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  • Mantyla, Teemu; Mantere, Outi; Raij, Tuukka T.; Kieseppa, Tuula; Laitinen, Hanna; Leiviska, Jaana; Torniainen, Minna; Tuominen, Lauri; Vaarala, Outi; Suvisaari, Jaana (2015)
    First-episode psychosis (FEP) is associated with inflammatory and brain structural changes, but few studies have investigated whether systemic inflammation associates with brain structural changes in FEP. Thirty-seven FEP patients (median 27 days on antipsychotic medication), and 19 matched controls were recruited. Serum levels of 38 chemokines and cytokines, and cardiovascular risk markers were measured at baseline and 2 months later. We collected T1-and diffusion-weighted MRIs with a 3 T scanner from the patients at baseline. We analyzed the association of psychosis-related inflammatory markers with gray and white matter (WM) volume using voxel-based morphometry and WM diffusion using tract-based spatial statistics with whole-brain and region-of-interest (ROI) analyses. FEP patients had higher CCL22 and lower TGFa, CXCL1, CCL7, IFN-alpha 2 and ApoA-I than controls. CCL22 decreased significantly between baseline and 2 months in patients but was still higher than in controls. The association between inflammatory markers and FEP remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, smoking and BMI. We did not observe a correlation of inflammatory markers with any symptoms or duration of antipsychotic treatment. Baseline CCL22 levels correlated negatively with WM volume and positively with mean diffusivity and radial diffusivity bilaterally in the frontal lobes in ROI analyses. Decreased serum lan association between circulating chemokine levels and WM in FEP patients. Interestingly, CCL22 has been previously implicated in autoimmune diseases associated with WM pathology. The results suggest that an altered activation of innate immunity may contribute to WM damage in psychotic disorders.evel of ApoA-I was associated with smaller volume of the medial temporal WM. In whole-brain analyses, CCL22 correlated positively with mean diffusivity and radial diffusivity, and CXCL1 associated negatively with fractional anisotropy and positively with mean diffusivity and radial diffusivity in several brain regions. This is the first report to demonstrate
  • Laurikainen, Heikki; Vuorela, Arja; Toivonen, Anna; Reinert-Hartwall, Linnea; Trontti, Kalevi; Lindgren, Maija; Keinanen, Jaakko; Mäntylä, Teemu; Paju, Janina; Ilonen, Tuula; Armio, Reetta-Liina; Walta, Maija; Tuisku, Jouni; Helin, Semi; Marjamäki, Päivi; Hovatta, Iiris; Therman, Sebastian; Vaarala, Outi; Linnaranta, Outi; Kieseppä, Tuula; Salokangas, Raimo K. R.; Honkanen, Jarno; Hietala, Jarmo; Suvisaari, Jaana (2020)
    Several lines of research support immune system dysregulation in psychotic disorders. However, it remains unclear whether the immunological marker alterations are stable and how they associate with brain glial cell function. This longitudinal study aimed at investigating whether peripheral immune functions are altered in the early phases of psychotic disorders, whether the changes are associated with core symptoms, remission, brain glial cell function, and whether they persist in a one-year follow-up. Two independent cohorts comprising in total of 129 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 130 controls were assessed at baseline and at the one-year follow-up. Serum cyto-/chemokines were measured using a 38-plex Luminex assay. The FEP patients showed a marked increase in chemokine CCL22 levels both at baseline (p <0.0001; Cohen's d = 0.70) and at the 12-month follow-up (p = 0.0007) compared to controls. The group difference remained significant (p = 0.0019) after accounting for relevant covariates including BMI, smoking, and antipsychotic medication. Elevated serum CCL22 levels were significantly associated with hallucinations (rho = 0.20) and disorganization (rho = 0.23), and with worse verbal performance (rho = -0.23). Brain glial cell activity was indexed with positron emission tomography and the translocator protein radiotracer [C-11]PBR28 in subgroups of 15 healthy controls and 14 FEP patients with serum CCL22/CCL17 measurements. The distribution volume (V-T) of [C-11]PBR28 was lower in patients compared to controls (p = 0.026; Cohen's d = 0.94) without regionally specific effects, and was inversely associated with serum CCL22 and CCL17 levels (p = 0.036). Our results do not support the over-active microglia hypothesis of psychosis, but indicate altered CCR4 immune signaling in early psychosis with behavioral correlates possibly mediated through cross-talk between chemokine networks and dysfunctional or a decreased number of glial cells.
  • Mahiout, Selma; Tagliabue, Sara Giani; Nasri, Atefeh; Omoruyi, Iyekhoetin Matthew; Pettersson, Lars; Bonati, Laura; Pohjanvirta, Raimo (2018)
    The mediator of dioxin toxicity, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), has also important physiological functions. Selective AHR modulators (SAHRMs) share some effects of dioxins, except for their marked toxicity. We recently characterised toxicologically two novel SAHRMs, prodrugs IMA-08401 and IMA-07101 in rats, demonstrating that they are far less deleterious than the most toxic AHR-agonist, TCDD. Here, we analysed the in vitro toxicity and in silico AHR binding of the respective active, deacetylated metabolites, IMA-06201 (N-ethyl-N-phenyl-5-chloro-1,2-dihydro-4-hydroxy-1-methyl-2-oxo-quinoline-3-carboxamide) and IMA-06504 (N-(4-trifluoromethylphenyl)-1,2-dihydro-4-hydroxy-5-methoxy-1-methyl-2-oxo-quinoline-3-carboxamide). In H4IIE rat hepatoma cells, IMA-06201 and IMA-06504 induced CYP1A1 with comparable potencies and efficacies to those of TCDD. They had little effect on cell viability as assessed by LDH leakage and MTT reduction assays, and were not mutagenic in the Ames test, but IMA-06504 elicited a maximally 2.7-fold increase in micronuclei. Molecular docking simulations showed that similar to TCDD, they occupy the central region of AHR ligand binding cavity. Hence, while showing low to negligible in vitro toxicity, these novel SAHRMs bind to the AHR qualitatively in a similar fashion to TCDD, and appear comparably powerful AHR agonists. Combined with our earlier results demonstrating that they seem considerably less toxic in vivo than TCDD, these compounds are thus highly interesting new SAHRMs.
  • Nam, Jinhan; Koppinen, Tapani K.; Voutilainen, Merja H. (2021)
    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive autoimmune disease characterized by T-cell mediated demyelination in central nervous system (CNS). Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely used in vivo disease model of MS. Glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone (dex) function as immunosuppressants and are commonly used to treat acute exacerbations of MS. Dex is also often used as a positive control in EAE studies, as it has been shown to promote motor behavior, inhibit immune cell infiltration into the CNS and regulate the activation of glial cell in EAE. This study further validated the effects of intravenously administrated dex by time-dependent fashion in EAE. Dex postponed clinical signs and motor defects in early stages of EAE. Histological analysis revealed that the degeneration of myelin and axons, as well as the infiltration of peripheral immune cells into the white matter of spinal cord was inhibited by dex in early stages of EAE. Additionally, dex-treatment delayed the neuroinflammatory activation of microglia and astrocytes. Furthermore, this study analyzed the expression of the neurotrophic factor mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) in EAE, and the effect of treatment with dex on MANF-expression. We show that in dex-treated EAE mice expression MANF increased within myelinated areas of spinal cord white matter. We also show that intravenous administration with hMANF in EAE mice improved clinical signs and motor behavior in the early stage of EAE. Our report gives insight to the progression of EAE by providing a time-dependent analysis. Moreover, this study investigates the link between MANF and the EAE model, and shows that MANF is a potential drug candidate for MS.
  • Kolosowska, Natalia; Keuters, Meike H.; Wojciechowski, Sara; Keksa-Goldsteine, Velta; Laine, Mika; Malm, Tarja; Goldsteins, Gundars; Koistinaho, Jari; Dhungana, Hiramani (2019)
    Neuroinflammation is strongly induced by cerebral ischemia. The early phase after the onset of ischemic stroke is characterized by acute neuronal injury, microglial activation, and subsequent infiltration of blood-derived inflammatory cells, including macrophages. Therefore, modulation of the microglial/macrophage responses has increasingly gained interest as a potential therapeutic approach for the ischemic stroke. In our study, we investigated the effects of peripherally administered interleukin 13 (IL-13) in a mouse model of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAo). Systemic administration of IL-13 immediately after the ischemic insult significantly reduced the lesion volume, alleviated the infiltration of CD45(+) leukocytes, and promoted the microglia/macrophage alternative activation within the ischemic region, as determined by arginase 1 (Arg1) immunoreactivity at 3 days post-ischemia (dpi). Moreover, IL-13 enhanced the expression of M2a alternative activation markers Arg1 and Ym1 in the peri-ischemic (PI) area, as well as increased plasma IL-6 and IL-10 levels at 3 dpi. Furthermore, IL-13 treatment ameliorated gait disturbances at day 7 and 14 and sensorimotor deficits at day 14 post-ischemia, as analyzed by the CatWalk gait analysis system and adhesive removal test, respectively. Finally, IL-13 treatment decreased neuronal cell death in a coculture model of neuroinflammation with RAW 264.7 macrophages. Taken together, delivery of IL-13 enhances microglial/macrophage anti-inflammatory responses in vivo and in vitro, decreases ischemia-induced brain cell death, and improves sensory and motor functions in the pMCAo mouse model of cerebral ischemia.
  • Prokopec, Stephenie D.; Pohjanvirta, Raimo; Mahiout, Selma; Pettersson, Lars; Boutros, Paul C. (2019)
    IMA-08401 (C2) is a novel aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist and selective AHR modulator (SAHRM) that is structurally similar to laquinimod (LAQ). Both compounds are converted to the AHR-active metabolite DELAQ (IMA-06201) in vivo. SAHRMs have been proposed as therapeutic options for various autoimmune disorders. Clinical trials on LAQ have not reported any significant toxic outcomes and C2 has shown low toxicity in rats; however, their functional resemblance to the highly toxic AHR agonist 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) raises questions. Here, we characterize the hepatic transcriptomic changes induced by acute (single-dose) and subacute exposure (repeated dosing for 5 days followed by a 5-day recovery period) to C2 in Sprague-Dawley rats. Exposure to C2 leads to activation of the AHR, as shown by altered transcription of Cyp1a1. We identify a heightened response early after exposure that drops off by day 10. Acute exposure to C2 leads to changes to transcription of genes involved in antiviral and antibacterial responses, which highlights the immunomodulator effects of this AHR agonist. Subacute exposure causes an oxidative stress response in the liver, the consequences of which require further study on target tissues such as the CNS and immune system, both of which may be compromised in this patient population.