Browsing by Subject "ASTROCYTES"

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  • Arvola, Oiva; Griffiths, Brian; Rao, Anand; Xu, Lijun; Pastroudis, Iason-Alexander; Stary, Creed M. (2021)
    Embolic stroke results in a necrotic core of cells destined to die, but also a peri-ischemic, watershed penumbral region of potentially salvageable brain tissue. Approaches to effectively differentiate between the ischemic and peri-ischemic zones is critical for novel therapeutic discovery to improve outcomes in survivors of stroke. MicroRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs regulating gene translation that have region- and cell-specific expression and responses to ischemia. We have previously reported that global inhibition of cerebral microRNA200c after experimental stroke in mice is protective, however delineating the post-stroke sub-regional and celltype specific patterns of post-stroke miR-200c expression are necessary to minimize off-target effects and advance translational application. Here, we detail a novel protocol to visualize regional miR-200c expression after experimental stroke, complexed with visualization of regional ischemia and markers of oxidative stress in an experimental stroke model in mice. In the present study we demonstrate that the fluorescent hypoxia indicator pimonidazole hydrochloride, the reactive-oxygen-species marker 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine, neuronal marker MAP2 and NeuN, and the reactive astrocyte marker GFAP can be effectively complexed to determine regional differences in ischemic injury as early as 30 min post-reperfusion after experimental stroke, and can be effectively used to distinguish ischemic core from surrounding penumbral and unaffected regions for targeted therapy. This multi-dimensional post-stroke immunofluorescent imaging protocol enables a greater degree of subregional mechanistic investigation, with the ultimate goal of developing more effective post-stroke pharmaceutical therapy.
  • Berk, Benjamin Andreas; Ottka, Claudia; Law, Tsz Hong; Packer, Rowena Mary Anne; Wessmann, Annette; Bathen-Nöthen, Andrea; Jokinen, Tarja Susanna; Knebel, Anna; Tipold, Andrea; Lohi, Hannes; Volk, Holger Andreas (2022)
    Consumption of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) has been shown to improve seizure control, reduce behavioural comorbidities and improve cognitive function in epileptic dogs. However, the exact metabolic pathways affected by dietary MCT remain poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to identify changes in the metabolome and neurotransmitters levels relevant to epilepsy and behavioural comorbidities associated with the consuming of an MCT supplement (MCT-DS) in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy (IE). Metabolic alterations induced by a commercial MCT-DS in a population of 28 dogs with IE were evaluated in a 6-month multi-centre, prospective, randomised, double-blinded, controlled cross-over trial design. A metabolic energy requirement-based amount of 9% MCT or control oil was supplemented to the dogs' stable base diet for 3 months, followed by the alternative oil for another 3 months. A validated, quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy platform was applied to pre- and postprandially collected serum samples to compare the metabolic profile between both DS and baseline. Furthermore, alterations in urinary neurotransmitter levels were explored. Five dogs (30%) had an overall reduction in seizure frequency of >= 50%, and were classified as MCT-responders, while 23 dogs showed a
  • Loppi, Sanna; Korhonen, Paula; Bouvy-Liivrand, Maria; Caligola, Simone; Turunen, Tiia A.; Turunen, Mikko P.; de Sande, Ana Hernandez; Kolosowska, Natalia; Scoyni, Flavia; Rosell, Anna; Garcia-Berrocoso, Teresa; Lemarchant, Sighild; Dhungana, Hiramani; Montaner, Joan; Koistinaho, Jari; Kanninen, Katja M.; Kaikkonen, Minna U.; Giugno, Rosalba; Heinäniemi, Merja; Malm, Tarja (2021)
    Ischemic stroke, the third leading cause of death in the Western world, affects mainly the elderly and is strongly associated with comorbid conditions such as atherosclerosis or diabetes, which are pathologically characterized by increased inflammation and are known to influence the outcome of stroke. Stroke incidence peaks during influenza seasons, and patients suffering from infections such as pneumonia prior to stroke exhibit a worse stroke outcome. Earlier studies have shown that comorbidities aggravate the outcome of stroke, yet the mediators of this phenomenon remain obscure. Here, we show that acute peripheral inflammation aggravates stroke-induced neuronal damage and motor deficits specifically in aged mice. This is associated with increased levels of plasma proinflammatory cytokines, rather than with an increase of inflammatory mediators in the affected brain parenchyma. Nascent transcriptomics data with mature microRNA sequencing were used to identify the neuron-specific miRNome, in order to decipher dysregulated miRNAs in the brains of aged animals with stroke and co-existing inflammation. We pinpoint a previously uninvestigated miRNA in the brain, miR-127, that is highly neuronal, to be associated with increased cell death in the aged, LPS-injected ischemic mice. Target prediction tools indicate that miR-127 interacts with several basally expressed neuronal genes, and of these we verify miR-127 binding to Psmd3. Finally, we report reduced expression of miR-127 in human stroke brains. Our results underline the impact of peripheral inflammation on the outcome of stroke in aged subjects and pinpoint molecular targets for restoring endogenous neuronal capacity to combat ischemic stroke.
  • Le Joncour, Vadim; Karaman, Sinem; Laakkonen, Pirjo Maarit (2019)
    Highly selective by nature, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is essential for the brain homeostasis in physiological conditions. However, in the context of brain tumors, the molecular selectivity of BBB also shields the neoplastic cells by blocking the delivery of peripherally administered chemotherapies. The development of novel drugs (including nanoparticles) targeting malignant brain tumors ideally requires the use of preclinical animal models to study the drug’s transcytosis and antitumor efficacy. In order to comply with the 3R principle (refine, reduce, and replace) to reduce the number of laboratory animals in experimental setup and perform the high-throughput screening of a large library of antitumor agents, we developed a reproducible in vitro human and murine mimic of the blood-brain tumor-barrier (BBTB) using three-layered cultures of endothelial cells, astrocytes, and patient-derived glioblastoma spheres. For higher scalability and reproducibility, commercial cell lines or immortalized cells have been used in tailored conditions to allow the formation of a barrier resembling the actual BBB. Here we describe a protocol to obtain a BBTB mimic by culturing endothelial cells in contact with astrocytes at specific cell densities on inserts. This BBTB mimic can be used, for instance, for the quantification and confocal imaging of the nanoparticle passage through the endothelial and astrocytic barriers, in addition to the evaluation of the tumor cell targeting within the same assay. Moreover, we show that the obtained data can be used to predict the behavior of nanoparticles in preclinical animal models. In a broader perspective, this in vitro model could be adapted to other neurodegenerative diseases for the determination of the passage of new therapeutic molecules through the BBB and/or be supplemented with brain organoids to directly evaluate the efficacy of drugs.
  • Rostami, Jinar; Jäntti, Maria; Cui, Hengjing; Rinne, Maiju K.; Kukkonen, Jyrki P.; Falk, Anna; Erlandsson, Anna; Myöhänen, Timo (2020)
    Growing evidence emphasizes insufficient clearance of pathological alpha-synuclein (alpha SYN) aggregates in the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Consequently, cellular degradation pathways represent a potential therapeutic target. Prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) is highly expressed in the brain and has been suggested to increase alpha SYN aggregation and negatively regulate the autophagy pathway. Inhibition of PREP with a small molecule inhibitor, KYP-2407, stimulates autophagy and reduces the oligomeric species of alpha SYN aggregates in PD mouse models. However, whether PREP inhibition has any effects on intracellular alpha SYN fibrils has not been studied before. In this study, the effect of KYP2407 on alpha SYN preformed fibrils (PFFs) was tested in SH-SY5Y cells and human astmcytes. Immunostaining analysis revealed that both cell types accumulated alpha SYN PFFs intracellularly but KYP-2047 decreased intracellular alpha SYN deposits only in SH-SY5Y cells, as astrocytes did not show any PREP activity. Western blot analysis confirmed the reduction of high molecular weight alpha SYN species in SH-SY5Y cell lysates, and secretion of aSYN from SH-SY5Y cells also decreased in the presence of KYP-2407. Accumulation of alpha SYN inside the SH-SY5Y cells resulted in an increase of the auto-lysosomal proteins p62 and LC3BII, as well as calpain 1 and 2, which have been shown to be associated with PD pathology. Notably, treatment with KYP-2407 significantly reduced p62 and LC3BII levels, indicating an increased autophagic flux, and calpain 1 and 2 levels returned to normal in the presence of KYP-2407. Our findings indicate that PREP inhibition can potentially be used as therapy to reduce the insoluble intracellular alpha SYN aggregates.
  • Räsänen, Noora; Tiihonen, Jari; Koskuvi, Marja; Lehtonen, Sarka; Koistinaho, Jari (2022)
    Over a decade of schizophrenia research using human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neural models has provided substantial data describing neurobiological characteristics of the disorder in vitro. Simultaneously, translation of the results into general mechanistic concepts underlying schizophrenia pathophysiology has been trailing behind. Given that modeling brain function using cell cultures is challenging, the gap between the in vitro models and schizophrenia as a clinical disorder has remained wide. In this review, we highlight reproducible findings and emerging trends in recent schizophrenia-related iPSC studies. We illuminate the relevance of the results in the context of human brain development, with a focus on processes coinciding with critical developmental periods for schizophrenia.