Browsing by Subject "Astrocytes"

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  • Pekny, Milos; Wilhelmsson, Ulrika; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Pekna, Marcela (2019)
    Stroke is an acute insult to the central nervous system (CNS) that triggers a sequence of responses in the acute, subacute as well as later stages, with prominent involvement of astrocytes. Astrocyte activation and reactive gliosis in the acute stage of stroke limit the tissue damage and contribute to the restoration of homeostasis. Astrocytes also control many aspects of neural plasticity that is the basis for functional recovery. Here, we discuss the concept of intermediate filaments (nanofilaments) and the complement system as two handles on the astrocyte responses to injury that both present attractive opportunities for novel treatment strategies modulating astrocyte functions and reactive gliosis.
  • Oksanen, Minna; Lehtonen, Sarka; Jaronen, Merja; Goldsteins, Gundars; Hämäläinen, Riikka H.; Koistinaho, Jari (2019)
    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the brain. They were long considered only as passive support for neuronal cells. However, recent data have revealed many active roles for these cells both in maintenance of the normal physiological homeostasis in the brain as well as in neurodegeneration and disease. Moreover, human astrocytes have been found to be much more complex than their rodent counterparts, and to date, astrocytes are known to actively participate in a multitude of processes such as neurotransmitter uptake and recycling, gliotransmitter release, neuroenergetics, inflammation, modulation of synaptic activity, ionic balance, maintenance of the blood–brain barrier, and many other crucial functions of the brain. This review focuses on the role of astrocytes in human neurodegenerative disease and the potential of the novel stem cell-based platforms in modeling astrocytic functions in health and in disease.
  • Albert, Katrina; Kälvälä, Sara; Hakosalo, Vili; Syvänen, Valtteri; Krupa, Patryk; Niskanen, Jonna; Peltonen, Sanni; Sonninen, Tuuli-Maria; Lehtonen, Sarka (2022)
    Alpha-synuclein's role in diseases termed "synucleinopathies", including Parkinson's disease, has been well-documented. However, after over 25 years of research, we still do not fully understand the alpha-synuclein protein and its role in disease. In vitro cellular models are some of the most powerful tools that researchers have at their disposal to understand protein function. Advantages include good control over experimental conditions, the possibility for high throughput, and fewer ethical issues when compared to animal models or the attainment of human samples. On the flip side, their major disadvantages are their questionable relevance and lack of a "whole-brain" environment when it comes to modeling human diseases, such as is the case of neurodegenerative disorders. Although now, with the advent of pluripotent stem cells and the ability to create minibrains in a dish, this is changing. With this review, we aim to wade through the recent alpha-synuclein literature to discuss how different cell culture setups (immortalized cell lines, primary neurons, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), blood-brain barrier models, and brain organoids) can help us understand aggregation pathology in Parkinson's and other synucleinopathies.
  • Wei, Hong; Wu, Hai-Yun; Chen, Zuyue; Ma, Ai-Niu; Mao, Xiao-Fang; Li, Teng-Fei; Li, Xin-Yan; Wang, Yong-Xiang; Pertovaara, Antti (2016)
    Spinal transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel is associated with various pain hypersensitivity conditions. Spinally, TRPA1 is expressed by central terminals of nociceptive nerve fibers and astrocytes. Among potential endogenous agonists of TRPA1 is H2O2 generated by D-amino acid oxidase (DAAO) in astrocytes. Here we studied whether prolonged block of the spinal TRPA1 or astrocytes starting at time of injury attenuates development and/or maintenance of neuropathic hypersensitivity. Additionally, TRPA1 and DAAO mRNA were determined in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal dorsal horn (SDH). Experiments were performed in rats with spared nerve injury (SNI) and chronic intrathecal catheter. Drugs were administered twice daily for the first seven injury days or only once seven days after injury. Mechanical hypersensitivity was assessed with monofilaments. Acute and prolonged treatment with Chembridge-5861528 (a TRPA1 antagonist), carbenoxolone (an inhibitor of activated astrocytes), or gabapentin (a comparison drug) attenuated tactile allodynia-like responses evoked by low (2 g) stimulus. However, antihypersensitivity effect of these compounds was short of significance at a high (15 g) stimulus intensity. No preemptive effects were observed. In healthy controls, carbenoxolone failed to prevent hypersensitivity induced by spinal cinnamaldehyde, a TRPA1 agonist TRPA1 and DAAO mRNA in the DRG but not SDH were slightly increased in SNI, independent of drug treatment The results indicate that prolonged peri-injury block of spinal TRPA1 or inhibition of spinal astrocyte activation attenuates maintenance but not development of mechanical (tactile allodynia-like) hypersensitivity after nerve injury. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Lampinen, Riikka; Belaya, Irina; Saveleva, Liudmila; Liddell, Jeffrey R.; Rait, Dzhessi; Huuskonen, Mikko T.; Giniatullina, Raisa; Sorvari, Annika; Soppela, Liisi; Mikhailov, Nikita; Boccuni, Isabella; Giniatullin, Rashid; Cruz-Haces, Marcela; Konovalova, Julia; Koskuvi, Marja; Domanskyi, Andrii; Hämäläinen, Riikka H.; Goldsteins, Gundars; Koistinaho, Jari; Malm, Tarja; Chew, Sweelin; Rilla, Kirsi; White, Anthony R.; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas; Kanninen, Katja M. (2022)
    Under physiological conditions in vivo astrocytes internalize and degrade neuronal mitochondria in a process called transmitophagy. Mitophagy is widely reported to be impaired in neurodegeneration but it is unknown whether and how transmitophagy is altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we report that the internalization of neuronal mitochondria is significantly increased in astrocytes isolated from AD mouse brains. We also demonstrate that the degradation of neuronal mitochondria by astrocytes is increased in AD mice at the age of 6 months onwards. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time a similar phenomenon between human neurons and AD astrocytes, and in murine hippocampi in vivo. The results suggest the involvement of S100a4 in impaired mitochondrial transfer between neurons and AD astrocytes together with significant increases in the mitophagy regulator and reactive oxygen species in aged AD astrocytes. These findings demonstrate altered neuronsupporting functions of AD astrocytes and provide a starting point for studying the molecular mechanisms of transmitophagy in AD.
  • Oja, Simo S.; Saransaari, Pirjo; Korpi, Esa R. (2017)
    Abnormal liver function has dramatic effects on brain functions. Hyperammonemia interferes profoundly with brain metabolism, astrocyte volume regulation, and in particular mitochondrial functions. Gene expression in the brain and excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission circuits are also affected. Experiments with a number of pertinent animal models have revealed several potential mechanisms which could underlie the pathological phenomena occurring in hepatic encephalopathy.
  • Nadella, Rasajna; Voutilainen, Merja H.; Saarma, Mart; Gonzalez-Barrios, Juan A.; Leon-Chavez, Bertha A.; Dueas Jimnez, Judith M.; Dueas Jimnez, Sergio H.; Escobedo, Lourdes; Martinez-Fong, Daniel (2014)
    BACKGROUND: The anti-inflammatory effect of the cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) was shown recently in primary glial cell cultures, yet such effect remains unknown both in vivo and in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) models of Parkinson's disease (PD). We addressed this issue by performing an intranigral transfection of the human CDNF (hCDNF) gene in the critical period of inflammation after a single intrastriatal 6-OHDA injection in the rat. METHODS: At day 15 after lesion, the plasmids p3xNBRE-hCDNF or p3xNBRE-EGFP, coding for enhanced green florescent protein (EGFP), were transfected into the rat substantia nigra (SN) using neurotensin (NTS)-polyplex. At day 15 post-transfection, we measured nitrite and lipoperoxide levels in the SN. We used ELISA to quantify the levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, endogenous rat CDNF (rCDNF) and hCDNF. We also used qRT-PCR to measure rCDNF and hCDNF transcripts, and immunofluorescence assays to evaluate iNOS, CDNF and glial cells (microglia, astrocytes and Neuron/Glial type 2 (NG2) cells). Intact SNs were additional controls. RESULTS: In the SN, 6-OHDA triggered nitrosative stress, increased inflammatory cytokines levels, and activated the multipotent progenitor NG2 cells, which convert into astrocytes to produce rCDNF. In comparison with the hemiparkinsonian rats that were transfected with the EGFP gene or without transfection, 6-OHDA treatment and p3xNBRE-hCDNF transfection increased the conversion of NG2 cells into astrocytes resulting in 4-fold increase in the rCDNF protein levels. The overexpressed CDNF reduced nitrosative stress, glial markers and IL-6 levels in the SN, but not TNF-α and IL-1β levels. CONCLUSION: Our results show the anti-inflammatory effect of CDNF in a 6-OHDA rat of Parkinson's disease. Our results also suggest the possible participation of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 in rCDNF production by astrocytes, supporting their anti-inflammatory role.