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)
Correlation between hypermetabolism and neuronal damage during status epilepticus induced by lithium and pilocarpine in immature and adult rats.
The correlation between seizure-induced hypermetabolism and subsequent neuronal damage was studied in 10-day-old (P10), 21-day-old (P21), and adult rats subjected to lithium-pilocarpine status epilepticus (SE). Local CMRglc (LCMRglc) values were measured by the [14C]2-deoxyglucose method for a duration of 45 minutes starting at 60 minutes after the onset of SE, and neuronal damage was assessed by cresyl violet staining at 6 days after SE. In P21 and adult rats, LCMRglc values were increased by 275 to 875% in all thalamic, cortical, forebrain, and hypothalamic regions plus the substantia nigra. In addition, at P21 there were also large increases in LCMRglc in brainstem regions. In P10 rats, metabolic increases were mostly located in cortical and forebrain regions plus the substantia nigra but did not affect hypothalamic, thalamic, or brainstem areas. In adult rats, there was an anatomical correlation between hypermetabolism and neuronal damage. At P21, although hypermetabolism occurred in regions with damage, the extent of damage varied considerably with the animals and ranged from an almost negligible to a very extended degree. Finally, in P10 rats, although quite pronounced hypermetabolism occurred, there was no neuronal damage induced by the seizures. Thus, in the present model of epilepsy, the correlation between marked hypermetabolism and neuronal damage can be shown in adult rats. Conversely, immature rats can sustain major metabolic activations that lead either to a variable extent of damage, as seen at P21, or no damage, as recorded at P10. (+info)
Effect of riluzole on the neurological and neuropathological changes in an animal model of cardiac arrest-induced movement disorder.
Posthypoxic myoclonus and seizures precipitate as secondary neurological consequences in ischemic/hypoxic insults of the central nervous system. Neuronal hyperexcitation may be due to excessive activation of glutamatergic neurotransmission, an effect that has been shown to follow ischemic/hypoxic events. Therefore, riluzole, an anticonvulsant that inhibits the release of glutamate by stabilizing the inactivated state of activated voltage-sensitive sodium channels, was tested for its antimyoclonic and neuroprotective properties in the cardiac arrest-induced animal model of posthypoxic myoclonus. Riluzole (4-12 mg/kg i.p.) dose-dependently attenuated the audiogenic seizures and action myoclonus seen in this animal model. Histological examination using Nissl staining and the novel Fluoro-Jade histochemistry in cardiac-arrested animals showed an extensive neuronal degeneration in the hippocampus and cerebellum. Riluzole treatment almost completely prevented the neuronal degeneration in these brain areas. The neuroprotective effect was more pronounced in hippocampal pyramidal neurons and cerebellar Purkinje cells. These effects were seen at therapeutically relevant doses of riluzole, and the animals tolerated the treatment well. These findings indicate that the pathogenesis of posthypoxic myoclonus and seizure may involve excessive activation of glutamate neurotransmission, and that riluzole may serve as an effective pharmacological agent with neuroprotective potential for the treatment of neurological conditions associated with cardiac arrest in humans. (+info)
Non-motor associative learning in patients with isolated degenerative cerebellar disease.
In recent decades it has become clear that the cerebellum is involved in associative motor learning, but its exact role in motor learning as such is still controversial. Recently, a contribution of the cerebellum to different cognitive abilities has also been considered, but it remains unclear whether the cerebellum contributes to cognitive associative learning. We compared nine patients with an isolated cerebellar degenerative disease in a cognitive associative learning task with 10 controls. Patients and controls were matched for age, sex, handedness, level of education, intelligence and capabilities of visual memory. The subjects were asked to learn the association between six pairs of colours and numerals by trial and error. Additionally, a simple reaction time and a visual scanning test were conducted in order to control for the influence of motor performance deficits in cerebellar patients. In comparison with the controls, it took the patients significantly longer to learn the correct associations between colours and numerals, and they were impaired in recognizing them later on. Two patients showed no associative learning effect at all. Neither the simple reaction time nor the visual scanning time correlated substantially with the results of associative learning. Therefore, motor-associated disabilities are unlikely to be the reason for the learning deficit in cerebellar patients. Our results suggest that the cerebellum might contribute to motor-independent processes that are generally involved in associative learning. (+info)
Hypothermic neuroprotection of peripheral nerve of rats from ischaemia-reperfusion injury.
Although there is much information on experimental ischaemic neuropathy, there are only scant data on neuroprotection. We evaluated the effectiveness of hypothermia in protecting peripheral nerve from ischaemia-reperfusion injury using the model of experimental nerve ischaemia. Forty-eight male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into six groups. We used a ligation-reperfusion model of nerve ischaemia where each of the supplying arteries to the sciatic-tibial nerves of the right hind limb was ligated and the ligatures were released after a predetermined period of ischaemia. The right hind limbs of one group (24 rats) were made ischaemic for 5 h and those of the other group (24 rats) for 3 h. Each group was further divided into three and the limbs were maintained at 37 degrees C (36 degrees C for 5 h of ischaemia) in one, 32 degrees C in the second and 28 degrees C in the third of these groups for the final 2 h of the ischaemic period and an additional 2 h of the reperfusion period. A behavioural score was recorded and nerve electrophysiology of motor and sensory nerves was undertaken 1 week after surgical procedures. At that time, entire sciatic-tibial nerves were harvested and fixed in situ. Four portions of each nerve were examined: proximal sciatic nerve, distal sciatic nerve, mid-tibial nerve and distal tibial nerve. To determine the degree of fibre degeneration, each section was studied by light microscopy, and we estimated an oedema index and a fibre degeneration index. The groups treated at 36-37 degrees C underwent marked fibre degeneration, associated with a reduction in action potential and impairment in behavioural score. The groups treated at 28 degrees C (for both 3 and 5 h) showed significantly less (P < 0.01; ANOVA, Bonferoni post hoc test) reperfusion injury for all indices (behavioural score, electrophysiology and neuropathology), and the groups treated at 32 degrees C had scores intermediate between the groups treated at 36-37 degrees C and 28 degrees C. Our results showed that cooling the limbs dramatically protects the peripheral nerve from ischaemia-reperfusion injury. (+info)
N-Methyl-D-aspartate antagonists and apoptotic cell death triggered by head trauma in developing rat brain.
Morbidity and mortality from head trauma is highest among children. No animal model mimicking traumatic brain injury in children has yet been established, and the mechanisms of neuronal degeneration after traumatic injury to the developing brain are not understood. In infant rats subjected to percussion head trauma, two types of brain damage could be characterized. The first type or primary damage evolved within 4 hr and occurred by an excitotoxic mechanism. The second type or secondary damage evolved within 6-24 hr and occurred by an apoptotic mechanism. Primary damage remained localized to the parietal cortex at the site of impact. Secondary damage affected distant sites such as the cingulate/retrosplenial cortex, subiculum, frontal cortex, thalamus and striatum. Secondary apoptotic damage was more severe than primary excitotoxic damage. Morphometric analysis demonstrated that the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists 3-(2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonate and dizocilpine protected against primary excitotoxic damage but increased severity of secondary apoptotic damage. 2-Sulfo-alpha-phenyl-N-tert-butyl-nitrone, a free radical scavenger, did not affect primary excitotoxic damage but mitigated apoptotic damage. These observations demonstrate that apoptosis and not excitotoxicity determine neuropathologic outcome after traumatic injury to the developing brain. Whereas free radical scavengers may prove useful in therapy of head trauma in children, N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists should be avoided because of their propensity to increase severity of apoptotic damage. (+info)
Necrosis and apoptosis after retinal ischemia: involvement of NMDA-mediated excitotoxicity and p53.
PURPOSE: Accumulated evidence has shown that apoptosis and necrosis contribute to neuronal death after ischemia. The present study was performed to study the temporal and spatial patterns of neuronal necrosis and apoptosis after ischemia in retina and to outline mechanisms underlying necrosis and apoptosis. METHODS: Retinal ischemia was induced by increasing intraocular pressure to a range of 160 mm Hg to 180 mm Hg for 90 minutes in adult rats. The patterns of neuronal cell death were determined using light and electron microscopy and were visualized by TdT-dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL). The mRNA expression profile of p53 was examined using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ hybridization histochemistry. Immunohistochemistry was performed using anti-p53, anti-microtubule associated protein-2, and anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein antibodies. RESULTS: Within 4 hours after ischemia, neurons in the inner nuclear cell layer (INL) and ganglion cell layer (GCL) underwent marked necrosis, made apparent by swelling of the cell body and mitochondria, early fenestration of the plasma membrane, and irregularly scattered condensation of nuclear chromatin. After 3 days, the INL and GCL neurons showed further degeneration through apoptosis marked by cell body shrinkage, aggregation, and condensation of nuclear chromatin. Apoptotic neurons were also observed sparsely in the outer nuclear cell layer. Intravitreal injections of MK-801 prevented early neuronal degeneration after ischemia. Of note, mRNA and protein levels of p53, the tumor suppressor gene known to induce apoptosis, were increased in the retinal areas undergoing apoptosis 1 to 3 days after ischemic injury. CONCLUSIONS: Ischemia produces the N-methyl-D-aspartate-mediated necrosis and slowly evolving apoptosis of neurons in the retina. The latter may depend on the expression of the p53 proapoptosis gene. (+info)
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)