Neuroprotection of the developing brain by systemic administration of vasoactive intestinal peptide derivatives.
Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a necrotic and often cystic lesion of the cerebral white matter occurring in very premature babies, is the leading cause of cerebral palsy in this population. Increased glutamate release and the excitotoxic cascade thus triggered may be critical factors in the development of PVL. The glutamatergic analog ibotenate injected intracerebrally into newborn mice produces white matter cysts that mimic human PVL. Concomitant injection of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), a trophic factor, protects the white matter against excitotoxic lesions. The goal of the present study was to assess the protective properties of systemically injected VIP analogs against ibotenate-induced excitotoxic white matter lesions in newborn mice. VIP analogs were selected on the basis of their low susceptibility to endopeptidases and their potential ability to cross biological membranes. RO-25-1553, a long-lasting cyclic VIP analog, and stearyl-norleucine-VIP, a fatty derivative of VIP, reduced ibotenate-induced white matter cysts by up to 87% and 84%, respectively, when injected i.p. immediately after ibotenate. By comparison, i.p. coadministration of VIP and ibotenate was not protective against the excitotoxic insult. Furthermore, RO-25-1553 and stearyl-norleucine-VIP still induced significant neuroprotection of the developing white matter when injected systemically 8 and 12 h, respectively, after ibotenate, establishing these peptides as therapeutic agents in this murine model. VIP analogs may have therapeutic potential in human premature babies at high risk for PVL. (+info
Divergent effects of intracerebroventricular and peripheral leptin administration on feeding and hypothalamic neuropeptide Y in lean and obese (fa/fa) Zucker rats.
Leptin inhibits feeding and decreases body weight. It may act partly by inhibiting hypothalamic neurons that express neuropeptide Y, a powerful inducer of feeding and obesity. These neuropeptide Y neurons express the Ob-Rb leptin receptor and are overactive in the fatty (fa/fa) Zucker rat. The fa mutation affects the extracellular domain of the leptin receptor, but its impact on leptin action and neuropeptide Y neuronal activity is not fully known. We compared the effects of three doses of leptin given intracerebroventricularly and three doses of leptin injected intraperitoneally on food intake and hypothalamic neuropeptide Y mRNA, in lean and fatty Zucker rats. In lean rats, 4-h food intake was reduced in a dose-related fashion (P<0.01) by all intracerebroventricular leptin doses and by intraperitoneal doses of 300 and 600 microg/kg. Neuropeptide Y mRNA levels were reduced by 28% and 21% after the highest intracerebroventricular and intraperitoneal doses respectively (P<0. 01 for both). In fatty rats, only the highest intracerebroventricular leptin dose reduced food intake (by 22%; P<0. 01). Neuropeptide Y mRNA levels were 100% higher in fatty rats than in lean animals, and were reduced by 18% (P<0.01) after the highest intracerebroventricular leptin dose. Intraperitoneal injection had no effect on food intake and neuropeptide Y mRNA. The fa/fa Zucker rat is therefore less sensitive to leptin given intracerebroventricularly and particularly intraperitoneally, suggesting that the fa mutation interferes both with leptin's direct effects on neurons and its transport into the central nervous system. Obesity in the fa/fa Zucker rat may be partly due to the inability of leptin to inhibit hypothalamic neuropeptide Y neurons. (+info
Cannabinoid suppression of noxious heat-evoked activity in wide dynamic range neurons in the lumbar dorsal horn of the rat.
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
Central autonomic activation by intracisternal TRH analogue excites gastric splanchnic afferent neurons.
Intracisternal (ic) injection of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) or its stable analogue RX 77368 influences gastric function via stimulation of vagal muscarinic pathways. In rats, the increase in gastric mucosal blood flow evoked by a low ic dose of RX 77368 occurs via release of calcitonin gene-related peptide from capsaicin-sensitive afferent neurons, most probably of spinal origin. In this study, the effect of low ic doses of RX 77368 on afferent impulse activity in splanchnic single fibers was investigated. The cisterna magna of overnight-fasted, urethan-anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats was acutely cannulated, and fine splanchnic nerve twigs containing at least one fiber responsive to mechanical probing of the stomach were isolated at a site immediately distal to the left suprarenal ganglion. Unit mechanoreceptive fields were encountered in all portions of the stomach, both superficially and in deeper layers. Splanchnic afferent unit impulse activity was recorded continuously during basal conditions and in response to consecutive ic injections of saline and RX 77368 (15-30 min later; 1.5 or 3 ng). Basal discharge rates ranged from 0 to 154 impulses/min (median = 10.2 impulses/min). A majority of splanchnic single units with ongoing activity increased their mean discharge rate by >/=20% after ic injection of RX 77368 at either 1.5 ng (6/10 units; median increase 63%) or 3 ng (19/24 units; median increase 175%). Five units lacking impulse activity in the 5-min before ic RX 77368 (3 ng) were also excited, with the onset of discharge occurring within 1.0-5.0 min postinjection. In units excited by ic RX 77368, peak discharge occurred 15.6 +/- 1.3 min after injection and was followed by a decline to stable activity levels +info)
Effect of central corticotropin-releasing factor on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver injury in rats.
Central neuropeptides play important roles in many instances of physiological and pathophysiological regulation mediated through the autonomic nervous system. In regard to the hepatobiliary system, several neuropeptides act in the brain to regulate bile secretion, hepatic blood flow, and hepatic proliferation. Stressors and sympathetic nerve activation are reported to exacerbate experimental liver injury. Some stressors are known to stimulate corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) synthesis in the central nervous system and induce activation of sympathetic nerves in animal models. The effect of intracisternal CRF on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury was examined in rats. Intracisternal injection of CRF dose dependently enhanced elevation of the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level induced by CCl4. Elevations of serum aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin levels by CCl4 were also enhanced by intracisternal CRF injection. Intracisternal injection of CRF also aggravated CCl4-induced hepatic histological changes. Intracisternal CRF injection alone did not modify the serum ALT level. Intravenous administration of CRF did not influence CCl4-induced acute liver injury. The aggravating effect of central CRF on CCl4-induced acute liver injury was abolished by denervation of hepatic plexus with phenol and by denervation of noradrenergic fibers with 6-hydroxydopamine treatment but not by hepatic branch vagotomy or atropine treatment. These results suggest that CRF acts in the brain to exacerbate acute liver injury through the sympathetic-noradrenergic pathways. (+info
Central administration of rat IL-6 induces HPA activation and fever but not sickness behavior in rats.
Interleukin (IL)-6 has been proposed to mediate several sickness responses, including brain-mediated neuroendocrine, temperature, and behavioral changes. However, the exact mechanisms and sites of action of IL-6 are still poorly understood. In the present study, we describe the effects of central administration of species-homologous recombinant rat IL-6 (rrIL-6) on the induction of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity, fever, social investigatory behavior, and immobility. After intracerebroventricular administration of rrIL-6 (50 or 100 ng/rat), rats demonstrated HPA and febrile responses. In contrast, rrIL-6 alone did not induce changes in social investigatory and locomotor behavior at doses of up to 400 ng/rat. Coadministration of rrIL-6 (100 ng/rat) and rrIL-1beta (40 ng/rat), which alone did not affect the behavioral responses, reduced social investigatory behavior and increased the duration of immobility. Compared with rhIL-6, intracerebroventricular administration of rrIL-6 (100 ng/rat) induced higher HPA responses and early-phase febrile responses. This is consistent with a higher potency of rrIL-6, compared with rhIL-6, in the murine B9 bioassay. We conclude that species-homologous rrIL-6 alone can act in the brain to induce HPA and febrile responses, whereas it only reduces social investigatory behavior and locomotor activity in the presence of IL-1beta. (+info
Contribution of extracranial lymphatics and arachnoid villi to the clearance of a CSF tracer in the rat.
The objective of this study was to determine the relative roles of arachnoid villi and cervical lymphatics in the clearance of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tracer in rats. 125I-labeled human serum albumin (125I-HSA; 100 micrograms) was injected into one lateral ventricle, and an Evans blue dye-rat protein complex was injected intravenously. Arterial blood was sampled for 3 h. Immediately after this, multiple cervical vessels were ligated in the same animals, and plasma recoveries were monitored for a further 3 h after the intracerebroventricular injection of 100 micrograms 131I-HSA. Tracer recovery in plasma at 3 h averaged (%injected dose) 0.697 +/- 0.042 before lymphatic ligation and dropped significantly to 0.357 +/- 0. 060 after ligation. Estimates of the rate constant associated with the transport of the CSF tracer to plasma were also significantly lower after obstruction of cervical lymphatics (from 0.584 +/- 0. 072/h to 0.217 +/- 0.056/h). No significant changes were observed in sham-operated animals. Assuming that the movement of the CSF tracer to plasma in lymph-ligated animals was a result of arachnoid villi clearance, we conclude that arachnoid villi and extracranial lymphatic pathways contributed equally to the clearance of the CSF tracer from the cranial vault. (+info
Role of central melanocortins in endotoxin-induced anorexia.
Inflammation and microbial infection produce symptoms, including fever, anorexia, and hypoactivity, that are thought to be mediated by endogenous proinflammatory cytokines. Melanocortins are known to act centrally to suppress effects on fever and other sequelae of proinflammatory cytokine actions in the central nervous system, but the roles of melanocortins in anorexia and hypoactivity occurring during the acute phase response are unknown. The present study was designed to determine the effects of exogenous and endogenous alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced anorexia in relation to their effects on fever. Rats were fasted overnight to promote feeding behavior, then injected intraperitoneally with LPS (100 micrograms/kg ip), followed 30 min later by intracerebroventricular injection of either alpha-MSH or the melanocortin receptor subtype 3/subtype 4 (MC3-R/MC4-R) antagonist SHU-9119. Food intake, locomotor activity, and body temperature (Tb) were monitored during the ensuing 24-h period. Each of two intracerebroventricular doses of alpha-MSH (30 and 300 ng) potentiated the suppressive effects of LPS on food intake and locomotion, despite the fact that the higher dose alleviated LPS-induced fever. In control rats that were not treated with LPS, only the higher dose of alpha-MSH significantly inhibited food intake, and Tb and locomotor activity were unaffected. To assess the roles of endogenous central melanocortins, LPS-treated rats received intracerebroventricular SHU-9119 (200 ng). Central MC3-R/MC4-R blockade did not affect Tb or food intake in the absence of LPS treatment, but it reversed the LPS-induced reduction in 24-h food intake and increased LPS-induced fever without altering the LPS-induced suppression of locomotion. Taken together, the results suggest that exogenous and endogenous melanocortins acting centrally exert divergent influences on different aspects of the acute phase response, suppressing LPS-induced fever but contributing to LPS-induced anorexia and hypoactivity. (+info