNS regions. This study identifies that BDNF exerts transient effects on oligodendroglial lineage cells selectively in the optic nerve during postnatal development. Taken together, this provides compelling evidence that BDNF haploinsufficiency exerts modest effects upon oligodendroglial cell density and lineage progression in vivo, suggesting its major role is restricted to promoting oligodendrocyte myelination.

  • Astrocyte elevated gene-1 is a novel regulator of astrogliosis and excitatory amino acid transporter-2 via interplaying with nuclear factor-κB signaling in astrocytes from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model with hSOD1G93A mutation
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-16
    Xiang Yin, Shuyu Wang, Yan Qi, Xudong Wang, Hongquan Jiang, Tianhang Wang, Yueqing Yang, Ying Wang, Chunting Zhang, Honglin Feng

    AEG-1 has received extensive attention on cancer research. However, little is known about its roles in astrogliosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we detected AEG-1 expression in hSOD1G93A-positive (mut-SOD1) astrocytes and wild type (wt-SOD1) astrocytes, and intend to elucidate its potential functions in ALS related astrogliosis and the always accompanied dysregulated glutamate clearance. Results showed elevated protein and mRNA levels of AEG-1 in mut-SOD1 astrocytes; Also, NF-κB signaling pathway related proteins and inflammatory cytokines were upregulated in mut-SOD1 astrocytes; AEG-1 knockdown attenuated astrocytes proliferation and pro-inflammatory release; also we found that AEG-1 silence inhibited translocation of p65 from cytoplasma to nuclear, which was associated with inhibited NF-κB signaling. Besides, excitatory amino acid transporter-2 (EAAT2) expression levels were significantly decreased, accompanied by impaired glutamate clearance ability, in mut-SOD1 astrocytes; yin yang 1 (YY1), a transcriptional inhibitor for EAAT2, increased in nucleus of mut-SOD1 astrocytes. AEG-1 silence inhibited translocation of YY1 to nucleus, increased EAAT2 expression levels, and enhanced astrocytic ability of glutamate clearance, ultimately exerted the neuronal protection. Findings from this study implicate potential function of AEG-1 in mut-SOD1 related astrogliosis and the accompanied excitatory cytotoxic mechanism in ALS.

  • α4-GABAA receptors of hippocampal pyramidal neurons are associated with resilience against activity-based anorexia for adolescent female mice but not for males
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-04-22
    Yi-Wen Chen, Hannah Actor-Engel, Chiye Aoki

    Activity-based anorexia (ABA) is an animal model of anorexia nervosa, a mental illness with highest mortality and with onset that is most frequently during adolescence. We questioned whether vulnerability of adolescent mice to ABA differs between sexes and whether individual differences in resilience are causally linked to α4βδ-GABAAR expression. C57BL6/J WT and α4-KO adolescent male and female mice underwent ABA induction by combining wheel access with food restriction. ABA vulnerability was measured as the extent of food restriction-evoked hyperactivity on a running wheel and body weight losses. α4βδ-GABAAR levels at plasma membranes of pyramidal cells in dorsal hippocampus were assessed by electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. Temporal patterns and extent of weight loss during ABA induction were similar between sexes. Both sexes also exhibited individual differences in ABA vulnerability. Correlation analyses revealed that, for both sexes, body weight changes precede and thus are likely to drive suppression of wheel running. However, the suppression was during the food-anticipatory hours for males, while for females, suppression was delayed by a day and during food-access hours. Correspondingly, only females adaptively increased food intake. ABA induced up-regulation of α4βδ-GABAARs at plasma membranes of dorsal hippocampal pyramidal cells of females, and especially those females exhibiting resilience. Conversely, α4-KO females exhibited greater food restriction-evoked hyperactivity than WT females. In contrast, ABA males did not up-regulate α4βδ-GABAARs, did not exhibit genotype differences in vulnerability, and exhibited no correlation between plasmalemmal α4βδ-GABAARs and ABA resilience. Thus, food restriction-evoked hyperactivity is driven by anxiety but can be suppressed through upregulation of hippocampal α4βδ-GABAARs for females but not for males. This knowledge of sex-related differences in the underlying mechanisms of resilience to ABA indicates that drugs targeting α4βδ-GABAARs may be helpful for treating stress-induced anxiety and anorexia nervosa of females but not males.

  • Depletion of astrocytic transglutaminase 2 improves injury outcomes
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-30
    Alina Monteagudo, Julianne Feola, Heather Natola, Changyi Ji, Christoph Pröschel, Gail V.W. Johnson

    Astrocytes play an indispensable role in maintaining a healthy, functional neural network in the central nervous system (CNS). A primary function of CNS astrocytes is to support the survival and function of neurons. In response to injury, astrocytes take on a reactive phenotype, which alters their molecular functions. Reactive astrocytes have been reported to be both beneficial and harmful to the CNS recovery process subsequent to injury. Understanding the molecular processes and regulatory proteins that determine the extent to which an astrocyte hinders or supports neuronal survival is important within the context of CNS repair. One protein that plays a role in modulating cellular survival is transglutaminase 2 (TG2). Global deletion of TG2 results in beneficial outcomes subsequent to in vivo ischemic brain injury. Ex vivo studies have also implicated TG2 as a negative regulator of astrocyte viability subsequent to injury. In this study we show that knocking down TG2 in astrocytes significantly increases their ability to protect neurons from oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD)/reperfusion injury. To begin to understand how deletion of TG2 in astrocytes improves their ability to protect neurons from injury, we performed transcriptome analysis of wild type and TG2−/− astrocytes. TG2 deletion resulted in alterations in genes involved in extracellular matrix remodeling, cell adhesion and axon growth/guidance. In addition, the majority of genes that showed increases in the TG2−/− astrocytes had predicted cJun/AP-1 binding motifs in their promoters. Furthermore, phospho-cJun levels were robustly elevated in TG2−/− astrocytes, a finding which was consistent with the increase in expression of AP-1 responsive genes. These in vitro data were subsequently extended into an in vivo model to determine whether the absence of astrocytic TG2 improves outcomes after CNS injury. Our results show that, following a spinal cord injury, scar formation is significantly attenuated in mice with astrocyte-specific TG2 deletion compared to mice expressing normal TG2 levels. Taken together, these data indicate that TG2 plays a pivotal role in mediating reactive astrocyte properties following CNS injury. Further, the data suggest that limiting the AP-1 mediated pro-survival injury response may be a contributing factor to that the detrimental effects of astrocytic TG2.

  • Sex-dependent co-occurrence of hypoxia and β-amyloid plaques in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex is reversed by long-term treatment with ubiquinol and ascorbic acid in the 3 × Tg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-06-25
    Javier Frontiñan-Rubio, Francisco J. Sancho-Bielsa, Juan R. Peinado, Frank M. LaFerla, Lydia Giménez-Llort, Mario Durán-Prado, Francisco J. Alcain

    Structural and functional abnormalities in the cerebral microvasculature have been observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and animal models. One cause of hypoperfusion is the thickening of the cerebrovascular basement membrane (CVBM) due to increased collagen-IV deposition around capillaries. This study investigated whether these and other alterations in the cerebrovascular system associated with AD can be prevented by long-term dietary supplementation with the antioxidant ubiquinol (Ub) stabilized with Kaneka QH P30 powder containing ascorbic acid (ASC) in a mouse model of advanced AD (3 × Tg-AD mice, 12 months old). Animals were treated from prodromal stages of disease (3 months of age) with standard chow without or with Ub + ASC or ASC-containing vehicle and compared to wild-type (WT) mice. The number of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex was higher in female than in male 3 × Tg-AD mice. Extensive regions of hypoxia were characterized by a higher plaque burden in females only. This was abolished by Ub + ASC and, to a lesser extent, by ASC treatment. Irrespective of Aβ burden, increased collagen-IV deposition in the CVBM was observed in both male and female 3 × Tg-AD mice relative to WT animals; this was also abrogated in Ub + ASC- and ASC-treated mice. The chronic inflammation in the hippocampus and oxidative stress in peripheral leukocytes of 3 × Tg-AD mice were likewise reversed by antioxidant treatment. These results provide strong evidence that long-term antioxidant treatment can mitigate plasma oxidative stress, amyloid burden, and hypoxia in the AD brain parenchyma.

  • AMPA receptor complex constituents: Control of receptor assembly, membrane trafficking and subcellular localization
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-26
    Eric Jacobi, Jakob von Engelhardt

    Fast excitatory transmission at synapses of the central nervous system is mainly mediated by AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Synaptic AMPAR number and function correlates with synaptic strength. AMPARs are thus key proteins of activity-dependent plasticity in neuronal communication. Up- or down-regulation of synaptic AMPAR number is a tightly controlled dynamic process that involves export of receptors from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus, exocytosis and endocytosis as well as lateral diffusion of the receptors in the cell membrane. The four AMPAR subunits are embedded into a dynamic network of more than 30 interacting proteins. Many of these proteins are known to modulate receptor gating, trafficking and subcellular localization. Here, we will review the influence that AMPAR interacting proteins exert on trafficking and subcellular localization of the receptors by controlling their assembly, ER/Golgi apparatus export, and synaptic anchoring.

  • Functional organization of postsynaptic glutamate receptors
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-16
    Nicky Scheefhals, Harold D. MacGillavry

    Glutamate receptors are the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in the brain, responsible for mediating the vast majority of excitatory transmission in neuronal networks. The AMPA- and NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate the fast synaptic responses, while metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are coupled to downstream signaling cascades that act on much slower timescales. These functionally distinct receptor sub-types are co-expressed at individual synapses, allowing for the precise temporal modulation of postsynaptic excitability and plasticity. Intriguingly, these receptors are differentially distributed with respect to the presynaptic release site. While iGluRs are enriched in the core of the synapse directly opposing the release site, mGluRs reside preferentially at the border of the synapse. As such, to understand the differential contribution of these receptors to synaptic transmission, it is important to not only consider their signaling properties, but also the mechanisms that control the spatial segregation of these receptor types within synapses. In this review, we will focus on the mechanisms that control the organization of glutamate receptors at the postsynaptic membrane with respect to the release site, and discuss how this organization could regulate synapse physiology.

  • The functional architecture of axonal actin
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-12
    Marie-Jeanne Papandréou, Christophe Leterrier

    The cytoskeleton builds and supports the complex architecture of neurons. It orchestrates the specification, growth, and compartmentation of the axon: axon initial segment, axonal shaft, presynapses. The cytoskeleton must then maintain this intricate architecture for the whole life of its host, but also drive its adaptation to new network demands and changing physiological conditions. Microtubules are readily visible inside axon shafts by electron microscopy, whereas axonal actin study has long been focused on dynamic structures of the axon such as growth cones. Super-resolution microscopy and live-cell imaging have recently revealed new actin-based structures in mature axons: rings, hotspots and trails. This has caused renewed interest for axonal actin, with efforts underway to understand the precise organization and cellular functions of these assemblies. Actin is also present in presynapses, where its arrangement is still poorly defined, and its functions vigorously debated. Here we review the organization of axonal actin, focusing on recent advances and current questions in this rejuvenated field.

  • Autophagy and lysosomal pathways in nervous system disorders
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Baris Bingol

    Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved pathway for delivering cytoplasmic cargo to lysosomes for degradation. In its classically studied form, autophagy is a stress response induced by starvation to recycle building blocks for essential cellular processes. In addition, autophagy maintains basal cellular homeostasis by degrading endogenous substrates such as cytoplasmic proteins, protein aggregates, damaged organelles, as well as exogenous substrates such as bacteria and viruses. Given their important role in homeostasis, autophagy and lysosomal machinery are genetically linked to multiple human disorders such as chronic inflammatory diseases, cardiomyopathies, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Multiple targets within the autophagy and lysosomal pathways offer therapeutic opportunities to benefit patients with these disorders. Here, I will summarize the mechanisms of autophagy pathways, the evidence supporting a pathogenic role for disturbed autophagy and lysosomal degradation in nervous system disorders, and the therapeutic potential of autophagy modulators in the clinic.

  • Ankyrins: Roles in synaptic biology and pathology
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-05-03
    Katharine R. Smith, Peter Penzes

    Ankyrins are broadly expressed adaptors that organize diverse membrane proteins into specialized domains and link them to the sub-membranous cytoskeleton. In neurons, ankyrins are known to have essential roles in organizing the axon initial segment and nodes of Ranvier. However, recent studies have revealed novel functions for ankyrins at synapses, where they organize and stabilize neurotransmitter receptors, modulate dendritic spine morphology and control adhesion to the presynaptic site. Ankyrin genes have also been highly associated with a range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric diseases, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism, which all demonstrate overlap in their genetics, mechanisms and phenotypes. This review discusses the novel synaptic functions of ankyrin proteins in neurons, and places these exciting findings in the context of ANK genes as key neuropsychiatric disorder risk-factors.

  • Dynamics, nanoscale organization, and function of synaptic adhesion molecules
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-04-17
    Ingrid Chamma, Olivier Thoumine

    Synaptic adhesion molecules not only provide a physical link between pre- and post-synaptic membranes, but also contribute to synaptic differentiation and plasticity by organizing functional elements, in particular neurotransmitter receptors. The wealth of existing adhesive protein families including many isoforms and splice variants, calls for systematic identification of the levels and exchange rates of each of those protein members at specific synapse types. Complementary to electron microscopy to identify individual synaptic contacts and biochemistry to reveal protein-protein interactions, recent super-resolution light microscopy methods combined with appropriate fluorescent labeling provide a way to measure the dynamics and sub-micron organization of selective molecular components, and their inter-relations at the synapse. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the dynamics, nanoscale localization, and function of key synaptic adhesion complexes.

  • New approaches for solving old problems in neuronal protein trafficking
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-04-10
    Ashley M. Bourke, Aaron B. Bowen, Matthew J. Kennedy

    Fundamental cellular properties are determined by the repertoire and abundance of proteins displayed on the cell surface. As such, the trafficking mechanisms for establishing and maintaining the surface proteome must be tightly regulated for cells to respond appropriately to extracellular cues, yet plastic enough to adapt to ever-changing environments. Not only are the identity and abundance of surface proteins critical, but in many cases, their regulated spatial positioning within surface nanodomains can greatly impact their function. In the context of neuronal cell biology, surface levels and positioning of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors play essential roles in establishing important properties, including cellular excitability and synaptic strength. Here we review our current understanding of the trafficking pathways that control the abundance and localization of proteins important for synaptic function and plasticity, as well as recent technological advances that are allowing the field to investigate protein trafficking with increasing spatiotemporal precision.

  • Trafficking mechanisms of synaptogenic cell adhesion molecules
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-04-06
    Luís F. Ribeiro, Ben Verpoort, Joris de Wit

    Nearly every aspect of neuronal function, from wiring to information processing, critically depends on the highly polarized architecture of neurons. Establishing and maintaining the distinct molecular composition of axonal and dendritic compartments requires precise control over the trafficking of the proteins that make up these cellular domains. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), membrane proteins with a critical role in the formation, differentiation and plasticity of synapses, require targeting to the correct pre- or postsynaptic compartment for proper functioning of neural circuits. However, the mechanisms that control the polarized trafficking, synaptic targeting, and synaptic abundance of CAMs are poorly understood. Here, we summarize current knowledge about the sequential trafficking events along the secretory pathway that control the polarized surface distribution of synaptic CAMs, and discuss how their synaptic targeting and abundance is additionally influenced by post-secretory determinants. The identification of trafficking-impairing mutations in CAMs associated with various neurodevelopmental disorders underscores the importance of correct protein trafficking for normal brain function.

  • Tetraspanins shape the synapse
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-04-06
    Luca Murru, Edoardo Moretto, Giuseppe Martano, Maria Passafaro

    Tetraspanins are a family of proteins largely expressed in mammals. These proteins share very similar structures and are involved in several biological processes spanning from the immune system to cancer growth regulation. Moreover, tetraspanins are scaffold proteins that are able to interact with each other and with a subset of proteins involved in the regulation of the central nervous system, including synapse formation, function and plasticity. In this review, we will focus on the analysis of the literature on tetraspanins, highlighting their involvement in synapse formation and function through direct or indirect modulation of synaptic proteins.

  • Metabotropic glutamate receptor trafficking
    Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (IF 3.312) Pub Date : 2018-03-29
    Young Ho Suh, Kai Chang, Katherine W. Roche

    The metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu receptors) are G protein-coupled receptors that bind to the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate and are important in the modulation of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and plasticity in the central nervous system. Trafficking of mGlu receptors in and out of the synaptic plasma membrane is a fundamental mechanism modulating excitatory synaptic function through regulation of receptor abundance, desensitization, and signaling profiles. In this review, we cover the regulatory mechanisms determining surface expression and endocytosis of mGlu receptors, with particular focus on post-translational modifications and receptor-protein interactions. The literature we review broadens our insight into the precise events defining the expression of functional mGlu receptors at synapses, and will likely contribute to the successful development of novel therapeutic targets for a variety of developmental, neurological, and psychiatric disorders.

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.
化学 • 材料 期刊列表