(1/11751) Low resting potential and postnatal upregulation of NMDA receptors may cause Cajal-Retzius cell death.

Using in situ patch-clamp techniques in rat telencephalic slices, we have followed resting potential (RP) properties and the functional expression of NMDA receptors in neocortical Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells from embryonic day 18 to postnatal day 13, the time around which these cells normally disappear. We find that throughout their lives CR cells have a relatively depolarized RP (approximately -50 mV), which can be made more hyperpolarized (approximately -70 mV) by stimulation of the Na/K pump with intracellular ATP. The NMDA receptors of CR cells are subjected to intense postnatal upregulation, but their similar properties (EC50, Hill number, sensitivity to antagonists, conductance, and kinetics) throughout development suggest that their subunit composition remains relatively homogeneous. The low RP of CR cells is within a range that allows for the relief of NMDA channels from Mg2+ blockade. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that CR cells may degenerate and die subsequent to uncontrolled overload of intracellular Ca2+ via NMDA receptor activation by ambient glutamate. In support of this hypothesis we have obtained evidence showing the protection of CR cells via in vivo blockade of NMDA receptors with dizocilpine.  (+info)

(2/11751) Ischemic tolerance in murine cortical cell culture: critical role for NMDA receptors.

Murine cortical cultures containing both neurons and glia (days in vitro 13-15) were exposed to periods of oxygen-glucose deprivation (5-30 min) too brief to induce neuronal death. Cultures "preconditioned" by sublethal oxygen-glucose deprivation exhibited 30-50% less neuronal death than controls when exposed to a 45-55 min period of oxygen-glucose deprivation 24 hr later. This preconditioning-induced neuroprotection was specific in that neuronal death induced by exposure to excitotoxins or to staurosporine was not attenuated. Neuroprotection was lost if the time between the preconditioning and severe insult were decreased to 7 hr or increased to 72 hr and was blocked if the NMDA antagonist 100 microM 3-((D)-2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid was applied during the preconditioning insult. This was true even if the duration of preconditioning was increased as far as possible (while still remaining sublethal). A similar preconditioning effect was also produced by sublethal exposure to high K+, glutamate, or NMDA but not to kainate or trans-1-aminocyclopentane-1, 3-dicarboxylic acid.  (+info)

(3/11751) Fas/Apo [apoptosis]-1 and associated proteins in the differentiating cerebral cortex: induction of caspase-dependent cell death and activation of NF-kappaB.

The developing cerebral cortex undergoes a period of substantial cell death. The present studies examine the role of the suicide receptor Fas/Apo[apoptosis]-1 in cerebral cortical development. Fas mRNA and protein are transiently expressed in subsets of cells within the developing rat cerebral cortex during the peak period of apoptosis. Fas-immunoreactive cells were localized in close proximity to Fas ligand (FasL)-expressing cells. The Fas-associated signaling protein receptor interacting protein (RIP) was expressed by some Fas-expressing cells, whereas Fas-associated death domain (FADD) was undetectable in the early postnatal cerebral cortex. FLICE-inhibitory protein (FLIP), an inhibitor of Fas activation, was also expressed in the postnatal cerebral cortex. Fas expression was more ubiquitous in embryonic cortical neuroblasts in dissociated culture compared to in situ within the developing brain, suggesting that the environmental milieu partly suppresses Fas expression at this developmental stage. Furthermore, FADD, RIP, and FLIP were also expressed by subsets of dissociated cortical neuroblasts in culture. Fas activation by ligand (FasL) or anti-Fas antibody induced caspase-dependent cell death in primary embryonic cortical neuroblast cultures. The activation of Fas was also accompanied by a rapid downregulation of Fas receptor expression, non-cell cycle-related incorporation of nucleic acids and nuclear translocation of the RelA/p65 subunit of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. Together, these data suggest that adult cortical cell number may be established, in part, by an active process of receptor-mediated cell suicide, initiated in situ by killer (FasL-expressing) cells and that Fas may have functions in addition to suicide in the developing brain.  (+info)

(4/11751) Microvessels from Alzheimer's disease brains kill neurons in vitro.

Understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease is of widespread interest because it is an increasingly prevalent disorder that is progressive, fatal, and currently untreatable. The dementia of Alzheimer's disease is caused by neuronal cell death. We demonstrate for the first time that blood vessels isolated from the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients can directly kill neurons in vitro. Either direct co-culture of Alzheimer's disease microvessels with neurons or incubation of cultured neurons with conditioned medium from microvessels results in neuronal cell death. In contrast, vessels from elderly nondemented donors are significantly (P<0.001) less lethal and brain vessels from younger donors are not neurotoxic. Neuronal killing by either direct co-culture with Alzheimer's disease microvessels or conditioned medium is dose- and time-dependent. Neuronal death can occur by either apoptotic or necrotic mechanisms. The microvessel factor is neurospecific, killing primary cortical neurons, cerebellar granule neurons, and differentiated PC-12 cells, but not non-neuronal cell types or undifferentiated PC-12 cells. Appearance of the neurotoxic factor is decreased by blocking microvessel protein synthesis with cycloheximide. The neurotoxic factor is soluble and likely a protein, because its activity is heat labile and trypsin sensitive. These findings implicate a novel mechanism of vascular-mediated neuronal cell death in Alzheimer's disease.  (+info)

(5/11751) Rapid death of adoptively transferred T cells in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) probably play the major role in controlling HIV replication. However, the value of adoptive transfer of HIV-specific CTL expanded in vitro to HIV+ patients has been limited: this contrasts with the success of CTL therapy in treating or preventing Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus disease after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). We investigated the fate of expanded HIV-specific CTL clones in vivo following adoptive transfer to a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Two autologous CTL clones specific for HIV Gag and Pol were expanded to large numbers (>10(9)) in vitro and infused into an HIV-infected patient whose viral load was rising despite antiretroviral therapy. The fate of one clone was monitored by staining peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with T-cell receptor-specific tetrameric major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-peptide complexes. Although the CTL transfer was well tolerated, there were no significant changes in CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts and virus load. By tracking an infused clone using soluble MHC-peptide complexes, we show that cells bearing the Gag-specific T-cell receptors were rapidly eliminated within hours of infusion through apoptosis. Thus, the failure of adoptively transferred HIV-specific CTL to reduce virus load in AIDS may be due to rapid apoptosis of the infused cells, triggered by a number of potential mechanisms. Further trials of adoptive transfer of CTL should take into account the susceptibility of infused cells to in vivo apoptosis.  (+info)

(6/11751) Role of hypoxia-induced Bax translocation and cytochrome c release in reoxygenation injury.

We investigated mechanisms of cell death during hypoxia/reoxygenation of cultured kidney cells. During glucose-free hypoxia, cell ATP levels declined steeply resulting in the translocation of Bax from cytosol to mitochondria. Concurrently, there was cytochrome c release and caspase activation. Cells that leaked cytochrome c underwent apoptosis after reoxygenation. ATP depletion induced by a mitochondrial uncoupler resulted in similar alterations even in the presence of oxygen. Moreover, inclusion of glucose during hypoxia prevented protein translocations and reoxygenation injury by maintaining intracellular ATP. Thus, ATP depletion, rather than hypoxia per se, was the cause of protein translocations. Overexpression of Bcl-2 prevented cytochrome c release and reoxygenation injury without ameliorating ATP depletion or Bax translocation. On the other hand, caspase inhibitors did not prevent protein translocations, but inhibited apoptosis during reoxygenation. Nevertheless, they could not confer long-term viability, since mitochondria had been damaged. Omission of glucose during reoxygenation resulted in continued failure of ATP production, and cell death with necrotic morphology. In contrast, cells expressing Bcl-2 had functional mitochondria and remained viable during reoxygenation even without glucose. Therefore, Bax translocation during hypoxia is a molecular trigger for cell death during reoxygenation. If ATP is available during reoxygenation, apoptosis develops; otherwise, death occurs by necrosis. By preserving mitochondrial integrity, BCL-2 prevents both forms of cell death and ensures cell viability.  (+info)

(7/11751) Elevated expression of the CD4 receptor and cell cycle arrest are induced in Jurkat cells by treatment with the novel cyclic dinucleotide 3',5'-cyclic diguanylic acid.

The effect of the novel, naturally occurring nucleotide cyclic diguanylic acid (c-di-GMP) on the lymphoblastoid CD4+ Jurkat cell line was studied. When exposed to 50 microM c-di-GMP, Jurkat cells exhibited a markedly elevated expression of the CD4 receptor of up to 6.3-fold over controls. C-di-GMP also causes blockage of the cell cycle at the S-phase, characterized by increased cellular thymidine uptake, reduction in G2/M-phase cells, increase in S-phase cells and decreased cell division. Additionally c-di-GMP naturally enters these cells and binds irreversibly to the P21ras protein. The effects described appear to be unique for c-di-GMP.  (+info)

(8/11751) Glutamate receptor signaling interplay modulates stress-sensitive mitogen-activated protein kinases and neuronal cell death.

Glutamate receptors modulate multiple signaling pathways, several of which involve mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, with subsequent physiological or pathological consequences. Here we report that stimulation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, using platelet-activating factor (PAF) as a messenger, activates MAP kinases, including c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, p38, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase, in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons. Activation of the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) blocks this NMDA-signaling through PAF and MAP kinases, and the resultant cell death. Recombinant PAF-acetylhydrolase degrades PAF generated by NMDA-receptor activation; the hetrazepine BN50730 (an intracellular PAF receptor antagonist) also inhibits both NMDA-stimulated MAP kinases and neuronal cell death. The finding that the NMDA receptor-PAF-MAP kinase signaling pathway is attenuated by mGluR activation highlights the exquisite interplay between glutamate receptors in the decision making process between neuronal survival and death.  (+info)