Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: astrocytes

24 Citrullinated Myelin Basic Protein Mediated Inflammation in Astrocytes

Authors: Lali Shanshiashvili, Marika Chikviladze, Nino Mamulashvili, Maia Sepashvili, Nana Narmania, David Mikeladze


Purpose: During demyelinating inflammatory diseases and after the damage of the myelin sheet, myelin-derived proteins, including myelin basic protein (MBP), are secreted into the extracellular space. MBP shows extensive post-translational modifications, including the deimination of arginine residues. Deiminated MBP is structurally less ordered, susceptible to proteolytic attack, and more immunogenic than the unmodified one. It is hypothesized that MBP could change the inflammatory response in astrocytes. Methods: MBP was isolated and purified from bovine brain white matter. Primary astrocyte cultures were prepared from whole brains of 2-day-old Wistar rats. For evaluation of glutamate uptake/release in astrocytes following treatment of cells with MBP charge isomers, Glutamate Assay Kit was used. The expression of EAAT-2 (excitatory amino acid transporters), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR- γ), inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (IkB), and high mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) in astrocytes were assayed by Western Blot analysis. Results: This study investigated the action of deiminated isomer (C8) on the cultured primary astrocytes and compared its effects with the effects of unmodified C1 isomers. The study found that C8 and C1 MBP differently act on the uptake and release of glutamate in astrocytes: nonmodified C1 MBP increases the uptake of glutamate and does not change the release, whereas C8 decreases the release of glutamate but does not alter the uptake. Nevertheless, both isomers increased the expression of PPAR-γ and EAAT2 in the same intensity. However, immunostaining and Western Blots of cell lysates showed a decrease of IkB and increased expression of HMGB1 after the treatment of astrocytes by C8. Moreover, in the presence of C8, astrocytes release more nitric oxide than unmodified C1 isomers. Conclusion: These data suggest that the deiminated isomer of MBP evokes an inflammatory response and enhances the ability of astrocytes to release proinflammatory mediators through activation of NF-kB after the breakdown of myelin sheets. Acknowledgment: This research was supported by the SRNSF Georgia RF17_534 grant.

Keywords: myelin basic protein, glutamate, deimination, astrocytes, inflammation

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23 Identifying Metabolic Pathways Associated with Neuroprotection Mediated by Tibolone in Human Astrocytes under an Induced Inflammatory Model

Authors: Daniel Osorio, Janneth Gonzalez, Andres Pinzon


In this work, proteins and metabolic pathways associated with the neuroprotective response mediated by the synthetic neurosteroid tibolone under a palmitate-induced inflammatory model were identified by flux balance analysis (FBA). Three different metabolic scenarios (‘healthy’, ‘inflamed’ and ‘medicated’) were modeled over a gene expression data-driven constructed tissue-specific metabolic reconstruction of mature astrocytes. Astrocyte reconstruction was built, validated and constrained using three open source software packages (‘minval’, ‘g2f’ and ‘exp2flux’) released through the Comprehensive R Archive Network repositories during the development of this work. From our analysis, we predict that tibolone executes their neuroprotective effects through a reduction of neurotoxicity mediated by L-glutamate in astrocytes, inducing the activation several metabolic pathways with neuroprotective actions associated such as taurine metabolism, gluconeogenesis, calcium and the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor signaling pathways. Also, we found a tibolone associated increase in growth rate probably in concordance with previously reported side effects of steroid compounds in other human cell types.

Keywords: astrocytes, flux balance analysis, genome scale metabolic reconstruction, inflammation, neuroprotection, tibolone

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22 Investigation of Astrocyte Physiology on Stiffness-Controlled Cellulose Acetate Nanofiber as a Tissue Scaffold

Authors: Sun Il Yu, Jung Hyun Joo, Hwa Sung Shin


Astrocytes are known as dominant cells in CNS and play a role as a supporter of CNS activity and regeneration. Recently, three-dimensional culture of astrocytes were actively applied to understand in vivo astrocyte works. Electrospun nanofibers are attractive for 3D cell culture system because they have a high surface to volume ratio and porous structure, and have already been used for 3D astrocyte cultures. In this research, the stiffness of cellulose acetate (CA) nanofiber was controlled by heat treatment. As stiffness increased, astrocyte cell viability and adhesion increased. Reactivity of astrocyte was also upregulated in stiffer CA nanofiber in terms of GFAP, an intermediate filament protein. Finally, we demonstrated that stiffness-controllable CA is attractive for astrocyte tissue engineering.

Keywords: astrocyte, cellulose acetate, nanofiber, tissue scaffold

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21 Effect of 8-OH-DPAT on the Behavioral Indicators of Stress and on the Number of Astrocytes after Exposure to Chronic Stress

Authors: Ivette Gonzalez-Rivera, Diana B. Paz-Trejo, Oscar Galicia-Castillo, David N. Velazquez-Martinez, Hugo Sanchez-Castillo


Prolonged exposure to stress can cause disorders related with dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex such as generalized anxiety and depression. These disorders involve alterations in neurotransmitter systems; the serotonergic system—a target of the drugs that are commonly used as a treatment to these disorders—is one of them. Recent studies suggest that 5-HT1A receptors play a pivotal role in the serotonergic system regulation and in stress responses. In the same way, there is increasing evidence that astrocytes are involved in the pathophysiology of stress. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of 8-OH-DPAT, a selective agonist of 5-HT1A receptors, in the behavioral signs of anxiety and anhedonia as well as in the number of astrocytes in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) after exposure to chronic stress. They used 50 male Wistar rats of 250-350 grams housed in standard laboratory conditions and treated in accordance with the ethical standards of use and care of laboratory animals. A protocol of chronic unpredictable stress was used for 10 consecutive days during which the presentation of stressors such as motion restriction, water deprivation, wet bed, among others, were used. 40 rats were subjected to the stress protocol and then were divided into 4 groups of 10 rats each, which were administered 8-OH-DPAT (Tocris, USA) intraperitoneally with saline as vehicle in doses 0.0, 0.3, 1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg respectively. Another 10 rats were not subjected to the stress protocol or the drug. Subsequently, all the rats were measured in an open field test, a forced swimming test, sucrose consume, and a cero maze test. At the end of this procedure, the animals were sacrificed, the brain was removed and the tissue of the mPFC (Bregma: 4.20, 3.70, 2.70, 2.20) was processed in immunofluorescence staining for astrocytes (Anti-GFAP antibody - astrocyte maker, ABCAM). Statistically significant differences were found in the behavioral tests of all groups, showing that the stress group with saline administration had more indicators of anxiety and anhedonia than the control group and the groups with administration of 8-OH-DPAT. Also, a dose dependent effect of 8-OH-DPAT was found on the number of astrocytes in the mPFC. The results show that 8-OH-DPAT can modulate the effect of stress in both behavioral and anatomical level. Also they indicate that 5-HT1A receptors and astrocytes play an important role in the stress response and may modulate the therapeutic effect of serotonergic drugs, so they should be explored as a fundamental part in the treatment of symptoms of stress and in the understanding of the mechanisms of stress responses.

Keywords: anxiety, prefrontal cortex, serotonergic system, stress

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20 The Effects of Myelin Basic Protein Charge Isomers on the Methyl Cycle Metabolites in Glial Cells

Authors: Elene Zhuravliova, Tamar Barbakadze, Irina Kalandadze, Elnari Zaalishvili, Lali Shanshiashvili, David Mikeladze


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, neurodegenerative disease, which is accompanied by demyelination and autoimmune response to myelin proteins. Among post-translational modifications, which mediate the modulation of inflammatory pathways during MS, methylation is the main one. The methylation of DNA, also amino acids lysine and arginine, occurs in the cell. It was found that decreased trans-methylation is associated with neuroinflammatory diseases. Therefore, abnormal regulation of the methyl cycle could induce demyelination through the action on PAD (peptidyl-arginine-deiminase) gene promoter. PAD takes part in protein citrullination and targets myelin basic protein (MBP), which is affected during demyelination. To determine whether MBP charge isomers are changing the methyl cycle, we have estimated the concentrations of methyl cycle metabolites in MBP-activated primary astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. For this purpose, the action of the citrullinated MBP- C8 and the most cationic MBP-C1 isomers on the primary cells were investigated. Methods: Primary oligodendrocyte and astrocyte cell cultures were prepared from whole brains of 2-day-old Wistar rats. The methyl cycle metabolites, including homocysteine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), were estimated by HPLC analysis using fluorescence detection and prior derivatization. Results: We found that the action of MBP-C8 and MBP-C1 induces a decrease in the concentration of both methyl cycle metabolites, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), in astrocytes compared to the control cells. As for oligodendrocytes, the concentration of SAM was increased by the addition of MBP-C1, while MBP-C8 has no significant effect. As for SAH, its concentration was increased compared to the control cells by the action of both MBP-C1 and MBP-C8. A significant increase in homocysteine concentration was observed by the action of the MBP-C8 isomer in both oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Conclusion: These data suggest that MBP charge isomers change the concentration of methyl cycle metabolites. MBP-C8 citrullinated isomer causes elevation of homocysteine in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, which may be the reason for decreased astrocyte proliferation and increased oligodendrocyte cell death which takes place in neurodegenerative processes. Elevated homocysteine levels and subsequent abnormal regulation of methyl cycles in oligodendrocytes possibly change the methylation of DNA that activates PAD gene promoter and induces the synthesis of PAD, which in turn provokes the process of citrullination, which is the accompanying process of demyelination. Acknowledgment: This research was supported by the SRNSF Georgia RF17_534 grant.

Keywords: myelin basic protein, astrocytes, methyl cycle metabolites, homocysteine, oligodendrocytes

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19 Cellulose Acetate Nanofiber Modification for Regulating Astrocyte Activity via Simple Heat Treatment

Authors: Sang-Myung Jung, Jeong Hyun Ju, Gwang Heum Yoon, Hwa Sung Shin


Central nervous system (CNS) consists of neuronal cell and supporting cells. Astrocytes are the most common supporting cells and play roles in metabolism between neurons and blood vessel. For this function, engineered astrocytes have been studied as a therapeutic source for CNS injury. In neural tissue engineering, nanofiber has been suggested as an effective scaffold for providing structure and mechanical properties influencing physiology. Cellulose acetate (CA) has been investigated for material to fabricate scaffold because of its biocompatibility, biodegradability and fine thermal stability. In this research, CA nanofiber was modified via heat treatment and its effect on astrocyte activity was evaluated. Adhesion and viability of astrocyte were increased in proportion to stiffness. Additionally, expression of GFAP, a marker of astrocyte activation, was increased via stiffness of scaffold. This research suggests a simple modification method to change stiffness of CA nanofiber and shows cellular behavior affecting stiffness of three-dimensional scaffold independently. For the results, we highlight that the stiffness is a factor to regulate astrocyte activity.

Keywords: astrocyte, cellulose acetate, cell therapy, stiffness of scaffold

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18 Multi-omics Integrative Analysis with Genome-Scale Metabolic Model Simulation Reveals Reaction Essentiality data in Human Astrocytes Under the Lipotoxic Effect of Palmitic Acid

Authors: Janneth Gonzalez, Andres Pinzon Velasco, Maria Angarita, Nicolas Mendoza


Astrocytes play an important role in various processes in the brain, including pathological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies have shown that the increase in saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid (PA) triggers pro-inflammatory pathways in the brain. The use of synthetic neurosteroids such as tibolone has demonstrated neuro-protective mechanisms. However, there are few studies on the neuro-protective mechanisms of tibolone, especially at the systemic (omic) level. In this study, we performed the integration of multi-omic data (transcriptome and proteome) into a human astrocyte genomic scale metabolic model to study the astrocytic response during palmitate treatment. We evaluated metabolic fluxes in three scenarios (healthy, induced inflammation by PA, and tibolone treatment under PA inflammation). We also use control theory to identify those reactions that control the astrocytic system. Our results suggest that PA generates a modulation of central and secondary metabolism, showing a change in energy source use through inhibition of folate cycle and fatty acid β-oxidation and upregulation of ketone bodies formation.We found 25 metabolic switches under PA-mediated cellular regulation, 9 of which were critical only in the inflammatory scenario but not in the protective tibolone one. Within these reactions, inhibitory, total, and directional coupling profiles were key findings, playing a fundamental role in the (de)regulation in metabolic pathways that increase neurotoxicity and represent potential treatment targets. Finally, this study framework facilitates the understanding of metabolic regulation strategies, andit can be used for in silico exploring the mechanisms of astrocytic cell regulation, directing a more complex future experimental work in neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: astrocytes, data integration, palmitic acid, computational model, multi-omics, control theory

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17 Multi-Omics Integrative Analysis Coupled to Control Theory and Computational Simulation of a Genome-Scale Metabolic Model Reveal Controlling Biological Switches in Human Astrocytes under Palmitic Acid--Induced Lipotoxicity

Authors: Janneth Gonzalez, Andrés Pinzon Velasco, Maria Angarita


Astrocytes play an important role in various processes in the brain, including pathological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies have shown that the increase in saturated fatty acids such as palmitic acid (PA) triggers pro-inflammatorypathways in the brain. The use of synthetic neurosteroids such as tibolone has demonstrated neuro-protective mechanisms. However, broad studies with a systemic point of view on the neurodegenerative role of PA and the neuro-protective mechanisms of tibolone are lacking. In this study, we performed the integration of multi-omic data (transcriptome and proteome) into a human astrocyte genomic scale metabolic model to study the astrocytic response during palmitate treatment. We evaluated metabolic fluxes in three scenarios (healthy, induced inflammation by PA, and tibolone treatment under PA inflammation). We also applied a control theory approach to identify those reactions that exert more control in the astrocytic system. Our results suggest that PA generates a modulation of central and secondary metabolism, showing a switch in energy source use through inhibition of folate cycle and fatty acid β‐oxidation and upregulation of ketone bodies formation. We found 25 metabolic switches under PA‐mediated cellular regulation, 9 of which were critical only in the inflammatory scenario but not in the protective tibolone one. Within these reactions, inhibitory, total, and directional coupling profiles were key findings, playing a fundamental role in the (de)regulation of metabolic pathways that may increase neurotoxicity and represent potential treatment targets. Finally, the overall framework of our approach facilitates the understanding of complex metabolic regulation, and it can be used for in silico exploration of the mechanisms of astrocytic cell regulation, directing a more complex future experimental work in neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: astrocytes, data integration, palmitic acid, computational model, multi-omics

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16 Antioxidant Effects of C-Phycocyanin on Oxidized Astrocyte in Brain Injury Using 2D and 3D Neural Nanofiber Tissue Model

Authors: Seung Ju Yeon, Seul Ki Min, Jun Sang Park, Yeo Seon Kwon, Hoo Cheol Lee, Hyun Jung Shim, Il-Doo Kim, Ja Kyeong Lee, Hwa Sung Shin


In brain injury, depleting oxidative stress is the most effective way to reduce the brain infarct size. C-phycocyanin (C-Pc) is a well-known antioxidant protein that has neuroprotective effects obtained from green microalgae. Astrocyte is glial cell that supports the nerve cell such as neuron, which account for a large portion of the brain. In brain injury, such as ischemia and reperfusion, astrocyte has an important rule that overcomes the oxidative stress and protect from brain reactive oxygen species (ROS) injury. However little is known about how C-Pc regulates the anti-oxidants effects of astrocyte. In this study, when the C-Pc was treated in oxidized astrocyte, we confirmed that inflammatory factors Interleukin-6 and Interleukin-3 were increased and antioxidants enzyme, Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase was upregulated, and neurotrophic factors, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) was alleviated. Also, it was confirmed to reduce infarct size of the brain in ischemia and reperfusion because C-Pc has anti-oxidant effects in middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) animal model. These results show that C-Pc can help astrocytes lead neuroprotective activities in the oxidative stressed environment of the brain. In summary, the C-PC protects astrocytes from oxidative stress and has anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, neurotrophic effects under ischemic situations.

Keywords: c-phycocyanin, astrocyte, reactive oxygen species, ischemia and reperfusion, neuroprotective effect

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15 Immunohistochemical Evaluation of Moringa oleifera Seed Oil in Cadmium Induced Frontal Cortex Damage in Wistar Rats

Authors: Olusegun D. Omotoso


The use of Moringa oleifera seed oil in the prevention and cure of many ailments particularly, neurodegenerative diseases have been on increasing trend in Nigeria. The study was aimed at investigating the ameliorative or reversal effects by the intervention of Moringa oleifera seed oil on the damage to frontal cortex of Wistar rats by cadmium. Twenty-eight Wistar rats of both sexes weighed between 73g-151g were used. The animals were acclimatized and were fed on rat chow and water ad libitum. The rats were randomly divided into four groups A, B, C and D of 7 rats each. Group A served as control which received 2.5mg/kgbw phosphate buffer intra-peritoneally, while group D served as Moringa-treated control and received oral administration of 2.0 mg/kgbw Moringa oleifera oil. Groups B and C were injected intra-peritoneally with 3.5mg/kgbw CdSO₄.8H₂O single dose. Group C received orally administration of 2.0mg/kgbw Moringa oleifera oil. The intervention lasted for four weeks after which the animals were sacrificed by cervical dislocation and the tissues processed histologically. The immuno-histoarchitecture of the frontal cortex was characterized by pyknosis of nuclei as well as activation of astrocytes which was evidence in group B rats, while those animals in group C showed ameliorative effect that were evidence in reduction in the number of pyknotic nuclei and reduction of activated astrocytes as compared with control group A and Moringa-treated group D. It can be deduced that Moringa oleifera seed oil has natural antioxidant constituents that might have ameliorated the immuno-histoarchitectural damage caused by cadmium.

Keywords: cadmium, immuno-histoarchitecture, Moringa oleifera, pyknotic nuclei

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14 In vitro Regeneration of Neural Cells Using Human Umbilical Cord Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Authors: Urvi Panwar, Kanchan Mishra, Kanjaksha Ghosh, ShankerLal Kothari


Background: Day-by-day the increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases have become a global issue to manage them by medical sciences. The adult neural stem cells are rare and require an invasive and painful procedure to obtain it from central nervous system. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) therapies have shown remarkable application in treatment of various cell injuries and cell loss. MSCs can be derived from various sources like adult tissues, human bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and cord tissue. MSCs have similar proliferation and differentiation capability, but the human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) are proved to be more beneficial with respect to cell procurement, differentiation to other cells, preservation, and transplantation. Material and method: Human umbilical cord is easily obtainable and non-controversial comparative to bone marrow and other adult tissues. The umbilical cord can be collected after delivery of baby, and its tissue can be cultured using explant culture method. Cell culture medium such as DMEMF12+10% FBS and DMEMF12+Neural growth factors (bFGF, human noggin, B27) with antibiotics (Streptomycin/Gentamycin) were used to culture and differentiate mesenchymal stem cells into neural cells, respectively. The characterisations of MSCs were done with Flow Cytometer for surface markers CD90, CD73 and CD105 and colony forming unit assay. The differentiated various neural cells will be characterised by fluorescence markers for neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes; quantitative PCR for genes Nestin and NeuroD1 and Western blotting technique for gap43 protein. Result and discussion: The high quality and number of MSCs were isolated from human umbilical cord via explant culture method. The obtained MSCs were differentiated into neural cells like neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. The differentiated neural cells can be used to treat neural injuries and neural cell loss by delivering cells by non-invasive administration via cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or blood. Moreover, the MSCs can also be directly delivered to different injured sites where they differentiate into neural cells. Therefore, human umbilical cord is demonstrated to be an inexpensive and easily available source for MSCs. Moreover, the hUCMSCs can be a potential source for neural cell therapies and neural cell regeneration for neural cell injuries and neural cell loss. This new way of research will be helpful to treat and manage neural cell damages and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson. Still the study has a long way to go but it is a promising approach for many neural disorders for which at present no satisfactory management is available.

Keywords: bone marrow, cell therapy, explant culture method, flow cytometer, human umbilical cord, mesenchymal stem cells, neurodegenerative diseases, neuroprotective, regeneration

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13 Deciphering Tumor Stroma Interactions in Retinoblastoma

Authors: Rajeswari Raguraman, Sowmya Parameswaran, Krishnakumar Subramanian, Jagat Kanwar, Rupinder Kanwar


Background: Tumor microenvironment has been implicated in several cancers to regulate cell growth, invasion and metastasis culminating in outcome of therapy. Tumor stroma consists of multiple cell types that are in constant cross-talk with the tumor cells to favour a pro-tumorigenic environment. Not much is known about the existence of tumor microenvironment in the pediatric intraocular malignancy, Retinoblastoma (RB). In the present study, we aim to understand the multiple stromal cellular subtypes and tumor stromal interactions expressed in RB tumors. Materials and Methods: Immunohistochemistry for stromal cell markers CD31, CD68, alpha-smooth muscle (α-SMA), vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was performed on formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues sections of RB (n=12). The differential expression of stromal target molecules; fibroblast activation protein (FAP), tenascin-C (TNC), osteopontin (SPP1), bone marrow stromal antigen 2 (BST2), stromal derived factor 2 and 4 (SDF2 and SDF4) in primary RB tumors (n=20) and normal retina (n=5) was studied by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting. The differential expression was correlated with the histopathological features of RB. The interaction between RB cell lines (Weri-Rb-1, NCC-RbC-51) and Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) was also studied using direct co-culture and indirect co-culture methods. The functional effect of the co-culture methods on the RB cells was evaluated by invasion and proliferation assays. Global gene expression was studied by using Affymetrix 3’ IVT microarray. Pathway prediction was performed using KEGG and the key molecules were validated using qRT-PCR. Results: The immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of several stromal cell types such as endothelial cells (CD31+;Vim+/-); macrophages (CD68+;Vim+/-); Fibroblasts (Vim+; CD31-;CD68- );myofibroblasts (α-SMA+/ Vim+) and invading retinal astrocytes/ differentiated retinal glia (GFAP+; Vim+). A characteristic distribution of these stromal cell types was observed in the tumor microenvironment, with endothelial cells predominantly seen in blood vessels and macrophages near actively proliferating tumor or necrotic areas. Retinal astrocytes and glia were predominant near the optic nerve regions in invasive tumors with sparse distribution in tumor foci. Fibroblasts were widely distributed with rare evidence of myofibroblasts in the tumor. Both gene and protein expression revealed statistically significant (P<0.05) up-regulation of FAP, TNC and BST2 in primary RB tumors compared to the normal retina. Co-culture of BMSC with RB cells promoted invasion and proliferation of RB cells in direct and indirect contact methods respectively. Direct co-culture of RB cell lines with BMSC resulted in gene expression changes in ECM-receptor interaction, focal adhesion, IL-8 and TGF-β signaling pathways associated with cancer. In contrast, various metabolic pathways such a glucose, fructose and amino acid metabolism were significantly altered under the indirect co-culture condition. Conclusion: The study suggests that the close interaction between RB cells and the stroma might be involved in RB tumor invasion and progression which is likely to be mediated by ECM-receptor interactions and secretory factors. Targeting the tumor stroma would be an attractive option for redesigning treatment strategies for RB.

Keywords: gene expression profiles, retinoblastoma, stromal cells, tumor microenvironment

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12 Decellularized Brain-Chitosan Scaffold for Neural Tissue Engineering

Authors: Yun-An Chen, Hung-Jun Lin, Tai-Horng Young, Der-Zen Liu


Decellularized brain extracellular matrix had been shown that it has the ability to influence on cell proliferation, differentiation and associated cell phenotype. However, this scaffold is thought to have poor mechanical properties and rapid degradation, it is hard for cell recellularization. In this study, we used decellularized brain extracellular matrix combined with chitosan, which is naturally occurring polysaccharide and non-cytotoxic polymer, forming a 3-D scaffold for neural stem/precursor cells (NSPCs) regeneration. HE staining and DAPI fluorescence staining confirmed decellularized process could effectively vanish the cellular components from the brain. GAGs and collagen I, collagen IV were be showed a great preservation by Alcain staining and immunofluorescence staining respectively. Decellularized brain extracellular matrix was well mixed in chitosan to form a 3-D scaffold (DB-C scaffold). The pore size was approximately 50±10 μm examined by SEM images. Alamar blue results demonstrated NSPCs had great proliferation ability in DB-C scaffold. NSPCs that were cultured in this complex scaffold differentiated into neurons and astrocytes, as reveled by NSPCs expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In conclusion, DB-C scaffold may provide bioinformatics cues for NSPCs generation and aid for CNS injury functional recovery applications.

Keywords: brain, decellularization, chitosan, scaffold, neural stem/precursor cells

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11 Activation of Mitophagy and Autophagy in Familial Forms of Parkinson's Disease, as a Potential Strategy for Cell Protection

Authors: Nafisa Komilova, Plamena Angelova, Andrey Abramov, Ulugbek Mirkhodjaev


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which is induced by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. The mechanism of neurodegeneration is associated with the aggregation of misfolded proteins, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial disfunction. Considering this, the process of removal of unwanted organelles or proteins by autophagy is vitally important in neurons, and activation of these processes could be protective in PD. Short-time acidification of cytosol can activate mitophagy and autophagy, and here we used sodium pyruvate and sodium lactate in human fibroblasts with PD mutations (Pink1, Pink1/Park2, α-syn triplication, A53T) to induce changes in intracellular pH. We have found that both lactate and pyruvate in millimolar concentrations can induce short-time acidification of cytosol in these cells. It induced activation of mitophagy and autophagy in control and PD fibroblasts and protected against cell death. Importantly, the application of lactate to acute brain slices of control and Pink1 knockout mice also induced a reduction of pH in neurons and astrocytes that increase the level of mitophagy. Thus, acidification of cytosol by compounds which play important role in cell metabolism also can activate mitophagy and autophagy and protect cells in the familial form of PD.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease, mutations, mitophagy, autophagy

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10 Cerebrum Maturity Damage Induced by Fluoride in Suckling Mice

Authors: Hanen Bouaziz, Françoise Croute, Najiba Zeghal


In order to investigate the toxic effects of fluoride on cerebrum maturity of suckling mice, we treated adult female mice of Swiss Albinos strain by 500 ppm NaF in their drinking water from the 15th day of pregnancy until the day 14 after delivery. All mice were sacrificed on day 14 after parturition. During treatment, levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, the marker of lipid peroxidation extend, increased, while the activities of the antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase and the level of glutathione decreased significantly in cerebellum compared with those of the control group. These results suggested that fluoride enhanced oxidative stress, thereby disturbing the antioxidant defense of nursing pups. In addition, acetylcholinesterase activity in cerebellum was inhibited after treatment with fluoride. In cerebellum of mice, migration of neurons from the external granular layer to the internal granular layer occurred postnatally. Key guidance signals to these migrating neurons were provided by laminin, an extracellular matrix protein fixed to the surface of astrocytes. In the present study, we examined the expression and distribution of laminin in cerebellum of 14-day-old mice. Immunoreactive laminin was disappeared by postnatal day 14 in cerebellum parenchyma of control pups and was restricted to vasculature despite the continued presence of granular cells in the external granular layer. In contrast, in cerebellum of NaF treated pups, laminin was deposited in organised punctuate clusters in the molecular layer. These data indicated that the disruption of laminin distribution might play a major role in the profound derangement of neuronal migration observed in cerebellum of NaF treated pups.

Keywords: acetylcholinesterase activity, cerebellum, laminin, oxidative stress, suckling mice

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9 Site-Specific Delivery of Hybrid Upconversion Nanoparticles for Photo-Activated Multimodal Therapies of Glioblastoma

Authors: Yuan-Chung Tsai, Masao Kamimura, Kohei Soga, Hsin-Cheng Chiu


In order to enhance the photodynamic/photothermal therapeutic efficacy on glioblastoma, the functionized upconversion nanoparticles with the capability of converting the deep tissue penetrating near-infrared light into visible wavelength for activating photochemical reaction were developed. The drug-loaded nanoparticles (NPs) were obtained from the self-assembly of oleic acid-coated upconversion nanoparticles along with maleimide-conjugated poly(ethylene glycol)-cholesterol (Mal-PEG-Chol), as the NP stabilizer, and hydrophobic photosensitizers, IR-780 (for photothermal therapy, PTT) and mTHPC (for photodynamic therapy, PDT), in aqueous phase. Both the IR-780 and mTHPC were loaded into the hydrophobic domains within NPs via hydrophobic association. The peptide targeting ligand, angiopep-2, was further conjugated with the maleimide groups at the end of PEG adducts on the NP surfaces, enabling the affinity coupling with the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 of tumor endothelial cells and malignant astrocytes. The drug-loaded NPs with the size of ca 80 nm in diameter exhibit a good colloidal stability in physiological conditions. The in vitro data demonstrate the successful targeting delivery of drug-loaded NPs toward the ALTS1C1 cells (murine astrocytoma cells) and the pronounced cytotoxicity elicited by combinational effect of PDT and PTT. The in vivo results show the promising brain orthotopic tumor targeting of drug-loaded NPs and sound efficacy for brain tumor dual-modality treatment. This work shows great potential for improving photodynamic/photothermal therapeutic efficacy of brain cancer.

Keywords: drug delivery, orthotopic brain tumor, photodynamic/photothermal therapies, upconversion nanoparticles

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8 Cellular Senescence and Neuroinflammation Following Controlled Cortical Impact Traumatic Brain Injury in Juvenile Mice

Authors: Zahra F. Al-Khateeb, Shenel Shekerzade, Hasna Boumenar, Siân M. Henson, Jordi L. Tremoleda, A. T. Michael-Titus


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in young adults and also increases the risk ofneurodegeneration. The mechanisms linking moderate to severe TBI to neurodegeneration are not known. It has been proposed that cellular senescence inductionpost-injury could amplify neuroinflammation and induce long-term changes. The impact of these processes after injury to an immature brain has not been characterised yet. We carried out a controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) in juvenile 1 month-old male CD1 mice. Animals were anesthetised and received a unilateral CCI injury. The sham group received anaesthesia and had a craniotomy. A naïve group had no intervention. The brain tissue was analysed at 5 days and 35 days post-injury using immunohistochemistry and markers for microglia, astrocytes, and senescence. Compared tonaïve animals, injured mice showed an increased microglial and astrocytic reaction early post-injury, as reflected in Iba1 and GFAP markers, respectively; the GFAP increase persisted in the later phase. The senescence analysis showed a significant increase inγH2AX-53BP1 nuclear foci, 8-oxoguanine, p19ARF, p16INK4a, and p53 expression in naïve vs. sham groups and naïve vs. CCI groups, at 5 dpi. At 35 days, the difference was no longer statistically significant in all markers. The injury induced a decrease p21 expression vs. the naïve group, at 35 dpi. These results indicate the induction of a complex senescence response after immature brain injury. Some changes occur early and may reflect the activation/proliferation of non-neuronal cells post-injury that had been hindered, whereas changes such as p21 downregulation may reflect a delayed response and pro-repair processes.

Keywords: cellular senescence, traumatic brain injury, brain injury, controlled cortical impact

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7 SUMOylation Enhances Nurr1/1a Mediated Transactivation in a Neuronal Cell Type

Authors: Jade Edey, Andrew Bennett, Gareth Hathway


Nuclear receptor-related 1 protein (also known as Nurr1 or NR4A2) is an orphan nuclear receptor which plays a vital role in the development, survival and maintenance of dopaminergic (DA) neurons particularly in the substantia nigra (SN). Increasing research has investigated Nurr1’s additional role within microglia and astrocytes where it has been suggested to act as a negative regulator of inflammation; potentially offering neuroprotection. Considering both DA neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation are commonly accepted constituents of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), understanding the mechanisms by which Nurr1 regulates inflammatory processes could provide an attractive therapeutic target. Nurr1 regulates inflammation via a transrepressive mechanism possibly dependent upon SUMOylation. In addition, Nurr1 can transactivate numerous genes involved in DA synthesis, such as Tyrosine Hydroxylase (TH). A C-terminal splice variant of Nurr1, Nurr-1a, has been reported in both neuronal and glial cells. However, research into its transcriptional activity is minimal. We employed in vitro methods such as SUMO-Pulldown experiments alongside Luciferase reporter assays to investigate the SUMOylation status and transactivation capabilities of Nurr1 and Nurr-1a respectively. The SUMO-Pulldown assay demonstrated Nurr-1a undergoes significantly more SUMO modification than its full-length variant. Consequently, despite having less transcriptional activation than Nurr1, Nurr1a may play a more prominent role in repression of microglial inflammation. Contrary to published literature we also identified that SUMOylation enhances transcriptional activation by Nurr1 and Nurr1a. SUMOylation-dependent increases in Nurr1 and Nurr1a transcriptional activation were only evident in neuronal SHSY5Y cells but not in HEK293 cells. This research provides novel insight into the regulation of Nurr-1a and indicates differential effects of SUMOylation dependent regulation in neuronal and inflammatory cells.

Keywords: nuclear receptors, Parkinson’s disease, inflammation, transcriptional regulation

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6 Characterization of Transmembrane Proteins with Five Alpha-Helical Regions

Authors: Misty Attwood, Helgi Schioth


Transmembrane proteins are important components in many essential cell processes such as signal transduction, cell-cell signalling, transport of solutes, structural adhesion activities, and protein trafficking. Due to their involvement in diverse critical activities, transmembrane proteins are implicated in different disease pathways and hence are the focus of intense interest in understanding functional activities, their pathogenesis in disease, and their potential as pharmaceutical targets. Further, as the structure and function of proteins are correlated, investigating a group of proteins with the same tertiary structure, i.e., the same number of transmembrane regions, may give understanding about their functional roles and potential as therapeutic targets. In this in silico bioinformatics analysis, we identify and comprehensively characterize the previously unstudied group of proteins with five transmembrane-spanning regions (5TM). We classify nearly 60 5TM proteins in which 31 are members of ten families that contain two or more family members and all members are predicted to contain the 5TM architecture. Furthermore, nine singlet proteins that contain the 5TM architecture without paralogues detected in humans were also identifying, indicating the evolution of single unique proteins with the 5TM structure. Interestingly, more than half of these proteins function in localization activities through movement or tethering of cell components and more than one-third are involved in transport activities, particularly in the mitochondria. Surprisingly, no receptor activity was identified within this family in sharp contrast with other TM families. Three major 5TM families were identified and include the Tweety family, which are pore-forming subunits of the swelling-dependent volume regulated anion channel in astrocytes; the sidoreflexin family that acts as mitochondrial amino acid transporters; and the Yip1 domain family engaged in vesicle budding and intra-Golgi transport. About 30% of the proteins have enhanced expression in the brain, liver, or testis. Importantly, 60% of these proteins are identified as cancer prognostic markers, where they are associated with clinical outcomes of various tumour types, indicating further investigation into the function and expression of these proteins is important. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of proteins with 5TM regions and provides details of the unique characteristics and application in pharmaceutical development.

Keywords: 5TM, cancer prognostic marker, drug targets, transmembrane protein

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5 Inhibition of Glutamate Carboxypeptidase Activity Protects Retinal Ganglionic Cell Death Induced by Ischemia-Reperfusion by Reducing the Astroglial Activation in Rat

Authors: Dugeree Otgongerel, Kyong Jin Cho, Yu-Han Kim, Sangmee Ahn Jo


Excessive activation of glutamate receptor is thought to be involved in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death after ischemia- reperfusion damage. Glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) is an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of glutamate. Several studies showed that inhibition of GCPII prevents or reduces cellular damage in brain diseases. Thus, in this study, we examined the expression of GCPII in rat retina and the role of GCPII in acute high IOP ischemia-reperfusion damage of eye by using a GCPII inhibitor, 2-(phosphonomethyl) pentanedioic acid (2-PMPA). Animal model of ischemia-reperfusion was induced by raising the intraocular pressure for 60 min and followed by reperfusion for 3 days. Rats were randomly divided into four groups: either intra-vitreous injection of 2-PMPA (11 or 110 ng per eye) or PBS after ischemia-reperfusion, 2-PMPA treatment without ischemia-reperfusion and sham-operated normal control. GCPII immunoreactivity in normal rat retina was detected weakly in retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and retinal ganglionic cell layer (RGL) and also inner plexiform layer (IPL) and outer plexiform layer (OPL) strongly where are co-stained with an anti-GFAP antibody, suggesting that GCPII is expressed mostly in Muller and astrocytes. Immunostaining with anti-BRN antibody showed that ischemia- reperfusion caused RGC death (31.5 %) and decreased retinal thickness in all layers of damaged retina, but the treatment of 2-PMPA twice at 0 and 48 hour after reperfusion blocked these retinal damages. GCPII level in RNFL layer was enhanced after ischemia-reperfusion but was blocked by PMPA treatment. This result was confirmed by western blot analysis showing that the level of GCPII protein after ischemia- reperfusion increased by 2.2- fold compared to control, but this increase was blocked almost completely by 110 ng PMPA treatment. Interestingly, GFAP immunoreactivity in the retina after ischemia- reperfusion followed by treatment with PMPA showed similar pattern to GCPII, increase after ischemia-reperfusion but reduction to the normal level by PMPA treatment. Our data demonstrate that increase of GCPII protein level after ischemia-reperfusion injury is likely to cause glial activation and/or retinal cell death which are mediated by glutamate, and GCPII inhibitors may be useful in treatment of retinal disorders in which glutamate excitotoxicity is pathogenic.

Keywords: glutamate carboxypepptidase II, glutamate excitotoxicity, ischemia-reperfusion, retinal ganglion cell

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4 Cationic Solid Lipid Nanoparticles Conjugated with Anti-Melantransferrin and Apolipoprotein E for Delivering Doxorubicin to U87MG Cells

Authors: Yung-Chih Kuo, Yung-I Lou


Cationic solid lipid nanoparticles (CSLNs) with anti-melanotransferrin (AMT) and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) were used to carry antimitotic doxorubicin (Dox) across the blood–brain barrier (BBB) for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) treatment. Dox-loaded CSLNs were prepared in microemulsion, grafted covalently with AMT and ApoE, and applied to human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), human astrocytes, and U87MG cells. Experimental results revealed that an increase in the weight percentage of stearyl amine (SA) from 0% to 20% increased the size of AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs. In addition, an increase in the stirring rate from 150 rpm to 450 rpm decreased the size of AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs. An increase in the weight percentage of SA from 0% to 20% enhanced the zeta potential of AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs. Moreover, an increase in the stirring rate from 150 rpm to 450 rpm reduced the zeta potential of AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs. AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs exhibited a spheroid-like geometry, a minor irregular boundary deviating from spheroid, and a somewhat distorted surface with a few zigzags and sharp angles. The encapsulation efficiency of Dox in CSLNs decreased with increasing weight percentage of Dox and the order in the encapsulation efficiency of Dox was 10% SA > 20% SA > 0% SA. However, the reverse order was true for the release rate of Dox, suggesting that AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs containing 10% SA had better-sustained release characteristics. An increase in the concentration of AMT from 2.5 to 7.5 μg/mL slightly decreased the grafting efficiency of AMT and an increase in that from 7.5 to 10 μg/mL significantly decreased the grafting efficiency. Furthermore, an increase in the concentration of ApoE from 2.5 to 5 μg/mL slightly reduced the grafting efficiency of ApoE and an increase in that from 5 to 10 μg/mL significantly reduced the grafting efficiency. Also, AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs at 10 μg/mL of ApoE could slightly reduce the transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and increase the permeability of propidium iodide (PI). An incorporation of 10 μg/mL of ApoE could reduce the TEER and increase the permeability of PI. AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs at 10 μg/mL of AMT and 5-10 μg/mL of ApoE could significantly enhance the permeability of Dox across the BBB. AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs did not induce serious cytotoxicity to HBMECs. The viability of HBMECs was in the following order: AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs = AMT-Dox-CSLNs = Dox-CSLNs > Dox. The order in the efficacy of inhibiting U87MG cells was AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs > AMT-Dox-CSLNs > Dox-CSLNs > Dox. A surface modification of AMT and ApoE could promote the delivery of AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs to cross the BBB via melanotransferrin and low density lipoprotein receptor. Thus, AMT-ApoE-Dox-CSLNs have appropriate physicochemical properties and can be a potential colloidal delivery system for brain tumor chemotherapy.

Keywords: anti-melanotransferrin, apolipoprotein E, cationic catanionic solid lipid nanoparticle, doxorubicin, U87MG cells

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3 Angiomotin Regulates Integrin Beta 1-Mediated Endothelial Cell Migration and Angiogenesis

Authors: Yuanyuan Zhang, Yujuan Zheng, Giuseppina Barutello, Sumako Kameishi, Kungchun Chiu, Katharina Hennig, Martial Balland, Federica Cavallo, Lars Holmgren


Angiogenesis describes that new blood vessels migrate from pre-existing ones to form 3D lumenized structure and remodeling. During directional migration toward the gradient of pro-angiogenic factors, the endothelial cells, especially the tip cells need filopodia to sense the environment and exert the pulling force. Of particular interest are the integrin proteins, which play an essential role in focal adhesion in the connection between migrating cells and extracellular matrix (ECM). Understanding how these biomechanical complexes orchestrate intrinsic and extrinsic forces is important for our understanding of the underlying mechanisms driving angiogenesis. We have previously identified Angiomotin (Amot), a member of Amot scaffold protein family, as a promoter for endothelial cell migration in vitro and zebrafish models. Hence, we established inducible endothelial-specific Amot knock-out mice to study normal retinal angiogenesis as well as tumor angiogenesis. We found that the migration ratio of the blood vessel network to the edge was significantly decreased in Amotec- retinas at postnatal day 6 (P6). While almost all the Amot defect tip cells lost migration advantages at P7. In consistence with the dramatic morphology defect of tip cells, there was a non-autonomous defect in astrocytes, as well as the disorganized fibronectin expression pattern correspondingly in migration front. Furthermore, the growth of transplanted LLC tumor was inhibited in Amot knockout mice due to fewer vasculature involved. By using MMTV-PyMT transgenic mouse model, there was a significantly longer period before tumors arised when Amot was specifically knocked out in blood vessels. In vitro evidence showed that Amot binded to beta-actin, Integrin beta 1 (ITGB1), Fibronectin, FAK, Vinculin, major focal adhesion molecules, and ITGB1 and stress fibers were distinctly induced by Amot transfection. Via traction force microscopy, the total energy (force indicater) was found significantly decreased in Amot knockdown cells. Taken together, we propose that Amot is a novel partner of the ITGB1/Fibronectin protein complex at focal adhesion and required for exerting force transition between endothelial cell and extracellular matrix.

Keywords: angiogenesis, angiomotin, endothelial cell migration, focal adhesion, integrin beta 1

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2 Effect of Wheat Germ Agglutinin- and Lactoferrin-Grafted Catanionic Solid Lipid Nanoparticles on Targeting Delivery of Etoposide to Glioblastoma Multiforme

Authors: Yung-Chih Kuo, I-Hsin Wang


Catanionic solid lipid nanoparticles (CASLNs) with surface wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and lactoferrin (Lf) were formulated for entrapping and releasing etoposide (ETP), crossing the blood–brain barrier (BBB), and inhibiting the growth of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Microemulsified ETP-CASLNs were modified with WGA and Lf for permeating a cultured monolayer of human brain-microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) regulated by human astrocytes and for treating malignant U87MG cells. Experimental evidence revealed that an increase in the concentration of catanionic surfactant from 5 μM to 7.5 μM reduced the particle size. When the concentration of catanionic surfactant increased from 7.5 μM to 12.5 μM, the particle size increased, yielding a minimal diameter of WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs at 7.5 μM of catanionic surfactant. An increase in the weight percentage of BW from 25% to 75% enlarged WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs. In addition, an increase in the concentration of catanionic surfactant from 5 to 15 μM increased the absolute value of zeta potential of WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs. It was intriguing that the increment of the charge as a function of the concentration of catanionic surfactant was approximately linear. WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs revealed an integral structure with smooth particle contour, displayed a lighter exterior layer of catanionic surfactant, WGA, and Lf and showed a rigid interior region of solid lipids. A variation in the concentration of catanionic surfactant between 5 μM and 15 μM yielded a maximal encapsulation efficiency of ETP ata 7.5 μM of catanionic surfactant. An increase in the concentration of Lf/WGA decreased the grafting efficiency of Lf/WGA. Also, an increase in the weight percentage of ETP decreased its encapsulation efficiency. Moreover, the release rate of ETP from WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs reduced with increasing concentration of catanionic surfactant, and WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs at 12.5 μM of catanionic surfactant exhibited a feature of sustained release. The order in the viability of HBMECs was ETP-CASLNs ≅ Lf-ETP-CASLNs ≅ WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs > ETP. The variation in the transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and permeability of propidium iodide (PI) was negligible when the concentration of Lf increased. Furthermore, an increase in the concentration of WGA from 0.2 to 0.6 mg/mL insignificantly altered the TEER and permeability of PI. When the concentration of Lf increased from 2.5 to 7.5 μg/mL and the concentration of WGA increased from 2.5 to 5 μg/mL, the enhancement in the permeability of ETP was minor. However, 10 μg/mL of Lf promoted the permeability of ETP using Lf-ETP-CASLNs, and 5 and 10 μg/mL of WGA could considerably improve the permeability of ETP using WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs. The order in the efficacy of inhibiting U87MG cells was WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs > Lf-ETP-CASLNs > ETP-CASLNs > ETP. As a result, WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs reduced the TEER, enhanced the permeability of PI, induced a minor cytotoxicity to HBMECs, increased the permeability of ETP across the BBB, and improved the antiproliferative efficacy of U87MG cells. The grafting of WGA and Lf is crucial to control the medicinal property of ETP-CASLNs and WGA-Lf-ETP-CASLNs can be promising colloidal carriers in GBM management.

Keywords: catanionic solid lipid nanoparticle, etoposide, glioblastoma multiforme, lactoferrin, wheat germ agglutinin

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1 Assessing the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Permeability in PEA-15 Mutant Cat Brain using Magnetization Transfer (MT) Effect at 7T

Authors: Sultan Z. Mahmud, Emily C. Graff, Adil Bashir


Phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes 15 kDa (PEA-15) is a multifunctional adapter protein which is associated with the regulation of apoptotic cell death. Recently it has been discovered that PEA-15 is crucial in normal neurodevelopment of domestic cats, a gyrencephalic animal model, although the exact function of PEA-15 in neurodevelopment is unknown. This study investigates how PEA-15 affects the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability in cat brain, which can cause abnormalities in tissue metabolite and energy supplies. Severe polymicrogyria and microcephaly have been observed in cats with a loss of function PEA-15 mutation, affecting the normal neurodevelopment of the cat. This suggests that the vital role of PEA-15 in neurodevelopment is associated with gyrification. Neurodevelopment is a highly energy demanding process. The mammalian brain depends on glucose as its main energy source. PEA-15 plays a very important role in glucose uptake and utilization by interacting with phospholipase D1 (PLD1). Mitochondria also plays a critical role in bioenergetics and essential to supply adequate energy needed for neurodevelopment. Cerebral blood flow regulates adequate metabolite supply and recent findings also showed that blood plasma contains mitochondria as well. So the BBB can play a very important role in regulating metabolite and energy supply in the brain. In this study the blood-brain permeability in cat brain was measured using MRI magnetization transfer (MT) effect on the perfusion signal. Perfusion is the tissue mass normalized supply of blood to the capillary bed. Perfusion also accommodates the supply of oxygen and other metabolites to the tissue. A fraction of the arterial blood can diffuse to the tissue, which depends on the BBB permeability. This fraction is known as water extraction fraction (EF). MT is a process of saturating the macromolecules, which has an effect on the blood that has been diffused into the tissue while having minimal effect on intravascular blood water that has not been exchanged with the tissue. Measurement of perfusion signal with and without MT enables to estimate the microvascular blood flow, EF and permeability surface area product (PS) in the brain. All the experiments were performed with Siemens 7T Magnetom with 32 channel head coil. Three control cats and three PEA-15 mutant cats were used for the study. Average EF in white and gray matter was 0.9±0.1 and 0.86±0.15 respectively, perfusion in white and gray matter was 85±15 mL/100g/min and 97±20 mL/100g/min respectively, PS in white and gray matter was 201±25 mL/100g/min and 225±35 mL/100g/min respectively for control cats. For PEA-15 mutant cats, average EF in white and gray matter was 0.81±0.15 and 0.77±0.2 respectively, perfusion in white and gray matter was 140±25 mL/100g/min and 165±18 mL/100g/min respectively, PS in white and gray matter was 240±30 mL/100g/min and 259±21 mL/100g/min respectively. This results show that BBB is compromised in PEA-15 mutant cat brain, where EF is decreased and perfusion as well as PS are increased in the mutant cats compared to the control cats. This findings might further explain the function of PEA-15 in neurodevelopment.

Keywords: BBB, cat brain, magnetization transfer, PEA-15

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