Browsing by Subject "EXPERIMENTAL-MODELS"

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  • Kovaleva, Vera; Saarma, Mart (2021)
    Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology involves progressive degeneration and death of vulnerable dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra. Extensive axonal arborization and distinct functions make this type of neurons particularly sensitive to homeostatic perturbations, such as protein misfolding and Ca2+ dysregulation. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a cell compartment orchestrating protein synthesis and folding, as well as synthesis of lipids and maintenance of Ca2+ homeostasis in eukaryotic cells. When misfolded proteins start to accumulate in ER lumen the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated. UPR is an adaptive signaling machinery aimed at relieving of protein folding load in the ER. When UPR is chronic, it can either boost neurodegeneration and apoptosis or cause neuronal dysfunctions. We have recently discovered that mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) exerts its prosurvival action in dopamine neurons and in an animal model of PD through the direct binding to UPR sensor inositol-requiring protein 1 alpha (IRE1) and attenuation of UPR. In line with this, UPR targeting resulted in neuroprotection and neurorestoration in various preclinical animal models of PD. Therefore, growth factors (GFs), possessing both neurorestorative activity and restoration of protein folding capacity are attractive as drug candidates for PD treatment especially their blood-brain barrier penetrating analogs and small molecule mimetics. In this review, we discuss ER stress as a therapeutic target to treat PD; we summarize the existing preclinical data on the regulation of ER stress for PD treatment. In addition, we point out the crucial aspects for successful clinical translation of UPR-regulating GFs and new prospective in GFs-based treatments of PD, focusing on ER stress regulation.
  • El-Khaled, Yusuf C.; Daraghmeh, Nauras; Tilstra, Arjen; Roth, Florian; Huettel, Markus; Rossbach, Felix; Casoli, Edoardo; Koester, Anna; Beck, Milan; Meyer, Raissa; Plewka, Julia; Schmidt, Neele; Winkelgrund, Lisa; Merk, Benedikt; Wild, Christian (2022)
    Comparative analyses of fleshy red algae mats and seagrass meadows highlight their value in fostering sessile invertebrate biodiversity. Many coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs and seagrass meadows, currently experience overgrowth by fleshy algae due to the interplay of local and global stressors. This is usually accompanied by strong decreases in habitat complexity and biodiversity. Recently, persistent, mat-forming fleshy red algae, previously described for the Black Sea and several Atlantic locations, have also been observed in the Mediterranean. These several centimetre high mats may displace seagrass meadows and invertebrate communities, potentially causing a substantial loss of associated biodiversity. We show that the sessile invertebrate biodiversity in these red algae mats is high and exceeds that of neighbouring seagrass meadows. Comparative biodiversity indices were similar to or higher than those recently described for calcifying green algae habitats and biodiversity hotspots like coral reefs or mangrove forests. Our findings suggest that fleshy red algae mats can act as alternative habitats and temporary sessile invertebrate biodiversity reservoirs in times of environmental change.
  • 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.