Adenoviral gene transfer into the normal and injured spinal cord: enhanced transgene stability by combined administration of temperature-sensitive virus and transient immune blockade. (1/10835)

This study characterized gene transfer into both normal and injured adult rat dorsal spinal cord using first (E1-/E3-) or second (E1-/E2A125/E3-, temperature-sensitive; ts) generation of replication-defective adenoviral (Ad) vectors. A novel immunosuppressive regimen aimed at blocking CD4/CD45 lymphocytic receptors was tested for improving transgene persistence. In addition, the effect of gene transfer on nociception was also evaluated. Seven days after treatment, numerous LacZ-positive cells were observed after transfection with either viral vector. By 21 days after transfection, beta-galactosidase staining was reduced and suggestive of ongoing cytopathology in both Ad-treated groups, despite the fact that the immunogenicity of LacZ/Adts appeared less when compared with that elicited by the LacZ/Ad vector. In contrast, immunosuppressed animals showed a significant (P < or = 0.05) increase in the number of LacZ-positive cells not displaying cytopathology. In these animals, a concomitant reduction in numbers of macrophages/microglia and CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes was observed. Only animals that received LacZ/Adts and immunosuppression showed transgene expression after 60 days. Similar results were observed in animals in which the L4-L5 dorsal roots were lesioned before transfection. Gene transfer into the dorsal spinal cord did not affect nociception, independent of the adenovirus vector. These results indicate that immune blockade of the CD4/CD45 lymphocytic receptors enhanced transgene stability in adult animals with normal or injured spinal cords and that persistent transgene expression in the spinal cord does not interfere with normal neural function.  (+info)

Activity-dependent metaplasticity of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the lamprey spinal cord locomotor network. (2/10835)

Paired intracellular recordings have been used to examine the activity-dependent plasticity and neuromodulator-induced metaplasticity of synaptic inputs from identified inhibitory and excitatory interneurons in the lamprey spinal cord. Trains of spikes at 5-20 Hz were used to mimic the frequency of spiking that occurs in network interneurons during NMDA or brainstem-evoked locomotor activity. Inputs from inhibitory and excitatory interneurons exhibited similar activity-dependent changes, with synaptic depression developing during the spike train. The level of depression reached was greater with lower stimulation frequencies. Significant activity-dependent depression of inputs from excitatory interneurons and inhibitory crossed caudal interneurons, which are central elements in the patterning of network activity, usually developed between the fifth and tenth spikes in the train. Because these interneurons typically fire bursts of up to five spikes during locomotor activity, this activity-dependent plasticity will presumably not contribute to the patterning of network activity. However, in the presence of the neuromodulators substance P and 5-HT, significant activity-dependent metaplasticity of these inputs developed over the first five spikes in the train. Substance P induced significant activity-dependent depression of inhibitory but potentiation of excitatory interneuron inputs, whereas 5-HT induced significant activity-dependent potentiation of both inhibitory and excitatory interneuron inputs. Because these metaplastic effects are consistent with the substance P and 5-HT-induced modulation of the network output, activity-dependent metaplasticity could be a potential mechanism underlying the coordination and modulation of rhythmic network activity.  (+info)

Spinal cord-evoked potentials and muscle responses evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation in 10 awake human subjects. (3/10835)

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TCMS) causes leg muscle contractions, but the neural structures in the brain that are activated by TCMS and their relationship to these leg muscle responses are not clearly understood. To elucidate this, we concomitantly recorded leg muscle responses and thoracic spinal cord-evoked potentials (SCEPs) after TCMS for the first time in 10 awake, neurologically intact human subjects. In this report we provide evidence of direct and indirect activation of corticospinal neurons after TCMS. In three subjects, SCEP threshold (T) stimulus intensities recruited both the D wave (direct activation of corticospinal neurons) and the first I wave (I1, indirect activation of corticospinal neurons). In one subject, the D, I1, and I2 waves were recruited simultaneously, and in another subject, the I1 and I2 waves were recruited simultaneously. In the remaining five subjects, only the I1 wave was recruited first. More waves were recruited as the stimulus intensity increased. The presence of D and I waves in all subjects at low stimulus intensities verified that TCMS directly and indirectly activated corticospinal neurons supplying the lower extremities. Leg muscle responses were usually contingent on the SCEP containing at least four waves (D, I1, I2, and I3).  (+info)

Complete compensation in skilled reaching success with associated impairments in limb synergies, after dorsal column lesion in the rat. (4/10835)

Each of the dorsal columns of the rat spinal cord conveys primary sensory information, by way of the medullary dorsal column nucleus, to the ventrobasal thalamus on the contralateral side; thus the dorsal columns are an important source of neural input to the sensorimotor cortex. Damage to the dorsal columns causes impairments in synergistic proximal or whole-body movements in cats and distal limb impairments in primates, particularly in multiarticulated finger movements and tactile foviation while handling objects, but the behavioral effects of afferent fiber lesions in the dorsal columns of rodents have not been described. Female Long-Evans rats were trained to reach with a forelimb for food pellets and subsequently received lesions of the dorsomedial spinal cord at the C2 level, ipsilateral to their preferred limb. Reaching success completely recovered within a few days of dorsal column lesion. Nevertheless, a detailed analysis of high-speed video recordings revealed that rotatory limb movements (aiming, pronation, supination, etc.) were irreversibly impaired. Compensation was achieved with whole-body and alternate limb movements. These results indicate the following: (1) in the absence of the dorsal columns, other sensorimotor pathways support endpoint success in reaching; (2) sensory input conveyed by the dorsal columns is important for both proximal and distal limb movements used for skilled reaching; and (3) detailed behavioral analyses in addition to endpoint measures are necessary to completely describe the effects of dorsal column lesions.  (+info)

Neurite outgrowth-regulating properties of GABA and the effect of serum on mouse spinal cord neurons in culture. (5/10835)

Time-lapse photography was used to examine the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on the outgrowth and motility of neurites in cultures from mouse spinal cord. GABA at concentrations of 100, 10 and 1 microM caused significant inhibition of neurite outgrowth and the motility of growth cones was significantly reduced by treatment with 100 and 10 microM GABA. This effect was mimicked by the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen, whereas the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol had no effect. The effect of GABA on outgrowth and motility seems to be dependent on the type of serum employed. The results reported here were obtained only when heat-inactivated serum was used and not when non heat-inactivated serum was added to the culture medium. They suggest that GABA has a role in the regulation of process outgrowth within the embryonic mouse spinal cord.  (+info)

Presence of the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter in GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic terminal boutons. (6/10835)

The characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-47 gene recently allowed the identification of a mammalian (gamma)-amino butyric acid (GABA) transporter, presumed to be located in the synaptic vesicle membrane. In situ hybridization data in rat brain suggested that it might also take up glycine and thus represent a general Vesicular Inhibitory Amino Acid Transporter (VIAAT). In the present study, we have investigated the localization of VIAAT in neurons by using a polyclonal antibody raised against the hydrophilic N-terminal domain of the protein. Light microscopy and immunocytochemistry in primary cultures or tissue sections of the rat spinal cord revealed that VIAAT was localized in a subset (63-65%) of synaptophysin-immunoreactive terminal boutons; among the VIAAT-positive terminals around motoneuronal somata, 32.9% of them were also immunoreactive for GAD65, a marker of GABAergic presynaptic endings. Labelling was also found apposed to clusters positive for the glycine receptor or for its associated protein gephyrin. At the ultrastructural level, VIAAT immunoreactivity was restricted to presynaptic boutons exhibiting classical inhibitory features and, within the boutons, concentrated over synaptic vesicle clusters. Pre-embedding detection of VIAAT followed by post-embedding detection of GABA or glycine on serial sections of the spinal cord or cerebellar cortex indicated that VIAAT was present in glycine-, GABA- or GABA- and glycine-containing boutons. Taken together, these data further support the view of a common vesicular transporter for these two inhibitory transmitters, which would be responsible for their costorage in the same synaptic vesicle and subsequent corelease at mixed GABA-and-glycine synapses.  (+info)

Cannabinoid suppression of noxious heat-evoked activity in wide dynamic range neurons in the lumbar dorsal horn of the rat. (7/10835)

The effects of cannabinoid agonists on noxious heat-evoked firing of 62 spinal wide dynamic range (WDR) neurons were examined in urethan-anesthetized rats (1 cell/animal). Noxious thermal stimulation was applied with a Peltier device to the receptive fields in the ipsilateral hindpaw of isolated WDR neurons. To assess the site of action, cannabinoids were administered systemically in intact and spinally transected rats and intraventricularly. Both the aminoalkylindole cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 (125 microg/kg iv) and the bicyclic cannabinoid CP55,940 (125 microg/kg iv) suppressed noxious heat-evoked activity. Responses evoked by mild pressure in nonnociceptive neurons were not altered by CP55,940 (125 microg/kg iv), consistent with previous observations with another cannabinoid agonist, WIN55,212-2. The cannabinoid induced-suppression of noxious heat-evoked activity was blocked by pretreatment with SR141716A (1 mg/kg iv), a competitive antagonist for central cannabinoid CB1 receptors. By contrast, intravenous administration of either vehicle or the receptor-inactive enantiomer WIN55,212-3 (125 microg/kg) failed to alter noxious heat-evoked activity. The suppression of noxious heat-evoked activity induced by WIN55,212-2 in the lumbar dorsal horn of intact animals was markedly attenuated in spinal rats. Moreover, intraventricular administration of WIN55,212-2 suppressed noxious heat-evoked activity in spinal WDR neurons. By contrast, both vehicle and enantiomer were inactive. These findings suggest that cannabinoids selectively modulate the activity of nociceptive neurons in the spinal dorsal horn by actions at CB1 receptors. This modulation represents a suppression of pain neurotransmission because the inhibitory effects are selective for pain-sensitive neurons and are observed with different modalities of noxious stimulation. The data also provide converging lines of evidence for a role for descending antinociceptive mechanisms in cannabinoid modulation of spinal nociceptive processing.  (+info)

Pharmacodynamic actions of (S)-2-[4,5-dihydro-5-propyl-2-(3H)-furylidene]-1,3-cyclopentanedione (oudenone). (8/10835)

The pharmacodynamic actions of (S)-2-[4,5-dihydro-5-propyl-2(3H)-furylidene]-1,3-cyclopentanedione (oudenone) were studied in both anesthetized animals and isolated organs. Oudenone (10--40 mg/kg i.v.) induced an initial rise in blood pressure followed by a prolonged hypotension in the anesthetized rats. In unanesthetized spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), oudenone (5--200 mg/kg p.o.) caused a dose-related decrease in the systolic blood pressure. The initial pressor effect was diminished by pretreatments with phentolamine, guanethidine, hexamethonium and was abolished in the pithed rats. In addition, intracisternal administrations of oudenone (100--600 mug/kg) showed a marked increase in blood pressure in the anesthetized rats, suggesting that the pressor effect may be due to centrally mediated actions. Oudenone, given intra-arterially into the femoral artery (400--800 mug/kg), caused a long-lasting vasodilation in anesthetized dogs. At a relatively high dose (40 mg/kg i.v.), oudenone antagonized all pressor responses to autonomic agents and central vagus nerve stimulation in anesthetized rats and dogs, however, oudenone showed no anti-cholinergic,-histaminergic, beta-adrenergic and adrenergic neuron blocking properties.  (+info)