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(1/3438) Mechanisms for generating the autonomous cAMP-dependent protein kinase required for long-term facilitation in Aplysia.

The formation of a persistently active cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) is critical for establishing long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF) in Aplysia. The injection of bovine catalytic (C) subunits into sensory neurons is sufficient to produce protein synthesis-dependent LTF. Early in the LTF induced by serotonin (5-HT), an autonomous PKA is generated through the ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated proteolysis of regulatory (R) subunits. The degradation of R occurs during an early time window and appears to be a key function of proteasomes in LTF. Lactacystin, a specific proteasome inhibitor, blocks the facilitation induced by 5-HT, and this block is rescued by injecting C subunits. R is degraded through an allosteric mechanism requiring an elevation of cAMP coincident with the induction of a ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase.  (+info)

(2/3438) T cell subsets in experimental lupus nephritis: modulation by bacterial superantigen.

Chronic graft-vs-host disease (GvH), induced by injection of DBA/2 lymphocytes into (C57BL/6 x DBA/2)F1 hybrids, is a murine model for lupus nephritis, associated with a Th2-dependent polyclonal B cell activation. The development of glomerulosclerosis in this model is preceded by a glomerular influx of LFA-1+ T cells. We investigated whether exposure to bacterial superantigen would modulate the course of this autoimmune syndrome. Injection of the bacterial superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) in mice has been shown to induce the activation of TcRVbeta8+ T cells. Within 2 weeks after GvH induction, mice were injected twice with 20 microg of SEB and the following parameters were examined: cytokine and Ig profile, proteinuria and renal pathology. The second SEB injection induced in GvH mice an increased release of both interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) as compared with control F1 mice. No differences were observed in IL-2 production. SEB-treated GvH mice demonstrated a delayed onset of proteinuria. Histological analysis of the kidney showed that SEB-challenged GvH mice displayed significantly more interstitial inflammation and mesangial proliferation together with more IgG2a deposits in glomeruli than non-injected GvH mice. From these results, we conclude that GvH mice are more responsive to SEB in terms of cytokine production and that bacterial infection can modulate the course of this renal disease from a membranous to a more proliferative type of nephropathy.  (+info)

(3/3438) Embryonic and postnatal injections of bromodeoxyuridine produce age-dependent morphological and behavioral abnormalities.

The mitotic marker 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was injected twice daily (60 mg/kg) into pregnant hooded rats on one of embryonic days (E) 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, or 21, or into rat pups on postnatal day (P) 10. The principal findings were the following: (1) BrdU exposure on E11 produces profound effects on body morphology, and animals must be fed a special diet because of chronic tooth abnormalities; (2) BrdU exposure at E17 or earlier produces a change in coat spotting pattern, the precise pattern varying with age; (3) BrdU exposure on E15 or earlier produces a reduction in both brain and body weight; (4) BrdU exposure on E17 or earlier reduces cortical thickness; (5) BrdU exposure on E11-E13 and at P10 reduces cerebellar size relative to cerebral size; (6) spatial learning is significantly affected after injections of BrdU at E11-E17, but the largest effect is on E17; (7) the deficit in spatial learning may be related in part to a reduction in visual acuity; and (8) skilled forelimb ability is most disrupted after BrdU exposure at E15 but is also impaired after injections on E13 or earlier. BrdU thus has teratological effects on body, brain, and behavior that vary with the developmental age of the fetus or infant.  (+info)

(4/3438) Homocysteine enhances neutrophil-endothelial interactions in both cultured human cells and rats In vivo.

Despite intense investigation, mechanisms linking the development of occlusive vascular disease with elevated levels of homocysteine (HCY) are still unclear. The vascular endothelium plays a key role in regulating thrombogenesis and thrombolysis. We hypothesized that vascular lesions in individuals with elevated plasma HCY may be related to a dysfunction of the endothelium triggered by HCY. We investigated the effect of HCY on human neutrophil adhesion to and migration through endothelial monolayers. We also examined the effect of HCY on leukocyte adhesion and migration in mesenteric venules of anesthetized rats. We found that pathophysiological concentrations of HCY in vitro induce increased adhesion between neutrophils and endothelial cells. This contact results in neutrophil migration across the endothelial layer, with concurrent damage and detachment of endothelial cells. In vivo, HCY infused in anesthetized rats caused parallel effects, increasing leukocyte adhesion to and extravasation from mesenteric venules. Our results suggest that extracellular H2O2, generated by adherent neutrophils and/or endothelial cells, is involved in the in vitro endothelial cell damage. The possibility exists that leukocyte-mediated changes in endothelial integrity and function may lead to the vascular disease seen in individuals with elevated plasma HCY.  (+info)

(5/3438) Riluzole improves functional recovery after ischemia in the rat retina.

PURPOSE: Retinal ischemia leads to neuronal death. The effects of riluzole, a drug that protects against the deleterious effect of cerebral ischemia by acting on several types of ion channels and blocking glutamatergic neurotransmission, were investigated in a rat model of retinal ischemic injury. METHODS: Retinal ischemia was induced by increasing intraocular pressure above systolic blood pressure for 30 minutes. Electroretinograms were recorded before ischemia and at different periods of reperfusion. Riluzole was injected or topically applied to the eye before or after ischemia and twice daily during the reperfusion period. Retinas were harvested for histopathology (toluidine blue and silver-impregnation stainings, Tdt-dUTP terminal nick-end labeling [TUNEL] method) and immunohistochemistry for cytoskeletal glial fibrillary acid protein and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase (p-JNK). RESULTS: Ischemia for 30 minutes caused a reduction of a- and b-waves of the electroretinogram. Systemic and topical treatments with riluzole significantly enhanced the recovery of the reduced a- and b-waves after defined reperfusion times. Riluzole also prevented or attenuated ischemia-induced retinal cell death (necrosis and apoptosis) and reduced the activation of p-JNK, c-jun phosphorylation, and the increase of cytoskeletal proteins induced by ischemic injury. CONCLUSIONS: Riluzole acted in vivo as a potent neuroprotective agent against pressure-induced ischemia. Therefore, riluzole may be a major drug for use in protection against retinal injury.  (+info)

(6/3438) CNTF, not other trophic factors, promotes axonal regeneration of axotomized retinal ganglion cells in adult hamsters.

PURPOSE: To investigate the in vivo effects of trophic factors on the axonal regeneration of axotomized retinal ganglion cells in adult hamsters. METHODS: The left optic nerve was transected intracranially or intraorbitally, and a peripheral nerve graft was apposed or sutured to the axotomized optic nerve to enhance regeneration. Trophic factors were applied intravitreally every 5 days. Animals were allowed to survive for 3 or 4 weeks. Regenerating retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were labeled by applying the dye Fluoro-Gold to the distal end of the peripheral nerve graft 3 days before the animals were killed. RESULTS: Intravitreal application of ciliary neurotrophic factor substantially enhanced the regeneration of damaged axons into a sciatic nerve graft in both experimental conditions (intracranial and intraorbital optic nerve transections) but did not increase the survival of distally axotomized RGCs. Basic fibroblast growth factor and neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3, and neurotrophin-4/5 failed to enhance axonal regeneration of distally axotomized RGCs. CONCLUSIONS: Neurons of the adult central nervous system can regenerate in response to trophic supply after injury, and ciliary neurotrophic factor is at least one of the trophic factors that can promote axonal regeneration of axotomized RGCs.  (+info)

(7/3438) Effect of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 on sympathetic cardiovascular regulation.

1. The aim of the present study was to analyse the cardiovascular actions of the synthetic CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2, and specifically to determine its sites of action on sympathetic cardiovascular regulation. 2. Pithed rabbits in which the sympathetic outflow was continuously stimulated electrically or which received a pressor infusion of noradrenaline were used to study peripheral prejunctional and direct vascular effects, respectively. For studying effects on brain stem cardiovascular regulatory centres, drugs were administered into the cisterna cerebellomedullaris in conscious rabbits. Overall cardiovascular effects of the cannabinoid were studied in conscious rabbits with intravenous drug administration. 3. In pithed rabbits in which the sympathetic outflow was continuously electrically stimulated, intravenous injection of WIN55212-2 (5, 50 and 500 microg kg(-1)) markedly reduced blood pressure, the spillover of noradrenaline into plasma and the plasma noradrenaline concentration, and these effects were antagonized by the CB1 cannabinoid receptor-selective antagonist SR141716A. The hypotensive and the sympathoinhibitory effect of WIN55212-2 was shared by CP55940, another mixed CB1/CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist, but not by WIN55212-3, the enantiomer of WIN55212-2, which lacks affinity for cannabinoid binding sites. WIN55212-2 had no effect on vascular tone established by infusion of noradrenaline in pithed rabbits. 4. Intracisternal application of WIN55212-2 (0.1, 1 and 10 microg kg(-1)) in conscious rabbits increased blood pressure and the plasma noradrenaline concentration and elicited bradycardia; this latter effect was antagonized by atropine. 5. In conscious animals, intravenous injection of WIN55212-2 (5 and 50 microg kg(-1)) caused bradycardia, slight hypotension, no change in the plasma noradrenaline concentration, and an increase in renal sympathetic nerve firing. The highest dose of WIN55212-2 (500 microg kg(-1)) elicited hypotension and tachycardia, and sympathetic nerve activity and the plasma noradrenaline concentration declined. 6. The results obtained in pithed rabbits indicate that activation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors leads to marked peripheral prejunctional inhibition of noradrenaline release from postganglionic sympathetic axons. Intracisternal application of WIN55212-2 uncovered two effects on brain stem cardiovascular centres: sympathoexcitation and activation of cardiac vagal fibres. The highest dose of systemically administered WIN55212-2 produced central sympathoinhibition; the primary site of this action is not known.  (+info)

(8/3438) Microbiological and inflammatory effects of murine recombinant interleukin-10 in two models of polymicrobial peritonitis in rats.

A protective effect of interleukin-10 (IL-10) against the development of lethal shock has been demonstrated in various animal models. In contrast, the immunosuppressant properties of this mediator have been minimally evaluated in low-mortality models of infections. The clinical, microbiological, and inflammatory effects of murine recombinant IL-10 (mrIL-10) therapy were evaluated in two models of peritonitis in rats, which differed in the degree of severity of peritoneal inflammation 3 days after inoculation of Escherichia coli and Bacteroides fragilis with or without Enterococcus faecalis. The severity of the disease remained unchanged compared to that in control animals. A dose-related decrease in the peritoneal phagocyte count was observed in the treated groups compared to the counts in control animals. The subsequent experiments were performed exclusively in the mixed gram-positive-gram negative model, which exhibits an intense and prolonged inflammatory response with similar criteria. The early effects of mrIL-10 (evaluated 6 h after inoculation), repeated injections of mrIL-10 (four doses injected from 0 to 9 h after bacterial challenge), and pretreatment (two doses injected 6 and 3 h before inoculation) were evaluated. The clinical and microbiological parameters remained unchanged in the treated animals. Decreases in the peritoneal phagocyte count and the peritoneal concentration of tumor necrosis factor were observed following repeated injections of mrIL-10. In summary, our data suggest that mrIL-10 does not worsen the manifestations of sepsis. However, these results need to be confirmed in clinical practice.  (+info)