(1/6371) Astrocyte-specific expression of tyrosine hydroxylase after intracerebral gene transfer induces behavioral recovery in experimental parkinsonism.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the depletion of dopamine in the caudate putamen. Dopamine replacement with levodopa, a precursor of the neurotransmitter, is presently the most common treatment for this disease. However, in an effort to obtain better therapeutic results, tissue or cells that synthesize catecholamines have been grafted into experimental animals and human patients. In this paper, we present a novel technique to express tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the host's own astrocytes. This procedure uses a transgene in which the expression of a TH cDNA is under the control of a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter, which confers astrocyte-specific expression and also increases its activity in response to brain injury. The method was tested in a rat model of Parkinson's disease produced by lesioning the striatum with 6-hydroxydopamine. Following microinjection of the transgene into the denervated striatum as a DNA-liposome complex, expression of the transgene was detected by RT-PCR and TH protein was observed specifically in astrocytes by using double-labeling immunofluorescence for GFAP and TH coupled with laser confocal microscopy. Efficacy was demonstrated by significant behavioral recovery, as assessed by a decrease in the pharmacologically induced turning behavior generated by the unilateral denervation of the rat striatum. These results suggest this is a valuable technique to express molecules of therapeutic interest in the brain.  (+info)

(2/6371) Activated macrophages and microglia induce dopaminergic sprouting in the injured striatum and express brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor.

Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons undergo sprouting around the margins of a striatal wound. The mechanism of this periwound sprouting has been unclear. In this study, we have examined the role played by the macrophage and microglial response that follows striatal injury. Macrophages and activated microglia quickly accumulate after injury and reach their greatest numbers in the first week. Subsequently, the number of both cell types declines rapidly in the first month and thereafter more slowly. Macrophage numbers eventually cease to decline, and a sizable group of these cells remains at the wound site and forms a long-term, highly activated resident population. This population of macrophages expresses increasing amounts of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA with time. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA is also expressed in and around the wound site. Production of this factor is by both activated microglia and, to a lesser extent, macrophages. The production of these potent dopaminergic neurotrophic factors occurs in a similar spatial distribution to sprouting dopaminergic fibers. Moreover, dopamine transporter-positive dopaminergic neurites can be seen growing toward and embracing hemosiderin-filled wound macrophages. The dopaminergic sprouting that accompanies striatal injury thus appears to result from neurotrophic factor secretion by activated macrophages and microglia at the wound site.  (+info)

(3/6371) Early induction of angiogenetic signals in gliomas of GFAP-v-src transgenic mice.

Angiogenesis is a prerequisite for solid tumor growth. Glioblastoma multiforme, the most common malignant brain tumor, is characterized by extensive vascular proliferation. We previously showed that transgenic mice expressing a GFAP-v-src fusion gene in astrocytes develop low-grade astrocytomas that progressively evolve into hypervascularized glioblastomas. Here, we examined whether tumor progression triggers angiogenetic signals. We found abundant transcription of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in neoplastic astrocytes at surprisingly early stages of tumorigenesis. VEGF and v-src expression patterns were not identical, suggesting that VEGF activation was not only dependent on v-src. Late-stage gliomas showed perinecrotic VEGF up-regulation similarly to human glioblastoma. Expression patterns of the endothelial angiogenic receptors flt-1, flk-1, tie-1, and tie-2 were similar to those described in human gliomas, but flt-1 was expressed also in neoplastic astrocytes, suggesting an autocrine role in tumor growth. In crossbreeding experiments, hemizygous ablation of the tumor suppressor genes Rb and p53 had no significant effect on the expression of VEGF, flt-1, flk-1, tie-1, and tie-2. Therefore, expression of angiogenic signals is an early event during progression of GFAP-v-src tumors and precedes hypervascularization. Given the close similarities in the progression pattern between GFAP-v-src and human gliomas, the present results suggest that these mice may provide a useful tool for antiangiogenic therapy research.  (+info)

(4/6371) Expression of neuropeptide Y receptors mRNA and protein in human brain vessels and cerebromicrovascular cells in culture.

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been suggested as an important regulator of CBF. However, except for the presence of Y1 receptors in large cerebral arteries, little is known about its possible sites of action on brain vessels. In this study, we sought to identify the NPY receptors present in the human cerebrovascular bed. Specific Y1 receptor binding sites, localized on the smooth muscle of human pial vessels and potently competed by NPY, polypeptide YY (PYY), and the selective Y1 receptor antagonist BIBP 3226, were identified by quantitative radioautography of the Y1 radioligand [125I]-[Leu31, Pro34]-PYY. In contrast, no specific binding of the Y2-([125I]-PYY3-36) and Y4/Y5-(125I-human pancreatic polypeptide [hPP]) radioligands could be detected. By in situ hybridization, expression of Y1 receptor mRNA was restricted to the smooth muscle layer of pial vessels, whereas no specific signals were detected for either Y2, Y4, or Y5 receptors. Similarly, using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), mRNA for Y1 but not Y2, Y4, or Y5 receptors was consistently detected in isolated human pial vessels, intracortical microvessels, and capillaries. In human brain microvascular cells in culture, PCR products for the Y1 receptors were exclusively found in the smooth muscle cells. In cultures of human brain astrocytes, a cell type that associates intimately with brain microvessels, PCR products for Y1, Y2, and Y4 but not Y5 receptors were identified. Finally, NPY significantly inhibited the forskolin-induced cAMP production in smooth muscle but not in endothelial cell cultures. We conclude that smooth muscle Y1 receptors are the primary if not exclusive NPY receptors associated with human brain extraparenchymal and intraparenchymal blood vessels, where they most likely mediate cerebral vasoconstriction.  (+info)

(5/6371) Translation of the alzheimer amyloid precursor protein mRNA is up-regulated by interleukin-1 through 5'-untranslated region sequences.

The amyloid precursor protein (APP) has been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) because APP is processed into the beta-peptide that accumulates in amyloid plaques, and APP gene mutations can cause early onset AD. Inflammation is also associated with AD as exemplified by increased expression of interleukin-1 (IL-1) in microglia in affected areas of the AD brain. Here we demonstrate that IL-1alpha and IL-1beta increase APP synthesis by up to 6-fold in primary human astrocytes and by 15-fold in human astrocytoma cells without changing the steady-state levels of APP mRNA. A 90-nucleotide sequence in the APP gene 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) conferred translational regulation by IL-1alpha and IL-1beta to a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene. Steady-state levels of transfected APP(5'-UTR)/CAT mRNAs were unchanged, whereas both base-line and IL-1-dependent CAT protein synthesis were increased. This APP mRNA translational enhancer maps from +55 to +144 nucleotides from the 5'-cap site and is homologous to related translational control elements in the 5'-UTR of the light and and heavy ferritin genes. Enhanced translation of APP mRNA provides a mechanism by which IL-1 influences the pathogenesis of AD.  (+info)

(6/6371) Micronucleus test using cultured new born rat astrocytes.

Micronuclei is induced in cytoplasm as a consequence of the formation of chromosomal fragments or remaining chromosomes during cell division by the cause of clastogens or spindle poisons, and is used as an indicator of genotoxicity screening tests. There are few short-term genotoxicity screening tests using brain cells. We attempted to establish a new in vitro micronucleus test (MN test) system by use of central nervous system cells. Primary cultured astrocytes were prepared from newborn male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. In growth curve of astrocytes, doubling time was determined to be 31 h. In time study, the highest frequency of micronuclei was observed at 48 h, 72 h and 6 h-exposure-66 h-recovery by vincristine (VCR), mitomycin C (MMC) without metabolic activation system and cyclophosphamide (CPM) with metabolic activation system, respectively. Dose-response relationships between micronucleus frequency and concentrations of MMC, VCR and CPM were observed, respectively. It is suggested that the in vitro MN test using new born rat-astrocytes could be used as a screening test of environmental and occupational genotoxic chemicals in the central nervous system cells.  (+info)

(7/6371) Glutamate-, kainate- and NMDA-evoked membrane currents in identified glial cells in rat spinal cord slice.

The effect of L-glutamate, kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) on membrane currents of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and their respective precursors was studied in acute spinal cord slices of rats between the ages of postnatal days 5 and 13 using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. L-glutamate (10(-3) M), kainate (10(-3) M), and NMDA (2x10(-3) M) evoked inward currents in all glial cells. Kainate evoked larger currents in precursors than in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, while NMDA induced larger currents in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes than in precursors. Kainate-evoked currents were blocked by the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist CNQX (10(-4) M) and were, with the exception of the precursors, larger in dorsal than in ventral horns, as were NMDA-evoked currents. Currents evoked by NMDA were unaffected by CNQX and, in contrast to those seen in neurones, were not sensitive to Mg2+. In addition, they significantly decreased during development and were present when synaptic transmission was blocked in a Ca2+-free solution. NMDA-evoked currents were not abolished during the block of K+ inward currents in glial cells by Ba2+; thus they are unlikely to be mediated by an increase in extracellular K+ during neuronal activity. We provide evidence that spinal cord glial cells are sensitive to the application of L-glutamate, kainate and transiently, during postnatal development, to NMDA.  (+info)

(8/6371) Carbamazepine-induced upregulation of adenosine A1-receptors in astrocyte cultures affects coupling to the phosphoinositol signaling pathway.

The anticonvulsant and antibipolar drug carbamazepine (CBZ) is known to act as a specific antagonist at adenosine A1-receptors. After a 3-week application of CBZ, A1-receptors are upregulated in the rat brain. We have investigated the consequences of this upregulation for the A1-receptor-mediated signal transduction in primary astrocyte cultures from different regions of the rat brain. CBZ treatment for 10 days had no effect on adenosine A1-receptor mRNA expression in cultures with high basal A1-receptor mRNA levels, but increased A1-receptor mRNA in cultures exhibiting low basal A1-receptor mRNA levels. This upregulation of A1-receptor mRNA was accompanied by an upregulation or induction of A1-receptor-mediated potentiation of PLC activity, a property that was not found in these cultures before CBZ treatment. Thus, CBZ treatment for 10 days induces a new quality of adenosine A1-receptor-mediated signal transduction in cells that express low basal A1-receptor numbers.  (+info)